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World of Warcraft PC

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September 20, 2008 11:57:35 PM

Hi, I'm new here as you can probably tell and you guys seem very knowlageable looking through your posts.

I'm looking to put together a new (budget) PC for myself as this one's on its last legs. At the moment, purely to play World of Warcraft, chat on MSN and listen to music.

For a monitor I can use my TV, so all I really need is the main unit. (and a keyboard)

I've looked at what retailers are doing and this was interesting, for the price. (I thought anyway)

The budget is around the £500 mark, but I'm sure I'll probably end up going over 6 knowing me.

I'm wondering if the Killer NIC is just 'candy' for the gamer who has everything, or if it'd be a worthwhile investment in a pc made to play MMORPGs. I usually play with the settings on min, as high pings and slow frame rates do my head in, 'specially in cities and raids.

Any specs or advice you have to offer would be most appreciated, also, I have no idea how to overclock so unless it's easy to learn I think it'd be simpler to stick with stock.

More about : world warcraft

September 21, 2008 12:40:52 AM

I guess I should link something on the Killer NIC first, eh?

http://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.aspx?i=2865&p=9

While overpriced, the Killer NIC adds a slight edge in FPS and Ping in some shooters, so... I suppose if I was a pro gamer, I might have one... but the difference in Warcraft is going to be minimal. Anantech's chart showed a 4% increase in FPS, and a 7% increased ping in Alterec Valley. But, the test system was pretty weak, only running a MSI X1950XTX and a 1.86 GHz E6300 Core2Duo.
-A new system today, would see almost no FPS increase, since you'd have a faster processor. (The Killer NIC took some pressure off that E6300). And, for its price its not worth the tiny increase in ping.

So, I'd advise against the Killer NIC.

As far as other components go...

-Warcraft addons can eat up alot of memory. I'd recommend 3-4 GB of RAM on a 32bit OS, or 4GB on a 64bit OS.
-Warcraft isn't going to stress a modern videocard. Since you want high resolution, you can't get away with a $50 card or something, but a Radeon 4670 would be enough.
-For WoW, the processor also doesn't need to be overkill. Anything better than an E4300 is fine... but, if you don't want to be bottlenecked by the CPU, you should try to get a CPU that's at least 2.6 GHz. I've heard alot of talk lately, that the new cards like the 4870 are bottlenecked unless you have a CPU running at at least 3GHz... but, such a system would be overkill for warcraft anyway.


*Note: Warcraft is an old game... about 4 years running now. It doesn't take a monster system to run a 4 year old game. Hell, WoW ran reasonably on my GF's POS Macbook on integrated Intel graphics. I'm surprised you'd even consider a $150-250 NIC card for such an old (and easy to run) game.
September 21, 2008 1:17:12 AM

Thanks, that's really useful. I'd of kicked myself if I splashed out for something that's just going to be wasted.

Is this an overkill spec then?

CPU: Intel® Core 2 Duo E8400
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Golden Orb I
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro (Intel P45 chipset, Crossfire)
Memory: 4GB Corsair DDR2 800mhz XMS2 (2x 2GB)
Hard Drives: 160GB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive: 20x DVD±RW DL S-ATA Lightscribe
Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Gaming Peripherals: Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard
Accessories: DVI to HDMI cable
PSU: 580W Hiper Type-M Silent
Case: Coolermaster Cavalier 3
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September 21, 2008 1:23:02 AM

It is for warcraft... but, if you're going to want to have fun playing games (other than warcraft) next summer, it'd be nice to have. Both the E8400 and the Radeon 4850, have excellent price/performance ratios. Some might not like Vista 64bit, but I think its pretty solid after SP1. So, I don't see anything wrong w/ it =)
September 21, 2008 1:28:26 AM

AMD is a better bet for a cheap system

the 4670 is like a crippled memory 3850, so I'd get something else. in all honest you can get by good on board graphics, hen add on a card if you want more.. a 780g or 790gx based motherboard should be more than enough for your needs, and the have HDMI output if you want to use that with your TV. I'd get the 790gx unless you want a microATX case.

get 2x2 gigs of ram and vista 64.

I'd say the 5400+ black edition is great bang for buck CPU. it doesn't come with a heatsink, so if you want that CPU, pick up a cheap heatsink like the arctic cooling 64

get an 80plus power suply, it'll be high quality, and pay for itself in energy bills

September 21, 2008 1:38:06 AM

I'm alright for energy bills, I don't pay them.

As for other games, I tend to use my 360 for first person shooters as I find PC FPS are taken far too seriously, but I may use this PC for C&C RA3.
September 21, 2008 1:39:51 AM

Thanks for all the advice on the different parts, I'll revise my list in the morning, sit down with a calculator and throw something else up for you guys. (If you don't mind that is!)
September 21, 2008 2:03:13 AM

@Groo
yeah, the 4670 has a crippled memory interface, but it still runs faster than the 3850, and has superior power consumption... making it a better choice for cheap systems with stock 350W power supplies. (it doesn't even require a 6pin adapter). So, at about $80, I like to say its a good "bare minimum" card for gaming.

