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Low CPU Requirements, But Mid-Range Graphics Recommended

Star Wars: The Old Republic: PC Performance, Benchmarked
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Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t a resource hog, but it does require a respectable amount of graphics muscle to enjoy at its highest settings. Our testing shows that the game in its current state favors AMD cards, though it remains to be seen how much optimization AMD and Nvidia are able to put in before it goes live later this month.

At low detail settings you’ll want at least a Radeon HD 5770 or GeForce GTS 450 for smooth 1680x1050 frame rates. At high settings, even with 4x MSAA, the game doesn’t need much more, and a Radeon HD 5770/6770 or GeForce GTX 550 Ti can handle 1920x1080. 

I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.

With texture transparency anti-aliasing enabled, this MMO is much more demanding. At 1920x1080, only AMD's Radeon HD 6970 was able to provide slightly more than a minimum of 30 FPS, although the GeForce GTX 570 was only a little behind.

When it comes to platform requirements, the game is much more forgiving. Really, any quad-core chip will suffice. Or, you could go with a dual-core processor running faster than 2.5 GHz.

I look forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master.I look forward to completing your training. In time you will call me master.

What about the game itself? The question on everyone’s mind is: will it be compelling enough to take on World of Warcraft? While we think that Star Wars: The Old Republic is fantastic, its monthly fee is $15 (the same as Blizzard’s). If these were the only two MMOs around, we’d say that Bioware's new darling has a good chance of capturing big market share. However, the free-to-play model looks like the way of the future. Already, some premium games have gone free, including Lord Of The Rings Online, Age Of Conan, Need For Speed World, Vindictus, DC Universe Online, and Dungeons and Dragons Online. Star Trek Online will be free in January of 2012, if you're a sci-fi buff looking for a no-cost MMO based on major IP. Even World Of Warcraft appears to be hemorrhaging more subscribers than usual between content updates, and it’s possible that players are being lured away by free, high-quality competition.

Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy!Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops, boy!

None of this takes anything away from Bioware's accomplishments in Star Wars: The Old Republic, mind you. But we do wonder how many more players this title would have attracted a year or two ago when free-to-play was synonymous with crappy Flash-based browser games.

Still trying to find a restroomStill trying to find a restroom

Star Wars: The Old Republic offers a solid, fleshed-out single-player RPG experience to this MMO in the beloved Star Wars universe, but we don’t think it lives up to the hype. Frankly, we're not sure that anything could. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying this is a bad game. We think Bioware’s creation has the chops to pull a lot of people into its well-crafted web, but only time will tell if it has what it takes to keep them there, particularly when its subscription-based model is forced to compete against some impressive free-to-play titles.

Regardless, if you’re a fan of Star Wars and MMOs, you owe it to yourself to give Star Wars: The Old Republic a try, if only to play through all eight unique character classes.

Star Wars, Those Near And Far Wars...Star Wars, Those Near And Far Wars...

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Top Comments
  • 16 Hide
    hpglow , December 6, 2011 3:35 AM
    Tom's you get bought out by Best of Media, and now the news is a couple days old and stale, we get anoying pop-ups over what we are reading every 3 pages or so, and there are very few cards in this write up. Why do I keep coming here to read stuff? I'm just going to take you guys out of my queue of reads every day you need to go back to what made you profitable.
  • 10 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 6, 2011 6:04 AM
    Quote:
    ......

    use firefox with noscript, ghostery and adblock plus.
    i don't see any ads on this page.
  • 10 Hide
    jellico , December 6, 2011 3:52 AM
    Ran the game on very high, max viewing distance with:
    i7-2600K
    Radeon HD 5850

    I played with high settings and a 3/4 viewing distance with:
    Core 2 Duo e840
    Nvidia GTS 8800

    I played with with a mixture of low and medium settings and 40% viewing distance with:
    i5 - 750
    Radeon HD 4670

    So clearly, a better video card (even an older one) is more important than a top-end processor.

