The 5 Best Laptops For World Of Warcraft : DragonFlight & ShadowLands (2022)
WoW is a very scalable game, provided you don’t buy super old hardware, the game will optimize itself to run well even on a 350 dollar laptop.
Thus the best Laptop for World of Warcraft be it for Classic, Shadowlands or even the upcoming Dragonflight expansion will depend on HOW GOOD you want the game to look.
Now the system requirements for WoW DragonFlight have been released last month (they’re shown in the recommended specs section below) but it only affects those after budget machines.
For those after ULTRA graphics settings & maximum viewing distance and every graphics settings maxed out as shown below (1080p)
With +80fps, they’re going to have to spend at least 700 bucks.
On the other hand…
Those okay with lower settings and lower resolutions have to spend at least as 400 bucks to pull off 68fps. (There’s a video down below #5 showing how the game looks at low settings)
If you’ve got deep pockets and you want to run the game with beast settings at 1440 or even 4k resolution. You’re going to have to spend at least 1300 bucks.
Anyways… we’ll go through all kinds of options here.
Below is a summary of the kind of laptops we’ll go through and their performance on World of Warcraft.
As you can see every laptop can easily output 60fps as long as you adjust settings and even a mid-range 3060RTX laptop can run the game at 1440p with decent framerates.
So yeah forget about that “PC master race”, “get a desktop or go home” kind of comments you’ve read on reddit. Laptops are insanely powerful especially in 2022.
If you want to play PvP and arenas competitively it’s not a good idea to spend 350-500 bucks, those are good options for questing and dungeons but not when you need maximum viewing distance to detect enemies from afar.
As for me…
I’m more of a guy that loves to PvP & raid with settings up the wazoo even on Epic Battle grounds or super crowded places like Tol Barad. I’ve been doing so from the glorious days of Vanilla ( Tarren Mill was the sweet spot for PvP back then) up to Shadowlands.
But I also play the game on a budget machines because I cannot bring my 10 lb laptop everywhere I go.
My recommendations here should be helpful to y’all.
Recommended Specs for World Of Warcraft
This section is going to get a bit too technical, you can skip it if you’d like.
It’s basically a summary of how the game uses computer hardware and what kind of hardware to buy and what kind of hardware to avoid. If you’d like more details about this, check the last section.
It basically comes down to the dedicated GPU. Here’s a list of the dedicated GPUs (those in red are rare and probably expensive) you’ll find in 2022:
NVIDIA: MX350, MX450,1050GTX,1050Ti GTX,1650GTX,1660Ti,3050Ti,2060RTX,3060RTX,2070RTX, 3070RTX,3070Ti, 3080RTX,3080Ti
AMD: Radeon Pro RX 555X, RX540, RX550, RX 560X, RX 580, RX5550M, Radeon RX 6800S, Radeon RX 6700S
It is true WoW has become more “GPU demanding” over the years. But that only applies for 1440p and 4k gaming.
Most players are only after high framerates on ultra settings and you only need a 4GB vRAM GPU like the 3050Ti or 1650GTX for that.
Entry-Level GPUs: Can pull off 50fps at ultra settings. Pay no more than 550 bucks for the MX450.
MainStream GPUs: ~70fps on Ultra Settings. 600-700$.
Mid-range GPUs: 70-85fps on Ultra Settings (PvP or Dungeon) , 100fps (Questing). Ideal for playing Ultra settings for long periods of time. $700-800.
High-End GPUs:Useful for 1440p or 4k gaming. You can also buy the 3060RTX to hit Ultra settings (1080p) in order to keep temperatures low.
The footage of these benchmarks and framerates are listed in the last section of this post.
MUX SWITCH & GPU TGP
If you’re spending more than 900 bucks for a high-end GPU, you have to know what MUX Switch & GPU TGP mean because they MASSIVELY affect performance (it’s mostly an issue for high-end GPUs, ignore it if you’re buying mid-range or lower GPUs). The links will take you to my easy to ready posts explaining what they are.
1080p WoW Gaming:
- Ex: You want a high wattage GPU (115 to 130W) for a 3060RTX isntead of 85W, otherwise it will only perform as good as the cheaper 3050Ti. (1080p gaming)
- MUX Switch: A laptop with a MUX Switch will have 15-20% increased GPU performance so it’s a bonus (High wattage makes a bigger difference though).
1440p or 4k gaming:
- At these resolutions, 3070 RTX & 3080RTX without a MUX Switch & running at low power, will still outperform lower-end GPUs.
- However, you can massively increase the gap with a MUX Switch & high wattege so it’s still extremely important to know.
WoW is multi-threaded (more cores are good) but clock speed performance is still the most important factor.
It’s easy to know which one has more “clock speed” if they’re from the same brand (the ones with the higher number 4.5GHz vs 4GHz).
If they’re from different brands, then use benchmarks. Here’s a summary:
Note: Difference in framerates will be slight, nothing major. The dedicated GPU is far more important.
*If you need more details here, check the last section.
RAM & Storage
8GB: WoW takes 2GB. Windows 10 takes 3.5 GB. Discord ~1GB. So this is for Shadowlands.
16GB: A must if you’ve buyign a budget machine w/ an integrated GPU. Useful for streaming too. A must for Dragonflight too.
Dual-Channel: Basically setting up RAM with x2 sticks of the same characteristics will squeeze 5-10fps. More on this post.
