Poor performance on new iMac (late 2012) in WoW

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Attip, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I had my new iMac delivered last week, and I have been playing around with it for some time now.

    I really enjoy the Fusion drive, and everything seems to run smooth. That is until I try playing World of Warcraft. I set the the graphics to the 'Ultra' preset, and it averages 30-40 fps while flying around the world, which in itself isn't all that great. When turning the camera, or just flying around in circles, the fps drops down to 10-15, which is not at all what I expected from my new computer.

    Is there any way to test if something is wrong with my iMac? Or is this simply just the performance I should expect from this machine? The specs are:

    3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5

    I have tried disabling all the addons in the game, and that didn't help.


  2. macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2012
    You should post this in Blizzard's Mac Technical Support forum. There seems to be something with this specific patch.

    Barefeats got good performance from WoW:
  3. macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    are you using the Mac OS X version of WoW or running it on windows? what I always do is just set the game to everything on the lowest setting, then work your way up and you will find what graphic setting is causing the bad performance
  4. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    I get better FPS on my 15" rMBP using the internal display and when on a Thunderbolt Display. This is with the OS X WoW client. Might try resetting the SMC (or whatever it is).

    I get 30-40 FPS on internal with all maxed but shadows on the middle setting, no AA. On Thunderbolt Display I get more FPS and I use AA 4X.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2010
    I have posted in the EU forums - sadly they don't have a specific Mac forum, so it will probably just drown in there. I don't have a US account, so I cannot post on the US forums.

    I'm using the Mac OS X version. I have not tried what you're suggesting, but I might do it tonight. But to be honest, shouldn't the new iMac be able to pull it off with everything on ultra?

    I'll try and reset the SMC.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2010
    Resetting SMC did not work. I've tried tinkering with the settings, and it seems to be the 'View Distance' setting that is making me lag the most. I'm now on Ultra, with view distance on "Good", and I'm sporting 70+ fps. Still weird though!
  7. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 10, 2006
    Sounds about right to me ... the iMac isn't a gaming machine despite the good specs due to the GPU which is very good but not amazing. Barefeats tested at 1436x808, so OP is getting expected results at native res. The only thing left to do is try Windows version which might get better fps although I can't say how much it is going to help.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    It isn't normal since I get better results with the 650M at the same native resolution. (27" TBD).
  9. macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Looks like it's since the patch, and it's an OSX bug, as I can replicate your issues but they dont happen in windows. I found view distance to be the highest factor for "lag" but for me it's not lag as much as it's stuttering.
  10. macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    in my opinion and I used to play WoW a lot, I tested the game in a number of hardware, and it really didn't perform as you would expect even with top notch graphics card I mean for a $500 card you would expect the game to have no lag at all but it did lag at times of a high congested screen like raids and congested pvp fights, its probably due to the game waiting for as much data from the server to get updated and then go to render...of course better hardware will perform faster but its still a matter of optimizations needed on blizzards end
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 17, 2012
    well considering the 680mx was almost double performance update over the previous gen that would mean the previous gen would be at around 15fps on the 2011 iMac. Apple would have self destructed if their computers were that bad last year for WoW. Safe to say it is Blizzard's problem and not your hardware :)
  12. macrumors 68040


    Aug 6, 2007
    I agree, but then again it is still his problem when you get down to it.
  13. macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Nov 20, 2010
    ladner cdn
  14. macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Barefeats actually did a test at Ultra with native resolution.
    With a bunch of games. They got very different results to the OP.

  15. macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2010
    Seattle, WA
  16. macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    You have to understand that there is a difference between actual game play and a 'canned benchmark' :p
    Timedemo-style can be useful as comparisons between other Barefeats reviews...but that is only useful interpretation.

    Anyway, the 680MX is roughly just below a 660Ti on notebookcheck's listing (see far right column). This gives you a rough metric when you discuss notebook GPUs that commonly have limited review information.

    THG also a good 'order-of-magnitude' guide when it comes to mobile GPUs

    And in comparing the 680MX vs. the desktop GTX 680, the key differences lie in the clock rate (720 vs. 1GHz) and the memory (5Ghz vs. 6Ghz). Apart from that, both mobile and desktop have the same 1536 SPs, 128 texture units, and 32 ROPs.

