5 Best Laptops For World Of Warcraft : Shadowlands & Classic (WoW) 2021

I’m sure you’ve read somewhere that virtually ANY laptop can “run” WoW.

That may be true if you want low detail torture graphics but not if you want to have the best gaming experience with WoW which is having a decent fps(~60ish), high/ultra graphic settings and very far rendering distances (so far you can see the barrens from orgrimmar or goldshire from stormwind).

Yes this is possible even if you are on a budget.

However, you are going to have to do a lil’ research before pulling the trigger on some overpriced machines from sneaky goblin vendors.

The truth is…

Those “any laptop can run WoW” comments are not all that innacurate. You don’t have to pay 3000$  to have fun with the game with all settings maxed out and +60 fps (probably 750$ on average). Nor do you have to get a desktop.

By the way…

Aren’t you annoyed by these guys and their  “desktop or death”  “PC master race” comments going around and not just within the game (see the screenshot) but also on Battle.net forums, reddit, etc.

It’s just old school though, laptops are INSANELY powerful these days especially with the release of Ryzen processors, the 10th generation GPUs and current RTX NVIDIA chips.

 

 

And they weren’t too bad in the past either.

I’ve been using a laptop to play World of Warcraft from the glorious days of Vanilla (that’s the oldest achievement you can get by the way /flex )

All the way to the current expansions Shadowlands/Classic:Burning Crusade and plan on keep doing so in the future.

And…

I rarely had issues with lag/FPS when raiding, BGing or doing arenas as I long as I tweaked my settings accordingly: low settings when raiding/PVPing, high render distances when trying to catch stealthy rogues in orgrimmar or arenas, etc.

But not much I could do in Tarren Mill, Tol Barad or any other area with +80 players fighting at once though; no settings or rig will save you from those lag spikes.

Anyways…

You want that smooth and sweet gaming? Satisfy the minimum requirements I will show you soon and you’ll be okay.

Yeah yeah, I am aware there are people out there stacking papers to the ceiling and reading my post who don’t mind paying for a beast-like rig to play WoW at “beast settings”.

Don’t worry I’ve got you too…

In this post we’ll go through all kinds of laptops from the most budget friendly to the uggliest biggest heaviest and most powerful beast .

We’ll also tell you what settings you can expect ( atlow, medium, high or ultra settings ) etc and what framerates you’re going to get. In fact, we’ve got A LOT of footage of WoW benchmarks that will help you make the right purchase.

Recommended Specs for World Of Warcraft

Before that let us briefly go over a few tips/facts you need to know about WoW’s hardware usage and the specs you need for the game.

I’ve added more details at the end of the post  if you’re interested in more technical jargon or don’t understand this brief summary too well.

CPU
WOW is one of the most, if not the most , CPU bound games on the market. 
This means you ALWAYS prioritize on CPU power.

You need to get the highest clock frequency(measured in Hz) you can afford if you want to push framerates to high,ultra settings and get something above 80FPS. 

Intel: Get an 9th  10th or 11th generation CPU (8th generation if you are on a budget).
Core i5 and Core i7s for high and ultra settings respectively. Core i3 for low-medium settings.

Ex: Core i7-10750H/Core i7 11800H are best for Ultra. Core i3-10110U/1115G4 for low. Core i5 10300H/11300H for High.

AMD: Nothing other than a Ryzen processor. High to ultra: Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7 with the “H” letter. Ryzen 3 or
Ryzen 5 with the “U” letter for low and medium.

Ex:  AMD Ryzen 5 5500U AMD Ryzen 3 3250U for medium to low respectively. AMD Ryzen 7 4800H/5800H for ultra and AMD Ryzen 5 4600H/5600H for high.

GPU
WoW is pretty CPU constrained no matter how much you spend on a GPU if you’re CPU isn’t good enough you’re not going to get high framerates at high/ultra settings. So you can be more lenient on the GPU.

NVIDIA: MX150,MX250,1050,1050Ti,1650,1060,1660Ti,2060RTX.
AMD
Radeon Pro RX 555X,  RX540, RX550, RX 560X, RX 580, RX5550M

To be more precise:

  • The blue ones are for Medium Settings.
  • For high/ultra settings you can grab any non-blue GPU and as long as its paired with a CPU like those in green or purple ones, you’ll get at least 60-70 fps at high/epic settings.
  • The GPUs above are ranked in terms of power so the higher you go in the rankings, the higher your frameartes will be at EPIC/Ultra swettings (Up to 300fps).
  • Keep in mind that going for the more beast GPUs(2070,2080,1080,1070,3070,3080..) will not impact your FPS much if you’ve already got a high end processor. So a  2060RTX/3060/1660Ti & RX5550M will be okay if you manage to find them WITH a purple or green CPU.

