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StarCraft 2: What's My System Bottleneck?

Last response: in Video Games
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July 22, 2010 3:08:50 PM

So I just got an EVGA GT 240 512mb Superclocked. I was expecting high SC2 settings, but they're all recommended at medium. I've heard this card can do more. My other specs:

CPU: Pentium D 2.8Ghz
RAM: 3GB, old, cheap, mismatched
Interface: PCI-E 1.0 (I think)
G-Card: See above

What's my bottleneck? Upgrade vs. save for a new computer?
July 22, 2010 3:35:49 PM

Save for a new computer, your cpu is 3 generations behind and the GT240 is not an incredibly powerful card. Medium is probably where the game will run best.
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July 22, 2010 3:45:19 PM

Howbout just upgrading my CPU? Can the CPU actually hold back graphics quality?
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July 22, 2010 6:44:35 PM

Yes, your CPU can hold back or "bottleneck" your graphics performance.

In your case, upgrading to a C2D might give you more wiggle room, but you will really have to ask yourself if spending money on your dated machine is worth it. The C2D's still for sale at TD and newegg are all over 115$, which is alot of money to be spending on a machine this dated.
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July 23, 2010 1:24:28 AM

Time for a complete new PC. Yours is trash.
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July 23, 2010 9:41:09 AM

nonsense. i would put in a core 2 duo of sorts (e7500 or something) if the motherboard supports it. If not then nevermind, get a new motherboard and cpu. to test if your gfx card is causing the bottleneck, drop the screen resolution down lower and detail settings lower. if FPS improves, then thats the main issue.
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July 24, 2010 4:24:45 AM

Yea i may just upgrade the CPU then because all I wanna play is SC2 and Diablo 3.
I chose this card because it's one of the best ones I know my 300w psu can handle.
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July 24, 2010 4:25:50 AM

Best answer selected by Apocc Rooster.
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July 29, 2010 3:54:16 AM

Apocc Rooster said:
So I just got an EVGA GT 240 512mb Superclocked. I was expecting high SC2 settings, but they're all recommended at medium. I've heard this card can do more. My other specs:

CPU: Pentium D 2.8Ghz
RAM: 3GB, old, cheap, mismatched
Interface: PCI-E 1.0 (I think)
G-Card: See above

What's my bottleneck? Upgrade vs. save for a new computer?


The bottleneck is BOTH the processor and the graphics card. I myself have a 9600 GT card with e4500 core 2 duo, and although on ultra settings everything works, there's occassional slowdown and somewhat long load times.

Is your computer a custom build or namebrand? If namebrand, you'll need to go on the forums of the respective manufacturer because its possible they lock the motherboard to support certain processors.

If your willing to spend at least $300, and the graphics card is returnable, and this is a custom build, I'd get a new motherboard with an lga 775 (for Intel Processors), then get a processor with at minimum 2.4 Ghz clockspeed (as per Blizzards preferred system requirements). Although they are trying to phase the socket out, you can still build a powerful rig with them. You can basically go up to the Core 2 Quad family processors. If the RAM is not DDR and is DDR2, then just be sure to get a board that supports DDR2 and you can reuse parts. Check power supply specs to make sure it meets minimum of graphics card requirement + little more to account for other components.

If your not a PC builder, on a budget, and/or want to work with what you have, check manufacturer forums for supported processors. A core 2 duo is a must for this game to avoid slowdown, but don't quote me on that being the absolute minimum because I myself am having some occassional slowdowns with a 9600 gt, 2 GB ram, and core 2 duo e4500.

Honestly, if saving for a new computer won't take you that long, thats the best route. All dependent on what you are willing to spend. If you want to put a dollar amount to reply I can help ya out specifically.
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August 25, 2010 11:16:20 PM

Thx for the detailed insight -- it made me think more about my situation. After playing a good bit of SC2, its not only graphics quality that is the issue, but like you (or worse) I'm getting BAD slowdowns (like < 1 fps!) when theres lots of stuff going on. Lower graphics settings don't speed things up, so it must be mostly my CPU thats slow.

Also I'm getting crazy color problems because, according to EVGA techs, my PSU +12 voltage is below the range 11.96V - 12.35V by about .1. Does this really mean my PSU is faulty?

Anyway, if I'm facing buying a new CPU and PSU, I think instead I'll build my own computer at some point before Diablo 3, pop my current graphics cards in there, test it out, and upgrade if necessary. Unfortunately I'm past the refund date for my graphics card.
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