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

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member
Editor's take: By recommending a solid-state drive, Blizzard is taking the path of least resistance by addressing one of the easiest and most affordable components for PC gamers to upgrade. In other words, the recommendation eliminates the potential of the HDD being a bottleneck.

Blizzard has updated the minimum and recommended specifications for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion heading to Windows and macOS on October 27, 2020, and one change could have some gamers worried that their system might not be up to the task.

Per the refreshed system requirements page, Blizzard is calling for 100GB of available solid-state drive storage space for the expansion. You read that right – not just free space or hard drive space, but SSD space specifically.

In all actuality, a traditional spinning hard drive will still technically run the expansion but it might not be a pleasant experience.

As titles have grown in size and scope, more data needs to be pulled from the storage system and decompressed to build the game world. The faster and more efficiently you can do this, the better. Solid-state drives boasting fast read and write speeds, often over the PCIe interface, excel at this task and are many times faster than traditional mechanical drives.

A 480GB Kingston M.2 drive, for example, can be had for less than $50 and in many cases, can offer more of an overall performance boost than a new CPU or GPU.

Image credit: Hadrian

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brucek

Posts: 765   +1,046
TechSpot Elite
I wonder what finally tipped them over the edge to feeling like they should say this. (I'd have said it for each of the last 2-3 expansions at least.)

I believe the current game occupies at least 70 GB, meaning the expansion itself may have no more than 30 GB of new assets. That's relatively modest by today's standards.

 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,464   +6,145
I wonder what finally tipped them over the edge to feeling like they should say this. (I'd have said it for each of the last 2-3 expansions at least.)

I believe the current game occupies at least 70 GB, meaning the expansion itself may have no more than 30 GB of new assets. That's relatively modest by today's standards.

Given Blizzard's recent track record, incompetence most likely. If the game doesn't provide a good playing experience on a HDD, I expect many wow players to be pretty disappointed. WoW is an MMO, which means it need to be playable on very old machines.

Even if you take a look at new machines, this is bad for users with an SSD. A 100 GB requirement on a 256 GB SSD leaves pretty much nothing for other games / software once you account for OS and software.

Heck I have a 1TB SSD just for games I play frequently and that can only hold a small fraction of the games I own.
 
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Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,441   +1,040
Great news. Mechanical hard drives need to go the same way as optical drives. I mean really who’s still running brand new AAA games on a mechanical drive in 2020?
 

Qrox

Posts: 82   +41
I have a 500GB SSD for my games. I have yet to need more than this. Do note I do not play CoD.

Seeing how big the games that are coming out now are, I think we are about to start running out of space soon. I don't install a heck of a lot at once, but still.

Just looking at stuff like Flight Sim 2020 needing 150gb+, COD 175gb+, etc.
New games are needing a lot more storage to support all the high end textures and so on.
 

CrisisDog

Posts: 234   +130
I agree that a single spin drive is not enough, but for those who cannot afford the price for high capacity Solid State Drives, I seem to manage quite well with a RAID setup...
 

gamerk2

Posts: 510   +410
Great news. Mechanical hard drives need to go the same way as optical drives. I mean really who’s still running brand new AAA games on a mechanical drive in 2020?

Many people, since SSD costs are still significantly more expensive. Do remember that games intentionally have loading screens to hide the transfer of assets to RAM anyways.
 

Axiarus

Posts: 614   +420
Seeing how big the games that are coming out now are, I think we are about to start running out of space soon. I don't install a heck of a lot at once, but still.

Just looking at stuff like Flight Sim 2020 needing 150gb+, COD 175gb+, etc.
New games are needing a lot more storage to support all the high end textures and so on.
I can understand Flight Sim, but CoD being so large is just the devs being **** at compression.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,913   +2,986
I currently have a 400gb PCIe SSD as my boot drive, a 1tb SATA SSD for programs, a 1tb SATA SSD for games, and then a bunch of 6, 8, and 12tb HDDs for my stuff....

Have no intention to upgrade until it’s cost effective to upgrade to 100tb of PCIe SSD drives.... think I’ll be waiting a few years at best...
 

poohbear

Posts: 612   +518
SSD prices are expected to dip significantly this year, but still its gonna be hard for some of these dudes to do a complete migration to an SSD. its a bit of a headache last I did it (5 years ago to be fair)
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,062   +2,056
@DaveBG Didn't you argue on a Star Citizen thread that SSD's "Will never be a requirement for games".

Well good to see more games putting an SSD as a requirement ;)
 

nnguy2

Posts: 266   +517
As far as I’m concerned, the smallest SSD acceptable for a gaming PC is 4TB.

8TB is where you wanna be.

For real, I've got about 5TB across 6 drives. Got my first 256gb in 2013, and 2x of 500gb the following few years, and 3x 1TB the last 2 years.

Hoping for 4 TB $$$ to drop so I can consolidate 500gb and 256gb into one 4TB.
 

Nobina

Posts: 2,986   +2,771
Previous two expansions needed an SSD already. I couldn't play with an HDD, it's just too choppy trying to load things as you move. Putting it on an SSD fixed the issue.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +729
Great news. Mechanical hard drives need to go the same way as optical drives. I mean really who’s still running brand new AAA games on a mechanical drive in 2020?

No mechanical drives have a massive advantage over solid state, price per gb. I have 12tb of storage in my desktop, each 4tb drive when I bought it was $120, to replace it with solid state is excessively expensive. As for optical drives, I still use a Blu-ray burner.
 

ziffel66

Posts: 99   +147
"In all actuality"

This is a phrase that should never appear in an English sentence, much less a professionally written one.
 

Mithan

Posts: 107   +95
As far as I’m concerned, the smallest SSD acceptable for a gaming PC is 4TB.

8TB is where you wanna be.
I don't agree at all. People are fine with 500-1TB if they delete a game after playing it and just keep a few of their most played games on it. Normal Storage can be handled with a disk drive.

My first SSD was a 60GB Intel, about 10 years ago, which cost me $500. I had World of Warcraft and Windows on it, using a Raptor 150 and 600 GB for gaming.

My 1TB SSD I have had for a few years, doesn't even get close to full, and that is with a few games I keep installed all the time.

My PS4 Pro has a 1TB Samsung Evo in it, and even that has barely needed deletions.