WoW Performance Question

Discussion in 'Games' started by patseguin, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. patseguin macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #1
    I've been playing WoW on my P4 laptop because performance is so good on it. I fired the game up on my Dual G5 over the weekend just to check it out again and the performance isn't even in the same league as my Windows laptop. My question is; Is there more than one patch coming up that will deal with performance issues? If my toon runs straight, it is somewhat smooth. However, if he turns or I look somewhere else, it is very choppy. It is so bad that I often don't end up stopping where I want because of the poor frame rates. I would never do an important quest or fight any tough bad guys on the Mac client. My Mac is a dual 2.0Ghz G5 with 1GB RAM and 6800 Ultra.
     
  2. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

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    Tokyo
    #2
    I am guessing that you are getting a constant 60fps plus on your laptop, and then 30-60 frames on your G5, (unless you have a 30" Cinema, that might effect performance). I whole heartedly agree with you that the mac client needs work, and should run much smoother, but not being able to stop in the right place, and not wanting to fight "tough bad guys", I don't buy it. Your system should be getting 30-60 EASILY(again unless 30" Cinema), and I'm sure knowing that your laptop pc with far inferior specs is really why you are upset. But, I really don't feel for you, becuase I know many people who would kill to have one computer with the FPS you are getting, let alone 2.

    Rest assured Blizz is working hard on the mac client, Rob will hopefully post here to give us an update, or you could always check the blizz forums. :D
     
  3. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

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    Aug 28, 2003
    #3
    Hehe I know what you're saying about not feeling for me. :)

    I'm running a 20" ACD and WoW at 1680 X 1050 with everything maxed and all shader options on except for the "glow" option. I am getting nowhere near 30-60fps. I get between 20-30 outdoors and closer to 50 indoors. 20-30 really should be acceptable but it isn't. The game is very jerky when turning or trying to run around. I've had a few occasions where my toon would end up where he is supposed to, but the jerkiness delays it. There is no way I would trust the Mac client to run through VC or any other elite quest. My laptop is smooth as silk at ALL times. If you're interested, it is a Dell XPS 3.4GHz P4, 1GB RAM, 256MB Radeon Mobility 9800. Although it's a great machine, I still think the Mac has better specs and should perform better especially with the 6800 Ultra in there.
     
  4. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

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    #4
    Well, yeah, your mac does have a better vid card and CPU and ram, but, it's a mac, and the dirvers for the 6800 are still being worked on, and that is all on Apple's end. I do feel for you man, the 6800 SHOULD be unphased by WoW, but unfortunately Apple is not providing the best drivers, although I hear 10.3.7 made significant improvements.

    FWIW I get never go below 30fps with the computer in my sig, with all shaders except glow and death, and everything maxed, BUT clip plane set to half. Try setting the clip to half, or less than full, I know it sucks not seeing that far, but you should get WAY better performance.

    That being said, your comp should run it way better, but hey, at least you have your monster of a laptop :D
     
  5. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #5
    Yeah, I've heard that proper 6800 drivers aren't coming until Tiger. I will try the clip plane setting you mentioned and see how that affects things.

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Does that 10,000 rpm drive make a big difference in performance? I'm assuming the 160GB drive is the stock one from Apple?
     
  6. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

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    Aug 28, 2003
  7. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #7
    From what i understand... lag on apple computers is due to poor VM (virutal memory) swapping routeens. It makes sense to me cause often, my FPS are above severe choppiness, but it will chop for half a sec before redraw. I understand how you feel, but after the recent updates, i've found WoW to be most enjoyable. I run elite quests most of the time. But i'm only a lvl 23 now. Don't even know what VC is LOL. U might be alliance scum ;)

    I run the game at 12**x1024 (1280? i don't remember) with everything turned up and on (except glow). Running around the barrens i'll get 20-35 FPS. Entering town will drop it into the teens sometimes. The game is really playable for me at 20FPS (given that's it's redrawing at that rate). What's wierd is that the game doesn't redraw every frame, and i don't understand why.

    The faster harddrive shouldn't make any difference (except loading new areas and the game). I've got a seagate 160GB HD (23AS) in my PC and it never has loading issues. My G5 has a RAID 0, and it loads everything faster than my PC, but still had serious issues with FPS until the recent updates. I bet the game wounldn't get slow with a 4200RPM harddrive, just as long as all the other components were up to par. I'm rambling... should go
     
  8. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #8
    That's interesting, because I have the same machine as you except for the Raptor drive, and I often get below 30 fps. The range is anywhere from about 17 to 100, but outdoors it's usually around 20-30. I'm running the same settings as you are at 1280x960. The choppiness is still very prevalent, especially when turning. So I wonder about the hard drive. rbarris has said there are some VM swapping issues. One thing I notice is that WoW is not using nearly as much RAM as it could be. I have 1.5 GB of RAM, yet it never using more than a few hundred MB. If VM swapping is the cause of the choppiness, I hope they fix it to use the maximum amount of RAM for caching.
     
