So today I have an interesting question. What Video Settings do you play at, and why do you play it at those settings? Whether it is out of necessity, or for fun visual eye candy, can adjusting these settings affect your gameplay?
Currently, I play on a Dell Laptop, it’s about 3 years old, and can run most games pretty well. I can only run Starcraft 2 however at the lowest settings. When I try to queue up commands by holding the shift key, my computer tends to freak out and BEEPS at me and in huge army compostion battles, I cannot micro manage my units or even use abilities. My problem is my video card. I don’t care what people say, laptops are NOT meant for gaming. Sure there are gaming laptops, but the game will not run as well on a laptop as well as it would on a desktop with similar specs. Another thing is, you can’t easily upgrade them either. Your hard drive and the Ram are what you are limited to upgrading. Things such as Hotkeys, mouse and keyboard use, as well as even heat distribution are some of the other major issues.
Ok lets say you have a decent system that can run Starcraft 2 fairly well and you don’t get beeps in certain situations like I do… Check to see how fast your frames (more commonly called FPS) are to see if there is some “lag” going on. You can do this by downloading fraps, all you need is the trial version. Fraps is a software most commonly used with games that will record your game or whatever is going on with your computer for media purposes. What I’m asking you to use it for is to check your FPS. When you turn it on a yellow number will appear at the top left corner and will show you your current FPS. What you want is around 24-30, anything lower than that, and you are experiencing a certain amount of video lag. This video lag will increase in higher demanding situations such as a huge clash between two armies, or levels with lava in them tend to be major video memory hogs. My system at lowest settings runs Starcraft 2 at 15 FPS and that is just watching my probes work. That’s not good. I haven’t actually played a league match in about a week because of this huge hardware problem I’m having. In a highly time sensitive match when I need to warp in a bunch of units I can’t be fighting my computer over when it is right to call those extra troops in. When I need them I need them now.
What I want to know is what pro gamers down to casual play at. I know day9 mentioned in one of his dailies that he tends to keep his system at the lowest settings and increases it to medium for his dailies so we have something more visually appealing to look at. Does she do this to help him play better? Only he knows. Does increasing the video quality give you access to some animation or model that doesn’t normally appear at other settings. Does this access give a player an advantage? These are questions I want to know.
I am planning on getting a system that will be capable of playing Starcraft 2 on ultra settings without any kind of lag. Currently I should be able to acquire it in about 6 weeks. I built my system based on the findings of this report from Techspot.
I am getting the Geforce GTX 460 with a quad core processor. It’s important to note Starcraft 2 currently does not offer support for the use of more than two processors. No matter how many you have, it will only utilize two at most.
Now you may have heard of some gaming systems out there that will go up to 200 fps, ZOMG, but you will need to remember something very key. Your eyes can only process 30 frames at most at a time.
I can’t wait to play on my new system. I’m going to be purchasing it from www.ibuypower.com which I recommend to anyone interested in getting a gaming system without paying hundreds of dollars in extra money just for the name brand.