In the Forums...
Posted: August 30, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Diablo 2, as a game, is surprisingly hard on your computer. It uses up a lot of memory and other system resources and has been known to, at times, stutter even on top-end machines. This can be extremely frustrating for people that have gone out and spent several thousand dollars on their computer, but it is even worse for the average gamer - the guy that maybe spends $1500 on a computer every 3 to 4 years but still wants to play his favorite games without too many slowdowns. And considering how hyped up Diablo 2 has been for the past several years, you know this is one of those favorite games. Hopefully, in this guide, I will be able to show you how to get the running at peak performance so that, perhaps, those 'low-enders' can enjoy the game just as much as the computer hobbyists do. In this guide I will be covering the basics (such as choosing a larger installation method) as well as some more advanced techniques. I'll also be throwing in a few tweaks from the rumor ! mill that I've heard have worked for some people but that I personally haven't been able to substantiate.
Downloading patches for a game is always a good idea, particularly if you are having a performance problem. They generally include performance improvements, as well as new features and bug fixes. Diablo 2 (at the time of this writing) is already on version 1.03. You can download it from their official Diablo 2 website here. Read the readme that goes along with the patch before you install it, just in case there are any special instructions or warnings that you need to know about.
Installing new video and sound card drivers can almost always boost in-game performance. Manufacturers are constantly upgrading their software and causing their hardware to run faster and faster as they open up new features of the card and remove redundancies from the internal driver code. This game in particular needs as much of a load taken off the processor as possible, so seriously consider updating all of your drivers to the most recent version. Windrivers is a good place to start looking.
As you can see from the screenshot above, there are three different installation options for Diablo 2 - Single Player (small install, if you can call 500Mb small - installs only what the game absolutely needs to have run off the hard drive), Multiplayer (medium install, about 900 Mb - Installs everything to the hard drive except the movies, which are still run off the cinematics disc), and Full (full install, about 1.5 Gb - Installs everything to the disc and the CD's are only required for authentication). The larger the installation, the better the game is going to perform in most cases.