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Thread: CPU or GPU priority for StarCraft II [new pc]

  1. #1
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    CPU or GPU priority for StarCraft II [new pc]

    Hello guys, long time no see

    I am planning to build an RTS(real time strategy) gaming pc, specifically for StarCraft II.
    It will be in 1920x1080 resolution. Able to run everything on ULTRA with absolute zero fps-lag.

    There is a huge debate about GPU vs CPU investment these days. And the shop's employees don't know anything about hardware. They just tell you to get the most expensive pc, even though it is not even good enough for the task.

    For StarCraft II - Is CPU the unit I need to be strong? I have friends with good GPUs but decent cpu, where they lag when the game is 200 units vs 200 units in a 1vs1 game.

    Can anyone who knows about this stuff tell me what I should do?

    My old pc, yet not bad at all, got frame lag when at 200/200 vs 200/200 supply army.
    Which had:
    i7 920 @4GHz
    sapphire 5870 1GB
    1KW corsair PSU
    6GB 1600MHz ram
    e760 mb

    I need a pc that is better for StarCraft II.
    EVGA X58 3x-SLI Classified [with EK Full cover block]
    Sapphire Radeon 5870 [with EK-FC5870]
    Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (3x2GB)
    Corsair HX 1000W
    Intel I-7 920 with [EK- HF Supreme]
    2x 250Gb Seagate Barracudas
    XSPC RX360 Raidator
    XSPC Single bay reservoir
    6x Scythe Gentle typhoon 1850s.
    1/2" ID, 3/4" OD Tygon tubing.

  2. #2
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    What is your budget? $500, $1K, $1500? It is easier to take X $ and come up with best price, because a game like that depends on both. I would say start with more ram and an SSD. The modern GPUs according to http://www.techspot.com/news/39809-s...rformance.html handle it fine, but, it does not offer support for more than two threads, so, a faster dual core is better than a slightly slower quad or hex. With alot of data; IE 200 units; ram is always a contributing factor, as well as data access speeds. The game download is 7GB, compressed. I don't know what it installs to, but, at 7GB, it is no lightweight. I would have to say add more ram and possibly a SSD, the tests are with the i7-920 (what you have), unless you want to go to Ivybridge. Just my humble opinion.

  3. #3
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    I can't say for sure.
    But if it's slowing down when you have lots of char's on the screen, it's the system it's self that's to slow.
    Mem, board, cpu etc etc.

    But then again it could be the vga.

    I would think it's the cpu though, but you've got an i7, it should be fast enough...
    I can't say though, I don't play starcraft.
    My brother does though... but he doesn't have the new one, sc2.

  4. #4
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    Hello, thank you for your fast reply

    I do not have a budget specifically. But in that sense, I do not have plans to pay for stuff I do not need.
    I already have an SSD. Corsair GT 120GB. I am really happy with it.

    The only thing I am focused on is StarCraft II - that is for my pc. I feel my micromanagement of units is severely impacted by frame lag in large battles.
    I am a former professional cs 1.6 player - so for me, fps lag is really easy to detect.

    I am now a student. But I use my spare time on SCII.
    I just want a pc that can rock SCII without any problems. And I am (as I said before) able to pay, but not for stuff that is unnecessary.

    NB:
    My brother has a Sandy Bridge CPU,

    2. MSI P67S-C43
    3. Corsair DDR3 1600MHz 4GB Dominator Kit
    4. Samsung SH-D163C/BEBE
    5. MSI N560GTX TWIN FROZR II - GTX560 1GB
    6. Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Box
    7. Corsair CMPSU-650HXEU 650W HX Series
    8. BenQ 24" G2420HDB
    9. WD AV-GP 1TB WD10EURS

    NB:
    His pc runs StarCraftII much smoother than I do. But he does also experience some FPS lag in large battles(200 vs 200)
    I want my pc to run 100% smooth at all types of battles, basically.
    EVGA X58 3x-SLI Classified [with EK Full cover block]
    Sapphire Radeon 5870 [with EK-FC5870]
    Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (3x2GB)
    Corsair HX 1000W
    Intel I-7 920 with [EK- HF Supreme]
    2x 250Gb Seagate Barracudas
    XSPC RX360 Raidator
    XSPC Single bay reservoir
    6x Scythe Gentle typhoon 1850s.
    1/2" ID, 3/4" OD Tygon tubing.

