Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a very popular DirectX 9 game that was released in 2010. Though this game uses an old version of DirectX, the number of textures that can be represented on one screen can push most of the top-end graphics cards to their limits (especially when the graphics settings are set at “Ultra”). StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty uses its own physics engine that is bound to the CPU and thus does not benefit from PhysX.
We tested this game at 1440×900. The quality of the game was set to the “low” preset, disabling both anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. We then used FRAPS to collect the frame rate of a replay on the “Unit Testing” custom map. We used a battle between very large armies to stress the video cards.
We ran this game twice with each CPU. First, we used the CPU or chipset integrated graphics. Then we added a GeForce GT 430 video card, which is an entry-level DirectX 11 video card. We used an entry-level video card because we wanted to see the impact each CPU had in the performance achieved (when using high-end video cards, the CPU role in gaming perfo
rmance is reduced).
Let’s compare the results of the CPU and chipset integrated graphics first. The integrated graphics processor of the Core i5-2500K (3.30 GHz) proved to be 104% faster than the one embedded in the Core i5-661 (3.33 GHz), which is outstanding. It was 86-90% faster than the one used in the AMD 880G chipset. In fact, lowering all image quality settings we finally have a playable frame rate on StarCraft II.
When we installed a GeForce GT 430, the Phenom II X4 975 (3.6 GHz) proved to be the fastest CPU, being 6% faster than the Phenom II X4 970 (3.5 GHz), 7% faster than the Core i5-2500K (3.30 GHz), and 9% faster than the Core i5-661 (3.33 GHz).