WoW running slow on MBA13" Ultimate

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ninjaboi21, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. ninjaboi21 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #1
    Hi MacRumors,

    got my MacBook Air and so far I am really happy with it. It does my daily life jobs, such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Word, Keynote etc. with no problems. Going from HDD to an SSD feels like heaven, I just can't get used to everything opens up so fast :)

    Trying to play some games, like World of Warcraft, on it, but I really feel it's going very slow. Running the game on low graphics in Nagrand, with no addons installed, I barely get 20FPS. If I run the game on Good, it tears down and run on 3-4FPS.

    I am just doing some small comparing to vids like this and this. The last vids specc is 1.83GHz with only 2GB of RAM, I have the 2.13GHz with 4GB of RAM and therefor I should be able to play the game with decent FPS.

    I am not sure what the problem could be, I have the newest version of Snow Leopard installed, including the Supplement Package. Anyone on this board gaming on their MBA who could share some FPS?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #2
    That might be your problem :).

    I've seen a lot of reports of 10.6.7 causing massive decrese in gaming performance. Nobody really knows why at the moment, no word from Apple about the issue yet. I seem people get 30fps+ in 10.6.6, and after upgrading to 10.6.7, around 8 fps. So far I've mostly seen reports about Starcraft, but I guess WoW it affected as well.

    Also, playing WoW, I noticed some settings that affects the performance A LOT. Sunshafts should be disabled (even on lowest setting they shave of a good 5-10 fps for no real benefit at all). Also Liquid Detail and Shadow Quality should be set low, those affects performance a lot too.

    Try playing with thost settings, and if you can't get it to run properly, downgrade to 10.6.6.
     
  3. Elefant, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    Elefant macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Location:
    Copenhagen
    #3
    It does sound a bit strange. I'm afraid, I can't help you with a possible solution, but I can however help you with some numbers.

    30 fps flat, everything on lowest, Macbook 5,1 2.0ghz C2D, 4gb ram. No SSD, should it matter.

    EDIT: To answer the reply above, I run 10.6.7.
     
  4. ninjaboi21 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #4
    The Snow Leopard shouldn't be the problem, I also got the Supplemental Package that should fix the error. At least the error with iTunes freezing the computer.

    If I can find some sort of guide to downgrade to 10.6.6 I could try that. Running World of Warcraft on low, with all settings at it lowest (including Sunshaft disabled) it still runs at 20FPS. I know the game would run more smooth on a Windows 7 Bootcamp, but I would prefer playing on Mac OS X.

    I can try to install Starcraft II to see if there is problems with that. Can I do some kind of diagnostic check on my computer to make sure everything is working as intended?
     
  5. hamean macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    #5
    People have been complaining about 10.6.7 and severe graphic gimping in most games, so it's most likely 10.6.7 that did this to you. Try to downgrade to 10.6.6. That's your best bet to fixing your problem.
     
  6. iNotion macrumors regular

    iNotion

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    The worst thing is it (OSX10.6.7 screw up) only happens on MBA. It works fine on my iMac. I used my MBA at work most of the time, so i had no choice to erase (clean install) everything and went back to 10.6.6.
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #7

    If you have an external drive, the easiest way to downgrade to 10.6.6 is to clone your current drive, boot from your USB key, format the drive and reinstall OS X, and then download the 10.6.6 Combo update (which is still available from Apple's website). Then use Migration Assistant to move your applications and data over from your cloned drive.
     
  8. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #8
    From what I hear, the latest fix only corrects the iTunes crash, nothing else.. So that shouldn't affect the gaming performance.

    Where do you get this kind of FPS? I got an 11" Air, and in really busy areas (big citys during times where people play a lot) I don't get good framerates either (20-25, sometimes less). Though if I'm outdoors questing or doing a dungeon, I'm usually at 50+. Even seen >100 in cramped dungeons.
     
  9. DeusInvictus7, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #9
    That's really weird that you're getting those huge frame drops, I have the same computer and haven't noticed too much of a slow down. I did notice some yesterday in Zangarmarsh, but it's quite a busy place to be with all the scenery. I average about 30 fps most of the time though, with everything on the second lowest setting.

    Here's a screen shot of my settings.:
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #10
    Two tips: Liquid Detail is REALLY demanding. Even on my iMac, going form "fair" to "good" meant a drop of 10-15 fps whenever you are close to water. I suggest the lowest setting here.

    Also, I noticed running in windowed mode is slower than fullscreen. I run in "Windowed (fullscreen)", this allows me to fill the screen and still use spaces to swap to web browser and similar. On my iMac I gained 10-20 fps from this, probably less on the Air but still a significant amount.
     
