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WoW - How much cpu power do you need? (Answer: More than Sandy Bridge)

post #1 of 253
Thread Starter 
Short answer: If you're looking to get 60 fps or higher everywhere you go sandy bridge fails to deliver. Look to Ivy Bridge here, as its not too far out of SBs reach, however out of its reach it is.

Long answer:

World of Warcraft is a terrible game that was released in 2004 and has been patched and expanded countless times including adding DX11 support six years after its initial release.

But this isn't a review of how a dual threaded MMO that requires the cpu to track countless people over large areas. Nope, this is a review on Sandy Bridge, and why sometimes you don't have enough power.

Before we move forward, lets take a step back in time - back to when I had a single gtx 470 and a 1090T at 4.3GHz.

a3d52752.jpg

As you can see in this screen, when playing World of Warcraft a single gtx 470 was severely bottlenecked by my 1090T. To the point of there being a 50% bottleneck. Its important to note this bottleneck didn't occur at 300+ fps, it happened near the bank in stormwind - and it happened at sub 30 fps.


Using that image to compare, I downloaded the game again using the 7 day free play they use to suck people back into a never ending grind. And with that time I went ahead and tested my new setup in a old game. Sandy bridge was quite a bit more capable than my 1090T was in this game. For obvious reasons, the 1090T is quite a bit slower. Its quite a bit slower than this i5 even when its at 3.6GHz. However despite that extra power its still not enough.

I used two different speeds to test, however since its not a controlled environment (people come and go - and its these people that put the most load on the cpu). The speeds I used were 3.6GHz, and 5.3GHz. At all times my ram was running 8-10-9-24 1T @ 2140MHz. My GTX 470s always ran at stock, 607 core.

Here is 3.6GHz
3a1c6dae.jpg

Here is 5.3GHz
abb069eb.jpg


Conclusion: WoW requires a lot of cpu power to push it in high population areas. It will take faster cores, and/or higher clocks from Ivy Bridge for anyone to sustain a 60 fps min in this game.

Its also interesting to note that despite the number of threads on the subject with older cpus, wow is capable of using 2 gpus, given you have a fast enough chip to push them.

4.8GHz 99% perfect scaling:
45c49c4f.jpg
    
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post #2 of 253
I see you don't have an SSD. For me, in high populated areas, it helped a ton and maintained a more constant FPS.
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post #3 of 253
There's definitely something wrong. Both my old 480 and my current 560 completely max out WoW sitting right around the Stormwind bank; I use the FPS cap setting to set it to ~64, and it sits there with like 60% usage.

EDIT: Just in case I'm going crazy, I'll hop on now (haven't been on in weeks) and check.

EDIT2: Almost accurate. 1080p, Ultra, DX11, Windowed:
snjXy.jpg
Edited by EfemaN - 5/10/11 at 9:48pm
post #4 of 253
In that first screenshot, your GPU seems to easily be hitting 100% usage, but your CPU isn't. How is that showing a CPU bottleneck?
    
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post #5 of 253
you do not need more than sandybridge to get a good constant fps in this game, i play with maxed everything and get almost always above 150fps : | even when i was using my phenom 2 965 and my gtx 460 i was getting 80+ all the time : |

edit: right now sitting in org with like 30+ people around i am hovering around 100fps ish
Edited by Razzal - 5/10/11 at 9:45pm
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post #6 of 253
I don't play WoW, but could connection speed play a role in framerate, especially in heavily populated areas?
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post #7 of 253
Thread Starter 
And I get 130 with high usage in areas with 30+ people with a 4.8GHz cpu clock, gpus still at stock.

03b76e7b.jpg


There is nothing wrong with my system, your mile may very depending on the population of your server. My sever has over 13k active alliance players, so my post was a representation of "worse case".
    
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post #8 of 253
Seems like you have some seriously problems with bottlenecks, you should never, ever dip below 60 fps in wow maybe you should try to reinstall windows. I did for that one SB thread we were talking in and got 200 more points in 3dmark 11. I had ud9 drivers on the drive before and now with just the p55 drivers seem to run better.
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post #9 of 253
LOL I see you included my comment about my old P4. Granted that was vanilla WOW and not any of the expansions. But yes I played WOW on high settings with a P4 and an old Nvidia 8500 GT I believe. It ran just fine.
    
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post #10 of 253
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epitope;13461696 
LOL I see you included my comment about my old P4. Granted that was vanilla WOW and not any of the expansions. But yes I played WOW on high settings with a P4 and an old Nvidia 8500 GT I believe. It ran just fine.

lol that screen is from like 5 months ago, I meant no offense smile.gif
    
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