256GB: You’re not going to make it with just 128GB. WoW only takes 100GB with Shadowlands (70GB for Classic) and Windows 11 ~64GB, that’s more than 50% of 256GB. Dragonflight will only take an extra 50GB so you’ll barely make it.
Top 5 Best Laptops for World of Warcrat
Here on Laptopstudy we are not going to go over # ports , keyboards, sound systems and all that shenanigans in much detail (we will mention it in a summary for which you can read customer reviews for that)
What I will do instead is show you the footage of the performance of every laptop shown next when running World of Warcraft ( Shadowlands ). Dragonfligiht Beta still isn’t here.
We will also let you know if there’s anything special about each GPU (high wattage, MUX Switch, higih refresh rates, upgradeability, etc) that you will not get from other reviews. I will also go over alternatives if they are out of stock.
The graphics settings for the benchmarks you’ll see next are these:
1. Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3
Best Budget Laptop For World of Warcraft – DragonFlight & ShadowLands
AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
8GB DDR4 (Up to 16GB RAM)
RTX 3050Ti 4GB vRAM
512GB NVMe SSD (M.2 & 2.5” Bay Slot Available for upgrades)
15.6” 120Hz FHD IPS
I want to start the list with a 3050Ti laptop because right now there a few models on a very good deal.
In fact, this Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 and the Acer Nitro cost just as much as the average 1650GTX laptop (which are significantly weaker than this one).
World of Warcraft Benchmark: 3050Ti Laptop – Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3
Questing: 100fps ( avg) on Ultra Settings(10 on the graphics bar) – OverClock ON – Outside of Durotar
PvP: 85 fps (avg) on Ultra Settings (10 on the graphics bar) – Out of Combat (OverClock OFF) – Twin Peaks
Dungeon: 54fps (avg) on Ultra settings(10) fighting mobs and 62 fps fighting a BOSS
Update: Check out my livestream with the Lenovo Ideapad gaming 3 below. Im playing basically 16 hours a day for the next few days so you can ask me any question on the chat :
GPU: 3050Ti (85W) – 4GB vRAM
Like every other laptop with a 3050Ti, this laptop runs at 85W (the maximum TGP for 3050Ti NVIDIA GPUs). Unlike other 3050Ti laptop it does not run at 85W at all times, you have to manually set it ON through the Lenovo Vantage Software (natively installed on the Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3).
I would advice you to turn off “GPU Overcloking” because it is not necessary to run the game at ultra settings and instead stick with Performance Mode (so the scenario and characters while questing look nice and beautiful) and use Balance Moded when doing dungeons and doing PvP (Framedrops may happen if you keep the temperatures running too high for too long).
Follow my advice and this laptop should last you for several several years to come.
Note that this laptop does not have a MUX Switch and there is no reason to look for a 3050Ti laptop that has a MUX Switch, there isn’t any, I’ve already done the research.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600H – 6 Cores
If you know anythiing about CPUs, you’d know the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H
Now, there are literally hundreds of models with a 3050Ti with five or six different CPUs as shown in the table below:
|Acer Nitro||3050Ti||i5 10300H||144Hz||256GB||744|
|2022 Ideapad||3050Ti||R5 5600H||120H||512GB||849|
|Ideapad Gaming 3||3050Ti||5 5600H||120Hz||512GB||698|
|ASUS TUF||3050Ti||i5 11260H||144Hz||512GB||1089|
The above 5 models are basically the 5 best deals for each CPU. The lowest price with a 3050Ti will have a budget CPU like the Core i5 10300H/Ryzen 5 5600H found on 1650GTX laptops.
Now, the 3050Ti will let you unlock Ultra settings but the CPU will be responsible for getting those framerates up. If you’re happy with 70 fps at ultra settings you could grab the Acer Nitro 5 or the Lenovo Ideapad. Unlike the 1650GTX you will not be taxing the GPU at ultra settings as much and you can play at ultra for much longer periods of time.
|Lenovo Ideapad Gaming 3 (3050Ti)|
2. Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
Best Laptop to Play WoW on Ultra – Shadowlands & DragonFlight
Ryzen 7 5800H
16GB RAM DDR4
GTX 3060RTX 130W (MUX Switch)
512GB-1TB PCIe NVMe SSD (2x PCie Nvme slots free)
16” IPS QHD 165Hz 1440p
This is the sort of laptop that I’d like to own (I currently own the 3050Ti IdeaPad).
It is in my opinion the best gaming laptop for world of warcraft shadowlands , dragonflight and every other expansion, nothing comes close for several reasons:
3060RTX: 130W + MUX Switch
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||92||Questing||1080p||OFF||Tech Tyrial|
Yes this laptop does NOT have a 3080Ti but it DOES NOT need to if you’re playing at 1080 or even at 1440p. If you checked my post on GPU Wattage. You’d know what a big difference a high TGP on a GPU makes, the 3060RTX here runs at 130W and will outperform the 3070 and even the 3080 laptops running at 85W (don’t believe me, there are SEVERAL benchmarks on youtube showing this).
For WoW, it becomes even more obvious because the game is not THAT GPU demanding at 1080p resolution, the 3070 and 3080 running at low TGPs will perform either worse or just as good as the 3060RTX 130W which costs a LOT LESS.
That’s not even the whole story, the Lenovo Legion 5 Pro ALSO has a MUX Switch, this increases GPU performance by 15-20%.