*same color means they’re equivalent.
*RX540,RX550 are weaker than the 1050GTX.

RAM
Windows 10 take 2GB. Wow Takes 2GB. Discord takes something…so 4GB is not enough.
You need at least 8GB.
16GB won’t help much but it will provide headroom for other heavy stuff running in the background.

Storage
Size: Wow takes ~100GB with Shadowlands. Windows 10 takes 32GB. So you need at least 256GB.
Type: SSDs (Solid State Drives) are the way to go because they’ll eliminate loading screens(this includes switching between Worlds or entering a raid/PvP instance). SSDs are on every modern laptop though, just double check.

Display
IPS+FHD displays are a must but they’re almost universal on all laptops above 500$. So don’t worry about it.
However…

If you’re paying good money for a nice CPU and a GPU that can output +100 fps at high/ultra settings, then MAKE SURE you get a 120Hz display too. There’s no point in getting high end CPU+GPUs if you can’t see the smoothness of high framerates (60Hz displays don’t let you see anymore than 60 fps).

Some sneaky manufacturers try to hide the fact that they’re giving you a 60Hz when you’re paying good money for a VERY powerful CPU so watch out!

Top 5 Best Laptops for World of Warcrat

Blizzard targets the entire world as their market(China being a huge part of it) and most people in China can’t afford mid-range to high end rigs. So yes, WoW has been designed to run on a souped toaster (we’ve actually tried that, MacBook Air says Hello).

Those laptops (which usually have an integrated GPU and an old generation processor) can only output 15-20FPS in orgrimmar and 30 FPS when questing at low settings and I don’t think that’s what most people came here for.

So we are only going to post one laptop for low settings . The rest of them will have a dedicated GPU to run the game at medium-ultra settings w/ +60-300FPS.

Beware that manufacturers are like those sneaky goblins salesmen you see at Ratchet/BootyBay, they know consumers only look at GPU/CPU specs so they leave design/ventilation/heat control  to draw and luck. This leads to “powerful” but poor quality control laptops which you may have to underclock otherwise they will have a short lifespan.

We’re only listing laptops with “better quality control” and decent “cooling systems” from known brands.

Let’s get started.


1. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming

Best Laptop For WoW Under 700

  AMD Ryzen 5 5500H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  4.96lbs

  5 hours

Let us go through  mid-range 1650GTX laptops because they’re both VERY affordable and VERY powerful for this game.

Now if you know a thing or two about the laptop market, you’ll know there’s ALWAYS one which is obviously the best deal among its group.

The Lenovo Ideapad is currently the best deal in the 1650GTX group. Not only does it have one of the latest generation CPUs and the 1650GTX but also an IPS display and MOST IMPORTANTLY 120Hz refresh rates, ALL under 700$.

Another huge perk about this laptop is that it’s got a 5th generation Ryzen CPU, which although with the same clock speed performance as the latest 11th gen Intel CPUs (note that I say performance!),  it still has more cores. WoW isn’t multicore, true so that’s not very useful, BUT if you’re streaming OR if you’re playing other AAA games then it’s going to be useful.

Performance:

Although we used a laptop with 4th generation Ryzen 5 CPU and a 1650GTX, these benchmark tests should give you an approximiate performance of the Ideapad 3 or any 5th gen Ryzen 5 CPU + 1650GTX.

We’ve tried three graphic settings (low, medium,Ultra) but the takeaway here is that you’ll be getting 70-80 FPS at EPIC settings (in other words the highest settings) depending on what CPU you’re using (4th or 5th gen Ryzen 5). 

