World of Warcraft on 11.6" MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by David the Gnome, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2008
    I didn't see a thread on this yet and I assume there are probably others out there who want to know if the 11.6" MacBook Air can play WoW so I thought I would post my experiences.

    My particular 11.6" MacBook Air is of the maxed out variety (1.6GHz, 4GB RAM, and 128GB HDD) so I can't speak for the base model. I am happy to report that WoW is perfectly playable on the MacBook Air with "Good" level graphics. Outside in Northrend produces an average of about 30 fps, which is perfectly playable. You could always turn the graphics down further and bump up the performance a little more if you needed it, say in Dalaran perhaps.

    The flash memory makes the game load very quickly and characters and environment details appear the moment you log in which makes the game feel a lot faster. The fan will get VERY loud however. You can tell it's working that little processor and graphics chip hard. The machine will also get pretty warm on your lap but nowhere near as bad as my 15" MacBook Pro does.

    The verdict? I wouldn't go raiding on it, but for casual questing it's just fine. It's no gaming powerhouse but the Air can hold its own, at least with the upgraded processor and RAM.

    I'd love to hear from someone with a base model Air to see how it performs as well!
  2. macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2008
    Calgary, Alberta
    Did you try any 5-Man's? I figured raiding is impossible but always up for smaller dungeon runs if possible
  3. macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    Kansas City
    First off, the fans will run full out, 6500 RPM, yet it is not as loud as previous gen MBA's it is more than the MBP's.

    That said, I haven't played in nearly a year so I just went and downloaded the trail account. On the 13" 1.8/2gig/256ss model around the starting area, and with medium settings it was pretty much sitting on 48 to 52 FPS with no noticeable lag or slow down. WoW is not a very client intensive program so other than the GPU being loaded down when in a 5 man or above raid it shouldn't be an issue.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2008
    I didn't play on it long enough to do a random dungeon, just a few solo quests, but I imagine it would work just fine. You could also turn the graphics down to Low and it would probably run 45-60 FPS in a dungeon. Indoors tend to be a whole lot less demanding than outdoors due to the visible range being so much smaller. It's really quite impressive that you get that kind of performance from such a small machine.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    Air gaming thread:

    good stuff though OP. great to know. i'm hoping the 11" can handle Diablo 3 at least enough for me to work on my character when i'm traveling for business.

    yep, i'm a working class gaming nerd. so what! :D
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2008
    Yeah, I didn't add to that one since that thread is pertaining to the 13" which has different hardware from the 11".

    I'm pumped about Diablo III as well. Blizzard has a talent for making their games run on minimal hardware so I'd be willing to bet you'll be able to play it. It just might not look real great. :p
  7. macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2010
    Thank you thank you thank you for testing wow and finding that it works well :)

    My 11" is only going to be 1.4ghz, but otherwise it's all the same as yours, I doubt the difference will be noticeable. Very excited to here that
  8. macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2009
    I found this video of an 1.6Ghz/4Gb Air running WoW and running around in dalaran. We're seeing about 15-20 fps average, but then again the guy making the video seems to run most things on "good" - I guess that turning down the options to low would give quite a few extra fps. Also, dalaran is the "heaviest" place in the game - as soon as he runs indoors we're seeing 30+ fps.

    Not great, but indeed playable. I wouldn't go raiding on the Air, but questing, heroics, farming and such doesn't seem to be a problem at all :)
  9. macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2004
    Charleston, WV
    It's very playable in ICC10 raiding. I did from Marrowgar through LK on my Air this past week, and it was very smooth. I run a mix of "Good" and "Fair" settings, and it was fine. Only frame rate drops were Blood Queen and LK, and even then, it didn't go below 12-14 or so. Everywhere else it hovered between 30-40.

    For 25-man raiding, I could see shadows needing to get turned down further, as well as particle effects -- maybe even textures. But I'd almost bet the farm it would still be very playable.
  10. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Question: does capping the frame rate down to maybe 18-25 fps help lower the heat and fan noise? It doesn't seems to help that much on my older MacBook Pro with 9400M GPU. It actually gets to hot to touch and I seriously worry about getting a lap full of molten solder spilling out.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Jul 13, 2007

    it runs fine on my 13.3 but the fans go INSANE

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