EVE Online is no different. The game has traditionally run quite well on older hardware despite graphical upgrades and thousands of simultaneous users sharing the same virtual space. In the latest EVE dev blog, CCP Zulu addresses the impact that the upcoming Incarna expansion is likely to have on client performance, and to make a long story short, CCP is upping the game's minimum and recommended hardware configurations.
Zulu says that the change is mostly directed at users with lower-end Nvidia 6000 or 7000 series graphics cards who are trying to run multiple EVE clients on a single machine (a common practice due to the number of alt accounts and the fact that only one character per account can actively skill-train).
"We therefore decided to temporarily add the option to not load the Incarna interiors while still retaining full access to all options and menus. This allows us to accommodate users with old and gnarly hardware [... and] also develop for those with top-of-the-line gaming computers," Zulu explains. Check out the blog entry, and the system specs, on the official EVE website.