7 Best Laptop For Playing World of Warcraft in 2021: Complete Buying Guide - The Cursed Crusade

Best Laptop For World of Warcraft: Check Our Top Picks

WoW is one of the oldest MMORPGs out there, and certainly the most popular one. It lets you explore a vast fantasy world and battle against mythical creatures, leveling up your characters with new abilities, weapons, armor, etc.

There are countless areas to explore, adventures to embark on, and enemy types to defeat. But, what about performance? Especially on a laptop since World of Warcraft has increased its hardware requirements over the past decade or so and laptops are inherently less performant than desktops.

The good news is that you don’t need a particularly powerful laptop to run WoW, you might even get by with integrated graphics.

But everyone’s standards are different. Someone might feel satisfied with 30 fps at 768p, another person might desire ultra graphics and 4k resolution. And this article is all about the best laptop for World of Warcraft. 

Here is our list of 7 best laptop for World of Warcraft:

  • Razer Blade 15 Base
  • MSI GE75 Raider 17
  • MSI GS75 Stealth
  • ASUS ROG Zephyrus
  • Alienware m17 R4
  • LG Gram 14Z90P
  • Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1

Razer Blade 15 Base

Ever wondered what it would be like if Apple made a gaming laptop that ran Windows OS? Well, you don’t have to imagine because here it is- the Blade is a very well-built machine that is both sleek and powerful. Its CNC aluminum-alloy body and glass trackpad combined with the quality speakers and exceptional display gives you the idea that this is a premium machine.

Hardware specifications alone don’t determine the worth of a laptop, which is why we chose the Blade 15 as our number one.

Even though it isn’t the fastest laptop on this list, it comes really close. And the overall experience of using this laptop is unmatched by most Windows gaming laptops, even ones that are more expensive.

Everything from the audio quality to the trackpad and keyboard feels like it was purposefully tuned for the smoothest, most user-friendly experience. 

Pros

  • Intel Core i7-10750H hexacore Comet Lake processor with 5.0Ghz Turbo Boost and 12 threads.
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6 graphics.
  • 16GB 2933MHz DDR4 RAM in a dual-channel configuration.
  • 512GB PCIe SSD.
  • 15.6” FHD 144Hz IPS display with 100% sRGB color space.
  • Razer Chroma RGB keyboard.
  • Large, precision trackpad.
  • CNC aluminum chassis is sleek and light, yet extremely tough.
  • Top-firing stereo speakers, one on either side of the keyboard.
  • Wi-Fi 6, Thunderbolt 3, HDMI output, USB Type-C, USB Type-A.

Cons

  • Slightly on the expensive side for the specifications you’re getting.
  • It’s a shame there is still no AMD Ryzen option because you’d get lower prices and better battery life compared to Intel-powered Blade laptops.

MSI GE75 Raider 17

Usually, you don’t get a 17.3” laptop if portability is your primary concern. A 15.6” laptop is more than adequate with enough screen space to play your favorite games on the move.

However, some games just demand that extra bit of real estate. Like World of Warcraft, which is why we decided to include one of the best 17.3” laptops out there.

The MSI GE75 isn’t as durable or well-built as the Razer Blade, but it scores extremely well in areas like cooling and memory. It has 4 times the RAM of the Blade 15 Base we just reviewed, which means you can do things like AI training and video production on this laptop.

That additional RAM also comes in handy if you play games like Fallout or Witcher with a ton of mods installed. And the additional size affords MSI the chance to throw in ports like RJ45 Ethernet and mini Display Port. You won’t find these ports on an ultra-slim laptop such as the Blade.

Pros

  • Intel 6-core Comet Lake i7 processor (i7-10750H).
  • RTX 2070 graphics with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM, comparable to an RTX 3060 (except this one has 1st gen RT cores).
  • A massive 64GB of DDR4 RAM puts this laptop in workstation territory.
  • 1TB of PCIe NVMe storage.
  • 17.3” FHD IPS display with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a GtG (Gray to Gray) pixel response time of 3ms.
  • Mini Display Port, HDMI, RJ45 Ethernet, Media Card Reader, USB Type-C, USB Type-A, and Wi-Fi 6.
  • RGB gaming keyboard.

Cons

  • For this price, we were expecting a 1440p screen which would have been excellent given that this is a 17” panel.
  • Mediocre battery life, heavier than the average gaming laptop because this is a 17-inch model.

