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Testbed and Methods

We are going to investigate the gaming performance during StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty gameplay on the following universal testbed:

  • Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition processor (3.33 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI);  
  • Scythe SCKTN-3000 Katana 3 CPU cooler;
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme mainboard (Intel X58 Express chipset);
  • Corsair XMS3-12800C9 (3 x 2 GB, 1333 MHz, 9-9-9-24, 2T);
  • Samsung Spinpoint F1 HDD (1 TB, 32 MB buffer, SATA II);
  • Ultra X4 850 W Modular power supply;
  • Dell 3007WFP monitor (30", 2560x1600 @ 60 Hz max display resolution);
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.
  • We used the following versions of ATI Catalyst and Nvidia GeForce drivers:
  • Nvidia GeForce 258.96 WHQL for Nvidia GeForce;
  • ATI Catalyst 10.7a beta for ATI Radeon HD.

The ATI Catalyst and Nvidia GeForce graphics card drivers were configured in the following way:

ATI Catalyst:

  • Smoothvision HD: Anti-Aliasing: Use application settings/Box Filter
  • Catalyst A.I.: Standard
  • Mipmap Detail Level: High Quality
  • Wait for vertical refresh: Always Off
  • AAMode: Performance
  • Other settings: default

Nvidia GeForce:

  • Texture filtering – Quality: High quality
  • Vertical sync: Force off
  • Antialiasing - Gamma correction: On
  • Antialiasing - Transparency: Off
  • CUDA – GPUs: All
  • Set PhysX configuration: Auto-select
  • Ambient Occlusion: Off
  • Other settings: default

We selected the highest possible level of detail in the game using standard tools provided by the game itself from the gaming menu. The game configuration files weren’t modified in any way, because the ordinary user doesn’t have to know how to do it. We ran our tests in the following resolutions: 1600x900, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600.

The following graphics cards participated in our today’s test session:

  • ATI Radeon HD 5970
  • ATI Radeon HD 5870
  • ATI Radeon HD 5850
  • ATI Radeon HD 5830
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750
  • ATI Radeon HD 5670
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 480
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 470
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 460
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 275
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 240
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 220

Performance was measured with a game save atop of a fully built Zerg base with a hundred plus army of Protoss opponent arriving to present their proposition. We measured not only the average speed, but also the minimum speed of the cards where possible with the help of Fraps utility version 3.1.3. Each test scenario was run three times and an average number was taken for the analysis.

 
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