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Graphics cards for World of Warcraft

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March 1, 2010 9:16:23 AM

Hi,

I'm thinking of building a gaming pc, and would like to know what graphics cards are good enough to run Wow. Does anyone know what is required for 1920x1080 at 60 hz under max settings even in a 25 man raid?

I know everyone will say you don't need an expensive card for world of warcraft, but I'd rather hear from someone who plays wow, since performance decreases substantially in 25 man raids. Lots of spells going on at the same time tend to stress my current computer even when the 10 man raid performance is fine.

Thanks
a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2010 10:14:50 AM

I haven't played wow in a few months, but my 4870 512mb performed admirabley even in 25man raids. From the comparison tests, the 5770 looks to be a similar performer, and is actually cheaper due to the 4870's rarity. So I guess my suggestion for a good performing WoW card would start with a 5770.
March 1, 2010 11:22:10 AM

birkett83 said:
Hi,

I'm thinking of building a gaming pc, and would like to know what graphics cards are good enough to run Wow. Does anyone know what is required for 1920x1080 at 60 hz under max settings even in a 25 man raid?

I know everyone will say you don't need an expensive card for world of warcraft, but I'd rather hear from someone who plays wow, since performance decreases substantially in 25 man raids. Lots of spells going on at the same time tend to stress my current computer even when the 10 man raid performance is fine.

Thanks

I have a ati 4650 hd card BUT id recommend something better say a 5770
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2010 2:04:42 PM

birkett83 said:
Hi,

I'm thinking of building a gaming pc, and would like to know what graphics cards are good enough to run Wow. Does anyone know what is required for 1920x1080 at 60 hz under max settings even in a 25 man raid?

I know everyone will say you don't need an expensive card for world of warcraft, but I'd rather hear from someone who plays wow, since performance decreases substantially in 25 man raids. Lots of spells going on at the same time tend to stress my current computer even when the 10 man raid performance is fine.

Thanks



Couple things - to play high settings, a decent card does help. And the suggestions you've received so far are good.

More to the point of your performance issue: WoW is more stressful on CPU and RAM than many/most people think. While replacing a CPU may be a little more involved and expensive than many wouild consider. RAM upgrades are cheap and easy. 2GB of memory or more here, please. WoW also caches a lot of information in/out of your hard drive. So a drive with a large cache or (for the rich) a RAID array or an SSD will help a lot. Especially in the large scenarios you mentioned.

Other things you can do is turn off any UI mods which you don't need. Gatherer, and Recount (anything that extensively parses the combat logs) and mods liek that are rather resource intensive. Shut them off, or find lightweight replacements - Skada, for example, uses less resource than Recount.
a c 217 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
March 1, 2010 2:30:36 PM

Keep in mind. Everyone here is recommending cards to do almost max settings. WoW under true max settings requires a beast of a card to maintain over 30 FPS at all times.

Even with an i7 920 @ 3.5 and a single 5870, fps will drop to 30 in Dalaran at max settings (actually, this is Ultra settings with shadows one notch below max) and with two 5870's in CF, it'll stay above 45 FPS.
March 1, 2010 3:29:18 PM

I just built a budget gaming computer for my roommate and he is an avid World of Warcraft player. I got him a 5770 and WoW runs like a champ. You will be more than happy with a 5770.
March 1, 2010 3:53:51 PM

The last post I read from a Blizzard Forum Moderator said WoW does not support/utilize Multi-GPU platforms. I also tested this with a single 4850 and CF 4850s about 1 year ago. I saw no improvement in FPS in WoW under High Settings.

However, unless this support has changed recently, please correct me. Otherwise, I would stick with a single card setup. Good luck.
a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2010 4:11:02 PM

The folks stressing the best CPU you can afford are correct. In situations where there are lots of player characters on the screen you really need that processing power to deal with the antiquated, horribly optimized graphics engine of WoW. I use an X4 955 (mildly OC'd to 965 speed) and an Gigabyte GTX 260 Super Overclock. Even with that set up my FPS can drop to the low 30s in raids or in Dalaran at prime time. Just the nature of the WoW beast.

Also, if you value FPS in such situations turn off shadow quality. Even after a year and supposed fixes its still a resources hog. I tested it recently in a crowded Stormwind. My FPS with it on max was 38. Turning it off it jumped to a vertically sync limited 60 FPS.
a c 217 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
March 1, 2010 4:28:58 PM

brett1042002 said:
The last post I read from a Blizzard Forum Moderator said WoW does not support/utilize Multi-GPU platforms. I also tested this with a single 4850 and CF 4850s about 1 year ago. I saw no improvement in FPS in WoW under High Settings.

However, unless this support has changed recently, please correct me. Otherwise, I would stick with a single card setup. Good luck.


I'll assume this changed with WotlK. It clearly supports crossfire now.
a c 217 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
March 1, 2010 4:31:07 PM

The main point I was making is that none of these cards will run at "max" settings. I just want people to understand they should say near max, no shadows, or something so that the OP isn't disapointed.
March 2, 2010 6:09:40 AM

Thanks very much for your help!

April 10, 2010 5:26:09 PM

I have a similar question, and while in my youth I was an avid computer builder, I'm reduced to programming now... it seems difficult to keep up with advancements!

Five years ago, I purchased an AMD Athalon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6400+, clocked at 2.4GHz with 4Gb RAM. I'm running XP, but plan to update to Win7 with the equipment upgrade.

