Is Your Windows 8 Tablet Fast Enough For PC Gaming?

MMO Games: World Of Warcraft and Star Wars: The Old Republic

World of Warcraft

Believe it or not, there was a time when World of Warcraft demanded more than an entry-level system (and even today, you can dial the game up to Ultra and hammer performance pretty hard). This title remains one of the most relevant names in the PC space, so we decided to give it a try as well.

I went with the DirectX 11 code path and WoW's Low detail preset with no anti-aliasing applied, which allowed us to play the game smoothly at the tablet's 1280x800 resolution. As with the strategy games on the previous page, MMOs aren't truly suited for anything other than keyboard and mouse controls.

The video shows us viewing a multiplayer PvP battle without any performance hitches. With a good Internet connection, you can have a respectable WoW experience on the road.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic is built on a more sophisticated graphics engine than World of Warcraft, but it scales down detail levels for less-capable hardware fairly well. It's also free-to-play, and a textbook example of irritating nagware. 

Regardles, to get the game running on Dell's Venue 8 Pro, we had to lower the detail levels as low as they'd go and switch to an 800x600 resolution. That probably sounds terrible to most of us, but it's not bad on an 8" screen. And remember, Sony's Vita is always limited to 960x544.

The game is playable, though frame rates drop noticeably on occasion. Strictly speaking, I'd call the performance playable, though I don't know how much of this you'd be willing to endure on an Atom-based tablet. Perhaps our configuration would suffice for a hardcore player looking to maintain a character on the road. It's not ideal as a viable platform for participating in demanding missions.

  • batman2142
    Same article with SP3 would be a worthy read since it gives a chance to see how their HD4400 vs HD5000 on the variants match up, and if possible a projection on what the newer chipset that wont be making into the current SP3 but might make into the refresh by holiday season?
  • AMD Radeon
    Great Review :)

    Finally i see one noticeable advantage of Windows Tablet over Android
  • blackmagnum
    Burn your hands on the tablet while gaming, why don't you?
  • iPeekYou
    "...turning it into a portable PC gaming console..."

    Does not compute
  • K-beam
    Awesome article, Don, I have had the same thoughts recently. I think we would have appreciated some more info especially on:
    - Battery (maybe most important when you speak of portablility) - how long does it last with this model. I was eyeing the Asus Transformer Book T100TA, which they say has a quite respectable battery (but is also more expensive)
    - Does a PS3 controller (free, if you have a PS3) work with it?
    I would ideally have liked to see a mention of the Prince of Persia / Max Payne (1+2) / (Older) Tomb Raider / Splinter cell (1-4) and similar older third-person adventure games. In my opinion those work marvellously with a PS3 gamepad. Ah, I forgot - I wonder whether the touch would work directly with games from the Monkey Island series. Ah, another great genre for playing on a tablet, that was totally missed here - turn-based strategy games like the Heroes of Might and Magic series and Civilization (4). And also the grand-daddy of "modern" open-world FPSs - FarCry 1 :)
    The biggest risk with those games is still compatibility with touch/Win 8.
    An expanded re-visit maybe when the new generation of chips come out from either from Intel or AMD?
  • CaptainTom
    I mean isn't the controller choice obvious: PS4. It connects via bluetooth and has a touchpad so you can control the menus with a mouse.
  • back_by_demand
    If you bought a Surface Pro 3 it probably wasn't to play games, but nice to know it is one of the best performers out there in the tablet range
  • ScrewySqrl
    What I want to know is why has no one pushed an AMD APU into one of these windows tablets for gaming?
  • K-beam
    I am also thinking SteamOS as dual boot...
  • K-beam
    What's up with these multiple posts!!! Sorry for the splamming, it seems every time the page gets refreshed, the post is re-submitted!