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Budget PC for World of Warcraft


Thanks in advance for the comments. A friend of mine wants to play WoW on her living room HDTV. She looking to spend <$300 and was thinking of something along the lines of the following.

She is primarily thinking of buying a complete system but I suppose could be swayed into building something should it be necessary. I don’t play WoW and don’t know anything about its system requirements. Any help would be much appreciated.


That radeon 6350 is a real pig, I don’t think it would do the trick, even for WoW. You could potentially buy that mid-tower then add-on a GTX 1050 for another $150, and that would be a really good experience.

Under $300 is really tough. I would probably go for a used Alienware Alpha gen1, which is an extremely nicely designed tiny living-room PC with a real core CPU and an integrated Nvidia 750ti GPU. It should handle WoW at 1080p medium quality no problem. Here’s one for $250. I don’t vouch for the seller, but there are a bunch around $300 including a 360 gamepad.


My advice would be to stay away from lower-end prebuilts, and from older AMD platforms in general. That one will likely be a huge pain to upgrade if you can do it at all, and 6350s are worthless for gaming, period. As @Ruffalo said, less than $300 is really hard… unless you’re willing to go for used hardware. Get an inexpensive 1155 motherboard like an MSI B75M-E33, an i5-2500, throw a decent cheap card on there like a 7770 (more than capable of driving WoW) and she’s off to the races.

the problem I could see with that is: if the 1050 in question has no external power input (some do not), then that OEM motherboard might not be able to deliver enough power. iirc many OEM boards can’t deliver the full 75W through the PCIe connector. Even an inexpensive non-OEM board would be better for this kind of build, particularly if OP’s friend ever wanted to upgrade the system.


I suggested a GTX1050, not a GTX1050ti. And yes, would need to get one powered solely by the PCI bus.

Alienware Alpha is really the best choice at this pricepoint. Definitely slower than a computer with a GTX1050, but it won’t look ridiculous in your living room.


My mistake. fixed.


It’s gonna look and play like ass.

Specs of the Alienware:
i3 4th Gen. @2.9GHz
5400rpm HDD

Playing on medium settings was acceptable on my old i3 + 260X + 8GB (despite the significantly lower minimum requirements, even for Legion). Unless the graphics settings are toned down a lot (!) it’s not gonna be a satisfying gaming experience (and forget about raiding, that’s gonna be a slideshow). But even then…WoW is not known for its groundbreaking graphics, so prepare for some real oldschool graphics.

But for reference: WoW really likes high single-core performance. Maybe one of those unlocked Pentiums pushed to 4.7GHz?


I’ll be selling my PC in a few weeks. Like 400? Should do wow just fine for you.


Yes, 260X and 750ti offer roughly equivalent performance. It’ll play WoW at 1080p medium just fine. You can tell the game to drop to lower settings in raids, which fixes that side of it too.

Problem is $300 pricecap, not much you can do with that. GTX1050 is $150, leaves you $150 for a case, PSU, CPU, memory, and storage. Lowest I can get with new and not complete garbage parts is $245.


Could go with a decommissioned business/university computer with a low profile GPU. L1T did a video on it not too long ago.


Some Intel H110 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Kaby Lake-S CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions.

Is that an issue for you?

Otherwise a solid build for the budget (but only ~$70 left for a GPU).


Nope, not an issue messing with the bios.


This is the thing APUs are made for. 2200G, cooler is included, 2x4GB RAM, cheap board…


You can build a 2200G system for $317 (link below) but it is substantially slower than the 750ti and that was marginal for WoW at 1080p in the first place.


You are not wrong there. Thing is, you can always add a dedicated GPU later on. WoW needs a strong CPU first and memory second. Dial down the fidelity but have it playing smoothly for now, make it pretty when GPUs are cheap.

And that Kingston SSD is terrible value.


WoW is CPU-bound on decent hardware, sure. It would probably be CPU-bound on a GTX1050ti at 1080p medium. It sure as hell isn’t CPU-bound on a 2200G or a GTX750ti.

I just picked the cheapest 120GB SSD on PCpartpicker with a recognizable name. And I’m not advocating building his own. He should buy a used Alienware Alpha.


IMO $300 isn’t enough for modern WOW. If the budget was $400 you might be more likely to get somewhere that would make her happy to play on.


Oh yes, you could do a lot more at $400. Much better experience for your friend. And at $500 you could get something actually great.


Disclaimer: I have no experience myself with this combination. But this doesn’t look half bad. And for the price you won’t build anything else that is actually easily upgradeable.

Also read the first comment. That sounds fine to me.

Sure, there is overkill memory on that system but even without that and without the OC, you lower a few settings and it will play fine.

This should give you a good idea of what to expect.

66fps average on low with 2x4GB 2400MHz and no OC.


That’s better than I expected, but it went well below 30fps in small group content, which I would find to be a poor experience. Not dips either, it stayed there. Also you’ll end up with a gigantic mid-tower in your living room, while the Alienware Alpha is the same size as a PS4 slim.


You mean the first video? It’s about a decade now that I played that game but even today that is not low settings. And honestly, that looks totally playable to me, I would call that even enjoyable.

Personally I would assemble the board with the APU, cooler and memory and build a ghetto testbench. Seriously, a piece of scrap wood, four standoffs and a bit of time, that is all you need. Since there is no card that needs support, that is totally a viable option.

And again, try to add a GPU to that gamerfied Dell thing…
It’s a bad buy, sorry.