WoW makes her hum

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by abecker, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. abecker macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    So I just got my 13" i5 the other day and decided to give WoW a throw on it.

    Good news: It runs decently
    Bad news: It sits around 90c and the fans run like crazy. Highest I've seen it is 93c.

    Anyone else noticed this?
  2. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Yes. When the system heats up, the fans run.
  3. calvol macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2011
    Wonder what temp WoW runs on the 2010 Air? Anybody tried it?
  4. wpotere Guest

    Oct 7, 2010
    It is a CPU and memory intensive game, of course it is going to run hot with the fans running high. That being said, if the computer couldn't handle it, the system would shut down.
  5. Kafka macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2011
  6. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    What did you expect? Nothing taxes a laptop like running 3D games and the Air doesn't have a lot of space to dissipate heat. I cap my frame rate at 25 fps, it still gets hot and the fans still crank up with WoW, but FWIW, it runs cooler and quieter than my late 2009 15" MacBook Pro does running the same, and the performance is similar, if anything the Air is slightly ahead. That machine will literally burn my leg, the Air gets pretty warm, but not to the point of burning.
  7. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you bought a MacBook Air and planned to play WoW a ton on it ... um, hope you like buying a new computer soon.

    I used to play WoW quite a bit on an older MacBook Pro. Between than and using HandBrake, I'm betting my use of very intense stuff so much probably helped kill the video adapter after only 3.5 years. That's why I now own an iMac, although quite ironically I haven't played WoW on it and haven't used HandBrake that much. However, when I do use HandBrake, woah.

    So in other words, yeah, it'll get hot. A MBA isn't really made for playing games. I don't really think any notebook is no matter how any might tout it. Desktops can dissipate heat better and use desktop-class video cards and processors. There's just not one machine that is perfect for all uses.
  8. PaulWog Suspended

    Jun 28, 2011
    Apple's laptop lines (Macbook Airs and Macbook Pros) aren't really geared to handle a decent graphics card too well. The 15-inch and 17-inch Pros do alrightish, but not super great.

    I wouldn't make that sweeping statement about all computers though. There are many great Windows-based laptops out there sporting mobile graphics cards that run very well, and at reasonable temperatures (much cooler than the Air). Laptops can game just fine. The difficulty is that Apple streamlines their laptops (appearance is #1), so hot graphics cards are a difficulty.

    I don't really like gaming on-the-go anyways though. I prefer gaming at home on my desktop computer, or if I do any gaming on the go it's light gaming (and not the same more intense games I play on my desktop). If I gamed on the go, I'd really have no life... I already game enough as it is at home.
  9. mikey81, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

    mikey81 macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2011
    I can confirm that. One day after purchase I decided to give WoW a try what it being free-to-play now and all. It runs pretty smoothly, no hickups or lags of any sort but it heats up pretty darn fast on MBA 13" 128gb. It helped a little when I switched to windowed mode and set every setting to low, though. But it is obvious this game is not built for heavy gaming. Today I decided to give another game called "NOVA 2" I looked up in AppStore a try and I didn't even hear the fans running. I reckon it's not as heavy on the MBA as WoW.
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    As ridiculous as it is, I will be fair, and say that a "gaming notebook" is "made for playing games." What is a gaming notebook? I'm not sure, it's basically just a title as far as I am concerned, but they are created, marketed, and sold. If I had to guess, a "gaming title" on a notebook basically details its specs, more specifically but not restricted to its GPU, and furthermore its aesthetics.

    It's just a laptop, though. Just like on the other hand, you can say that a notebook that you have is a "gaming notebook" because all you specifically do is play games on it. It's just part of the title, the same thing with "gaming mice, keyboards, and headsets" as well. They're all sketchy but people fall for it and buy into it because they are most likely convinced that it will make them better at whatever game they are playing. That's not to say that all "gaming products" are useless, in fact the Razer Deathadder is the best mouse I have ever used. All I am saying is the marketing of all of these products is sort of hoax in my opinion, and labeling anything as "gaming x" or "gaming y" is subjective at best.

