Benchmark Results: Best Appearance Preset
The Best Appearance preset adds FXAA, with maximum texture, shadow, post-processing, and reflection detail. These benchmarks reveal how mid-range and high-end cards fare when Guild Wars 2 is cranked up as high as it can go.
The Radeon HD 7750 and GeForce GTX 550 Ti had no trouble through 1920x1080 at the Balanced preset. However, they're both knocked down to about 30 FPS minimums using the Best Appearance setting. The graphics cards we add to the field scale pretty much as we'd expect.
Three of the cards cannot quite manage a minimum of 30 FPS at 1680x1050, but they're close enough that we'd still consider them playable. More than half of our GPUs aren't able to push minimum frame rates higher than 40 FPS at 1680x1050.
At 1920x1080, you need at least a Radeon HD 7770 or GeForce GTX 560 to use the best-looking graphics preset offered in Guild Wars 2. It's preferable to get smoother performance using the Balanced setting when it comes to slower cards.
Cranking our test resolution up to 2560x1600 complicates the story quite a bit.
Using a 30" screen and Guild Wars 2's Best Appearance preset causes most graphics cards to choke. Only the top four cards manage to maintain more than 30 FPS throughout the benchmark run. None of the boards we're testing can keep above 40 FPS, including the powerful Radeon HD 7970 and GeForce GTX 670. At its highest detail setting, Guild Wars 2 clearly demands a potent graphics subsystem.