Upgrading my system for Starcraft 2

Hi all,

Current Build:
p4 2.8ghz
gigabyte 1100k or something like that
geforce 5600
2 gigs of ddr 400 probably
xfx 750w

This build will be used only for starcraft 2, and probably at 1280x1024 resolution. I had my whole i760 build planned out, but the impending release of bulldozer, sandy bridge, and ati 7xxx series have made me think to wait. The thing is, I cannot wait to play SC2 anymore. That's just the way it is.

Budget: As cheap as possible to run SC2 at medium-high on 1280. THIS BUILD IS TEMPORARY. It won't even need to last more than 6 months, so cheap is KING. Let's say $150-200 for now, although I'm definitely flexible.

This will probably mean something like a 4xx AMD chip or something, but I have no idea what the AMD chip lineup is, and where I would fit on the spectrum. Graphics card probably looks something like the gtx9800. I have a good amount of knowledge of the most recent hardware, since I did a ridiculous amount of research for my i760 build, but skipped MULTIPLE generations (as you can tell from my current build), which is why I need your advice.

I would definitely be open to going used, if anybody has parts lying around.

Thanks all!
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading system starcraft
  1. There really is nothing you can do with $200 except get a decent GPU for your build and reuse it later when you get your actual build. All this is assuming your current mobo is a PCI-E board and not AGP. Also, look into overclocking your CPU for more performance.

    On another note, if you have any dual core PCs around, it will run SC2 easy with a decent GPU. Your single core will run it fine as well with a decent GPU but will bottleneck the GPU. You will get the occasional lag when you run into massive amounts of units but everything else should run smooth for the most part.
  2. I was thinking 4xx amd chip with a mobo for 100-120 + a geforce 9800 for 90. Are those prices completely off?
  3. Those prices are about right, but you are forgetting the ram which is about $45 (rounded up) per 2gb. Assuming you provide the case, HDD, and PSU, you can probably get the system up for under $250.
  4. Yea, I would keep my case, hdd, psu. What type of ram would this level of chip run? Let's say I'm looking at 4xx or 5xx AMD's.
  5. with what you want to do, an Athlon II X2 will be adequate at about $60. 4 GB of cheap-as-possible DDR3 is Mushkins at $70, and a $60 motherboard (ASRock 880 or 770). There are cheaper Motherboards that use DDR2, but that woudl be no real savings in cost, and we're talking very low quality boards (Biostar, Jetway, ECS) anyway. thats about $190 plus a video card.

    From here, a 5450 or 5550 or 5570 video card shoudl be adequate for SC2 at medium. Onboard might manage it at low.
  6. Any other advice? Can I step down to 2gb's? Which Athlon II and what speed RAM should I be looking at?
  7. £77.98 MSI 870A-G54 AMD 870 (Socket AM3) DDR3 Motherboard

    £57.99 OCZ Gold 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Low-Voltage Dual Channel

    £51.69 AMD Athlon II X2 Dual Core 250 3.00GHz (Socket AM3) - Retail

    £37.99 HIS ATI Radeon HD 5450 512MB GDDR3 SILENT Low Profile PCI-Express

    £236.81 Total ( Including Delivery, Purchased from )
  8. Bump.

    To be clear. I'm looking for medium-high sc2 performance at 1280x1024.

    THIS IS A TEMPORARY BUILD! I will have these parts until sandy bridge, bulldozer, and ati's new gfx cards get revealed. This is only to tide me over and allow me to play sc2.
  9. Best answer
    If you insist on a build try this:

    Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz and Biostar A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI
    $83.98 after rebate

    Rendition by Crucial 2GB DDR3 1333

    EVGA GeForce 9600 GSO 1.5GB
    $34.99 after rebate

    For a total price of $152.96 for the very bare minimum needed to run the PC. You will need to reuse your old case/PSU and drives. If you want, you can try the IGP on the mobo which is about twice as good as what you currently have and save $35.

    Alternately, you can just get an AGP version of a Radeon HD 4650/70 and OC your P4 to 3.2+ GHz.

    Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 1GB
    $59.99 after rebate

    HIS Radeon HD 4670 1GB
    $104.99 after rebate

    Link about OC the P4 2.8GHz to 3.57GHz:
  10. Thanks kureme, that's exactly what I wanted to know.

    I know upgrading like this is a bit of a waste, but I can't bring myself to upgrade before all the new hardware gets announced. I've been living with this POS for this long, and wouldn't be able to live with myself if I blew my budget with newer better tech right around the corner.
  11. Best answer selected by NeoElemental.
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