Page 1 of 2
1
2
LastLast
  1. #1
    Scarab Lord
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    4,303

    Clone - *Ultimate* Desktop PC Performance Guide for Star Wars The Old Republic

    Instead of trying to create various pre-made builds and evaluate performance on a system by system basis I'm going to evaluate components based on individual performance basis. I will cite various benchmark tests to verify my findings and recommendations and I will of course be looking at price as a factor.

    This will allow everyone to pick and choose various factors for their custom build, pre-built computer, or those who are looking to buy. It's very difficult to make the "best" choice for everyone, but I'm going to try to evaluate each and every case based on what questions I've found prevalent in Prophetik's thread.

    I will also provide a textual analysis and include various findings that I've learned from Flem, Prophetikmusic, Colobulous, Amarinth, and various others that have been helping each other in a concertered effort to help each and every case that's posted. We've covered nearly 2000 posts at this point and I for one am starting to see patterns emerge. As such I have devised this *Ultimate* Guide to help everyone along. I take no credit for any of the below; I'm merely taking data that is already available and providing it into a more comprehensive easily understandable form.

    Code:

    Star Wars: The Old Republic Minimum System Requirements:

    Processor:
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better
    Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better
    Operating System:
    Windows XP or later
    RAM:
    Windows XP: 1.5GB RAM
    Windows Vista and Windows 7: 2GB RAM
    Note: PCs using a built-in graphical chipset are recommended to have 2GB of RAM.
    Video Card:
    Star Wars: The Old Republic requires a video card that has a minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM as well as support for Shader 3.0 or better. Examples include:
    ATI X1800 or better
    nVidia 7800 or better
    Intel 4100 Integrated Graphics or better


    Note: These minimum specs do not indicate that a numerical value higher than listed it going to play. There is fairly simple video card numerical system associate with both ATI and Nvidia Cards. Like wise we'll discuss why two different CPU's at 2.2 Ghz can actually perform very differently!


    The *Ultimate* Desktop PC Performance Guide


    Central Processing Unit - CPU

    To find out what CPU you have the easiest method is to download and install CPU-Z.

    - If you have a Single Core CPU (unless you somehow have it clocked to 5 ghz or higher) there is very little to no chance at all that you're going to get anything resembling a playable frame rate in game. MMO's are traditionally CPU intensive based on the nature of calculations that need to be made client side and communicated to the server. Therefore we will NOT be assessing single core CPU's in this guide.

    As you'll soon see its difficult to ascertain which 4000+ Bioware is recommending. CPU chips that will barely make minimum settings are labeled Yellow. Red is chips that won't run SW:TOR. Anyone in the Yellow category should consider Overclocking or Buying/Building a new PC. It's not viable to upgrade these CPU's anymore.

    White CPU's denote CPU's that will all produce playable in game performance. We'll assess the current BEST CPU's to buy/own after we go over the insanely large number of viable CPU's.

    HINT: Download CPU-Z and then Crtl+F and type in the name the numerical designation of your CPU. i.e. I have a Phenom II 965 Black Edition. So I type in "965"

    AMD

    Athlon 64 X2 CPU's
    Manchester
    - 3600+ - 2.0 Ghz
    - 3800+ - 2.0 Ghz
    - 4200+ - 2.2 Ghz

    - 4600+ - 2.4 Ghz

    Toledo
    - 3800+ - 2.0 Ghz
    - 4200+ - 2.2 Ghz
    - 4400+ - 2.2 Ghz

    - 4600+ - 2.4 Ghz
    - 4800+ - 2.4 Ghz

    Windsor
    - 3600+ - 2.0 Ghz
    - 4000+ - 2.0 Ghz
    - 4200+ - 2.2 Ghz

    - 4600+ - 2.4 Ghz
    - 4800+ - 2.4 Ghz
    - 5000+ - 2.6 Ghz
    - 5200+ - 2.6 Ghz
    - 5400+ - 2.8 Ghz
    - 5600+ - 2.8 Ghz
    - 6000+ - 3.0 Ghz
    - 6400+ - 3.2 Ghz

    Brisbane
    - 3600+ - 1.9 Ghz
    - 3800+ - 2.0 Ghz
    - 4000+ - 2.1 Ghz
    - 4200+ - 2.2 Ghz

    - 4400+ - 2.3 Ghz
    - 4600+ - 2.4 Ghz
    - 4800+ - 2.5 Ghz
    - 5000+ - 2.6 Ghz
    - 5200+ - 2.7 Ghz
    - 5400+ - 2.8 Ghz
    - 5600+ - 2.9 Ghz
    - 5800+ - 3.0 Ghz
    - 6000+ - 3.1 Ghz

    Athlon X2 - 65nm
    Brisbane
    - BE-2300 - 1.9 Ghz
    - BE-2350 - 2.1 Ghz
    - BE-2400 - 2.3 Ghz

    - 4050e - 2.1 Ghz
    - 4450e - 2.3 Ghz
    - 4850e - 2.5 Ghz
    - 5050e - 2.6 Ghz

    Kuma
    - 6500 - 2.3 Ghz
    - 7450 - 2.4 Ghz
    - 7550 - 2.5 Ghz
    - 7750 - 2.7 Ghz
    - 7850 - 2.8 Ghz

