I would like to clarify my understanding of why my game speed drops during large fights, even with the lowest graphics settings. If my understanding is correct, I would also like to see a point added to the OP about recommended storage drive speed. If I am mistaken about anything, please let me know.
So basically, instead of preloading data from your storage drive for a given area when you enter it as was done in Diablo II, Diablo III reads data for an area on an as-needed (on-the-fly) basis. The trade-off is shorter initial and overall loading time for a given area and longer (but hopefully not noticeable) loading time precisely when it is needed (for example, the sound a certain monster makes will be loaded when you get to it rather than when you enter the area it is in. This makes your storage drive speed a potential bottleneck when many things need to be loaded at once (mainly large fights). This is not likely a problem for people running Diablo III (specifically the .MPQ data files) on a SSD or on its own dedicated chunk of storage space. However, if you are running Diablo III on the same HDD as your operating system/other programs and you are experiencing game speed drops with a system that meets/exceeds the recommended system specs, your HDD is likely the bottleneck. Again please correct me if I am mistaken about this programming technique or anything else.
I am experiencing drops in game speed with minimum graphics settings primarily during large fights using the following system:
Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.13 GHz
nVidia GeForce GTX460
2 GB RAM
7200 RPM 500 GB Seagate Barracuda HDD (this is my only storage drive)
I try to close all background programs when playing. If enough people point at my processor as being slightly under the recommended Core 2 Duo speed, I will OC and try again, but I have not yet because I do not believe that that is the problem. I do not have enough RAM to make a virtual RAMdisk drive for dedicated MPQ storage while still having enough to run the game.
Yesterday, my game speed slowed down to a stop in a cave in act 2 nightmare and did not resume until my 39 hardcore monk was dead. Diablo 3 is nigh unplayable for me using minimum graphics settings on a system with the recommended specs that uses a single 7200 RPM HDD. My solution will be to buy a SSD and run Diablo III from it. If what I have said is correct, a note about storage speed/load should be added to the list of recommended system specifications.
(This post was originally intended as a reply for the following thread, listing minimum/recommended system specifications, which reached its post limit, so instead I posted it here. I am hoping a Blizzard team member will see this.)http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4365746905#new-post