Finally running SC2 on MBP (2.4ghz 320M) on medium with very good fps (tip inside)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by henrikrox, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #1
    I have only tested this on bootcamp (w7)

    So the mbp 13 doesnt have the best gpu, the internal 320m is good but not great.

    In phase 2 of the beta, i couldnt figure out why i couldnt set shaders to medium and shadows to low. if you dont know, shaders is what makes the game look great, shaders on low is like sc1, shaders on medium is sexy graphics :p

    I searched around the forums on bnet, and figured out that there seems to be some bug. If you choose to set shaders to medium, shadows sets automatically to medium. And shadows kills the fps on the 320m.

    So ive found a way to disable shadows completly, like World of warcraft shadows drops the fps like crazy. Disabling shadows will give you a 15-20fps gain. IM now running on medium settings, shadow disabled, with a smooth 60fps.

    Heres what you got to do:

    Go to your folder

    C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\Documents\StarCraft II Beta

    Find your variables.txt file, open it, now hit ctrl + f and type in the word shadow

    set these settings

    GraphicsOptionShadowQuality=0
    lightmapcastshadows=0
    shadows=0
    softshadows=0
    watershadow=0

    Now fire up SC2. dont worry if the settings says shadows is running at medium, it isnt, its off, and now you have gain up to 20fps. You will never notice shadows anyways, now use those free fps to higher some other details.

    Hopefully this helps somebody

    My settings after editing the settings file;

    Textures-Medium
    Shader-Medium
    Post Processing-Medium
    Reflections-Off
    Effects-High
    Lighting-Low
    Shadows-Off
    Terrian-Medium
    Physic-High
    Models-High
    Unit Portraits-2D

    3D portraits also for some reason drop fps by alot. Anyways with these settings i get great fps and awesome graphics, not bad for a 320m ;D
     
  2. henrikrox thread starter macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #2
    Remember that the settings will reset if you change something inside the sc2 menus, then shadows will come back. Then you have to manually go and set shadows etc to 0 to disable it.
     
  3. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Do you have any before and after screen shots?
     
  4. Mackan macrumors 65816

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    Sep 16, 2007
    #4
    You don't play SC2 in OS X because of the performance hit?
     
  5. kalibar macrumors newbie

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    Jan 2, 2010
    #5
    I sure don't on my MBP (Penryn @ 2.4 GHz + 8600M). Boot Camp or nothing.

    I'm sure they're working on it, but man does it ever suck to have an OS X version of your favorite game available but useless.

    Thanks for the tip about shadows, OP. I'll give that a shot and see if I can get a better framerate on medium settings -- I agree with you, the difference between low and medium graphics on SC2 is pretty big. Medium and high I can't really see much of a difference, just a framerate drop.
     
  6. henrikrox thread starter macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #6
    ill take some fraps shots right now
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  8. henrikrox thread starter macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #8
    Blizzard has officially said on their starcraft II forums, that the mac client will always be 10-15% behind the windows version performance wise.

    It sucks, so if i want the best framerate with best graphics i have to use boot camp.
     
  9. henrikrox thread starter macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #9
    Here are the comparison (see fps counter top left)

    30fps gain. All the settings are the same expect shadows. Shadows kills the fps, you see. Look at units, buildings and minerals, shadows are gone, but you gain 30fps, i say its worth it.

    So picture 1:

    [​IMG]

    Shaders: Medium
    Shadows: Medium
    Texture quality: Medium

    Result: 28 fps


    Picture 2:

    [​IMG]

    Shaders: medium
    Shadows: off (using text file explained in first post)
    Texture quality: medium

    Result: 60+fps

    Rest of the settings are the same on both pics
     
  10. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    I don't either. Performance on OS X is miserable.

    I think they are being a bit optimistic. I can barely run SC2 on medium settings in OSX (15" Core i7 MBP/2.66 GHz/ 4GB ram/ 330m GT with 512 MB vram). When I say barely I mean during any kind of battle i get lag (<20 fps) and even sometimes just mining minerals it will be less than 30 fps.

    On Win7 64-bit I can run everything on Ultra except for shaders and lighting (high) and i get about 30-35 FPS consistently.

    Interesting, thanks for that. Really doesn't look like that much of a difference (visually i mean...the fps boost is fantastic!) Also just so you know, you can hit ctrl+alt+f to toggle the built-in fps display. You don't need fraps for that.
     