    Phenom I/II X2
    Regor/Deneb
    - 5000+ - 2.2 Ghz
    - 5000+ - 2.3 Ghz

    Regor
    - 215 - 2.7 Ghz
    - 240 - 2.8 Ghz
    - 245 - 2.9 Ghz
    - 250 - 3.0 Ghz
    - 255 - 3.1 Ghz
    - 260 - 3.2 Ghz
    - 265 - 3.3 Ghz
    - 270 - 3.4 Ghz

    Callistro
    - 545 - 3.0 Ghz
    - 550 - 3.1 Ghz
    - 555 - 3.2 Ghz
    - 560 - 3.3 Ghz
    - 565 - 3.4 Ghz
    - 570 - 3.5 Ghz


    Tri/Quad Core CPUs

    Athlon II X3
    Rana
    - 400e - 2.2 Ghz
    - 405e - 2.3 Ghz
    - 415e - 2.5 Ghz
    - 420e - 2.6 Ghz
    - 425e - 2.7 Ghz
    - 425 - 2.7 Ghz
    - 435 - 2.9 Ghz
    - 440 - 3.0 Ghz
    - 445 - 3.1 Ghz
    - 450 - 3.2 Ghz
    - 455 - 3.3 Ghz
    - 460 - 3.4 Ghz

    Heka
    - 700e - 2.4 Ghz
    - 705e - 2.5 Ghz
    - 710 - 2.6 Ghz
    - 715 - 2.8 Ghz
    - 720 - 2.8 Ghz
    - 740 - 3.0 Ghz

    Phenom I X3
    Toliman
    - 8250e - 1.9 Ghz
    - 8400 - 2.1 Ghz
    - 8450 - 2.1 Ghz
    - 8450e - 2.1 Ghz
    - 8550 - 2.2 Ghz
    - 8600 - 2.3 Ghz
    - 8650 - 2.3 Ghz
    - 8750 - 2.4 Ghz
    - 8850 - 2.5 Ghz


    Athlon II X4
    Propus
    - 600e - 2.2 Ghz
    - 605e - 2.3 Ghz
    - 610e - 2.4 Ghz
    - 615e - 2.5 Ghz
    - 620e - 2.6 Ghz
    - 620 - 2.6 Ghz
    - 630 - 2.6 Ghz
    - 635 - 2.9 Ghz
    - 640 - 3.0 Ghz
    - 645 - 3.1 Ghz
    - 650 - 3.2 Ghz

    Phenom I X4
    Agena
    - 9100e - 1.8 Ghz
    - 9150e - 1.8 Ghz
    - 9350e - 2.0 Ghz
    - 9450e - 2.1 Ghz
    - 9500 - 2.2 Ghz
    - 9550 - 2.2 Ghz
    - 9600 - 2.3 Ghz
    - 9650 - 2.3 Ghz
    - 9750 - 2.4 Ghz
    - 9850 - 2.5 Ghz
    - 9950 - 2.6 Ghz

    Phenom II X4
    Deneb
    - 805 - 2.5 Ghz
    - 810 - 2.6 Ghz
    - 820 - 2.8 Ghz
    - 830 - 2.8 Ghz
    - 910 - 2.6 Ghz
    - 920 - 2.8 ghz
    - 925 - 2.8 Ghz
    - 940 - 3.0 Ghz
    - 945 - 3.0 Ghz
    - 955 - 3.2 Ghz
    - 965 - 3.4 Ghz
    - 970 - 3.5 Ghz
    - 975 - 3.6 Ghz
    - 980 - 3.7 Ghz

    Thuban Series X4
    Zosma
    - 650T - 2.7 Ghz - 3.2 Ghz Turbo
    - 840T - 2.9 Ghz - 3.2 Ghz Turbo
    - 960T - 3.0 Ghz - 3.4 Ghz Turbo
    - 970 - 3.5 Ghz

    Thuban X6
    Thuban
    - 1035T - 2.6 Ghz - 3.1 Ghz Turbo
    - 1045T - 2.7 Ghz - 3.2 Ghz Turbo
    - 1055T - 2.8 Ghz - 3.3 Ghz Turbo
    - 1065T - 2.9 Ghz - 3.4 Ghz Turbo
    - 1075T - 3.0 Ghz - 3.5 Ghz Turbo
    - 1090T - 3.2 Ghz - 3.6 Ghz Turbo
    - 1100T - 3.3 Ghz - 3.7 Ghz Turbo

    Bulldozer
    - FX-6100 - 3.3 Ghz
    - FX-8120 - 3.1 Ghz
    - FX-8150 - 3.6 Ghz



    Intel


    Core 2 Duo
    Allendale/Conroe
    - E4300 - 1.8 Ghz
    - E4400 - 2.0 Ghz
    - E4500 - 2.2 Ghz
    - E4600 - 2.4 Ghz
    - E4700 - 2.6 Ghz
    - E5200 - 2.5 Ghz
    - E5300 - 2.6 Ghz
    - E5400 - 2.7 Ghz
    - E5500 - 2.8 Ghz
    - E5700 - 3.0 Ghz
    - E5800 - 3.2 Ghz
    - E6300 - 1.9 Ghz
    - E6320 - 1.9 Ghz