  9. kgapp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    WOW Performance

    I just thought I would jump in here to let you know about my PC vs Mac comparison for WoW. I am seeing the opposite results of what many people have commented on in this thread.

    I am currently running WoW on the following two systems: Dual G5 2.5GHZ with the 6800 @ 2560 x 1600 (30") and a P4 3.06GHZ with a Geforce Ti 4400 @ 1280 X 1024 (18.1")

    Even at the much higher screen resolution, the Mac runs this game much smoother than the PC counterpart. On my Mac all video options are at High and Shader effects are ON (except for full screen glow). On my PC all video options are at low and Shader Effects are OFF (they can not be enabled with a Geforce 4400).

    Now obviously the video card is playing a large role in this performance gap. The PC's video card is now two generations old and is getting a little long in the tooth. However, I imagine that most people (particularly those running the game on laptops) do not have the abslolute latest generation video card installed. Most people probably have a video card that is at least 1-2 generations old (except of course for hard core gamers on the cutting edge).

    As a comparison I typically get 25 - 40 fps outdoors and 60+ indoors on the Mac. My PC is lucky to get 15-20 fps outside and 40+ indoors. Irregadless of the actual frame rates the experience from machine to machine varies intensely. Gameplay on my PC is slow and choppy; somewhat aggrivating at times. The gameplay on my Mac is smooth as butter. If you have not played WoW at 2560X1600 you do not know what you are missing. It is truly an incredible experience.

    Now, obviously everyones expectations are different and it goes without saying that my hardware is an overkill for gaming. However, my experience with WoW on my particular Mac has been nothing short of extraordinairy. Blizzard has done a fine job with this title and should be commended for their efforts. If only I could have my life back and still play the game then all would be good with me.

    To those experiencing less than desirable results please keep in mind that performance will be a direct relation to the hardware you are running. My PC is 3.06 GHZ and the game is still choppy as can be. One suggestion I would make to all Mac users is to make sure they quit any open applications before running the game. This would include all background processes (activity monitor, launchbar, etc.) as each of these will cause a slight performance hit. If you are still not happy it may be time to think about some hardware upgrades.

    BTW to the person who commented about never going after VC on a Mac. We took down VC as a 4 person group (lvl 22 & 23's) the other night with no problems and I was the pally in charge of healing (the only healer in the group for that matter). No problems, nobody died, all was good. Now, if only the idiot rogue that was with us would have passed on the 1 handed mace dropped at the end instead of rolling for it, picking it up and soulbinding a bad a$$ item he will never be able to use.

    Anyway, good luck to all and see you in the game...
     
  10. applemacdude macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

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    #10
    It is known thru the beta that blizzard did not finish optimization of the mac side....they just contunued helping the pc side while the mac sife suffers
     
  11. G5guy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    #11
    I have the same system (2GHz, 1.5GB, NVIDIA 6800 Ultra, 1600x1024) and I play the game all the time. What I learned were as follows:

    1) When you enter a new area, spin 360. There will be jerkiness as the game loads all the texture maps onto the graphics card. The framerate is then very smooth. With low detail and terrain distance, this is almost unnecessary since few textures are loaded. This also occured on my 2Ghz Athlon with GF4 Ti4600 but much worse with full settings. With default settings there was no jerkiness at all.

    2) In the above case - the Mac ran 20-30 FPS spinning in front of Stormwind; the PC 24-30 but was much jerkier getting started. When walking jerkier as well -(I think the GF4 could not load all the textures at max settings).

    3) When I tried running WoW with the stock 5200 ultra and 512 RAM - was jerly all the time. I checked and this ocurred when the OS VM swapped. And it did it often with no other apps up but system monitor.

    4) I then added the 6800 Ultra and no RAM yet, and while frame rates went up significantly - I maxed at 60-100 with the same settings as the 5200 - then jumped all to max and I get 15-60 depending where I am but avg around 40. This is fine for the game but I would still get the jerkiness when VM swaps occured. Very annoying.

