How to Choose the Best CPU and GPU for 60FPS or 144FPS Performance & Plan the Best Heroes of the Storm PC Build

Date Published: Mar 9, 2018

Learn what you need to know about picking parts for a Heroes of the Storm PC Build including the minimum modern CPUs and GPUs to get 60FPS or 144FPS (for high-refresh rate monitors) performance to play at your best and fully enjoy the game.

Heroes of the Storm, which we’ll now refer to as HOTS to save some keystrokes, is yet another popular MOBA game which is also a popular eSport. Yes, it’s true, MOBAs rule the world at the moment.

First released back in 2015 by Blizzard, the game features heroes from popular Blizzard franchises including Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, Overwatch and The Lost Vikings.

How Demanding is Heroes of the Storm?

HOTS is actually built on a version of the StarCraft 2 engine, and overall isn’t very demanding on your system like other MOBA titles.

However, like most other games (with the exception of LOL for example) if you want to crank up to high-frame rates to use high-refresh rate monitors then you’re going to have to seriously bump up your hardware selections to cope (especially if you like using high-maximum settings).

Minimum HOTS Hardware for 60 FPS+

For a budget-friendly rig capable of playing HOTS flawlessly in 1080p on maximum settings, and one that never dips under the magical 60FPS mark to avoid any lag, this is the minimum modern combination of CPU, GPU and RAM that you’ll be needing:

  • CPU: Intel Pentium G4560 (with stock cooler)
  • GPU: NVidia GTX 1050 2GB
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4 (any speed)

Minimum HOTS Hardware for 144 FPS+

If you’re lucky enough to be playing on a high-refresh rate monitor such as 144Hz, like with Smite you will need a much better PC to get frame-rates up to that level with HOTS. Specifically, you’ll need a very strong CPU as HOTS relies heavily on your processor.

So, to take full advantage of a 144Hz screen for an ultra-smooth experience and to get your frame-rate as close to that mark as possible (it’s tough in this game which I’ll explain below), this is the kind of setup that should get you by:

  • CPU: Intel i7-8700 (with stock cooler)
  • GPU: NVidia GTX 1060 (3GB or 6GB)
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 (any speed)

I say “should” get you really high frame-rates that will make the most of a high-refresh rate monitor, because HOTS is notoriously unreliable when it comes to performance due to the way the game engine is designed, and it’s super hard to get really high, enthusiast-level frame rates such as 120/144 and above even with really good hardware. It’s also hard to avoid random performance drops.

So let me just make it clear that whilst the above setup should theoretically get 144FPS and above, unfortunately there’s always the chance that you’ll stumble across performance issues with this game and you either won’t reach that mark, or you won’t reach it consistently.  

If you search around online there are tons of little tips and hacks to help your frame rate with this game, so if you do encounter issues then make sure you do your research. It’s beyond the scope of this guide to go into all of those details here.

Either way, with the above i7 (Intel has better single-threaded performance than AMD in general and HOTS engine relies on that) and a very solid GTX 1060 6GB graphics card (oh, and 8GB of RAM), you have a very solid system that will very likely get well over 100 FPS in 1080p on max settings, and likely get to that holy grail of 144FPS.

Just don’t bet your house on it, because like I said the game’s performance isn’t easily predictable and there are many things that could get in the way, even with a top-tier system unfortunately.

That's all I gotta say about planning a good Heroes of the Storm computer build. Good luck and happy gaming.

About the Author

A hobbyist game programmer turned hardware enthusiast, Julien "cyberjulz" is the founder of BGC and has kept a keen eye on the latest in DIY gaming ever since starting BGC back in '06 as an almost laughably-basic and brief 20 page site with the aim to make building PCs more accessible to the average gamer since most resources weren't too noob friendly. Over countless reinventions and reiterations to the quality, depth and usefulness of the content over many years the site has steadily grown into the expansive, comprehensive and ever-updated first-time PC builder resource that it is today that now reaches and helps thousands of gamers and power users each month to more easily plan optimal setups for their exact needs. You can learn more about the BGC mission and ways to support it here.

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