It does not even end there, this is a 17 inch laptop TOO and for gaming laptops that’s a HUUUGE bonus because that means it’ll be FAR easier to keep temperatures low for the GPU and CPU to run at full speed. Add that to the fact that this laptop has a great cooling system and you’ve got yourself a laptop that can last you for several several years even if you force it to run at full power on a regular basis.
Performance 1440p : 3060RTX vs Low TGP 3080RTX
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||130W||81||ShadowLands||questing||1440p||Ultra(10)||OFF||Tech Tyrial|
|Ryzen 9 5900HX||3080RTX||No||130W||83||ShadowLands||Main City||1440p||Ultra(10)||High||Xyonus TV|
As you can see above, the 3060RTX (130W) can run WoW at 1440p no sweat and the 3080RTX isn’t really that much better indeed. I know the benchmark was carried out on raid with RTX mode on but I would expect at bigger gap with the supposedly better RTX features on the 3080.
RTX Ray Tracing ShadowLands: ON & OFF
Besides RTX isn’t really taxing on WoW. In fact, I’d say, it’s not even useful unless you want to make youtube videos of character interactions like those youtube parodies.
It will basically only make the character’s faces more “realistic” by adding shadows and better shapes. It will also make those places at night with lots of shadow more vivid again by adding shadows and making light sources behave more similar to the real world. Framerate performance drop for this is about 10-20%.
CPU: Ryzen 7 5800H vs Core i7 11800H
The Ryzen 7 5800H as you may already know isn’t a great CPU for a very single-clock dependent game like WoW, it would’ve been nice if the Lenovo legion Pro 5 had a Core i7 11800H. You would have seen a FPS difference of 10 or even 15 making it reach at 100fps on the highest settings (1080p). Thus if by the time you read this, you see a Lenovo Legion Pro with a Core i7 i’d say you must grab it over the Ryzen 7 model.
|Core i7 10870H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||115||Questing||1080p||OFF||Tech Tyrial|
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||92||Questing||1080p||OFF||ASAPAnxiety|
You can see above how much difference even a slightly older Core i7 makes in the game thus making the Ryzen 7 5800H only a last resort. Since there is no other laptop running at 130W with a MUX Switch at this price (1300 bucks). You are welcomed to grab the MSI GP66 which has a 3060RTX running at 130W a MUX Switch and a Core i7 If you want that extra performance, the only issue is it’s about 400 bucks more expensive:
FHD vs QHD Displays:
Now I’m sure you’ll come across 3060RTX laptops for about 900 bucks but be careful they will only have a FHD display & they will run at low power too. The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro doesn’t cut prices anywhere, it’s got everything a high-end 3060RTX laptop should have including the QHD if you want to throw in some 1440p gaming. Below I’m posting a list of the most common 3060RTX laptops you’ll find, be sure to check for wattage and resolution that’s where manufacturers will cut down prices.[ScrollableTable]
|MSI GF65 Thin||3060RTX||i5 10400H||144Hz||955|
|Gigaby K5 KD||3060RTX||i5 11500H||144Hz||1199|
|Dell G17||3060RTX||i7 12700H||120Hz||1399|
|MSI Thin||3060RTX||i5 10500H||144Hz||829|
|MSI Cross Hair||3060RTX||i7 11800H||144Hz||1698|
|Dell G15||3060RTX||i7 12900H||120Hz||1400|
Please check out this cheaper alternative too, pretty much the same laptop:
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16”
3. Razer Blade Pro 17
Best Gaming Laptop For World of warcraft – 1440 & 4k resolution
Core i7-12800H 5.0GHz
32GB RAM DDR5
3080Ti RTX 16GB vRAM
1TB PCIe NVMe SSD (Up to 2GB)
17” IPS 4k UHD 144Hz
1 hour (Gaming)
Before we get to more budget options, let me say something about the latest 12th generation Intel Core Laptops with the latest and most powerful gaming GPU: 3080Ti because I know there are MANY of you with unlimited cash like AsmonGold not happy with “best bang for your buck” machines.
GPU: 3080Ti vs 3080RTX vs 3060RTX
What was said before about the 3060RTX being better than the 3080RTX only applies to the older 3080RTX, this year’s newest 3080 RTX: 3080Ti RTX will be more powerful than the 3060RTX and even the 3080RTX at pretty much ANY wattage. Most however will run with at least 150W which is just as high as the 3080RTX thus it’s obviously going to run faster, it’s got way more CUDA cores and more vRAM so it will also outperform any other GPU at 1440p and 4k resolution.
Unfortunately, there isn’t benchmarks with a 3080Ti on a laptop but the performance should be similar to the desktop version of the 3080RTX, you can find dozens of benchmarks of the desktop version on youtube but I personally like the one below because it has a CPU with the same performance as the Core i9 12900H.
Display: 4k 17 inch
The Razer Blade comes in different versions. You’ve got a FHD version, QHD version and the 4k version. Be sure to pick the 17 inch and 4k version because you’re going to need the 4k display to run the game at 4k resolution which is really the whole purpose of buying a 3080Ti.