    - E6400 - 2.1 Ghz
    - E6420 - 2.1 Ghz
    - E6540 - 2.3 Ghz
    - E6550 - 2.3 Ghz
    - E6600 - 2.4 Ghz
    - E6700 - 2.7 Ghz
    - E6850 - 3.0 Ghz

    Wolfdale
    - E7200 - 2.53 Ghz
    - E7300 - 2.67 Ghz
    - E7400 - 2.80 Ghz
    - E7500 - 2.93 Ghz
    - E7600 - 3.07 Ghz
    - E8190 - 2.67 Ghz
    - E8200 - 2.67 Ghz
    - E8300 - 2.83 Ghz
    - E8400 - 3.00 Ghz
    - E8500 - 3.17 Ghz
    - E8600 - 3.33 Ghz
    - E8700 - 3.50 Ghz

    Core 2 Extreme
    Conroe XE
    - X6800 - 2.93 Ghz


    Core 2 Quad
    Kentsfield
    - Q6400 - 2.13 Ghz
    - Q6600 - 2.40 Ghz
    - Q6700 - 2.67 Ghz

    Yorkfield
    - Q8200 - 2.33 Ghz
    - Q8300 - 2.50 Ghz
    - Q8400 - 2.67 Ghz
    - Q9300 - 2.50 Ghz
    - Q9400 - 2.67 Ghz
    - Q9450 - 2.67 Ghz
    - Q9500 - 2.83 Ghz
    - Q9505 - 2.83 Ghz
    - Q9550 - 2.83 Ghz
    - Q9650 - 3.00 Ghz

    Core 2 Quad Extreme
    - QX6700 - 2.67 Ghz
    - QX6800 - 2.93 Ghz
    - QX6850 - 3.00 Ghz
    - QX9650 - 3.00 Ghz
    - QX9770 - 3.20 Ghz
    - QX9775 - 3.20 Ghz

    Intel Core i3 Nehalem (Gen. 1)
    Clarkdale
    - i3-530 - 2.93 Ghz
    - i3-540 - 3.07 Ghz
    - i3-550 - 3.20 Ghz
    - i3-560 - 3.33 Ghz

    Intel Core i5 Nehalem (Gen. 1)
    Lynnfield
    - i5-750 - 2.67 Ghz
    - i5-760 - 2.8 Ghz

    Clarkdale (Dual Core i5 32nm)
    - i5-650 - 3.20 Ghz
    - i5-655k - 3.20 Ghz
    - i5-660 - 3.33 Ghz
    - i5-661 - 3.33 Ghz
    - i5-670 - 3.47 Ghz
    - i5-680 - 3.60 Ghz

    Intel Core i7 Nehalem (Gen. 1)
    Lynnfield
    - i7-860 - 2.90 Ghz
    - i7-870 - 2.93 Ghz
    - i7-875K - 2.93 Ghz
    - i7-880 - 3.07 Ghz

    Bloomfield
    - i7-920 - 2.67 Ghz
    - i7-930 - 2.80 Ghz
    - i7-940 - 2.93 Ghz
    - i7-950 - 3.07 Ghz
    - i7-960 - 3.20 Ghz
    - i7-965 - 3.20 Ghz
    - i7-975 - 3.33 Ghz

    Gulftown (6 Cores)
    - i7-970 - 3.20 Ghz
    - i7-980 - 3.33 Ghz
    - i7-980X - 3.33 Ghz
    - i7-990X - 3.47 Ghz

    Core Intel Series - Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation)

    Pentium G Series SB
    - G620 - 2.6 Ghz
    - G840 - 2.8 Ghz
    - G850 - 2.9 Ghz


    Core i3 SB
    - i3-2100 - 3.1 Ghz - ~$125
    - i3-2102 - 3.1 Ghz
    - i3-2105 - 3.1 Ghz
    - i3-2120 - 3.3 Ghz
    - i3-2125 - 3.3 Ghz
    - i3-2130 - 3.4 Ghz

    Core i5 SB
    - i5-2300 - 2.8 Ghz
    - i5-2310 - 2.9 Ghz
    - i5-2320 - 3.0 Ghz
    - i5-2400 - 3.1 Ghz
    - i5-2500K - 3.3 Ghz - ~$225

    Core i7 SB
    - i7-2600 - 3.4 Ghz
    - i7-2600K - 3.4 Ghz - ~$310

    Magenta is for the Top 3 recommend CPU's, based on Price/Performance/Power Consumption/Platform/Overall quality. I'm an AMD fan. These are merely the facts.

    Here's a good gaming performance comparison for the Sandy Bridge stand outs.

    -They're insanely fast
    -They're power efficient (compared to AMD)
    -They have a very solid platform in the P67/Z68
    -Sandy Bridge will have a nice healthy life span.

    Now for a quick lesson in CPU architecture. AMD requires a 2.2 Ghz Dual core for SW:TOR while Intel requires a 2.0 Ghz Dual core for SW:TOR? Why you ask?

    Intel tends to make faster processors on a Core to Core basis because of a superior architecture to what AMD is currently using. Their processors process information more efficiently so that it isn't necessary for them to have as high of a frequency to output similar data rates. Suffice it to say that looking at the relative frequency difference between various CPU's tells you VERY little unless they are the same brand and using the same architecture.

    This doesn't mean AMD doesn't compete, you'll notice that AMD has pretty much universally higher frequencies than equivalent Intel chips.