    The only thing that is going to make you a better gamer in a playable game on your system with a good connection is playing the game, getting used to your keybinds, finding a flow, etc. A mouse or keyboard that is supposedly for a gamer isn't going to do it.
  11. Oppressed, Aug 7, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011

    Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    2010 MBA doesn't get that hot really as seen below. I made sure to pick a time in game when fans were on.

    What was interesting is the amount of CPU usage.

    Edit: Also this was on the 11 inch model so it would probably run a bit cooler on the 13 inch.

    Attached Files:

  12. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I played a lot of WoW on an old Dell notebook with a GeForce 7000 series integrated GPU. I had like 128 days of /played on my main and several alts when I quit that POS addiction. The notebook still runs fine to this day. :rolleyes:

    Some people like to hear the sound of their fingers typing I think by posting such ridiculous stuff.
  13. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    NOVA 2 was built to be run on the iPhone. I would hope that a game built for the iPhone would not even put a dent in a full laptop. I have this game as well and it runs silent.
  14. kimbermatic macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2004
    Not Just The Laptop

    I have watched the posts on gaming and the MBA 2nd Gen..

    I find it curious that folks are fretting sooo much over the ability of the new Air to the old Air.

    I play WOW, and have for over 4 years and mostly on MAC's. My MAC Pro handles the bulk of this play.

    Realize that gaming and MAC's has and is still limited to some degree. The gaming has improved in the past couple of years, but for hardcore gaming or even above casual there is some distance to the Windows world.

    The gap that still exists is multi-layered. There is the machine and the components, the operating system and the game vendor.

    Right now the machines are very capable of playing the games, the operating system is coming right along and Apple has improved the OS for this part of the equation. The game makers are working at improving the MAC world and gaming, but they are behind and with MAC's still only representing a small fraction of the gaming market it still doesn't have their full attention. Take a look at the posts from Blizzard about making WOW more compatible with Lion. They will get to it, but it isn't causing an "emergency" patch to be released. The reason is that the MAC share of Blizzard gaming community while it is grown is not big enough yet.

    WOW plays fine on my new MBA 13" but in dungeons or intense PVP there can be some issues with FPS or lag (Really very minor). Last night since I was traveling I finally put the MBA to the full test and walked away satisfied. Not one time did I think my MBA caused my loss in PVP, it had more to do with my gaming skills. :)

    I did find the limitation of the 13" (Glad i chose the 13" over the 11") screen and playing my new healer with all the add ons versus my 24" monitor at home more of an issue.

    Did I have the settings at full on? No

    Were the graphics good enough? Yes

    It is all about your priorities. My MBA is about work and portability, and having the ability to play WOW knowing the limitations of my MBA works for me.

    Very happy with my MBA 13", running Lion and look forward to any improvements either from Apple or the game makers to the gaming experience on the MBA which is the future mobile of computing IMO.

  15. Oppressed macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2010
    I'm glad that you are satisfied with the performance of your MBA. The main argument that seems to stem from these types of threads is not weather or not the new 2011 MBA can play games "good enough", but weather or not the 2010 was superior for playing games. The fact that yours plays it good enough is fine, but its an opinion. Your definition of good enough might be different from someone else's.

    When I had my 11 inch i5 MBA I had moments in arena where it froze for 3-4 seconds and cost me games. Not only that overall FPS and texture quality was much lower then the 2010 model. For me I find these qualities as not good enough. To each his own.
  16. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    By the way, my suggested settings for WoW on a 2011 Air are:

    -- Native screen resolution (1440x900 for the 13" Air)
    -- All settings on Fair (Fair preset), except for Shadows set to Low (for some reason this has a large effect on frame rate and for me, doesn't affect quality enough to take the hit). Apply the overall Fair preset first, then change the Shadow setting.
    -- Full screen glow effect turned off (this used to have a preference checkbox but I believe you have to now do this via the in-game command line with /console set ffxGlow "0")
    -- Frame rate capped at 25 fps and background frame rate capped at minimum allowable (I think that's around 8 fps, this will help it run cooler when you are looking at a web page or something and the game is idling in the background).

    This gives me a pretty smooth and very playable PvE experience. If you are doing a lot of dungeon/group/raid type stuff, it's going to be a very iffy proposition on an Air. You can do it, but don't expect the experience to be very smooth, it'll be laggy, stuttery, and probably frustrating depending on how much stuff is going on.

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