OS X Starcraft 2 performance sucks

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by ScottishCaptain, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    I'm having absolutely zero luck on the SC2 forums or with Blizzard's tech support on this, so I figured I'd ask here just to see if I've lost my mind or not.

    For the longest time (WoL release -> HoTS release), SC2 absolutely flew on my computer here (specs in sig). Everything on ultra/extreme, native resolution for my monitor (2560x1400), etc. 60 FPS constant, might drop down to 20-30 under heavy, heavy action. Very, very rarely would that drop to 5-15 FPS- usually only in custom Arcade maps with an excessive number of units.

    Recently, however, SC2's performance has been ****. There is no other way to say it. The problem seems to have crept up with the latest "Spawning" patch or something.

    What once used to be 60 FPS constant now hovers around 30-40 FPS. Mostly all of the custom arcade maps I used to play now hit 1 FPS (yes, a single FPS- I think it's lower then that though) within 5 minutes and are virtually unplayable garbage. Normal games easily hit sub-10 FPS with any reasonable amount of units on-screen.

    Basically, I'm finding that the game has been completely ruined. The experience is barely enjoyable anymore with the insane amounts of graphical lag I experience. I'd go back in patches if I could but obviously I can't given that this is basically an online game now, and I have no say in what Blizzard decides to do on their end.

    I'm fairly certain this isn't my computer. I have noticed that while playing SC2, my GPU fan almost never spools up anymore (which suggests SC2 is bottlenecking somewhere else on the CPU)- it's as if SC2 isn't driving the GPU as hard as usual. The lag kicks in, the GPU fan throttles down, and the game quickly becomes unplayable.

    Other games, however, work just fine. If I fire up RAGE or Borderlands 2, my GPU fan cranks up (as expected) and the FPS are unchanged. I can play those games for hours and hours on end and everything works flawlessly.

    I've tried contacting Blizzard about this but they're either not saying anything or telling me my computer is busted, when quite clearly it is not. I'm apparently not the only person with this issue either as I've found scattered reports on the internet about SC2's performance consistently going down hill.

    Has anyone else noticed any severe performance regressions with SC2 lately?

  2. syrinxx, Jun 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013

    syrinxx macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2011
    same here

    hi what are you posting is the same i noticed playing it

    i was playing the Diablo 3 beta on a mid 2010 27" maxed out imac ... i reportet them every day that the performance sucked. they told me to stay tuned until the release of the game.

    every patch made the game slower. now i have a mid 2011 maxed out 27" imac and the game stutters like hell. not just the rubberbanding oder lagging ... also fps loss causes that.

    to SC2 ... i bought it and it ran on the mid 2010 machine maxed out in native resolution. 4 month later a patch came out... since this time i never ever played the game like i did in the beginning.

    telling blizz made me just angry so i stopped it. the told me to reset pram, smc and so on. hey we both know they fu*** it up!

    i would reccomend to stop playing their games and enjoy the summer.

    these games will never ever run on our machines...

    sorry to tell you that

    stay tuned

    ps my machine was checked a few times cause blizz told me that they think my hardware was done ...

    IDIOTS !!!!

    here was this thread!!!
  3. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    I don't know about Starcraft, but reading a solution to stuttering for Diablo 3 lead me to try the suggestion with Call of Duty 2 and 4 and it worked like magic. The stuttering I got was intermittent (probably averaged a big stutter every 30 seconds to 2 minutes) and the frame rate would freeze/cut and audio would cut out at the same time for a split second and then it would continue. I did see a correlation to loading new events during the game (i.e. something new would happen and it would speak or a tank would show up, whatever) so this lead me to suspect my RAID0 configuration might be causing an issue.

    The stuttering actually improved using my external USB 3 backup drive to run the game (despite being like half the speed of the RAID0 SATA setup). It would still do it, but it would be a lot less noticeable. I noticed similar stutters even on PC games running in virtualization, so I suspect OSX 10.8 has some kind of driver issue for system lag with hard drives, some more than others. I mean Monkey Island 4 in Windows XP should not EVER lag, but it was doing something similar.