  5. #5
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    With your current CPU at 4GHz I would think it would be a GPU issue more so. However it is entirely possible that no amount of CPU or GPU upgrade will get you Ultra settings with no lag in a 200 vs 200 fight. It could simply be the game engine that is slowing down. That happens in a LOT of games now days

    If you want to get the closest possible chance to have no lag, go with an Ivy Bridge CPU, overclock it to 4.5GHz+, have 16GB of DDR1866 memory, get a GTX670 or higher graphics card, and use whatever the highest end Bigfoot Networks NIC is. That would eliminate all possible bottlenecks for you. But I dont know if that is in the budget, and I still couldnt say with certainty that you wouldnt have any lag.
    Last edited by EniGmA1987; 06-21-2012 at 10:46 AM.
    Rig 1:
    ASUS P8Z77-V
    Intel i5 3570K @ 4.75GHz
    16GB of Team Xtreme DDR-2666 RAM (11-13-13-35-2T)
    Nvidia GTX 670 4GB SLI

    Rig 2:
    Asus Sabertooth 990FX
    AMD FX-8350 @ 5.6GHz
    16GB of Mushkin DDR-1866 RAM (8-9-8-26-1T)
    AMD 6950 with 6970 bios flash

    Yamakasi Catleap 2B overclocked to 120Hz refresh rate
    Audio-GD FUN DAC unit w/ AD797BRZ opamps
    Sennheiser PC350 headset w/ hero mod

  6. #6
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    The most important thing would be to know how StarCraft II prioritizes hardware, in that sense that how hardware can make my game run smoother.
    Some people say RAM and CPU. Some people say GPU. I am really not sure. So many people state different ideas.
    Maybe I should send a support email to blizzard?
    EVGA X58 3x-SLI Classified [with EK Full cover block]
    Sapphire Radeon 5870 [with EK-FC5870]
    Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (3x2GB)
    Corsair HX 1000W
    Intel I-7 920 with [EK- HF Supreme]
    2x 250Gb Seagate Barracudas
    XSPC RX360 Raidator
    XSPC Single bay reservoir
    6x Scythe Gentle typhoon 1850s.
    1/2" ID, 3/4" OD Tygon tubing.

  7. #7
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    For AI, CPU. For effects GPU.
    However it is entirely possible that no amount of CPU or GPU upgrade will get you Ultra settings with no lag in a 200 vs 200 fight.
    Maybe a 16-core IB Xeon system...

  8. #8
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    From my experience, RTS games tend to use a lot of CPU power when you have giant armies and large maps. It has to calculate routes for all the units and damage being done, tracing of projectiles, etc. So a CPU and RAM upgrade might help out. yet you already have a 4GHz i7, so to me that sounds powerful enough to handle it and the bottleneck might be all the graphical effects needing to be rendered by the GPU. Really there just isnt an easy way to know for sure unless you do a little testing on your own. Try lowering the clock speed of the CPU to 3GHz and see how the FPS is impacted. Then raise it back up to 4GHz and lower your GPU core speed to see how things are affected. That will give you a better idea of which is the larger limitation. Also you could try putting extra voltage into the processor and going a few hundred MHz higher to see how it helps the FPS




    Quote Originally Posted by mockingbird View Post
    For AI, CPU. For effects GPU.

    Maybe a 16-core IB Xeon system...
    That wouldnt do it. The game wouldnt be able to take advantage of that many cores and you would just be stuck with lots of unused potential and low clock speeds. A quad core IB at 4.5GHz would perform better in Starcraft 2
    Last edited by EniGmA1987; 06-21-2012 at 01:18 PM.
    Rig 1:
    ASUS P8Z77-V
    Intel i5 3570K @ 4.75GHz
    16GB of Team Xtreme DDR-2666 RAM (11-13-13-35-2T)
    Nvidia GTX 670 4GB SLI

    Rig 2:
    Asus Sabertooth 990FX
    AMD FX-8350 @ 5.6GHz
    16GB of Mushkin DDR-1866 RAM (8-9-8-26-1T)
    AMD 6950 with 6970 bios flash

    Yamakasi Catleap 2B overclocked to 120Hz refresh rate
    Audio-GD FUN DAC unit w/ AD797BRZ opamps
    Sennheiser PC350 headset w/ hero mod

  9. #9
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    so an IB I7 3770 would make big differences for my performance?
    EVGA X58 3x-SLI Classified [with EK Full cover block]
    Sapphire Radeon 5870 [with EK-FC5870]
    Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (3x2GB)
    Corsair HX 1000W
    Intel I-7 920 with [EK- HF Supreme]
    2x 250Gb Seagate Barracudas
    XSPC RX360 Raidator
    XSPC Single bay reservoir
    6x Scythe Gentle typhoon 1850s.
    1/2" ID, 3/4" OD Tygon tubing.

  10. #10
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    Is this for offline, LAN or online SCII?

    If it's online, it can just be your internet connection that is lagging out. (or your network controller)
    I have the same GPU and a bit better CPU (HD5870 / I7-2600K) with 16GB of RAM and play the game fine, both offline as multiplayer.

    But I do have 120Mbit/30Mbit download/upload on cable, my friend has a much lower-rated internet subscription (20Mbit/5Mbit on ADSL) and he lags like hell with much units in battle with a better and newer PC. (plays fine singleplayer).