    This is a great game! Every quest and NPC interaction has voice-overs which greatly add to the dimension of the game. The intro movies are the best I've seen of any game, ever!
Other Comments
  • 16 Hide
    hpglow , December 6, 2011 3:35 AM
    Tom's you get bought out by Best of Media, and now the news is a couple days old and stale, we get anoying pop-ups over what we are reading every 3 pages or so, and there are very few cards in this write up. Why do I keep coming here to read stuff? I'm just going to take you guys out of my queue of reads every day you need to go back to what made you profitable.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , December 6, 2011 3:50 AM
    Looks like my GTX 460 will handle the game fine. Playing in the tester weekend beta really made me look forward to playing the game.
  • 10 Hide
    jellico , December 6, 2011 3:52 AM
    Ran the game on very high, max viewing distance with:
    i7-2600K
    Radeon HD 5850

    I played with high settings and a 3/4 viewing distance with:
    Core 2 Duo e840
    Nvidia GTS 8800

    I played with with a mixture of low and medium settings and 40% viewing distance with:
    i5 - 750
    Radeon HD 4670

    So clearly, a better video card (even an older one) is more important than a top-end processor.

    This is a great game! Every quest and NPC interaction has voice-overs which greatly add to the dimension of the game. The intro movies are the best I've seen of any game, ever!
  • -7 Hide
    hokkdawg , December 6, 2011 3:53 AM
    I just KNEW this game wouldn't live up to the hype. It has a great single player RPG component, but it really doesn't need to be an MMO. It's like LOTRO - that game is great when sold as a single RPG to play offline, or even with P2P multiplayer. But as an MMO? Totally not worth the monthly fees. Time will tell with SW:TOR, but it sounds like the single player is the primary selling point...and the venture into MMO territory is nothing but a ploy to rake in more income from monthly fees...
  • 1 Hide
    lunyone , December 6, 2011 4:20 AM
    Well I might be interested, but at $15/month I'm not that interested.
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , December 6, 2011 4:23 AM
    As a subscription based game, BioWare can continually add content, and it doesn't hurt to be able to group with people for tough encounters or just because you enjoy it.
  • 8 Hide
    SirGCal , December 6, 2011 4:25 AM
    I was on the beta. Thought my system is a bit overkill (OCd 1100T & 6970), it ran like butter with everything maxed and the AA trick activated.

    Still, I'm excited for release. I had a lot of fun in the beta and world PVP seems interesting without being annoying (though time will tell when the whole public gets ahold of it). You can solo much of it, but there are mini-raids starting at level 10 (or flashpoints I think they were called)...

    The stories were just... wow... Sometimes they went a bit weak but they were always so detailed. I can say that this wouldn't be nearly as good as a single-player RPG. Lots of social aspects going on. But it's also not a grind like any other MMO I've done... Never once did I feel the grind of 'go kill 20 of these, bring the eye. go kill another 20, bring the teeth (why didn't they tell me last time).' Infact, kill X anything was a very rarity accept for a bonus xp aspect of which you nearly always doubled before finishing anyhow.

    The big question is; "Will it have a good end-game"... Cause if not (and we didn't get to test that far), then long-term playability will be very limited... But again, we'll see that very soon...
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 6, 2011 4:27 AM
    Will I lag with a low end graphics card in lets say a city or an instance? What would u recommend the minimum graphics to do such things and have a good experience?
  • 0 Hide
    Yargnit , December 6, 2011 4:31 AM
    Perfect timing, I've been trying to decide between a 6950 and 560ti for a new SWTOR rig to get for Xmas. Wish you had tested these specific cards, but this certianly helps still. I've always prefered Nvidia's cause of better drivers, but this makes it real hard to take a 560ti over a 6950.

    Just wish you ran a 1gb/2gb card test. I've seen SWTOR eat tons of memory (2.7GB) & I wonder if video RAM is the same way.
  • 0 Hide
    SirGCal , December 6, 2011 4:35 AM
    IrcastilloWill I lag with a low end graphics card in lets say a city or an instance? What would u recommend the minimum graphics to do such things and have a good experience?

    That was a common complaint in cities, not in instances... But tolerable also. I didn't have that problem but... I'm anything but low-end in my case... As for the minimum, it would really depend on what you're running, what res you run, what graphics you 'must have' to enjoy it, etc. But I know a lot of people running full out with half the card I have. If you just get a mid-grade unit from either manufacturer, you'd be capable to go anywhere without video slowdown. Might not be able to turn on the toys (AA, tessellation, etc.) but you should be able to have the rest of the stuff up to max or close... Again, it's all depending on what you're needing and going to do with it. Might be better to make a post in the video-card forum area for this topic with the details you're after to not take this particular thread off-topic.
  • -4 Hide
    RazorBurn , December 6, 2011 4:50 AM
    Hope Toms will Review Guild Wars 2.. Guild Wars 2 is much better game in all aspect than SW:TOR and WOW.. And no monthly fees, just buy the Game and its all set.. EPIC GAME in my opinion..
  • -4 Hide
    Yargnit , December 6, 2011 5:00 AM
    RazorBurnHope Toms will Review Guild Wars 2.. Guild Wars 2 is much better game in all aspect than SW:TOR and WOW.. And no monthly fees, just buy the Game and its all set.. EPIC GAME in my opinion..


