Play Diablo III Beta FREE This Weekend!

UPDATE: The Free Beta weekend is over for Diablo III, but there's still a good reason to keep reading. We have a little perspective here on how well a beta worked on a variety of HP PCs.

 

It's been almost 12 years in the making, waiting for the next Diablo game, but it's coming next month. If you can't wait that long, you can play the game this whole weekend FOR FREE. That's right, nada. Nothing. Gratis. Starting at 12:01pm PT today, you can get online and play the beta client -- on your HP PC, of course. (And I don't mean just the obvious gaming rigs like the ENVY 17 and Pavilion HPE Phoenix.)

 

original[1].jpg

 

If you don't want to read any further, I wouldn't blame you. Just download the client now to get ready. You can find that RIGHT HERE.

 

Here's the official deal from Blizzard: "From Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT you'll be able to log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion."

 

Now, for everyone wondering what the heck the big deal is, here's a context alert: “Diablo,” you ask? For anyone who doesn’t know, this series popularized the frantic mouse-clicking action-rpg genre in the late 90s and its legacy carries on through MANY games today. I’d like to think that Diablo and Diablo II launched the habits of countless future PC gamers. And now, the time draws near for a new generation. (I wrote a story on how to keep sane during the hellish wait a couple months back).

 

A few months back, during the closed beta, I tested out Diablo III on a variety of HP PCs to see how it'd run. Now bear in mind that the all the tests below were from almost six months ago, playing a much older build of the game. TRUST ME, I will be "testing" out Diablo III this weekend on newer machines -- like Ultrabooks. But in the meantime, I wanted to show you what you could expect.

 

 

A Reasonable Desktop (TouchSmart 520)
What we’re looking at right here is an All-in-One PC that has more than enough guts under the hood to run this game. I took a quick look at it recently, but I now have a reviewable TouchSmart 520 that I’m putting through the paces. Spec-wise, here’s the quick rundown of my test machine.

Processor: Intel Core i7 – 2600S @ 2.8GHz

Video: AMD Radeon HD 6550A
Memory: 8GB
Native Resolution: 1920 by 1080

 

Shock of shocks (not really), the game works – and looks – good. But here’s the thing: Just because the native resolution of the computer is high, don’t think it can handle games at that high a resolution with all the settings cranked to “awesome.” Still, it looks pretty good on this particular all-in-one PC.

 

Quick Test Results: I’d recommend playing the game at 1440 x 900 resolution; Texture Quality set to high; Shadow Quality set to medium; Physics Quality is low; and FSAA is off (for all the units I tested this with, the FSAA option doesn’t currently turn on. Honestly, the graphics are still pretty sharp without it). Also you can toggle Triple Buffering, Color Correction as well as setting the Clutter Density and Distance to “50.” (and don't forget that the TouchSmart 610 is also around and kicks a bunch of computational ass).

 

 

A value-based slim desktop (Pavilion Slimline s5z)
This is a modest little PC. Would I use it to watch video? Sure. Check email? Yep….it can handle just about most everyday tasks. Even some games. All that said, if you REALLY wanted to see some kick-ass game performance out of a desktop, you should consider looking into something like the HPE h8. That guy is built to be upgraded and has room to squeeze in a powerful graphics card.

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 840T Processor @ 2.9GHz
Video:
ATI Radeon HD 5450
Memory: 6GB RAM
Resolution: 1920 by 1080

 

Quick Test Results: I’d recommend playing the game at 1280 x 768 resolution (maybe even drop it a notch if you notice hiccups); Texture Quality set to high; Shadow Quality set to low; Physics Quality is low; and FSAA is off (Like I just said above). Also you can toggle Triple Buffering, Color Correction as well as setting the Clutter Density and Distance to “50.”

 

The Tiny Laptop: A budget-friendly portable (The New Pavilion dm1)
I’ve already dug deep into the newest Pavilion dm1 – even freaked people out by using this machine to play Deus Ex: Human Revolution on this tiny little laptop. What I can say is that it’s full of surprises.

Processor: AMD E-450 Fusion APU @ 1.65GHz
Video:
ATI Radeon HD 6320
Memory: 4GB RAM
Resolution: 1366 by 768

 

Quick Test Results: I’d recommend playing the game at 1024x768 resolution (You can try toggling Letterbox to see if you like that better); Texture Quality set to high; Shadow Quality set to medium; Physics Quality is low; and FSAA is still off. You can also toggle on Triple Buffering and Color Correction, but set the Clutter Density and Distance sliders to “0.”

 

The Game-Worthy Laptop: Portability + Power (ENVY 14 Beats Edition)
The ENVY laptops are known for delivering great power in a sweet-looking portable. Rather than give you some big song-and-dance about it, I’ll just give you a story from @GAMER magazine.

Processor: Intel Core i7 Q720 @ 1.6GHz
Video: ATI Radeon HD 5650 (New machines have 6630)
Memory: 8GB RAM
Resolution: 1366 by 768

 

Quick Test Results: I’d recommend playing the game at 1366 x 768 resolution (maybe even drop it a notch if you notice hiccups); Texture Quality set to high; Shadow Quality set to high; Physics Quality is low; and FSAA is off (Like I just said above). Also you can toggle Triple Buffering, Color Correction as well as setting the Clutter Density and Distance to “50.”

 

Well? What are you waiting for? Start downloading!

Search The Next Bench
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
About the Author
Labels