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World of Warcraft Shadowlands Beta benchmarks

Welcome to initial benchmark results and performance analysis of World of Warcraft Shadowlands, done on the beta client.

This series will be extended in the near future to include new AMD/Nvidia CPUs and GPUs.


Soon: Raytracing benchmark and analysis, benchmarks of some latest CPU/GPU combos. Plus your feedback! Existing benchmarks were done on Shadowlands Beta 9.0.2 (36086) and newer, AMD drivers 20.9.1, Nvidia drivers: 456.55 and latest Windows 10 version.

Benchmarks summary

Current Shadowlands beta runs really well. In terms of stability and performance I didn't notice any problems. On 1080p even budget and older systems do work fine and any GPU bottleneck can be solved by lowering the game settings mode (the scaling is really good).

Zones like Ardenweald and The Maw seems to be noticeably more GPU demanding than other zones. Other are more typical with CPU being the limiting factor. The combat as always is heavily CPU limited - if you want high framerate in mass-actor combat then the latest top CPUs will be in order. On smaller scale or just open world this will be less apparent.

  • CPU: modern 4-core CPU is a minimum, 6-8 cores if you intend to run other apps and lots of addons alongside the game. The game barely scale beyond 4-cores - but it does spread load across multiple cores (just that it doesn't scale performance up due to single main core being the bottleneck).
  • GPU: for 1080p you will be fine with a budget GPU. If needed lowering settings mode will increase the FPS. For higher resolution high fidelity you will however need a top of the line modern GPU. The game should be fine with 4GB of VRAM. 2GB cards can see some performance penalty.
  • RAM: you need at least 8GB, optimal 16GB depending on addons and other apps running. You may get some problems with 4GB. Note that especially Ryzen CPUs scale really well with RAM frequency (and latency) so for new systems try to pick better kits of RAM.
  • Storage: Using a HDD gives much longer load times and if possible it's advised to switch to even a basic SATA SSD. The game still works on a HDD though.
  • Display and resolution: if you want more than 1080p resolution then I would recommend ultrawide 3440x1440 displays. If you really like it there are also super ultra wide displays. 4K isn't bad, just that WoW is really nice on an ultrawide display.
World of Warcraft Shadowlands on a ultrawide display

World of Warcraft Shadowlands on a ultrawide display

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Games, 12 October 2020, Piotr Maliński