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GW2 - Pre-build PC Help


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Hello I am looking to potentially upgrade my 7 year old PC (Dell XPS 8900). I mainly play MMORPGs such as GW2, WoW, and FF14. Spending hours looking at guides to improve FPS, I still consistently get between 20-40 FPS in open world, not including Boss fights or larger Zerg content. I have the usual culprits (shadows, shaders, models, etc) either off or at the lowest setting but I still hardly manage decent frames in newer content or zones. 
 

After looking through GW2 Reddit, forums and other online benchmarks and sources I’m still as lost and overwhelmed as I’m definitely not a “computer guy”. All drivers are updated and I’ve updated all windows and graphic cards settings to best performance. I have not used Dx12 yet as I’m hopeful Dx11 is almost off of beta.
 

I’ve read up about the game’s optimizations and am hoping to receive some suggestions of online pre-built PCs from Amazon, Best Buy, or other reputable sites that would be a significant upgrade over what I have currently. 
 

As far as budget, I’m pretty flexible. It would be nice for a decent upgrade over what I have for between $800-1,500. I don’t know much about newer generation CPU and GPU so I’m not looking to build on my own, rather buy directly from a site. If you think my specs are fine and for my price range I won’t recognize a big difference that would be helpful feedback as well 😊

 

My current specs are:

CPU: i7-6700 @3.4GHz (4 cores)

GPU: Nvidia GTX 745

RAM: 16GB

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GW2 won’t run as well as other games. You can try that DX12 add-on although the results will vary from PC to PC.  You can try adjusting settings in game such as reducing the number of player models as that will have the largest impact. The next setting would be to remove shadows and reflections. 

Im just saying this as option instead of going out and buying a new PC which may not even provide the results that you’re wanting. 

Edited by mythical.6315
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Gw2 doesn't really require much and the engine is very cpu bound so there are severe diminishing returns; basically even buying a top end rig may not guarantee good performance. So yes, disable reflects/shadows first.

In your case though, your computer is being held back by a really bad video card  (the cpu is actually not bad) that was not good even at the time. Prebuilts used to come with really low  end "better than nothing"  video cards but that has pretty much died out.

But in case anyone's still selling that crap, avoid any Nvidia card with less than 50 in the last 2 digits. Good ones are GTX or RTX. The typical bad card still being tossed around is the GT 730/740 with the only remotely passable one being 1030 but that should be pretty much ignored too in this day and age.

For example, DO NOT BUY THIS: https://www.amazon.com/Ssrotho-PC-Professional-Computer-Quad-Core/dp/B09NSWZF5X/ref=sr_1_4?c=ts&keywords=Tower+Computers&qid=1651169615&refinements=p_36%3A2421882011%2Cp_n_feature_twenty-seven_browse-bin%3A23720481011&rnid=23720471011&s=pc&sr=1-4&ts_id=13896597011

Bad video card, poor storage, and does not even specify what kind of intel processor it is or even generation. They don't seem very proud of this computer. 

The dead giveaway is that it is an "Intel quad core i7". i7s haven't been quad core since 2017, they are now 6 core.

 

Do not trust Amazon "featured". There's a lot of mediocre products that get pushed. Sorting by  Average customer review tends to be a little more reliable but no guarantee.

You also want an SSD drive naturally in this day and age, and aim for one with at least 500 GB. You could also aim for a ~250 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD  (slow drive) combo but that is annoying as games are huge these days.

https://www.amazon.com/Skytech-Blaze-Gaming-Desktop-i5-10400F/dp/B09KT13ZSH/ref=sr_1_2?c=ts&keywords=Tower%2BComputers&qid=1651170547&refinements=p_n_feature_twenty-seven_browse-bin%3A23720481011%2Cp_n_feature_seventeen_browse-bin%3A23697638011%2Cp_n_feature_two_browse-bin%3A5446812011&rnid=2421879011&s=pc&sr=1-2&ts_id=13896597011&th=1

This is more than enough at $889. Although I only spent a few minutes looking up, so you can probably find better deals . I would not go over $1000.

Also you should probably look for pcs with Ryzen processors in them. (current 5000 series I think)

As a side note I bought this laptop a year ago for $750 (price has gone up?) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08H2H89K1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

though I had to also buy and install an additional 500 gb SSD for like 50 more or something-- 256 gb is just not enough. It also runs Gw2 fairly well.

