It is actually rather readable - though leaning forward into the display may be required for the small chat text. Things to note: all of WoW will be installed to your SDHC card so the card will be non-removable during your gameplay. Windows will run off the internal Flash. You will be running modified drivers, FSB modifiers, and experimental code - Do so at your own risk. Performance will be adequate for fishing, chatting, checking auctions, traveling, and light combat but don't expect to go on raids or into too much uncharted territory. You will thank yourself for getting a USB mouse to go along with this too.
First: A video!
This is how I finally got it done:
- A valid, working copy of Windows XP. If you don't have an external CD-ROM drive, you may want to search around for a guide to install it off a USB drive.
- World of Warcraft install discs and an external optical drive OR an external hard drive/thumb drive larger than 2GB OR a network share that can hold files for installing WoW.
- A 1GB or larger additional thumb drive (unless you have a bigger drive/network share from the above step)
- An 8GB SDHC card or larger. The faster, the better.
- A RAM upgrade - Not necessarily required but HIGHLY recommended. These tests were done on 2GB RAM.
- An Internet connection, of course.
- Various utilities to download I will discuss in the steps below
- Install Windows XP on your EeePC. Follow the directions that came with your Eee or follow this guide on eeeuser.com.
- Change the video drivers to LazerTag's modified drivers. Follow the directions in the forums on that one. This involves manually uninstalling the Asus installed drivers from the Device Manager, removing the Asus tray icon, rebooting, and then installing the modified drivers. Great work, LT!
- Install kkjj's EEEPC_RES utility. Test several resolutions. You may have to change the settings in your "Monitor" tab in "Display Properties" and uncheck "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display." (Thanks to jsauter for this tip in this thread.) I wanted to get this to work at 1024x600 but failed. 800x600 works but looks a bit squished. The photos below show 800x600 and 1024x768 respectively. 800x600 is readable but 1024x768 is likely to give you a headache:
- Once you have the resolutions tested and video all working, insert your SDHC card into the slot and leave it there. You may want to go to your Disk Management tool (right-click My Computer, click Manage, click Disk Management) and make sure the SDHC card has a drive letter permanently assigned to it. Right click Disk 1 and choose "Change Drive Letter And Paths" and choose your favorite.
- OPTIONAL: Install a clock modifier on your Eee to change the Front Side Bus so the 900 MHz Celeron M CPU actually runs at 900 MHz (instead of the factory-clocked 630 MHz.) This will overclock your computer past factory specification but within original CPU specification so heat is a concern. Do this at your own risk. I use and suggest dci's eeeclock tool as it is simple, very low footprint, and keeps my Eee stable. YMMV. The photos below show frames per second standing just outside of Thunder Bluff. This changes constantly during gameplay. The top is at the Eee factory set 630 MHz and the bottom is at the fully clocked 900MHz.
- Install WoW and Burning Crusade. Use your original CDs/DVDs if you have an external optical drive. If not, download the installers from Blizzard (the links are in your account page) and save them to a separate external USB drive (or over your network) and make sure you are installing it on to your SDHC drive.
- Now comes a tricky part: Patches. On an 8GB SDHC card, the patch downloader should have enough space to save all current patches to the SDHC card, but will fail when it attempts to install them. My solution to this: Let the downloader finish retrieving the patches, then move them to your external USB or network storage device. The patches will be .EXE files in your World of Warcraft directory (in my case: D:\World of Warcraft\) With the actual patches no longer on the SDHC drive, you should be able to install them on to your SDHC card. If your card is larger than 8GB, just let it run the normal course. After the patches are done, you should have a couple hundred megs left which may fill with other caches from gameplay. After about an hour of total play on my Eee, my SDHC card has 168 MB of space left and the game still runs fine.
- Set your resolution to 800x600 or higher, making sure the panel scales so you are not scrolling. Optionally, turn your eeeclock tool up to "full speed."
- Start up WoW. Say "Oooooo neat! I can't wait to show my friends."
- Tweak your settings for gameplay - typically by turning down as many graphics and special effects settings as you can stand.