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Quad/dual core, Starcraft 2

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June 24, 2011 11:18:53 PM

I'm pretty new when it comes to computers. I'm deciding to buy a computer to play Starcraft 2.

I found this article:

http://www.techspot.com/review/305-starcraft2-performan...

On the bottom of this page, I see this. What does this mean?

"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.

The graph above shows multi-core performance by measuring the CPU utilization of our 8 player test on the Core i5 750 processor. As we had found when testing the beta of StarCraft II, this game is only optimized to use two cores at best, which is disappointing to say the least."


I'm thinking about getting a good CPU, specifically Sandy Bridge i5-2400 but I don't understand the above paragraph. I'm trying to save money and I'm wondering should I just get some other cheaper CPU such as the Phenom X4 or whatever CPU from AMD that is called. It is almost less than half price.
June 24, 2011 11:46:39 PM

that is apparently bullshit where ever you got that from.
i5 2400 is well worth the extra money, whether you chose it or phenom II 9xx depends on where your budget lies, starcraft makes perfect use of all four cores as far as I can see. Gaming PC is all about FPS, ask yourself, would the FPS improve if you get the Phenom II instead of i5 and invest the extra into graphics cards?
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June 25, 2011 12:20:15 AM

As of now, I've decided to get the GTX 460 at 1680x1050.
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June 25, 2011 12:42:31 AM

Nvidia has issue running effiently at x1050 (because its not divisible by 4). Theres a work-around to reduce the display to x1048 though.

though SC2 doesn't spread evenly across 4 cores it will use them afaik.
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June 25, 2011 1:34:10 AM

Then you'd be better off getting a phenom II and upgrade your GPU to a 6950.
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June 25, 2011 1:48:27 AM

Starcraft 2 isnt even a demanding game, if that's all you plan to play, no need to get something that powerful.
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June 25, 2011 1:59:57 AM

Basically SC2 is very much tied to single thread performance. It does spread across other cores if availible, but this isn't the best multi-threaded game out there.

If you have to choose between a fast dual or a slow quad, the faster dual core will be better for SC2.

That said, the best CPU would be a Sandy Bridge quad, like the 2500K. Since you say you're trying to save money, I couldn't think of a better budget gaming PC if you paired a Phenom II x4 (so cheap on newegg right now) with a GTX 460 or an AMD 6850.

I have a C2D with a GTX 460 and I can run everything max(no AA) @ 2048x1152 no problem. I never drop below 30fps.
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June 25, 2011 2:15:03 AM

I'm soooooooooo confused right now. Some people say SB is worth it for SC2, some say it's too expensive.

The Halo Don said:
Starcraft 2 isnt even a demanding game, if that's all you plan to play, no need to get something that powerful.


If I don't need something that powerful, which CPU would allow me to max out SC2 on either 1600x1050 or 1920x1080? What budget build would you recommend if I don't get SB? If I were to get SB, what more demanding games would I be able to play?

calinkula said:
Basically SC2 is very much tied to single thread performance. It does spread across other cores if availible, but this isn't the best multi-threaded game out there.

If you have to choose between a fast dual or a slow quad, the faster dual core will be better for SC2.

That said, the best CPU would be a Sandy Bridge quad, like the 2500K. Since you say you're trying to save money, I couldn't think of a better budget gaming PC if you paired a Phenom II x4 (so cheap on newegg right now) with a GTX 460 or an AMD 6850.

I have a C2D with a GTX 460 and I can run everything max(no AA) @ 2048x1152 no problem. I never drop below 30fps.


I'm new to computers, but isn't the Phenom II x4 a quad core? You said it's better to have a faster dual core. Which one do you recommend? If I change the CPU, would I also have to change the MOBO? I picked Intel's P67 along with the i5-2400 for now.


Sorry for all the basic questions but this is my first time buying a computer so I consider this a big investment. My biggest factor is price but I want my computer to max out SC2 easily even on 4v4 with TONS of units.
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June 25, 2011 2:46:18 AM

Yes, if you have to choose between the two, it is better to have a faster dual vs a slower quad. A random example of that would be like a C2D E8600 @ 3.33Ghz vs a C2Q Q8400 @ 2.66Ghz.

Intel's Sandy Bridge chips are new and the top of the line now. So a 2500K ($220) or 2600K ($300) would be the best CPU you could get. These are the best of both worlds.

NewEgg has a Phenom II x4 955 @ 3.2Ghz for $114 right now. It's no slouch and would work just fine for SC2. There was a big price drop recently and so based on today's pricing it's hard to recommend a dual core CPU over the 955 in this price range.
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June 25, 2011 2:24:22 PM

calinkula said:
NewEgg has a Phenom II x4 955 @ 3.2Ghz for $114 right now. It's no slouch and would work just fine for SC2. There was a big price drop recently and so based on today's pricing it's hard to recommend a dual core CPU over the 955 in this price range.


