WoW is no faster after video card upgrade

Discussion in 'Games' started by Nermal, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #1
    I just upgraded from a 64 MB Radeon 9000 Pro to a 128 MB 9800 Pro. Games such as Halo, UT2004, and KOTOR are performing significantly better and look nicer too. However, WoW doesn't seem to have been affected at all. I haven't taken any framerate counts, but the game doesn't seem to run any smoother than it did before (it wasn't particularly smooth on my 9000). I haven't increased any of the video quality settings, so I don't know what's going on.

    Anyone have any ideas as to why it hasn't sped up?

    1.25 GHz G4, 1.25 GB RAM, OS 10.3.7

    Thanks :)
     
  2. 3Memos macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2005
    #2
    Probably its being limited not so much by your video card, but by the CPU. Try lowering the number of colors to see if it speeds up.

    Or go to Activity Monitor and check what processes you can turn off to improve WoW performance.
     
  3. Mav451 macrumors 68000

    Mav451

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    #3
    WoW, with the massive environments + tons of people >> CPU-heavy game. A game like Halo is EXTREMELY GPU-intensive, which is why your GPU upgrade was so effective.

    If you want to get rid of the CPU-limitation, you're gonna have to go G5 =(
     
  4. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #4
    Ah well, maybe when G5s are a bit cheaper I'll be able to get one - and knowing Apple they'll still have low-end GPUs so I should be able to salvage the 9800.

    But turning some things off in Activity Monitor did speed it up a bit. Just one other thing that a friend suggested - does WoW do some sort of scan of your video card's abilities when you install it? He suggested that there may be some way of getting WoW to redetect the video card and optimise itself. Not very likely, but it's worth asking anyway :)
     
  5. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #5
    Bleh! Don't do that! It should be optimized for Millions, dropping down to Thousands is unlikely to result in any miraculous fps increase. I mean you can try it but I doubt it'll help.

    To the OP, you have the same experience most everyone does: assuming your CPU is fast enough to run the game and your graphics card is adequate, changing cards between current low-end (Nvidia 5200, ATI Radeon 9200) and current high-end (Radeon 6800) will make very little difference. Nor will changing resolution and settings for the most part, contrary to traditional game-settings logic. What you should be able to comfortably do now is crank up your graphics settings and turn on all the special effects (except Death Effect and Full Screen Glow, which are still buggy on the Mac). A 9800 can handle those easily and will make the world a bit nicer to look at, probably without sacrificing many fps. But, don't expect to ever see WoW performing at Quake III type frame rates (in the 100s of fps), it's just not built that way. In fact, on my machine it seems to be capped at 100 fps anyway, though you can only achieve that in very rare circumstances and locations. 20-40 fps is about all you can hope to achieve on a regular basis, at least until Blizzard, Apple, and ATI/Nvidia do some more optimization.
     
  6. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #6
    Yep, I understand what you're saying - I've noticed that Halo has all sorts of new effects on my new card so it makes sense that I should be able to turn the WoW settings up too with little fps difference. And now that I've stopped unnecessary processes, it's actually running smoothly enough now :)
     
  7. jumpman25 macrumors regular

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    #7
    I think the problem has more to do with the fact that the game is currently not optimized as well for the Mac as it is for the PC. I'm sure Blizzard has many times more people working on the PC version than the Mac version. It usually just takes a little bit longer for the Mac versions to get up to snuff. There is a guy from the Blizzard Mac team that has been posting around in various forums, and has said that they are constantly working on patches for the game, but they have to work with apple and ATI/Nvidia to time these patches and make sure everything works together. I would just turn down your settings right now so they are playable and then turn them up as patches are released. In a month or two the game should be pretty well optimized, and a new patch should be comming out with 10.3.8.
     
  8. Jdm_rsx macrumors 6502

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    #8
    well said, my powerbook
    i got 1.33ghz, 1.25gb ram 64 video

    i dont know if i should get WOW now...
     