  11. henrikrox thread starter macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

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    Feb 3, 2010
    #11
    Oh didn't know that, then i dont have to use fraps anymore.

    And yea the fps gain is great. i remember back in the day when i played wow with a custom built pc turning shadows up killed the fps also. So it seems it's a fps killer. And maybe its weird that stuff doesnt have shadows, but things happen to fast for me to care really.

    But the one thing that matters, is shaders from low to medium. I mean low looks very much like wc3 almost, very cartoony almost, and medium shaders actually looks like a gamed made in 2010.

    Just wondering if turning off shadows also makes a huge fps gain on better hardware (like the i5/i7 with 330m).
     
  12. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    I'm going to try it now and let you know. And yeah, the visual difference between low shaders and medium shaders is night and day. I can barely tell the difference between medium and ultra shaders, though.
     
  13. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    Here we go...about a 15 FPS increase:

    All settings on High:

    [​IMG]

    All settings on High with shadows off:

    [​IMG]

    Pretty nice increase :D

    Core i7/2.66GHz/4GB ram/330m 512MB with driver version 258.80/15" Hi-res AG/Win 7 64 bit/
     
  14. fuzzielitlpanda macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #14
    from the pics, i do notice the lack of shadows. the shadows make things in the game make more realistic as opposed to 2D-like (ex: the geysers, the main base). However, I think it's great that we can set different parameters for the shadow settings. Have you tried playing with each shadow option one at a time? I really don't think SC2 needs to run at 60 FPS to be enjoyable
     
  15. MBHockey macrumors 68040

    MBHockey

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    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    #15
    For me the FPS increase is negligible just because when i run it on High i'm always in the 35-40 range. Another 15 fps isn't noticeable for me unless I want to run everything on Ultra (which my computer can't really do anyway.)

    It is much harder to notice the lack of shadows when you're playing though (not comparing pics)
     
  16. iLog.Genius macrumors 601

    iLog.Genius

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    Feb 24, 2009
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    Toronto, Ontario
    #16
    I think I'm going to try this. I did the same with Resident Evil 5 and the performance boost was awesome.
     
  17. Meever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    #17
    I dunno. I basically got the same performance as described without fiddling. I think most of the time the frame drop is more due to battle net's instability during the beta phase.

    I remember I had a laptop with an i7 processor and 5870 and I couldn't play it on ultra without horrific lag online, but offline it had absolutely no problem maxing out with 40+ fps.
     
  18. vant macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #18
    Sorry to bump, but does anyone know how to do this on OSX? I tried looking for the settings file but failed.

    EDIT: NVM found them. They are under Documents>Blizzard>Starcraft II

    I didn't see shadows=0, but I saw everything else.
     
  19. Rithem macrumors 6502

    Rithem

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    Jun 29, 2008
    #19
    I don't think it does. Most of modding takes place on the Windows side.
     
  20. vant macrumors 65816

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    Jul 1, 2009
    #20
    Uh? I found the settings in OSX.
     
  21. pauldp macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #21
    I have the 15in i7. I don't know if anything was changed from the beta to the full release but I had low fps(playable) playing on medium. Did anyone notice if theres a difference now? I played a lot of the custom maps where I ended up having to spam units so I knew the fps would drop but I was hoping it was just the game engine. I bootcamped it and got drastically better results. I was playing with everything on ultra with a solid 40+ fps even in the spam maps. My friend's custom built gaming rig would also have terrible lag on some maps so at least I know its not just my hardware that has problems.
     
  22. Narse77 macrumors regular

    Narse77

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #22
    You can add that line yourself, I did and it works. Much better FPS.
     
  23. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #23
    crappp thanks OP!! I don't care for shadows but hated how you had to have medium shadows with medium shaders... now this will be much better.. gonna do this on OSX to get some higher fps in OSX =)

    just did it, all the lines were there in the osx variables.txt including shadows= etc etc. will boot up and and compare.

    also pro-tip for OSX users that want to do FPS counter.. do "control + alt + F" gives you in game FPS counter.
     
  24. Narse77 macrumors regular

    Narse77

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #24
    Right now it's not worth it to run in OSX IMO. I get better than 2x the performance in bootcamp with 7 x64. I can run 1920x1280 in all medium settings on my 13" MBP in bootcamp, the same settings in OSX are at best 4fps. Not sure what is going on in OSX but stay far away from it for SC2.
     
  25. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #25
    OP what drivers are you using? bootcamp stock ones or laptop2go?
     

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