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What to upgrade to play Starcraft 2?

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December 3, 2010 2:48:05 AM

Hi all, just wanted to post my current computer and ask what upgrades I need to play Starcraft II. Can I do with just getting a GTX 460? Or is my CPU too slow too? I use a 1920x1200 monitor. I am currently using the onboard GPU.

Below is my build from September 2008:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2N800SR4GK
Antec earthwatts 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Windows 7 x86

Thank you!!

More about : upgrade play starcraft

December 3, 2010 3:14:40 AM

Thanks. I knew it was slow, but it serves me fine for general windows tooling and non-gaming. Btw, does my motherboard only support AMD chips? Any recommendations for $100-150 range?

And I'm also wary about upgrading beacuse of the slippery slope. I might as well get DDR3 ram, Windows x64, etc too along with the CPU and GPU then...
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December 3, 2010 3:26:51 AM

str8flexed said:
Thanks. I knew it was slow, but it serves me fine for general windows tooling and non-gaming. Btw, does my motherboard only support AMD chips? Any recommendations for $100-150 range?


your mobo supports AM3 chips. i suggest either a Phenom II x2 @ $100 or Phenom II x4 @ $150, both will give you the same result, see the chart. I have phenom II x4 & GTX 460 and run SC2 at ultra settings with no issue.

cpu support list
http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-p...

this one is cheap as hell but its OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
phenom II x2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
cheap phenom II x4, its Am2+ and OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
phenom II x4
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...
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December 3, 2010 3:33:00 AM

str8flexed said:
Hi all, just wanted to post my current computer and ask what upgrades I need to play Starcraft II. Can I do with just getting a GTX 460? Or is my CPU too slow too? I use a 1920x1200 monitor. I am currently using the onboard GPU.

Below is my build from September 2008:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GPM-DS2H AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2N800SR4GK
Antec earthwatts 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Windows 7 x86

Thank you!!

Don't listen to Dapinkarwhatverthehellhisnameis. I'll post the minimum requirements right here and you'll see that all you need is a video card:
http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?articleId=26...

The recommended CPU is a dual-core 2.4GHz and you have a dual-core 2.6GHz. That guy wants you to get to switch to Intel and he's lying his ass off to you. Your CPU is FINE, you don't need to upgrade it and when you do, screw Intel! Why get another motherboard when you don't need one? Just because Alienhead there said to? Forget it. Get a Radeon HD 4670 or HD 5670 and you'll be just fine. :sol: 
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December 3, 2010 3:40:48 AM

Avro Arrow said:
Don't listen to Dapinkarwhatverthehellhisnameis. I'll post the minimum requirements right here and you'll see that all you need is a video card:
http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?articleId=26...

The recommended CPU is a dual-core 2.4GHz and you have a dual-core 2.6GHz. That guy wants you to get to switch to Intel and he's lying his ass off to you. Your CPU is FINE, you don't need to upgrade it and when you do, screw Intel! Why get another motherboard when you don't need one? Just because Alienhead there said to? Forget it. Get a Radeon HD 4670 or HD 5670 and you'll be just fine. :sol: 


avo
if you look at the chart and read the TS hardware review of the game they state "...It is a shame that StarCraft II can only utilize two cores, as this really hurts older quad-core processors such as the Core 2 Quad Q6600. Furthermore this will also mean that those with budget quad-core processors, such as the Athlon II X4, will also suffer." I think we can agree that the athlon x2 is below the athlon II in terms of performance. With a CPU upgrade of under $100 ($65 even with the OEM Phenom II) he can increase his FPS immensely.

here is the anadtech CPU benchmark for Sc2
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/129
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December 3, 2010 4:05:03 AM

ct1615 said:
avo
if you look at the chart and read the TS hardware review of the game they state "...It is a shame that StarCraft II can only utilize two cores, as this really hurts older quad-core processors such as the Core 2 Quad Q6600. Furthermore this will also mean that those with budget quad-core processors, such as the Athlon II X4, will also suffer." I think we can agree that the athlon x2 is below the athlon II in terms of performance. With a CPU upgrade of under $100 ($65 even with the OEM Phenom II) he can increase his FPS immensely.

here is the anadtech CPU benchmark for Sc2
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/129

It says it needs a dual-core processor. It does not say what kind and since Blizzard is fully aware of what dual-cores are out there it is safe to say that the Athlon x2 and Pentium Dual-Core CPUs are included. What he needs right now is a video card. The game will run just fine on the CPU he has. If and when an update comes about to change that, then I agree that he needs to upgrade. He doesn't need to upgrade his CPU at the moment though. He has a motherboard that will support AM3 CPUs so that's his natural upgrade path and it's easy to do but why spend money now when he can wait for the theoretical update you're talking about and watch CPU prices fall even further? I'm not saying that it won't happen, I'm sure it will but the longer you're able to wait in the PC world for an upgrade, the less you have to pay for it. Don't you agree? :sol: 
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December 3, 2010 4:06:58 AM

Hi guys, thanks for the replies. I am looking at the AMD Phenom II X2 555 or 565 and it looks like they can unlock to 4 cores with no problems and have a great price at <$100. However, you need something called Advanced Core Calibration which I don't think my motherboard has - can someone confirm this?

