How does CPU overclocking affect StarCraft 2 performance?
Not only how does CPU overclocking affect StarCraft 2 performance but more importantly - can it allow a dual-core CPU to get back on equal footing with triple-core (and better) CPUs?
We overclocked two and four of the i7-980X cores to 4.2GHz and compared it to the performance of a quad-core, 3.3GHz chip using the same test as previously run.
2 Core 3.3GHz
4 Core 3.3GHz
2 Core 4.2GHz
4 Core 4.2GHz
Frames Per Second (higher is better)
When overclocked, both the dual- and quad-core machines are slightly faster than the quad-core at stock, 3.3GHz speed when you look at minimum FPS. It's also clear that overclocking a dual-core CPU allows it to get extremely close to a quad-core CPU. This is reinforced by the CPU usage graph below which shows both cores are now running at consistently 60-70 per cent on the dual-core graph.
Click to enlarge
In conclusion - you can
get free FPS from overclocking your CPU, but there's no need to if you have three CPU cores or more. Evidently having more than two cores gives the system more breathing room, but frequency can still compensate for those with budget dual-core CPUs - worth bearing in mind if you're considering how your older or modestly powerful PC will cope with the game.