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Best upgrade to increase FPS, Resolution, and details in SC2

Last response: in Systems
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August 3, 2010 6:05:54 PM

Goal:
Increase quality of playing SC2 on my ancient computer.

Budget: ~$150

I think a new GPU would require a good PSU, but I should be able to upgrade my CPU with the current PSU, since my current CPU is 89W and compatible new CPU's are 95W.

I am looking for which of these 2 options would be best, or if you have any others to propose. If I get the PSU & GPU, then I will be ready to upgrade the MB, CPU, RAM ~next year.

My current system:

6GB (2X2GB + 2X1GB) of DDR2800 RAM running on Vista x64 on a 1680X1050 monitor.

XION II XON-103 Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, 450W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M2N-E SLI AM2 NVIDIA nForce 500 SLI MCP ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 256-P2-N554-AX GeForce 7600GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ Windsor 2.8GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 89W Dual-Core Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Options I have found:

ASUS EAH4870/2DI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Plus
OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$180-$50 (rebates) = $130 Total
_____
OR
---------

AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$140 Total

(Asus’s web site is not working correctly to tell me what CPU by motherboard supports, but this http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-ASUS/M2N-E.html says it will support this CPU)
a b B Homebuilt system
a b à CPUs
August 3, 2010 6:20:10 PM

What PSU do you have?
August 3, 2010 6:37:57 PM

mosox said:
What PSU do you have?


I could not find that exactly, it came with the case above. 450W, I would assume low quality. I can check tonight if more info would be helpful.
Related resources
August 3, 2010 6:56:38 PM

You definitely NEED more video memory if you are going to have a prayer of getting SCII to run decently. (see under options->Video->Textures: 128MB [this is your video card] - Suggested low, 256MB - Suggested Medium, 512MB[unless you want to go with the 55xx series this is still where you will be left] - Suggested High, 1024MB - Suggested Ultra)

Beyond this, you have to consider that a decent Hardware Audio Solution (at least X-Fi Fatality or = to) may also help you squeeze more "pretty" into SCII.

Finally, you may want to Check with the support staff at Battle.net for specifics about what they have tested the game to run on Ultra or High Setting with as they are pretty helpful with performance issues.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2010 7:33:26 PM

This is actually a moot point since your Mobo does not support Phenom II CPU's.

Therefor, new CPU would also require new MOBO.

edit: Ok before I get yelled at, yes there ARE ways around this with BIOS tweeks, and you can get the CPU to work. However, it's not as simple as a drop in and go and really is just a hassle.
August 3, 2010 7:50:15 PM

banthracis said:
This is actually a moot point since your Mobo does not support Phenom II CPU's.

Therefor, new CPU would also require new MOBO.

edit: Ok before I get yelled at, yes there ARE ways around this with BIOS tweeks, and you can get the CPU to work. However, it's not as simple as a drop in and go and really is just a hassle.


What about the last link in my original post that says the latest BIOS supports Phenom IIX4, up to 95W?

Did you get the Asus site to work? For some reason, I can not get the list of officially supported CPU's for my MOBO????


Anyway, it seems the consensus is that a new PSU and GPU is the way to go right now, then in a year or 2 I will do MOBO, CPU, RAM to AM3 or some other midstream platform.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2010 10:11:34 PM

Full official supported CPu list
http://www.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=NJ8fkR6ufRM9XvFC&...

Spoiler

Athlon 64 3000+ (CN),512K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3200+ (CN),512K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3200+ (DE),512K,rev.G,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 3500+ (CN),512K,rev.F2,35W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3500+ (CN),512K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3500+ (CW),512K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3500+ (DE),512K,rev.G,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 3500+ (DH),512K,rev.F3,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 3800+ (CN),512K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3800+ (CW),512K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 3800+ (DE),512K,rev.G,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 3800+ (DH),512K,rev.F3,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 4000+ (CW),512K,rev.F2,59W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 4000+ (DH),512K,rev.F3,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 FX-62 (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,125W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 LE-1600+ (DH),1M,rev.F3,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 LE-1620+ (DH),1M,rev.F3,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 LE-1640+ (DH),1M,rev.F3,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 LE-1640+ (DP),512K,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon 64 LE-1660+ (DP),512K,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon 64 X2 3600+ (CU),512K,65W,rev.F2,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 3600+ (DD),1MB,65W,rev.G,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (CS),512Kx2,65W,rev.F2,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (CU),512Kx2,35W,rev.F2,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (CU),512Kx2,65W,rev.F2,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (CU),512Kx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 3800+ (CZ),512Kx2,65W,rev.F3,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (DD),1MB,rev.G,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (CU),512Kx2,rev.F2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (CU),512Kx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (DD),512Kx2,rev.G1,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (DO),512Kx2,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1102

Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (CS),1MBx2,65W,rev.F2,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (DD),1MB,rev.G,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 4400+ (DO),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (CU),512Kx2,rev.F2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (CU),512Kx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (CZ),1MB,rev.F3,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 X2 4600+ (DO),1M,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (DD),1MB,rev.G,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (DO),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (CS),1MB,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (CU),512Kx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (CZ),1MB,rev.F3,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0902