You also want to make sure you grab the 17 inch version as the extra space will make it super easy to run the 3080Ti at full power while keeping it at safe temperature ranges.
|Razer Blade 15 Pro||Core i7 12800H||3080Ti||2699 (used)|
|ASUS ROG||Core i9 12900H||3080Ti||3298|
|Razer Blade 17||Core i7 12800H||3080Ti||4000|
|ASUS Rog||Core i9 12900H||3080Ti||4300|
|ROG Zephyruis||Ryzen 9 6900HX||3080Ti||4139|
|MSI Stealth||Ryzen 9 6900HX||3080Ti||5500|
Below you can see the only 5 or 6 3080Ti laptops released this year (2022), I will point out the advantages (pros and cons) of picking the Razer Blade 17 over all the other models. The main Con will be basically the 144Hz refresh rate you’ll definitely be hitting past 200fps at 1080p but since you’re mostly going to play at 1400p or even 4k it is unlikely you’ll ever go past 140 fps thus it makes sense , at least for WoW, to opt for a 144Hz display ( a 144Hz display will show up to 144fps , a 240Hz display will show 240fps and so on).
4. Lenovo L340
Best Cheap Gaming Laptop For World of Warcraft
Intel Core i5 9300H
1650GTX 4GB vRAM (No Optimus)
256GB PCIe SSD (Free 2.5” Bay Slot)
15” FHD IPS 60Hz
3 hours (Gaming) – 6 hours (Work)
If cannot afford a laptop with the 3050Ti like the Acer Nitro or Ideapad Gaming 3, you have to start looking at 1650GTX laptops.
CPU: Core i5 10300H vs Core i5 9300H
Although most 1650GTX laptops will sell for about 700 bucks (only 20 bucks less expensive than the two most popular 3050Ti laptops), you can find them a LOT cheaper if you pick 1650GTX laptops with slightly older CPUs.
Now now, don’t be scared. I go through this “CPU topic” in more detail in the last section but basically what CPU you get doesn’t really make much of a difference, at least for WoW. There are plenty of benchmarks showing you how irrelevant they are for WoW as long as you have the same dedicated GPU, you should be running the game with the same framerates.
GPU: 1650GTX (No Optimus) + 15-20% GPU performance
The good news is that this laptop will OUTPERFORM most laptops with a Core i5 + 1650GTX even if they have a 10th gen Core i5 or even 11th gen Core i5. Why?
Because the 1650GTX here, unlike most laptops, does not have OPTIMUS and that’s a GOOD thing for GPU performance. You can read it more about it on my post MUX Switch & Optimus here.
Having no Optimus or having a MUX Switch means having a 15-20% increased GPU performance but it also means having a low battery (2 hours at the most when gaming or no gaming). But since playing WoW is mostly a plugged-in experience (it consumes a LOT of battery anyway), this is still a good compromise.
You can see and compare the performance of this exact model to other models on youtube:
Below I show you a table of the most popular laptops with a 1650GTX you can see the average price is near the price of the 3050Ti which makes buying them a bad move. Nonetheless, if the 3050Ti laptops run out of stock and you can’t wait these are good choices but again I would opt for the Lenovo L340 because its cheaper and actually faster.
|Ideapad 3||R5 5600H||1650GTX||120Hz||689|
|MSI GF63||i5 9300H||1650GTX||60Hz||665|
|Ideapad||i5 11300H||1650GTX||60Hz 15”||699|
120Hz vs 60Hz Displays:
The only real caveat of the Lenovo L340 is that it lacks a 120Hz display. Now if you are mostly playing at ultra settings, it makes little difference because you won’t get near 100 fps even with a 3050Ti. Plus being that the game is not a FPS (First person shooting game), it is not something that’s necessary to kick ass in arenas or BGs, you’ll do just fine with a 60Hz display it’s really all about placing your action bars well and teamwork.
5. HP 5 5500
Best Laptop For WoW Under 500
8GB RAM DDR4
AMD Radeon Vega 7
256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
15” IPS full HD 1080p
Lastly but not least if you only have a budget of about 300-500 bucks there is still plenty of optios provided you’re okay running the game at low resolution with 50-60fps .
Now I go over this in more detail in the next section but basically you have two options. You either buy a Core i3 / Ryzen 3 laptop for 300-350 bucks OR a Core i5 / Ryzen 5 laptop for 450-500 bucks.
I will briefly go over what these two options can get you. I’m featuring a Ryzen 5 here because I recommend it over a Core i3 UNLESS you don’t have a budget anywhere near 400 bucks.
CPU: Ryzen 5 Core i5 vs Ryzen 3 Core i3
The Core i5 and Ryzen 5 laptops have more cores although we said several times it makes little to no difference for WoW, it does make a difference here because you do not have a dedicated graphics card and the CPU will ALSO be doing a lot of the heavy lifting ESPECIALLY if you want to run the game at 1080p (FHD) resolution. The extra 2 cores will also let you multitask with a bit more ease as you play WoW (go to discord, web browse youtube for quest tutorials, or check out wowpedia.com and wowhead etc.)
Multitasking is not the only reason why pay 100 more bucks, Core i5 and Ryzen 5 laptops also have better integrated graphics.
GPU: Intel Xe & RX Vega 7
Both the Ryzen 5 and Core i5 laptops have integrated graphics card that run at higher clock speeds and have more “dedicated vRAM” although that’s not a big factor into performance, the clock speed is. The whole point is the integrated graphics found on these two CPUs (they only come hand in hand with Core i5 or Ryzen 5 laptops hence the name “integrated”) are much faster than those found on Core i3 and Ryzen 3 laptops.