MSI GS75 Stealth

Just like the Raider, this is a 17.3” laptop. But there is a difference in the display- instead of a 144Hz IPS panel, the GS75 uses a 240Hz TN panel.

You lose color vibrancy and contrast but gain refresh rate. The GS75 performs better in esports games like CS: GO, Overwatch, etc. that require lightning-fast reactions from the player.

You also get a faster CPU in the Core i7-10875H which is an octacore, as opposed to the hexacore found in the Razer Blade and GE75 Raider. More cores give you the ability to do more tasks at the same time, but at the expense of battery life.

You do get a downgrade from the RTX 2070 to the RTX 2060, compared to the GE75. This means a reduction of 15 to 20 percent in graphics performance within games

Pros

  • Intel 8-core i7-10875H processor.
  • RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 graphics.
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM.
  • 512GB PCIe SSD.
  • 17.3” 240Hz display, ideal for fast-paced esport games.
  • Looks pretty mature and sleek, except for the RGB lighting on the keyboard (which you can turn off or set to any color of your choice).
  • Decent speakers.

Cons

  • Some users have complained that the model with gold hinges tends to have issues where the hinge separates from the screen.
  • Comes with MSI bloatware installed, like the obnoxious Dragon Center.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

Some might say that this is the best laptop on the list, deserving of the number 1 spot. And we would agree, however lack of stock has caused quite a bit of fluctuation in pricing.

This is why the Zephyrus often sells 200 or even 300 dollars above its true MSRP. Still, that applies to a lot of laptops in these times. The ROG Zephyrus is indeed an exceptional machine.

Its AMD Ryzen 9 processor is faster in both single and multicore performance compared to Intel 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs.

And these Ryzen CPUs also consume less power while performing better, thanks to the TSMC 7nm manufacturing process.

The display is 1440p 165Hz with 100% DCI-P3 coverage which makes it the best display of any gaming laptop on this list. Combining that with the sleek metal chassis and an excellent keyboard, you get a laptop that is almost perfect.

Pros

  • One of the best laptop processors you can currently get, the AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS.
  • NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics, the 2nd fastest laptop graphics solution at the time of writing this article (behind the RTX 3080).
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM.
  • 1TB PCIe SSD.
  • 15.6” QHD (2560 x 1440) IPS display, with a refresh rate of 144Hz and 100% DCI-P3 color space.
  • Metal chassis increases durability even though the laptop weighs only around 4.5lbs.

Cons

  • Can get quite loud while gaming.
  • No webcam.

Alienware m17 R4

Alienware has a real winner on their hands if they make the switch to AMD and ditch the aging Comet Lake processors. Nevertheless, Intel’s Core i7-10870H is no slouch and it’s on par with Ryzen 5000 series processors in many games.

When it is behind, the difference is in single-digit percentages. The main downfall of these Intel 10th generation Comet Lake chips is their power consumption (14nm is an old process).

The m17 R4 has one of the best coolers we’ve seen on any gaming laptop, and it never gets close to throttling even under extreme loads for several hours on end.

The build quality is almost on par with Razer’s Blade laptops; however, portability is a weakness of these m17 laptops. These are bulky machines that weigh over 5lbs and come with big fat power bricks.

Pros

  • Intel Core i7-10870H octacore Comet-Lake processor with 16 threads and a boost clock of 5Ghz.
  • RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 graphics.
  • 16GB 2933Mhz DDR4 RAM.
  • 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD.
  • 17.3” 1080p 360Hz 100% sRGB display.
  • Killer AX1650i Wi-Fi 6 wireless adapter with Bluetooth 5.1
  • Efficient cooler with high-voltage fans and a vapor chamber. 

Cons

  • Bulky and heavy compared to the average gaming laptop, thanks to the 17.3” screen.
  • The RAM is soldered and cannot be upgraded (although you can upgrade the storage).

LG Gram 14Z90P

The lightest 14” laptop in the market, with the longest battery life we’ve ever seen on a Windows laptop (barring the Surface 2-in-1s). The only other laptop that matches the Gram 14Z90P in battery life is the new M1-powered Apple MacBook. Then again, M1 and Intel 11th gen processors aren’t directly comparable.

For gaming, the Xe integrated graphics works fine. It is worth noting that even though the Gram 14Z90P and Inspiron 14 share the same processor (i7-1165G7) with the same iGPU, both perform differently in games.

