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StarCraft II Revisited: How Much Gaming PC Do You Need?

Benchmarks Results: Medium Quality

First, we’d like to note that StarCraft II’s Medium detail setting delivers slightly less consistent average frame rates than the Ultra detail setting. This is probably because the lighter graphical load creates a situation where the CPU becomes more of a bottleneck, and in this benchmark, the AI can end up with slightly different battles each time, resulting in a variance in CPU load. Regardless, the results are indicative of some solid trends:

We can see that the minimum frame rate doesn't crest more than 30 at any resolutions, indicating a strong CPU bottleneck. All of the cards are quite capable of low-resolution performance, but at 1680x1050 and higher, we can see the GeForce GT 240 and lower-end Radeons begin to lose ground, while the Radeon HD 5830 and GeForce GTX 460 are able to keep their average frame rates quite high, even at 2560x1600.

However, StarCraft II is not a twitch game like a first-person shooter, where success depends on precise, split-second aiming. Even the low-end graphics cards offer passable performance at 2560x1600 because the minimum frame rate is so consistent—assuming CPU power is sufficient.

Still, the GeForce GT 240 GDDR5 offers the absolute minimum number of frames per second you’d want to use at 2560x1600.

  • duk3
    Nice article.
    I wish the i5 750 was included as a comparison.
    Reply
  • Doom3klr
    5770 should run it with a 3 core amd
    Reply
  • Doom3klr
    5770 should run it with a 3 core amd
    Reply
  • ScoobyJooby-Jew
    a 5750+phenom II 945 runs smoothly with a mix of ultra and high settings. no aa.
    Reply
  • L0tus
    The Radeon cards are clearly bested by their similarly-priced GeForce counterparts here.

    Hence why I regret my ATI purchase.

    It's good hardware but the constant driver issues & benchmarks such as these make you think twice.
    Reply
  • letsgetsteve
    i wish the test was re-run with a bigger overclock so we could see how cpu limited the game really is and what card will really let it stretch its legs.
    Reply
  • nativeson8803
    I wish they would have included my cpu: q9550 OC'd to 3.5Ghz

    Still relevant!
    Reply
  • madass
    Are you guys sure the NV cards didnt beat the radeons due to bigger frame buffer?
    Reply
  • kingnoobe
    I don't reget my ati purchase at all. I'd rather deal with driver issues *which I never seemed to have with ati only nvidia.. for some odd reason*. Then deal with crap hardware with nvidia..

    Of course this is just personal exp.

    Some games will run better with nv, and some better with ati.. Don't really care as long as I can play it smoothly. And usually 1-5 fps don't determine that.
    Reply
  • dingo_d
    Doom3klr5770 should run it with a 3 core amdYep it worked flawlessly on my 5770 1GB + Athlon II X3 435...
    Reply