    Alternatively AMD's "Thuban" CPU's are really awesome for highly multi-threaded applications are a relatively low price point. If you do a lot of video encoding and things of that nature and play games as well these might be a good choice for you.

    Tomshardware will agree with my findings. This is generally a great resource to use when you are looking to buy.

    Want to know how your CPU stacks up? Tom's Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart

    Any Phenom II X4/ Thuban Series (x4/x6)/Core Intel Series /Core 2 Quad series processor should provide enough muscle to handle SW:TOR at maximum settings.

    I do not have an idea of linear progression on the CPU performance otherwise. I'd imagine most dual core, should be capable of medium quality settings, except for the slowest variants.


    That concludes our CPU Discussion onto the infinitely more complicated GPU.



    GPU - Graphical Processing Unit

    Download and run GPU-Z to view your specific graphics processor.

    If you play games then you already know that in most scenarios this is going to be the piece of hardware holding you back from playing the all important Crysis at Maximum settings. While the CPU is certainly integral and extremely important for gaming the GPU makes 3D gaming as we know it possible.

    The main consideration with a GPU is of course its performance, but there are also other factors to consider namely:

    - Power Consumption - Varies HUGELY across the spectrum
    - RAM speed DDR2/DDR3/DDR5 and amount 1GB vs 2GB
    - Memory Interface 256-bit vs 384-bit
    - Stream Processors/Shaders
    - Direct X capabilities


    Integrated Graphics Solutions are not going to be effective at playing this game at any resolution but maybe 800x600, which is exceptionally low.

    These should have nomenclature like:

    - Radeon 3200/3300/4200/4300 Series
    - Intel HD 2000/3000 Series



    GPUs from 2008-2010

    Green = Nvidia
    Red = ATI/AMD

    Ok, now let's start at the 7800 GT and go up the ladder. The 7800 is listed as minimum. I'm doing this the easy way, which is using 3DMark scores to judge performance. This isn't going to be the best way to gauge performance across games, but for ballparking GPU performance from nearly 4 years ago? yeah I think I will.

    Increasing Performance is attempted here. Minimum Requirement cards are highlighted in Yellow.

    - Geforce 7800 GT
    - Radeon X1800 XL

    - Geforce 7600 GS (SLI)
    - Radeon 1800 XL
    - Radeon HD 2600 Pro

    - Geforce 7900 GS
    - Geforce 7800 GTX

    - Radeon X1600 XT (CF)
    - Radeon X1950 GT
    - Radeon 3650

    - Geforce 7900 GT
    - Radeon X1800 XT
    - Radeon 2600 XT

    - Geforce 8600 GT
    - Radeon X1900 GT
    - Radeon X1800 XT
    - Radeon X1950 Pro
    - Radeon 2600 XT

    - Geforce 7950 GT
    - Geforce 7800 GTX
    - Geforce 7600 GT (SLI)

    - Radeon X1900 XT
    - Geforce 8600 GS
    - Geforce 7900 GTO

    - Radeon X1950 XT
    - Radeon X1900 XT

    - Geforce 7900 GTX
    - Geforce 7800 GT (SLI)

    - Radeon X1950 XTX
    - Geforce 7900 GS (SLI)
    - Radeon 2600 Pro (CF)
    - Geforce 7800 GTX (SLI)
    - Geforce 7900 GT (SLI)
    - Geforce 7950 GX2

    - Radeon HD 5550
    - Radeon HD 5570
    - Radeon HD 4670
    - Radeon HD 3650 (CF)

    - Geforce 8600 GT (SLI)
    - Radeon HD 2600 XF (CF)
    - Geforce 7950 GT (SLI)
    - Geforce 8800 GTS

    - Radeon HD 3850
    - Geforce GT 240
    - Geforce 8600 GTS (SLI)
    - Geforce 9600 (SLI)

    - Geforce 9600 GT
    - *MEDIUM PERFORMANCE MILESTONE* (1080p)

    - Radeon X1900 XT (CF)
    - Radeon HD 5670
    - Radeon HD 3870
    - Radeon HD 2900 XT
    - Radeon HD 4830

    - Geforce 6950 GX2 (SLI)
    - Radeon X1950 XTX (CF)
    - Geforce 8800 GT
    - Geforce 8800 GTX

    - Radeon HD 4850
    - Radeon HD 4770

    - Geforce 8800 GTS
    - Geforce 8800 Ultra
    - Geforce GTS 250
    - Geforce 8800 GTS (SLI)
    - Geforce 9800 GTX

    - Radeon HD 5750
    - Geforce 9600 GT (SLI)
    - Geforce 9800 GTX+
    - Geforce GTX 260
    - Geforce 8800 GT (SLI)
    - Geforce 8800 Ultra (SLI)
    - Geforce 8800 GTS (SLI)
    - Geforce 9800 GTX (SLI)
    - Geforce GTX 260 (SLI)

    - Radeon HD 5770
    - Geforce GTX 280
    - Geforce GTX 275


    - Radeon HD 4870 - *HIGH PERFORMANCE MILESTONE* (1080p)

    - Geforce GTX 280 (SLI)
    - Geforce 9800 GX2


    - Radeon 4850 (CF)
    - Radeon 4870 X2
    - Radeon 4870 (CF)
    - Radeon HD 4890
    - Radeon HD 5830

    - Geforce GTX 460
    - Geforce GTX 285

    - Radeon HD 5850
    - Geforce GTX 470
    - Radeon HD 5870
    - Geforce GTX 295
    - Geforce GTX 480

    - HD 5970


    * This list isn't perfect, due to driver updates and various optimizations and various different benchmarking platforms over the years it's *very* difficult to order these cards accurately. I've done this to the best of my ability. Some of the budget GPU's have been omitted. They are going to get their own section.

