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Seeing Azeroth with the options turned up

Mike Schramm

Frostbolt went out and got himself one of those shiny new 20" iMacs, and he says wow, WoW looks good on it. One of my favorite things about WoW is how well it seems to run on almost any hardware, but I know what Frosty means-- there's a big difference between playing with all the options off and turning on the underwater, drunk, and glowy effects. Spells, buffs, and instances look so much better when you have a nice rig and all the effects turned on.

Right now I'm running WoW on a PC I've had for a while-- it doesn't look too bad chugging along at 1.8ghz, 512mb of RAM and a GeForce 5200, but by the time Burning Crusade hits, I'll be done building my new monster: overclocked to 4ghz with a watercooled processor, 2gb of RAM (that's right, baby), and a GeForce 7900 GS in the PCI-e slot. All I need is to find a deal on a case and the RAM, and I'll be set to build my monster WoW machine.

But sometimes you don't even need a whole computer-- a few months ago I went ahead and invested in a sweet 24" Dell widescreen monitor, and that, as Robert Frost says, "has made all the difference." I couldn't imagine healing a 40 man raid with a 15" or even a 17" monitor-- all those meters would cloud up the place before long. Then again, I've seen screenshots around of people playing WoW at 800x600 resolution. I'd consider that unplayable, but maybe I'm being elitist. According to the latest Steam survey, 1024x768 is still the standard for Half-Life players-- Blizzard doesn't track the same info (or at least they don't release it), but I wonder if WoWers tend to skew their tech faster or slower than that. Thoughts? What kind of rig are you playing this game on?

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