In fact, if you up the RAM to 16GB they will perform just as good as entry level dedicated graphics, this is a very well known trick that’s been around for years. I go a bit more in depth about it in my post here “Will upping RAM improve integrated Graphics performance”?
But that’s a true fact and you can see the benchmarks with the game in the next section if you don’t buy notebookcheck’s benchmarks. You’ll see what a big difference the extra RAM makes and how it pretty much approaches the performance of 2GB vRAM dedicated GPUs.
Now the tricky part about buying budget machines is that ythere are hundreds of laptops with a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 , a nice SSD and even 8GB RAM for 450 bucks but not all of them will have a FHD display which is a MUST to play the game at FHD. Be very very careful when shopping for these laptops because it is a common trick manufacturers use to get you to buy a laptop, you must double check the presence of a FHD display before you click the purchase button.
Below you can see a few goold alternatives if you cant find a Ryzen 5 laptop with a FHD display:
|ASUS VivoBook||i5 1135G7||Intel Xe||FHD 15”||426|
|GateWay Slim||i5 1135G7||Intel Xe||FHD 15”||529|
|HP 5 5500||R5 5500U||RX Vega 7||FHD 15”||448|
How To Buy The Best Laptop For WoW
The following buying guide will be based on Benchmarks found on the laptopstudy youtube channel and several other youtube channels.
It’s going to be very long so unless you want to know everythiing there is to know about how the game uses computer hardware ( perhaps if you’re building a desktop or want to extract every single framerate out of your rig), do the following to save yourself time:
World of Warcraft Laptop Requirements
a) If you’re budget is anywhere from 350-500 bucks, just read the upcoming budget section since dedicated GPUs are NOT available in this price range.
b) If you’re budget is above 550 dollars or unlimited. Skip this “budget section” and jump right into the GPU section that follows because it’s FAR more important than CPU (at least on laptops for reasons you’ll see later).
A) World of Warcraft Laptop: 500 dollars and below
1. CPU: Recent
Because a budget below 500 dollars cannot get you a dedicated GPU (unless you go refurbished) the CPU will be the single most important hardware behind high framerates at medium or low settings.
Doing so sets you up with the latest “integrated GPU” too. It’s called “integrated” because it’s “integrated” into the CPU.
Thus a good modern CPU is paired with a MODERN integrated GPU.
2. GPU : Integrated
The best integrated GPUs are paired with the best and most recent CPUs. For example:
|Core i3 1135G5||Intel UHD Xe G4|
|Core i5 1135G7||Intel Iris Xe 80 (1600Mhz)|
|Core i7 1195G7||Intel Iris Xe 96 (1700Mhz)|
|Ryzen 3 5300U||RX Vega 3|
|Ryzen 5 5500U||RX Vega 7|
|Ryzen 7 5700U||RX Vega 8|
The above are just the most common examples, you may find CPUs that are of an older generation or CPUs that are of a more recent generation (12th) thus the integrated GPUs will be faster or slower.
Core i3 & Ryzen 3: These are the bare bone minimum to play the game. Forget about Celeron, Pentiums and any other CPU that doesn’t have these words on them. Although they have weaker GPUs, if you opt for the modern (most recent ones : 10th or 11th gen) you will get a decent integrated GPU capable of running the game at low settings.
|Ryzen 3 3200U||8GB (Yes)||ShadowLands||51||low(2)||questing||900p|
|Ryzen 3 5300U||8GB (No)||ShadowLands||63||Low(2)||questing||900p|
|Core i3 10100U||16GB(Yes)||ShadowLands||65||Med(3)||questing||720p|
Ryzen 5 & Core i5: Found on 400-500 laptops. The integrated GPUs are MUCH faster than what you find on Core i3 or Ryzen 3 CPUs. If you go for the most recent CPUs (11th & 5th gen) , you will get an integrated GPU that CAN match the performance of dedicated GPUs (with 2GB vRAM). Can easily pull off medium settings and sometimes even high settings! How? Buy upping your RAM to 16GB (the extra RAM will be used by the integrated GPU boosting performance massively).
Enough talking, you can see the benchmarks below for yourself!
|Ryzen 5 4500U||16GB (No)||ShadowLands||62||Med(4)||questing||1080p|
|Ryzen 5 5500U||8GB (Yes)||ShadowLands||67||Med(4)||questing||1080p|
|Core i5-1035G4||8GB(No)||Battle For Azeroth||46||Med(5)||questing||720p|
|Core i5-1115G4||12GB (Yes)||ShadowLands||42||High(6)||questing||1080p|
Those are ALL the benchmarks I could get my hands on, there’s a LOT more CPUs available in 2022. The table below shows ADDITIONAL CPUs you might want to consider if they’re within your budget and not more expensive than what’s been shown on the first table/
Q: What about the Core i7 and Ryzen 7 CPUs? What about the 12th generation CPUs in the table? Are they good for WoW?
They obviously ARE ! However, they are WAY too expensive and you might as well use that money to get a laptop with a DEDICATED GPU instead which is going to get you BETTER performance.
Q: What about older CPUs, CPUs not on the list?
I recommend you only buy the CPUs listed on the table simply because they have better integrated GPUs. Older generation CPUs have outdated and much slower integrated GPUs and although you will be able to play WoW at low settings w ~20-30 fps, temperatures on your laptop will rise massively which is not ideal when you want to play for long periods of time.