Other Ryzen 5 + 1650 GTX laptop you may want to take a look in case this one is sold out:

Amazon Link CPU GPU Display Price*
Lenovo Legion 5 Ryzen 5 4600H GTX 1650 60Hz ~770
HP Pavilion Ryzen 5 4600H GTX 1650 60Hz ~747
ASUS VivoBook Ryzen 5 4600H GTX 1650 60Hz ~739

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2. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3

Best Laptop For WoW under 800 

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce GTX 1650 4GB vRAM

  256GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15.6” 120Hz Full HD IPS

  5.07lb

  7 hours

Core i5 10300H:

On the other side of the coin, if we are still after mid-range laptops with a 1650GTX, the vast majority of models in this group has a Core i5 9300H or a Core i5 10300H CPU on them (11th gen Core i5 are out but haven’t been implemented on laptops yet).

120Hz Display:

If you look through the internet you’ll find about 20 models with a Core i5 9300/10300H on them, however, most of them are above 750$ and yet they do not have a 120Hz display like the Ryzen 5 model we showed you above.

This Lenovo model is the ONLY one with a 120Hz and all the other specs most 1650GTX laptops have.

I’m aware that we aren’t talking about CoD or CS:GO so the 120Hz display won’t step up your gaming but they will definitely make your gaming experience smoother and more pleasant looking, so I don’t think that’s something you want miss out if you’re already paying that much dough.

Performance:

Performance wise Core i5 laptops with a 1650GTX are the same as those with a Ryzen 5 CPU (at least if we are talking about WoW).

Like wise, we’ve carried out a performance test using a Core i5 9300H + 1650GTX so you can expect higher framerates (~10FPS) if you’re opting for this Core i5 10300H model.

If you find this model out of stock, you can buy any of these models, these are the only ones that are not overpriced.

Amazon Link CPU GPU Display Price*
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 728$
Lenovo L340 i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 750$
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 719$
Evo Gaming i5 10300H 1650 60Hz 729$
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 686$
MSI HD Gaming i5 10300H 1650 60Hz 716$
Lenovo Ideapad i5 9300H 1650 60Hz 755$
HP Pavilion i5 9300H 1650GTX 120Hz 737$

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3. Acer Nitro 5

Best Laptop For WoW under 1000 – Best Deal in 2021

  Core i5 10300H

  8GB DDR4

   GeForce RTX 3050Ti

  256GB PCIe SSD

  15 ” 144Hz Full HD IPS

  5.07lbs

  3 hours

If we are talking about which laptop has the best specs/money ratio for WoW:ShadowLands, this would be it.

For about 100$ more, you’re not only getting the high refresh rate display (144Hz) but also the latest and current “entry level” GPU of the RTX series.

Although “entry” level in the 3rd generation RTX series, it’s a lot more powerful than the “mid-range” 1650GTX.

CPU: still the king spec for WoW

The only drawback of this laptop, if you could call it that, is that it doesn’t have a better CPU than the 700$ laptops we’ve shown you before and well WoW is pretty much CPU bound right?

That’s very true, it would’ve been far better to get a Ryzen 7 or even one of those 11th gen Core i7 CPUs, however, those are only available above 1000$ (sometimes 900$).

I would say for 800$, the addition of the 3050Til, is still a good investment because it will still give you a performance boost across ALL settings in the game and the cool thing is that you’re getting 144Hz display so you’ll definitely feel the difference when playing the game because you’ll easily be hitting +120FPS on almost every setting except Ultra.

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4. Acer Predator Helios 300

The Best Laptop For WoW- Ultra Settings +150FPS

  Core i7-11800H

  16GB RAM DDR4

   GTX 3060RTX

  512GB PCIe NVMe SSD (2x PCie Nvme slots free)

  15” IPS full HD 144Hz

  5.07lbs

  4 hours

If I wanted to go all out for a gaming laptop specifically for WoW, I would not go higher than a 3060RTX GPU + Core i7/Ryzen 7 CPU. Just like every laptop in this list, this is the best deal for such set up. 

My guess this rig is already sold out but hopefully by the time you read this it’s on stock.

3060 RTX:

3060RTX/2060RTX/1060GTX are my favorite GPUs, or actually, the favorite GPUs for most gamers: they’ve got the best performance/money ratio across ALL games.

The 3060RTX here though is by far way more faster than its previous generations. In fact, it might be a lil’ too overkill for WoW alone. However, going higher is pretty much pointless for WoW, 2070/2080/3070/3080 laptops are not only ridicously expensive but they don’t add much framerates to the game.

