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StarCraft II Beta: Game Performance Analyzed

Benchmark Results: Medium Quality

We'll start by benchmarking the game at the medium-quality setting, which looks far better than the low setting, but almost as attractive as the ultra setting. The most notable difference between medium and ultra is that the shadow edges are much smoother with ultra. But despite the rougher shadows, medium detail presents an attractive way to play that most machines should be able to handle.

Let's look at the benchmarks and see just how different graphics cards operate at this detail setting.

The game is clearly CPU bottlenecked at medium details, and there isn't much difference in performance all the way to 1920x1200. At 2560x1600, we do see some slowing down from the low-end cards, but even the Radeon HD 5570 offers playable performance. Remember that an RTS can remain playable at lower frame rates than twitch-prone games like first-person shooters. Nevertheless, even the Radeon HD 5570 delivers more than 30 frames per second (FPS) at 2560x1600.

  • bmadd
    no GTX480/470??
    Reply
  • LLJones
    Nice review, never played the original, will have to give this a try. I'm tired of run and gun.

    A small request. Would you be so kind as to include a 4 series Radeon in your next review? Maybe a 4870 or 90. I know that my CF/OC 4770's give me 4890ish performance, but have no idea where this is in 5 series.

    As you used older Nv cards, I will guess that the game is DX11 but DX10(.1) playable.

    With a little luck, a few months from now, I will only need to look at the 5 series charts.
    Reply
  • Gin Fushicho
    unnn. I wanna play this game, now I feel like your teasing me Tom's.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    "For example, Terran Wraiths are gone and there are no more Terran air units that can cloak"
    banshees yo...
    Reply
  • patdohere
    Cool, so one question. When does starcraft 2 come out?
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    lljonesWould you be so kind as to include a 4 series Radeon in your next review? Maybe a 4870 or 90.
    I have a Radeon HD 4870, and my performance on the Starcraft 2 beta is about the same (usually better) as my roommate, who has 5770. When I'm looking at the FPS it usually sits around the 78fps mark. I couldn't tell you during an intense battle because... well... I'm not looking at the FPS meter. In general, our cards performs about the same in most games we play. The rest of our systems are also comparable, with the exception that he has a significantly faster hard drive than me, which usually only comes into effect on load times (he can load a Bad Company 2 map about 15 seconds before I can load mine).

    Of course our little benchmarking isn't as precise and Tom's is, but maybe that'll give you a starting point.
    Reply
  • Ragnar-Kon
    ragnar-konWhen I'm looking at the FPS it usually sits around the 78fps mark..
    This should be 48 fps, not 78. Damn lack of edit.
    Reply
  • drutort
    i would have hopped to see more scaling and not so much cpu dependent oh well... also the multi core code hope that will improve cause everyone will soon have 3-6 cores... and if only 2 cores are giving you any advantage i hope they optimize it at least down the road
    Reply
  • Lessqqmorepewpew
    why does fps cap seem so low?
    Reply
  • deividast
    I was dissapointed that there were no GTX470/480, since i'm planning on buying them :)
    Other thing that bothers me is a CPU :( i have Phenom x4 at 2,3ghz and as i see this game runs better on faster CPU's :(
    and man, i can't wait to get my hands on this game :D
    Reply