Ever since World of Warcraft was first released by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2004, it has become one of the all-time best MMORPG games that people of all ages and backgrounds can’t get enough playing.
WoW has also evolved from its humble vanilla beginnings to its current 8th expansion, Shadowlands, which comes with its own set of system and hardware requirements, especially when the DirectX 12 support entered the arena.
This means that to enable all the new features of the game, you need the best laptop for World of Warcraft that has a NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card, and a powerful processor that can ensure a smooth and enjoyable gameplay.
Of course, the additional demands are worth it, since we get to enjoy improved graphic elements like particle effects, 3D models, lighting, textures, and even Ray Tracing. Still, for many of us, it means going on the hunt for a newer and better laptop, and that’s what we are here to help you with.
World of Warcraft Laptop Requirements
Below is a list of the minimum and recommended laptop requirements if you want to be able to find a great laptop that can run WoW. We listed down the requirements for both the classic game version and the Shadowlands expansion pack.
Classic Minimum Specs
- Operating system: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10 64 bit
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 / AMD Phenom X3 8750
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB / AMD Radeon HD 4850 512 MB / Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Memory: 2 to 4GB RAM depending on integrated graphics support
Classic Recommended Specs
- Operating system: Windows 7 / Windows 8 / Windows 10 64 bit
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 / AMD FX-8310
- Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / AMD Radeon R9 280
- Memory: 8GB RAM, 2GB vRAM
Shadowland Minimum Specs
- Operating system: Windows® 7 64-bit
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-3450 / AMD FX™ 8300
- Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 760 2 GB / AMD Radeon™ RX 560 2 GB / Intel® UHD Graphics 630 (45W TDP)
- Memory: 4 to 8GB RAM depending on integrated graphics support
- Storage: 100GB HDD or SSD
Shadowland Recommended Specs
- Operating system: Windows® 10 64-bit
- Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-6700K / AMD Ryzen™ 7 2700X
- Graphics card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 / AMD Radeon™ RX Vega 64
- Memory: at least 8GB RAM
- Storage: 100GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
One thing to note is that the listed components, especially the CPU and GPU, are ideally the desktop versions, which make them 20% faster than their mobile counterparts. This is important if you want to make sure that your laptop has enough power to run the game smoothly.
The Best Laptop To Play World of Warcraft
There really isn’t one single answer if you’re trying to find the best World of Warcraft laptop in 2021. You’ll see lots of various selections from different price points, each offering different levels of power and performance for a smooth, sutter-free gameplay.
With regards to performance, we are talking about the frame rate that the laptop display can output, which, in all honesty, is almost always better with more expensive laptops. Nonetheless, all the gaming laptops you will find on this list can run WoW without much issue.
Speaking of frame rate , it’s basically defined as the number of consecutive images that are produced every second onto the laptop monitor. In essence, the more images or frames you can see in a single second, the better- especially when it comes to gaming.
It is commonly believed that the human eye can process about 200 FPS, meaning, the closer the laptop’s FPS is to this number, the smoother and more realistic your visual experience will be. That said, the acceptable FPS for gaming is currently considerably lower, with the bare minimum being 25 FPS. Anything lower than that and stuttering will be noticeable.
Higher frame rates are possible with laptops that have a higher screen limit or refresh rate. In fact, some gaming laptops even manage to offer high refresh rates at around 300Hz, which makes for a better and more responsive overall gaming experience.
You will also notice the difference (and obvious advantage) whenever you play competitive online games wherein your opponents are stuck with regular 60Hz displays.
CPU and GPU
Ultimately, any laptop’s frame rate depends on how the processor and graphics card can maintain this, which should ideally be up the laptop’s refresh rate. This is why the recommended graphics card for the Shadowlands extension is the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080 or its Radeon equivalent.
In other words, your graphics card should at the very least be in the RTX 2060 series, which can be a standard GPU or with a Max-Q design. As for the processor, most laptops today make use of at least a 6th generation Intel Core i7, so it shouldn’t really be an issue.
Think of it this way: there are many spell effects and player models that need to be rendered when you do battlegrounds and raiding. This is true even with the game’s optimized 3D content. Besides, using a top-of-the-line graphics card means you won’t have to upgrade it even with more expansions that are likely to pop up in the near future.
Top 6 Laptops for World of Warcraft
Here is a review of the best WoW laptops that will make for a smooth gaming experience without stutter or lag. These are “future-proof” laptops, meaning, they not only can handle the latest Shadowlands expansion pack, but also a few other upcoming ones, plus several other MMORPG games.
This is because we focused on finding and reviewing laptops that meet the recommended requirements we listed above. Unlike the minimum requirements, which allow you to play the game at its lowest graphic settings, the recommended specs let you run the game with a frame rate that’s high enough and with the highest graphic settings to let you enjoy the best gameplay.