Of course, you should not buy a laptop unless you need the mobility. But it should indicate that you shouldn't be spending much more than 800-900 (as a comparable PC would be much better)

Also look here; https://www.reddit.com/r/suggestapc/

Edited by ArchonWing.9480
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Adding on to what ArchonWing said, 16GB of ram is not bad, but, 32 is much better (GW2 doesn't NEED it, but, it gives you much more room for Windows and other overhead.  Frankly, Windows itself will run much better with it too.).  One of the things you can do, especially if whomever you get it from has stupid prices for going to 32gb or doesn't offer that option, is order it separately after you get the PC and install it yourself.  I've literally walked an 80-year old grandmother that didn't know much more than how to turn a PC on through swapping RAM over the phone, so, it is easy to do*.  And sites like crucial.com will even scan your system and tell you exactly what kind of RAM will work in your system and how much your motherboard will support.  You can then take the specs from that site and price shop at amazon and newegg or other sites.  And you don't have to splurge on the top of the line, most expensive, best brand name stuff either.  I've had as good of luck with G.SKILL as I have had with Crucial or Corsair or Kingston (and 20 years ago, I would NOT have said that).

* The key step to swapping RAM is ground yourself to discharge any static electricity before you crack your case open or handle any of the memory sticks with your hands.  Just touch something metal before opening the case, and I like to keep one hand on the case while the other inserts the DIMMs.  Of course, having the power cable unplugged before doing ANY of that goes without saying.  🙂

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In your situation. I would say save your money and buy a gtx 1650 video card.

You'll end up in high settings for most games your playing and capable of playing every game currently released.  It also is a card that works without extensive external power, so whatever terrible power supply you have will probably work fine.

Wait until 2025 and the end of Windows 10 support before looking for a new computer.

Edited by SinisterSlay.6973
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Thank you all for your replies! I will definitely look into updating the GPU. I’m just not very tech savvy and feel like I need to upgrade the PC anyways. 
 

I did see this pre-build from Walmart which looks like it has solid specs for the price. What are your thoughts?

-AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 

-RTX3060

-16GB RAM

-256GB SSD

https://www.walmart.com/ip/ASUS-ROG-Strix-R7-RTX-3060-Gaming-Desktop-AMD-Ryzen-7-5700G-NVIDIA-GeForce-3060-16GB-RAM-1TB-HDD-256GB-SSD-Gray-Windows-10-Home-G10DK-WB764/797509896
 

Also- for monitors, what are the ideal specs for performance? I’m looking at 27in but am deciding between 1080p and 1440p. Does G-Sync have an advantage for MMOs like GW2 if you have an Nvidia GPU?

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Nice, you found something better than I did, and a 3060 is like $500 by itself xD. Though it is definitely overkill for the games you want, you may also want to play new games in the future.

256 ssd is kinda w/e, but possible to add another.

I would check the reviews though, see if people found issues.

Edited by ArchonWing.9480
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5 hours ago, Blue Blade.3049 said:

Thank you all for your replies! I will definitely look into updating the GPU. I’m just not very tech savvy and feel like I need to upgrade the PC anyways. 
 

I did see this pre-build from Walmart which looks like it has solid specs for the price. What are your thoughts?

-AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 

-RTX3060

-16GB RAM

-256GB SSD

https://www.walmart.com/ip/ASUS-ROG-Strix-R7-RTX-3060-Gaming-Desktop-AMD-Ryzen-7-5700G-NVIDIA-GeForce-3060-16GB-RAM-1TB-HDD-256GB-SSD-Gray-Windows-10-Home-G10DK-WB764/797509896
 

Also- for monitors, what are the ideal specs for performance? I’m looking at 27in but am deciding between 1080p and 1440p. Does G-Sync have an advantage for MMOs like GW2 if you have an Nvidia GPU?