    WoW at 1440P, is still a CPU-intensive game. I think the OP has sufficiently addressed this with the view-distance setting though.
  17. macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2012
    The iMac with 680MX can definitely serve as a gaming machine, especially under windows. I've played Far Cry 3 and Sleeping Dogs in 1440p and with high settings, runs incredibly smooth : ) From what I read gaming performance in OSX isn't too good, in another thread here people were getting much more FPS in WOW, probably under Windows.
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2010
    Thanks for all the replies.

    While I do understand that it's a mobile GPU, I still don't think the initial 30-40 fps and 10-15 while turning was satisfactory. The view distance setting helped quite a bit, but it's still at the point where I notice the framerates drop if I turn too drastically, which is a bit annoying. But I've heard some people saying that this might be a problem with a recent patch to the game, so I'm hoping Blizzard might fix that.

    If anyone has any comments to what other settings might do the trick, or any additional information, it is greatly appreciated.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    The GPU certainly is capable of better. Anyone saying otherwise is flat out wrong. The 680M you have is better than my 650M and I'm getting better results at 1440p. This is with the current patch. I did have similar issues until I reset the SMC but that doesn't appear to have been your issue.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Oh, I understand completely. I'm under no illusions here :)

    Was just pointing out that if the op was only getting 30fps while just running around, something isn't right. Possibly add-on related, or issues with the new patch.

    View distance in MOP is far more than in Cataclysm. Turning it down one notch will help a great deal. Shadows are also a huge FPS killer.

    Rumour has it 10.8.3 has some nice driver updates for the 680mx... Will find out soon
  21. macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2012
    Did you try updating the graphics drivers? If you're gaming in Boot Camp, you can download the latest drivers. Also, I find that enabling v-sync and triple buffering from the Nvidia control panel helps to minimize those hitches in gaming.
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Sounds like you have no clue at all. The GPU is extremely good, not "not amazing". The GTX 680MX is about in between the desktop version of GTX 670 and GTX 680. So yes, it is very good and should definitely be able to handle WoW which isn't THAT demanding compared to some FPS games.
  23. macrumors 603

    Oct 14, 2008
    Most likely a driver bug/WoW bug... this belongs on Blizzard support forums. That iMac should get at least 60 fps at native resolution/utra/AA off, even with unoptimized OS X drivers.
  24. macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2011
    Due to piss poor Os x optimization certain settings will simply destory your performance even if you have a killer gpu.
    Multisampling antialiasing: don't go past 2
    Anisotropic filtering: 8 is optimal
    Liquid detail: this value at low may double/triple the performance you get. Maxed setting will reflect everyting visible on any body of water, this value is also linked with the draw distance setting so if you put ultra on both the game is actually rendering the scene 2times, even if you only see a single pond at 2000 metres. Visually the difference between good and ultra is minimal. If you want water eye candy set to Good.
    Vertical sync: osx suck at this, leave it off. You will have some tearing but framerate should not drop heavily when you turn around or enter busy areas.
    Shadows: low/fair settings should give excellent performance. Anything past good will actually use realtime shadows for the environment aswell, instead of the static ones. The main difference is on the resolution, static ones are blurred whie the dynamic are sharp and can leave more details (animated props will have animated shadows). Both shadows however affect the world in the same way visually, and the dynamic shadows from characters from fair/good settings blend perfectly with the static terrain shadows. Going from good to high will have a decent impact on your performance, you shoud test and see the difference from the 2 settings and see if the performance loss is worth the minimal gain in visual quality.
    Ambient occlusion (ssao): again os x handle this poorly and the quality compared to windows is not the same quality. The difference between low and high is not noticeable. Leave it at low. If you cannot see difference from low to off, leave to off. This option may leave artifacts as osx is unable to render ssao correctly on antialiased edges, in any 3d software you use.
    You can max the rest of the settings. Lowering one step the drawing distance will reduce pauses due to loading, and increase fps slightly
  25. macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    you're deluded, the 680mx runs somewhere in between the speed of a desktop gtx 660 and 660ti, not between a gtx 670 & 680... which is better than the 6970m for sure, which ran on par with a desktop gtx 460....it's great for a mobile gpu, but in the world of 1440p gaming, a lot of people would still prefer more power.

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