The Phenom II x4 955 would allow me to play SC2 on max settings with 30+ FPS? What would be the best motherboard for this particular CPU?
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June 25, 2011 4:03:26 PM

I can Max starcraft at 1920x1080 with a Phenom x4 @ 3.7GHz & 2 x Radeon 4870s in crossfire, My friend can also with a 1st gen. i3 @ 4.2GHz and a radeon 5850.
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June 25, 2011 4:45:47 PM

simon12 said:
I can Max starcraft at 1920x1080 with a Phenom x4 @ 3.7GHz & 2 x Radeon 4870s in crossfire, My friend can also with a 1st gen. i3 @ 4.2GHz and a radeon 5850.


What motherboard do you have with that? Are there any other games you play maxed out?
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June 25, 2011 7:31:59 PM

I have the exact same question. I am experiencing some very bad crash issues with my computer when running SC2 and I have a quad core.

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU X 940 @ 2.13GHz (2127 MHz)
GPU processor: GeForce GTX 260M
8gb DDR 3 ram

I can't figure out what's wrong but for a 4000 dollar gaming laptop from Alienware I am pretty upset that it freezes up playing starcraft 2.
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June 25, 2011 8:28:53 PM

heiso said:
The Phenom II x4 955 would allow me to play SC2 on max settings with 30+ FPS? What would be the best motherboard for this particular CPU?


Depends what kind of features/form factor you want. I like my motherboards with a good chipset, but rather vanilla when it comes to extra features. Some people like bells and whistles and fancy cooling. If I were to buy the 955 I would probably get an ASUS M5A97 EVO AM3+ AMD 970 mobo.

You'd be able to play SC2 on max setting with 30+ fps as long as you had a decent GPU.
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June 25, 2011 8:29:37 PM

Zaitsev72 said:
I have the exact same question. I am experiencing some very bad crash issues with my computer when running SC2 and I have a quad core.

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU X 940 @ 2.13GHz (2127 MHz)
GPU processor: GeForce GTX 260M
8gb DDR 3 ram

I can't figure out what's wrong but for a 4000 dollar gaming laptop from Alienware I am pretty upset that it freezes up playing starcraft 2.


Heat issue? Or some software glitch?
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June 25, 2011 8:58:27 PM

calinkula said:
Depends what kind of features/form factor you want. I like my motherboards with a good chipset, but rather vanilla when it comes to extra features. Some people like bells and whistles and fancy cooling. If I were to buy the 955 I would probably get an ASUS M5A97 EVO AM3+ AMD 970 mobo.

You'd be able to play SC2 on max setting with 30+ fps as long as you had a decent GPU.


I'm getting the EVGA GTX 460 768MB. I think that is good enough. I just hope when diablo 3 comes out, the requirements are similar to those of SC2. Those two games are the only ones I would play. I don't play BF3 or crysis.

Then if Phenom II x4 955 + AMD 970 + GTX 460 would work for SC2, I'm getting that because it's a lot cheaper than Sandy Bridge.
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June 26, 2011 6:56:25 AM

heiso said:
What motherboard do you have with that? Are there any other games you play maxed out?

I have the Asrock 880G Extreme 3 board and other games I can play on highest settings are Metro 2033 (without the highest AA) Shogun total War Modern Warfare 2 Front line & more
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June 27, 2011 1:46:37 AM

heiso said:
I'm getting the EVGA GTX 460 768MB. I think that is good enough. I just hope when diablo 3 comes out, the requirements are similar to those of SC2. Those two games are the only ones I would play. I don't play BF3 or crysis.

Then if Phenom II x4 955 + AMD 970 + GTX 460 would work for SC2, I'm getting that because it's a lot cheaper than Sandy Bridge.



That sounds pretty good, but i would recommend using a little extra money to get the 1GB GTX460. It's worthwhile having that extra bit of RAM to get to 1GB and you get a little more performance to boot. Pretty soon 1GB will be the min for good performance.

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July 7, 2011 9:39:11 PM

Best answer selected by heiso.
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December 26, 2011 7:56:53 PM

calinkula said:
Basically SC2 is very much tied to single thread performance. It does spread across other cores if availible, but this isn't the best multi-threaded game out there.

If you have to choose between a fast dual or a slow quad, the faster dual core will be better for SC2.

That said, the best CPU would be a Sandy Bridge quad, like the 2500K. Since you say you're trying to save money, I couldn't think of a better budget gaming PC if you paired a Phenom II x4 (so cheap on newegg right now) with a GTX 460 or an AMD 6850.

I have a C2D with a GTX 460 and I can run everything max(no AA) @ 2048x1152 no problem. I never drop below 30fps.


Hey, Im kind of having a similar problem, except Im just looking for a laptop that will run Starcraft on ultra settings, and I properly know even less about computers . Im replying to you, cause you got the vote for best answer. I have been looking at two laptops, both with a quad core because my freaking OCD wont accept that more cores can be worse than fewer, and because the two laptops I have found in various forums happened to be quad. the two are: Sony Vaio F series (i7 core) and the Asus G73 JH. I understand that i should be more specific, but please bear over with that, and understand that I simply dont know enough to do that.
Please, if you have time, let me know if either of those will do the job, and which one i should go for.
Thank you.
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