WoW on SSD: Everything you need to know

by Paul | Last Updated: August 9, 2022

World of Warcraft has had eight major expansion packs, with every expansion (or at least after every two expansions) it is only normal that an upgrade in your computing device will improve your gameplay. This might not matter to a lot of people, but gamers are always looking for ways to improve their experience.

WoW on SSD might not show improved performance for Mists of Pandaria or Warlords of Draenor, but it will be evident for the Shadowlands pack. Online gaming just like offline gaming has system requirements and to enjoy a given game, users need a computing device that fits the said requirement.

There are times users might be desperate to just install a game on a PC that does not meet the requirements but there are consequences. These consequences might not be harmful to your PC as the game might not even install but there are times it will install but barely start or play before it sends an error message.

Harmful consequences occur when these games install and can play on your PC but are painfully slow, if you keep playing, you will wear your RAM and other components in the long run. Every game as a minimum requirement but it is better to get a game that the recommended specification aligns your computer to enjoy the game and save your PC.

WoW on SSD – System Requirements

Shadowlands, which is the latest pack in the WoW franchise has system requirements as outlined by Gfinity. The minimum requirements are:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3450 or AMD FX 8300
  • Dedicated graphics card: GeForce GTX 760 or Radeon RX 560 or Intel UHD 630
  • DirectX 11-compatible GPU with 2 GB VRAM
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Drive: 100 GB SSD or HDD
  • Broadband internet connection
  • Screen Resolution: 1024 x 768 (minimum)

For recommended requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700k or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • Dedicated graphics card: GeForce GTX 1080 or Radeon RX Vega 64
  • DirectX 12-compatible GPU with 8GB VRAM
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Drive: 100GB SSD
  • Multi-button mouse with scrolling wheel

Wow on SSD – Basics

Gaming on a PC is not new and before the commercial release of SSDs, gamers used HDDs and enjoyed it. There are still some gamers that use HDDs because they offer tremendous space at a price that does not yet exist in SSDs. This does not mean gamers do not use SSDs, they do and an optimal approach is usually the combination of both drive type.

Gaming on solid state drives does not always give a tremendous boost but it does improve gameplay, an effect that is more noticeable in some games more than others.

World of Warcraft is a game with a lot of design and details, moving from one place to another, these details vary. With the hard disk drive, there is a noticeable time lag in the design load of certain areas which is not evident while using an SSD.

Just as the details and design of the game varies, so do load times. This variation means that the time lag is not always evident in all scenarios but there are times you might not want to risk that delay.

One of such times is when you are in multiplayer mode, you do not want to hold other players back or even have some assets missing. Resolve these issues by putting your operating system in an SSD instead of an HDD

It is important to point out that, the SSD requirement has recently been “removed” from the required system specification by some users and some articles, but this does not dispute the benefits of gaming on an SSD.

Wow on SSD- Benefits of Gaming on an SSD

SSD is designed with a flash technology so it does not spin or have any mechanical parts that might slow it down like the HDD. Other features that make it preferable to the HDD is better data security as shocks, vibrations or accidental drops do not easily cause damage.

With the solid-state drive installed on your system, you will experience faster load times of applications, the faster boot time of your PC and general speed while carrying out regular tasks on your PC like browsing. To experience these improvements, it is imperative that you install your operating system on your SSD.

With that said, gaming on SSD does not translate to an overall great gaming experience as games depend on other components, RAM, CPU and sometimes GPU. While SSD does contribute to a better experience, it functions as a load time boost, other factors like game speed and processing are dependent on the components measured earlier.

To enjoy the value SSD brings to your gaming experience, make sure it is not filled to over 80 percent of its capacity.

Wow on SSD- HDD or SSD

Considering the latest of WoW (Shadowlands) requires a minimum of 100GB space on your drive, it is normal to opt for an HDD because it is more affordable. Given a 256GB SSD space, you are left with a little over 100GB space, so this rules out almost any other game especially if you have files.

For a gamer, that size will not just do, a better option will be 512GB preferably 1TB SSD. Well, an optimal choice will be 256GB + 1TB HDD or 512GB + 1TB. Any of those combinations affords you the space and speed you need for a better gaming experience.

Using just HDD will have little to no problems if you limit your gaming to just a player versus environment (PvE) move as your system will not need to load features on the open-world which puts more task on your disk. What happens when you switch to the player versus player mode? This is more likely to happen given the nature of WoW.

In a PvP mode, there are different areas, combats, and other tasks that make using an SSD preferable for a better experience. Wow can be played on an HDD, but it is better to use an SSD, that way the only delay will be from the game server.

Related Question

If I purchase a solid-state drive, can I move Wow to the drive? Yes, you can. There are some steps you will take but they are easy.