World of Warcraft - OS X or Bootcamp ?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by Dr. McKay, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Dr. McKay macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 20, 2010
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    Belgium, Europe
    #1
    I have a 24" iMac (2.8 Ghz, 4Gb of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro with 256Mb). I've finally decided to get into World of Warcraft.

    However, we all know that gaming performance is OS X is generally much worse than in Windows. Since I have a bootcamp partition with Vista, it would be obvious to play Wow in Windows. But I rarely use Vista and the thing is, having to reboot every time I would like to play Wow (which I plan to play a lot) is far from ideal. I'm even considering removing the Vista partition entirely.

    However, there's still that performace issue. I have OS X.5.8 and have played the WoW trial in OS X. I have to say that I could crank the detail to nearly maximum settings, playing at the native resolution of 1920x1200. Animation didn't suffer, everything was swift and smooth.
    Since WoW's system requirements aren't steep at all when compared to the newest games, I was wondering whether playing in Windows would give me a better experience.
    If it will only give me 3 frames per second more than in OS X, then it wouldn't be worth the bother. Maybe having 4Gb of RAM is OS X helps reducing loading times, in comparison with 32-bit Vista where RAM usage is limited to 3GB.

    Anyone here who played Wow in both OS's ?
     
  2. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #2
    Blizzard are excellent at native mac code, WoW runs fine under OSx, you might, if your really struggling, get a few more FPS out of the bootcamp version, but this is due to the fact that the windows drivers are optimised and updated more often than the MAC drivers, unless your still using the bootcamp drivers for your windows install.

    As far as WoW goes, stick with native, the biggest thing thats going to hold you back performance wise is the 256mb Video ram, you might need to drop your texture resolution to get best performance under either OS
     
  3. Parthos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    #3
    Games rung Great on OSX!! What you talking about?

    I don´t know what you´ve been smoking, but games as easy to run as WOW runs perfect on OSX. I have a black macbook from back in 2006 with an Intel GMA (64MB video Ram), and WOW runs super smooth and no lag, and I didn´t have to touch a single setting.

    Anyway, when you buy from Blizzard you can download the Windows or Mac version from Battlenet all you want. :)
     
  4. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 20, 2010
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    Belgium, Europe
    #4
    I don't smoke, but I have been drinking a lot lately :D

    Anyway, I can understand that Blizzard's games run really good on the OS X side. I bought Warcraft 3 at the time when I still had a G4/800 Powermac with a very modest 32Mb ATI Radeon.
    However, I've played Bioshock in both Vista and OS X and I must say that the experience in Vista is a lot smoother, mostly because I don't use the bootcamp drivers for my ATI card but the latest Catalyst drivers instead.
    In all honesty, I've played the Starcraft 2 demo in both Windows and OS X, and the difference isn't really noticeable.
    So I guess that Blizzard really does optimise its games for whichever OS they run on...
     
  5. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #5
    Blizzard do a really good job on writting ground up for the MAC os. im not sure about bioshock, but most other publishers (Valve excluded) usually just use some kind of wrapper, cider/wine or something "in house" to run the PC version on MAC os, i for one will buy a valve or blizzard game without thought for the MAC os, but any other game, ill research and avoid if its running under some form of emulation wrapper, hopefully publishers will learn from blizzard and valve that MAC owners are no longer second rate when it comes to gaming, and our share of the market is going to grow in the years to come.

    I hold Dragon Age Origins as an example of how NOT to release a MAC verison,

    PC version under boot camp runs on my MBP all settings on high, no problems,
    Mac (cider wrapper i believe) runs like a dog, barely able to play on low settings, looks poor, jerky frame rate and no ability to connect online to download content.

    there is NO excuse for this , ive played about with wineskin and the PC version of DA;O and i can get it running better than the so called professional conversion done for the retail MAC version.
     
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    Hmm, tried WoW the last year? After the graphics engine overhaul it's been a lot more demanding. On my i5 with 8GB ram and GT330 gfx it runs 40ish fps at high settings if i turn of sunglare and turn down liquids. If i turn them up i get about 20 FPS. In raids i do drop below 20 fps occasionally.

    I recently tried wow on a macbook with x3100 gfx (slightly faster than yours) and it did 15 fps at lowest settings in stormwind.

    Wow does not run smooth on anything with less gfx than the nvidia 9400M
     
  7. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #7
    my Nvidia 8600m GT with 512mb runs it happily with the water setting turned down 1 setting (so no real time reflections)

    but its my understanding from the benchmarks ive looked at that the 8600 is on par with the 330m under osx, its only under windows you see the 330 being better because of Direct x 11 support not present in the 8600
     
  8. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #8
    The 8600 is almost twice as fast as the 9400M.
    I had same machine you had before i got the i5 with 330m, and the 330m is roughly 25% faster in wow, this could be partly because the i5 beats the C2D cpu.
    But yes, 8600m GT runs WoW just fine.

    I do game in Windows a lot, but I don't have WoW on my windows partition since it runs so good in OSX
     
  9. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium, Europe
    #9
    Apparently, one or more patches have increased the system requirements for Wow. It's been 6 months since I played the trial, long before cataclysm was released.
    Will I be alright with my configuration ?
     