It looks good, on the surface. They may have cheaped out on other parts, as they didn't list the motherboard or PSU, so make sure you sign up for that 24 month warranty. Something you may want clarity on is that it states 16gb of RAM in the title, but 8gb of RAM in the specs list. I doubt it is 16gb of VRAM and 8gb of normal RAM. It also isn't clear about the cooling. Some reviews state that it only has 1 outtake fan and no intake fans. Not good on that end, if it's true. Makes me kind of worry about that PSU and if they throttle back CPU and GPU, if they didn't throw in intake case fans.

For G-Sync, it's useful if you have a high refresh rate monitor and games that are lower FPS. How useful it is depends on the monitor and the relationship your computer has with a game. If you get a monitor with a high refresh rate, it is something to consider. Remember that G-Sync requires you to utilize one of the three DisplayPort ports of that GPU you're aiming for.

Lower resolution monitors can improve FPS, as there are less pixels to render for the GPU, but GW2 is a CPU heavy game. 1440p should be fine, if you want that.

Edited by Quench.7091
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12 hours ago, Kaltyn of Torbins Deep.294 said:

Adding on to what ArchonWing said, 16GB of ram is not bad, but, 32 is much better (GW2 doesn't NEED it, but, it gives you much more room for Windows and other overhead.

I recently took went from 32Gig to 16Gig in my system (I am loaning some RAM to a new media PC I built) and really, I haven't noticed any difference in GW2 or Windows since then.  I tested FPS and such in a few games and 16 v 32 has made no difference.  I have stripped Windows of all telemetry and other background nonsense so, your experience may be different.

8 hours ago, Blue Blade.3049 said:

I did see this pre-build from Walmart which looks like it has solid specs for the price. What are your thoughts?

I am always super cautious about recommending prebuilt PC as they tend to look good on paper but come up short when you open them up.  What I would suggest, be it Walmart or another prebuilt, is before you buy ask about repair and RMA policy.  If something goes wrong, how much headache are you going to have to put up with if you need to get it fixed.

As an aside, the system you picked from Walmart is in the same line (not the same model) as one recently reviewed on Gamers Nexus.  They have been reviewing budget prebuilts and gave a rare positive review for the Asus machine.  Other brands that Walmart sells like Cyberpower and iBUYPOWER were trashed by Gamers Nexus for being overpriced, poorly built and low quality components.  Here is the YT review:

https://youtu.be/AQE0BWmGzto

When you watch this, the reviewers tend to focus on the negatives (it's how they get their hits), and the negatives in this are well, pretty obvious, but, this is far better than other stuff they reviewed in this budget prebuilt series.

8 hours ago, Blue Blade.3049 said:

Also- for monitors, what are the ideal specs for performance? I’m looking at 27in but am deciding between 1080p and 1440p. Does G-Sync have an advantage for MMOs like GW2 if you have an Nvidia GPU?

1440p will be an FPS loss over 1080p of about 30-35%.  This is simply due to 1440p having about 40% more pixels than a 1080p monitor.  If you want a G-Sync or Freesync monitor, you want a video card that can push the frames well over 100 FPS.  You will be far more likely to do that at 1080p than 1440p.

I learned this lesson the hard way as I bought a 1440p monitor only to have my FPS tank.  However, after upgrading my GPU and testing on several monitors, GW2 is rarely friendly to run G-Sync/Freewsync with anyway, so I don't bother with it in GW2 anymore.  The issue is GW2 tends to handle some parts of the game world, and large groups of players, very poorly and drops FPS down into the 20s and 30s even while it can blow past 144FPS in other areas of the game.

Where you may consider going into Freesync/G-Sync is if you were into competitive eSports where you find gamers on 1080p at 240FPS (or even over 300FPS) on systems running top end GPU and CPU, tuned only for game performance.  

For you, I would suggest finding a 1080p monitor with the best image quality which will afford you stable FPS for the system you are speccing out.  This will give you the most reliable and smoothest gameplay.  If it happens to be Freesync or G-Sync enabled, that's just a bonus.

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I would suggest to pick parts yourself and then pay someone to assemble the PC for you if you dont wanna build it. It would probably still be cheaper than a prebuild. For your price range I would suggest something like this:

CPU: Core i5 11400f  (or Ryzen 5 5600)

GPU: GTX 3060 (do not go for ones with only a single fan)

RAM: 16GB (you can use your old RAM to save some money)

Motherboard: get one tjat matches the chipset of CPU you choose. (Note that there is very little difference in function between 100 dollar one and 400 dollar one exce0t for cosmetics and number of slots so you can save some money here)

PSU: 800W (u mostly wanna go for gold rated PSU as they have low electricity loss) definitely dont cheap out on your PSU

HDD: you can use ones from your old PC. If you dont have an NVMe drive tho, then I suggest you get one for your OS.