    Might look at that before investing a lot of money in hardware whilst the problem lays elsewhere.
    Asus Sabertooth TUF Z87 - Intel Core I7-4770S - GEIL EVO Veloce 2x8GB 1866MHz - MSI R9 280X OC
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Source View Post
    Is this for offline, LAN or online SCII?

    If it's online, it can just be your internet connection that is lagging out. (or your network controller)
    I have the same GPU and a bit better CPU (HD5870 / I7-2600K) with 16GB of RAM and play the game fine, both offline as multiplayer.

    But I do have 120Mbit/30Mbit download/upload on cable, my friend has a much lower-rated internet subscription (20Mbit/5Mbit on ADSL) and he lags like hell with much units in battle with a better and newer PC. (plays fine singleplayer).

    Might look at that before investing a lot of money in hardware whilst the problem lays elsewhere.
    They thank you for your reply.

    What kind of lag are you talking about there? fps dropping? (fps dropping is what I mean)
    EVGA X58 3x-SLI Classified [with EK Full cover block]
    Sapphire Radeon 5870 [with EK-FC5870]
    Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (3x2GB)
    Corsair HX 1000W
    Intel I-7 920 with [EK- HF Supreme]
    2x 250Gb Seagate Barracudas
    XSPC RX360 Raidator
    XSPC Single bay reservoir
    6x Scythe Gentle typhoon 1850s.
    1/2" ID, 3/4" OD Tygon tubing.

  12. #12
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    Maybe you can try out your ISP's top package for a month.

    My toys:
    Asus Sabertooth X58 | Core i7-950 (D0) | CM Hyper 212+ | G.Skill Sniper LV 12GB DDR3-1600 CL9 | GeForce GTX 670-2048MB | OCZ Agility 4 512GB, WD Raptor 150GB x 3 (RAID0), WD Black 1TB x 2 (RAID0) | XFX 650W CAH9 | Lian-Li PC-9F | Win 7 Pro x86-64
    Gigabyte EX58-UD3R | Core i7-920 (D0) | Stock HSF | G.Skill Sniper LV 4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 | Radeon HD 2600 Pro 512MB | WD Caviar 80GB IDE, 4TB x 2 (RAID5) | Corsair TX750 | XClio 188AF | Win 7 Pro x86-64
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobsama View Post
    Maybe you can try out your ISP's top package for a month.
    I have their top package.
    120 down / 20 up
    EVGA X58 3x-SLI Classified [with EK Full cover block]
    Sapphire Radeon 5870 [with EK-FC5870]
    Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz (3x2GB)
    Corsair HX 1000W
    Intel I-7 920 with [EK- HF Supreme]
    2x 250Gb Seagate Barracudas
    XSPC RX360 Raidator
    XSPC Single bay reservoir
    6x Scythe Gentle typhoon 1850s.
    1/2" ID, 3/4" OD Tygon tubing.

  14. #14
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    LLiH, sc2 is not very hardware demanding at moderate levels. But setting it on ultra I believe will get you lab in huge battles no matter what hardware you have. Keep in mind that RTS games are focused more on game play and strategy, not eye candy like FPS games. You don't need to see a pimple on a marine's face during your macro/micro lol. For me, anything higher than medium graphics settings is just too distracting. Which graphics settings you want to play at is fully up to you though, and if you still prefer ultra, then it's greatly GPU limited, not CPU. As long as the CPU is running over 3ghz with at least 2 threads, the CPU side is fine. Your current i7 is actually way overkill for sc2, save that money to buy a high end GPU.

    I'm currently playing sc2 on THIS machine with a stock i7 and a $60 HD5670 video card on medium settings, very smooth. I'm masters for terran and protoss, and diamond for zerg.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  15. #15
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    I had a similar system when SCII launched and it would bog down pretty bad when there were many units on screen.

    That game is mostly cpu dependant but if you insist on running Ultra at 1080 youll need a decent video card as well, just don't expect to run MSAA without any issues.

    I'd aim for a 3550K and overclock it as far as you can. As far as specifics, I'd ask around some competitive SCII circles and perhaps the Bnet forums ( if you can stand them that is... ) Most competitive players tend to just tone down things in order to get consistently high performance instead of trying to throw a bunch of hardware at the issue but thats a choice only you can make for yourself ( and one I can understand personally )

    I'd want to hope a 3550K and GTX 670 or 7950 would fit the bill just fine but given I havne't touched the game in forever and don't really enjoy it in the first place, I can't really offer a qualified answer. I'd stick with my suggestion of asking around some actual SCII fourms.

    I've personally found every Blizzard game since Diablo 2 can behave quite erratic and I pretty much gave up on them offering a flawless experiance at all times, on any amount of hardware.
    Last edited by Chickenfeed; 07-04-2012 at 12:36 PM.
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