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Guild Wars 2: Your Graphics Card And CPU Performance Guide

Guild Wars 2 Is Accessible, But Still Very Scalable

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.

  • 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