Max video setting for WOW with iMac 27 3.4GHz 4GB RAM and 2GB Video Card

Discussion in 'iMac' started by seasurfer, May 27, 2011.

  1. seasurfer macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    What is the max setting you achieve and able to play smoothly?

    I set everything to ultra and my Frame rate becomes 15. Playable but kind of slow. Is it because I only have 4Gb of RAM?

    What are the best setting?
  2. archer75 macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2005
    You don't need more than 4gb of ram for WoW. The game doesn't even use 2gb of ram.

    I move the slider to ultra and then change AF to 8x. You'll get perfectly good frame rates. 40+

    Even better in Windows where you can also get ultra and 16x AF and 4x AA with similar performance to OSX.
  3. seasurfer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Dec 12, 2007
    Do you use the wireless keyboard and magic mouse to play or do you use a wired one?
  4. archer75 macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2005
    wired keyboard and razer deathadder mouse.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Mostly it's video settings.

    But the answer also partially depends on what else you have running on your iMac when you are playing WoW. In general 4GBs is enough if you don't have much other stuff going on.
    While the game itself doesn't use more than 2GB, there are files that WoW uses that are cached in memory. The more memory you have, the more of this data that can be cached in memory. However, that still doesn't necessarily mean you need more than 4GBs.

    However, lets look on my system for a moment for real memory usage:
    • Firefox 600 Megs
    • Safari 250 Megs
    • iTunes 300 Megs
    • Mail 100 Megs
    • Adium 100 megs
    • Kernel 400 Megs
    • WindowServer process 100 megs
    • etc
    Note that these numbers are rounded up at most by 10 megs and I didn't include all the various processes taking up memory.

    Anyway, that's 1750 Megs of stuff I have running not counting what I'm currently working on or playing.

    One way to find out if you're memory bound is in terminal run: du -ms /var/vm
    On my system it's 256 - which is in megabytes. In general the best way to check this is a few time over a few of days normal usage after restarting the system.

    On my system with only 4GB of ram, it frequently went to 2048 or more for swapfile usage. At 8GB ram, it stays at 256MB swapfile usage.

    So in short 4GB is possibly enough, but it may not be and the best way to check is to see how much swapfile space is in use. In all probability if you do need more memory, you won't need to go to more than 8GB.
  6. archer75 macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2005
    Let me add, I started playing WoW on this new imac with the stock 4gb of ram. I didn't add more ram till 2 weeks later. Didn't notice a difference.
  7. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    To get decent frame rates and smooth play, you need to make sure you disable sunshafts and put shadows on low or fair.
    Running 2550x1440 I get 40-60 fps outside the AH in a capital city and 100+ everywhere else if not capped.
    It's a good idea to limit fps to the screen refresh via Vsync as it allows the fps to stabilise instead of roller-coasting.
    Use a fan control program to up the fan speeds a bit and everything will run cooler than if you leave it to the OS, wow does make the machine run very hot.
    Also, turn off the network speed option, it does nothing apart from inducing lag and disconnects.
  8. archer75 macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2005
    I get the same results leaving sunshafts and shadows on. It's AF at 16x that's the killer. Drop it down to 8x.
  9. sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    Can you tell me what FPS you can get in crowded areas when using Ultra as the base setting and drop AF down to 4x and Anisotropic filtering down to 8x?


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