I only play WoW and a couple of flight simulators (MS FSX and Garmin). The problem is my fps drops below 10 during 25-man, but runs 25-30 in Dalaran -- it doesn't matter if I have addons loaded or not. I'm on a wired LAN to a T3 connection (latency is always below 50 msec).

So, if money is not really an issue (except for spouse aggro), which direction do I go to make this box pop in Wow?
(1) Rebuild from the MB up
(2) Upgrade the video card
(3) Upgrade the CPU
(4) An combination of the above

of course, I'd like to think this next upgrade will last another five years.

Thanks!


April 10, 2010 5:37:34 PM

I have a phenomII 945 and a 5750. my framerates constantly shift. Sometimes I get 115 fps in 5 mans, ~50 fps in SW, and ~ 40 fps in dalaran. Every slider maxed out, and ever box checked under the sliders. I will admit that as of the past 2 days, i have been having amdkmdap issues. temperatures on the gfx card are hitting around 60-62 C. not sure what to do right now. MOBO bios is up to date, running 10.3 catalyst, so i dunno
Edit, I'm on a low pop server
Edit I'm not 80 yet so i cant comment on 10/25 mans
Edit my resolution is 1360x768
April 16, 2010 2:07:47 AM

bystander said:
I'll assume this changed with WotlK. It clearly supports crossfire now.

World of Warcraft tech 'Charlesps' stated the following two months ago in reply to a topic entitled 'Did wow ever get crossfire support, 02/10/2010' on the official WoW forums [http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=2...]

"Support? Yes, has been built in for a long time.

Game advantage from using it? depends. Only on lower end hardware or larger monitors.

The game relies more on the CPU than the GPU so advantages from running multiple video card sin [sic] crossfire or SLI will only occur under certain situations. The average user will not really see any difference."

So PLEASE do not sink money into a Crossfire or SLI setup just for WoW, it won't increase your FPS in 25-man raids. It will most definitely increase your framerate in other games, but not WoW as of Wrath of the Lich King. What they will do with Crossfire/SLI in Cataclysm remains to be seen, but in the mean time stick with the best single graphics card you can afford on your budget, and combine it with a fast CPU. Check out this month's "Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: April 2010" for ideas on which processors you can afford: [http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,259... ]
a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
April 16, 2010 2:37:53 AM

drchuck59 said:
I have a similar question, and while in my youth I was an avid computer builder, I'm reduced to programming now... it seems difficult to keep up with advancements!

Five years ago, I purchased an AMD Athalon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6400+, clocked at 2.4GHz with 4Gb RAM. I'm running XP, but plan to update to Win7 with the equipment upgrade.

I only play WoW and a couple of flight simulators (MS FSX and Garmin). The problem is my fps drops below 10 during 25-man, but runs 25-30 in Dalaran -- it doesn't matter if I have addons loaded or not. I'm on a wired LAN to a T3 connection (latency is always below 50 msec).

So, if money is not really an issue (except for spouse aggro), which direction do I go to make this box pop in Wow?
(1) Rebuild from the MB up
(2) Upgrade the video card
(3) Upgrade the CPU
(4) An combination of the above

of course, I'd like to think this next upgrade will last another five years.

Thanks!


if you want the PC to last another five years, upgrade from the ground up. You can carry over DVD drives and a solid PSU.
April 16, 2010 3:13:28 AM

museerouge said:
World of Warcraft tech 'Charlesps' stated the following two months ago in reply to a topic entitled 'Did wow ever get crossfire support, 02/10/2010' on the official WoW forums [http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=2...]

"Support? Yes, has been built in for a long time.

Game advantage from using it? depends. Only on lower end hardware or larger monitors.

The game relies more on the CPU than the GPU so advantages from running multiple video card sin [sic] crossfire or SLI will only occur under certain situations. The average user will not really see any difference."

So PLEASE do not sink money into a Crossfire or SLI setup just for WoW, it won't increase your FPS in 25-man raids. It will most definitely increase your framerate in other games, but not WoW as of Wrath of the Lich King. What they will do with Crossfire/SLI in Cataclysm remains to be seen, but in the mean time stick with the best single graphics card you can afford on your budget, and combine it with a fast CPU. Check out this month's "Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: April 2010" for ideas on which processors you can afford: [http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu,259... ]



ahhhhhhh.


This is what I am thinking my fps problem is.

I am building a new system. But I think my GPU in my old system is actually more than enough to run wow very very well at high settings and the rest of my old system is the problem?

I am running a duo core 2.13 ghz @ 6400 rpm with Vista OS (4g ram) with a lot of the resource hoggers turned off in vista.

I do fair in 25 man raids, but Dalaran is like 6-12 fps at best during peak times and I run an 8800 GT VC. I really think the VC is not the problem and the CPU is?
April 18, 2010 1:20:06 AM

Thanks for you inputs! I've decided to keep my old GeForce 8800DTS and invest in an i7 motherboard combination. Of course, that means new RAM and Windows7 as well, but I planned on the latter anyway. Looks like about a $1K upgrade in my future.

Now...
The Gigabyte X58 UD5 or the Asus P6T? The benchmarks are awfully close, overclocked or not, and the prices are the same on TigerDirect. Sigh...
April 18, 2010 5:03:00 AM

The Asus P6T just arrived for me yesterday. Looks good. But I dont know diddly. The person putting my setup together suggested I would have better long term happiness with the ASUS. He isnt fond of gigabyte and he has built systems from single desktop to systems running more than 20 survielance monitors for the casinos here in Las Vegas. So I trust him.
!