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New Build For Starcraft 2 Extreme Graphics

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January 13, 2011 6:16:09 PM

Hello,

I'm looking to build a gaming comp that can handle Starcraft 2 at max settings, which now includes the 'Extreme' settings in the 1.2 Patch. I haven't seen any specs on what the new settings require. Starcraft is the most graphics intensive game that I play on PC, so I don't need any more than what's needed for that game.

Approx. Purchase Date: The sooner the better.

Budget: As low as possible, but still able to do max settings w/o any problems, or overclocking.

Screen Resolution: 1680 x 1050 or less

Need to know: motherboard, processor, video card, power supply
January 13, 2011 7:08:36 PM

make sure the vga is nvidia, cause SC 2 works way better with nvidia gpus. for the resolution i think a gtx460 should be great.
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January 13, 2011 7:13:02 PM

I can confirm a gtc460 1gb model works great though I haven't gotten into SC2 as much as I thought I would.
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January 15, 2011 4:22:26 AM

I'm building a new computer for Starcraft II as well, but I'm just checking the dealsites (slickdeals, techbargains, bensbargains) for good components.

What I have so far.
8 gb xms3 for 50 dollars (after rebate)
galaxy gtx460 90 dollars (rebate)
64 ssd which I'm kind of regretting, maybe I should have gotten a hybrid drive momentus xt.

Gonna go for i7 2600k, not sure which mobo but I'd like to get one with the new bios.
probably gonna go with an 80 plus gold/silver certification power supply at 650 watts.
im gonna be running at 1900x1200

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January 21, 2011 7:56:24 PM

I just built a new machine, and starcraft 2 EXTREME graphics is a piece of cake:

intel i7 2600k (though if your only intent is gaming, go with the 2500k ($230). I chose a 2600k because I do a lot of 3D rendering and could use hyperthreading)

Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit ($179)

16GB gskill ripjaw PC310666 RAM ($120)

WD Caviar black 1TB 6Gb/s HDD ($80)

gigabyte p67 mobo ($130)

corsair a70 CPU cooler ($44)

HAF 912 case ($50)

plus a bunch of fans to fill the case
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January 28, 2011 1:59:33 PM

jman_fender said:
I just built a new machine, and starcraft 2 EXTREME graphics is a piece of cake:

intel i7 2600k (though if your only intent is gaming, go with the 2500k ($230). I chose a 2600k because I do a lot of 3D rendering and could use hyperthreading)

Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit ($179)

16GB gskill ripjaw PC310666 RAM ($120)

WD Caviar black 1TB 6Gb/s HDD ($80)

gigabyte p67 mobo ($130)

corsair a70 CPU cooler ($44)

HAF 912 case ($50)

plus a bunch of fans to fill the case



The i7 is a bit much. If you look at my original post, you'll see that I just want the minimum to max out SC2. I'm not planning on doing anything more intensive than SC2, so I don't want to spend extra money on parts that far exceed the requirements. I recognize that there are a lot of impressive builds that you can make, that far exceed the demands of SC2, but that's my point. I'm trying to keep the cost as low as possible, but still comfortably getting the job done. For example, a friend of mine recommended getting the Phenom X4 955 (even though SC2 currently only supports 2 cores; they'll prob add 4-core support in the future), or for about $15 more the 965. I know that SC2 doesn't need more than 4 GB of RAM, so 16 GB is absolute overkill. I don't need much hard drive space, so I'm planning on getting the cheapest one that is fast enough (7200 RPM), which I've found to be a $50 HDD that happens to have 500 GB (which is far more space than I will ever use on it; I'm currently using up about 80 GB on my laptop). I'm not trying to bust your chops, or anything like that, I'm just saying that the build you've described far exceeds what I need, and therefore doesn't actually answer my question. I appreciate your input nonetheless. Although I'm replying to your post, this a generic post to any who have impressive builds such as yours, that are considering posting their specs.
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January 28, 2011 2:09:23 PM

Here's what my friend and I came up with as a build for what I need. Do you guys think that this will hold up the FPS for SC2 maxed out?


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 01G-P3-1366-TR Video Card

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO ATX AMD Motherboard

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply


P.S. I have an old DVD drive to install SC2, etc., since I don't use anything that requires a disc in the drive while it's running; and I have a case, so I won't need to worry about picking those. I'm also taking care of the accessories and monitor. I just need to know if these are the right guts to get the job done. Thanks for your input!
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January 28, 2011 6:39:23 PM

Read through this (GPU):
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

And this (CPU):
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

And this (CPU/GPU SC2):
http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...

These are good sources for comparisons between cpu's and gpu's. I would look in to getting an after-market cpu cooler because the stock heatsinks are generally trash. IMHO I doubt you'll max out SC2 whilst maintaining decent FPS with the build above (but my opinion of "decent FPS" may be different. I think anything above 60 FPS is "decent"). I would consider throwing down an extra $50-$75 for an upgraded CPU, I think you would be happy in the long run. An Intel i5-2400 (3.10 GHz) is only $194, and it has performed extremely well in every benchmark I've seen (even better than phenom II x6).

