It’s time to dust off my armor and weapons; Mists of Pandaria is coming! An entire new continent of lush environments and brutal bosses awaits you and your friends in this new expansion to World of Warcraft! New adventures are on the horizon with a new class, the Monk, and experience the world from a multi-faction race, the Pandaren!
It kind of goes without saying that I’m excited about this release, but before I even considered leading my party (with a handful of OWC Team Members, no less) into battle, I needed to take a look at the new system requirements for this expansion. With higher resolution textures, more detailed environments and more spell effects flying through the air, it was clear my Late 2008 MacBook Pro needed some serious upgrades before charging forth into the fray!
Each expansion means more hard drive space used by my already-gigantic WoW folder. To help decrease the load times as I move from area to area, I decided to go with a 240GB OWC Mercury Electra 3G. I could have gone with a faster 6G model, but since my particular MacBook Pro only handles SATA 2.0 speeds, I wouldn’t have seen any significant difference in performance from the 3G. However, if your machine can handle the full 6.0Gb/s speeds, a 6G SSD can definitely make a difference.
Okay, that addressed storage space and loading times, but what about all these high-resolution textures? Time for some more memory!
Blizzard recommends that you have 4 gigs of RAM. Realistically, that is a really low estimate; when you’re in the main cities or in raid environments, you’re going to want much more than that to avoid having to constantly load and re-load those textures and other information from your drive. Even though the SSD is fast, RAM is still faster. So, after some deliberation, I decided to max out my memory with a total of 8.0 GB. Again, my main limitation was the computer itself. If you can go to 16GB or even 32GB, you’ll certainly see a further performance boost.
Now, even though I’m running on a four year old MacBook Pro, with my OWC upgrades, I’m all set to charge forward and band together with my OWC team to take back Azeroth!
See you on the battlefield!