Core i7 11800H:

The biggest reason why you should buy this model instead of all other 3060RTX laptops is the CPU. There are a lot cheaper laptops with a 3060RTX but they’re usually paired up with relatively weaker CPUs which is not a great idea when the game is pretty much CPU bound.

You can expect the following framerates with this CPU+GPU set up:

You can see on the video the framerates are insane even at ultra settings so I will stop here and will not bother going over higher end and more expensive laptops which have a 3070/3080RTX and a Ryzen 9/Core i9 CPU. Yes, those will give you extra 50-100 fps across all settings but I mean you’re already going past 150-200 fps here which is already insane.

I will list them here if you’re interested or if you plan on using those for more graphically intensive games.

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5. ASUS VivoBook 15

Cheap Laptop For WoW

  AMD Ryzen 3 3200U

  8GB RAM DDR4

  AMD Radeon Vega 

  128 GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  15” IPS full HD 1080p

  3.75lb

  8 hours

 

I am not a big fan of laptops below 500$ for WoW but I know some of you just want to play Classic (ShadowLands/BFA is a bit more CPU/GPU intensive) or don’t mind playing ShadowLands at super low settings.

Low-end laptops have all kinds of crazy CPUs from Intel Celeron to those chips used on iPads and phones. Obviously, you don’t want any of that if you’re expecting to have a decent gaming experience.

Ryzen 3 / Intel Core i3: 

What you want with a low budget is any laptop with a Ryzen3/Intel Core i3 CPU like this one.

Now, you may find other laptops that are cheaper like this one ( that would’ve been the best laptop for WoW under 400)

But careful! 

Two things to watch out for:

– You may not get Windows 10 installed on it

– You may not a FHD resolution display and you’ll be stuck with HD resolution which does not look cool at all in such a colorful game like WoW.

Hardware:

Now let’s get to the hardware.

AMD Ryzen 3 4200U/3200U are not weak processors at all. They’re also faster than 10th generation Core i3 processors and actually they make laptops cheaper.

The cool thing about this laptop and other few laptops is that they got the RAM already upgraded to 8GB and most have a nice SSD on them.

All GPU however are integrated. You won’t find dedicated GPUs under 600 bucks no matter how hard you look and this is what will limit performance/gaming to low/medium settings.

Performance:

40FPS Orgrimmar/SW/Big Cities
60 FPS Questing

All at low settings.

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We try to update our posts on a regular basis but if you still don’t any of these laptops on stock and don’t have the time to look for one on your own. Try to check our post best gaming laptops under 700$ which is updated every 2 weeks 


How To Buy The Best Laptop For WoW

If you’ve come across a laptop you like, this short guide will make sure you are making the right purchase.

It will tell you what you can expect from your laptop and perhaps might even convince you to opt for another one.

World of Warcraft Gaming Computer Recommendations

Here’s what you should know  when buying a laptop. 

1. CPU

Like most games WoW is CPU bound, that is, it relies heavily on the processor’s clock speed.

However, WoW is even more special, it actually relies far more on the CPU  than the GPU (video card).

So it doesn’t really matter how much money you spend on GPU/RAM if you can’t get a decent CPU you’re not going to hit high framerates at high settings.

This is kind of expected though: the game was written in the beginning of the millennia and back then programmers did not have acces to the awesome video cards we have today so the game was written tailored towards CPU usage.

It’s not something that’s about to change unless they dig deep into the code and do extensive changes to the entire engine.

These are the most recent CPUs you’ll find in 2021 (on laptops and desktops).

Blue: Low-Med settings with at least 30FPS
Green: Medium with at least 50FPS
Sky Blue: High with at least 80FPS
Purple: Ultra w/ at least 100FPS
Black: Overkill 250FPS Ultra

CPU Base Turbo Cores
i3 10050G1  1.2GHz 3.4GHz   2
i3 8130U  2.2GHz 3.4Ghz   2
 i3 8145U  2.1GHz 3.9GHz  2
 i3 10100U  2.1GHz 4.1GHz   2
i5 8265U  1.6GHz 3.9GHz  4
i5 8250U 1.6GHz 3.4GHz 4
i5 10210U 1.6GHz 4.2GHz 4
i7 10510U 1.8GHZ 4.0GHz 4
i5 9300H 2.4GHz 4.1GHz 4
i5 10300H 2.5GHz 4.5GHz 4
i5 11300H 3.1GHz 4.4GHz 4
i7 9750H 2.6GHz 4.5GHz 6
i7 10750H 2.6 GHz 5 GHz 6
i7 11800H 2.3Ghz 4.6GHz 8
i5 9600K 3.7 GHz 4.6 GHz 6
i7 9700K 3.6 GHz 4.9 GHz 8
i9 9900K 3.6 GHz 5.1 GHz 8
i9 11900H 2.5GHz 4.9GHz 8
i9 10890K 2.4GHz 5.3GHz 8

