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Guild Wars 2 Is Accessible, But Still Very Scalable

Guild Wars 2: Your Graphics Card And CPU Performance Guide
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Guild Wars 2 looks good, even at its lowest detail settings. And it runs smoothly at 1920x1080 on a $40 Radeon HD 6450 using that entry-level preset. Only Nvidia's GeForce 210 can't handle such a combination. Stepping up to the Balanced detail preset, the GeForce GTX 550 Ti and Radeon HD 7750 are both well-suited to smooth performance 1920x1080.

Switching on the Best Appearance option is smooth enough if you're using a Radeon HD 7770 or GeForce GTX 560 at 1920x1080. If you game at 2560x1600, however, you need at least a Radeon HD 7870 or GeForce GTX 580 to achieve a minimum of 30 FPS.

We think all of that is great news for gaming enthusiasts ready to enjoy countless hours in Guild Wars 2 without being forced into an expensive hardware upgrade. We can't help but love games that scale well on a wide range of graphics hardware, giving everyone the chance to play, and then rewarding the folks with high-end machines to push the details even higher.

A Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 is all you need for the best possible experience. However, a Core i3 or Pentium processor will also perform well. Clock rate is particularly important if you're using an FX-based chip from AMD. Take full advantage of those unlocked multipliers to push 3.5 GHz or higher with the FX-8000 and -6000 CPUs, and over 4 GHz with the FX-4000 series if possible. The Llano-based APUs struggle more with this game, presumably because they lack L3 cache. If you have an A8-3870K, the only unlocked model, try to get up above 3.5 GHz with it.

Our time spent playing Guild Wars 2 before the beta closed was far too brief, unfortunately. But the game left us with a favorable impression, and a great sense of anticipation. The dynamic event aspect is engaging, and will likely be very popular with casual gamers.

One concern we do have is whether the title's free-form structure proves detrimental when it comes time to connect with other players. An MMO's strength lies in its ability to bring people together in lasting relationships. However, a dynamic events system like the one in Guild Wars 2 may marginalize its relationship-building capability.

ArenaNet may have a great solution to this potential drawback that we may not know about yet. The good news is that, like its predecessor seven years ago, Guild Wars 2 requires no monthly fee, and our experience with it thus far suggests it'll be worth its purchase price.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    tomfreak , August 27, 2012 6:05 AM
    Guild wars 2 min system requirements is Core 2 Duo 2.0 Geforce 7800, I would like u to test base on that too.
  • 12 Hide
    EzioAs , August 27, 2012 5:43 AM
    Interesting. The less-than-$100-without-external-power-connector Radeon 7750 is a balance card providing appealing visual while still runs good framerates at 1080p. I imagined if you tinker with the Best Appearance preset a little bit you can get better image quality without framerates dropping below 30. I mean let's face it, who plays on their PC without tinkering the settings here and there, that's just stupid.

    Great review as always! Really appreciate it
  • 11 Hide
    alidan , August 27, 2012 7:12 AM
    i have a question...

    intel has moved on from their core2 line, and came out with higher preforming parts, amd has moved from athlon and phenom line to... a new architecture, i dont know if they match the old one yet or not.

    but when you are doing a cpu test on a game like this where its very scaleable, it would be nice to see the core 2 dual and quad, also a phenom dual tri and quad core (from what i understand athlon and phenom for most gaming scenarios are the same) because many of us have the old dual core, and quad core cpus, and dont feel the need to upgrade because its just not nessassary for normal computer use yet.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    cmcghee358 , August 27, 2012 5:23 AM
    Hmm.. shame I can never touch an MMORPG ever again...
  • -8 Hide
    haplo602 , August 27, 2012 5:35 AM
    get your graphs and test setup to match:

    Radeon HD 6450 512 MB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 6670 512 MB DDR3
    Radeon HD 7770 1 GB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 6850 1 GB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 7970 3 GB GDDR5

    where's the 6850 in the graphs ? There's a 6870 instead ...
  • 11 Hide
    rdc85 , August 27, 2012 5:37 AM
    I'm wonder how my pII x4 955BE will perform, there none in the chart...

    Anyone know? at stock speed and at 3.8 O.C....
  • 12 Hide
    EzioAs , August 27, 2012 5:43 AM
    Interesting. The less-than-$100-without-external-power-connector Radeon 7750 is a balance card providing appealing visual while still runs good framerates at 1080p. I imagined if you tinker with the Best Appearance preset a little bit you can get better image quality without framerates dropping below 30. I mean let's face it, who plays on their PC without tinkering the settings here and there, that's just stupid.

    Great review as always! Really appreciate it
  • 2 Hide
    stingstang , August 27, 2012 5:46 AM
    I'm disappointed that this neglects the post processing bar when determining if the best appearance setting is enabled when taking in to account processing ability. I have an fx4100 and an hd 7950. How will that do at high grahhics settings?
    Duh, we want to know this stuff.
  • 3 Hide
    EzioAs , August 27, 2012 5:49 AM
    Quote:
    get your graphs and test setup to match:

    Radeon HD 6450 512 MB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 6670 512 MB DDR3
    Radeon HD 7770 1 GB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 6850 1 GB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 7870 2 GB GDDR5
    Radeon HD 7970 3 GB GDDR5

    where's the 6850 in the graphs ? There's a 6870 instead ...