  10. Danomatic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #10
    Osx

    Hey Dr

    I have both a 27 inch iMac (512 video ram) and a PC that I need for work (has 1 gb video RAM)

    I'm a pretty huge WOW gamer (my wife calls is Warcrack...) and yes I have it installed on both computers. On the PC side I can have all of the settings turned up, no issue. Since the last patch on the OS X side I have to turn the water effects down to get the same frame rate. That being said, I cannot tell a difference when having those settings turned down.

    I prefer playing WOW on OS X (as everything else I do). As another poster said Blizzard is great at Mac support.
    Stick with OS X and let me know what server and faction you're on :) maybe we'll cross paths :D
     
  11. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #11
    I don't think anyone has mentioned there are a few Mac-only features that the Blizzard dev team has included for Mac users, such as in-game movie recording and iTunes integration. :)
     
  12. Danomatic macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #12
    Demon Hunter is 100 % right , I use the video quite a bit.

    Guess we know what class you're gonna play in Diablo 3 eh :cool:
     
  13. ehoui macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    #13
    Second the opinions about WOW playing well on Mac OS X. I actually play it on a MacBook Pro in windowed mode and full screen mode and they both play smoothly for me. I used the settings that it suggested.
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #14
    It is relatively one of the few chances you get to play a AAA game nativity in the MacOS. And it plays well. Don't pass this up dude! :)
     
  15. AlexRoto macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    #15
    A little difference

    I find I get 10 more fps in windows on my MacBook pro when I play starcraft 2 I don't know about wow
     
  16. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816

    DanielCoffey

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    Nov 15, 2010
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #16
    Dr McKay - up until last month I had *exactly* the same iMac as you do and I can confirm it plays WoW very well if you are selective about the graphics settings. As you will have heard, Cataclysm seriously upped the hardware requirements if you want all the new bells and whistles on.

    If you stick to Multisampling 1x, Sunshafts off, water effects low, texture filtering bilinear, Shadows low, Full Screen Glow off (you will need to set that in the config.wft as it is not on the display options screen any more) and View distance fair you will get 60fps+ outdoors, around 30fps in cities and around 20fps in very crowded areas.

    You will effectively be playing the game in what Cata would call Low settings but what, in WotLK, would have been medium.
     
  17. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #17
    Don't know why it has to be a choice. I've installed WoW on both my OS X and my Bootcamp drives. Runs fine on both.

    My only complaint on the OS X side is that I don't know how to background WoW in order to switch to other apps temporarily. The usual keys and mouse hotspots to do that are locked.
     
  18. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816

    Nightarchaon

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #18
    I got the same issue, what i ended up doing was running wow windowed and full screen and giving it its own "space", so i can pop in and out of the space its running in by using my screen corner hotspot.
     
  19. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #19
    As has been mentioned, Blizzard are excellent at native code.. However OS X graphics drivers, especially Nvidia's, tend to suck.

    I'd say go for OS X for ease and simplicity. A game like WoW isn't going to matter much anyway re: the driver problem.
     
  20. Dr. McKay, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Belgium, Europe
    #20
    I downloaded the new trial client yersterday. It does indeed seem that the game is a bit more demanding on the hardware now.
    The recommended settings are on "Fair" overall (resolution 1920x1200).

    However, I noticed that some graphics settings are only available in Snow Leopard. I have Leopard. Does SL have better graphics drivers compared to Leopard ? Would it be worthwhile upgrading or is there no noticeable speed increase ?
    I don't really need SL (and I've heard it's not as stable as X.5.8). If it ain't broke, don't fix it ?
     
  21. Dr. McKay, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    As for buying the full game, I could just upgrade online or buy the physical discs (I'd buy the battle chest + the 2 expansions wotlk and cataclysm). Can I do that online in one fell swoop or do you still recommend buying the physical discs ?
    They would cost me around 50 euro (about 69 US dollar), delivered to my door. How much does it cost to upgrade online?
     
  22. Huntn, Feb 25, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2011

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #22
    I upgraded to SL because it was inexpensive, but I suspect you would not see much of a game performance difference between Leopard and Snow Leopard. Maybe someone will produce a link that discusses this issue specifically. I did not see anything regarding games at this Apple Snow Leopard Page. This Apple Insider link mentions a 15% increase in bundled apps due to increased 64 bit utilization, but who knows about games?

    Are Mac native games like WoW now being made to take advantage of 64 bit? Don't know. Even though WoW is supposed to be faster on Windows, I think it is forgiving enough of a game that I'd still be playing it under the MacOS if I could get in the 20s for frame rates (most of the time). I realize that some parts of the game, like Dalaran you might be like a slide show, but at least you are not fighting there. :)
     
  23. Dr. McKay thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 20, 2010
    Location:
    Belgium, Europe
    #23
    I don't think it's a question of 32 or 64 bit but more of drivers. I imagine that maybe the graphics/openGL drivers in Snow Leopard are better than those in Leopard ?
     
  24. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020

    aznguyen316

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #24
    SC2 is worthy of bootcamp, but WoW, I find is not necessary. It runs very well on most systems and I find it much easier to just play natively in OSX. Have not tried WoW in bootcamp but I figure it'll probably run even better, but the fact I cap it at 25FPS anyway to keep the heat down won't do much good for me as I'm happy with my graphical settings. Like I said though SC2 plays much better in Windows. I say give it time for SC2 as it has gotten much better since launch.
     
  25. davelanger macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #25
    wow runs great on osx, i get about 50 fps on my mac, i have to turn down the water settings and sunshafts but those are nothing speical
     

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