Starcraft II framerate ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by eva00r, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    For 13" Air i5 or i7, I wanna do some light gaming with Starcraft II.

    Can any of u please provide me SC2's frame rate in medium setting ?
    Ultimate i5 / i7 config in Windows 7 or Lion ...

  2. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    same here

    Me too! I really want to know how the new 13" MBA, base or high end, performs when running SC2.... I haven't heard the best things about the intel 3000
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2011
    I shall give you both an idea. I just got the Macbook Air and that's the game I'm about to install on it.

    My version is the 11.6-inch 4GB model with the 1.6GHz i5 processor. The HD3000 graphics on this model goes up to 1150MHz, as opposed to 1200MHz on the i5 on the 13", and the i5/i7 models offered on both the 11/13 models. So it's likely that the limiting factor will be the graphics, and that I may see a frame or two less on this as opposed to with an i5/i7 from the 13-inch.

    That all said: The i5 on the 13-inch is all you'd want, in my opinion. It offers 1200MHz on the HD3000, and turbo boosts up to 2.7GHz (I believe it's 2.7 or 2.6). Anyways, it's basically identical to the i7, with the exception of the 1MB difference in L3 cache: Honestly, that doesn't matter much.

    So my opinion: Save your money and go with the i5 if you're getting the 13-inch model, unless if you're doing things other than gaming. If gaming is your most intense task, then the HD3000 will limit you far sooner than the difference in processing power will. :)

    I'll get back to you asap when I determine the maximum playable settings for 1v1 and various team matches. The resolution on the 11-inch is practically the same (off by like 50 on the vertical and that's about it), so this should give you a decent idea.
  4. macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2006
    Many thanks Paul, sure plenty of others are waiting to hear SC2 impressions before pulling the trigger! Are you installing in Lion or Win7?
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2011
    I'm sticking with Lion. It's what came on the Air of course! :p

    I won't need Windows 7 on this device anyway. It would take up 15-ish GB of space, plus extra for whatever I want to partition on top of that. Really don't want to do that. I'm not too familiar with running W7 on a Mac (whether it's just a matter of formatting two partitions, or whether bootcamp must be used, or what)... but ya... the long and short of it: Just OS X Lion.

    I'm installing now. I've been fooling around with some things getting familiar with the OS since I've never used a Mac before (except many years ago when it looked more like an upside-down Windows 95, or whatever the first GUI-based Windows was just after DOS). Lol.

    I'm having a ton of fun with the voice recognition. It hears whispers even, and works accurately. I'm trying to get it to work with maximizing windows (not sure how), and other stuff. I'm enjoying it.

    ANYWAYS! Back on topic: I shall get back to this thread with the SC2 results asap. Might take a bit I don't really know, but I'll do it as soon as I can (in the next hour or so, or less).
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    thanks man. I've been refreshing every little bit, waiting for your endorsement before I pull the trigger. Yeah, it might be a lame reason NOT to upgrade to a new computer, but my MBP plays SC2 great, and if a new MBA doesn't...I'll be thinking twice about getting an air.
  7. macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2009
    I appreciate the filling-us-in Paul. It might also help if you let us know what your rank level is in SC2 as well ... for instance if you are a serious player and are in master league.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2011
    I try not to take gaming too seriously, however I am at a high-diamond level of play when I do play seriously. APM can reach 300 in-game, however that's just in battles. So I am very wary of any lag/unplayability. I'm a tad bit forgiving of certain things... but only things that don't detract from what I consider to be smooth playability.

    One thing I should note:

    I just downloaded a CPU temp monitor, and just while installing Starcraft (I guess it uses a lot of processing power), my CPU is running at 74 degrees celcius (100 celcius being the max temp you can run at).

    Any recommendations on a program that is like HWMonitor for the PC that will keep track of my maximum temperature? I want to keep track of my temps while gaming.

    Just finishing up installing now. I had difficulties setting up my external disc drive with my Macbook so it took a while to get it all together. Almost ready to test things out. It'll just take 5 minutes of 1v1 play and 5 minutes of a team-play game to give a general idea... errr... after I've found the "ideal" settings.

    Here's to hoping the i5 1.6GHz doesn't suck! Lol
  9. macrumors member

    Jul 18, 2008
    Looking forward to. Cheers Paul!
  10. macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2008
    Being better at Starcraft improves frame rates.
  11. macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2011
    wanted a Macbook for the longest time. Was hoping that the March MBP would resembles more like an Air, gd processor, gd graphics, SSD and without the size and weight of the DVD drive and the harddrive.

    Nope. Disappointed.

    Now the Macbook Air. Seems to be great all around. Other than for playing Starcraft 2!!! If this thing can't play SC2 on native res in Med graphics... I think I am going to be in for a long wait for the next MBP...
  12. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    you can just google it....
    i've used smcfancontrol before. it monitors temp and you can adjust fan speed to keep it cooler.
    if you just want a monitor, there's something called temperature monitor for mac, which i've never used.
  13. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    i'm in your boat too...lets hope this isn't the case...
    i'm really liking the air....but if no SC2 quality, i'll just have to wait...
  14. macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    I currently own the Ultimate 13" 2010 Air. This coped (mostly) fine with SC2 with low shaders, and medium settings for most other things. If the SB/HD3000 can match this, I am sold.

