About the new SSD requirement for Shadowlands

Maybe wow will VR one day like RP1.

Might be an issue there as well since I’m blind in one eye (unless they improve VR to work with folks with conditions like mine). For reference, I’m half blind, half deaf, and have a deformed right arm (all of this is on the same side of my body).

Here’s a better description of my situation regarding my arm:

It does have a tiny SSD as a recovery drive but that is it. The 15" model used a HDD in order to cut costs.

Yeah don’t do this.

This is actually terrible advice.

Going to say this again because it’s just not sinking in yet:

YOU DON’T NEED AN SSD. They just aren’t going to SUPPORT them anymore.

HDDs are rapidly becoming outdated hardware, but they will still WORK.


I think that people are getting hung up on the “SSD” description like it’s always an entirely separate digital drive that has to be installed. I had similar performance to a SSD running WoW off a large high-speed USB thumb drive, those run about $30. Also, it’s doubtful that a year-old laptop has a mechanical hard drive in it. It’s almost for sure that it has a digital hard drive integrated into the motherboard, which is basically a “SSD”.

WoW chews up and spits out mechanical hard drives. This has been a known thing for some time now. But the workarounds that people developed for that SHOULD still be good. WoW is incredibly portable, and just moving your entire Blizzard directory to a high-speed USB thumb drive and running it from there should do the trick. It’s the difference between eliminating the arm movements of the read-write on a HDD platter and instant digital read/write access that’s key.

The current system requirements are set for players to have what we consider to be a good experience with the game. We have updated our minimum system requirements to reflect that World of Warcraft will also run on a Hard Drive (HDD); however, note that players using an HDD may experience lower performance or quality of play depending on the performance of their drive.

Edit: If you recently viewed this article, you may need to fully refresh (Ctrl-F5) to get the newly updated version to show.


Just an FYI, while this is a very nice external drive for a very nice price, it’s not a SSD! I know, because I got all excited and got one after seeing this and while I’m pleased with my purchase and it DOES launch WoW faster than my internal hard drive, it’s not a solid state so I’ll have to get one of those eventually too.


So I shouldn’t go with the external SSD drive for my laptop? I should get an internal one installed? That sounds a little more expensive. What will happen to all the stuff currently on my drive?

This is where backing up things come into play. Either copy them to USB thumbdrives, cloud etc. Then copy them to the new drive once installed.

In the past, taking it to a professional and they would have the capability to transfer everything over to the new one. Now, there are many options for people to do it themselves. Cloud storage, external HD/USB drives, etc.

Or take it as an opportunity to start fresh, and only reinstall programs you need.

When I got a SSD, I installed it in addition to the mechanical drive, and then ran a program to clone the existing mechanical drive to the new one. There are free programs that will do this. That way, you don’t have to reinstall Windows and all your programs, and you can have the speed benefit of booting at SSD speeds (which are very nice). Then you just need to go into your BIOS and change the boot drive order to put the SSD first.

Then the only decision to be made is what to do with your OLD drive. Personally, I kept mine around for storage but deleted most of the programs off of it to make room. I left Windows and the boot partition, though, in case the SSD ever failed, to have a backup.

SSDs are so cheap that it may not warrant a mention these days, but back before I could easily afford one, I ran WoW off a USB 3.0 high speed thumb drive and it worked great. Now I’m spoiled by a rip-roaringly fast PCI SSD, but in a pinch, and especially for people who don’t want to muck around with the innards of their computer, a fast thumb drive will likely give them a big performance boost over a mechanical hard drive.

There are some thumb drives which’re basically miniaturised SSDs, and will perform much better than standard thumb drives.

They do cost, however.

If you have cloning software, you can create a clone or image of the drive to be restored to the new SSD after removal of the original drive (this involves having bootable media with the cloning software on it such as Acronis True Image Home’s bootable media that you can create). If both the internal drive and SSD are the same size, you could also use an external dual bay drive dock that has its own built in “offline cloning” function such as those from Inatek or Sabrent. I have used the drive dock method to clone a failing DVR drive and PS4 Pro drive with success. So there are methods to get your drive cloned if you choose to go internal.

External drives via USB aren’t the most ideal route, but they can be faster than platter based drives even with the overhead. What’s important is less about throughput and more about seek times, which are virtually nonexistent on SSDs regardless of connection method.

Eh, not necessarily.

The one I got was a Sandisk Ultra Flair 128gb, it looks like it’s currently going for aboooooooooout…$19? On Amazon.

I was thinking more along the lines of:

These kinds of devices are pretty rare, as USB flash drives are a very price-sensitive market.

1 Like

The type of flash drive you reference here is just your run of the mill USB stick without a built in controller (the host controls the NAND via the device’s ToC). The “they do cost” refers to SSD thumb drives. Those only come in the USB-C/Thunderbolt connection variety, as that connection utilizes PCIe lanes for the connection and does not go through the typical USB controller chip. As a result, they have more hardware on the thumb drive and are rather spendy as they have a built in controller (they are SSDs after all, just in a thumb drive or small drive format, usually a thin square or rectangle).

Edit: The above post also makes a distinction, which I had forgotten about, which is drives that utilize UASP (USB Attached SCSI Protocol). This is ironically found more often on external drive docks than on USB thumb drives.


Ooo, sounds fancy!

But yeah, what I’m saying is that even a $19 standard run of the mill USB stick will run the game leagues better than running it off a mechanical drive. So if someone is leery of getting a real SSD due to the way that it would require installation and potentially cloning their existing drive and a lot of techy stuff, it’s still a lot better to run the game off a cheapy USB drive than a mechanical drive. If they’re not intimidated by the thought, though, it’s definitely the inferior option compared to a real SSD (or even a fancier USB drive).

It’s a workaround that people came up with in…early Legion-ish? The code for WoW is such a hodgepodge of fifteen years of layers of nonsense, the seek times from a HDD just absolutely slaughter the game.

1 Like

That works, and I understand USB drives are a less intimidating solution. :slight_smile: I have a friend who uses that solution for her vacations.

I need to do something similar this winter. This may be a good excuse to buy a fancier USB stick. <.<


Fancier USB stick ?

One with a mustache , top hat and cane clearly.

I’ll let myself out :smiley: