New iMac for World of Warcraft - need help

Discussion in 'iMac' started by herb666, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. herb666 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    I want to buy a new 27" iMac for normal web browsing, music streaming, photo editing and World of Warcraft.

    I've read that World of Warcraft is quite CPU dependent, so would the i7 ( 3,3 vs. 4,0 GHz ) be the better choice?

    Should I choose the m395 or the m395x to play with good framerates?

    Unfortunately, I couldn't find any benchmarks with this exact configurations to compare if it's worth the extra cost. What do you all mean? i5 / i7 and m395 / m395x?
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The i7 will make no difference to you there are only 1 or 2 games that utilise hyperthreading available and that is it's main bonus.

    The better the graphics the better the frame rate especially in raids etc.
  3. makrom macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2015
    For WoW, the CPU:GPU-ratio is higher than for most other 3D games. I guess this sentence can easily be misunderstood, it doesn't mean that the CPU matters more than the GPU, nor that the CPU matters more than for other games, it's about the ratio.
    That being said, I'm pretty sure that the CPU of all the current 27" should be way more than what WoW can put to good use, unless something iffy is going on, most likely some extremely performance hungry mods or some background applications. These days, WoW uses some mild threading, but not to a degree where it would be beneficial to support more than 4 at high speed.
    Since the current iMacs have quite strong CPUs, but rather mediocre GPUs, the CPU really shouldn't be an issue. Whether the GPU is enough depends a lot on the resolution you use. From what I know, not even the M395X will be nearly enough to run it at 5k. While some benchmarks mention numbers around 20 FPS (which isn't exactly fast), from my experience, these benchmarks are usually highly unrealistic since WoW gameplay has extremely varrying demand on the GPU. Situations with many active objects as commonly found in raids can easily slow down the FPS to 1/4 or more. But if you play in 1440p, just make sure you'll avoid the M380.

    As little disclaimer: I haven't played WoW since 2010, but I know many people who actively play WoW whith whom I talk about these things.
  4. codger macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2015
    Cobham, England
    I have a late 2015 iMac with i7, 4,0 Ghz and m395. I am using low resolution (compared to what is available) and everything works perfectly on WoW and Diablo 3. Frame rates are 60ps + and back of computer does not even get warm.
  5. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    I had a m395 (returned it since and got the m395x) and you can see my frame rates here on the m395:

    WoW (new character - Pandaren) - Ultra settings at 2560x1440 - 38fps
    High - 45
    1080p - Ultra: 45
    High - 58-64 fps

    I haven't bothered to run WoW on the M395x yet but user MandiMac says in this thread he sees WoW on "max settings" at 60 fps on 1440p resolution:

    IMO you should get the i5 + M395X.
  6. makrom macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2015
    38 vs 60 FPS sounds like way too much of a difference to be attributed to the GPUs. WoW shouldn't be able to put the extra RAM to good use at 1440p and other than that, the difference between them is rather small.
  7. Palar macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2015
    I think i5 3.3ghz and m395 will be price efficient and powerful enough for world of warcraft retail because I have the i7 and m395x and let me tell you this, the benchmarks are correct, but if you only turn shadows settings down to "low" then you can have everything else set on ultra 5k resolution with steady 60fps, no issue. And the fan is so quiet.

    Although I used to get worse results when playing on OS X. Just make sure you play WoW on Windows 10 and you will get a significant improvement in framerates.

    The high end iMac is a gaming computer (if the only game you play is World of Warcraft xD)
  8. herb666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    From 38 to 60 FPS... that is a gain of 60% from m395 to m395x? That would be awesome? :)
  9. saberfi macrumors member


    Oct 7, 2015
    Haha - this thread is of relevance to myself as well.

    Heavily debating whether to go for iMac 5k 395/395X or brand new silent gaming PC build with a 4k display.

    I'm mostly a WoW player though - so I can't say I need an overwhelming amount of horsepower to run games, so iMac would likely work just fine, plus I'd get 5k and table top aesthetics.. just unsure of the GPU to choose.

    First world problems, I suppose, but this surely is a hard decision.
  10. realmford macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2015
    Just to be clear - the recommendation to get the highest end 27'' Imac for WOW is strictly for playing in 5k, correct? I ask because it seems steep to go $2.3k or more on a machine strictly to play an 11 year old game. Surely a 21.5'' with its non dedicated GPU could handle the game just fine on ultra settings in 1080p?? Just confused about why the recommendation is to get the highest end GPU Imac to play Wow.
  11. makrom macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2015
    Not sure about playing FHD ultra on an IGP. WoW might be an old game, but it has become more demanding through the years, got many incremental graphic improvements and using such an old engine isnt ideal from an optimization point of view.
    But none the less, you are basically right. Disregarding 5k, there really shouldn't be any need for the M395X. As Palar suggested, maybe you shouldn't use the very highest setting for shadows. They have always been known as performance killers in WoW and frankly don't even look that great on the highest setting.
  12. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    You're right. I don't know what zone the other user recorded his FPS in, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.

    I just installed wow on my m395x and here is the results - new character, pandaren starting zone.

    ultra - 1440p: 45 (vs 38 from m395)
    high - 1440p: 52.4 (vs 45 from m395)

    ultra - 1080p: 57.5 (vs 45)
    high - 1080p: 69 (vs 64)

    I wish I had a chance to compare the two side by side, but unfortunately I did not have them shipped at the same time.
  13. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    This is biased towards windows PCs and desktop Windows PCs at that, but

    Logical Increments: World of Warcraft

    There are screenshots of each graphical preset...
  14. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    Bear in mind that unless the Mac graphics have improved dramatically since I last played Wow, you're better off installing Bootcamp and playing in Windows as DirectX will give you a massive graphics boost in comparison to native Mac gaming.
    I used to get 25fps in Ogrimmar with MacOS, then 60fps switching to Bootcamp/Win7 in the same position in the game.
  15. HagusofNWN macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2008
    Full Disclosure: I unsubbed earlier this year.

    I have played WoW from the end of Cataclysm through Warlords. I am gaming on a Late 2012 27" iMac(i7,3.4Ghz,16Gb Ram,NVIDIA GTX680 MX(2Gb Ram). I lock my framerate to 60FPS.

    The only time that there is any stress while playing WoW is during a Raid, which I did, and is also the primary reason I am taking a break from WoW. The starting zones and general leveling and even dungeons don;t tax the system enough even on higher frame rates. Your add-ons, if you use them, may also be a factor as they take up memory and many of them run in realtime like DBM.

    I chose my specs mostly based on how long I want to own my iMac before I refresh it. Net result for me was that WoW was very playable even while I was raiding.
  16. jitgill macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2015
    Sydney Australia
    Repost, this might help:

    I am quite happy with the gaming performance of my iMac 5k i7 r395x 8GB. I did not buy this to be a gaming machine, because it's not suppose to be one, however I do play WoW and I am amazed that I am able to play WoW at 5k on high settings and still get up to 36fps, and even in battle it may go down to about 25 fps, which for me, is still quite playable. Of course 5K will not work in big dungeons or raids, for that I will have to lower the res quite a bit I am sure, but for me it is a nice trade off in fps for the incredible eye candy. A couple of 5K screenshots included. This is under OSX with the new WoW patch 6.2.3, seems faster than last month's patch.

    Attached Files:

  17. herb666 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2014
    Today the price of the i5 with m395 and 2TB FD come down to 2159 € compared to Apple edu store price of i5 m395x with 256 ssd is 2725 € i don´t know if it´s worth :-(
  18. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    For what it's worth, i play WoW on my 2011 iMac with no issues; I have most settings at Fair, with a few at Good or high, and it gets a solid 30FPS during raid.

    Attached Files:

  19. saberfi macrumors member


    Oct 7, 2015
    Where exactly? I haven't noticed a difference in pricing at least in the Apple store. Would definitely be interested in the machine and that configuration @ that price point.

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18 November 18, 2015