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World of Warcraft: Shadowlands minimum system requirements call for an SSD

(Image credit: Blizzard)
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The minimum system requirements for the upcoming World of Warcraft: Shadowlands (opens in new tab) expansion have been revealed (opens in new tab), and they're fairly unremarkable but for one point: You'll need 100GB of storage space, which is an awful lot (but still nowhere near the maniacal 200GB+ required by Modern Warfare (opens in new tab)), but more importantly, Blizzard wants that storage space on an SSD.

SSDs—that's solid-state drives—are fantastic because they're blisteringly fast compared to conventional hard drives. But that performance comes at a price, literally: As we noted in our recent HDD vs SSD breakdown (opens in new tab), solid-state drives can cost more than four times as much as a hard drive of comparable capacity.

They're a lot cheaper than they used to be, but the difference in price is still enough that some PC gamers (including myself) end up running with two drives, a smaller SSD to install and run Windows and the games of the moment from, and then a whopping-big HDD for stuff like photos, storage, and whatever else you have lying around that won't drive you bonkers if it takes awhile to load. That's why it's a little unusual to see one included with the minimum system requirements, as is the case here:

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 or AMD FX 8300
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 760, AMD Radeon RX 560, or Intel UHD 630 (45W) (DirectX 11 compatible GPU with 2GB VRAM)
  • RAM: 4GB (8GB if using integrated graphics)
  • Storage: SSD, 100GB available space
  • Input: Keyboard and mouse required, other input devices are not supported

Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 65 (DirectX 12 compatible GPU with 8GB VRAM)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: SSD, 100GB available space
  • Input: Multi-button mouse with scroll wheel

Unlike components such as RAM or video card, which can straight-up prevent a game from running if they're not up to snuff, the general consensus in threads like this (opens in new tab) on Reddit is that Shadowlands will run from a hard drive. It'll suck more—loading times will be much longer and you'll see more pronounced texture pop-in—but if you really want to play Shadowlands, and you really don't want to buy an SSD, you should be able to get away with it.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands comes out on October 27, which gives you just under two months to talk yourself into springing for an SSD. (And trust me, you should.) If you're in the mood to go shopping, be sure to hit up our guides to the best SSDs for gaming (opens in new tab), the best cheap SSDs (opens in new tab), and for higher performance options, the best NVMe SSDs (opens in new tab) that you can throw your money at right now.

Thanks, Wowhead (opens in new tab).

Andy Chalk
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.