What Kind of Machine Will Run StarCraft II? We Find Out!

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monkeykid753

What do you guys do with your old rigs?

 

Because I know that you no longer have a use for many of those old systems. And if they are just taking up space, a giveaway contest would be amazing for us readers who have elderly/weak machines. And you could make a limitation saying that you have to have a subscription to participate in the system giveaways.

Just an idea from a big fan, subscriber, and power user.

 

Also... is the CAPTCHA necessary? There was never any real spam...

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smatt

on a different note, is anyone else as happy as i am that blizzard released something NON WOW related??? i mean, yeah it's not the full 3-campaign monster most of the world was hoping for but it's still pretty damned good. now if only Diablo 3 would come out.

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smatt

wouldn't call anything with a core i5 "aging". anything over 18 months could be aging but certainly not within the 12 month mark. My setup is a core 2 quad 2.66ghz OC'd to 3.6ghz. xfx 5870, 4gb ddr2 800 ram.  SC2 defaults to ultra settings @ 1680x1050 (my max reolution) and it runs like a dream. by their standards a 5870 is aging too despite being one of the best cards on the market. not sure what they were thinking when they picked their models but the results are certainly accurate. basically if your machine is within 2 years old and it was top of the line back then you should be just fine. besides, 60fps is traditionally the normal gamespeed (i think halo was the first to run at 30fps). anything higher than that is just overkill.

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jasonrt604

I personally think the 'aging beast' is pretty up to date but I keep telling myself one thing when I read Maximum PC... It's MAXIMUM PC not budget pc, upgrade pc, or price performance pc.  Its all skewed for maximum performance.

I just bought an Intel E6600 processor and ATI 4850 to upgrade my system so I can play the game (my Celeron E1200 / Nvidia 8400 just won't cut it) and I'm sure that will be enough.

For their AGING system I really think last years zero point, or possibly their $650 speedy budget system from a few months back might have been a little nicer to see. 

Love Maximum PC but sometimes a review of a Maximum game with hardware for the rest of us would be nice.

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cdowley

Guess that makes my Q6600 (stock speed, board doesn't OC it well for some reason) and GTX275 dinosaur-era ancient, eh?

For the record, my rig runs SC2 at high settings without a hitch.

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Muerte

That's good to know.  I have the same processor.  I had never run any game that maxed out the processor.  Need a new mb and might try to find another nvidia 8800 to run sli to beef it up but still a very good processor.

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B10H4Z4RD

lol same setup as me. Sorry if this is unrelated, but it might be the 6600 thats not so great at overclocking. unless you have a p5n-d. then it might be the board.

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cdowley

... which is OK by me in the end, as I've never been a "serious overclocker" to begin with. I'll fiddle with it from time to time, but that's about all.

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sniggler

My 5850 @ 1920 x 1080 with everything on Ultra never drops below 60 fps.

It's XFX  xxx edition but the overclock isn't that spectacular so I wouldn't expect it to make a huge difference.

Also, running my core i7 920 D0 @ 3.6 GHz & 6 GB ddr 3, tri-channel @ 1450 MHz (D0 is locked obviously) so that probably helps.

Still, from what I've seen so far you could probably run this game using a 6600 GT and a P4 on medium without any issues (except for the 3d interactive crap in the single player campaign).

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Buddhistpalm2

Like a lot of posters said already, a Core i5-based PC is not an aging machine.  An aging PC is one using a Core2Duo/Quad or older CPU, like mine.  I am currently using a Q6600 (@3.15GHz), HD4870 (1GB) and 6GB of DDR2-800 with a 1680x1050 monitor.

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violian

Yeah, totally agree with you. Didn't Core i5 come out like only 2 years ago? It's not like people are upgrading their CPU's every year, or even every 2 years for that matter - unless you're a hardcore gamer. Core 2 Duo would've been a much better definition of aging because people who have this CPU (like myself) are probably getting to that point where they're thinking about getting a CPU upgrade or entirely new computer.