  11. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #11
    Yeah the Liquid Detail I was just messing around with to see how much of a frame drop I would get. I usually have to Fair or Low.

    As for the fullscreen thing, I never knew about that. I just switched it to Windowed (Fullscreen) and it upped my fps by about 15 or so...not bad.

    Thanks :D
     
  12. ninjaboi21 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    Thanks for pointing out the Supplement Package didn't do anything. I just plugged in the following USB with Snow Leopard 10.6.5, downloaded 10.6.6 from Apple's website and is just about to install it.

    It made a HUGE difference in terms of performance. Going from around 20FPS in lowest detail, 3-4FPS in good to suddenly 60FPS in lowest and an average of 30FPS in good. The source was with no doubt 10.6.7 - just gotta wait for Apple to release some sort of fix before updating.

    There is no problems now at all, I'll try play around with the settings and see if I can get a combination of good graphics and fast perfomance :)

    This MacBook Air is a beast, and so far, I freakin' love it.
     
  13. GreyMatta macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #13
    Love my 11" as well mate

    its a pity there is a load of us stuck on 10.6.6

    come on Apple sort it out :)
     
  14. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #14
    Glad you sorted it :). Indeed the 10.6.7 update murders game performance for some reason, I hope it is fixed soon.

    Try playing with the above mentioned settings that affect the performance of WoW much (sunshafts, liquid details and windowed mode in particular) and it'll play very nicely!

    I though I could use the 11" Air as "in case of emergency"-gaming computer (travelling and such), but so far I've played a lot of WoW on it with no trouble at all. Even 25-man raids works nicely.
     
  15. DKfraDK macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #15
    As far as i know, "Vertical sync" locks your framerate to match your screens refresh rate, or you refresh rate divided by 2 (Someone correct me if i'm wrong). Which would get you 60 fps if your graphics card can handle it, otherwise it will drop to 30 fps.
    Try turning it off to get frames between 30 and 60 :)

    I actually don't know what happens when you have "vertical sync" on and you graphics card can't render the game at 30 fps. But my guess is, that had an impact on your performance before.
     
  16. Hastings101 macrumors 68000

    Hastings101

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2010
    Location:
    K
    #16
    Apple's graphic drivers are terrible and even though they claim to be fixing them they've barely improved. Hopefully with 10.7 and a newer version of OpenGL we'll see some improvements along with better drivers.
     
  17. Stingray454 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    #17
    Actually, the drivers aren't THAT bad. Sure, you get a little bit better performance if booting Windows in bootcamp, but not that much. We're talking a few fps. The big surprise here is that performance decreased by 50%+ in 10.6.7, and apple hasn't even acknowlegdged the problem exists yet :(. I'm just hoping they didn't intentionally cripple the Air to steer the gaming market towards the MBP, but I can't imagine they would pull something like that..
     
  18. Help Please macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    #18
    I upgraded my Air to 10.6.7 and saw a major decrease in game play as well. It's strange though, some people are affected by 10.6.7 and some aren't. I went back to 10.6.6 and that seemed to do it. Until they find a patch, I'll be on 10.6.6 until then.
     
  19. keypox macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
  20. DaveOZ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    #20
    No, that's why he's using a Macbook Air.
     
  21. DarwinOSX macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    #21
    Their drivers are not terrible. But there is something going on with 10.6.7.

     
  22. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    #22
    I've had no difference in performance between 10.6.6 and 10.6.7 with WoW personally. I still get great FPS on good settings everywhere, not sure what could be the difference.
     
  23. mcapanelli macrumors regular

    mcapanelli

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Whitestone, NY
    #23
    I have the same problem on my MB with WOW after the 10.6.7 update. I was running the graphics on good before but now I have to run it on poor if I don't want Darlaran to freeze my computer on me. The worst part is we may never hear a peep from Apple as it's not their job to make sure third party software is compatible with their OS. It's really Blizzards job to keep everything up to date and compatible with the platforms they sell their games on. I would think Blizzard is not going to patch the Mac platform until the new OS hits this summer. It just doesn't make finical sense to write patch only to have to write another for a new OS in a few short months. Let's keep our fingers crossed that when Lion hits Blizzard will be ready and waiting with a software patch. After all it's what we pay our $15 a month for isn't it?
     
  24. GreyMatta macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Location:
    England
    #24
    Its not just Blizzard games, lots of people are complaining of other games with terrible performance as well so I think it is an Apple bug and not the game devs
     

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