World of Warcraft Performance Guide

AnandTech has put together a comprehensive performance guide for World of Warcraft, providing comparisons between many of the processors and video cards currently available, as well as offering a few tips to get the game running better on your system. Check it out:

Given the tremendous market penetration of WoW, we felt that it was time to take a look at its performance demands. But unlike Doom 3 and Half Life 2, there is no static element of WoW gameplay – everything takes place in an ever-changing online world. The result is that finding a repeatable benchmark to run is fairly difficult…but not impossible. As a MMORPG, World of Warcraft doesn’t depend on the razor-sharp reaction time of a fast-paced first person shooter; instead, you spend most of your time walking around performing quests and battling at a much slower pace, in a much larger, more interactive world. As such, there are two scenarios when performance in WoW becomes an issue: when a lot of characters are present on the screen, and simply rotating the camera in the world. The former is a virtually impossible scenario to use as a benchmark, as you can’t reliably get a bunch of people to do the exact same thing at the exact same time in a repeatable fashion, but the same can’t be said about scenario 2. The world of Warcraft is truly enormous and in order to prevent overcrowding, there is a large number of servers for you to choose on which your character may play – each server has a complete copy of the Warcraft world. Even on the highest populated servers (one of which we conducted our test), there are many areas where you can go that are devoid of any player controlled characters – making them ideal for benchmarking. We chose one such spot in the Night Elf city of Darnassus.

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