This setup should be somewhere between 1200-1300 dollars

A tip for the end: If you are able, play in 1440p as going from 1080p to 1440p offloads some work from CPU to GPU and therefore you will not be bound by CPU as much.

 

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2 hours ago, The Boz.2038 said:

Single thread performance is what you're going for. Something Intel i9-based, for example. i7 is also good.

AMD does good with the DX11 multithreading, but CPU does still tend to cap out a logical processor. A little over a year ago, Ryzen CPUs could match Intel CPUs in singlethread performance. The newer Intel chips are scoring higher on that singlethread performance on benchmarks I've seen, but overall performance and cost might need to be in consideration, since the OP mentioned other MMORPGs. My Ryzen 7 5800X chip usually bottlenecks me to around 30 FPS in intense battles (WvW and newer meta events) for GW2. Can't go wrong with either brand.

Edited by Quench.7091
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7 hours ago, Quench.7091 said:

For G-Sync, it's useful if you have a high refresh rate monitor and games that are lower FPS. How useful it is depends on the monitor and the relationship your computer has with a game. If you get a monitor with a high refresh rate, it is something to consider. Remember that G-Sync requires you to utilize one of the three DisplayPort ports of that GPU you're aiming for.

The monitor need to be G-sync as well, not just high refresh rate. Add about $200 to the price from an eqvivalent without last I checked. With freesync now available meeeh I question the worth, epecially if its a "budget" build.

(Source: have a ~$800 hideously expensive for its time IPS g-sync monitor)

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42 minutes ago, Dawdler.8521 said:

The monitor need to be G-sync as well, not just high refresh rate. Add about $200 to the price from an eqvivalent without last I checked. With freesync now available meeeh I question the worth, epecially if its a "budget" build.

(Source: have a ~$800 hideously expensive for its time IPS g-sync monitor)

Oh yeah! I forgot AMD and Nvidia were talking about that 3 years ago or so. AMD cards were supposedly going to be able to utilize newer Nvidia G-Sync monitors. Nvidia cards were opening up for AMD FreeSync, with specific monitors that have been certified to work. Something to consider.

Edited by Quench.7091
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13 hours ago, Blue Blade.3049 said:

Thank you all for your replies! I will definitely look into updating the GPU. I’m just not very tech savvy and feel like I need to upgrade the PC anyways. 
 

I did see this pre-build from Walmart which looks like it has solid specs for the price. What are your thoughts?

-AMD Ryzen 7 5700G 

-RTX3060

-16GB RAM

-256GB SSD

https://www.walmart.com/ip/ASUS-ROG-Strix-R7-RTX-3060-Gaming-Desktop-AMD-Ryzen-7-5700G-NVIDIA-GeForce-3060-16GB-RAM-1TB-HDD-256GB-SSD-Gray-Windows-10-Home-G10DK-WB764/797509896
 

Also- for monitors, what are the ideal specs for performance? I’m looking at 27in but am deciding between 1080p and 1440p. Does G-Sync have an advantage for MMOs like GW2 if you have an Nvidia GPU?

 I hate pre-built pc's from places like this because you don't know many of the specifics you would want to see. For example, from the comment section I learned that this PC only has one fan. That's not a lot at all. The CPU and GFX card generate a lot of heat.

The title say 16GB RAM but in the specs below it says 8GB. So which is it? Also the SSD is not very big so it will only be used for Windows really, but you'd want an SSD for games ideally (faster loading and writing times). As it is, you might want to look at your hard disks because the fuller they get the less performance you have. For an HDD you need to keep space for defragging as it is, but an SSD should also not be filled to the rim or you'll lose performance. I'd say about 15% should not be used (for both HDDs and SSDs).

It still is a very good price for something like this, I do agree with that. I mean the CPU and gfx card alone add up to that amount, however, that also makes me suspicious lol.

