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  1. #1
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    Cataclysm System Expectations

    First of all ill just give you a quick summary of what this thread is about, and a general Hardware recommendations you are going to need for Cataclysm. I will be writing about what specifications you will need for all levels of quality, from Ultra to Low, from 25man raiding to 5man dungeons, and everything inbetween. This thread will be mainly speculation, and is definately subject to change, but on the most post, i would say that its fairly accurate.

    As you probably know, there are going to be a number of graphical updates come cataclysm, such as the new water effects, the god rays, and lots of texture and 3d modelling upgrades. Basically, if you can play with your video settings on Ultra on wow now, it doesnt mean that your going to be able to with Cataclysm, some, however, will. So ill now write about what kind of system specifications you will need for cataclysm. Id also like to point out before i start, that my recommendations for quality will be Intel based, but i will also mention AMD and why it may be a good choice of upgrade for you.

    Note: I will not be posting Motherboard recommendations, as they are a little more technical, but its vital to make sure you purchase one that is compatable with the rest of your kit.

    To play Cataclysm on Ultra
    Pros: Play cataclysm on ultra, as with a lot of other games.
    Cons: Expensive, will need to replace every 2 years or so to keep up to date to play ultra.

    Recommendations
    Intel Core i7 860 Processor (CPU): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/199115
    Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 RAM: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/169240
    Asus HD 5850 DX11 Graphics Card (GPU): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/205834
    Samsung HD103SJ Hardrive: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804
    OCZ GameXStream 850W Power Supply (PSU): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/124736
    Cooling Fan: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/231463
    Operating System: Windows 7 -64 Bit Home Premium: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173791

    Reasoning: World of Warcraft is a heavily CPU dependant game, and because of that, the i7 860 processor is brilliant for the game. A good CPU is Vital for playing on ultra in Cataclysm, and even in wow at the moment. At the moment, and in the near future, there are virtually no programs that will use over 3gb of RAM, wow is included in that. Windows XP can only use 2gb of RAM, anything over that is wasted, Windows vista -32 bit can only use 3gb of RAM, and the rest is wasted. However, with windows 7 -64bit, you can make use of much more than 4gb of RAM. Having 4gb of RAM will make multitasking much more efficient, so you will be able to have Firefox open in the background, or video recording software. The ASUS HD 5850 graphics card is not entirely essential, but its definately worth a punt. Although wow is a CPU Dependant game, is does have various features that depend on your GPU, such the new water effects, and the character shadows. The water effects are enhanced tenfold with use of this DX11 graphics card, compared to say a DX10 card. The character shadows, in general kill systems, and not many computers can handle ultra including shadows, but that should be no problem for the GPU in question. With all this brilliant technology to make you a super-system, there also needs to be a good Power Supply. The better your PSU is, the more raw power you can deliver to your components, which is why with any good system, an equally good PSU is vital, and this 850W supply will do fine. For all this power in your system, you also need cooling, Although water coolers are a great choice, they are also expensive, and in previous experience, fans work just as well (fans, plural). The hardrive is also very good for this type of system, with a speed of 7200RPM its ideal, and its always nice to have plenty of room (1TB). For this build you are expected to be able to handle the outdoor environments with high FPS, and also manage 60 fps in 25man raids come Cataclysm.
    Id also like to point that the Phenom II (quad) processor, is also a good choice for this build.

    Estimated price: Over £1000 (Over $1500) (Over 1200 euros)

    To play Cataclysm on Medium/High
    Pros: Play Cataclysm with comfortable settings, easy on the eyes, with a more reasonable price.
    Cons: Wont be able to play on Ultra, and isnt really future proof, will need upgrading again for the next expansion to play the same settings.

    Recommendations
    Intel i5 760 Processor (CPU): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/229999
    Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 RAM: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/178943
    MSI HD 5670 1GB Graphics Card DX11 (GPU): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/192856
    Samsung HD103SJ Hardrive: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804
    Antec EarthWatts 650W Power Supply (PSU): http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141006
    Cooling Fan: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/231463
    Operating System: Windows 7 -64 Bit Home Premium: http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173791

