About a year and a half ago, I got rid of my desktop and bought a laptop in order to make more space in a small apartment. I'm not completely computer illiterate, in terms of hardware, but at the time I was unaware that typically integrated graphics chips lack performance capabilities relative to seperate graphics cards like the one on my desktop. I purchased this computer (http://notebooks.com/2010/11/15/black-friday-acer-aspire-as5742-7653-core-i5-notebook-for-499/) and was pleased with the RAM, Memory and Processor speed for the money, but quickly came to realize that the Intel HD Graphics didn't seem up to the task for the gaming I had in mind (At the time of purchase I played World of Warcraft regularly). I purchased Star Wars: The Old Republic assuming that the performance would be suboptimal, but satisfactory. Within about an hour of starting the game the performance was so poor even with the settings lowered that I chose to cancel my subscription to the game then and there and unfortuantely ate the $50 for the game being unable to return the digital download. Flash forward to today, I was interested in picking up some games from the Steam summer sale. I was looking on Intel's website to see if there was a list of games I could reasonably expect to work with my Intel HD graphics chip. To my surprise, when I found such a list (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/architecture-and-technology/hd-graphics/hd-graphics-consumer-general.html?wapkw=star+wars+the+old+republic) SW: TOR was prominently displayed as a game that had been optimized to work with Intel HD graphics. So, I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong, perhaps this advertisment is making reference to never versions of Intel HD graphics chips? Any advice that somebody may have on this matter would be appreciated. If this is indeed just that Intel HD graphics is inadequate for my gaming needs is it possible to upgrade my laptop's performance without incurring massive expense/needing heaps of technical/software knowledge?
The game compatibility you refer to is for the 2nd and 3rd generation Intel HD Graphics. Your system is 1st generation.
The enhanced graphics technology in the new 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processors delivers amazing performance and stunning 3D visuals for mainstream or casual gaming without the need for a separate graphics card.
Now you can enjoy immersive1 gaming on titles that are optimized for Intel HD Graphics,2 including:
Star Wars: The Old Republic
Call of Duty*: Modern Warfare* 3
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Batman: Arkham City
Intel HD Graphics on 3rd generation Intel Core processors is twice as fast as Intel HD Graphics on 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors134—it has enough additional headroom for tomorrow’s games, and its advanced 3D imaging delivers stunning visual experiences that put you right into the middle of the action.