Can Your Computer Run Diablo 3? Let’s Find Out [MUO Gaming]

Matt Smith 08-06-2012

diablo 3 system requirementsBlizzard games are known for their cartoonish, high-color art style. By focusing on character and level design the company can make new 3D titles that are attractive but also relatively easy to run.


Gamers sometimes assume their hardware can run a new Blizzard game, like Diablo 3, no matter what. That’s not the case – if you’d like proof, check out complaints about how the game runs in the official tech support forums.

So can your computer really run Diablo 3? Or does this new action-RPG release a whirlwind of fury on your hardware?

Analyzing The Official Requirements

Let’s start by looking at what Blizzard recommends. These are the official recommended system requirements (not the minimum). This is what you’re officially expected to have if you’d like to play the game beyond the log-in screen.

diablo 3 system requirements

These requirements are steeper than many gamers were expecting. The CPU requirement is not bad – most computers built within the last few years will meet it. The GPU requirement, on the other hand, is intense. The GeForce 260 and Radeon 4870 were powerful mainstream video cards just a few years ago.


If you own a modern video card you might be confused about how these requirements apply to more modern cards. An exact translation is difficult, but after researching reviews I’ve concluded that the GeForce 260 is about equal to a GTX 560Ti and a Radeon HD 4870 is about equal to a Radeon HD 6770.  Either of these modern cards can handle Diablo 3 at 1080p and low detail or at 1650×1080 and high detail.

Diablo 3 is even playable on this hardware at 1080p and high detail, but for the smoothest experience you’ll want to have a GeForce GTX 560 or Radeon HD 6850.

Translating To Mobile

diablo 3 requirements

One major issue with the system requirements usually listed by companies is the lack of consideration for mobile hardware. The table published by Blizzard really does not tell you anything about how a laptop will handle the game.


You should not run into a problem if you have a system with an Intel Core processor or an AMD A-series APU. Something like an AMD A4 might be cutting it close, however.

diablo 3 requirements

Most laptops have much less powerful graphics hardware than desktops, but this is made up for somewhat by a lower average display resolution. At 1366×768 – the most common resolution by far – it’s possible to play Diablo 3 at high detail with an Nvidia GT 630M. That’s cutting it close, however, so you’ll really want at least a Nvidia GT 640M or Radeon HD 6630M.

Gaming laptops often have a 1080p display. To play Diablo 3 at this resolution a much more powerful GPU, like a GTX 560M or Radeon HD 7770M, is going to be a good choice. In other words, to play Diablo 3 at 1080p and high detail you will need a dedicated gaming laptop. You can get away with less if you play at low detail, of course.


The Internet Angle

diablo 3 system requirements

You have both a CPU and a GPU that can handle Diablo 3 easily. That means you’ll have a great experience, right?

Perhaps. One additional problem to worry about is your Internet connection. The game requires a constant online connection even when you are playing in single player. Large portions of the game rely on communication with Blizzard’s servers to work properly. No connection, no log-in, no game.

Like most games, Diablo 3 isn’t a terrible consumer of bandwidth. Smooth gameplay has less to do with the volume of data your connection can handle and more to do with the quality of the connection. You’ll want to make sure that packets are not being dropped and that your ping times are low.


If you connect to your home network with an Ethernet cord you probably won’t have issues. If you do, have a look at your firewall settings and also do a speed test on your Internet connection. A slow connection could be due to old network hardware or a problem with your service provider.

Wireless is a different story. To provide the best connection you’ll want to be using the latest 802.11n standard. You will need to have both a router and network adapter that supports it. You should also make sure that there’s a relatively clear line of site between your wireless router and laptop or desktop. Radio can easily go through drywall but might have problems going through metal pipes and thick concrete.


I hope this information helps you run Diablo 3. The game is definitely more demanding than I expected it to be. Both Diablo and Diablo 2 were known for being easy to run, but they were also 2D games.

