WoW on my stock MacBook: It runs fantastically!

Discussion in 'Games' started by iHeartTheApple, May 27, 2006.

  1. macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Ok, so I loaded WoW on my stock, 2.0GHz MacBook with 512MB RAM and a 60GB HDD in OS X to check it out...So many people have been saying it will never run. Here are my results:

    resolution: 1280x800
    mode: full screen
    settings: medium
    max: 39fps
    min: 7fps
    avg: ~19-21fps

    Changing from full screen to windowed mode increases all the above numbers by about 3-6fps depending on where I am. In Stormwind with people running around the bank, I was averaging about 18-20fps. In Ironforge, depending on where I was it ranged from 7-20fps...The auctionhouse and bank were what dropped me to 7ish fps.

    Furthermore, if I dropped my screen resolution from 1280x800 to 1152x768 to 800x600, I found an increase of 2-5fps per decreased setting. Changing my graphics settings from high to medium to low further increased my frame rate by about 2-4fps per decreased setting (decreasing all settings simultaneously, not one at a time).

    I rolled a night elf priest on the Akama server (my mains are on Deathwing) just to see how the noob grounds are and it's really quite wonderful! I'm getting 25-30fps everywhere in Teldrassil. In the spider tunnel in Aldrassil my frame rate average jumped up to 38fps! :eek:

    At no point during regular grinding or farming did I ever get choppy framerates. BTW, this was all done with iChat, Safari, and Ventrilo running alongside WoW. I think that WoW runs absolutely superbly considering how much trash talk has haunted the MacBook's integrated graphics! I wouldn't even consider this to be a "temporary, emergency" gaming maching (read: last option available)...I would have absolutely no problem playing on it as my sole gaming rig.

    Keep in mind, this is a *stock* white 2.0GHz MB we're talking about here. My 2GB of RAM and 7200rpm Seagate Momentus are still in the mail...I can't wait 'til they show up at my doorstep next week!

    Those of you who are mainly interested (not sure about other games yet) in playing WoW on your current (or future) MacBooks need not worry. This thing is more than powerful enough to do what we WoW'ers want...more than enough! I'll finish by saying that the last 2 hours of WoW goodness has not only completely blown me away in terms of expected versus realized performance, but it has made me feel even better about my purchase! I'll tell ya, I can't even wipe the smile off my face right now...:) Happy questing...:D
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    Thanks very much for this post. Just what I was looking for.
     
  3. macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    Old York
    #3
    before someone jumps in and says 20fps is crap WoW is an mmorpg, it's not framerate dependent, 20fps looks perfectly smooth on it as nothing is fast moving. heck it's perfectly possible to play the game at 6fps it's just not pretty.
     
  4. MRU
    macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #4
    :) :) Yep that's what my experience with HL2 on HIGH averaging 20-25 felt like. Smooth. But trust me, the usual suspects are going to be posting that those results are nothing and your all wasting your time.. :)
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #5
    That sounds about the same as my 1.5GHz PowerBook with Radeon Mobility 9700 graphics card - perhaps even a bit faster. (although I haven't played WoW for quite a while, so I'm sure you're running a newer version of it)

    Not bad at all.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #6
    Please give us some updates when you get your ram.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #7
    Will do. I can't wait to see how it affects things. Hector, you're absolutely right! :) 20fps makes WoW look great as there are very few effects and events that require many more frames per second. I can not comment on other, more complex games like Doom3 or Sims...I'm sure they have more stringent requirements for playable frame rates. All I know is that I could play WoW on my MB without anymore ram or a faster hard drive and probably be perfectly satisfied.

    In fact, to be completely honest (don't call me crazy or anything :p ) I have considered not buying the 20" iMac w/256MB of vRAM because of how well it plays WoW. We'll see, but I suspect that despite the fact that I consider myself a "hardcore" gamer within the games I play, I'm starting to get the feeling that my gaming needs are not as advanced as the people who are opposed to integrated graphics. If it can play WoW, Ghost Recon/Raven Shield, maybe UT2004, and the Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar MMO (when it comes out later this year) then I'll be happy as a pig in mud. :D
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #8
    Try playing an FPS at 20 FPS, however... :eek:
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    #9
    Its also worth noting that WoW is heavily RAM-dependent. It realistically *needs* 1 GB - and that is on Windows. My brother played for a long time on 512 MB before he upgraded to a gig. Before upgrading he'd get a lot of hardware lag in the major cities. Sounds like you are getting some good results.

    BTW, are you running this off of Bootcamp/Windows or OSX? It looks like you are running OSX, which is especially impressive considering that apps almost always run better in Windows.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    I've been running in OS X. When my new (larger capacity) hard drive shows up in the mail next week, I think I'll take the BootCamp/Windows deal for a spin. I'll post back with WoW results there, too. :)
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #11

    Of course, this thread isn't about playing a FPS on a MacBook... :p
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    #12
    Just a question: can you be more specific about the settings? Also, is the bottom left side of the video settings enabled? In my iBook 1.33 it is, but not in the office's Intel Mini.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    iHeartTheApple

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    The bottom lefthand side is greyed out for me. So I don't have the option to enable those settings. :( However, in the middle of the menu (terrain distance, detail, etc.), I have everything at the halfway point on the sliders. I've been messing around with different combinations of each of the settings. In the end, it seems that theres only a bit of difference between one setting and the next. :)

    In fact, I just logged off of WoW for the night and I got a new high framerate: 41fps! Woohoo! :D
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Rickay726

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #14
    what is so damn good about that game.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    #15
    The reason it is enabled on your iBook is the Radeon 9550...it's capable of all the fun fragment shaders in OpenGL that the Intel Mini's GMA950 isn't capable of. Actually, if you had a 1.2GHz iBook with the Radeon 9200, it wouldn't be available there, either.
     