 

CPU Base Turbo Cores
AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
3.8 4.6GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 9 3900 3.8 4.6GHz 12
AMD Ryzen 9 4800HS 2.2 4.4GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 3.2 4.4GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 4800HS 2.9 4.2GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 4.4GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H 3.3 4.2GHz 6
AMD Ryzen 5 4600H 3.0 4.0GHz 6
AND Ryzen 7 4700U 2.0 4.1GHz 8
AMD Ryzen 7 3700U 2.3 4.0 4
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7 4
AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 2.3 4 6
AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1 3.7 4
AMD Ryzen 3 4300U 2.3 4.0 4

The higher you go in clock frequency when choosing a CPU, the higher your framerates. Note that this applies to each brand separately.  i5 10300H are in no way faster than Ryzen 9 4800HS for example

1.1Low/Medium settings (Blue) ~30-50FPS

For the game to be playable at the lowest settings you just need a modern processor from the Intel Core Series or its AMD equivalent clocking at ~2.5GHz as the minimum. 

Intel Series

Just make sure it’s from the 8th generation onwards. You can easily tell the generation by checking the first number. Ex: an i5-6200 is from the 6th generation.

Older generations will heat up pretty fast plus they will also have outdated integrated GPUs which may put you into the teens for FPS even when questing in the middle of nowhere.

Although 10-20FPS maybe okay for some, raiding as a healer while following game mechanics is going to be a nightmare

That FPS may only be good to login, chat and check the AH (2008-2010 systems).If you want to do anything more than that be sure to follow the advice above. 

AMD

AMD processors are currently better overall than Intel Chips and they usually have better integrated graphics cards and are even more budget friendly (if we are talking about the Ryzen series).

Just be sure to pick any AMD processor with the “Ryzen” label . Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 processors on the table will be able to pull off low to medium settings.

1.2 Medium/High to Ultra Settings (Green-Purple)

Whether it’s intel or AMD you’re going to need at least 3.5 GHz.

Intel Series

A late generation processor with ~3.5GHz for clock speed will do wonders to your gaming at medium settings. Any of the recent generation processors will do (8th,9th,10th,11th), you could go for older generation CPUs but they’re usually just as expensive as the latest generation CPUs so be sure to thoroughly search for them.

AMD Series

Don’t be fooled by the “clock speeds” on Ryzen processors. Although they are lower on paper than Intel CPUs, they can actually perform faster. They also have more cores with the downside of generating more heat (you should buy a cooler if you’re getting one). 

So the number of cores is important right?

Not if you’re expecting higher framerates in WoW.

Most games like WoW are single threaded (they only use one core). However, most people multitask while playing WoW, so they will definitely help take some of the load off.

Both AMD Ryzen CPUs and Intel CPUs have several CPUs for that, if we are being truthful and honest, all things being equal both of these brands perform about the same for this game. This is not true for other games though.

2. GPU

NVIDIA

Name Cores vRAM Speed
MX250 384 2GB-4GB 1582
MX350 640 2-4GB 1354
MX450 896 2-4GB 1580
1050 640 2GB-4GB 1493
1050Ti 768 4GB 1620
1650 1024 4GB 1560
1060 1280 6GB 1670
1660 Ti 1536 6GB 1590
3050Ti 2560 4GB 1485
2060 1920 6GB 1680
2060 Super 2176 8GB 1650
2070 2394 8GB 1620
2070 Super 2560 8GB 1770
2080 2944 8GB 1710
3060 3584 8GB 1780
2080 Super 3072 8GB 1815
3070 5888 8GB 1730
2080Ti 4352 11GB 1650
3080 8704 10GB 1710

AMD

Name Shaders vRAM Speed Equivalent(Gaming)
Radeon 610 320 2GB 1030  Intel UHD 620
Pro RX 555X 768 2GB 855  MX150/MX250
RadeonRX 540 512 4GB 1219 ~950M
Radeon RX 550 640 4GB 1287 – 1476 +950M
Radeon RX 560X 1024 4GB 1172 – 1275 1050GTX
RX 580 1536 6GB 1077 ~1060GTX
RX5500M 1408 8GB 1327 – 1645 ~1660Ti

WoW can run on some positively ancient hardware as long as you  are comfortable playing the game at the lowest settings.