 

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1 hour ago, Quench.7091 said:

Oh yeah! I forgot AMD and Nvidia were talking about that 3 years ago or so. AMD cards were supposedly going to be able to utilize newer Nvidia G-Sync monitors. Nvidia cards were opening up for AMD FreeSync, with specific monitors that have been certified to work. Something to consider.

Nvidia made G-Sync proprietary and it only works with Nvidia GFX cards.  GSync is licensed to monitor manufacturers for a premium that is passed along to the consumer.

Freesync was made by AMD and is Open Source and can work with any GFX card that has adaptive sync enabled.  This includes most if not all of the modern Nvidia cards.

If you were looking at 2 identical monitors, one with GSync and one with Freesync, you would be paying more for the GSync monitor and limited to using only Nvidia GFX with it.

I would recommend a Freesync monitor all day every day regardless of your GFX solution.  Primarily because, if you buy a GSync monitor and upgrade your PC you have to get an Nvidia GFX card in order to use the GSync capabilities.  With a Freesync monitor, you can upgrade your GFX card and it will almost always work regardless of the GFX card manufacturer.

 

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7 hours ago, Mungo Zen.9364 said:

Nvidia made G-Sync proprietary and it only works with Nvidia GFX cards.  GSync is licensed to monitor manufacturers for a premium that is passed along to the consumer.

Freesync was made by AMD and is Open Source and can work with any GFX card that has adaptive sync enabled.  This includes most if not all of the modern Nvidia cards.

If you were looking at 2 identical monitors, one with GSync and one with Freesync, you would be paying more for the GSync monitor and limited to using only Nvidia GFX with it.

I would recommend a Freesync monitor all day every day regardless of your GFX solution.  Primarily because, if you buy a GSync monitor and upgrade your PC you have to get an Nvidia GFX card in order to use the GSync capabilities.  With a Freesync monitor, you can upgrade your GFX card and it will almost always work regardless of the GFX card manufacturer.

 

Guess Nvidia didn't get AMD on board. People were speculating that AMD would be getting G-Sync monitor access back in 2019 articles, around the time Nvidia cards were starting to work with FreeSync. Yeah, go with the FreeSync in a budget build. G-Sync does have pros, but those pros are minimal, especially in this genre of game.

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Another similar prebuild from Best Buy looks promising as well. Not sure how the CPUs (AMD Ryzen 7 5700G vs. i7-11700F) stack up against each other. Common theme between both prebuilds are the poor cooling and cheap motherboard. 
 

Do MMOs like GW2 really stress out the PC that much that adequate cooling is essential/required? I’m sure the answer is yes for the longevity of the rig and parts but I also don’t plan on overclocking or running the system to the absolute limits either.

 

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gaming-desktop-intel-core-i7-11700f-16gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-rtx-3060-1tb-hdd-512gb-ssd/6479509.p?skuId=6479509&ref=212&loc=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5NWG37i69wIVK4lbCh2UyAEpEAQYBCABEgL6evD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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2 hours ago, Blue Blade.3049 said:

Another similar prebuild from Best Buy looks promising as well. Not sure how the CPUs (AMD Ryzen 7 5700G vs. i7-11700F) stack up against each other. Common theme between both prebuilds are the poor cooling and cheap motherboard. 
 

Do MMOs like GW2 really stress out the PC that much that adequate cooling is essential/required? I’m sure the answer is yes for the longevity of the rig and parts but I also don’t plan on overclocking or running the system to the absolute limits either.

 

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gaming-desktop-intel-core-i7-11700f-16gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-rtx-3060-1tb-hdd-512gb-ssd/6479509.p?skuId=6479509&ref=212&loc=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5NWG37i69wIVK4lbCh2UyAEpEAQYBCABEgL6evD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Sometimes a well engineered piece doesn't need as many fans. For example, an Xbox Series X has one big jumbo fan that pulls air in and out of the case, through all of the components at once. The fan at the top works with the nature of rising heat. The issue here is that I don't think that is the situation with this case. However, that's just speculation, so maybe a video would help.

Here's a video on a similar prebuild with the case in question, just with different internal parts.

The conclusion is kind of surprising. That starts at around 24:10. They were expecting it to be super hot, but it's not too hot. It might be in the acceptable range.

Edited by Quench.7091
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