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Budget Build for Starcraft 2 heart of the swarm

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January 30, 2013 10:27:39 PM


Hi all. This is my first time building a desktop, and I have been using a Samsung QX410S02-US (I5 480M, Nvidia 310M, 4G RAM, Win 7 homeP) to run Wings of Liberty on low settings, but it has been crashing on Heart of the swarm. I would like to be able to run the game on Ultra settings with decent FPS while playing 1v1 and 2v2.

Approximate Purchase Date: some time within February or March

Budget Range: right now I'm at $950 USD but I would like to reduce it as much as possible. (preferably around 800-850)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Starcraft II Heart of the swarm, gaming, Websurfing, movies.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes


Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com to reduce any budget being wasted on shipping

Location: Tallahassee, FL.

Parts Preferences: preferably intel, but AMD's will do if they will last 3+ years.

Overclocking: depends on if I need it to run SC II on Ultra

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 I need a monitor and I want a 1080 resolution, 5ms, with decent contrast ratio.

Additional Comments: for the tower, I'd like it to have blue Leds, good air flow, and quite frankly, bad ass looking.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My laptop is crashing when playing games.









Ok, so here is what I have so far.

CPU: intel i5 3330
GPU & RAM Combo: HIS H785F1G2M Radeon HD 7850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card +1x G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB
Mobo: MSI Z77A-G41 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
Tower & PSU combo: Rosewill Challenger + Rosewill Hive 550W
Monitor: ASUS VS229H-P Black 21.5" 5ms (GTG) HDMI IPS-Panel LED-Backlit Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 ASCR 50000000:1
HD: Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
DVD burner: LG 24X DVD Burner - Bare Drive 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH24NS95 - OEM
OS: windows 7 home premium


Many thanks :) 
January 30, 2013 10:30:51 PM

Looking good, HD 7850 is probably one of the best perf/$ mid-range card. If you want it to OC like mad, get a dual fan 7850. MSI Hawk, XFX double d, Asus Direct CU II, Sapphire, etc

Last I heard, most people can get at least 1100 mhz overclock, some even got to upper 1200 mhz to lower 1300 mhz. Faster than GTX 580 and HD 6970 but consumes less power while nibbing the heels of HD 7970 and GTX 680.
January 30, 2013 10:30:56 PM

Thanks for the reply! I had no idea I could OC GPUs. Proves that I'm a noob!
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January 30, 2013 10:34:00 PM

djangoringo: that's actually the first mobo I had, but I was told to go ahead and grab a z77 in case I upgrade...

Does anyone know the Clock speed of the CPU that's required to have good FPS on SC II HOTS?

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January 30, 2013 10:36:06 PM
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It's fine, the i5-3330.
Also the z77 isn't needed, there's no point in getting later an i5-3570k, when you'll have already an i5, also there's no more cpus coming for whatever the chipset of those mobos.
Also if you want a 2GB card, there's a good combo for that : http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
January 30, 2013 10:49:15 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I was hoping I'd be able to lower the cost of CPU as well, but I guess I'll stick with the 3330.

I'll leave the discussion opened for any suggestions on lowering the cost of the rig more.
January 30, 2013 10:59:05 PM

Starcraft 2 is extremely CPU intensive. I might try and get a Z77 board and an unlocked CPU if possible. I've noticed a huge difference when overclocking from 3.3GHz to 4.5GHz. The thing is, WoL is so much easier to run than HoTS just because of the new physics engine.
!