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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:01 PM   #1
purplewarlock
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World of Warcraft on Air

Has anyone installed World of Warcraft on the Macbook Air (hard disk version)? If so, on the lowest graphical settings, what Frames Per Second do you get? Is it playable?
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:04 PM   #2
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I can pretty much guarantee that it's not playable. Remember, the Air is not made for playing graphics intensive games. The graphics card in it is just not built for it.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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Yes it's playable. If it'll run on a GMA8xx, it'll definitely run on a 950. The Macbook Air uses the same video card as the Mac Book.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:07 PM   #4
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I played a game trial of WoW on an iBook G4 just fine, so I imagine the MBA will be just fine; well better.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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Yes it's playable. If it'll run on a GMA8xx, it'll definitely run on a 950. The Macbook Air uses the same video card as the Mac Book.
Runs fine on the GMA950 and the Air uses the newest one which is either X1300 or X3100, I forget. But there should be a performance gain with the newer one so it will be fine.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:12 PM   #6
CJRhoades
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.... Sorry. I stand corrected. Still, it's not really a gaming notebook....
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:14 PM   #7
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.... Sorry. I stand corrected. Still, it's not really a gaming notebook....
Well it's pretty clearly not a "gaming notebook"! No MacBooks are really meant to be gaming notebooks, anyway, but that certainly doesn't mean people won't play games on them
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:18 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure it'll run. It may not be 40-man raid certified, or maybe not even 25-man raid certified (it's a bit of a stretch on my current MacBook with a GMA950)... but you'll probably see 15fps hovering in Shattrath at native rez, low quality settings, far viewing distance. That's where my GMA950 machines stand.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:18 PM   #9
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Well it's pretty clearly not a "gaming notebook"! No MacBooks are really meant to be gaming notebooks, anyway, but that certainly doesn't mean people won't play games on them
Yea, I know what you mean. I used to play Starcraft (forgive me) on my TiBook.

Speaking of that TiBook. I can't believe the thing still runs. I used to use it 6+ hours a day and most of the time, you couldn't touch the bottom unless you wanted to get burned.
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Old Jan 31, 2008, 08:23 PM   #10
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My concern would be heat, as my Macbook used to get quite hot while playing WoW. So, if I had an MBA and wanted to attempt to play WoW I would install something like Temperature Monitor, have it set to display in the menu bar and then run WoW in windowed mode at least until I got a feel for how hot the MBA would get under intensive graphical loads.

My skepticism may be unfounded, but it's best to be safe.
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 10:04 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone.

Just to elaborate, I would want to play 20-man Raids occasionally. My guild requires us to use Ventrillo for voice chat and about 4 UI Plugins.

I was able to play WoW fairly reasonably, on the lowest settings, when I had about a Mac Mini (about 1.5 years ago). I wasn't sure if MBA has slower speeds than the Mac Mini in terms of graphics/game processing.

From the responses so far, it sounds like the game would play ok-- maybe a bit slow on occasional but generally playable speeds when set to the lowest graphical settings.
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 10:08 AM   #12
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It's played on my friend's last gen macbook just fine, he got his imac, and well, he started to have problems!!! I think its just a Leopard problem, cuz he intalled it on his mb, and it doesnt play right anymore.
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 11:22 AM   #13
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World of warcraft is what, 4 years old? And even then, you can turn down the settings.