Also, this is speaking from experience, I thought I was going to use and old DVD drive for my new build to save some money as well. However most new motherboards do not support IDE connections anymore, which used to be the standard for optical drives (they've moved to SATA now). Make sure your drive is SATA or you may be disappointed.
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January 28, 2011 7:29:16 PM

jman_fender said:
Read through this (GPU):
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

And this (CPU):
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

And this (CPU/GPU SC2):
http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...

These are good sources for comparisons between cpu's and gpu's. I would look in to getting an after-market cpu cooler because the stock heatsinks are generally trash. IMHO I doubt you'll max out SC2 whilst maintaining decent FPS with the build above (but my opinion of "decent FPS" may be different. I think anything above 60 FPS is "decent"). I would consider throwing down an extra $50-$75 for an upgraded CPU, I think you would be happy in the long run. An Intel i5-2400 (3.10 GHz) is only $194, and it has performed extremely well in every benchmark I've seen (even better than phenom II x6).

Also, this is speaking from experience, I thought I was going to use and old DVD drive for my new build to save some money as well. However most new motherboards do not support IDE connections anymore, which used to be the standard for optical drives (they've moved to SATA now). Make sure your drive is SATA or you may be disappointed.



Well the article in the SC2 link says that SC2 needs at least 30 fps to be at its best, so that's what I would consider "decent." I'm glad you posted that link. I had looked at that article before, but I forgot to look at it again when my friend and I came up with this build, to double check. I'm planning on the resolution being 1680 x 1050 or less, so I'm guesstimating that the lower resolution (compared to the 1920 x 1200 in the article) will come close to canceling out the extra burden of extreme, versus ultra, making the ultra graphs a good gauge of what I can expect.
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February 4, 2011 3:25:40 PM

Well, I got the parts yesterday, and, with the help of my friend, built the computer. The build does handle SC2 maxed out with no problems. In fact, all of the incidents of lag, that occurred last night (I played various gametypes to stress-test the system), were caused by other players in the game; none by my computer.

So there you go, fellow poor PC gamers! The build I listed above will handle SC2 maxed out, with the current 1.2 patch (extreme settings), at 1680 x 1050 (the max for my 22" monitor), with flying colors. I got all of those parts on newegg for about $577 including shipping. I also believe that the build will be able to handle any future SC2 patches involving graphics improvements, since SC2 will probably add support for more than two cores in a future patch.

All that's left is for you to get a monitor, some source of sound (speakers and/or headset), cd/dvd-rom drive, case, and an OS. I got all of those for free, or for a steep discount, because I'm friends with most of the people who work in the IT support office at my place of employment. They had just scrapped a bunch of old computers for spare parts.
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February 5, 2011 8:43:55 AM

jimishtar said:
make sure the vga is nvidia, cause SC 2 works way better with nvidia gpus. for the resolution i think a gtx460 should be great.


No it doesn't: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1488/10/

I wouldn't characterize this as "way better".

There really isn't any discernible difference in performance in SC2 between AMD and nVIDIA. There used to be a stark difference when the game had just released... but not anymore.

Add the new AMD AA (Morphological) to the mix and their cards are actually better for SC2 in terms of IQ/Performance than nVIDIA's cards (though the performance is so high on both... who cares).

If the OP likes to fold, nVIDIA would be a better choice.
If the OP likes SD/HD Video Quality, 3D Image Quality (Anisotropic Filtering) and 2D Picture Quality... AMD is the better choice.
If the OP likes PhysX then nVIDIA is the better choice.
If the OP cares about energy efficiency then AMD is the better choice.

Driver wise I've had issues with nVIDIA and AMD/ATi in the past. No issues to report in modern days.

I never got why people feel the need to lie in order to sell someone else their own preferred brand/make. Just tell them the truth. Let them decide.

So I'd say that either a Radeon HD 6850 1GB or a GeForce GTX 460 1GB would be your best bet.

For AMD I tend to prefer XFX while for nVIDIA I tend to prefer eVGA. But other brands make solid cards that are arguably just as good.
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February 5, 2011 10:14:37 AM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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Best solution

February 10, 2011 4:40:37 PM

Inferno1 said:
Here's what my friend and I came up with as a build for what I need. Do you guys think that this will hold up the FPS for SC2 maxed out?


AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor

EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 01G-P3-1366-TR Video Card

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

ASUS M4A79XTD EVO ATX AMD Motherboard

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply


P.S. I have an old DVD drive to install SC2, etc., since I don't use anything that requires a disc in the drive while it's running; and I have a case, so I won't need to worry about picking those. I'm also taking care of the accessories and monitor. I just need to know if these are the right guts to get the job done. Thanks for your input!


Thats better than what I have even, except Im using a Radeon 5770. So +1 for this build if your goal is SCII maxed out. If anyone is at all interested please read this article: http://newbcomputerbuild.com/newb-computer-build-home/s...

Tried to create a hardware baseline for SCII.
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February 11, 2011 8:07:31 PM

Best answer selected by Inferno1.
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