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Rob42o

SO I could honestly careless for any bliztard games.  But a friend of mine gave me a Guest Pass to try StarCraft II.    Its now been downloading for over 24 hours and only at 54%.    What kind of shit ass servers does bliztard have supporting their Digital Download?    Its not my connection I proved that.    It is purely on their end.   They just lost any support or enjoyment I might have had for this Game.   Ill stick to companys that can fuel a game release with better hardware, an fast connections.     F*** Bliztard!

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Bawlnutts

SO I could honestly careless for any stds.  But a friend of mine gave me herpes to try stds.    Its now been itching for over 24 hours and even with cream.    What kind of shit ass lovers does my friend have supporting their libido?    Its not my fault I proved that.    It is purely on their end.   They just lost any trust or enjoyment I might have had for them.   Ill stick to friends that can fuel my libido with better condoms, an fast finishing.     F*** STDS!

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sniggler

It's 12 gigs! Unless you have a 50 mbps internet connection, quit whining.

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Caboose

WOW!

I think you're missing some common sense.

People have been waiting for Starcraft II for years. Many, many years. It's one of the most anticipated games ever! And you want to know why it's taking forever to download the game? How many GB is the install?

You do realize, that servers are finite, and if you've got EVERYONE IN THE FUCKING WORLD trying to download/install StarCraft II at the same time, IT'S GOING TO BE SLOW!

Steam's got some pretty fast servers, but when a very highly anticiapted game (Left 4 Dead/Left 4 Dead 2) is released, it sometimes takes a while to actually get the game to download/unlock. Heck, it took me 2-days to get Alien Swarm, and I've got a 15Mb internet connection!

Heck, when Service Pack 3 for XP was released, Microsoft's servers got hammered and downloads were at a complete crawl to non-existant!

So why don't you just calm down!

FFS

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mesiah

If blizzard is using the same torrent software that they use for WoW on their download then it is probably your own dumb fault for the slow download. Windows firewall usually blocks the download which significantly slows things down. The down loader will usually tell you if it detects a slow down due to your firewall and will instruct you on how to make an exception for the program. Usually games that use some form of torrent style down loader update with amazing speed. The more people trying to get the update, the faster it comes. So, if they are indeed using this system, stop nerd raging long enough to fix your firewall. If they aren't using the torrent method, rage on, it should be standard practice these days :D

 

*Sory caboose, the post was intended for rob. Hit reply on the wrong window.

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Caboose

no worries

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Biceps

I downloaded Alien Swarm in like 10 minutes on release day.  I played it once - it crashed, so I played something else.  It looks like a good game - I just got sidetracked; but reading your comment made me feel like a bad person.  Sorry!

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Caboose

Aww don't feel bad. I wasn't able to download it when it was released, and had to wait until I got home from work, by then many others too were getting home from work and trying to download it at the same time.

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armada439

Jeez I had no idea my GTX295 was an "aging" card... who would have thought that?!  Especially when it beats every other card out there except the GTX480 and HD5970... And the i5... man that was the  best bang/buck gaming cpu just a couple months ago... so old... ugh

By the way, I'm sure my HD4850/8800GTS/7900GT could all destroy Starcraft 2 seeing as its almost entirely cpu based (as can be seen in your business laptop results).

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aerogamer

HA! Aging?!? Check out the rig I'm still rocking ('couse I've done some upgrades...)

Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe, AMD Athlon 64 x2 4400+ (Toledo), 2GB SuperTalent DDR400, EVGA 8800GT 512MB, Creative Audigy 2 (YEAH!!!), 3 Raptor X's in RAID 0, 500GB Seagate.

*Some of the upgrades (video card, raptors) came as a result of FedEx apparently using my computer for a game of yard ball when I moved and shipped it through them, amazingly ASUS replaced the board for me under warranty; major props to them because I wholly expected to pay since defective quality can't be blamed for a hole in the board where my video card used to be. :)   ...I love ASUS...

