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Budget GPU for WoW

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April 19, 2009 2:10:40 AM

I'm going to be building a new budget gaming system within a month or so, and I'm having trouble deciding on a video card (and monitor). Like the title says, it will mostly be for WoW and other light gaming and 2d illustration.

The total budget for the build is about $600 with OS, without monitor. I haven't decided on the exact components yet, but the CPU with likely be a E5200 or a 7750 and 4 gigs of RAM. I think that's all the relevant info about the build itself.

I've allotted about $100 for the video card. I can go higher if needed, but I'd prefer to stay there if possible. I am considering the 4670, 4770, and the 4830 and their NVIDIA equivalents.

This is my first PC build, so I have a few newb questions: First of all, if I went with the 4770, am I likely to encounter problem with it being a brand new card? With each of the cards, what is the maximum resolution I can expect with medium settings in WoW? I had initially wanted to pair this system with a 22-24" 1920x1080 monitor, but I think that might be pushing it. I'm thinking more along the lines of a 19" 1440x900 or a 20ish 1680x1050 since this is a budget build after all. What card/monitor would you recommend given my budget and needs? Thanks for your help.

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April 19, 2009 2:14:42 AM

Ive built a few systems for WoW for co-workers and friends for under $600 easily. I usually go with a E5200 and a 4670 or 4830. They run WoW decently at 30-50+ FPS on medium settings. But since your $600 is for the OS also you might have to cut some corners....let me mock up a build for you.
April 19, 2009 2:26:06 AM



Its cutting it close, but very solid for the price. Put you an Phenom II X3 720 in there and a nice board to go with it. This leaves you with about $20 to play with for your case, you can swap some parts out for cheaper stuff and what not.
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April 19, 2009 2:26:40 AM

I calculated $607 without bundle deals or mail-in rebates with pretty good components. I did go with decidedly non-SLI components, i.e. p43 mobo and "cheap" power supply. You don't have to mock up a build since this isn't in the System Build forum.

edit: you beat me to it. My build looks just about like that with an Antec 300 case and a different CPU.
April 19, 2009 2:31:15 AM

The PII X3 720 will kill an E5200 or Athlon 7750, not to mention it can be easily overclocked. And the 4830 is quite more powerful than a 4670. Youll be able to run WoW very well with this combo.
April 19, 2009 3:03:31 AM

Thanks for the help. What is the biggest monitor/best resolution I can play WoW on with 4830, or even the 4770?
April 19, 2009 3:04:33 AM

You could probably go up to 1680 x 1050 with medium settings and retain a very playable FPS. The settings in WoW dont really matter as its going to look the same regardless, only difference will be draw distances and shadowing.
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2009 2:25:52 PM

^ agree. The 4830 is the one i'd go with now given budget constraints at 1680X1050, the 4770 has potential, but without solid benchmarks it's a guess. I'd also shoehorn the phenom2 720 into the build if at all possible.
April 19, 2009 2:38:51 PM

Thanks for the help guys. I'm not on *that* strict of a budget or time table so I will definitely look into the Phenom II X3 720 and I can wait a bit on the 4770.
April 19, 2009 4:11:26 PM

joeybee said:
Thanks for the help guys. I'm not on *that* strict of a budget or time table so I will definitely look into the Phenom II X3 720 and I can wait a bit on the 4770.


Use the system I built for you and just hold out on the GPU. Waiting for the 4770 is probbaly a very good idea.
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2009 4:43:16 PM

With the new 3.1 patch in WoW Blizzard introduced the new "Ultra" video setting. A core2 duo at 2.5 MHz and an OC 8800GT to 700 MHz/2000 at 1680X1050 give fps of low 30s in general game and in the low teens in graphically intense areas. While server density, latency, population etc. also have large effects on fps in WoW it's like any other game that requires higher end components for high end settings. If you set your video to custom and turn down "shadow quality" and "full screen glow effects" you'll see 60fps (vsync on) in general game and mid 30s in graphically intense areas with the 4830 at 1680X1050. Wow is optimized for 2 core processors, but additional cores help if any other applications are running at the same time.
April 19, 2009 4:48:50 PM

That Ultra shadow setting is pointless. All its doing is increasing the shadow draw distance to the same amount as your overall draw distance, it draws shadows that you cant even see. Its completely pointless. On my system (where I get 60+ FPS in Dalaran mind you), setting that to Ultra drops my FPS down into the 20's on Bloodmyst Island or really any area with alot of trees/flora. Its a joke.
a b U Graphics card
April 19, 2009 6:58:05 PM

^ agree, which is why i pointed to the "custom" settings and the 2 effects which take the biggest toll on CPU/GPU in the game (benchmarked during BC, not wotlk)
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