If you’re just going to join a dungeon for 30 min a day it may be OKAY if you’re DPS (rogue , warlock, mage, etc) but not if you’re a priest or a holy paladin that has to constantly heal everyone and make sure no one dies because those framerates are not going to make it easy to click on the the characters as they move around fighting a boss.
2. RAM for WoW
Integrated GPUs: 8GB vs 16GB
Every laptop above 450 bucks should have 8GB RAM and if your laptop doesn’t have 8GB RAM, you must do the upgrade. It is a MUST.
Although that’s enough to run WoW with no lag AND to handle all the stuff running in the background (Windows 10, Zoom, whatever), if you up the RAM to 16GB RAM you’re going to get a MASSIVE boost in performance ESPECIALLY if you have an integrated GPU.
So imo it is A MUST to upgrade, at some point, to 16GB if you want to play WoW for long periods of time on a low-end system.
Dual Channel RAM
You can squeeze a few more framerates if you do the upgrade in dual-channel mode. Basically having two ram sticks of the same size, type, speed,etc, (just buy them off the same vendor and brand) will speed up CPU-data reading speeds, more details on my dual-channel RAM post.
B) World of Warcraft Laptop: 600 dollars and Up
1. GPU: Dedicated
We’ll go over ALL the dedicated GPUs you’ll find on 2022 in groups and post benchmarks for each groups. Older GPUs are omitted and tips on choosing the best GPU (or what you should know before pulling the trigger on a laptop with said GPU) will be outlined in each group.
i. Dedicated GPUs: 500-600 dollars
|NVIDIA GeForce||CUDA Cores||vRAM||Clock Speed|
|AMD Radeon||Cores||vRAM||Clock Speed||NVIDIA Eq.|
|RX 550||640||4GB||1287 – 1476||MX250|
|RX 560X||1024||4GB||1172 – 1275||1050GTX|
MX250, Radeon 610 & Pro RX 555X: I strongly advice against these. They are dedicated GPUs but are kind of weak yet EXPENSIVE. You can get same or better performance out of laptops with integrated GPUS at a cheaper price(see first section).
MX350 & MX350: These are significantly faster than ANY integrated GPU however you should pay no more than 600 dollars for laptops with either of these. Below are the benchmarks of some of these GPUs. You can use the MX450 to get a sense of the MX350 performance (it’ll be slightly lower).
|MX150||Intel Core i5 8265U||82||Questing||ShadowLands||Medium||768p||BenchMark|
|MX250||Intel Core i5 8265U||42||Questing||ShadowLands||High||1080p||WildGamerSK|
|1050 4GB vRAM||Intel Core i5 7300HQ||60||Questing||ShadowLands||Ultra||1080p||Maiquera Jogando|
|1050 3GB vRAM||Intel Core i5 9300H||60(Vsync)||QUesting||Classic||Ultra||1080p||PCXGames|
|1050 4GB vRAM||Intel Core i5 7300H||70||Questing||Classic||Ultra||1080p||HubWood|
|1050 4GB vRAM||Intel Core i5 7300H||62||Questing||Batle For Azeroth||Ultra||1080p||HubWood|
|1050 4GB vRAM||Intel Core i5-7300HQ||81||Questing||ShadowLands||High||1080p||Maiquera|
|MX450||Intel Core i5 1135G7||100||Questing||ShadowLands||High||1080p||CRNSBENCH|
- 1050GTX will perform slightly slower than the MX450 because it lacks a modern and fast CPU. Thus the perforamance at least for this game should be closed to the MX350 which is usually 500 dollars and thats as much as you should pay
- Although the MX450 and the 1050GTX and even the MX250 can run on Ultra settings, temperatures are too high and you should buy these for Ultra setings but rather high (at the most).
- The MX250 ad MX150 should be used to play the game at Medium Settings (ocassionally high).
ii. Dedicated GPUs: 600-700 dollar
|GTX 1050Ti||Core i5 8300H||65||Battle For Azeroth||Questing||1080p||Ultra(10)||Majestric|
|GTX 1650||Ryzen 5 4600H||70||ShadowLands||questing||1080p||Ultra(10)||Laptopstudy|
|GTX 1650||Core i5 9300H||70||ShadowLands||questing||1080p||Ultra(10)||Laptopstudy|
|GTX 1650||Core i5 9300H||100||ShadowLands||questing||1080p||Ultra(10)||Gameplay|
|GTX 1650||Core i5 10300H||60-70||ShadowLands||questing||1080p||Ultra(10)||Jordon J|
|GTX 1650||Ryzen 5 4800H||73||ShadowLands||questing||1080p||Ultra(10)||Technoriales|
- Both the 1050Ti & 1650GTX are more suitable for Ultra settings for long periods of time.