I built this in Feb 2005 and then upgraded/repaired it in summer '07.

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p47riot

I'm sporting about the same specs: Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe, Athlon 64X2 4600+, 2GB OCZ Platinum DDR400, EVGA 9800GT 1GB.  All details on SCII cranked to Ultra and it runs smooth at 1900x1200.  Every now and then I'll catch a stutter or a chug, but that's the worst of it.  Amazing looking game!

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gendoikari1

A better example of a formerly-great machine would be, say, a low-end Core 2 Quad/high-end Phenom, a GeForce 9800 GT(X)(+) and 2-4GB RAM.

I would have tried running SCII on my ancient laptop (Pentium M 1.6Ghz, Intel 915GML, 1GB RAM), but it would take up 1/4 of the free space.

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matmatician

I've got a Core 2 Duo E4500 and a XFX 9800 GTX XXX+. Only thing different is I have 6 gigs of ram. Havent tried running SCII tho cuz I know if I do, 3 weeks of my life will disappear and I will never get them back.

 

EDITED:

Ok, Got sc2, and am currently running at 1800x1030 on my 50 inch plasma tv with AA on (4x I believe) and everything else on very high. I had one stutter one time, and that was because I left Google Chrome open in the background with 3 tabs open. Closed that out, and went right back on to gaming. Runs like a boss.

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Biceps

Unless the person who has "an aging gaming rig" recently went out and purchased a new Mobo, along with an i5 with no upgrade path, a new copy of their OEM OS, etc, I would say your "aging gaming rig" was kind of a poor example.

My Core2Duo 2.33 GHz , 2x 8800GT in SLI with a 1680x1050 monitor is definitely an aging gaming rig (I built it three years ago), but it can still play most games that have come out at pretty reasonable FPS, often HIGH settings (thank you console makers for retarding the progress of PC gaming!)

 

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zakn

And AMD. Your Driver updates bricked me. Took me 3 hours to restore back and figure out a stable update path.

 

wankers

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zakn

Phenom x2 3hz BE. 4Gig ram. 4970x2 (no xfire, a dual gpu card)

I have ultra on all settings and it looks great. Im still a good 6 months from a new build (as an earlier commenter said, most of us are on a 12-18 month cycle).

 

I'm waiting to see what sandybridge has to offer (although a 700 dollar upgrade to an 870 machine is real enticing)

 

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gendoikari1

4970?

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somethingelse

I'm sure my overclocked to 3.5Ghz PentiumD 930 with 4GB of DDR2-5300, 2 150GB WD raptors in raid0 and 2 Nvidia 7900GTX SLI will run this game like a champ :P

Won't find out till price on it drops a bit though, I'm sure by then blizzard will release a few patches to fix some bugs and maybe enhance performance a bit more :)

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Bender2000

Must be nice to work where an "aging" system is an i5 with a great GPU. Too bad you did the test with what was sitting around, but that's life. I would have liked to see your previous Zero Point with the Core 2 Quad and 8800GTX cards, that is pretty mid level these days everywhere esle but your office. I have a Phenom X4 at 2.4GHz and a single 8800GTS on a 20" LCD and no problems yet. Kudos to Bilzzard for making the game scale well. I'm gathering the parts for a new sys based on a Core i7 930 and GTX470 right now but looks like I really don't need to upgrade to play.

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hagbard

As everyone else said, your "aging beast" is still more powerful than most of the PCs used by us, the readers. My PC is a much better example of an aging beast; it has a Q6600 CPU and a GeForce 8800GTS. It still plays every new game I throw at it, and usually with high settings, at 1920 x 1200. It's probably much closer to the specifications of a PC owned by an average gamer interested in SC2.

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BAMT

Q6600 and 8600GT over here and it still gets at least 40FPS on newer games with tweaked settings.

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imemmittsmith

Q6600 and 8800GTX and still strong as ever!

