Guild Wars 2: GW2 Graphics Cards and System Requirements

If you are anything like us, you want to play games with the best graphics possible without sacrificing frame rate. The question we all have then regarding GW2 is, “What graphics card do I need to play Guild Wars 2 on the highest settings and still get a good frame rate?” If you are just concerned with minimum system requirements, those are pasted below as well. With the much anticipated pre-purchase of Guild Wars 2 coming April 10th, we thought it may be useful to begin discussing the graphics & system requirements of this game. There is a lot of conjecture out there on the innerweb, so what we did was assimilate and consolidate some of it for you.

Point 1: Guild Wars 2 runs on basically the same graphics engine as Guild Wars. It was developed pre DirectX 10, so DirectX 9 cards should play it well. Let us derive (using moderately poor logic) some conclusions:
First and foremost, if you know a setup can play Guild Wars, it should do OK if not the same for Guild Wars 2. Secondly, Guild Wars requires a less powerful system than WoW (World of Warcraft) in terms of CPU and graphics demand. So, if your graphics card / system can play World of Warcraft well, it should also be able to play Guild Wars 2 pretty well (you can download a trial of both World of Warcraft and the original Guild Wars).

Minimum System Requirements for Guild Wars 2:
Windows XP SP2
Intel Core 2 Duo (2.0ghz), Core i3, or AMD Athlon 64 x2
GeForce 7800 (this is not even in our Top 150 cards), Radeon x1800, Intel HD 3000
25GB HD space

ArenaNet does not have “recommended specs” posted yet. However, based on some videos we have seen from beta testers (and we will also be beta testing this soon), I was able to draw a decent conclusion as to what type of system you will need. A guy was running the game with dual GTX 570s (yes dual), and cranked the settings from “best performance” to “best appearance”. His computer lagged heavily, moreover, it actually lagged in the middle graphics settings some as well. That said, he was running an Intel i7 920 @ 2.67ghz (stock speed), and it appeared that he was CPU-bound. He had an SSD & tri-channel RAM, but honestly it seemed his CPU was slower in terms of scale than his GPUs. I really think that we will find Guild Wars 2 to be more CPU-intensive than GPU-intensive, which we will verify later by clocking our CPU from 2.67ghz all the way up to around 4.2ghz. We can’t do that until the next beta weekend, sorry. We will post a comprehensive article later.

Best Guess @ Recommended System Requirements for Guild Wars 2:
Intel Core i7 920 (OC) @ 3.6ghz+
Nvidia GTX 580, Radeon HD 6970, or better
12GB Tri-Channel RAM (1600mhz+)

I base these recommended system specs on videos I have seen and how they have performed. These are not yet based on true benchmarks, which we do plan to employ in the near future, so it will be fun to see how good of a guess this actually is in producing a lag-free environment in GW2. Using our algorithm, we plan to benchmark the game with the following system which will allow us to create a performance calculator (estimator) for the game for you later (CPU vs GPU as well). If we experience lag or low frame rates with our benchmark system on max, we are going to worry a little bit. We still show the HD 5970 as a Top 10 performer.

Our Benchmark System:
Intel Core i7 920 @ 4.0ghz
ATI Radeon HD 5970 (dual GPU)
12GB Tri-Channel RAM @ 1600mhz
SSD w/ Win 7 64bit adjusted for best performance

Again, this was just an intro to Guild Wars 2 system specs and we look forward to bringing you some “concrete” results in the near future.

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