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The Burning Crusade -- hardware upgrade time?

Back in October, Mike Schramm let us know what the Burning Crusade system requirements were going to be. Now that we're in the holiday season and the expansion is a matter of weeks away, do you plan on making any upgrades in order to get the most out of the Outlands?

I've been playing WoW on a number of systems since beta. I started on a 12" PowerBook G4, then swapped to a 1GHz Duron desktop, then to a 15" PowerBook G4, then a 20" iMac G5, and now I play on both the iMac and a recently-purchased Core 2 Duo system with an ATI x1900. Through all of those systems, the two most important factors I've found in playing WoW are system memory and the video card.

For memory it seems that 2 gigabytes seems to be the sweet spot for playing WoW on OS X, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. With only a single gigabyte, all of my systems have seemed to chug a little, relying on caching to keep everything going. If you play with Teamspeak or Ventrilo, or have iTunes running in the background, you're definitely going to want 2 gigs of ram.

With the video card situation, it's all about where you can move the sliders in your Video Options. On my iMac, I play with the default settings except that I've turned the viewing distance down to minimum, and that's with the 128mb ATI 9600 pro that comes in the system. With the PC, everything is cranked to maximum on the 256mb ATI AIW x1900. I've played around on different systems, from the AMD Athlons through the Core 2 Duo chips, and it seems like WoW's not really a system resource hog in terms of processing power.

So, what system did you start playing WoW on, way back in 2004? What do you see yourself playing WoW on in 2007? Is the expansion inspiring you to upgrade or change your system at all, or will you stick with what you've had all along?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Tricks, Expansions

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