May 5, 2011

Posted by in News, Officially Speaking | 8 Comments

Officially Speaking: System Requirements Speculation

Welcome to Officially Speaking, a weekly column focused on the most hotly debated  topics ever to grace the official Star Wars: The Old Republic forums. Do you have something to add? Feel like it gets lost in the shuffle over there? Join in the extended discussion right here on Ask A Jedi.

In this incredible week of a Sith Warrior Progression video, UI development update and plenty of new PvE Fan Site Summit information, ravenous fans still pound relentlessly on the doors of TOR fansites everywhere, screaming at the top of their lungs “CAN I HAZ PVP INFO NAO PLZ?!” Thus, I bring you the next best thing while the embargo holds our PvP hopes and dreams firmly in its uncaring grasp: computer specs speculation! While not the “hot topic” of this particular week, this discussion has nonetheless managed to unceasingly wax and wane on the official forums since we found out The Old Republic would be arriving on PC. While speculating on the system requirements of TOR may not seem like a big deal at first, it actually has a number of important ramifications for the highly diverse player-base and their respective machines.

To get a sense of how Bioware sees the issue, we need only look to the great summarization OP by BioWare moderator TylerRowe in this thread here. He notes the following:

While no official requirements have been published, this E3 2009 interview with BioWare’s Gordon Walton gives some insight into the basic level of system requirements that BioWare is aiming for:


Gordon Walton: We are definitely not intending it to be extremely high. That’s great. I would like to be able to play it on my 3 year old gaming notebook.

Gordon Walton: It’s going to more modest to let more people into the game because not every gamer changes out their machine for super hardcore machines.

This is great news for someone like myself, as I am not particularly PC savvy (in terms of building my own) and don’t necessarily have the money to buy a comp that can run, say, Crysis at maximum settings. BioWare continuously states its intention to draw in gamers and fans from a multitude of backgrounds with a widely diverse set of in-game goals. They want Star Wars fans, BioWare fans, and Knights of the Old Republic players alike. They want players to be able to overclock settings in high-end raid situations, while also catering to casual players who just want to sit in a cantina and chat with friends. It was also recently stated that the potential market for the game is made even more immense by the desired inclusion of console gamers and other customers not familiar with the general MMO scene. Therefore, I believe BioWare will make the minimum required settings as low and open as possible to cater to the general masses of potential non-PC specific players (a group in which I find inclusion, given my much more robust console-gaming experience). From there, though, they will almost certainly have a steep slope to climb for those wishing to achieve maximum settings. Perhaps not as great a jump as other graphically-intense games, but nonetheless significant.

Minimum System for TOR

Minimum System for TOR

As a last bit of fun to add to this discussion, I will post my own laptop specs here. As a four year-old gaming/general entertainment laptop (a $2,200 one at that), I’m curious to see what you all think. Is it time for me to upgrade my system for TOR? You be the judge:

  • Operating System:  Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 (2.2 GHz/4 MB L2Cache)
  • Memory:  2GB (2 Dimm)
  • Graphics Card: 511MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GS
  • Hard Drive:  200GB 7200RPM SATA Dual Hard Drive
  • Floppy Drives:  8 included, upgraded to 10
  • Dial-up Modem:  3 included, 90’s phone cord not included

Ok, those last two aren’t exactly accurate ;p. But what do you think? Will I be able to run The Old Republic? How high will my settings go? Continue the discussion below!

  1. Hmmm, well i think you will atleast have a hard time running tor in mid graphics.

    I do think your gaming laptop will be enough for a low graphic 30 fps game, if you don’t mind this then sure play tor on it.

    I however would atleast upgrade or buy a new one.

  2. Lethality says:

    I knew I wasn’t the only one who relied on a floppy array.

  3. I guess that the memory will be and the very low end of the recommended specs, and I also expected the game footprint on your hard drive to be in the ‘tens of gigabytes’ range, so you might have trouble fitting it on there. The graphics settingr will probably allow for a very wode range of graphics cards, so although that one is a bit low spev these days, I reckon it wont be your bottleneck if you have the settings low enough.
    There is no word of whether the game architecture will make use of multiple cores, so the CPU seems reasonable.

    The cheapest, most efficient upgrade path to me seems likely to be : get a cheap SSD (even the cheapest are a significant improvement over expensive hard drives) and a bit more memory – if it fits in your laptop :)

  4. I don’t want to sound like an ass, but that looks poor by recent standards. But I guess it really depends what your happy with as far as settings go. See, me, I can’t handle not being able to have every last bit of detail squeezed out of a game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some elitest twat that shuns MMO graphics. I really love the stylized look of most older MMO’s. That being said, WoW was a hideous, un-optimized piece of crap. I’m assuming BioWare will do a much better job and I expect to see good to great results on low end machines. If, however, your more than happy to play on a medium to low setting with low fps (and I mean low, noticeably low, not 75 fps vs 200 which the eye can’t register anyway) then sweet. That rig will probably cope. If it where me though, I’d plump for more mem and more disk space just to be sure.

  5. Also, as an after thought, a lot is going to depend on whether TOR is DX11, multi-core, and crossfire/SLI optimized too. A lot of games are coded for older, single mem cards and using crossfire can have adverse effects. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t DX11 compatible though. That really does seem to make a noticeable difference to smoothness and quality.

  6. Nepster says:

    first instal windows 7 is useing memory on a better level.
    buy a 2 gig ram if possible. ( first of check if there is only 1 dimm of 2 gig current installed. if there is 2x 1gb leave it this way.

    then download fraps.

    then start with medium stettings Anti aliasing off.
    if your fps aren’t going below 30 try it abit higher.

    i’f its down 30 set shadow to low
    ascopric filter to 2x or 4x (if 16x is highest)

  7. While the minimum requirements may be low, requirements for actually being able to raid/play in larger groups are usually higher. For example, I had significant graphics lag without a video card during LOTRO raids. It got to the point where I became rather useless in the raids and decided a graphics card was needed. The card + a small PSU upgrade significantly increased my performance and gave me the ability to contribute to raids.

    As for your rig, more HD space would help. As of now, I’d say your computer would be below average but slightly above minimum.

  8. The important question is, Will be avalibile on MAC???

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