I am fairly certain it will run fine, seeing as how when the game was released, most computers weren't as fast as the Air anyways.
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 11:40 AM   #14
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A friend of mine installed WoW on his Air just to see if it worked. It does play but not very well. The settings must be set fairly low and a strong wireless connection must be present else there's massive lag. But, it does work.
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 12:10 PM   #15
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A friend of mine installed WoW on his Air just to see if it worked. It does play but not very well. The settings must be set fairly low and a strong wireless connection must be present else there's massive lag. But, it does work.
He got it already??
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 12:40 PM   #16
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Yeah, he got one already through his company. I believe it was for "testing" purposes
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Old Feb 4, 2008, 11:09 PM   #17
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I installed and ran it on my previous Macbook (original core duo version1) and it played reasonably OK at 800x600 with low detail settings. Not pretty but playable - even over the standard 802.11G connection. It did make the fan run loud though...
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Old Feb 5, 2008, 06:16 AM   #18
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should be no problem. I used to do raids on my iBook with ventrilo and plugins without a problem. You will still have slowdown in Lagforge but who doesn't?
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Old Feb 5, 2008, 02:53 PM   #19
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It ran fine on my 1.6/80gig Air.
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Old Feb 5, 2008, 04:48 PM   #20
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If it can run on a Mac mini (be it G4 or Core Solo/Duo; those were slower than Airs), I'm pretty sure it can run on an Air, albeit just as fast or possibly slightly slower due to the slower HDD.
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Old Feb 6, 2008, 12:28 AM   #21
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Thanks again for the help. Looks like MBA can run WoW for sure.

I'm on the fence still to switch, though this answers a key question for me. At this point I've decided I definitely want to go MBA, it's a question of when (between now and 3 years).

I have a single computer: a 5 month old 15" MBP 2.4Ghz. At home, I have it hooked to a 20" widescreen Dell about half the time too. I play WoW, have Logic Studio installed though haven't had time to use it in a while (I might downgrade back to Garageband, which works well enough for my purposes though it isn't nearly as powerful). I have some programming stuff installed (MySQL database, requires about 5GB), and Parallels with XP which I use maybe twice a week just for a few minutes to test things in IE for my job.

By far the most frequent applications I use on a day to day basis are: Safari, Mail, iChat, iCal, Address Book, Terminal for programming/MySQL, iTunes, and NeoOffice (word processor/spreadsheet). Offhand I don't think I use anything else for work besides Parallels occasionally. I play WoW on some weekends but am not a power gamer. I haven't had time for music composition in about a year (got so much other stuff going on and this is unlikely to change the next few years).

The reason I'm thinking of "downgrading" from 15" MBP to MPA is I telecommute, and work out of coffee shops almost every day. Also, I travel to meet team members or clients for most of the week once every 3 weeks. Even at home when I'm working, I work off my couch with the laptop on my lap half the time. The weight and size savings are a huge, huge plus to me, certainly enough to justify getting worse performance in WoW. Much as I love WoW, for every hour I play WoW, I spend 10-20 hours on the plane or on applications for work/personal stuff that doesn't require a powerful CPU/graphics card (certainly when I had a Mac Mini it worked fine for these purposes). I even work at restaurants/bars sometimes, and the benefits of getting the full-sized keyboard, a still nice 13" display, and all my applications (besides Logic Studio which I haven't used anyways) in a notebook that is easier to carry would be awesome.

I think if the MBA had EVDO Rev A (broadband wireless 3rd Generation-- I use this through a Sprint USB device), and WiMax or another 4th Generation broadband wireless, and an extra 40GB of disk space, there would be no question even if it was $2300 instead of $1800.

At this point, I think the only thing holding me back is the hard disk space. Already for my MBP, I don't have any songs or movies on my local hard disk -- they are on my wireless network and my iPhone. I'm using about 133GB.. I'm hoping a lot of that is Logic Studio.. I seem to remember installing a lot but can't remember if I installed all 4 or 5 DVDs worth of data. There is another thread I saw that explains how to save some disk space by deleting unused printer drives and languages.. that will really come in handy as this might come down to the wire a bit. Anyhow I'm going to have to go through all my files with a fine tooth comb to weed down and see what I really need.

Btw I went to an Apple Store a couple of days ago and the Apple employee went on a 5-minute tirade about how I would be really a fool if I downgraded my MBP to MBA. It was kind of interesting, he really had a strong opinion that I would be making a colossal mistake. But looking at which applications I use, how much CPU/GPU power they take, etc (and that 90% of them run fine even when I had a Mac Mini), I think I would take only a very minimal hit there, and come out ahead hugely in terms of weight/convenience switching to MBA as my sole computer.