    Although it's probably a typo, there's probably no need to use the 6850 as well since the 7770 should perform similar
  • 0 Hide
    dudewitbow , August 27, 2012 5:54 AM
    Now I wonder where some people got the idea that GW2 was nvidia favored O_o
  • 3 Hide
    dormantreign , August 27, 2012 6:00 AM
    You gots me wanting to buy this game......
  • 5 Hide
    serhat359 , August 27, 2012 6:01 AM
    stingstangI'm disappointed that this neglects the post processing bar when determining if the best appearance setting is enabled when taking in to account processing ability. I have an fx4100 and an hd 7950. How will that do at high grahhics settings?Duh, we want to know this stuff.

    It will be cpu limited, you'll get around 35-40fps
  • 13 Hide
    tomfreak , August 27, 2012 6:05 AM
    Guild wars 2 min system requirements is Core 2 Duo 2.0 Geforce 7800, I would like u to test base on that too.
  • 1 Hide
    dudewitbow , August 27, 2012 6:11 AM
    TomfreakGuild wars 2 min system requirements is Core 2 Duo 2.0 Geforce 7800, I would like u to test base on that too.

    gpu wise, the gt version of the 7800 will perform about the same level as the 6450 in question. a low end core 2 duo will be on the lower end of the cpu chart.
  • 0 Hide
    burmese_dude , August 27, 2012 6:14 AM
    Playing mine on EVGA GTX 570 SC... everything runs smoothly. The game is absolutely great. I was a 50/50 member of GW1 and I was hoping GW2 wouldn't disappoint. GW2 truly delivers fun experience and entertainment without having to shell out 10 or 15 monthly. My gaming laptop with GT 650M with output to 1080p display to a TV also performed smoothly in medium setting. I haven't tried max setting though on that.

  • 2 Hide
    falchard , August 27, 2012 6:14 AM
    Ugh really hate developers who do that. Its not just low performance with the Bulldozer cores. Its almost purpostantial performance loss, or a big error in coding. Heard that sometimes with Bulldozer everything gets piled onto 1 core like the engine has no idea what to do with the architecture.
    Also DX9, are they serious? THIS IS 2012. DX10 is 6 years old. Get with it already and learn to code a game engine. Its not like this is a multi-platform game.
  • 6 Hide
    dudewitbow , August 27, 2012 6:25 AM
    burmese_dudePlaying mine on EVGA GTX 570 SC... everything runs smoothly. The game is absolutely great. I was a 50/50 member of GW1 and I was hoping GW2 wouldn't disappoint. GW2 truly delivers fun experience and entertainment without having to shell out 10 or 15 monthly. My gaming laptop with GT 650M with output to 1080p display to a TV also performed smoothly in medium setting. I haven't tried max setting though on that.


    the 650m will perform similarish to the 7750 in question

    falchardUgh really hate developers who do that. Its not just low performance with the Bulldozer cores. Its almost purpostantial performance loss, or a big error in coding. Heard that sometimes with Bulldozer everything gets piled onto 1 core like the engine has no idea what to do with the architecture.Also DX9, are they serious? THIS IS 2012. DX10 is 6 years old. Get with it already and learn to code a game engine. Its not like this is a multi-platform game.


    being dx9, it allows users who still use windows XP to play without someone creating a mod or use the directx hack to force xp to run it. I mean skyrim also runs on DX9
  • 8 Hide
    dudewitbow , August 27, 2012 6:32 AM
    amuffinA dual core SB pentium outperforming an 8 core FX.........ROFL!

    Thats why I really hope that piledriver/steamroller pulls through.
  • 3 Hide
    amuffin , August 27, 2012 6:33 AM
    A dual core SB pentium outperforming an 8 core FX.........ROFL!
  • 7 Hide
    Cryio , August 27, 2012 7:00 AM
    You tested the game only in DirectX 9. Where is DirectX10 and 11? Or aren't they implemented yet (post-release patch)?
  • 8 Hide
    Cryio , August 27, 2012 7:09 AM
    Quote:
    A dual core SB pentium outperforming an 8 core FX.........ROFL!


    That really makes you wander, if games/programs really know to put Bulldozer to work. I think it just sits there, idling at least 50% of processor raw power.
  • 11 Hide
    alidan , August 27, 2012 7:12 AM
    i have a question...

    intel has moved on from their core2 line, and came out with higher preforming parts, amd has moved from athlon and phenom line to... a new architecture, i dont know if they match the old one yet or not.

    but when you are doing a cpu test on a game like this where its very scaleable, it would be nice to see the core 2 dual and quad, also a phenom dual tri and quad core (from what i understand athlon and phenom for most gaming scenarios are the same) because many of us have the old dual core, and quad core cpus, and dont feel the need to upgrade because its just not nessassary for normal computer use yet.
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