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World of Warcraft: Cataclysm System Requirements

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a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 19, 2010 6:27:15 PM

Blizzard has unveiled the system requirements for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Interestingly these requirements also apply to the base game as of version 4.0.1 and, by proxy, to all previous expansions. The end of days has come to WoW players with GeForce 2 MX cards all across... umm... anybody? In all seriousness, I think all those cards are already at the trash bin and while the new minimums may be an issue to some ancient computers somewhere, chances are such a system was already long overdue for a replacement.

In any case, the new minimum and recommended requirements for World of Warcraft are here.

Minimum System Requirements

Windows System XP/XP64/Vista/Vista64/7 OS (with the latest Service Packs or updates):

* Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500+
* 1 GB or more of RAM
* NVIDIA GeForce FX or ATI Radeon 9500 video card or better
* 25.0 GB available HD space
* 4X DVD-ROM drive (Downloadable Installer also available)
* Broadband Internet connection
* Keyboard/mouse

Recommended Specifications

Windows System Vista64/Windows 7 OS:

* Dual-core processor, such as the Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2
* 2 GB RAM
* 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 or better
* Multi-button mouse with scroll-wheel

(Source: Blizzard knowledge base)

As usual, you can use the YouGamers Game-o-Meter to see how your system stacks up to these requirements.

Compared to Wrath of the Lich King, the minimums have been bumped up ever so slightly - you now need at least a Shader Model 2.0 card to play, disqualifying GeForce 2/3/4 series cards and all Radeon 7000 and 8000 series cards. It also means some truly ancient Intel Integrated video chipsets are no longer supported. On the recommended side, the CPU is still the same old but the video card requirement has moved up to midrange DX10 hardware and, more importantly, the recommended operating system is now Vista or Windows 7 and, as of 4.0.1 and Cataclysm, this allows the use DirectX 11 API. This seems, at first, a huge jump but it is understandable as there is a clear performance benefit moving from the DX9 mode to DirectX 11 (even on DX10 level hardware - you don't need a DX11 video card to use DirectX 11 API libraries, unlike when moving up from DX9 - DX10 hardware works too, minus some visual effects).

No, this doesn't mean you need Vista or Windows 7 to play World of Warcraft, but it sure is recommended unless you are otherwise playing with old DX9-level hardware. DirectX 11 is clearly catching on and unlike DX10 that mostly just added some visual effects at the cost of performance, there seems to be good performance-related reasons to move to the new API, even with a game like World of Warcraft that has decisively low tech visuals and minimum requirements.

http://www.yougamers.com/news/29848_world_of_warcraft_c...
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 6:57:31 PM

yea.. i went from running fairly well with all settings to high to now it sall set to low and i still get 23-24fps vs my old 40-50fps... i'm not happy about the change but i'll appreciate the engine overhaul when i build my new system here shortly
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 10:33:47 PM

I wouldn't say that "256 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 or better " is midrange DirectX 10 hardware.. It's more budget i.m.o.

I think that it's ridiculous that such a profitable and popular game doesn't even warrant a fairly recent card.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 10:59:32 PM

One of the the reasons it's so popular is because it runs on old, underpowered systems. Sad fact is, most pc users - even gamers - have shoddy hardware that just holds back progress.
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 11:16:27 PM

eyefinity said:
One of the the reasons it's so popular is because it runs on old, underpowered systems. Sad fact is, most pc users - even gamers - have shoddy hardware that just holds back progress.

you bring up a good point. but i think at a certain point of popularity you add support for the high-end aswell as budget areas
a b U Graphics card
October 19, 2010 11:28:48 PM

LOL First off, a Geforce FX card is a piece of junk. Even when they were new they weren't that great to begin with. And any game which states it's "Recommended" is a GeForce 8600 is fairly weak. At the same time though, I have to say I'm glad to see Blizzard making improvements to graphics with such an old game. I think that's commendable.

Maybe if they get really lucky I'll play WoW again for a month. LOL Oh, wait that'd mean buying the WotLK & Cataclysm expansions. Probably not worth it.

The upgrade though, brings up an interesting point. How many users might they potentially lose who have really old systems that now won't work?
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 19, 2010 11:31:11 PM

jerreece said:
LOL First off, a Geforce FX card is a piece of junk. Even when they were new they weren't that great to begin with. And any game which states it's "Recommended" is a GeForce 8600 is fairly weak. At the same time though, I have to say I'm glad to see Blizzard making improvements to graphics with such an old game. I think that's commendable.

Maybe if they get really lucky I'll play WoW again for a month. LOL Oh, wait that'd mean buying the WotLK & Cataclysm expansions. Probably not worth it.

The upgrade though, brings up an interesting point. How many users might they potentially lose who have really old systems that now won't work?


While it's recommended is rather low, they do have graphics levels that would still need a GTX480 to play at 1920x1200. Not that those extra shadow levels make the game that much nicer looking.
a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 20, 2010 1:11:27 AM

eyefinity said:
One of the the reasons it's so popular is because it runs on old, underpowered systems. Sad fact is, most pc users - even gamers - have shoddy hardware that just holds back progress.


the average gamer still has a dual core CPU under 3ghz with a Nvidia 8800/9800GT or ATI 4850
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2010 1:16:07 AM

ct1615 said:
the average gamer still has a dual core CPU under 3ghz with a Nvidia 8800/9800GT or ATI 4850


I wish that was the case.

The average gamer is probably a lot lower than that still. Check out the Steam survey and you'll see how many people are using single cores and really ancient gpu's.

