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Best CPU/GPU for Starcraft 2 at 1920X1080?

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May 31, 2011 12:08:46 AM

Hey guys,

Quick one here - I have a file server that I built up, with a M4A88T-M mobo, Athlon II X2 250 CPU and 4 gigs of RAM. Windows 7 64-bit, 4 X 2TB hard drives and a main 320 GB hard drive. I was thinking of re-organizing my computers, and of combining the file server with a HTPC/gaming computer I had intended on building eventually, in my main theater room (projector, full 5.2 sound, etc.). I will do the vast majority of my gaming on my PS3, but I do play RTS games on the computer. I will be playing C&C 3 (both), C&C Red Alert, and Starcraft 2. The latter is the most demanding of the three, so if I run that, I'll be fine with the other two, obviously. I was thinking of upgrading only the processor and GPU, since I figure that's all I'll really need. My questions :

1. With my mobo (socket AM3), what is the best processor and GPU to get, to be able to run Starcraft 2 (even with fairly busy scenarios), with the most playability, and at 1920X1080, highest settings possible? Money is not really an object, but I also don't want to spend money I don't need to;

2. The other consideration is power useage. Noise is not really an issue as I have tons of other fairly noisy equipment (my mains, center and subs are driven by pro amps) but my plan was to leave this computer on 24/7 as a file server as well. Would something like a quad- or hex-core Phenom or something, use a ton more power when at idle or light file-server-like loads?

TIA!
May 31, 2011 12:29:58 AM

i would get a 970 black edition quad core if your going with amd. and i think a 260gtx or even a 460 gtx sense price has dropped quite a bit will do exactly what you need.
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May 31, 2011 2:39:42 AM

What is the idle/low useage power consumption of that CPU? And is there any advantage to going with a newer card (ATI 6XXX-series) vice the GTX460?
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May 31, 2011 8:47:00 AM

As long as your PSU is adequate for the GTX460(1gb), it offers a great performance for the price right now...

One place lists it at $119 after rebate! Details at: www.hardocp.com
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May 31, 2011 12:29:27 PM

Couldn't find any info on a 460 at the above site...?
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a c 102 à CPUs
May 31, 2011 12:41:49 PM

If there is still the bargain Radeon 5850s about they can max out Starcraft 2 at 1920x1080 otherwise I recommend a 6870.
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May 31, 2011 1:51:53 PM

sc2 favours nvidia gpus and only uses 2 cores/threads on a cpu, just so you know
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May 31, 2011 4:17:28 PM

Good to know. However, Tom's Hardware tests seem to indicate a tri- or quad-core might still be best, although the penalty would be slight if I went lower than that. No single-cores, though.

A little 3.3 GHz Callisto might be a good option if I want a power-savvy rig, but I still think I'll opt for something like a 970.
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a b à CPUs
May 31, 2011 5:12:23 PM

Might as well just OC a 955 BE. It'll still easily max SC2.
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a c 102 à CPUs
May 31, 2011 5:23:48 PM

Problem is most bench marks I can find are based on the beta so I would imagine AMD have tweaked there drivers since but the benchmarks I can find do favour Nvidia they also show its fairly CPU dependant. If you are on a budget a 555BE & a 460 could be your best bet especially if you overclock it.
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May 31, 2011 9:45:34 PM

Sounds good - but what about power consumption of the 955/960/970, at idle-ish?

Also, there doesn't seem to be that much of a price difference between the 460s and the 560s out there - preferred option? Or even, 470 or 570?
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June 1, 2011 12:51:20 AM

Best answer selected by SilverJS.
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June 3, 2011 8:38:57 AM

he gave the same answer almost but after me??
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