Probably I will switch to MBA pretty soon, just thinking it over for a few more days (and of course I need to go through my disk space usage extremely carefully to be sure this will work..)

Still weighing the pros and cons on this decision.. thanks again for the valuable feedback.
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Old Feb 6, 2008, 05:43 AM   #22
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Purplewarlock - I'm exactly in the same boat as you. I use a MBP 2.4 as my every day machine. I've been using it now for about 8 months every day for work/at home, and it performs flawlessly. I do travel a fair bit, and lug it to/from work every day as I don't have a home machine, though I'm thinking of fixing that.

Normally, the weight of my laptop case doesn't bother me, but traveling to/from Balitmore yesterday, I had some extra items in the bag, and it was heavier than normal. I'm thinking of moving to the MBA just to save on the weight. I'm sure everything else that I run (MS Office and the standard Apple applications) will run just fine.
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Old Feb 6, 2008, 11:43 PM   #23
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Yeah, I really think for people in our situation (anyone who travels frequently, or even does work/hobbies at the local coffeeshop quite a bit) we are really some of the kinds of people who will most benefit from the MBA.

If you have a MBP/MB and it just sits on your desk and you don't ever move it except once a month somewhere, going to MBA probably wouldn't help.

If you have a MBP/MB and it sits on your desk half the time, but you like to use it on your couch a lot, I think there is a decent benefit for switching to MBA as long as your applications will run.

But if you travel frequently, this is where I really think it really shines.

Speaking of which, after deleting GarageBand + Logic Studio on my MBP, my disk space usage is down to 58GB, so I think I'm good to go for MBA. Just need to get one, transfer/install files, and sell my MBP
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Old Feb 7, 2008, 04:32 AM   #24
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I've been enjoying my Air a lot since I got it on Monday. I went from a MacBook1,1 as my traveling companion (and this is a loose term -- includes my commute) to it. Basically everywhere I go, my laptop is with me; work, vacation, business travel, restaurants, bars, etc. Being that the MB is a first gen model, the MBA feels marginally faster, even if it does not actually benchmark so. Certainly, the MB does not have as much performance as the MBP, so I do not feel I am missing so much, and may not be, aside from a few pounds and an optical drive I rarely used.

With that said, it's hard to say whether or not a MBP to MBA swap is a doable thing. I've entertained going to a MBP before, and primarily for the graphics card. What's stopped me time and again is size.

As for applications... for me, the one thing I think I won't do on the MBA is do my coding (I mess with large compiler stuffs). I don't have a rational reason either, aside from some vague worry about disk space. I have 25GB free on the 64GB disk... I'm not in bad shape. I did take the liberty of removing all my usual transcoding/authoring/editing software this time. Not something I'm keen to do on the go, upon reflection. Aside from iPhoto (which I did keep), I rarely pop open anything "creative" away from the Mac Pro.

Slimming down my MB's contents to fit on the MBA was rather amusing. I forgot I had a /opt from MacPorts, so... I ended up crashing the Migration Assistant... It didn't seem to transfer /opt and /Games, so no biggie. The only game I wanted was WoW. Oh, and while I have installed WoW, I haven't actually tried to log into Shattrath with it.

I guess the upshot of all this is -- purplewarlock, it sounds like you've made a clear analysis and it does sound like the MBA can be a good fit. The only thing that may be iffy is that you want to use the MBA as an only computer, which... (personally) I suspect can be a difficult proposition without some careful thought. I find myself saying "it's OK, there's always the Mac Pro" as a fallback, a bit. It may also be that the Mac Pro is incredibly fast, so I don't try to make things work within the MBA's constraints. I also haven't had the machine long enough to know. "A month without the Mac Pro" IS on my to-do list sometime this summer (thank electricity bills...). I might try it with the MBA (was planning on the Mac mini).
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Old Feb 7, 2008, 06:15 AM   #25
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yeah I hope WOW works too.Ive been thinkin of trying this game out for a while now
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