Low Detail, No AA
We’ll start out with shaders set to low and the bloom effect turned off. The rest of the detail options are left at their highest settings, since changing them doesn't have a notable effect on performance.
The Radeon HD 6450 is on the edge of playable at 1280x1024 with a minimum frame rate of 25 FPS. All of the cards tested except the Radeon HD 6450 are viable at 1680x1050, although the GeForce GT 240 and GeForce GT 430 also present low minimum frame rates of 25 FPS at that resolution.
Increasing the display to 1920x1080 doesn’t have much of an effect on those two GeForce cards, but the Radeon HD 5570, Radeon HD 5770, and GeForce GTX 550 Ti are really the only options that deliver smooth performance.
Although it doesn't look particularly demanding, Star Wars: The Old Republic seems to require mid-range graphics hardware in order to run smoothly. The Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5 is a fairly respectable low-end card, yet it couldn't muster a minimum 30 FPS at 1280x1024 using the lowest available detail settings. That's a pretty high requirement for an MMO, a genre that traditionally targets low-end integrated graphics hardware in order to accommodate the largest possible install base.
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!
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...
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.