  16. macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    Old York
    #16
    some shaders are allowed with a 9200, a patch will probably allow some with gma 950 latter on.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    #17
    My wife's eMac 1.25GHz (Radeon 9200) disagrees...there might be some default shadres enabled, but that whole portion of the screen is greyed out.
     
  18. macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    Old York
    #18
    oh, i could of sworn i saw some available when i ran WoW on an apple store mini (my installation is on my ipod)
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    invaLPsion

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2004
    Location:
    The Northlands
    #19
    I bet if you loaded BootCamp and played WoW on Windows it would run twice as fast. You should check it out.
     
  20. macrumors 68000

    Abulia

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Kushiel's Scion
    #20
    Ummm, no. The Mac client is pretty optimized as-is. With that said, there likely would be a small frame-rate bump running from Windows. Twice as fast? No way.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #21
    Enable Full Screen Glow.

    That effect cripples a Mac, and has absolutely 0 affect a Windows-based PC.

    There are some features that do indeed run better on Windows - twice as fast? I doubt it, but it is possible. It's not because of the hardware, but mostly because alot of graphics in WoW are optimized for DirectX.

    And 20 FPS is far from fantastic. Sure, you can get by and at low levels it is fine. I've played on 20 fps, and it is not smooth, and if you've ever played at 60-70 fps, 20 fps would drive you mad.

    Plus, enter a large raid (MC/Ony/ZG/etc) (or go in Ironforge, Org.) and that 20 fps will drop like a brick, and be more like 4-7 fps - which is entirely unplayable.

    If you are not getting 50+ fps, don't even consider molten core, battle grounds, and large-group raids.

    Basically, to get the same FPS as a windows machine you need to disable settings and use lower graphics quality. With equal settings, the FPS is much higher on the Windows machine.

    For example, a dual-core 2.0ghz PM with 2.5gb of ram and 128mb video was getting around 24 fps with all settings on medium.
    My bro's single-core 2gz PC with 1gb and on-board video with the exact same settings averaged 47-49 fps.

    Even though the PC was "lesser" it ran WoW nearly twice as well. Granted, this is a PC vs G5 example, and an Intel comparison is not as drastic - but I can promise you the difference is still quite noticable.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Location:
    west of Philly
    #22
    Not sure how it would be on the MacBook, but with the MacBook Pro it's a pretty significant jump. I was getting frame rates in the teens 14-17 running in a busy city on the OSX side, on the Windows side, same settings I'm in the mid 20s.

    Granted it's not quite twice as fast and not a very controlled experiment because of the nature of MMOs, but the performance difference was very noticable and enough for me to uninstall the Mac client and run it just on the Windows side.
     
  23. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    #23
    Are you kidding me? I hate it when people make these kinds of broadly sweeping assumptions. Maybe unplayable for you, maybe you wouldn't even consider MC or other large-group raids, but to speak for everyone is ignorant. I get around 20 fps on average and have no problem running MC, BWL, or AQ40.
     
  24. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    #24
    Hi all -

    You will see additional FPS improvements to the Mac OSX WoW client in upcoming releases. Some of the changes are dependent on newer GL drivers and won't engage until those happen, but we are making good progress on closing the gap with Windows frame rates on the same hardware.

    stay tuned-

    Rob
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    Josh

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Location:
    State College, PA
    #25
    Are you kidding me? 4-7 FPS is unplayable, there would be huge gaps in what you see and what is actually happening. That's not opinion, that's fact.

    If you get 20 FPS in normal areas, where there are few people and no crazy effects going on, I highly doubt you run MC/BWL/AQ without problems.

    20 FPS is not smooth. I'm not saying that "it is kinda smooth, but maybe a little here and there." It isn't smooth, and that's a fact. It is noticibly jerky, and I highly doubt I'm the only person who is able to notice that.

    Once you get a smooth frame rate (30 FPS+), you won't notice any difference between 35 FPS and 500 FPS, even though 500 FPS would be insanely smooth, your eyes can't pick out the difference between that and what appears to them as smooth at around 30 FPS or so.

    Movies for example are shot and shown on around 27 FPS on average, as that is what they've determined we can preceive as "smooth" and fluid.

    Now, even though 30 FPS is going to appear fluid, ideally you want to average more than that, since very busy places and places that have explosions and nice effects are going to drop your framerate, and you don't want that drop to go below a certain amount, definitely not down to 20.

    So if you average 50-60 FPS, busy places and the drop in framerate might bring you down to 35-40, and that will still be smooth.

    Average 20 FPS, and high-effect places dropping it even more isn't going to be smooth, sorry but here's no two ways about it.
     

Share This Page