Tobold's Blog
Sunday, December 18, 2011
SWTOR system requirements

If you haven't bought a game yet, and you wonder whether it will run on your computer, that isn't all that easy to find out. Typical official system requirements are either cryptic or overly optimistic. According to EA Bioware, SWTOR runs on a toaster. And yes, Star Wars: The Old Republic runs on my 2-year old laptop.

At 10 frames per second. :(

Simple comparison: The same laptop runs World of Warcraft at 80 frames per second. Which means WoW can be played fluidly, but playing SWTOR is kind of a pain. I keep running into walls, and in combat my companion is doing most of the work.

Hmmm, I might give myself a new laptop for Christmas. :)
I get 10fps or less in some MMOs I play, usually in cities or in raid situations. I've generally found that anything above 7fps is eminently playable. So long as the hot keys respond in good time and and the character turns, moves and stops relatively smoothly it's all good.

Once fps rises above about 25 I really can't tell the difference. By that point everything happens in real-time so I've never been sure what the supposed benefits of a higher fps are believed to be. What can you see or do in WoW at 70fps that you can't at 30fps?
Yeah, the difference between the 2 games is absolutely huge. And SW:tOR's graphics definitely don't account for it.

I've just finished a 25 man raid in WoW and didn't have ANY fps issues, with a lot of addons installed and graphic settings on high.

Meanwhile, Huttball for me was unplayable in beta. I was getting less than 10 fps and all kinds of sound issues (sound lag basically... never seen it before in any game).
Have you tried turning off shadows? Helped my framerate immensely.
Try to set Shaders to low, then turn off Bloom and Shadows. I get playable frame rate (30 - 60 fps) on my ancient Radeon 4670 now.
Yeah, my laptop runs wow great, but I have to set SWTOR to the Ugly settings to run decently.
I recently upgraded my two year old Intel Core 2 Duo laptop with 512 MB dedicated video to an i7 laptop with 1 GB Radeon dedicated video and a 256 solid state hard drive. Huge improvement, obviously. The jump in performance was better than expected.
I was having major FPS issues even on "low" settings. I changed to windowed (full screen) and it resulted in a much higher FPS. Seems odd because typically a windowed mode is slower....just something to try i guess...
Ironically, my 1st gen Alienware 11-incher (14 months old) fails to qualify as a toaster. Even factory overclocked the CPU comes in significantly below the minimum box spec.

This fail-toaster was also below the spec for Rift, but that game at least runs because they seem to have designed it to function under degraded performance for massive invasions. SWTOR was not fun to play on my current machine over the Thanksgiving beta, which made my decision to sit out the launch much much easier.
Try to set Shaders to low, then turn off Bloom and Shadows.

Bizzarely, I had to set shaders to high in order to turn shadows off, the option was not available with shaders on low. I never would have worked that out had a guildie not told me. The game runs on my laptop about 3 times as fast with that change, especially noticable indoors where I was getting 5-10fps.

For those of us prepared to fiddle iwth settings, and even .ini files, it's ok I guess. A less computer-savvy player might cancel their subscription due to unplayerbility when it just a settings change thats needed. I think a lot of PC games have this problem, and it probably costs a lot more in lost sales for PC developers than they think.
It' really letting my PC do overtime. My PC runs WoW fine except in the huge cities with dozens of peoples.

SW-Tor however runs to a crawl indoors. It's playable but I'll have to upgrade my PC in the coming months.

And I also have the feeling that it's not the graphics that are the bottleneck. I've played other games that look even better on my PC without problems. Battlefield 2: BC2, Skyrim and Crysis all run fine and look way better.
I too have had to reshuffle my pc's around to run two sessions of TOR.

While not completely unexpected it is interesting that TOR's graphics appear to be more demanding than WoW's.

My personal opinion is that WOW was developed in an era where the advanced graphics in NVIDIA chips were not available. Therefore the Wow devs rolled their own to get performance.

TOR does not have that perception and just puts a product out there that needs the latest graphics to work.

Times are a'changin as they say... TOR is one of the 1st games in awhile where people are saying "time for an upgrade". Good for the economy and such....
WoW will run on almost anything though. It appears to me to be a game that relies more on the CPU, not something I've ever read up on just a personal impression.

When it released in 2004 I was playing it on my work laptop when travelling. That was a 2003 IBM thinkpad (T40) with 1Gb RAM, Intel GMA 900 integrated graphics and a pentium M (750 I think).

With all graphics set to minimum I could go to Alterac Valley with no framerate issues. The landscapes looked like a chessboard but it was completely playable. I dont think any modern games would come close to this an perhaps the comparison between 2 games released 7 years apart is a little unfair?
It always amazes me that MMOs that aim to follow in WoW's footsteps totally ignore one of the most fundamental reasons for WOW's success.
There has to be something seriously wrong for it to be giving the results it is. Turning off shadows make the game playable, but what's on the screen just plain shouldn't take the resources it does.
My PC runs SW:TOR fine on high settings. Its 2 years old, but being a gamer I always make sure i'm running up-to-date hardware, especially vid card. A laptop is normally not very good for gaming, unless it was specifically designed for it. Its like trying to hammer a nail with a could do it, but why torture yourself?
I recommend Digeus Registry Cleaner as it is the best know on the market. It finds and fixes far more errors in the systen than any other. I run it every time when my computer starts crashing or working slow.
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