    5) I added the xtra 1GB and the VM stopped and I have no trouble. I can't see how the charactor could not be controllable. It is very playable at max settings, which I run. If you really wanted smoother action, the terrain setting is by far the most important. The others just don't affect the 6800 Ultra with its 256MB VRAM. I went to minimum and the frame rates went to 60 fps avg. The 5200 would be very playable too with enough memory and default settings. This bodes well for the G5 iMac.

    6) The Mac Opengl drivers are just not optimized yet. For the same hardware, the PC will have higher frame rates. Rob has said Blizzard, NVIDIA/ATI and Apple are working the drivers. But with WoW at least, it is just not that important when the main thing in battle is pointing the right way and fast control of the hotkeys. For control issues, it is far more likely your net connection lag suddenly goes high with your setup. My latency is always around 100-200.
     
  12. Rezet macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

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    Connecticut, United States of America
    #12

    Almost exact same question has been asked many, many times already here. Please search the forums first.
     
  13. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    #13
    G5guy: I did what you said about spinning 360 first and it actually worked quite well. I wonder how often I have to do that since the scenery is always changing as I travel. It seemed pretty smooth and I played for a couple hours with not many problems. I did finally display the frame rates and I was getting a pretty steady 20-24 fps outdoors in Darkshire. Still unacceptable for the hardware I have, but definitely playable.
     
  14. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #14
    I know a lot of people have said that WoW isn;t using all the available memory on their systems, and that a lot of the slowdowns occur during memory paging... I wonder if this could be tested and proved the problem by creating a ram disc and telling os x to create its swapfile there... assuming someone with say 2 gigs of ram could make a 1gb ramdisc/pagefile in ram, and then check their framerates before and after, I would think that would be pretty conculsive...

    Just a thought!
    Rob
     
  15. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    Jun 22, 2004
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    Kushiel's Scion
    #15
    I disagree only slightly here; the 5200 does not give good performance, no matter what. On my PM 1.8SP, 2.5 GB RAM, my 5200 *crawled* with WoW. Absolutely horrible. I do have to qualify that I play on a 20" widescreen monitor so my resolution is up there. Unfortunately I've turned down or off just about every feature for "barely acceptable" performance.

    I then found a site that had new ATI 9600 cards and picked one up for $100. That made a big difference but WoW performance still isn't that good.

    With 2.5 GB of RAM and no other apps running it certainly isn't paging or swapping; be it WoW, Apple, or ATI, the OpenGL performance leaves a lot to be desired.

    I'm toying with another video card upgrade...my WoW addiction demands it! :)

    (Can anyone give some settings examples for some decent performance? I did several hundered iterations and didn't find anything that really helped.)

    BTW, the texture load spinning trick does work; I've been doing that since beta. Also, the more zones you visit (more textures) the better performance you'll see if you exit the game and re-enter. When I know I'm going to be in a zone for a bit doing quests, I exit and re-enter the game.
     
  16. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

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    Aug 28, 2003
    #16
    (Can anyone give some settings examples for some decent performance? I did several hundered iterations and didn't find anything that really helped.)

    I did the same thing. Putting everything on the minimum setting seemed to have no effect on frame rates. I'd be willing to bet we'll see some differences when Tiger comes out.
     
  17. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    Jan 6, 2004
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    Western US
    #17
    Open up Activity Monitor and put WoW into windowed mode. Select the Disk Activity tab in AM. Now run around in WoW and keep an eye on the disk swapping. I think you will find that even though your Mac has gobs of available RAM, it is doing a bunch of swapping, and that often the glitching corresponds to a disk read or write ("data in" / data out") spike. I have 1.5 GB or RAM and yet WoW never uses more than 280 MB, clearly it could be doing more efficient cacheing. I might suspect that my 64 MB of VRAM isn't enough, but I have not heard anyone relate the amount of VRAM to the glitching. Whether people have 32 MB or 256 MB, it's the same complaint. I really think VM swapping is the culprit here. The ultimate fix may not be to allow WoW to grab and lock down more resident RAM, but that seems like a good option to give us until the engine can be tuned better. I paid for that RAM, I'd like to put it to use whenever I can. The entire installed game folder is only something like 4GB, I should be able to keep the textures for my entire territory and any adjacent to it in RAM at once. Reloading when entering or leaving instances or when hearthstoning is fine with me, and I can accept the hit of dynamic loading while flying on gryphon back as well.
     
