World of Warcraft has come a long way, baby. From its debut in late 2004—almost 12 years ago!—to the pending release of Legion, the latest expansion, much has changed in the still dominant MMO, and also in the hardware you need to play it. To that end, Blizzard has posted the system requirements for Legion, and it’s a stark reminder that what was adequate back in the day—12 years ago!—won’t cut the mustard anymore.
As posted on Battle.net, the minimum requirement:
- OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10 with latest service pack
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 or AMD Phenom II X3 720
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GT 440 or AMD Radeon HD 5670 or Intel HD Graphics 5000
- RAM: 2 GB
And the recommended rig:
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit with latest service pack
- CPU: Intel Core i5-3330, AMD FX-6300, or better
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon R7 260X or better
- RAM: 4 GB
At either end of the spectrum, you’ll also need 45 GB of available hard drive space, a broadband internet connection, a keyboard and a mouse, and a display device capable of at least 1024×768 resolution.
Just for fun, let’s compare that with the minimum system requirements for the Cataclysm expansion that came out in 2010.
- OS: Windows XP 32bit (SP3), Windows XP 64bit (SP2), Windows Vista 32bit (SP1), Windows Vista 64bit (SP1):
- CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce FX or ATI Radeon 9500 video card or better
- RAM: 1 GB
- HDD: 25 GB free hard drive space
And since we’re horsing around, we might as well also have a look at the original system requirements, courtesy of the Wayback Machine:
- OS: Windows System 98/ME/2000/XP
- CPU: 800 MHz or higher CPU.
- GPU: 32 MB 3D graphics card with hardware Transform and Lighting, such as GeForce 2 or better.
- RAM: 256 MB
- HDD: 4 GB
Kind of amazing, isn’t it? This is what happens when a game manages to not just survive, but stay relevant, for 12 years. And counting: World of Warcraft: Legion is expected to be out on or before September 21.