    Anyway, apparently Diablo 3 stutters and lags like crazy because of all the loading it does during the game (rather than storing in memory). You'd think a faster drive like RAID0 would help, but apparently not.

    The suggestion/solution was to buy a USB memory stick of sufficient size and copy the game folder for Diablo 3 over to it and then run the game from there instead of the hard drive. Once again, you'd think a slower drive (they were using a USB2 memory drive even) would result in worse performance, but like a dozen people reported this fixed ALL their lag in Diablo 3.

    I bought a SanDisk USB 3 32GB drive to try this idea out (I've got USB3 on the Mini so I figured it's best to maximize speed for any number of reasons) with Call of Duty 2 and 4 and so I copied the game folders over (the saved games still reside in my home directory or wherever so I don't have to worry about ever copying back the other direction as far as I can tell). They now run 100% stutter free.

    Now the issues you guys are having might be completely related to patches that slowed the rendering down and so it might not help. But I thought I'd throw it out there anyway in case it does. If you have a spare USB stick drive lying around, you could see what happens. It might improve some aspects, at least. It fixed all my weird stuttering here, although I don't think I can use it as easily with the virtualized PC games, although I could probably install them onto the drive there if I had to.

    Personally, I think Apple screwed something up in 10.8 Mountain Lion. I never had an issue like this on my Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard (or even my old PowerMac, which is worth mentioning because the original PPC Call of Duty 1 ran 100% smooth on that machine off the PCI Sata Card hard drive with zero issues and so Call of Duty 2 should surely have had no issues on a 2012 MacMini, but it did anyway due to the hard drive). Other games that don't load data that way don't have that problem (e.g. Angry Birds). I don't recall offhand seeing major problems with my Star Wars games (even The Force Unleashed), but I haven't played them in awhile. It's not impossible that the 10.8.3 patch started it since I've only gotten the Call of Duty games since then.

    Of course, if you guys aren't running Mountain Lion, then that's not it, although I can't say for sure the problem didn't exist in Lion or even Snow Leopard with some drives (i.e. RAID0 here is a lot worse with the problem than a non-raid drive).
  4. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    I haven't played Diablo 3 for awhile, but Starcraft 2 runs very smooth here still.
    Absolutely no issues with running on max settings and stay above 60 FPS in any situation.

    SC2 is very CPU denpendant, but I should guess that single digit FPS is way too low for your system!
  5. SingularityG macrumors 6502


    Jun 7, 2012
    On my 17" mid 2010 Macbook Pro, both Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 run very well. I don't play these games very often, but I've noticed the performance to be increasingly better with the updates.
  6. CJM macrumors 65816


    May 7, 2005
    That's because Diablo 3 was coded in the most strange way in that it accesses the hard drive to load assets on the fly, instead of at the beginning of the level like most games. I don't think the same solution could be applied to Starcraft.

    OP, have you tried bootcamping to check the level of performance?
  7. ScottishCaptain thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    Yes, it runs fine under Windows.

    The problem under OS X appears to have resolved itself.

    I do not know how or why. I haven't touched my tower, nothing has changed software wise and I haven't updated anything (still on 10.8.3). Yet, low and behold, last night things had returned to normal and the gameplay experience was once again on par with what originally detailed.

    I wish I could post a solution but I'm at a loss as to what has happened. I guess it's possible Blizzard changed something on their end, but I have no idea what would cause local FPS issues from a remote server.

  8. skirmisser macrumors member

    Oct 2, 2012
  9. Sanatogen macrumors member


    Sep 5, 2013
    I play both Starcraft II and Diablo III without any problems whatsoever on my machine. Out of old (paranoid) habit I don't max everything out, but usually that isn't necessary to fully enjoy Blizzard's titles anyway.

Share This Page