Again, it’s worth noting that the Shadowlands expansion pack comes with raised demands and requirements on the hardware, and your budget is also an important consideration as to what system requirements you will be able to afford.
Our top pick is none other than the Acer Predator Helios 300, which is perhaps the best gaming laptop for World of Warcraft that you can find on a tight budget. It boasts of an ability to create stunning pictures thanks to the lightning fast 144 Hz refresh rate and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, which means you can experience superb gaming.
You can even hit the Turbo button to overclock the graphics card. Not to mention, the 10th generation processor lets you forget all worries about slow loading times and lag. Couple that with the RGB backlit keyboard that allows you to game in style, you’re really getting amazing quality at an unbeatable price point.
There are just a few things to keep in mind, which may or may not be minor drawbacks for you. First, an AC adapter is needed for playing if you want to enjoy the laptop’s full power. Second, you might have to rely on your headset to minimize the noise of the fan. Other than these things, you’re getting a lightweight, high-performing laptop that’s worth every penny.
- 16” widescreen IPS full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit display
- 10th gen Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU
- 16GB DDR4 dual channel RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD
- Windows 10 Home 64 Bit OS
If you want the best laptop for WoW that has the best graphics card that’s available in today’s market, the Asus ROG Zephyrus S boasts of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER, which can deliver the ultimate graphics performance that you can never go wrong with.
With this top-of-the-line GPU and the 10th generation Intel Core i9 CPU, you are sure to enjoy playing World of Warcraft and many other video games with the clearest possible imagery. This powerful graphics card and processor combination also means that you don’t have to worry about speed, and can commit to handling 3D intensive tasks.
In other words, you can 3D render, stream, photo edit, and so much more. Plus, the superior frame rates (~300 Hz) offer amazing realism that lets you enjoy the most realistic PC gaming experience that many other gaming laptops cannot match.
- 15.6” full HD IPS display with ScreenPad Plus 14” 4K touchscreen display
- 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q GPU
- 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD
- Windows 10 Pro OS
Another amazing gaming laptop to play WoW on is the Omen X 2S by HP, which boasts of the NVIDIA GeForce 2070 graphics card that offers epic graphics to let you enjoy the best and smoothest gaming experience. Its MaxQ design even makes for cool and quiet efficiency, which we can all appreciate.
We fell in love with this laptop’s dual screen design that allows you to easily and efficiently multitask. Use the primary screen for playing and going to battle, and the second screen for checking your Discord chat or working on some side projects.
The best part is, the screen has a lightning fast frame rate of 240Hz that completely eliminates any issue of ghosting. And since the GPU and CPU combo can handle outputting this frame rate, you get a realistic visual experience on the superior display with micro-edge bezel. With the insanely fast processor and 16 gigabytes of memory, you really can’t ask for anything more.
- Dual-screen design with micro edge bezel and hyper-realistic graphics
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7-9750H (hexa-core) CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 with Max-Q
- 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Windows 10 OS
We also really like the Asus FX504 TUF, a relatively new competitor in the scene of performance gaming. This laptop really shook things up with the way it (and other laptops in the TUF gaming range) took hold of the gaming laptop market, and for good reason.
Now, it may not be the best model on the market, but it’s definitely a great mid-range laptop that can run WoW. Its hardware configuration and componentry makes it great for those who want to enjoy casual gaming with the best possible gaming experience. This laptop particularly shines for light to medium gaming with its low price and high performance ratio.
Some of the features we liked the most include the strong Gigabit WiFi system that offers unrivaled WiFi reach, lag, and dropouts, the anti-dust treated vents and aggressive dual fan technology that keeps things ice-cool, the massive overclock ability of the processor, and lots of other things that make this a promising underdog in the world of gaming laptops.
- 15.6” full HD 1080p display
- 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050ti GPU
- 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB M.2 SSD
- Windows 10 OS
If you want a beast of a machine that is capable of supporting you in your journey towards victory, the CUK MSI GF65 is one of the best World of Warcraft laptops that is backed with all the firepower you need to conquer the game and beyond.
This laptop packs a 9th generation Intel Core 9750H processor, which is the best among the top of the range chipsets available on the market today. Moreover, supporting this awesome processor is a whopping 32 gigabytes of RAM, which, in all honesty, is a bit of an overkill- not that we are complaining, though.
Simply put, the MSI GF65 is a cheap laptop for WoW that puts more expensive gaming laptops to shame with its boastful specs that are totally world ending. You can tell by how the laptop is constructed, designed, and how it performs, that it’s really created with gamers in mind.
