New GPU - Still low fps

Technical Support
Well ... I upgraded my graphics card and I am still getting low fps in this game. (used to have a geforce gtx 285)

My pc is now as follows:

CPU - AMD Phenom II 940 3.0ghz quadcore
Memory - 8gb DDR2 800
GPU - EVGA Geforce GTX 570 (driver - 263.09)

At start the game is pegged at 60fps (vsync on). If I play starcraft 2 3v3 or 4v4 ... as soon as I get over 100 supply the game slows down to around 25fps. During large mid to late game battles I can get as low at 10/15 fps. WTH.

This pc should be more then capable of handling this game so that it doesn't drop below 30fps.
Can you give us some other info about your computer?

What size HDD? How much space left? (Defragmented recently?)
That shouldn't have a lot to do with it, but it might help.

Also, do you maybe have a lot of processes running in the background? What OS are you running? Checked for viruses? (I recommend malwarebytes).

Also, how's the 570 doing on everything else? I'm eyeing one of those right now (currently on a GTX260).
With your specs, assuming you are running at maximum graphics settings, dropping down to 15fps in a 4v4 with everybody's units in a battle is completely normal.
HDD - 1tb Western Digital Black SATA drive
Plenty of space left. Zero fragmantation

I'm a computer technician ... absolutely no viruses on my pc.

I do have a few background processes running ... but I have 8gb of ram lol.

The 570 rocks everything else without a problem!

Seriously .... 15fps is a slideshow! I can't do anything but sit and watch. How are you supposed to micro your units like that?

I suppose my 1920 x 1080 24" monitor might contribute to the slowdown. But, still!

Is my cpu bottlenecking the game? Why can't blizzard just make this game utilize my other 2 cores?

The recommended config by nvidia is:

But, obviously they are using a Core i7 940. Which I assume is a better cpu then mine. But, they are only using 3gb of ddr3 ram....

But, they are running it with 4x AA on in the nvidia control panel for christ sake.

Does this game just suck with AMD cpu's? or is it because it's only using 2 of the cores?
Like I said, there's no problem, SC2 is a very demanding game in 4v4(One of the most demanding games on the market). Turn your settings down or upgrade your machine some more. You have the video card department down pat now, but if you want a 4v4 to be smooth with hundreds of units on screen with all of the details on maximum, you'd need to invest some serious money in a really nice processor, which would also mean a new motherboard, and new RAM because i7 processors use DDR3.

That machine runs well with 3GB of RAM because SC2 does not use a lot of ram, it uses a lot of CPU and GPU power. The game really loves a super fast CPU such as an i7.

If Blizzard could optimize the game to fully utilize quad core processors, performance would go up a lot, but that's easier said than done. My understanding is that creating a multi-threaded application that effectively utilizes many cores is one of the most difficult things a game programmer can do.

My suggestion: If 4v4 is that important to you, turn your in game settings down.

Benchmarks showing CPU performance:

Consider the difference between the top of the chart, and the bottom of the chart(Phenom 2 3.2Ghz).
Thanks for the article. I built this system around an amd processor about a year ago, because building it around a intel system would have doubled the cost of the system.

What settings would you suggest that I should turn down that will actually make a difference?

The frustrating thing is that I would upgrade my cpu to an even newer cpu ... but the only upgrades amd has is the phenom II x4 970 and the phenom II x6 1100t. Honestly, I don't think either of those would make any difference at all. Do you?

Should I just overclock my processor to 3.4? Do you think that would make a difference?

I am eternally frustrated why blizzard made a cpu limited game only utilize 2 cores? Baffles my mind!

Alot of RTS games support multicore ... surpreme commander 1 and 2 come to mind.

Blizzard really should add multicore support. They can add an "extreme" graphics mode ... but they can't add multicore support?
GTX 285 will run SC2 fantastically. I'm saying your CPU is probably a bigger issue. AFAIK, SC2 doesn't support quad cores only dual core. It is better to have a faster dual core than a slower quad core for SC2 (even if collectively, the quad cores get more work done).

Overclocking your CPU is probably the best way to go for you since you're rockin' an AMD socketed motherboard. Otherwise I'd say go get yourself a Core i5 750+ or better.
Yeah, I completely understand the reasoning behind choosing AMD over Intel. The Intel stuff is so expensive. Overclocking to 3.4 is a 13% increase, meaning at best it would bring your fps from 15 to 17. Not a lot, but it's a start.