    That's most of them, now for the buying/current tech guide. The above is merely so you can gauge performance based on what you have (generally this is more of problem with older hardware). We're going to look at 2011+ GPU's with much more scrutiny instead of just throwing them on the list.


    Some quick facts:

    - Under the $200 market AMD is pretty dominant. This is a general statement and doesn't apply to "Look at THIS deal!" but the 6670/6770/6850 all represent insanely good performance/$.

    - AMD's current lineup is much more efficient in terms of power than the 4XX/5XX series from Nvidia. This may seem insignificant, but over the long term this could be dozens or hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

    - Crossfire (AMD) or SLI (Nvidia) is something you should only consider as an upgrade, unless in some rare cases where you're looking for very high performance i.e. 2560x1600 Resolution play. SLI/CF are good features, but a single GPU is ultimately less hassle and often will produce a much better sense of "smoothness" due to problems with micro stutter.

    - Nvidia has the fastest single GPU in the 580 GTX. It is the undisputed champion.

    - Dispel any myths you've been told about Drivers being better or worse depending on chip manufacturer. This is going to be something that occurs on a game to game, driver to driver basis.

    - Just because Nvidia is advertised in the credits when you launch a video game does not mean that an AMD card cannot run the game at maximum settings. Yes, people have asked this question.

    *Due to the fact that benchmarking applications have changed so drastically in 2011 and to provide more consistent information the 2011 list will be mostly (There will be some small crossover with 2010 GPU's) segregated from the 2008-2010 list

    **Some lower end graphics cards, exclusively models under $100 in 2011 have opted to use GDDR3 in lieu of GDDR5. Always select the GDDR5 variant where available, the GDDR5 performance for these cards is listed below unless the card is only available in GDDR2/3/4.



    Increasing Performance: 2011 GPU



    - Geforce GT 520
    - Radeon HD 6450
    - AMD A8 3850
    - AMD A6 3650
    - Radeon HD 5550
    - Geforce GT 430
    - Radeon HD 5570
    - Geforce GT 440
    - Radeon HD 6570
    - Radeon HD 6650

    - Radeon HD 6670 - *MEDIUM @ 1080p*

    - Radeon HD 6750
    - Geforce GTS 250
    - Geforce GTS 450
    - Radeon HD 5750
    - Radeon HD 5770

    - Radeon HD 6770- *HIGH AT 1080p*

    - Geforce GT 550 Ti
    - Radeon HD 6790
    - Radeon HD 5850
    - Radeon HD 6850
    - Geforce GTX 460 - 768MB
    - Geforce GTX 460 - 1GB
    - Geforce GTX 465 - 1GB

    - Radeon HD 6870 - *MAXIMUM @ 1080p*

    - Radeon HD 5870
    - Geforce GTX 560
    - Geforce GTX 560 Ti
    - Radeon HD 6950
    - Geforce GTX 480
    - Geforce GTX 570
    - Radeon HD 6970
    - Geforce GTX 580
    - Radeon HD 5970
    - Geforce GTX 590
    - Radeon HD 6990

    Of course now you're saying things like, "What If I don't play at 1080p?" or "Should I get an Nvidia card or an AMD card?" or "What about my integrated graphics?" or "How much Video RAM do I need?"

    A word on video RAM.

    More is generally better. Faster is generally better, but you get diminishing returns. GDDR5 is the only thing I'd look at if you were buying today, older cards with GDDR3/4 will still do just fine in a lot of cases though.

    In today's gaming environment 1GB of GDDR5 RAM is sufficient to play at 1920x1080 and below resolutions. This does not mean any card with GDDR5 can play at 1080p resolutions comfortably. There is still other factors, most importantly the GPU Core to consider and most of the time this is what you're paying most of the $$$ for.

    Above 1080p this 1.5GB or 2GB is highly recommended.

    Having 1.5GB isn't neccesarily better than having 1GB in all scenarios though. Only when the card's memory buffer gets completely full will there be a performance difference. If I strap 5GB of VRAM on a 460 and then 1GB of RAM on a 580 then the 580 will still be much much faster. The amount of video RAM available doesn't usually correlate directly to a card's performance.


    Having more than 1GB of Video RAM will have no adverse effects and there are a few games that can handle extreme high resolution textures to each up all that extra VRAM. Crysis 2 and Witcher 2 and good examples.

    Some cards have variants. The 6950 is a good example, coming in both a 2GB and 1GB variant. The 1GB variant is a lot cheaper and performs exactly the same as the 2GB variant as resolutions under 1080p. Above 1080p the texture resolutions become so high that an increase memory buffer is need so you don't flood the VRAM.

    It's much like system RAM in the sense that if you have 4GB that's plenty and in most cases having 8GB will show no increase in performance over 4GB of RAM, unless of course more than 4GB of RAM is utilized, where then the 8GB of RAM will show a drastic performance increase over the 4GB variant.