- 15.6” full HD 120Hz IPS display
- Intel Core i7-9750H CPU
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU
- 32GB RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD
- Windows 10 Home OS
Finally, you will also appreciate the MSI GF75 thin gaming laptop and what it brings to the market. First of all, its NVIDIA GeForce GTX allows you to harness all the power you need to dominate your WoW game with uncompromised performance.
This laptop also packs a 9th generation Intel 6-core processor that effectively powers up your performance gains to smoothly handle all the demands of multitasking so you can efficiently work and play. There are even dedicated CPU and GPU thermal solutions that ensure superior performance even under extreme pressure.
Furthermore, the SSD technology has been enhanced with NVMe SSD read speeds to deliver faster load times. The sleek, thin, and lightweight design with thin bezels, enhanced screen-to-body ratio, brushed aluminum look, crimson red backlit keyboard, stylish ventilation, and efficient battery let you get immersed in the game with a seamless gameplay.
- 17.3” full HD display
- Intel Core i7-9750H CPU
- NVIDIA GTX1650 Max-Q GPU
- 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD
- Windows 10 OS
Laptop for World of Warcraft Buying Guide
Now, there are many different things you need to consider and think about if you want to find the best laptop for WoW that will deliver superior performance and gaming experience for the long haul. Here’s a list of the most important ones:
The processor is one of the most important parts of any computer, since it’s essentially the brain of the computer and it’s what makes all the complicated decisions that control how your laptop operates. Therefore, if you want a strong laptop, you need a good CPU.
When it comes to World of Warcraft, the CPU was originally the game’s main driving force, and until today, WoW is still highly processor dependent. This means it’s what does all the work during the game, which in turn means you need to prioritize and focus on your processor for gaming performance.
Recommendation: When deciding which WoW laptop you want to fight monsters and save damsels in distress, try to go beyond the first generation i5 760s and focus more on processors above 5th generation i5s.
Read: The difference between Intel Core i5-9300H @ 2.40GHz vs AMD Ryzen 5 3550H
Meanwhile, the random access memory or RAM is the storage of your laptop’s cheat sheets. In other words, it keeps all the shortcuts that your laptop takes in order to speed up processes. Hence, every time the laptop makes one of these efficient decisions, the RAM acts as a supporting player and works on sending these cheat sheets to the other components.
What this means is that you need a strong RAM to help your CPU and GPU run smoothly. Think of it this way: your CPU is the most important component when it comes to playing WoW, and the RAM is the most important tool to support the CPU.
Recommendation: All that said, you don’t actually need lots and lots of RAM in order to play World of Warcraft. Even just 4GB of RAM is enough to run WoW, but if you want smoother gameplay, go for 8 or 16 gigabytes of RAM.
Aside from the processor and RAM, the graphics card or GPU is another important component when playing WoW, albeit not exactly for running the game per se, but more on controlling the graphics level you want to play the game at.
For instance, if you want to add texture packs to your game, or run it at higher graphics settings, you need a superior graphics card. If your laptop isn’t equipped with one, then you need to think about upgrading it. In either case, you need a GTX 560 graphics card at the very least. Note that this will make for an old, chunky feel due to environment quality and rendering distances.
Recommendation: For the best possible gameplay, you should consider investing in either a UHD 620 graphics for integrated graphics, or a GTX 1050ti if you want a dedicated GPU, which is almost always the better (but more expensive) option.
Screen size and Display
For us gamers, the display quality and screen size of a laptop or desktop are always of utmost importance, since these things make for a better, smoother, and more realistic visual experience when playing games.
Plus, since we often use our gaming laptops as a replacement to a desktop rig, it is preferable to invest in the bigger, highest quality screens with the best resolution and refresh rate rather than those energy efficient, power-saving screens that offer lower quality visuals. This is why it’s important to choose the right size, quality, and so on.
Recommendation: Ultimately, you want a screen that delivers great visuals but won’t slash your budget, especially since WoW isn’t really demanding of a top-of-the-line 4K monitor. A great 1080p monitor would do just fine, although of course, if you want to play more demanding games, investing in a 1440 or 4K display is a worthy expense.
In terms of storage, World of Warcraft doesn’t really have lots of pesky requirements. You just need 70 gigabytes to download the game, and that’s pretty much the only requirement necessary storage-wise. That said, it’s always better to choose a solid state drive (SSD).
You’ll notice that many cheaper laptops are equipped with older HDD tech systems, which, to be fair, are capable of storing large amounts of data. The major drawback with HDDs, however, is that they’re much slower, whereas SSDs are ridiculously quicker in loading and transferring files. This is because SSDs use the same memory type as the RAM.