Upgrading to an X6 wouldn't help at all as the game just doesn't use all of those cores. Upgrading to the 3.5Ghz Phenom II x4 in and of itself wouldn't help a ton, however, the black edition(I believe that's the only one they make) has an unlocked multiplier which means it's very easy to overclock. You may be able to get it to 4Ghz and at that speed it would be a pretty sizable increase in performance. Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up to date on how well the newest Phenom II x4 processors overclock so I couldn't say for sure how much you could get out of it if even that much.

As for what settings to lower, I couldn't say which will help a lot and not. My machine has really bad slowdown if things get really intense in a 4v4 but I just deal with it since I don't play 4v4 very much and it only lags during the super big battles.
Yeah it's my CPU that's limiting my FPS. Blizzard went the easy route without utilizing quad core. It's unfortunate because my CPU can handle everything else out here. Blizzard knew the game would tax the CPU in 4 v 4 and custom games, yet didn't add support for more than 2 cores.
Well I think I will start with changing my multiplier to x17 (3.4ghz) and see if that helps any.

Using this article I found for reference:,2267.html

It seems like I should be able to get to 3.6. But, I'm not sure if it is worth the hassle going past 3.4ghz ... what do you think?

That's probably the only thing I could do to increase the performance of my system.

The toms article suggests that I can overclock with cool and quiet enabled. I was told by someone on this forum that cool and quiet is a bad setting to have on for starcraft 2?

Do you think I would have a problem turning it on?
Ugh. I turned my system up to 3.4ghz and ran 3dmark11 and it crashed during the cpu physics testing. I turned it back down. I guess I am just going to have to lower starcraft 2's settings. Or buy a faster cpu.
Lowering the heavy CPU hitters would be your best bet, and a lot cheaper. Reflections, physics and effects are the bigger hits to the CPU.
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Thank you for you response! It's nice to see there is a still a Blizzard presence on this forum.

So I should try lowering:

- Reflections
- Physics (too bad the game doesn't support Nvidia Physx - that would alleviate this problem)
- Effects

Anything else that might be helpful to lower?

I really want to tune this game so that I can keep above 25/30 fps during big battles.
It's more of an experiment from this point forward. For me, I just lower my physics by a notch or two. I don't really need to see pieces of buildings and ships come crashing down when doing 4v4.

Be weary of next patch when we add in some extreme shader options. You don't really need those on in large games either :)
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Yea I'll have to experiment with the options based on your suggestions. Thanks for the help.

I hope that makes a difference. Because being a computer tech/hardware geek ... the framerate going below 25/30 drives me nuts.

I will have to keep an eye out for extreme options as well. However, I think now that I have a geforce gtx 570 (which has 1.5gb of memory) my gpu is probably bored waiting for my cpu.

Is there any chance of blizzard adding multicore support for more than 2 cores in the future?
Hey everyone! My friend found an easy fix on my laptop. I'm not saying it will fix everyone else's computers but it fixed my "unusual" and "recent" low FPS that was never there. Simply go to your power options and create a new power option and custom design it to have maximum performance on CPU, graphics card, etc. This fixed my computer and I can once again play! He said it had to do something with the computer forgetting its performance settings.

Like I said I don't know if this will fix anyone else's computers but it fixed mine, even though my laptop has been on "High Performance Power" this whole time. It still made a difference. Anyhoo, hope this helps!
Hmmm interesting ... I guess that would be worth a shot. However, I am gaming on a desktop and it's been in the default Windows 7 High performance setting.
It may also help to note that the high performance settings do not change the minimum processor state. It'd remain at 5% until you bump it up manually. If your particular processor is doing that, bumping it up would help.
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Interesting ... how would I check this? And how would I go about changing this?

Are you referring to the starcraft executable process priority? Or something else entirely?


Ah, your referring to windows 7 power management. I will have to check and make sure minimum processor state is not set to 5%.

However, if I am running in High Performance mode it shouldn't be I'd imagine.
I am connected to a UPS ... and my minimum processor state was set to 5% for on battery. But it was set to 100% for plugged in. So it should always be plugged in. But it to 100% anyways.

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