StarCraft II Performance Review - Even your mom can play (UPDATED)
Our GPU performance testing was pretty straight forward: use our existing GPU test bed with StarCraft II installed and swap out different graphics cards to gauge performance. The rig was configured as normal:
- ASUS P6T6 WS Revolution X58 + nForce 200
- Intel Core i7-965 @ 3.33 GHz
- 3 x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 MHz
- Intel X25-M G2 160GB SSD
- PC Power and Cooling 1200w Turbo Cool PSU
- NVIDIA Driver version: 258.96
- ATI Driver version: 10.6 + CrossFire X update
Jumping right into the action, StarCraft II isn't going to be very hard on most gamers' machines, and so we only tested a pair of resolutions: 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. The 19x12 configuration is likely the most common for PC gamers today and we wanted to see the 30-in panel performance in order to get as many pixels processed as possible on these new graphics cards.
Because the StarCraft II engine doesn't support AA (anti-aliasing) natively you will see our NVIDIA versus AMD battles run at 1xAA only. However, NVIDIA has been able to enable AA in the game with the override setting in its driver so we will look at AA comparisons on the following page.
For the contenders, again because the game was much less strenuous on our system than we hoped, I limited testing on new cards to the GeForce GTX 460 and GTX 480 as well as the Radeon HD 5830 and HD 5870. For users with somewhat older cards I also threw in a GeForce GTX 260 896MB and a Radeon HD 4850 512MB for a well-rounded group.
We maxed out our image quality settings in StarCraft II
If you are lucky enough to have a 30-in panel you should be able to run StarCraft II at 2560x1600 fairly comfortably with anything from a GeForce GTX 260 or even HD 5830 though performance is much improved with the GTX 480 and HD 5870. In fact, both of those high end cards are hitting that CPU-limited FPS barrier of around 100 again.