If you want to play at higher settings (get +60fps at least with medium settings) you’re gonna need a dedicated graphics card.

Low Settings

Integrated Intel/AMD

The game can run on an integrated GPU np but you’re gonna have to drop the settings to 2 or 3 and possibly halve the resolution  just to get 30fps which isn’t too bad if you’re not having a clusters of +20 players around you.

To get a integrated GPU that can consistently give you +30 fps, just buy a laptop or PC with a recent processor and you’ll automatically get a recent integrated GPU.

Every CPU listed in the table above will have either a Radeon Vega X graphics(3,5,7) or late generation Intel HD cards (Intel HD 620, Intel UHD 620, etc).

Medium to High Settings

Like I said, if you want +60fps at higher settings, you will need any dedicated GPU. 

I’ve listed below some of the GPUs you’ll find when shopping around. Obviously there are far more dGPUs, the ones I discarded are either way too powerful for the game or are obselete (Ex: 1060GTX).

Green GPUs: These are entry level gaming GPUs: MX250 and Radeon 555RX. These can get you +40 fps on medium settings (Main City) and ~60FPS while questing.

Blue CPUs: Radeon RX 540 and entry level 10th generation GPUs (1050,1650) can get you at least 70fps at ultra settings(Questing).

Purple GPUs: The NVIDIA 1660Ti,2060RTX,3050Ti,3060RTX and the Radeon RX580 will get you anything from 100-150FPS questing and  at ULTRA settings. 

GPU performance (Approximate)

GPU Questing PVP/Raid/Ogrimmar
MX150/350 60fps ~40fps (Medium)
GTX940M 60fps ~40 fps (Medium)
GTX960M 80fps(Medium) ~60fps(Medium)
GTX970M 80fps(High) ~70-100fps(Medium)
GTX1050 80fps(High) ~70f-100ps(High)
GTX1060 +80FPS ~50ps(Ultra) 
RTX 2060 +110 FPS ~80fps (Ultra)
GTX1070 +110FPS ~80fps(Ultra)
RTX 3050Ti +115FPS ~85fps(Ultra)
RTX 3060 +120FPS ~90fps(Ultra)
  • Keep in mind, a dedicated graphics card on a laptop can be costly, staying under $500 is pretty much skipping a dedicated card. You won’t find any below that price.
  • MX150/MX250 is equivalent to the 940MX.  MX450 = 1050GTX. Although some say there is a +30% increase in performance, this is not noticeable for games like WoW.

CPU bottleneck*

In this game it is pretty unlikely your GPU will “bottleneck” and by that I mean that it will be “too weak” to keep up with your CPU because the game, like I said before, is very CPU dependent.

It is more likely that you will “CPU bottleneck” in other words your CPU will be too weak for the game and going for more powerful GPUs won’t help. 

Check this video to see what I mean:

*This topic probably concerns more desktops/PCs than laptops because in the laptop market CPUs are most of the time paired up with the right GPU.

The guy was getting the same framerates using a 1060,1660Ti,2060RTX (all three GPUs being  used with the same CPU). I don’t think the 1060,1660Ti and the 2060RTX are all equal in power, instead I think he “CPU bottlenecked”.

So what would have gotten him much higher framerates would have been an upgrade to the CPU.

If he had done that, the 2060RTX might have bested the 1660Ti and there would have been a clear difference between the 1070 and the 1060. 

TL;DR: If you want to get higher framerates it’s not just about your upping your GPU but your CPU accordingly, otherwise you will CPU bottleneck regardless of CPU “usage”

vRAM

VRAM, the memory on dGPU, is what allows you to play the game at higher resolutions.

However you don’t need more than 2GB vRAM and pretty much all dGPUs have =+2GB vRAM so don’t sweat too much about it unless you’re into video editing/animation/3D modeling. 

What about Other “Older” generation CPUs like 740M,630M?

It’s not a bad idea to go for older generation or GPUs if you are on a budget but it’s kind of risky.

