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Old October 28, 2010, 08:24 PM
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Default Cheapest possible StarCraft II build

My friend wants me to build him a computer that runs Starcraft II. All he wants is to play Starcraft II on Ultra setting. I was thinking about a Core i3 530 or 540 and a cheap mATX motherboard. Do you think a Core i3 530 with a cheap mATX motherboard can play StarCraft II?

This is what I was looking at particularly because it's on sale.
Click Here

As for the video card, I was thinking about the GTX 460. Do you think anything weaker can play on Ultra well?
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Need to know what resolution they're running to tell you which video card, but that looks like it would be plenty for SC2.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:30 PM
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Such a build would definitively be good for SC2, my gf has an i3 with a Gt 240 ddr5 and it can play the game on Ultra, but I'd say its the bare minimum. I'm not sure if its hardware related or wireless connection related, but I felt like it would be better for me to lower the graphs to high (can't remember if it did anything)... Btw the resolution is 1920x1200.

I would possibly also look at this bundle: NCIX.com - Buy NCIX Gaming Bundle Deal AMD Phenom II X4 925 Retail CPU & MSI 770-G45 DDR3 CrossFire Motherboard - X4 925 & 770-G45 In Canada.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Lpfan4ever View Post
Need to know what resolution they're running to tell you which video card, but that looks like it would be plenty for SC2.
Sorry, forgot about this. He has a 24 inch monitor @ 1920x1200.

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Originally Posted by Kilauea View Post
Such a build would definitively be good for SC2, my gf has an i3 with a Gt 240 ddr5 and it can play the game on Ultra, but I'd say its the bare minimum. I'm not sure if its hardware related or wireless connection related, but I felt like it would be better for me to lower the graphs to high (can't remember if it did anything)... Btw the resolution is 1920x1200.

I would possibly also look at this bundle: NCIX.com - Buy NCIX Gaming Bundle Deal AMD Phenom II X4 925 Retail CPU & MSI 770-G45 DDR3 CrossFire Motherboard - X4 925 & 770-G45 In Canada.
Cool, I saw this too. I don't know anything about AMD, so do you think this is better than a Core i3 530 or 540? And if I do decide to go with an i3, are mATX boards capable of gaming? I mean, they're like 80 bucks, I'm kind of hesitant.
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Old October 28, 2010, 08:43 PM
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per ghz per core intel is on top right now. well for the past few years. a duallie intel=quad amd, price wise.

whatever you chose, get a giga board. and for gpu ont go bare minimum, think of the near future and slap a 6850 in there. hell pair a duallie amd 240/250 with a nice 785 giga board for around 110-120 dollars. gpu will do most work at that rez anyway
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Old October 28, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by _dangtx_ View Post
per ghz per core intel is on top right now. well for the past few years. a duallie intel=quad amd, price wise.

whatever you chose, get a giga board. and for gpu ont go bare minimum, think of the near future and slap a 6850 in there. hell pair a duallie amd 240/250 with a nice 785 giga board for around 110-120 dollars. gpu will do most work at that rez anyway
Are you talking about the Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H? And yeah, I think a 6850 is a good idea, as long as it runs Starcraft II on Ultra. Do you guys think 400W is enough for this?
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Old October 29, 2010, 12:37 AM
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I would say go for a used but good 450-500W.
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Old October 29, 2010, 04:30 AM
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Yes a mATX mobo will work for gaming, the integrated GPU will not be enough to get the game on Ultra, but you already knew that.

As for the comparison AMD vs Intel, I'd say the i3 530 at least partially corrected this portion, but generally speaking, when you want a cheap computer, AMD is better.

I personnally prefer my Phenom II x4 which runs at 3.0ghz to my gf's i3 which runs at 2.93ghz. I haven't done any benchmarks so to speak, but this is the feeling I get while running a game. Of course my computer has a few added bonus, but the feeling is still the same.

As for the mobo you suggested, it is a good mobo, but it uses DDR2 memory, which is far from bad, but at this point in time, I'd go for a DDR3 mobo, unless you go used. At the same time the mobo is AM2+ which means it should work with more CPU (older and newer), but there might be some Bios update required for the newer CPU.
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Old October 29, 2010, 05:09 AM
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I play Starcraft 2, ultra settings, with the following setup :

- AMD Athlon II X2 250 (3.0ghz dual core)
- Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H
- 4gb DDR2 (Mushkin XP - 1066mhz)
- HD5830

The X2 250 is $60. Pretty nice little proc.

Edit: I play on a 23" - high res. with no problems.
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Old October 29, 2010, 05:44 AM
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Check out the Starcraft II GPU review here at hardwarecanucks. I quote "The fact that a lowly HD 5750 is able to provide a perfectly stable gameplay experience all the way up to 2560 x 1600 at Ultra High details proves Blizzard’s statement that StarCraft II will have no issue being played by a large cross-section of the market."

That said I would say 5770/gts 450 if you want ultra and a gtx 460 if you want ultra and some extra headroom.

As for CPU, the bundle you linked to will be fine.
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