Dec 6, 2011

Posted by in News | 12 Comments

Tom’s Hardware Looks At SW:TOR System Requirements – Including Anti-Aliasing

Venerable PC enthusiast site Tom’s Hardware has posted a comprehensive feature putting Star Wars: The Old Republic through it’s paces where settings and performance are concerned, arriving with a clear picture of where your hardware might stand in running the game (or, which hardware you might need to acquire to do so!)

In typical Tom’s Hardware fashion, the thorough multi-page article provides screenshots and descriptions to go with them, as well as explanations to their procedures and setup.

Of particular interest to many players will be their anti-aliasing tests. The anti-aliasing setting was disabled during the beta, and completely removed in the current “launch build.” Tom’s Hardware was able to force it via AMD’s chipsets, but not Nvidia. Interestingly, they found a way to do so via the game client’s cilent_settings.ini file. Interestingly, this worked for Nvidia chipsets, but not AMD:

Like all games, Star Wars: The Old Republic benefits from anti-aliasing. This is where things get a little complicated. The in-game anti-aliasing setting is disabled in the beta, so we had to find a workaround. Forcing AA through AMD’s Catalyst driver worked, but it didn’t on Nvidia’s GeForce-based cards. A bit of research revealed that 4x MSAA could be forced in-game using the title’s client_settings.ini file by adding the line “AntiAliasingLevel = 4”. This tweak worked with the Nvidia cards, but then wouldn’t on AMD’s (except for newer Radeon HD 6900-series boards). Despite the anti-aliasing mess, which will hopefully be worked out soon, we’re at least able to test the game with the feature enabled on all hardware, albeit through different means.

It seems in most tests, at most resolutions – including with anti-aliasing enabled –  the AMD Radeon Hardware outpaces its Nvidia GeForce counterparts, although not by a wide margin.

As part of their summary, Tom’s Hardware offers this:

Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t a resource hog, but it does require a respectable amount of graphics muscle to enjoy at its highest settings. Our testing shows that the game in its current state favors AMD cards, though it remains to be seen how much optimization AMD and Nvidia are able to put in before it goes live later this month.

As usual for Tom’s Hardware, the article is a must-read if you’re planning on building or upgrading your system, and in this case is custom-tailored to TOR fans.

Head on over for the full read, because it’s worth it!


  1. Interesting hardware analysis but those guys didn’t even scratched the surface of the game and so I do not share their “review” of the game.

    • This isn’t a review of the game, this is a benchmark test. The opinion at the beginning could hardly be considered a review

  2. BraxKedren says:

    I have an I5 2500k, not over-clocked 2.5ghz CPU. The GTX 570 1280gb Asus video card, 8GB ram and still maxed out everything I could and averaged 90FPS in fights and PVP. Only loss was on initial loads of areas and that lasted a second

    • You do realize the i5-2500k is 3.3ghz right?

      • Braxkedren says:

        oh yeah…keep thinking of my old CPU, I had that thing so long….

        • You might want to consider overclocking that CPU. Not because 3.3 is bad, but it takes to overclocking extremely well. I just bumped mine up to 4.5 and have found it to be extremely stable. My only change from a “stock” system would be my coolermaster 212+ which is in the $30 range.

  3. Why is it that they haven’t included high-end optimizations in their test? Personally, I’m buying an i7 2600k and a GTX 580, neither which are covered here.. :P

    • Those are fringe-case options for most players due to cost. I think this was more of a general mainstream overview for most folks looking for buy or upgrade. That said, there’s nothing that the i7 will get you that the i5 does not in this case, I would look at saving money there.

    • An i7 2600k does not really bring much to the table performance wise in games over an i5 2500k.

      I am sure there will be more performance reviews including both the i7 and 580 and 590 in the future.

  4. i was getting steady 100+ fps with mine I7920 , 480GTX nvidia

  5. I was running 1440×960 on my AMD PhenomII 3.1Ghz using 12Mb DDR3 and a EVGA GTX570….average from 60-90fps depending on the action.

  6. Brandon Lee says:

    I have been very irritated by the commentary from people calling themselves authorities on technology at the Bioware forums. Basically, there’s a thread stickied that is all about whether you can run the game.

    There were a bunch of people on there saying that the game would need a quad core processor, that it would offload most of the work to the CPU, and all of that. They were just giving nonsensical advice to people based on their assumptions. I felt that this was irresponsible, and this breakdown proves it.

    On my CPU, which is an x3 Athlon II 3.3GHz, the game gets a very good framerate. My videocard is nearly as good as the 5770 that they included in the benches, which means I’ll do fine there too.

    Basically, I should be able to max (besides a couple things they mentioned) the game at 1280×1024, whereas this was not what was not what was being said at the Bioware forum. The team must have been shaking their heads as they read page after page of misinformation. But they wouldn’t release the recommended specs, which didn’t help.

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