With the much-anticipated release of Diablo III right around the corner, we wanted to explore this incredible game's performance on 12 different graphics configurations and a few CPUs. Does your PC have what it takes to run Diablo III well?
After running the benchmarks, it's clear that Diablo III doesn’t require a very powerful PC. Nevertheless, the game does demand a certain level of graphics performance in order to run smoothly, particularly at its most demanding settings.
At the lowest detail level, a GeForce 210 can't cut it. But a Radeon HD 6450 will take you to 1680x1050. A GeForce GT 440 GDDR5 or Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 easily handles 1080p at those same lowest graphics settings.
A Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 delivers at least 30 FPS minimum at 1920x1080 using the highest quality settings, and a better card gets you over 40 FPS. Even at 2560x1600, a Radeon HD 6770 or GeForce GTX 460 192-bit card maintains minimum frame rates above 35 FPS.
Once you've determined where your graphics card gets you in Diablo III, there's very little to worry about with regard to platform performance. Operating at 2560x1600 and using the highest detail settings, a dual-core Phenom II at 3 GHz manages at least 75 FPS.
Don't be surprised. Diablo III doesn’t exactly offer sophisticated AI. The undead simply walk towards you and attack without much in the way of strategy.
What does that say about the game itself? Despite its simplicity, playing Diablo III is just as addictive as it was the last time around. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to enjoy another Diablo click-fest, but Blizzard’s mastery of the simple and timeless isometric RPG has me looking forward to buying a copy on the day it's released.
One final note: we learned from a blue post on Battle.net that AMD's Catalyst 12.4 driver won't be supported in Diablo III. According to a follow-up response at PC Perspective from AMD representative Robert Hallock, some of the older Radeon models (specifically the HD 2400, 2600, 2900, 3400, 3600, and 4500) may suffer visual artifacts when this version is installed. The issue doesn't affect Radeon HD 5000, 6000, and 7000 users though, which explains why none of our benchmarks were affected. If you have an older Radeon card, you're advised to revert back to Catalyst 12.3 for Diablo III until a fix is available.