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (CZ),1MB,rev.F3,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (DD),1MB,rev.G,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (DO),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 X2 5000+ (DS),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (CS),1MBx2,rev.F2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (CZ),2MB,rev.F3,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (CZ),2MB,rev.F3,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (DD),1MB,rev.G,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
0701

Athlon 64 X2 5200+ (DO),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (CZ),1M,rev.F3,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (DO),1M,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon 64 X2 5400+ (DS),1M,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1203
beta
Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (CZ),2MB,rev.F3,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Athlon 64 X2 5600+ (DO),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (CZ),2MB,rev.F3,125W,SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (CZ),2MB,rev.F3,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
0902

Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (DO),1MB,rev.G2,89W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon 64 X2 6400+ (CZ),2MB,rev.F3,125W,SocketAM2 ALL
1002

Athlon X2 4450e (DO),1M,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon X2 4850e (DO),1M,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon X2 5000+ (DU),1MB,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Athlon X2 5050e (DO),1MB,rev.G2,45W,ADH5050IAA5DO,SocketAM2 ALL
1204
beta
Athlon X2 BE-2300 (DD),1M,45W,rev.G1,SocketAM2 ALL
0801

Athlon X2 BE-2300 (DO),1M,45W,rev.G2,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon X2 BE-2350 (DD),1M,45W,rev.G1,SocketAM2 ALL
0801

Athlon X2 BE-2350 (DO),1M,45W,rev.G2,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Athlon X2 BE-2400 (DO),1M,45W,rev.G2,SocketAM2 ALL
1201

Opteron 1212, 2.00G, 2M/L2, rev.F3, 103W, SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Opteron 1212HE, 2.00G, 2M/L2, rev.F3, 65W, SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Opteron 1214, 2.20GHz, 2M/L2, rev.F3, 103W, SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Opteron 1216, 2.40G, 2M/L2, rev.F2, SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Opteron 1216, 2.40G, 2M/L2, rev.F3, 103W, SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Opteron 1218, 2.60G, 2M/L2, rev.F3, 103W, SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Opteron 1220, 2.80G, 2M/L2, rev.F3, 103W, SocketAM2 ALL
0603

Opteron 1220SE, 2.80G, 2M/L2, rev.F2, SocketAM2 ALL
0506

Sempron 2100+ (DD),512K,rev.G1,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Sempron 2100+ (DO),512K,rev.G2,65W,SocketAM2 ALL
1201
beta
Sempron 2800+ (CN),128K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3000+ (CN),256K,rev.F2,35W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3000+ (CN),256K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3200+ (CN),128K,rev.F2,35W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3200+ (CN),128K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3200+ (CW),256K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3400+ (CN),256K,rev.F2,35W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3400+ (CN),256K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3400+ (CW),256K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3500+ (CN),128K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3600+ (CN),256K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron 3800+ (CN),256K,rev.F2,62W,SocketAM2 ALL
0401

Sempron LE-1100 (DE),256K,rev.G1,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
0902

Sempron LE-1150 (DE),256K,rev.G1,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
0902

Sempron LE-1200 (DE),512K,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1102

Sempron LE-1200 (DP),512K,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1204
beta
Sempron LE-1250 (DP),512K,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1102

Sempron LE-1300 (DP),512K,rev.G2,45W,SocketAM2 ALL
1102

Like I said, there's ways around this, but it's 1. Troublesome and 2. not officially supported.

edit: Hmm ok, spoiler didn't do what I wanted, which is put the list as collapsed and hidden. Anyone know the syntax for that command on these forums by chance?

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
August 3, 2010 10:32:21 PM
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banthracis said:

Like I said, there's ways around this, but it's 1. Troublesome and 2. not officially supported.

edit: Hmm ok, spoiler didn't do what I wanted, which is put the list as collapsed and hidden. Anyone know the syntax for that command on these forums by chance?


I just use [ quote ] [ /quote ]. Or [ code ] [ /code ] (if I need monospacing).

While getting a better CPU wouldn't hurt, I agree with banthracis that a better GPU is absolutely the way to go.

I was able to play the beta on medium on a C2D system with an nVidia m8700. I play it on ultra with my Phenom II X4 & 5870. Graphics are going to be more dependent on the graphics card. The AI is going to be more dependent on the CPU, but if your budget is only $150, the only realistic upgrade you have is a graphics card. I'd get the GPU now, then if/when you get some more cash, think about upgrading mobo/cpu/ram. And then begin the cycle again, or crossfire/sli whatever GPU you get now.
August 4, 2010 12:32:24 AM

SC2 doesnt support quad core processors a higher clocked dual core processors would be better.
August 17, 2010 2:11:59 PM

Best answer selected by jricha51.
August 19, 2010 12:50:56 PM

I bought an ATI 4870 1GB and a new 600W power supply. SC2 automatically maxed out all graphics settings and details. Runs great so far (campaigns only). Hopefully my CPU can handle the added workload of 4V4 online play?

Thanks guys.
a b à CPUs
October 24, 2010 8:48:10 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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