  9. 3Memos macrumors 6502

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  10. jumpman25 macrumors regular

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    #10
    You should be able to play WoW just fine on your computer. The guy posting in the forums from blizzard said that there are several drivers issues with the video cards, as well as some problems in the code for mac which is resulting int he sub par performance. WoW however is still very playable on most newer Macs, and will only get better. I don't think the CPU is the bottleneck as people with dual G5's are getting the same performance as people with powerbooks. Anyway, it is a very fun game, and you can always turn down the settings until all the bugs are straightened out. Also, I read somewhere that WoW does utilize two processors. It will assign certain funtions such as sound, and certain effects to one processor, and other to the other.
     
  11. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #11
    Yes, although on my dual 2.0 G5 it never uses more than about 60-70% of each processor.
     
  12. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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    #12
    HiRez:

    So is it actually using both processors, or just one task bouncing between them?
     
  13. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #13
    That's a good question and I can't really tell for sure, but it seems like it would be pretty inefficient to keep context-switching threads like that for a single process. When I look at Activity Monitor with a high refresh rate, the waveforms of the two CPUs definitely appear different and spike at different times, though they seem pretty balanced overall over a long time. So I believe it is doing some dynamic balancing of processes (or OS X is).
     
  14. sirlethean macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Go to your "World of Warcraft/WTF" directory and delete or rename the file "config.wtf".

    It's also safe to delete the entire WTF and WDB directories if you ever have a weird problem that you can't figure out. However if you do that, you'll lose all keybinds, chat settings, etc.
     
  15. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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    #15
    HiRez:

    Can't say for sure, but I think that OSX is pretty bad about "process juggling". Back in the day when I a had a G4-dual-800, I often caught it in the act. If you ask me, the GUI of OSX is fine and they should be hard at work making the core more efficient.
     
  16. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #16
    Deleting the WTF and WDB directories made a HUGE difference. It runs almost perfectly now, so a BIG thanks to you! :):)
     
  17. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

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    #17
    First, OSX is already damn good compared to other operating systems.
    Second, while "process juggling" may or may not be specifically addressed, most of the major improvements in Tiger are back-end things.
    Third, without the best GUI on the market, Apple wouldn't be Apple.
     
  18. invaLPsion macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

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    #18
    Are you sure? I don't think it is SMP aware, technically. In windowed mode, it only uses 40-60% of one of my processors.
     
  19. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #19
    I'm pretty sure rbarris said that WoW offloads sound and a few other tasks to the second CPU if available.

    Rob
     
  20. rbarris macrumors 6502

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    #20
    a couple points:

    WoW definitely is SMP aware, but there's no easy way for it to get to maximum CPU utilization - i.e. 100% of both processors. The graphics are on one thread, and tasks such as sound, networking, file loading, are on another thread. There is one little section of the graphics code that itself is SMP aware also. In general though, with a program as large and complicated as WoW is, expecting it to perfectly use every cycle on both CPU's is just not possible assuming a finite amount of development time.

    Also, note that WoW will deliberately sleep every frame for a few milliseconds if it detects that it is not the foreground application. This will drastically drop the frame rate and the observed CPU usage percentage if you are running Terminal "top" or Activity Monitor in front of WoW. We did this to make the user's machine more responsive in other apps if and when they switch to doing something else.
     
  21. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #21
    That's weird, both Menu Meters and Activity Monitor show constant load on both CPUs, and it's not other stuff, it's WoW. I'd say 40%-60% is about the average, but definitely on both. Are you sure one of your CPUs isn't disabled? I know there is a way to do that.

    EDIT: Looking at it again, it seems CPU "2" is definitely loaded more in general, around 60-70%, while CPU "1" hovers around 50%.
     
  22. rbarris macrumors 6502

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    #22
    It's common for a thread to migrate from one CPU to the other based on conditions which can change by the millisecond.

    Since Activity Monitor and other such tools display an average over some time window (say every second or so) - a simple test program stuck in an infinite loop, which you might expect to show 100% load on one CPU and 0 on the other, might show the same kind of thing - load spread across two CPU's in a 50/50 ratio.
     
  23. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #23
    Yes, I noticed increasing the monitoring refresh rate shows the differences of the graphs better, with more detail. Makes sense.
     
  24. ddtlm macrumors 65816

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  25. sirlethean macrumors newbie

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    #25
    Sweet! Glad I could help. :D
     

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