As with all of our previous pre-expansion patches, the upcoming 5.0.4 patch will see improvements made to World of Warcraft’s graphics. While these improvements to our game’s engine are vital to keeping pace in a competitive marketplace, it also means that some video cards which were barely able to play the game during Cataclysm will no longer be able to play World of Warcraft once 5.0.4 launches.

The easiest way to know if your current video card is capable of playing World of Warcraft after 5.0.4 is to try to log into either the Mists of Pandaria Beta (if you have access) or the 5.0.4 Public Test Realm (PTR). If your computer can play either of these, then you should be fine when 5.0.4 launches.

What can you do if your video card is no longer able to play World of Warcraft?

- Desktop: If your computer is a desktop then you may be able to upgrade the video card. This is particularly likely if your computer only has a built-in (onboard) video chip such as an Intel Series 4. Many online resources exist to help with choosing a new video card, including our tech forum regulars.

- Laptop: Unfortunately, aside from a handful of specialized “high-end” laptops, the video card in laptops cannot be upgraded. If your laptop is no longer able to play World of Warcraft once 5.0.4 launches, you will have to look at obtaining a newer computer.

Special Note on Intel Series 4

The upcoming 5.0.4 patch marks the end of our support for the Intel Series 4 video chip. Unlike the rest of the video cards which are becoming unsupported in 5.0.4, the Series 4 chip’s comparatively young age understandably creates confusion in some players as to why support for it is being dropped. The straightforward answer is that an Intel Series 4 chip is comparative in graphics power to budget video cards that were released as far back as 2003. Not coincidentally, those same cards will no longer run World of Warcraft once patch 5.0.4 launches.

While we greatly sympathize with players that are using laptops with Intel Series 4 chips, we are simply no longer able to advance the graphics of World of Warcraft without ending support for this beleaguered video chip.
Edited by Kaltonis on 8/24/2012 2:08 PM PDT