    As long as you have enough (Use the 1GB for 1080p rule) you won't have issues.


    Video Card Selection based on Resolution.

    High to Maximum Presets

    2560x1600

    - Radeon HD 6970
    - Geforce GTX 480
    - Geforce GTX 570
    - Geforce GTX 580
    - Radeon HD 5970
    - Radeon HD 6990

    1920x1080
    - See Guide.
    - Radeon HD 6950 1GB

    1680x1050
    - Radeon HD 6850 and faster

    1440x900
    - Radeon HD 6670 and faster

    1280x1024
    - Radeon HD 6570 and faster

    800x600
    - Radeon HD 5570 and faster

    Here's Tom's 2011 Gaming Graphics Charts


    If you're looking for something to play at your resolution on medium, simply take two steps down, for instance if I was at 1920x1080, but wanted medium instead of High quality then I'd look to the 6670 instead of the 6950. This just shows that if you are in-between this range then you'll probably be looking at Medium settings as opposed to High.

    And to all you asking, "Why is he only using AMD cards?"

    They are either as fast or faster and use less power than their Nvidia counter parts under $200. So unless you're looking at the 560 Ti / 570 GTX / 580 GTX then there is no reason to buy anything but an AMD card at the moment unless you find a good deal.


    Memory - RAM (Random Access Memory)

    We're on the downhill stretch now.

    Memory today only comes in the single variant, which is DDR3 as its the next standard. A lot of users may still have DDR2, fear not though this isn't an issue.

    Games don't typically require extremely fast RAM to run well, but do require you to have enough of said RAM.

    Therefore if you're using Windows 7 or Vista you should have at least 4GB of RAM for playing games. Games don't benefit much from increasing RAM speed. You'll see less than a 5% gain from 1333Mhz RAM to 2000Mhz RAM, which constitutes a pretty major price difference.

    Either DDR3-1333Mhz or DDR3-1600Mhz would be a good choice for someone building now.

    Having DDR2 isn't a big problem, provided you have at least 4GB I anticipate the RAM will be a very small factor in your in game performance.

    "Do I need 24GB of RAM?"

    Hell no. Anything over 8GB for playing games and general use it just ludicrously overkill.

    If you want to have more than enough RAM then stop at 8GB, you're already there.

    What to do before purchasing RAM:

    - Check Motherboard Compatibility. This can be done on the RAM's website and in some cases the Motherboard's website.

    - Check the Price. DDR3 RAM is very cheap right now. Don't pay more than $45 for 4GB.

    - Fewer sticks is better. So 2x4GB is 2 sticks of 4GB each for 8GB of RAM. You need at least two for current platforms so you're benefiting from dual channels.


    Things to watch out for:

    - I don't recommend mixing brands/speeds of RAM.

    - RAM installation requires some tough love, the PCB of your motherboard will probably bend slightly at the force required to push in a stick of RAM. Make sure its firmly seated, otherwise the computer will not boot.

    - Test the RAM when you get it installed! Make a bootable USB thumb drive of "Memtest86+" and let it complete at least a single pass without errors! If you have configured the BIOS properly for the RAM's specifications and are still receiving errors then you have received a bad stick of RAM and should RMA or return the RAM. If you don't you'll encounter BSODs and degraded performance down the road.

    That's really all you "need" to know about RAM for playing games. Sure there is a lot more, but I feel that most wouldn't benefit from more information than this.


    Various Other System Components, My Recommendations, and Closing Thoughts.


    The Guide does not as you'll notice encompass things like Motherboards, Power Supplies, or Hard Drives. So, let's chat about them briefly.


    Motherboards vary far too much for me to go through each and every one. This is something users are going to have to investigate on their own on a product to product basis. Branding is important here as well. A lot of people like ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, AsRock, EVGA.

    Some quick facts:

    - Only P67/Z68 1155 Intel Motherboards can overclock the CPU! This is very important for those looking at the i5/i7 "k" chips that are intended to be overclocked!

    - If running crossfire or SLI (two video cards) you'll need a minimum of 2 PCI-E express slots running at least x8/x8. x16/x16 is preferable but expensive.

    - Almost all modern motherboards come equipped with integrated sounds, Ethernet, and in some cases wireless capabilities.

    - If looking at an AMD motherboard be sure to get an AM3+ with a 990FX chipset. These motherboards will be able to fully utilize the new Bulldozer architecture.


    Power Supplies

    System power can vary quite a lot. A good rule of thumb though is generally you'll want at least 450W for a gaming computer. 650W can power almost any graphics card short of the dual GPU solutions like the 6990 or 590.

    For SLI/Crossfire a 850W name brand PSU should take care of anything dual GPU solution you throw at it.

    I'll leave it to you guys though. Just remember if you have 1 GPU anything over 650W is going to be complete and utter overkill.

    Brands I recommend:

    - Seasonic
    - Corsair
    - XFX
    - Antec
    - Silverstone
    - Enermax

    AMD/Nvidia post specs on their cards as to the minimum power requirement, these are usually safe guidelines to follow, especially when paired with one of the name brand PSU's above.

    Don't cut costs on a PSU. A bad PSU can take out an entire system when it fails. A good PSU may still die, but likely won't harm any other components when it does.