3ghz dual cores and 8800's are pretty decent systems, it's the people who are using intel graphics or some geforce 4, and an athlon 1 or P4 that is bringing down the whole system. :p 
a c 173 U Graphics card
October 20, 2010 1:22:55 AM

So I am going to be the only one that mentions the 25GB space requirement. That is up 10gb from 15gb currently prior to 4.0.1. I am a wow player and at low settings just about any machine will run it even 10 year old systems but once you start jacking up the settings it can set back even high end machines but for single instance it will be fluid in most places. Multy box will rape your hdd or SSD due to paging. If you don't have a pagefile then you are going to need 16gb+ ram even though it's ram footprint is low but it pages a lot compared to most games and apps.
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2010 1:50:47 AM

I have a couple relatives that played on IGP's as of last year, looks like that is gone by ?
I remember hearing this story and I guess others must experience the same things ?
"Mike has blown up two computers playing WoW, he's using mine now and he has the cover off with a fan blowing on it" lol
This new expansion has people talking more than I can remember. Just saw the commercial myself.
a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 20, 2010 2:30:39 AM

eyefinity said:
I wish that was the case.

The average gamer is probably a lot lower than that still. Check out the Steam survey and you'll see how many people are using single cores and really ancient gpu's.

3ghz dual cores and 8800's are pretty decent systems, it's the people who are using intel graphics or some geforce 4, and an athlon 1 or P4 that is bringing down the whole system. :p 


that is based on STEAM's survey

55% have a dual core
20% have an ATI 4850 / 8800GT / 9800GT
October 20, 2010 6:03:14 AM

So, I recently replaced a laptop that seemed to run Warcraft rather decently. Now, I'm sitting on a new Acer Aspire X3910 wondering what I should replace the integrated Intel card with. I'm also rather ignorant when it comes to this stuff. The box is pretty low profile, and the power supply (220w) seems to be a bit lower than the minimum I'm seeing on a lot of nice cards. Any suggestions?
a b U Graphics card
October 20, 2010 12:37:45 PM

on the talk of old systems holding back newer ones in wow.. to a pooint i'd agree, but in ultra mode it looks great, at lower resolution/lower settings it looks ok, i now am playing at lower settings but itts cause i can't personally afford to upgrade my rig all the ti9me but i have been saving and will soon be building.. after some overclocks last night i got my single core athlon to 2.4 ghz and my 8500gt up to 700mhz (stock is 459) so i'l actually gettig good framerates on wow in medium... it remains to be seen if i'll keep the overclock though

as for you jbeet low profile and can run on a 220watt powersupply... thats gonna be rough, you're pretty limited at 220 watt maybe a low profile 5450 like

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

35 after rebate and 6 bucks shipping

pulls a lil over 115 watts so depends on the rest of our system draw .. specs and we can get you a better answer
a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 20, 2010 2:38:06 PM

jbeet said:
So, I recently replaced a laptop that seemed to run Warcraft rather decently. Now, I'm sitting on a new Acer Aspire X3910 wondering what I should replace the integrated Intel card with. I'm also rather ignorant when it comes to this stuff. The box is pretty low profile, and the power supply (220w) seems to be a bit lower than the minimum I'm seeing on a lot of nice cards. Any suggestions?


depending on your processor & budget

PSU upgrade
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

video card

budget option - will play at medium settings
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

better
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

best - pricey and you need two free slots
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
October 21, 2010 8:40:05 AM

I'm looking to replace an old system. The one I was looking at was with a AMD Phenom II X6 1035T processor, 6144 MB 1333MHz DDR3-memory and a 1GB ATI Raden HD 5670 graphics card.

Is that a reasonable system for WoW, or should I rethink?

Thx for any help.
a c 235 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 21, 2010 4:44:10 PM

jkn56 said:
I'm looking to replace an old system. The one I was looking at was with a AMD Phenom II X6 1035T processor, 6144 MB 1333MHz DDR3-memory and a 1GB ATI Raden HD 5670 graphics card.

Is that a reasonable system for WoW, or should I rethink?

Thx for any help.


it would be fine for 1440x900 resolution. a future upgrade in the PSU (i assume this is a mass produced unit?) and video card will help out.
a c 216 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 21, 2010 5:43:27 PM

jkn56 said:
I'm looking to replace an old system. The one I was looking at was with a AMD Phenom II X6 1035T processor, 6144 MB 1333MHz DDR3-memory and a 1GB ATI Raden HD 5670 graphics card.

Is that a reasonable system for WoW, or should I rethink?

Thx for any help.


You'd be better off getting a 4 core CPU instead of 6. WoW doesn't really use much more than 2 anyways. Use the savings on the CPU and get a better GPU.
a b U Graphics card
October 21, 2010 6:38:54 PM

thats a pretty good deal for a prebuilt rig at 700 ... nice looking to
October 22, 2010 5:32:48 AM

ct1615 said:
it would be fine for 1440x900 resolution. a future upgrade in the PSU (i assume this is a mass produced unit?) and video card will help out.



Yes, it's a Dell unit. Always had them and never had any problems with them, so I figuered I would continue. Thx!
October 22, 2010 5:34:10 AM

bystander said:
You'd be better off getting a 4 core CPU instead of 6. WoW doesn't really use much more than 2 anyways. Use the savings on the CPU and get a better GPU.



Okay will look into that, thx!
a c 271 U Graphics card
January 23, 2011 1:27:40 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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