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Guild Wars 2: Your Graphics Card And CPU Performance Guide

Do CPU Frequency And Core Count Matter?

We now know how a number of different graphics cards handle Guild Wars 2's various detail presets complemented by a fairly capable platform. But what happens when we pull the rug out from under the GPU with varied processor settings? 

Using a trio of processor architectures (Intel's Sandy Bridge, AMD's Bulldozer, and a Llano-based APU) we isolated clock rate with quad-core configurations.

Sandy Bridge proves itself over and over in gaming workloads. Here, it's able to let our Radeon HD 7970 stretch its legs even at 3 GHz. Overclocking to 4 GHz yields very little extra performance.

AMD's dual-module FX-4000-series demonstrates a colossal gain between 3 and 4 GHz, though, telling us that the processor is bottlenecking performance in a big way at lower frequencies.

Pushing the Llano-based APU up to 3 GHz (from 2 GHz) is less rewarding, though there is a speed-up to be had. (Ed.: Clearly, it appears that AMD's best shot at catching Sandy Bridge at 3 GHz is a quad-core Bulldozer-based chip at 5 GHz or so. Sorry, couldn't resist).

The next experiment involves altering each architecture to determine how many processing cores Guild Wars 2 is able to exploit. 

Four physical cores appear ideal, based on our results from the Sandy Bridge design. Sandy Bridge-E doesn't seem to introduce any benefit at all. Intel's dual-core, Hyper-Threaded Core i3 and dual-core Pentium are notably slower, though they still embarrass the eight-core AMD FX at 3 GHz. 

The six- and eight-core FX processors perform fairly similarly, while the quad-core FX-4000-series is quite a bit slower. Remember, though, that the eight-core chip actually consists of four Bulldozer modules. The six- and four-core parts feature three and two modules, respectively. Each module involves notable resource-sharing, which likely affects performance.

Three cores appear optimal on AMD's Llano-based APU. The fourth one yields very little performance gain. The dual-core Llano demonstrates the lowest results in this test.

  • cmcghee358
    Hmm.. shame I can never touch an MMORPG ever again...
    Reply
  • haplo602
    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 ...
    Reply
  • rdc85
    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....
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    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
    Reply
  • stingstang
    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.
    Reply
  • EzioAs
    9536678 said:
    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
    Reply
  • dudewitbow
    Now I wonder where some people got the idea that GW2 was nvidia favored O_o
    Reply
  • dormantreign
    You gots me wanting to buy this game......
    Reply
  • serhat359
    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
    Reply
  • tomfreak
    Guild wars 2 min system requirements is Core 2 Duo 2.0 Geforce 7800, I would like u to test base on that too.
    Reply