That’s because the Gram’s integrated graphics gets access to faster LPDDR4x RAM, running at 4266MHz. Whereas the Dell Inspiron uses much slower DDR4 RAM, so its graphics performance suffers as a result. But the Inspiron has twice the RAM, so it’s better suited to productivity (photo and video editing, music production, etc.).

Pros

  • Intel “Tiger Lake” Core i7-1165G7 quad-core processor built on 10nm+ technology- high IPC, and extremely efficient.
  • Intel “Xe” integrated graphics with 96 EUs.
  • 16GB of ultra-fast LPDDR4x RAM @ 4266MHz.
  • 512GB PCIe SSD.
  • 14” display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 (16:10 aspect ratio).
  • Ultra light magnesium alloy chassis, the whole laptop is just 2.2lbs which makes it the lightest 14” laptop out there.
  • With a stated battery life of 25.5hrs (over 18 hours in practical use), this laptop has the longest battery life of any Windows laptop we’ve reviewed.
  • USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 4, and Wi-Fi 6.
  • The fingerprint reader is integrated into the power button.

Cons

  • Power button right next to Backspace and Delete keys.
  • Fan gets quite loud while gaming.

Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1

Dell Inspiron laptops have always been the preferred choice of students, home users, and small business owners across the world.

For a good reason, these are exceptionally good value-for-money laptops. And they provide modern features like Wi-Fi 6, SSDs, etc. for a very low price.

You’re not going to get a true IPS display here, but at least the TN panel they use is WVA with good colors and contrast. It isn’t one of those cheap TN panels that feel like looking through century-old, tinted glass.

Even the build quality isn’t bad. Sure, there is some flex since this is a thin plastic laptop. But it won’t fall apart if you shake it around while traveling or drop it from a table.

Audio quality suffers, as you’d expect from a laptop of this price. It sounds like a rat squealing in a sewer, so we recommend you buy a nice pair of headphones if you’re interested in streaming movies or online gaming.

Pros

  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 Tiger-Lake quad-core.
  • Intel “Xe” integrated graphics with 96 execution units.
  • 32GB of DDR4 RAM.
  • 1TB PCIe SSD.
  • 14” FHD touchscreen display, 2-in-1 design with 360° hinge.
  • Only 0.7” thick and 3.6lbs in weight.
  • 720p webcam with privacy shutter.

Cons

  • The battery is just 40Wh, should have had a higher capacity.
  • Weak audio quality.

How To Select The Best Laptop For World Of Warcraft?

While hardware requirements might vary depending on your graphical settings and resolution, the client itself also impacts performance.

If you’re playing retail WoW, you will need more powerful hardware. For World of Warcraft Classic, the hardware requirements are lower. Taking a look at Blizzard’s official hardware requirements page for WoW and WoW classic shows the difference. 

You can get away with Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics or even an ancient GPU like the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT if you’re playing Classic.

But for retail, Blizzard specifies an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon RX 560 as the “minimum” while recommending an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or AMD RX Vega 64.

Addons will also impact performance. So if you have something like ElvUI or WeakAuras installed, expect slightly lower fps.

If you plan to play at 1080p or higher with maxed-out graphics and addons, we recommend a laptop with dedicated graphics and at least 16GB of RAM. Make sure you have at least 4 physical processor cores, preferably with hyperthreading/ SMT because WoW can soak up a lot of CPU cycles.

If your CPU isn’t capable enough, you will see framerates dip into the 30s during raids or any similar scenario with a lot of units on the screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Conclusion

We hope this article gave you an idea of which is the best laptop for World of Warcraft. We chose the Razer Blade 15 Base because it balances performance with portability so well.

Yeah, it isn’t cheap. Nor is it the best value for money. But imagine a MacBo

ok with gaming PC hardware- that’s what the Blade is. You get a chassis that’s milled from a solid hunk of aluminum-magnesium alloy, exceptional top-firing stereo speakers, and a display that actually looks good unlike those washed-out TN panels on most cheap gaming laptops.

If you’re budget-minded though, there’s the Dell Inspiron 14 which also happens to be a 2-in-1. You can use it to draw and take notes in class (or as a movie/ streaming laptop).

And if you want the lightest laptop with the best battery life, nothing beats the LG Gram. We believe the LG Gram is very underrated since it is a well-built machine that leads the market in both portability as well as battery life. The only downside to the LG Gram is its lack of a dedicated graphics card for serious gaming.