The millions of virtual citizens of Blizzard's hugely popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft, celebrated the recent launch of the game's latest expansion pack — World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. Those of the game's 12 million-plus subscribers who meet only the minimum RAM required specifications of the new title, however, might want to look into upgrading their RAM and hard drives in order to maximize their Azeroth experience.
The minimum requirements for Cataclysm are not extreme compared to most games, but they are a jump from the last expansion pack, 2008's Wrath of the Lich King. Cataclysm requires 1GB of RAM, higher than the 512MB minimum by Wrath of the Lich King. However, as many gamers know, meeting only the minimum RAM requirement can lead to a choppy, frustrating gaming experience, especially as systems struggle to keep pace with the game's memory demands in highly populated areas.
Memory is not the only issue facing Cataclysm players, however. The game is also a hard drive hog, taking up 25GB of space. In comparison, Wrath of the Lich King used 15GB of hard drive space. For many gamers, the hard drive requirements will be the most difficult requirement to overcome. "There are no real surprises in store — the requirements are really very low, it's just the hard drive that takes a bit of a kicking," wrote Russell Barnes of TotalPCGaming.com when the specifications were announced.
If your hard drive is already filled to the brim and you are in need of an upgrade to play Cataclysm, now might be a good time to consider investing in a new SSD. SSDsare faster and more efficient than traditional hard disc drives.
An upgrade will be worth it. Reviews of the game have been strong, indicating that it is yet another superb entry in Blizzard's flagship franchise.
"Simply put, it is World of Warcraft 2.0. Everything seems to fit in — overhauled graphics, new landscapes, additional quests," GamingXP wrote in its review.
If you're a WOW fan, you won't want to miss out on Cataclysm, especially due to a computer that is slow or out of space. The game is sure to be one of the biggest releases of the year and you owe it to yourself to make sure you have the hardware to run it.