    Portal/Portal 2/HL2 could all be played on near highest. Once again, if the SB/HD3000 matches this I am planning on upgrading. All I want is for the HD3000 to not be a significant backward step! The upgrade in processing power for daily tasks is much needed, but I don't want it to be at the sacrifice of anything else!
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2011
    Alright so here's what I did:

    I tested 1v1 and it was fine against an AI. So I went and tested a "fastest map tester solo" map, where I created 20 thors, 10 battlecruisers, and 25 marines for one side. The other side used 10 hydralisks, 5 ultralisks, 15 void rays, and some reapers and marauders, and a couple infestors.

    The result:

    During the battle, lowest framerate dipped to was 20fps. Highest framerate during the battle was 25fps.

    Outside of the battle, with the units on the map and viewing one of the two armies, frame rates were between 30 and 45 fps.

    Framerates topped out at about 61 fps in some situations that weren't important.


    1366x768 (maximum) resolution
    textures: medium
    shaders: medium
    light: low
    terrain: high
    effects: ultra
    post-processing: medium
    physics: low
    models: high
    portraits: 2D
    movies: low

    If I reduced the effects down to high or medium, I bet I could have raised lighting to medium. And I'm sure physics could have been set to medium or even high without an issue since it's more processor-based.

    In terms of the fan... it got loud. The temperature reached 85 degrees celcius... and it might've been higher (since I checked the temp immediately after I closed Starcraft 2). That's kind-of a high temperature don't you think? :-S

    Anyways, overall, it was pretty good.

    What I would do if I were to be testing this again later is set the terrain to medium and the effects to high. The terrain can really affect the FPS, and the effects can too in big battles. So those two things will likely bring the FPS up to playable in even a 3v3. Huge battles might get a bit laggy but it's playable.

    As far as 1v1 or 2v2 play goes... one could get competitive just fine. However, do note that if battles get huge in a 2v2 (400 pop vs 400 pop), then you might not have ideal micro-management unless if you dipped the settings down.

    For custom maps... I'd lower the settings just ever-so-slightly to account for the custom/large map.

    Overall: I'm neutral on this. It did perform better than expected, which is great. As far as the i5/i7 on the 13-inch model goes, and the i7 on the 11-inch model, you'll get an extra 1-2 FPS in the games most likely (if not more)... so if you shoot for that, you'll be all set.

    The one worry is the temperature... it's oddly high. I'm going to do some more testing. So long as it stays at 90 celcius or lower, it'll be in the clear. 100 celcius is the critical point that you can't go over, so it's desirable to stay well clear of it by 10 celcius.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2010
    Other Source titles

    How about L4D 1/2? Could you include frame rate ranges?

    Also, would older games like C&C Red Alert 3 run on the 2011 MBA? I know I won't get anything like The Witcher 2 running, but I'd be immensely satisfied with Company of Heroes or Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle Earth 2.
  17. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Thanks for testing Paul, it doesn't sound bad to me, but I'm a fairly casual player. I'm not surprised the fans get really loud, that's happened on almost any 3D game I've run on any MacBook, going back years. Might be worth a try to cap the frame rate at something reasonable like 25-30, that might even out frame rate spikes and bring the fans down a bit.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2011
    How would I go about capping the framerate? Is there actually a feature in-game for this? Or is this something on the Mac that I don't know about?

    Side-note: How do I close a safari browser page that's full-screen without having to minimize it out of full-screen first. I want to close a browser page while it's full-screen while I'm viewing it.
  19. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    1. Quit the game (otherwise it will overwrite your edits when it quits).

    2. Open the file ~/Library/Application Support/Blizzard/StarCraft II/Variables.txt in a text editor. Add the following lines:


    Where frameratecap is the normal game cap and frameratecapGlue is, I think, the cap when it's running in the background or on menus. Been a while since I've done thins but I think that's how it works.

    3. Restart the game.
  20. macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2011
    Anyone know if it's possible to install SC2 on one of those machines at the Apple Store? Don't see why it ain't a fair test for the demo machines...?
  21. macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
  22. macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2009
    Can you run the game on Low Shaders and low everything, but max resolution? Want to see what the FPS might look like at that setting.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Jul 20, 2011
    I was actually planning my on doing the same thing. I mean, if it helps sell the product why not?
    I was going to just download it from at te apple store and try to install it and run it that way. The only thing I'm seeing as a barrier is needing an admin password during installation. I guess I could just ask them to type it in for me...
  24. macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2011
    Problem is there's no telling if they will for surely drop the Optical drive and remove HDD drive space on the coming MBP. I don't want to end up waiting for nothing either.

    Add up to 5 mm to the MBA, dedicated graphics and 8GB RAM, i'll pay ~2k for a 13". Anybody making one any time soon???
  25. macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2011
    Let me know if you managed to do that! I'll see if it's possible to do the same. Maybe plug in a pre-downloaded USB stick?

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