Mac Mini. World of Warcraft, and 1680x1050 monitors.

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by PowerGamerX, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. PowerGamerX macrumors 6502a

    PowerGamerX

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #1
    So is the 320m capable of pushing that high of a resolution in game with highest settings (Minus AA and AF, both of which would be near lowest, shadows would also be on medium-medium high)? I ask because, before I buy one, I want to make sure I know what I'm getting. I know the 320m isn't a gaming card by any means but I'd love to crank up the settings on WoW. I also wonder if it will still be able to push near max settings (in the case that it already does) when Cataclysm comes out.

    Anyway, thank you for your time.

    -Ryan
     
  2. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #2
    "Probably not". The 320M-equipped Mid-2010 Mac Mini has a 3DMark06 of 4400.

    Before the Mini I had a homemade desktop with a conroe Core2Duo, 4GB of memory and a GeForce 8800GT - which had a 3DMark06 of about 13,800. For WotLK, this was enough for 1440x900, 2x AA, 2x AF with view distance set to 2/3rds with a reliable 60fps, dropping to about 40fps in 25-mans, and about 25-30fps in Dalaran, with a decent number of mods that were not memory intensive (< 32MB total footprint) or CPU intensive. I could crank it up to 1920x1200 without AA/AF, but Dalaran framerates tended to plummet to around 15fps.

    To optimize for things like Dalaran, your framerate limiter is actually your disk. The reason being you have to load new textures/models into the cache before they can be displayed in the game viewport. I was aware that simply replacing the 7200rpm hard disk with an Intel X-25M at a time would've pushed Dalaran framerates to 60fps.

    However you still need decent fill-rate, which is hobbled by shared memory, and the 320M isn't a shader beast as well.

    The best comparable system that Apple makes would be the new top-tier 27" iMac, which should run 1680x1050 to 1920x1200 with 2xAA/4xAF without any issues on high detail.
     
  3. PowerGamerX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PowerGamerX

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #3
    Well, I can't exactly afford that, and WoW is the only game I play. Not to mention I already have a monitor and speakers set up.

    Anyway, do you think I could at least keep my settings on medium? I don't run around Dalaran a lot at all, most of my time is spent doing dungeons, 10 mans, and just running around doing quests. No 25 mans really. I'm not looking for extremely awesome frames. I would like to be able to get maybe 20 frames in Dalaran if I'm lucky and 30+ frames at almost every other time. I don't need 60 fps. Either way I'm going to buy the Mini though because the PowerBook is just getting a tad old now for my use. So I guess really anything would be an improvement

    -Ryan
     
  4. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG8uoza4VAY

    you won't want max settings in Dalaran or some raids, but the game is perfectly playable with good settings. I stick to a mix of medium/high and have no problems.
     
  5. PowerGamerX thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PowerGamerX

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #5
    Thank you! Good to know. I plan to keep shadows and view distance in the mid range because those seem to be the most taxing on the hardware.
     
  6. mrfoof82 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Location:
    Lawton, OK
    #6
    View distance murders everything. :)

    Again, the CPU, memory and disk (particularly the Seagate Momentus XT or an SSD) in the Mini is more than up to the task. The GPU is where it'll fall down in terms of being able to push higher quality. Part of that is being limited to 256MB of texture memory (which is main memory, not dedicated GDDR4 or GDDR5), the rest being shader performance and fill-rate limitations.

    You should be able to run at 1280x800 or 1440x900 at medium settings. Turn on UI scaling to maximize the physical size of the viewport.

    Also keep in mind there are real regressions in performance under 10.6.4 with nVidia drivers. It's not uncommon to boot into Windows 7 right now and get 70-80% higher frame rates. Once Apple releases drives the OS X/Windows delta should be somewhere between 10-15%. FWIW, under Windows 7 (and OS X 10.6.5) Starcraft II runs at 30-35fps on default settings (hits the 60fps cap in the cantina).
     
  7. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #7
    View distance maxed with shadows at halfway is perfectly fine in everything I've done so far. I have everything maxed except shadows (halfway), ground clutter density (halfway), ground clutter radius (halfway) and I get 30fps everywhere.

    Oh and this is at 1920x1080, so if you are playing at a lower resolution you will be more than fine.
     

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