    Hard Drives & SSD's

    - If you're on a budget of $1000 or less you can pretty much throw SSD's out the windows as an option, they are still quite expensive.

    - 120GB is the minimum size that I'd buy for an SSD. Otherwise you're going to encounter issues with space.

    - SSD's offer 0 FPS difference in game versus at Physical hard drive. You'll only benefit in load times and menu responsiveness.

    - Sandforce SATA III SSD's have known issues with Sandy Bridge Motherboards. Don't buy this combination.

    - Marvel Controllers don't have these issues, go with a Crucial or Intel Drive.

    - A 7200 RPM is a minimum for a desktop computer for a Primary drive in my opinion.

    Brands I like:

    - Western Digital
    - Samsung
    - Hitachi
    - Seagate

    Don't buy a Raptor HDD. It's a waste of money, you're much better off with an SSD if you're looking for fast loading.

    Don't buy a 5900 RPM or 5400 RPM physical hard drive for a primary system drive, it'll make the system quite sluggish.




    Note: This guide was created in an attempt to help people who already own computers and those who have recently built computers.

    AMD's Bulldozer CPU's launch sometime in October, I recommend waiting until a least the end of the month if you are looking to purchase a computer. That way you'll have it for Skyrim in November and only miss a little bit of BF3.

    For those on a tight budget waiting should allow prices to drop and Christmas sales to start.


    **This guide is not 100% Perfect. I don't claim that it is. If you find an error post below or send me a message.

    I have written this in an attempt to create a relatively simple resource for folks to use when asking questions are whether or not their PC can run SW:TOR.
    Source

    Trick to Improve Graphic Performance

  2. #2
    Brewmaster link064's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,367
    Nice guide. I also like to use this to help me figure out what kind of relative performance I should be getting and if/when I should be upgrading my video card.

  3. #3

    Could I run this on my laptop?

    Could I run this game on my laptop and at about what settings?

    Alienware m11x r1 SU7300 1.7ghz processor 4gig ram and 335m GPU

    I can play skyrim on medium settings so my guess is yeah but lemmie know

  4. #4
    Fluffy Kitten
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    5,162
    Quote Originally Posted by nDeadAirSpace View Post
    Could I run this game on my laptop and at about what settings?

    Alienware m11x r1 SU7300 1.7ghz processor 4gig ram and 335m GPU

    I can play skyrim on medium settings so my guess is yeah but lemmie know
    You're going to have some serious issues running TOR. Skyrim, for how awesome it is, really isn't that graphically intensive of a game.

  5. #5
    Field Marshal
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Pays-bas
    Posts
    61
    You should try and expend on this by integrating the mobile cpu's and gpu's into the list as possible, there are several shops who offer home build laptops with mobile components. I cna tell you You can get this running decently on a laptop if you really want to(high settings @ 1960x1200 shadow turned off) on roughly 20-40 fps(depends on setting/particle clutter nearby). But all in all a nice and comprehensive guide

  6. #6
    Where does a GT555m compare with those cards? It's not there >.<
    My Cracked articles, writing blog, and Twitter.

    The problem with the internet is parallel to its greatest achievement: it has given the little man an outlet where he can be heard. Most of the time however, the little man is a little man because he is not worth hearing.

    Want to chat with people who aren't idiots? Join our IRC.

  7. #7
    Scarab Lord
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    4,303
    Quote Originally Posted by vizzle View Post
    Where does a GT555m compare with those cards? It's not there >.<
    A GT555M is comparable to a NVIDIA GT540/530.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Culadin View Post
    A GT555M is comparable to a NVIDIA GT540/530.
    And is that good? Unless I'm blind those cards aren't in the OP either!
    My Cracked articles, writing blog, and Twitter.

    The problem with the internet is parallel to its greatest achievement: it has given the little man an outlet where he can be heard. Most of the time however, the little man is a little man because he is not worth hearing.

    Want to chat with people who aren't idiots? Join our IRC.

  9. #9
    Stood in the Fire valiorik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    London
    Posts
    446
    Quote Originally Posted by vizzle View Post
    And is that good? Unless I'm blind those cards aren't in the OP either!
    Those are budget 2011 cards and as result not covered since guide covers only hi performance ones.
    My wifes laptops came with 555m. It's fine for any game even on 1080p, but not as perfect as mid or hi card would be.
    91 lvl Elit Alcoholic Ирез

  10. #10
    The Insane Slowpoke is a Gamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Twitch & Youtube
    Posts
    18,186
    Thank you. This guide helped me chose to go for 12 GB memory (instead of 16) and improve the CPU for my homebuilt I'm making over the summer.
    Unsubscribed as of 03/10/2014.

    If you dislike where WoW is headed in your mind, quit. Really. Sitting around complaining about "promises" that may or may not have been made isn't doing anything to help your cause. It's just making you look more and more like the constantly complaining and perpetually offended.

  11. #11
    Field Marshal Lovehunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Somewhere cold
    Posts
    86
    My specs are these:

    RAM: 16GB (2x8gb ones)
    Graphics card: Geforce GTX 580 Direct-CU2
    Motherboard: PH775-M
    BenQ 22 Inch monitor..