- The choise of the CPU for these kind of GPUs does not seem to matter at least for Ultra Settings
- You can choose either the 1050Ti or the 1650GTX, both perform equally well (more or less).
iii. Dedicated GPUS: 700-800 Dollars
|NVIDIA||CUDA Cores||vRAM||Clock Speed(MHz)|
|AMD||Shaders||vRAM||Clock Speed(Mhz)||NVIDIA Eq.|
|RX5500M||1408||8GB||1327 – 1645||~1660Ti|
|1660Ti||Core i7 9750H||65||Ultra – 10||questing||1080p||Unavailable||Erwin Liao|
|RX 5500M||Core i9 9880HK||60||Ultra – 10||questing||1080p||Unavailable||Laptopstudy|
|RX 5500M||Core i9 9880HK||35||Ultra – 10||questing||4k||Unavailable||Laptopstudy|
|3050Ti||Ryzen 7 5800H||85||Ultra – 10||questing||1080p||OFF||Mariush|
|3050Ti||Ryzen 5 5600H||83||Ultra – 10||Questing||1080p||OFF||Laptopstudy|
|2060RTX||Ryzen 7 4800H||75||Ultra – 10||questing||1080p||ON||Tech Tyrial|
|2060RTX||Core i7 10750H||100||Ultra – 10||Raid||1080p||OFF||All Systems|
- All GPUs above perform extremely well for World Of Warcraft on Ultra Settings while keeping tempereatures low. They are ideal to play the game for long periods of time at the highest settings.
- CPU choice does not seem to matter much here either as you can se in the 3050Ti benchmarks thus you can save a lot of money by choosing laptops with cheaper CPUs.
- According to these benchmarks we can conclude that the game is highly dependent on vRAM more than “clock speed” or shaders. This can be seen by looking at the 2060RTX outperforming the 3050Ti (6GB vRAM vs 4GB vRAM) despite having a slower CPU.
- The 3050Ti is the best choice out of this group because it is cheaper and offers similar performance to all the other CPUs.
MUX Switch & GPU TDP (Wattage)
Before you even THINK of investing 900 dollars and up, YOU HAVE TO KNOW what these two terms mean: MUX Switch & Wattage. It is CRUCIAL if you want to get ripped off.
These GPU specs make a MASSIVE difference in performance so please take a look at my two posts: What is a MUX Switch? & What is GPU TDP? BEFORE you check out the following benchmarks unless you already know about the topic.
You can see the difference in wattage here.
iv. Dedicated GPUs: 900-1300 dollars
|NVIDIA||Cores||vRAM||Speed||Lowest TGP||Highest TGP|
1080P: Ultra Settings, ShadowLands
|Core i7 10870H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||115||Questing||1080p||OFF||Tech Tyrial|
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||76||Questing||1080p||OFF||ASAPAnxiety|
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||92||Questing||1080p||OFF||Tech Tyrial|
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||16||130W||108||Questing||1080p||HIGH||Mariush|
- First CPU does not matter much here. At least not as much as GPU Wattage & MUX Switch.
- Most of the laptops benchmarked above are Lenovo Legion Pros. They usually ship with high wattage AND A MUX Switch.
1440P: Ultra Settings, ShadowLands
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3060RTX||Yes||130W||83||ShadowLands||questing||1440p||Ultra(10)||OFF||Tech Tyrial|
|Ryzen 9 5900HX||3060RTX||No||130W||78||ShadowLands||Raid||1440p||Ultra(10)||OFF||Xyonus TV|
- On the other hand, if you want to game at 1440p resolution a high wattage (130W) 3060RTX is a MUST otherwise framearates will dip quite below 60.
- I advice you to invest on 17 inch laptop if you’re going for a high wattage GPU because you need more space to keep temperatures low
v. Dedicated GPUs: 1300-2000 dollars
|AMD Radeon RX 6800S||2048||12GB||1975||+3070|
|3080RTX||Core i9 10980K||100||155W||Torghast||HIGH||Xyonus TV|
|3080RTX||Ryzen 9 5900HX||95||115W-130W||Raid||HIGH||Xyonus TV|
|Ryzen 9 5900HX||3070RTX||115||100W||Main City||1440p||HIGH||Voidzu|
|Ryzen 9 5900HX||3080RTX||85||115W-130W||25 Raid||1440p||HIGH||Xyonus TV|
4k resolution, ShadowLands
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3070RTX||75||95W||Questing||4k||HIGH||Fun Laptop|
- All of these are only useful for 1440p or 4k gaming.
- Overkill for 1080p Ultra Settings.
- If you are not carefull with wattages, you may get lower performance than the weaker 3060RTX at 1080p.
- These will also outperform any precedding GPU on 1440p/4k resolution regardless of wattage howeverif you choose a low wattage GPU, it will do so only by a small margin thus it is ALWAYS important to invest on a high wattage GPU
2. CPU : High Clock Speed
Once you’ve got two laptops with GPUs that have the exact same performance because both run at the same wattage and have a MUX Switch, YOU CAN BE PICKY about CPUs. Now. the most important question is…
Which is more important? Clock Speed or #Cores?
To make it short and sweet, you have to look after clock speed. Yes, WoW like every other modern AAA game is multi-core (it can use more than one core) but NOT to the point of being more important than clock speed.
There’s been hundreds of benchmarks confirming this, the most convincing and complete multi-core WoW benchmark is the one in this link.
Modern CPUs: Clock Speed performance
|Ryzen 9 6980HX||3.3||5||8|
|Ryzen 9 6900HS||3.3||4.9||8|
|Ryzen 7 6800HS||3.2||4.7||8|
|Ryzen 7 6800H||3.2||4.7||8|
|Ryzen 9 5900HX||3.3||4.6||8|
|Ryzen 9 4900HS||2.2||4.4||8|
|Ryzen 7 5800H||3.3||4.4||8|
|Ryzen 7 4800H||2.9||4.2||8|
|Ryzen 7 3750H||2.3||4.0||4|
|Ryzen 5 5600H||3.3||4.2||6|
|Ryzen 5 4600H||3.0||4.0||6|
|Ryzen 5 3550H||2.1||3.7||4|
It’s pretty easy to tell which one has “more clock speed” if we are talking about the same brand.