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jakthebomb

My Macbook Pro 13" is the 2010 model, has the following configuration.  a Intel core 2 duo at 2.40Ghz, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, Nvidia 320m.  high settings, no slowdowns.  I think the 12GB of ram that the first system had was NOT realistic at all.  The most i have ever seen in a desktop was 8GB,  also i think Maximum PC has too high of expectations in regards to Gamining, The difference between 100 and 60 FPS is bull, if you are using a LCD screen running at 60hz, anything higher than 60FPS is pointless as the Screen won't be able to show the difference.

 

jakthebomb

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Caboose

On Intel systems with DDR3 running in tri-channel mode (6-RAM slots), you're ram will be 3, 6, or 12 GB (I guess you could run 9GB if you wanted very mismatched). AMD systems, and systems running Dual-Channel mode (4-RAM slots) you'll find with, mostly, 8GB of RAM. I've yet to see a 16GB system.

And your comment about the framerate and the monitor refresh rate. Sure, the monitor won't display more than 60FPS, but if the game is running at a much higher framerate, then you've got a lot of blanket room for the FPS to drop. a 40FPS drop from 100 to 60 is a lot easier to handle, than a 40FPS drop from 60 to 20. Heck, the human eye can only see what, 30fps. So technically, anything over 30fps is a waste! ;)

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jakthebomb

For the RAM, i was saying that not many have a system equiped with that much ram.  I do know that it is possible.  But in reality does a More powerful CPU make a difference with gaming?  I could have swarn that the GPU takes care of most aspects of gaming.  CPU is for AI, Sound, Scripts, Waypoints, and overall how the game functions.  GPU is for Graphics, Physics.  I don't think i could see better performance in gaming with anything above a 2Ghz dual core CPU.  For the Graphics card, though i can understand better performance with a better card.

 

Here are the Specs Maximum PC should have used,

The Ultimate system,

core i7, Quad running at 3+Ghz, 16GB of DDR3 RAM in dual channel, and a Geforce 480, in SLI mode.

The Gaming Enthusiest,

Intel Core 2 Quad, Running at 2.66Ghz, 4 or 8GB of DDR3 RAM in dual channel, and a Geforce 465, in SLI mode.

The Avrage Gamer,

Intel Core 2 Duo, Running at 2.0+Ghz, 4GB of DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, in dual Channel, and a Geforce 330 or 320 single card

The Budget PC,

Intel Pentimum Dual Core Running at 2.0+Ghz, 2GB of DDR2 RAM in dual channel, and a Geforce 9600 or 9800 single card

The aging system,

Intel Pentimum 4 HT 3.0Ghz, 1GB of DDR2 RAM in dual Channel, and a Geforce 6800, 7600, 8600, or 9400, single card.

 

This gives you a better range, as some people are still using a Pre Core type processor.  Also what about non DirectX 10 cards?

jakthebomb

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Dac

Wanted to say that I like the idea of testing the latest games against current real-world hardware configs that any of us might be running.  We just need a better spread of hardware.  This article is too close to being 2 high end machines and then 2 machines no one would realistically use.  Yes I know there is some grey area in there but not much.  But still, I would like to see more of this.  Cheers!

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avenger48

I suspect Maximum PC needs to do a hardware survey, to see what its readers are actually running.  It would be interesting to see.  

Also, if anyone is wondering if they can run this game and don't know about it already, System Requirements Lab (I think a nVidia sub-company) has the Can You Run It tool.

http://cyri.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/intro.aspx

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brak

According to Blizzard, Starcraft II should run on my 3.5 year-old laptop with nVidia graphics.  Sweet.  I was thinking of running it on the almost new server, but that's in the back room and it has Server 2003 running on it and it's a bloody desktop system.  I guess it would have to run inside an XP virtual machine, which would be more hassle than it's worth.  Oh, and I'd have to install a video card.  Yay for 3.5 year-old laptops!!  I remember when Age of Kings came out.  OK, I don't actually remember it much.  I seem to have lost a week right about then to playing the game. 

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matmatician

Yeah, that is a pretty good idea. I feel like I cant be the only one out there running a Core 2 Duo and 9800 series gpu. And the weird thing is, I'm pretty content with that. Runs ME2, MW2 both flawlessly on my 50" plasma with 2x AA on.

 

MPC, Time for a Hardware Survey!!!

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Havok

Not everyone likes to state their PC specs as their signature. Maybe, if MPC ever does do a parts survey, they could add an option to the Profile page specifically for system specs. I'm definitely curious to see what some other people are running...

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Jeffredo

From what I've read you can force it with Nvidia cards/drivers, but not ATI.  Blizzard didn't see fit to include it in the game but at least Forceware gives you a work-around.

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Caboose

You could always force AA via the Catylist Drivers?

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jonahkirk

I'm a Max pc guide, but try making a build last 4 to five years-with some upgrades along the way (new gpu, hard drive (SSD), operating system. I mean really, a working class bloke with 6 machines-office/gaming rig/ HTPC, laptop, sons computer, daughters netbook, server-I can't wait to upgrade this AMD 939 Athlon X2 3800, but all five other machines filled that replacement gap. At least my 5770, and Intel G1 SSD keep games from sucking too badly. So, 60 months, then 1055t or Bulldozer-I don't know if I can wait.

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vistageek

I never knew they made a monitor with 1900x1200 res. Mine runs at 1920x1200. :/

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I Jedi

Um, your three year old machine should be able to run Starcraft II okay. I checked the system specs, and I can say that this game was meant to be played by the masses, not just the elite gaming-rigs.

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ElderJefferson

I put together an AMD Phenom II X3 710, GTX260 with 4G DDR3 last year, and that apparently doesn't come close to MPC's "aging system"! I feel so old...and cheap.

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canbbb

I know you work for "Maximum PC", but I have to agree with the majority of posters here, your mid rig is a top notch machine still.  A GTX 260 is much more in-line with what should pass nowadays for a mid-range.  A GTX 295 is way up there and no way gets outplayed by a GTX 470 except for the rare DX11 games out there.  A real top notch machine would sport 2 x 480 SLIs.

Here's what I would suggest:

Top: 2 X 480 (or 470s) SLI or Crossfire 5870s

Middle: 260 or 4870

Low but still realistically good and playable: 8800 GTX or 3870

 

And then you can try it on a notebook or laptop, just for fun.  That was interesting I have to admit.

On another note, the point of the article: StarCraft is playable on many machines - got it. I've started it today, and I can see why: while the many units on one screen can be demanding on a CPU, there's nothing very demanding GPU-wise...  I don't see the subtle shadows and light play that First person shooters out there have (nor would I expect to since this is a RTS).  Just saying.

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gamefreakjtb

Love your magazine to death, love the website, but an i5 is aging? So you're saying my Q9400 is dead?  Eff that! I am upgrading in two days to crossfire 5770s and my rig plays SC2 on max at about 40-60 with vertical sync included at 1080.  My rig is AMAZING and it's budget, if that's aging, you guys need to open your eyes a bit. It may not be dream machine, but no one has the $16,000 to blow on their PC like you guys did.  I have my rig for 950 with monitor, and she's amazing. (Her name is Janet)

Basically, I'd like to see a P4 with 512mb of DDR400 and a Wintec 4 series Nvidia GPU. (My previous rig) Now, THAT's aging.  And I'm sure it'd run well enough, somewhere around 15-20, on medium?

I'm calling shenanigans. 

Lol, okay, I'm done ranting.

 

Love,

Gamefreakjtb

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Caboose

Let me tell you from personal experience, that Crossfired 5770's are sweet! I was running Crossfired 3870's for a little over a year, and then upgrade from the 38xx series to the 57xx series was HUGE! Major power savings, performance boosts, etc. You'll be really happy with your crossfired 5770's.

 

My Captcha for today: the lyrics

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