    Reasoning: This system is still a very powerful system, and will definately perform well for the price. The i5 760 processor will provide brilliant speed and will run wow a treat, you will be able to stroll through the game, with reasonabley high FPS and the game will look very nice. This processor isnt what i would call future proof, but it is definately good for a couple of years for high graphical performance. Now, there is the same quantity of RAM in this build as the previous, and the main reason for that is, ram is a nice performance booster, and its really cheap. This only difference in the ram between this build and the ultra build is the speed, theres a slightly slower speed ram in this build. You will still be able to have firefox open in the background, and some video recording software, but the video software will cause some sort of performance loss (FPS). Windows 7 -64 bit as the ultra build, just because it can take full advantage of your RAM, and will make multitasking easier. The GPU in this build is not as good as the one in the ultra build, but its cheaper, and its still a brilliant graphics card in its entirety, you should expect miracles from it, but its a safe pair of hands so to speak. This is a dx11 enabled card, which means effects like water will look better, however, in terms of character shadows, you will more than likely have to have them knocked down a notch or two from maximum to maintain a nice performance. As with good hardware, requires a good power supply, like the first build, but this hardware is not as power hungry, and so the 650W power supply in question will do nicely for a decent price. The same cooling as the first build, because cooling is cheap, and its always a nice thing to have in your system to avoid overheating issues. With this build you should expect high graphical settings in general, with maybe view distance down a peg, and character shadows down 2-3 pegs from maximum. You should be able to raid 25man raids with a 20-40 fps range during combat, and will run generally nice in the vast majority of cenarios.

    Estimated price: £500-£800 ($775-$1236) (607-971 euros)

    More updates soon to come for medium-low and the minimum requirements

  2. #2
    I would probaply go with a GTX460 unless the 5850's start dropping in price soon for your Ultra system. I'm not sure what the case is with WoW(as it's rarely benchmarked in GPU tests) but the GTX460 is close enough to a 5850 and even beats it in a couple of DX11 games. If you do want to spend more money a GTX470 is even a better choice, but that card's design isn't that great(high energy usage/high temps)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martsus View Post
    I would probaply go with a GTX460 unless the 5850's start dropping in price soon for your Ultra system. I'm not sure what the case is with WoW(as it's rarely benchmarked in GPU tests) but the GTX460 is close enough to a 5850 and even beats it in a couple of DX11 games. If you do want to spend more money a GTX470 is even a better choice, but that card's design isn't that great(high energy usage/high temps)
    Ah. forgot to mention, between ATI and NVIDEA, ATI is my personal preference, but its just my personal recommendations, and im aware that currently NVIDEA are winning the performance war.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Warchief94 View Post
    Ah. forgot to mention, between ATI and NVIDEA, ATI is my personal preference, but its just my personal recommendations, and im aware that currently NVIDEA are winning the performance war.
    Well not really 'winning' it, but price/performance is really good on a couple'o cards. But it really depends on the game which platform is better, so we should actually see a good WoW GPU benchmark for once.

  5. #5
    To my knowledge wow doesn't have a built in FPS benchmark like many other games. System load is also very dependent on what 24 other independent people are doing as well. Like your system load is much higher when 25 hunters are AoEing packs of mobs with a vanity pet out and wearing animated armor as opposed to a single player off by them self looking at a wall.

    The real issue with wow is there isn't an easy way to simulate in game circumstances in a way that they can be displayed on multiple independent systems.

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  6. #6
    Pit Lord Dethh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moobious View Post
    To my knowledge wow doesn't have a built in FPS benchmark like many other games. System load is also very dependent on what 24 other independent people are doing as well. Like your system load is much higher when 25 hunters are AoEing packs of mobs with a vanity pet out and wearing animated armor as opposed to a single player off by them self looking at a wall.

    The real issue with wow is there isn't an easy way to simulate in game circumstances in a way that they can be displayed on multiple independent systems.
    When have you ever seen 25 hunters vollying the same target?!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dethh View Post
    When have you ever seen 25 hunters vollying the same target?!
    I was trying to come up with a worst case scenario so 25 hunters + 25 pets + 25 vanity pets + mobs + aoe.

    But anyway wow doesn't have a synthetic fps benchmark in game which is why it is never used as a benchmark.

    If blizzard does put a benchmark in game I can promise that the popularity of wow will make it a regular benchmark.

    Video is a Palit GTS450. Main display is a 24" full HD TV. Secondary display is an ACER 19" lcd at 1440x900.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SoundAsleep View Post
    Hmm, reckon i should be fine for ultra?