  18. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

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    NYC
    #18
    Is it just me, or did Blizzard break WoW more than its fixed in the latest patches. Now, I haven't played retail (only beta), but on my eMac w/ 1GB ram, the game ran fairly decently. I mean, it was far from smooth (10-20fps outdoors, 30+ indoors), but one thing I did NOT notice was swapping, stuttering, or odd choking when turning in game. Even with the eMac's measily 32mb VRAM, the framerate was always consistent, though not terribly high. I'm actually surprised of hearing all these reports of dual G5's with 2GB RAM and Geforce 6800 Ultra's having stuttering problems.
     
  19. Abulia macrumors 68000

    Abulia

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    Jun 22, 2004
    Location:
    Kushiel's Scion
    #19
    I agree with you. Perhaps my statement should have been, "with 2.5 GB of RAM it shouldn't be paging or swapping." I don't know what WoW is doing but it seems pretty absurd that we (collectively) aren't getting very good performance.

    Now that you mention it, I do hear much more disk thrashing after the last WoW patch.
     
  20. G5guy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    #20
    From Don M.:
    It sounds like your trying to run 1600x1000 on a low cost, OEM card. It just is not going to do that well. I ran it at 1024x640 on the 5200 at the WoW default settings and it played nearly as smooth as I am on my 6800 ultra at max settings (it did have a slightly more frequent stutter -but not much more- probably due to the low VRAM even with lower texture detail (everyone should lower texture details with lower VRAM cards). The NVIDIA 5200 card is known for not having a high pixel rate compared to ATI 9600 cards, which is why that card would improve at hi rez. Changing the rez on my 6800 didnt affect anything due to its killer pixel calc rate.

    I also use the right mouse button to steer instead of keys - smoother and more control.

    Also, if you look at the data folder, the texture and terrain data files alone are huge - 1.6GB total! The WoW folder is 4GB, so unless you have 5GB or more of RAM to play with, the RAM disk won't help much (I was going to try that - great suggestion). If somebody can put the whole folder on a RAM disk, give it a shot. You can even make a disk using the commandline or buy a GUI utility. Google it. Rob should know if it is possible to 'force' the OS to load data into RAM and not allow it to be swapped. Even with gobs of RAM available, the OS holds huge amounts of the OS and apps in VM.

    On the PC side, another thing I notice is that WoW does not like Quadro cards. I have two PCs with different versions and both eventually die. The 1100FX BSODed after 10 minutes - so I am sticking with my G5 and reduced frame rate :) (I wanted to check out my new 5.1 sound card on the PC). The GF 4600 seems to work fine in my 3rd PC.

    FWIW - WoW addict
     
  21. Converted2Truth macrumors 6502a

    Converted2Truth

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    #21
  22. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    #22
    As far as RAM disks go, what I was suggesting is not to copy the whole game into RAM (you'd need what like 5-6gb to do that... 4 for the game and 1 or 2 more to work with), but rather to create a 786mb or so RAM disk on a system with 1.5gb's of ram or there abouts (much more reasonable) and then tell OS X to use that RAM disk for the page file... so that the VM page file has access times that are as fast as having the game fullly optimized to use all available RAM. This would/should be something that we as users can do, as opposed to waiting for an official patch... assuming that you can force OS X to use a specific drive as the target for the VM swap file...

    Would be interesting to see the results, imo.

    Rob
     
  23. Munntendo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    #23
    I have a feeling that I'm going to be terribly disapointed in the answer to this question, but here it goes anyway...

    I have a 12" Powerbook, 1.33 Ghz G4, an nVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200, and I'm currently awaiting the shipment of an extra RAM card to meet the minimum 512 MB requirement. I have the game installed but I'm not willing to start my one month trial until I have the extra RAM.

    I've been reading a lot of complaints about terrible performance in WoW using the 5200. I'm just curious, if anyone happens to be running the game on a similair setup, is this going to be sufficient or have I wasted my money on both the game and the extra RAM? And if my performance with this setup does in fact turn out to be as bad I fear it will, is ther anything I could do to improve it short of waiting for patches or driver updates? (While keeping in mind that I am in no way prepared to buy a new computer be it Mac or PC)

    *fingers crossed* :confused:
     
  24. yamabushi macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

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    Oct 6, 2003
    #24
    Your suspicions are correct. Wow will unfortunately not run well at all with your hardware. It might be playable with all the graphics options turned off at minimum resolution. Expect jerkiness in any event. However, future patches might improve things for you and are expected to appear soon.
     
  25. patseguin thread starter macrumors 65816

    patseguin

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    Aug 28, 2003
    #25
    Well, I added another 1GB RAM to my Dual 2.0 G5, bringing it to 2GB. WoW seems to perform quite good now. I'm not sure if it's my imagination or not though. I still have to do the 360 spin when I enter a new zone to eliminate stuttering.
     

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