Recommendation: Using an SSD allows for smoother and faster communications between each laptop component, thereby leading to faster boot and load times. While most, if not all, laptops today offer enough storage for WoW, an SSD will make your game run and load quicker while letting you enjoy faster data transferability.
The beauty of World of Warcraft is that the Blizzard team, which is one of the world’s best game developers, realized early on the importance of optimizing the game to run on both Windows and Mac operating systems. This means you can play the game no matter what OS your laptop is running on.
When it comes to games like World of Warcraft, heat is a huge issue, meaning, your laptop has a huge chance of dying due to heat death (your GPU or CPU melting). And, it’s not like you will only be using your laptop for a few minutes at a time- you will be playing for hours on end, which increases the likelihood or heat death.
While this isn’t as much of an issue on desktops, save for clocking the processor or graphics card, if you are buying a laptop, this is one thing that you need to take into account. Fortunately, there are ways you can minimize this risk before and after buying a laptop.
- If you want to be able to play the game for several hours at high settings, buy a laptop from a reputable brand like Asus, MSI, and Acer. Don’t forget to read customer reviews, especially those referring to heat and temperature issues about the model. This will help you make sure that the laptop can handle high temperatures well.
- Keep in mind that non-gaming laptops aren’t designed to run games at high settings and are more prone to massively overheat, so if you want to buy a non-gaming laptop, expect to only play games at low settings.
- Look for a laptop with a great cooling system, and further protect your investment by buying a good quality laptop cooling pad.
After buying a laptop, remember to avoid overclocking it as much as possible, and if you will be playing for several hours on end, reduce your game settings to minimum. Also, install a software that can track your CPU, GPU, and temperatures, and is capable of stopping processes once these components reach upwards of 85 degrees Celsius.
One thing that some gamers don’t understand is that depending on where you’re at in your game, regardless of how powerful the laptop is, there will always be lag. This issue is compounded by using lower end laptops, and even playing at low settings won’t guarantee that you won’t experience lag.
To give you an idea, if you’re solo questing, you might not have to worry about lag, but if you’re at orgrimmar, your FPS will get cut approximately in half. If you are raiding or PVPing with 20 to 40 other players within a 2m radius, the frame rate will go down to only 20 to 30 FPS. keep in mind that this is also a matter of internet connectivity of your entire raid, not just your own.
Price and Warranty
Gaming laptops are in high demand today, and among them you’ll find the best laptops for Minecraft, WoW, and other games. This is also true not just for gaming, but for other facets of the computing world. Meaning, you’ll always have vast selections to choose from.
That said, you do need to consider the computing ability of the laptop with regards to its performance, cost, and other factors to really determine its values.
If you want to find a great laptop that can run WoW, take a look at its components, features, specs, and other offerings, then compare it with similar options to see if it’s worth the investment. Don’t forget to look for a good warranty to protect your investment.
Why are suitable laptops for WoW so expensive?
The thing is, WoW demands relatively low system requirements, but for laptops, you need significantly more power to run the game. This is primarily because you want to prevent issues like overheating, and keep things working efficiently. You also want components that are high quality, and all these mean investing in gaming laptops, which are pricier than a regular rig.
Do I need 8GB RAM to play WoW?
As we mentioned earlier, even a mere 4GB RAM is enough to run and play World of Warcraft. However, if you want an undoubtedly better performance, it’s always a good idea to invest in more RAM. 8GB is a great place to start, but if you want, you can opt for a 16 or 32GB RAM for better gameplay.
Why does WoW lag so much?
One of the many things you need to understand about laptop gaming is that lag will likely be an issue with lag no matter how expensive your setup is or how steady your internet connection is. It’s quite hard to explain how and why this happens, but an easy and effective solution is to reset your user interface to ensure that your files and add-ons are in good condition.
What is the best way to make WoW run smoothly?
There are quite a few things you can do to enable your game to run much smoother. For instance, if your laptop has the right capabilities, you can change your texture filtering from anisotropic or trilinear to bilinear. You can also increase your texture resolution to high.
Is it free to play WoW?
Perhaps the reason why World of Warcraft is such a popular game across the globe is that it’s completely free to play for anyone, so the only expense that you really have to prepare for is setting up your gaming rig if you’re serious about playing WoW and other games.
Remember, how your gaming laptop for World of Warcraft greatly depends on your gaming situation. For instance, you can play in a city or zone crowded with other players, or you can run five-man PvP arenas, raids, and dungeons. You can also quest solo. All of these create different gaming experiences.
Generally speaking, even with the best laptop for World of Warcraft, it’s realistic to expect lower frame rates in crowded zones since the laptop needs to render more graphic elements simultaneously. Conversely, if you are indoors with less 3D elements on display, you can enjoy higher frame rates and smoother gameplay.