Ive had this problem since i first started playing STO my graphics card is a nvidia geforce 9400 gt (1gb) - way over the recommended on the web/case, its mainly my fps its terribly low i mean around 13 lmao ive tweaked and changed every setting i can on the game and i belive i figured out the main problem and it is Lighting/shadows this minuses my fps by 20-30 fps, i need to know why this is i mean my system spec is more way more then needed to run this game everyother setting i can have upto 100% some over but asoon as i turn Lighting quality which also turns on shadows my comp just laaaaaaaaags majorly. Any suggestions.
the problem is that your card is on the lower end of the scale. A new series card doesnt mean it is better than a older card. They make both Entry-Level, Mid-Range and High-End cards in each number series. In the 9000 series you should go for a 9800 card.
The problem is that the 9400 GT falls in the Entry-Level section. It has a Texel Fillrate of 4.4 Billions/Sec while a 9800 GTX have a Texel Fillrate of 43.2 Billions/Sec.
You can go to the NVidia website and compare different cards and perhaps find one that will fit your needs. Just remember that the higher end cards needs alot more power so it's also depending on your PSU what card you can use. Also remember that a high-end card is so big that it covers 2 expansion slots.
Just a confusing display of the numbering system for graphic cards.
9xxx series, 9400, 9500 is at the very low end. 9600 is acceptable if you are using 1280x1024. If you are using a larger monitor, it's better to go for 9800 and above card with around 1 gig graphic ram.
8xxx series is similar to the 9xxx series, use the 2nd digit to judge. E.g 8600 is about the same as 9600
2xx series is different , 210 to 230 is turd. 240 is equivalent to 9600. Guess the 2nd digit minus 2.
Performance/price difference over the generations is not stellar(aka not much different). It's to cater to access DX10 and DX11 but more importantly to reduce power consumption and heat.
I usually use price instead of the numbering system, aim for those graphic cards that cost around 330 USD(Expensive I know...) for a good experience for 3D gaming ( at the minimum they can support large displays, e.g 27" with 2560x1600 resolution, without choking).
For acceptable experience, a card that worth around 200 USD like GTX 260?
Important note: some of the higher end card needs a higher rated power supply to drive it. Typically at least 650W to be safe, or you can ask the retailer or check the specs.
For the time being you can set the Half Resolution = ON. It's in the game Option - Video
But a new GPU is the best solution.
Graphic Gaming cards:
ATI Radeon HD 4650,4670 and 5670 cards only needs a 400 W PSU.
Nvidia Geforce GT 240 needs a 350 W PSU
Nvidia Geforce 9600 GT needs a 400 W PSU.
All four of these cards usually do not need a 6 pin PCIE cable. Always check the box for system requirements.
STO Gaming level med. Price ranges on these cards are under $100.00. The ATI's usually a better choice here on a price/performance.
ATI Radeon HD 4850,4890, 5750, 5770 and the Nvidia 9800 GT, 9800 GTX, GTS 250 needs a 450 to 500 W PSU with one 6 pin PCIE cable. Always check the box for system requirements.
STO Gaming level High. Price Range: $100-230.00.
ATI Radeon HD 5850, 5870, 5970. Nvidia GTX 260, 275, 295 needs a 550 to 750 W PSU with two 6 pin or 1 6pin and 1 8 pin PCIE cables. Always check the box for system requirements.
STO Gaming level Very High. Price Range: $250.00-600.00.