My First Build - Starcraft 2 Machine

Hi guys, this is my first build. Up to this point, I had been playing Starcraft 2 on my Lenovo T400 laptop, with settings all set to low. Surprisingly, it ran quite well...up until patch 1.3.4. Since then, I get 1 FPS in battle scenes - literally, I cannot click and command my units. It's freakin' frustrating.

While I am more mad at Blizzard (they claimed Starcraft 2 would not require a "new" computer) for changing something in patch 1.3.4, I figured it's about time to build a decent computer not just for gaming, but other things - video conversion, etc.

So here is my build - let me know what you think. Again, the goal was to be somewhat price conservative but also build a mean computer for SC2.

COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

ASUS P7P55D-E LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131634

MSI N460GTX Hawk GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127518

COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS700-PCAAE3-US 700W ATX 12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171054

Intel Core i5-760 Lynnfield 2.8GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115067

Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441

Rosewill RTK-001 Premium Anti-Static Wrist Strap
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16899261001
13 answers Last reply
More about build starcraft machine
  1. Try getting a z68 mobo instead. The 1156-pins are discontinued.

    You might also want an HDD in addition to your SSD since 64gb is only enough to install windows and 2 games (and even that is pushing it).

    This is also an excellent resource.
  2. Hi there, welcome to the forums.

    Starcraft 2 eh? We got this in the bag.

    The first thing I'm going to say is that you are building off last gen tech. Look at the i5-2400 and a Z68/H67 motherboard.

    I have a few other suggestions, but I need you to fill in this form first: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advice it gives us what we need to help you.

    I'll get back to you!
  3. Thanks for the reply guys - are you both talking about this motherboard?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131729&cm_re=asus_z68-_-13-131-729-_-Product

    It looks nice, but it is about $50 more expensive and I didn't think I'd really use the new features? Is it worth it?
  4. grody said:
    Try getting a z68 mobo instead. The 1156-pins are discontinued.

    You might also want an HDD in addition to your SSD since 64gb is only enough to install windows and 2 games (and even that is pushing it).

    This is also an excellent resource.


    Yes, I planned to at some later point. I actually have a couple hard drives lying around, but the plan is to get a 1 or 2 TB at some point later.
  5. Go with a sandy bridge setup, LGA1156 is mostly dead atm.

    MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 $129
    For transcoding videos you want Virtu so you can use the CPU graphics part for that. Thus the Z68 MB.

    CPU: i5 2500k $219

    Get a quality PSU from Corsair, Antec or XFX. For example.
    Corsair TX650 V2 $79.99 after rebates.

    If you plan on going SLI maybe go with a 750W model.

    For video card you might consider a Radeon 6870, which can be had for about $170:ish after rebates. If you want to go with NVidia try to find room in your budget for a GTX 560 Ti, they can be had for about $190-200 after rebates and offer quite an improvement in performance over the GTX 460.

    Since I'm recommending the i5 2500k, also get an after market cooler for it for overclocking, such as:
    CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, which you can get for $30 with free shipping from amazon.

    I assume you have SATA a HDD and a SATA DVD drive since those are not listed above.

    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB as recommendation if you do end up needing a HDD
  6. Alright guys, let's try this again:

    PSU: Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371026

    MB: GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128502

    Video: EVGA 01G-P3-1560-KR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130634

    Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277

    CPU: Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115073

    HD1 (OS): Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148441

    HD2 (Storage): SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185

    Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608018

    Case: COOLER MASTER RC-692-KKN2 CM690 II Advanced Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119216

    Questions for you guys:

    1) There seem to be many versions of the GTX 560 Ti. I have no idea what the difference is between them, or which is better.

    2) Is cooler necessary? Not sure I plan on overclocking at this point. Shouldn't need to for SC2?
  7. If you don't plan on OC:ing you could probably do with i5 2400 and save a few bucks.
    If you do plan on overclocking at some point in the future, get the i5 2500k so you can OC. ( it's actually only 10 bucks more that 2500, so it's worth it to have the option )

    And you only need the CPU cooler if you plan to OC, if you don't the cooler that comes with the CPU is fine.

    The EVGA one that is 199.99 after rebate should do fine: EVGA 01G-P3-1560-KR
  8. Not bad! I would change the SSD to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227725&cm_re=agility_3-_-20-227-725-_-Product Just look at the read times! Much faster than the M4 for not much more.

    Agreed, drop the cooler.

    I would go with a 6870 GPU personally. Since you aren't an OCer, no reason for the 560 Ti really. The 6870's come close for less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349&cm_re=6870-_-14-161-349-_-Product

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290

    In Xfire, the gap narrows http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=312 (470 performs about the same as 560Ti)
  9. Hey guys, so I looked at my dvd-r drive and didn't see any reference to Sata 3 compliant. It's fairly old, like 5 years old.

    Do you think it'll work or should I get a new one?

    If new, any recommendations on a good drive?
  10. striker410 said:
    Not bad! I would change the SSD to this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227725&cm_re=agility_3-_-20-227-725-_-Product Just look at the read times! Much faster than the M4 for not much more.

    Agreed, drop the cooler.

    I would go with a 6870 GPU personally. Since you aren't an OCer, no reason for the 560 Ti really. The 6870's come close for less. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349&cm_re=6870-_-14-161-349-_-Product

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/330?vs=290

    In Xfire, the gap narrows http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/301?vs=312 (470 performs about the same as 560Ti)


    Striker - I looked at the Agility 3 SSD drives, and while they have good specs, they have alot of reliability problems. Many have reported the drives randomly disappear and cause BSOD. The M4 is supposedly much more stable, which is important to me as I'll be using it as my main OS drive.

    I heard good things about the Radeon 6870, but I personally have a preference for nVidia, perhaps due to my horrible past experiences with 2 radeon cards.
  11. Can anyone confirm this drive will work with my setup/motherboard (sata 3?) - I'm getting confused on whether the drive needs to be Sata 3, etc.

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

    Thanks so much - you all have been extremely helpful!!!
  12. Wangta said:
    Can anyone confirm this drive will work with my setup/motherboard (sata 3?) - I'm getting confused on whether the drive needs to be Sata 3, etc.

    ASUS 24X DVD Burner
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

    Thanks so much - you all have been extremely helpful!!!


    SATA 3 is just the new revision there will be SATA 2 ports on the motherboard anyway. I think SATA 3 ports are backwards compatible anyway.
  13. metal orient said:
    SATA 3 is just the new revision there will be SATA 2 ports on the motherboard anyway. I think SATA 3 ports are backwards compatible anyway.


    Thank you sir!
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