I can’t really blame Blizzard. Since I expected low requirements, I also expected Diablo 3 to look pretty bad. I was wrong. It looks great, particularly at 1080p+ on a nice video card with all the details turned on. Even if you can run the game now, upgrading your video card might be worthwhile just so you can enjoy the game with everything up to max.

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  1. Jon Smith
    June 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Diabalo cant wait till I get my hands on it

  2. GeeksAndTweaks
    June 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Great article. I've never played Diablo but I am always curious how this computer stands up to todays requirements. For a $400 budget build I exceed all the requirements for this particular game :) For anyone who'd like to see if they meet the game requirements, there's a website that will test your machine specs and compare them to a database of known game requirements.

  3. Boots Jackson
    June 9, 2012 at 3:29 am

    I take umbrage with the comment about "needing" the latest 802.11n hardware. It just isn't the case. Sure people CAN get fios/dsl/cable speeds in excess of 30M/s now but the fact is that for the vast majority of people their internet connection is still less than 10M/s. That means that 802.11b is still faster than their internet connection. Who cares if you can move data at 350M/s on the local network when your talking to Blizzard on that 8M/s cable line? That equals 342M/s that the review recommends and is completely wasted. Remember that your network is only as fast as its slowest link, and in the cases where you are considering the Internet, that slowest link is almost always the connection to the ISP. Save your money that you were going to spend on networking gear and buy a better video card.

    • Matt.Smith
      June 9, 2012 at 4:21 am

      As I said in the article, bandwidth is not the issue. Reliability is. 802.11n connections are more reliable and less likely to cause issues with your online play.

      It doesn't matter what your bandwidth is if you're dropping packets left and right. While it's entirely possible to have a sufficient experience via 802.11g, it's not as easy.

      I think this is particularly important with Diablo 3 because it's a fast-paced game. If there is some sort of hesitation in play because of your Internet connection you are going to notice it.

      • Cliff Mccullar
        June 9, 2012 at 1:59 pm

        i agree with Boots. Ive played competitive games, or for instance Hardcore in D2 on a g connection for years and never once died due to lag from the router. lag from myself? sure. lag from my pc? unfortunately. but internet lag has never been my issue, even when talking to servers through a g router from japan too the US.

        to me the is very similar to the whole "wired" craze for a mouse instead of wireless. the actual difference in the time it takes the pc to get the signal is so infinitesmal as to be pointless. Yes im sure hypothetically their is that death out their that happens once in a blue moon because your response was delayed .001 second from that evil wireless connection. but lets be realistic, ive lost count of how many times ive died simply because my cord got stuck on this or that at a bad time.

        while it certainly still comes down to user choice, and some user knowledge, often a cheaper solution when purchased smartly can out perform a supposedly greater or newer solution simply due to the fact that companies had more time to work with that older standard than the newer one. i still havent seen a n card that can out perform my old us robotics pcmcia card in contact time/data sent(while yes it does now have a lower total throughput, it still gets the initial data faster). or for that matter in signal strength. the age of a pc component tends to only be really important when dealing with ram/graphics/cpu. for instance single mode fiber is how old now?(honestly i really dont know, but its been out for forever) and its still the best standard for a local network in terms of throughput.

        guess what im saying is always do your research first, you would be surprised how many times you can save 100$+ on a component for your build just by using something that is older and still gives the performance(or greater) than the latest and greatest.

        • Matt Smith
          June 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

          I also buy wired mice for my gaming laptop because, after two years of wireless, I became frustrated with occasional hiccups getting me killed in games. Again, it wasn't a matter of speed, it was a matter of reliability.

          This stuff does happen. It's can be rare, maybe something that only happens once every hour or even day, but super annoying when it occurs.

          Besides, It's not like this is some absurdly expensive solution - you can grab a 802.11n router and adapter for less than $100 and if you own a laptop built in the last year and a half or so you probably already have 802.11n.

  4. Generic User #2
    June 9, 2012 at 12:22 am

    The GTX 560 TI is faster than the GTX 560. I think you got them switched around in this article.

    • Matt.Smith
      June 9, 2012 at 4:23 am

      Yes, it looks like I did. Woops!