For example, if you have to choose between a Core i7 11800H & Core i9 10885H, the core i9 has 5.3 GHz as opposed to the Core i7 which has 4.6 GHz.
If you are comparing AMD vs Intel, it’s really difficult, you may have to rely on benchmarks it’s not so easy as comparing the numbers.
For Example the AMD Ryzen 5 5600H is superior to every other Core i5 11300H despite having less clock speed on paper.
AMD vs Intel
You want to first check on youtube if there are any direct comparisons like the one below:
If there isn’t any check thirdparty benchmarks such as those found in notebookcheck and looking after single core clock speed performance.
3. Heat Control
Bad heat control designs is the main reason why most gaming laptops will last a bit more than year, yes you heard ONE year if you play everyday 8 hours a day.
This is even worse if you play at high/ultra settings or even 1440p/4k resolutions. These much graphics put a LOT of stress on a system. Ideally here you’d want a 3070Ti at least (for 1440p) and making sure it’s on a 17” laptop, wattage doesn’t matter much if you can get that GPU (3070RTX will not be very useful if running at low wattages).
8 hours? Who the hell plays 8 hours?
Well, you’re probably new to WoW if you have to ask that. But it’s very common for laptops to die faster in the WoW community I’ll tell you that much!
Here’s a few more tips:
- Get one from gaming brands like MSI and ASUS. These two have the best cooling systems.
- Other brands are cool too but you’ve got read reviews like it’s the last laptop you’ll ever buy.
- If you read a review complaining about heat RUN.
- Get a cooling and pad and software to control temperatures. If temperatures are above 80, stop playing the game , let it rest or figure out how. to cool it down.
- Budget laptops will overheat massively if you go to high settings and even 1650GTX (low -midrange) laptops will heat too at ultra settings if you play for several hours. Just be sure to switch back to low settings when possible.
- Do not overclock anything.
- Lower down graphic settings after two hours if you’re playing at 1440p.
4. Storage For WoW
All laptops have SSDs now only old laptops still have an HDD. You must do the upgrade if that’s the case and just use the HDD as a repository. Otherwise launching the game and booting up will take ages.
256GB: WoW takes 100GB (Shadowlands) . Expect Dragonblight to take 120GB (at least) and if you’re playing classic you need an additional 70GB, that’s almost 190GB. Add Windows 10 or Windows 11 and you’ll make it to 220GB. Since most laptops have at least 256GB you should be alright.
512GB: Super useful to have a few other AAA titles installed.
128GB: If you’ve got a budget under 400 dollars, this is as much as you’re going to get (assuming you also get a late generation CPU with the latest integrated GPU) just be aware you’ll need to the upgrade (40 bucks)..
If you have any comments, suggestions, questions or recommendations please let us know in the comments below or you can send us an email. Laptopstudy takes your input very seriously because to be honest we use it to improve future versions of this post.
- I am physicist and electrical engineer. My knowledge in computer software and hardware stems for my years spent doing research in optics and photonics devices and running simulations through various programming languages. My goal was to work for the quantum computing research team at IBM but Im now working with Astrophysical Simulations through Python. Most of the science related posts are written by me, the rest have different authors but I edited the final versions to fit the site's format.
8 thoughts on “The 5 Best Laptops For World Of Warcraft : DragonFlight & ShadowLands (2022)”
Appreciated your honesty in assessing these laptops for BfA. My MacBookPro just stopped playing WoW & I’m looking for alternatives. I’d buy a new MBP but mine still does everything I need it to do! – except play Wow, lol.
Really how old is your MBP? I got a 2015 MBA and I can still run WoW, even BfA on it…and it’s playable. This is BfA, check the quest on the top.
Hmm, a 2015 could do the trick then? Cool! I am looking into options. Will prob stay with Mac.
2010?! Wow that’s oldschool AF, it just goes to show you these suckers last forever….
My MBP is a Mid-2010. I’m old school 😉
thank you so much for explaining all this in detail. i have found two different gaming laptops that have got my interest. I am currently on a MBP 2015, and it cant run the new wow expansions anymore. So i wanted to ask you two different questions. The first one is- are these two laptops good to run and play wow safely ? https://www.amazon.fr/HP-15-ax202nf-Portable-GeForce-Windows/dp/B01MT7MTR5/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1535296667&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=CUK%2BOMEN&th=1
and the second question i would have for you is, which would be more ideal ?
Again thank you so much for these details.
All of them can play Wow at high settings even with the new expansion. I would pick the first one though just because the RAM size is 8GB as compared to the 4GB the other two have. You can actually pick any of the other two as long as you upgrade the RAM to 8GB on your own, if you rather not do that, then just pick the first one. HPs are quite resistant too just be careful with hinges….my monitor eventually stopped working because I’ve kept forcefully messing around with the hinges to the point something inside broke or got unplugged..some cable or connector… (you could open it up and fix it though). The hinges from Macs on the other hand seem to be undestructible….can’t say that about all other brands.
thank you so much !