    See that's the thing. I (and many other people) see it the opposite way. I won't play a FTP MMO as my main game. I just could never get into at as seriously as a PTP MMO. That's why we need both types available. Just on the fact that Guild Wars (2) is FTP I'll never try it.

    I'm not going 2 bash people that like it, whatever works for you. But I am getting tired of everyone trying to push all new MMO's to be FTP. PTP has a dedicated community of it's own just as FTP does.
  • -1 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 6, 2011 5:15 AM
    could you add zambezi (fx 4100, 6100, 8120) to the performance analysis articles since amd is slowly phasing phenoms out? i wonder how they perform with mid and high end gfx cards, at stock and overclocked. some llano numbers would also be helpful.
  • 8 Hide
    deekie75 , December 6, 2011 5:16 AM
    WTF is with all the ads, Tom's? These damn pages are 2/3rds filled with advertising crap, every 15th word is associated with a link that spawns more ad crap, and then to top things off every time I switch pages I get a pop up from CDW. I realize you guys need to pay the bills, but give me a break! This is the first time in like 10 years I have even remotely considered not coming here anymore.

    Also, you guys that freak out about $15 a month are either 12 years old, completely incapable of monitoring your finances, or both. I have been playing MMOs since the release of UO back in the day pretty much nonstop. $15 a month is an absolute steal for the amount of entertainment you get. I have quite literally saved myself THOUSANDS of dollars because MMOs keep me from going to the bar, going to the movies 2 or 3 times a week, renting more movies, buying multiple single-player PC titles every month, and all sorts of other crap to keep myself entertained. Maybe I'm in the minority here, I dunno. But from my perspective, MMOs are one of the biggest bargains there is.

    Just sayin'.
  • 3 Hide
    Maziar , December 6, 2011 5:35 AM
    Looks good;though,I wasn't expecting it to be this much demanding.
    Haven't played the game yet but the first time I watched a video of it,I thought a GTX 570/6970 can easily get 60FPS average on 1080p
  • -3 Hide
    cmcghee358 , December 6, 2011 6:04 AM
    deekie75WTF is with all the ads, Tom's? These damn pages are 2/3rds filled with advertising crap, every 15th word is associated with a link that spawns more ad crap, and then to top things off every time I switch pages I get a pop up from CDW. I realize you guys need to pay the bills, but give me a break! This is the first time in like 10 years I have even remotely considered not coming here anymore.Also, you guys that freak out about $15 a month are either 12 years old, completely incapable of monitoring your finances, or both. I have been playing MMOs since the release of UO back in the day pretty much nonstop. $15 a month is an absolute steal for the amount of entertainment you get. I have quite literally saved myself THOUSANDS of dollars because MMOs keep me from going to the bar, going to the movies 2 or 3 times a week, renting more movies, buying multiple single-player PC titles every month, and all sorts of other crap to keep myself entertained. Maybe I'm in the minority here, I dunno. But from my perspective, MMOs are one of the biggest bargains there is.Just sayin'.


    What you see as a "waste of thousands" others refer to as a "life"

    Food for thought.
  • 10 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 6, 2011 6:04 AM
    Quote:
    ......

    use firefox with noscript, ghostery and adblock plus.
    i don't see any ads on this page.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , December 6, 2011 6:12 AM
    Please and IGP performance numbers. This MMO+Star will be played be many people who are running older systems such as a Core2 MacBook Pro (not a 2nd gen Core... Intel + Marketing = Fail). I'm most interested in I3 and AMD Llano performance numbers for those who are budget conscious upgraders.
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , December 6, 2011 6:28 AM
    Another PC game that actually uses the hardware. With BF3 and Skyrim, it looks like we can really look forward to the next gen of video cards. I hope more devs are working on pushing the hardware with their software. Also games seem to be scaling well also, which is great for folks on a budget that can't upgrade right now.
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