    I didn't include everything but I run everything on max with V-Sync on and 1920x1080p with around 100 FPS during questing and such, but when I'm on the Imperial Fleet I get about 60-50 FPS. I didn't include my processor just because as I'm writing this I cant remember xD

  12. #12
    Not to be a hypocrite or anything Culadin but saying "Tomshardware will agree with my findings. This is generally a great resource to use when you are looking to buy." is not really a good way to put it.

    Now for the astonishing amount of information they produce a lot of it can be incorrect, however saying that i am not going to say that they are a bad website providing false information.

    Really the only problem i have is the way you recommended it saying they a great resource to use when you are looking to buy as a lot of the problems people have with it are that they do not always use physical real life tests when making some of their articles as they have been on occasion caught out for spreading false information.

    What i believe should be stated by you if you want a good reference is that they are a generally good resource but you should also look for other sources when looking to buy.

    That is my 5 cents as an active computer builder in store and for gaming friends about your pretty good information.

  13. #13
    Graphics recommendations are spot-on, I upgraded from a 9600GT and it was barely adequate with low settings - typically 5-10 fps, maybe a bit more. Playable but ugly. I have a 560Ti and even then I can't run everything full blown. I run windowed at 1600x1200 so of course there is a preformance hit there. I typically play in medium/high settings. I typically get...eh 30 fps or something, maybe 60 fps, it really depends. Anyway the game is quite playable with a 560 Ti.

  14. #14
    Scarab Lord
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    4,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Bakinpacman View Post
    Not to be a hypocrite or anything Culadin but saying "Tomshardware will agree with my findings.
    Sorry I figure me sourcing the information and it being a quote would make it clear that this was not my created information but information from another source. I don't source Toms Hardware any longer after the reviews started becoming biased several years ago.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Culadin View Post
    Sorry I figure me sourcing the information and it being a quote would make it clear that this was not my created information but information from another source. I don't source Toms Hardware any longer after the reviews started becoming biased several years ago.
    agreed with the latter about toms hardware losing credibility for paid for reviews. btw know of any RELIABLE hardware review sites ?

  16. #16
    Scarab Lord
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    4,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Arteous View Post
    btw know of any RELIABLE hardware review sites ?
    Generally I check out MaximumPC or Hardware Canucks. Both tend to be honest without being swayed by the almighty dollar.

  17. #17
    Hey culadin im in the process of buying a computer on a tight budget i found this for about 600 i want to mainly use it for swtor, and wanted to know how it would play it thanks !! CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra 2098 (GU2098) Desktop PC AMD FX-Series FX-4100(3.6GHz) 8GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit ... Would also be great if u vould gimme an idea on which settings i could play on with resolutions, if u could get back to me i would greatly appriciate it thank you !!
    Last edited by Mkeoughjr; 2012-02-29 at 10:01 PM.

  18. #18
    Scarab Lord
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    4,303
    Mkeoughjr with that system you should be able to play with a mixture of medium / high settings. You will want to have shadows and antialiasing disabled to keep performance stable though but outside of that $600 is a pretty fair price for that system. I would suggest playing at a lower resolution of 1680x1050 instead of the 1920x1080 since the HD6670 does have trouble running other MMO's in 1080p however with the resolution change it does just fine.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Culadin View Post
    Mkeoughjr with that system you should be able to play with a mixture of medium / high settings. You will want to have shadows and antialiasing disabled to keep performance stable though but outside of that $600 is a pretty fair price for that system. I would suggest playing at a lower resolution of 1680x1050 instead of the 1920x1080 since the HD6670 does have trouble running other MMO's in 1080p however with the resolution change it does just fine.
    Thank you for the reply i wanna play alittle higher so i upgraded alittle sorry to be a pain but could u tell me if ill be able to play better with these specs

    AMD FX-4100 3.60 GHz Quad-Core AM3+ CPU 4MB L2 Cache & Turbo Core Technology

    [CrossFireX] GigaByte GA-970A-D3 AMD 970 Socket AM3+ ATX Mainboard w/ On/Off Charge, 7.1 Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe X16, 3 PCIe X1 & 2 PCI

    8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory
    Corsair or Major Brand (All Venom OC Levels Certified)

    AMD Radeon HD 7750 1GB GDDR5 16X PCIe Video Card
    Major Brand Powered by AMD


    600 Watts - Standard Power Supply - SLI/CrossFireX Ready

    1TB SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 32MB Cache 7200RPM HDD
    Single Drive


    What settings can i play on with that, with resolution, sorry for being a pain and bugging u i appriciate u gettin back to me thanks !!

    And one more questions lol sorry not to comp lierate, can u tell me where my mobo or processor rank in ur grid and which one i got in the grid, and also the gpu i didnt see in ur grid could u tell me where that ranks in so sorry thank u
    Last edited by Mkeoughjr; 2012-03-01 at 01:52 AM.

  20. #20
    Scarab Lord
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    4,303
    If you can afford the price difference I would suggest bumping up to the the HD7770, if not the Radeon HD7750 is fully capable to play with most settings on high at 1080p, might need to turn off shadows while on Ilum though, I have the equivalent card and I do to keep stable FPS.

    CPU is comparable to the Intel Sandybridge I3 2100 3.1Ghz Dual Core, however the AMD cpu has much better integrated graphics. Graphics card is comparable to the Radeon HD5770/HD6770, which is what I have, but the HD7750 has much better power consumption.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •