there's already a bunch of these threads, and probably quite a few more coming soon. does a mod want to sticky this? here are the SC2 MINIMUM requirements for the BETA. you will probably want a bit more than this to run it above minimum. • Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1/Windows 7 • 2.2 Ghz Pentium IV or equivalent AMD Athlon processor • 1 GB system RAM/1.5 GB for Vista and Windows 7 • 128 MB NVidia GeForce 6600 GT/ATI Radeon 9800 PRO video card • 1024x768 minimum display resolution • 4 GB free hard space (Beta) • Broadband connection How to check your own system: XP: Startmenu -> Run. type "dxdiag" Vista/7: just type dxdiag in the start menu search. First Page: ("system") - This will list some basics, like YOUR MEMORY (RAM) they recommend 1GB minimum. hopefully you have more. YOUR PROCESSOR - If it is an Intel Pentium 4, i think >3.0 Ghz should run it fairly smoothly. - If it is an Intel Core (core, core 2, core i3, i5, i7, etc), any of these other than Core Solo will run just fine. - if it is an AMD Athlon 64, any one rated at 3000+ should run it fairly smoothly. - if it is an AMD Phenom, any of these should run it just fine. - if it lists more than one processor (or says 2 or 4 CPUs), you have a multi-core processor. SC2 runs better on multi-core processors. bonus! YOUR VIDEO CARD click "display" - if it does not say "GeForce" or "Radeon" then too bad. you need to buy a video card. - Geforce 7-series: 7800 and up should be fine for medium. - Geforce 8-series: 8600 and up should be fine for medium to high. - Geforce 8800, 9800, and GTS250 are the same card. they should be capable of high to ultra, depending on resolution. - Geforce anything higher than that can probably run on ultra. - Radeon X, X1, and HD2xxx lines- if it ends in 800 (x800 or x1800) it should run fine on medium. - Radeon HD3 : anything ending in 600 and up should be fine for medium. - Radeon HD4 series: anything ending in the 600 range should be good for medium-high. 800 range should be good for ultra. - Radeon HD5 series: anything in the 600 range should be good for high-ultra. 700 and 800 range should be good for ultra. - anything in the -500 range or lower is generally not recommended, they are mostly just for playing back video and stuff. The later ones in the HD4 and HD5 can probably still run the game on low, maybe even medium, though. - these suggestions are assuming you are running at a resolution of approximately 1680x1050 to 1920x1200. if it's lower, then you can probably turn up the detail settings; if it's higher, you may want to turn them down or get a more powerful card. Lastly, YOUR HARD DRIVE open up My Computer and select your hard drive. It will list free space. - the beta takes up 4GB. the singleplayer will probably take more than that, with all the single-player content and stuff, so i'd guess 6GB or more. including all the extra multiplayer maps, replays, and other stuff, you might as well round it off to 10. UPGRADING YOUR COMPUTER 1. processors: processors are rarely ever the bottleneck of gaming. Unless you are also running FRAPS or doing something intense in the background, you probably don't need to upgrade your processor. Keep in mind that upgrading your processor probably also means upgrading the motherboard- if your processor is so old that you don't meet the requirements, your motherboard is probably also so old that it doesn't support the new processor socket. conversely, if you have a motherboard supporting the latest processors, you probably don't need to run the game, as even the lowest-end of the new processor lineups can run the game just fine. If upgrading, save your money with your processor and get a lower-end one. almost any dual-core on the market, even the ones under $100, will be fine. 2. RAM: the market is moving towards DDR3, but most computers out there are probably still on DDR2. make sure you pick the right type. 2GB sticks are fairly cheap, and you can easily get a 4GB pair for under $100, under $75 if you shop around. 3. Hard drive: also cheap. you can get 2TB hard drives for $150, and 500GB for around $50. no reason you should be running low on hard drive space, no matter how much porn you've got. 4. Video Card: the biggie. it is the single biggest reason why you experience choppy gaming (other than internet lag). If buying now, i would recommend: - Radeon 4850, 4870, or 4890. this is AMD's last-generation cards, quite fast and quite cheap. - Radeon 5770 to 5870. except for the 5830. all these cards have great value except the 5830. - Geforce GTX 260 or 275. Nvidia's last-generation cards. much like ATI's HD4k series, quite fast and prices are low. all of these cards should run the game on ultra settings without trouble. i DO NOT recommend: - any dual-card setup. it is overkill for SC2, and gives somewhat inconsistent performance gains from game to game, not to mention the power draw and heat issues. - Geforce GTX 400 series: they're priced alright given their performance, but they suck electricity like crazy (PSU upgrade?) and dump tons of heat into your case (overall reliability issues). 5. Power Supply (PSU): unfortunately, you can't figure this one out through device manager. you just have to open up your case. If you need to upgrade your video card, your power supply will have to have a free 6-pin (and/or 8-pin) connector for the video card. if not, you need a new PSU. - BIGGER IS NOT BETTER: your system should not require much more than 300 watts to run. To keep it in both the "safe" and "efficient" range, you probably want to just double that- a 600 watt PSU is more than enough for most systems. - STICK TO TRUSTED BRANDS: Antec, Coolermaster, Corsair, Enermax, Fortron/FSP, Hiper, OCZ, PC Power&Cooling, Seasonic. Personally i recommend Seasonic and Corsair (manufactured by seasonic). PC P&C also has a very good recommendations for quality and consistency. These brands of PSUs are tested and can handle their rated power, and can deliver that power consistently and cleanly, and the higher-end ones can do it very quietly and efficiently. no-name PSUs have been known to blow up or crap out at as little as 1/4 their rated power.