CazzCazz, I agree with the advice KTurner gave; a new video card should fix the problem. I will elaborate on this now:
CPU aka Processor, Computer Processor, Computer Processing Unit
GPU aka Video Card, Graphics Card, Graphics Processing Unit
World of Warcraft was designed so the masses could play it and was designed a long time ago. With those two facts stated, they made WoW so that people with low end graphics cards could play it by making the game rely primarily on the CPU speed. The problem with this design is that someone who has a GTX 470 graphics card (fast) will get similar fps to someone with a much lower card (slow); in other words, the extra power of the video card is wasted. Yet another potential disadvantage of World of Warcraft is the fact that even though the game primarily uses the CPU, WoW takes very little advantage of new CPU technology because of the fact that the CPU manufactures decided the solution to increasing speed on a computer is increasing the number of cores the processor has. A core can be thought of as being similar to another CPU, so the more CPUs one has, the faster one can run programs that are designed to take advantage of multiple CPUs. World of Warcraft can not be divided up properly (threaded) to take advantage of the cores because of the way it was designed. A way to think of this is having a giant pile of dirt and 4 bulldozers. The dirt can be thought of as a video game and the bulldozers as the CPU's cores. In newer games the bulldozers are each told to move part of the dirt pile and all bulldoze the pile at the same time. In World of Warcraft only 1 bulldozer is fully used and the remaining ones do hardly anything. I could have a 1000 core processor that should greatly increase my FPS in WoW since it relies heavily on the CPU, but World of Warcraft would see minuscule improvement if the speed of each core was the same as a CPU with only 4 cores due Wow not being designed with multiple cores in mind.
I have not played RIFT yet, but I think it is safe to say that the game is less reliant on the CPU's speed than World of Warcraft and is reliant on the GPU because this is how new video games are usually created now. Also multi-threading (dividing the program up as in the bulldozer example above) is the norm now as opposed to not being the norm when WoW was created, so people with many cores do not have to worry about the CPU as much. If someone has a laptop, having the game be GPU bound has the potential to be unfortunate because his or her options are extremely limited for replacing the graphics card. If that person, however, has a desktop then that person should be able to get remarkable increases in FPS by upgrading your graphics card (how remarkable the increased FPS is will depend on how powerful the graphics card is).
Source: I graduated Summa *** Laude with a Bachelor of Science: Applied Computer Science and am currently enrolled in a Master of Science: Applied Computer Science program.
Edited, Feb 27th 2011 2:36pm by Lycadax|WH