I apologize if this is the wrong board to be asking this on, I just made this account in hopes of seeking advice.
I came into possession of Guild Wars 2 upon it's release and I have been stuck getting an average FPS range of about 8-15 in PvE and about 7 in crowded areas and towns. I have not yet ventured into any WvW because I feel like the evidence so far tells me how that would run.
I'm not so well versed on hardware as I'd like to be. So basically I was hoping people could offer me suggestions on what I could upgrade on my PC to give me a smooth performance on the game. I do like my graphics on high but I can settle for a bit lower if high means I absolutely must break the bank. So basically I'd like to know what I need for solid performance at a reasonable cost, in your opinions.
Well, your gaming machine was put toghether quite some time ago. One thing you can try is to overclock your CPU, to try to squeeze some more juice out of it (2.6ghz is pretty low by today's standards)
Another thing is make sure your GPU drivers up-to-date. I'd recommend getting 306.02 beta drivers, as those give the best performance for the game.
What resolution are you running the game on? And what settings?
Try the following, disable the in-game anti-aliasing (if you're running anywhere 1600 wide or bigger there isn't much aliasing to notice)
Turn down shadows to medium (so that only landscape casts shadows)
Turn down the reflections to minimum.
As it is right now, the game is still going through optimization and different people have different fps issues. For instance I can run on my laptop 60 fps no problem (1600x900, no aa, high details and medium shadows and reflections), while some people are having trouble maintaining stable fps with latest ivy bridge CPU + latest GPU. So, it's a bumpy ride as it is right now.
Try the tweaks first, if that doesn't yield decent performance, you can try to upgrade to an i5-3450 (if you don't plan to overclock) or i5-3570k (if you plan to overclock). Get a Z77 board for both, they are relatively cheap, offer good amount of features and good quality (even if you're not overclocking, unless price becomes an issue)
Your GPU should still hold decent FPS problem with the game is it's not using the GPU very well so yours is probably working somewhere around 50-70% (maybe even less). I'd recommend to monitor it in terms of core clock, utilization and vram utilization (last one is especially important if your GPU is like 1Gb vram or less and you're running on high resolutions). You could upgrade to latest and greatest, it would offer a nice performance boost, but you probably won't see the difference while playing GW2 (other games will most likely benefit from the upgrade)
Hope that helps. If you got any more questions, don't hesitate to ask.
Yeah, my PC was put together about 3-4 years ago now, so I'm not surprised that it's dragging. The only actual upgrades I have purchased were SSD, which was only about a week ago. I have not done much tinkering with them yet, other than to put GW2 on one of them but I need to procure Windows 7 instead of Vista to install on one to use as a boot drive.
I already have the 306.02 beta drivers installed, so maybe I will try to overclock my CPU. However I am not entirely sure how this is done... If you could offer any advice on that I would appreciate it, however I'll look around to see if I can find out how to do it myself.
I actually am currently running the game at 1600x900. My shadows were already on medium and I had reduced my reflections to none a while ago. I reduced shadows to none just now for good measure. Although I have not noticed much improvement as of yet, there is a little though!
I'll look into the pricing of the upgrades that you mentioned and see if it's doable or if I even have room to do better.