StarCraft II GPU Performance Comparison

Author: Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig
Date: July 18, 2010
Product Name: StarCraft II
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NVIDIA and ATI; Their Stances

Both NVIDIA and ATI have been tweaking and improving the performance of their drivers over the course of StarCraft IIís multiplayer beta to the point where we are confident there wonít be any hitches come release day. However, there are several things you should be aware of before we get into the meat of this article. Considering this will likely be the highest-selling PC game of the last few years, getting performance right could mean an untold number of sales for both companies.

NVIDIA: Performance and 3D

From the way we understand it, NVIDIA has been extremely vocal when it comes to their support for this game and the work they have put into their drivers reflects exactly this. To begin with, they have laid the groundwork necessary for the Blizzard team to implement stereoscopic 3D into the game engine via a patch shortly after release. 3D Vision (and weíre assuming 3D Vision Surround as well) could very well mean a radically different gameplay experience for those of you who are willing to invest in this type of setup.

In addition to the future addition of 3D support, NVIDIA has also added the ability to force anti aliasing in StarCraft II through their control panel. When it is released, this will be one of the few late-coming DX9 games lacking support for an in-game anti-aliasing option so NVIDIA has gone forward with creating a driver profile for it. They will also have fully functioning SLI support on release date as well.

All in all, it is quite obvious that NVIDIA is hell-bent when it comes to making their cards the most desirable options for paying StarCraft II. They also seem to be quite happy playing it themselves:

ATI: Constant Improvement

NOTE: We now have an OFFICIAL RESPONSE from ATI regarding anti aliasing support for StarCraft II.

NVIDIA may be talking a lot about their superiority in StarCraft II but ATI has also been making their fair share of upgrades as well. Through gradual driver improvements, performance has slowly been improved and will likely continue to improve after the retail product is released. We should also see working Crossfire profiles right from the get go so dual card users wonít feel their investment is going under-utilized.

Unfortunately, ATIís current and (weíre guessing) upcoming 10.7 drivers wonít have the ability to force anti aliasing within the game itself. According to our conversations with them, it seems like implementing forced AA through the Catalyst Control Center is being investigated but it has not actually been implemented as of yet. Nonetheless, weíre encouraged since it seems ATI is not turning a blind eye to the potential popularity of StarCraft II coupled with their competitionís own inroads.

Edit: ATI's drivers now support AA options in Starcraft!


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