They might not be supported by Shadowlands and therefore will not be able to ALL images properly (though Im sure most of them will).

RAM

This isn’t really an issue for gaming laptops because all of them come equipped with at least 8GB.

However, if you’re buying a laptop below 500$, chances are you’re not going to get 8GB RAM, most of the time you’ll get 4GB.

Size

Past versions of the game would have been OK with 4GB (WOW used to take less than 2GB, now it’s pretty close to 2GB if not more ) but being on the bridge to full capacity is never a good thing and it is very likely you’ll be using other programs simultaneously:discord, youtube,etc.

Windows itself takes 2GB so you’ll need more than 4GB.

Ideally you want x2 4GB Sticks to make it 8GB.

If your laptop is cheap and came with 4GB and you feel it’s sluggish you can upgrade it later. .

Dual Channeled

You can squeeze a few more framerates if your RAM is dual channeled. It basically means installing two RAM sticks of the same size, type and model.

Storage

Size

WoW can take up to 84.5GB with all expansions, the new Expansion Shadowlands takes just as much as Battle of Azeroth ~20GB. So you’ll need to set aside at least 100GB for WoW. 

A 128GB laptop is definitely not okay unless you just want to play Classic (Windows itself can take up to 20GB).

Get at least 256GB. Ideally 512GB to play other AAA games.

HDD(Hard Drive) vs SSD(Solid State Drive) for WoW

Running WoW on a SSD won’t make your framerates go any higher but it’ll make game load up pretty quickly which includes those times you step out of a continent or move onto another instance (BG,dungeon).

Display

IPS + FHD resolution

If you’re paying 500$< for a laptop, chances are you’re NOT going to get an IPS display (better viewing angles more accurate colors) and FHD resolution(1920×1080).

If you’re paying more than 600$ it’s pretty much a given.

The game can be played at any resolution though so if your laptop costs around 350$ and all you got is an HD+ resolution, you’ll be okay .  

Refresh Rates

Refresh rates will not up your game or make 1v1 duals any easier.

However…

If you want to see every framerate and therefore run the game far smoother (assumig you’re getting +60fps in the FPS counter), then you must look at the refresh rates of the display you’re buying.

So when your rig can output +100FPs (which is the case for most gaming laptops above 700$) you will actually see them on the screen.

This can be an issue for laptops because  some manufacturers try to cut down on prices by giving you a 60-120Hz display with hardware that can output far more than 120FPS. 

Heat

Heat is a big issue for games like WoW.

The chances of your laptop dying because of heat death (your CPU/GPU melting) are pretty high. You and I know both know you’ll be using this laptop for hours on end without pausing and this is exactly what makes it more likely to happen.

This doesn’t really happen with dekstops unless you overclock the CPU/GPU but it is very frequent with laptops and the reason most of them die (more so if you overclock them).

There are two ways you can minimize this before you get a laptop:

  1. If you’re planning ok playing at high settings for several hours. Get laptops from good brands like ASUS, MSI and Acer in that order. I haven’t had experience with other brands but you should make sure all reviews online about that particular model do not have any negative things to say about temperatures. If you read something about the system not handling high temperatures well, run.
  2. Get yourself a cooling pad even if your laptop has a great cooling system.
  3. Non-gaming laptops($<600) will overheat massively if you try to play for too long. Reduce all settings as much as possible here.

After you buy a laptop:

  1.  Don’t overclock your laptop.
  2. Reduce settings to minimum if you’re going to play for hours.
  3. Install a software to check CPU/GPU and temperatures and change settings back to medium/low when Ts go past 85C.

Lag

Depending on where you are in the game , there will be some lag regardless of how powerful your machine is.

If you are at orgrimmar, you’ll get your FPS cut in half approximately.

If you’re PVPing or Raiding with 20-40 players in a 2m radius, your FPS will go down substantially too. This is more of a matter of the internet connectivity of the raid/group as a whole rather than yours alone.

Also having a low end laptop ($500) and low settings doesn’t guarantee you won’t lag, you will, especially in the situations I mentioned.

You should have no lag when questing, doing dungeons, and having a cluster of 4-5 people fighting each other though. If you do, you need to do some tweaking or making sure your computer is using your dGPU and not your integrated GPU.

Comments?

If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or recommendations. Please let me know in the comments below, I’ll try to answer as soon as I can.

 

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