My motherboard's specs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It's North and South Bridge are:
North Bridge: AMD 780G
South Bridge: AMD SB700

I read it should be SB750 and SB710, so I guess I'm out of luck?

P.S. I wouldn't mind dropping $100 for a CPU upgrade either. I know it's slow. I know the GPU is most important though.
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December 3, 2010 4:17:19 AM

Nope, I don't see core unlocking on that motherboard, that's a newer feature.
However, SC2 only uses 2 cores regardless.
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December 3, 2010 4:19:28 AM

duk3 said:
Nope, I don't see core unlocking on that motherboard, that's a newer feature.
However, SC2 only uses 2 cores regardless.


Well, I guess if I'm going to get a new CPU I might as well get 4 cores because it's faster. Right?
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December 3, 2010 6:33:50 AM

I'd recommend getting at least a triple or quad core now. And here's my reasoning for it:

- Future-proof for new games coming out, Starcraft 2 probably won't be the only game you ever play
- Sure Starcraft 2 only uses 2 cores, but what if you have stuff running in the background, like music players, torrents, web browsers, messaging programs, anti-virus, Windows itself, they all need a small chunk of processing power and that's where the extra core that the game doesn't use comes in to play
- For general Windows use when you have multiple things going, multiple tabs open in your web browser, etc. the extra cores will make a difference



Now as for the rest of your system, just upgrade the processor, get one with a stock heat sink unless you want to overclock. If you plan on overclocking, then get the OEM version of the CPU to save some money and buy a decent CPU cooler, like the $30 Cooler Master 212+. You should definitely look into a new graphics card as well, at least an ATI 5750 or a Nvidia 450. The MSI 460 GTX HAWK for $160 after rebate that duk3 mentioned is a great bargain.
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December 3, 2010 7:48:01 AM

For now, I'd say the best thing to do would be to leave your CPU alone, and upgrade your video card. A 2.6GHz Athlon dual, while not the fastest out there, is more than adequate to play Starcraft 2, while your integrated graphics most certainly are not.
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December 3, 2010 3:04:07 PM

Thanks guys for all the advice. I ordered the MSI GTX 460 for $190-$30 rebate, and the AMD Phenom II x4 3.2ghz. This should give my computer a good kick in the pants, and hopefully be good for 2-3 more years.
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December 3, 2010 3:11:38 PM

str8flexed said:
Thanks guys for all the advice. I ordered the MSI GTX 460 for $190-$30 rebate, and the AMD Phenom II x4 3.2ghz. This should give my computer a good kick in the pants, and hopefully be good for 2-3 more years.


:bounce:  u did the right choise congrats
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December 3, 2010 3:33:10 PM

CPU and Video cards go hand in hand so it's generally good to keep them both at least within a generation or two of each other (short of overclocking of course)
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December 3, 2010 7:59:18 PM

str8flexed said:
Thanks guys for all the advice. I ordered the MSI GTX 460 for $190-$30 rebate, and the AMD Phenom II x4 3.2ghz. This should give my computer a good kick in the pants, and hopefully be good for 2-3 more years.


you will be fine until the new consoles come out which should be in 2-3 years
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December 3, 2010 8:03:21 PM

Avro Arrow said:
It says it needs a dual-core processor. It does not say what kind and since Blizzard is fully aware of what dual-cores are out there it is safe to say that the Athlon x2 and Pentium Dual-Core CPUs are included. What he needs right now is a video card. The game will run just fine on the CPU he has. If and when an update comes about to change that, then I agree that he needs to upgrade. He doesn't need to upgrade his CPU at the moment though. He has a motherboard that will support AM3 CPUs so that's his natural upgrade path and it's easy to do but why spend money now when he can wait for the theoretical update you're talking about and watch CPU prices fall even further? I'm not saying that it won't happen, I'm sure it will but the longer you're able to wait in the PC world for an upgrade, the less you have to pay for it. Don't you agree? :sol: 


he already stated he was purchasing the GTX460 and while you are right, an athlon x2 or C2D CPU can handle SC2 at lesser settings, he was looking to game at 1900x1200 and starting at $65 (the phenom II x2 OEM) he could double his FPS. that's a good performance investment for few dollars.
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December 3, 2010 8:35:49 PM

Just add a 1GB vga and you will be fine!
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