    Specs in sig, i have a 650W psu though.
    Totally fine on Ultra. Heavy AOE or silly room like Marrowgar in 25 man raids might still lag a bit and drop the fps to 40's. Dropping shadows and particle density one step lower will fix that too.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  10. #10

  11. #11
    To be noted: The i7 860 and i5 760 are essentially identical in performance for World of Warcraft, both builds should perform pretty close to the other at identical settings with the Radeon 5850 build potentially edging the win in select situations. Neither CPU is what I'd call "future-proof" on the sole basis that Intel will be changing sockets within the next year. Secondly, no RAM is going to give a significant performance increase to warrant even mentioning it as "a nice performance booster", unless you're using more memory than is physically present in your system you won't notice any performance increase from a faster set of RAM in any gaming situation.

    And third (To the second post), why would anyone suggest a GTX460 as a standalone card? The 5850 is maybe $30 more expensive than the 1gb GTX460, and the 768mb GTX460 is equal in price and performance to the Radeon 5830. The 1gb 460 fills a nice price gap, but performance is lackluster outside of an SLI setup for both the 768mb GTX460 and 1gb version.

    Also to note: The first build would be fine on a 650w power supply with a large overclock on both the CPU and GPU and the second build would be fine on a good 400w-500w power supply, overestimating power consumption is something a lot of people do. Save the money and get something more efficient than the OCZ GameXstream and the Antec Earthwatts, they're both showing their age with a lot of 80+ Gold rated power supplies coming out recently.
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  12. #12
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    Ill be updating the thread within the next day or so.

  13. #13
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    IMO that processor wont run even wotlk on ultra. and you wont need to replace every 2 years to run on ultra. time doesnt degrade how well your system will run the same game (even with small tweaks).

    if you plan on managing 60fps in a raid with that setup, you better get a faster (or overclocked) processor. the limiting factor in wow is processor speed, not how many cores your processor has. also, ram wont do much for video recording, that is almost all processor and hard-drive based. also, 850w power supply is overkill (in some sense), you would be fine on 750w

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  14. #14
    I really doubt you need a 860 as minimum to run it on ultra lol.

  15. #15
    The Lightbringer Rivehn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snotcore View Post
    I really doubt you need a 860 as minimum to run it on ultra lol.
    agree, i have a phenom II x 4 955 and i run wow max settings 60 fps vysnc on. Never drops past 58 fps.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivehn View Post
    agree, i have a phenom II x 4 955 and i run wow max settings 60 fps vysnc on. Never drops past 58 fps.
    The new water feature alone has been reported from a couple of people i have asked drops framerate by 5-15. Dont forget the new textures, new spells, probably a further view distance, and lots of other stuff to take into account.

  17. #17
    Dreadlord B@nj0 P3do's Avatar
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    I dont see any links to any1 beeing on Beta, and your sig tells me you are not on beta either.So where do you get the information that this is the setup that people will need?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by pangeltveit View Post
    I dont see any links to any1 beeing on Beta, and your sig tells me you are not on beta either.So where do you get the information that this is the setup that people will need?
    He just choses parts that are an overkill for WoW (HD 5850) and hopes that they will work.
    As for the beta... Well, it's not very reliable source of information about system performance right now.
    Last edited by haxartus; 2010-09-15 at 02:43 PM.

  19. #19
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    I have a ati5850 and a i7 950 how long will that last me? I have. 750 powersupply, and i plan on crossfiring another 5850. I play around 100 fps on complete ultra and drop down to 50s in 25m raids. 30 in dal. I know wow doesn't support Xfire, but its a big possibility it will soon. Or should i just go get a 5870? And anything above 40 fps, i hardly notice.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Prognxt View Post
    I have a ati5850 and a i7 950 how long will that last me? I have. 750 powersupply, and i plan on crossfiring another 5850. I play around 100 fps on complete ultra and drop down to 50s in 25m raids. 30 in dal. I know wow doesn't support Xfire, but its a big possibility it will soon. Or should i just go get a 5870? And anything above 40 fps, i hardly notice.
    Normal people do not see the difference in framerate once it's above certain point. About 40-50 is the spot where you stop seeing frame flickering and having higher fps doesn't do shit. 5850 will by current knowledge be totally fine for anything Cataclysm has to offer if your WoW is set to 1920x1080 or lower reseolution. There's basic support for SLI/Crossfire in Cataclysm beta, but on high end cards such as 5850 it doesn't matter one bit after reaching the treshold where flicker disappears.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

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