Conventional gaming wisdom holds that World of Warcraft is such a lean, mean GPU-conserving machine that it will run on everything from a 386 to a scientific calculator from the early 1970s. Rumor has it that there are even some punch-card computers and difference engines that will run Blizzard's game with a bit of tweaking.

Sadly, those days are numbered, as the forthcoming Cataclysm expansion is planning to destroy not only the world of Azeroth, but also any thoughts you may have had of running WoW on your older Mac or PC hardware. The official system requirements for the new expansion have been released, and -- skipping right over the minimums -- we find that the recommended setup is a dual-core CPU, 2 GB of system memory, and a graphics card with vertex and pixel shading capability. While it's not exactly state of the art, it may necessitate a bit of an upgrade if you're still puttering along with your Burning Crusade or vanilla WoW equipment.

Check out all the details courtesy of our friends at WoW Insider.

This article was originally published on Massively.
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