AMD chips are still slower clock per clock against Intel... at least in gaming. He didn't say he wanted to run database software, now did he? And, he also said he didn't want to overclock, so the unlocked multipliers on the black addition go to waste, making it a poor choice. Even though it OCs to 3GHz+ on air, and only costs $80 or so, at stock speeds its slower in games than a Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33GHz). But, you know, it should be at $80... at its low price its more competing with something like an E4600 (2.4GHz 2MB L2 cache). But, I have a hard time recommending anything that slow since it'll create a bottleneck, and it might be a pain in the ass to upgrade later. Its a chip that's barely competitive against **** from 3 years ago...


September 21, 2008 2:16:31 AM

@Monster

...OMG. I have no rebuttal against your FPS argument, since all my favorites were ported to the 360, and I thought the Crisis games were a joke. At least we have our mods, but finding a multiplayer game on a non-corporate mod is almost impossible nowadays...

Sad times for us PC Gamers. Even S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky turned out to be mediocre.
September 21, 2008 3:15:56 AM

he said he didn't want to OC unless it was simple to learn how. it is, even more so w/ unlocked. the 780g/790gx chipsets should fully suport the next 2 or more generations of AMD CPUs. so it will not be a pain to upgrade. there will likely be no new Intel CPUs to fit in any Intel motherboard made now.

remember, I said AMDs were better for cheap system. I stand by that. and AMD mobo tends to have better features per $ than an Intel mobo, so you should look at more than just CPU $ per $. one of the features I'm talking about is on board graphics. there isn't any intel on board graphics that can take on either of the 2 chipsets I suggested, and if it means he can hold off on buying a graphics card, then its definatly worth it. the OBG of a 780g should be better than my last laptop's HD 2300. I was able to play NWN2 on that one just fine. Witcher was unplayable, but thats a still a fairly graphics intensive game by current standards. bother are way above WoW. I've never played C&C, so I cant speak toward that one. the 780G handles 1080p bluray playback fine too. something to keep in mind for a computer hooked to a TV.

for a high cost system, Intel wins. nobody doubts that.
September 21, 2008 3:53:11 AM

That Monster said:
Thanks, that's really useful. I'd of kicked myself if I splashed out for something that's just going to be wasted.

Is this an overkill spec then?

CPU: Intel® Core 2 Duo E8400
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Golden Orb I
Motherboard: Asus P5Q Pro (Intel P45 chipset, Crossfire)
Memory: 4GB Corsair DDR2 800mhz XMS2 (2x 2GB)
Hard Drives: 160GB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
Optical Drive: 20x DVD±RW DL S-ATA Lightscribe
Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
Operating System: Microsoft® Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Gaming Peripherals: Razer Tarantula Gaming Keyboard
Accessories: DVI to HDMI cable
PSU: 580W Hiper Type-M Silent
Case: Coolermaster Cavalier 3


That's a perfectly fine gaming setup. The only thing you might consider upgrading would be the size of the harddrive (if you see yourself becoming serious about gaming). Install a few games, music, videos, and you'll eat up 160GB somewhat quickly. Otherwise, you're good to go to play anything you want with that system.
September 23, 2008 3:53:02 AM

Graphics card is utter crap isn't it? The ram is also probably cheapest going and isn't the mid range speed nowadays 800mhz? I think that ram is slower. No monitor too right? Or OS.. so when you add those things, like another 100 pounds or so for say a 4850, it becomes quite a lot more doesn't it? The case seems nice though and the cpu is great so it's still not bad... specially with a disc drive too. Personally ordering from Aria at the moment, would conisder Ebay if I had someone to guide me through the process
September 23, 2008 2:26:37 PM

groo said:
he said he didn't want to OC unless it was simple to learn how. it is, even more so w/ unlocked. the 780g/790gx chipsets should fully suport the next 2 or more generations of AMD CPUs. so it will not be a pain to upgrade. there will likely be no new Intel CPUs to fit in any Intel motherboard made now.

remember, I said AMDs were better for cheap system. I stand by that. and AMD mobo tends to have better features per $ than an Intel mobo, so you should look at more than just CPU $ per $. one of the features I'm talking about is on board graphics. there isn't any intel on board graphics that can take on either of the 2 chipsets I suggested, and if it means he can hold off on buying a graphics card, then its definatly worth it. the OBG of a 780g should be better than my last laptop's HD 2300. I was able to play NWN2 on that one just fine. Witcher was unplayable, but thats a still a fairly graphics intensive game by current standards. bother are way above WoW. I've never played C&C, so I cant speak toward that one. the 780G handles 1080p bluray playback fine too. something to keep in mind for a computer hooked to a TV.

for a high cost system, Intel wins. nobody doubts that.


I completely agree. If all you're going to use it for is WoW and internet surfing you can save alot of money by going with an onboard gfx AMD build. But if the OP is fine spending the money on that E8400/HD4850 setup they posted, it'll be a much faster system. It'll be completely overkill for a dedicated WoW box, though.
April 8, 2009 1:17:08 PM

Do NOT get an ATI graphics card if your main concern is Warcraft. There are 1000s of posts on the internet about the poor performance of these cards with WoW. I wish someone would have told me before I bought one.

I built a system with the following specs and rarely clear 70fps in an old world instance by myself:

AMD Phenom II X4 920 ~2.8 gHz
4GB OCZ 1200mHz DDR2
ATI HD 4870 (the latest Catalyst drivers (9.3) from ATI's site)

That system should destroy WoW, but even turning left/right will instantly take me down to 25fps. I have tweaked and turned down everything according to 100s of posts online, including official Blizzard comments, and gain maybe 5fps tops. Go with nVidia for WoW.
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