How to maximize your Mac for WoW

Discussion in 'Third party hardware, software and accessories' started by vicicasas, May 25, 2005.

  1. vicicasas

    vicicasas Active Member

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    From the Blizzard Mac Tech Support forum:

    just a few things to look out for if you are tweaking for performance. In no particular order. Some are based on anecdotes and we appreciate any feedback you may have in confirming or countering them with your own experiences.

    a. on machines like iMac G5's and PowerBooks, a noticeable number of users have found better speeds after enabling Highest Performance in the energy saver options of system preferences. The "Automatic" performance setting in some of these cases has been too aggressive in saving power at the cost of FPS.

    b. turn off vertical sync in your video options.

    c. If on Tiger (10.4) be sure to add the WoW game folder to the list of "Private" folders that won't be indexed by the built-in Spotlight feature. On new machines or machines that have been recently upgraded to Tiger, some hours may go by before the file system indexing has been completed on the whole hard drive.

    d. some users have noticed that tossing out WDB and WTF folders and going back to default settings, has yielded better results.

    e. don't assume that having Vertex Animation Shaders (vertex shaders) will yield higher performance; there have been reports of seeing better performance with them switched off, notably on GF4Ti and fx5200 NVIDIA GPU's. This may be driver revision dependent and is quite likely to change with future updates to Tiger.

    f. full screen glow has a big performance cost; be really sure you want it turned on.

    g. some UI mods have inflicted FPS penalties in the past; always double check with UI mods disengaged. If/when you remove any UI mods, be sure to toss out your WTF folder contents with the possible exception of config.wtf - data left behind by UI mods can cause the game to crash if not removed along with the mods at the same time.

    h. there are Dashboard widgets for Tiger(10.4) that can consume CPU power even when not visible. In particular there was at least one such widget that would track WoW server status, and osme users would run two or three copies of the widget in order to monitor multiple servers - the author of that one soon found out that it was a bit of a CPU hog and has released some updates.

    One thing that can be worthwhile to look at, is to run WoW in a window (Command-M) and then also run Activity Monitor in the background. The activity monitor can let you see if there are any other processes on the machine that are using up a noticeable fraction of your CPU power, and also let you see things like virtual memory paging counts if you switch tabs.

    In general on a single processor machine, with WoW in foreground, we should be able to absorb 90%+ of the CPU available. If you notice other tasks getting 5% or more of the CPU, be suspicious. If you notice hundreds of VM page swaps per second, you may want to consider a RAM upgrade, or shut down some apps to free up RAM.
     
  2. Maverick

    Maverick Active Member

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    hmmm... i'll give those tips a try and see if it really helps or not.
     
  3. jbd

    jbd Member

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    Never really had a problem on my mac... except for when I hit Ironforge especially after a long time hunting. I tend to notice that the mac version tends to keep everything in memory till it starts swapping. Every texture is cached and stored in memory. Would be nice if there was an option to tell it not to swap.
     
  4. Maverick

    Maverick Active Member

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    if you tried playing WoW on a Mac and a PC side by side, you'll notice the difference
     
  5. jayveef

    jayveef Member

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    for some reason, WoW performs ok on my iBook. i rarely experience graphics lag. everything is turned to low. remember when we played side by side in the last PhilMUG meet? you were lagging on your Pbook while i wasnt.

    could it be server related? that was around 8PM

    my only complaint is that my book heats up faster when i play. hurts the hands.
     
  6. hoho

    hoho Member

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    Hmm! Lemme try these tips on tomorrow.

    BTW, Kazzak is DEAD. We killed him yesterday afternoon (game time). 40 man raid group. Eeps. That was fun. :yes:

    H
     
  7. vicicasas

    vicicasas Active Member

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    Actually, I was using Elbert's PB since it was the one hooked up to the LCD projector, and I booted up from my PB's hard drive via Firewire. I'm assuming the bad graphics lag was due to the fact that Elbert's PB (one of the early 12" models) had a lower end video card, less RAM, and a slower processor than either your iBook or my PB.

    However, I almost never play WoW on my PowerBook anymore...

    Maverick is correct. The WoW experience is immensely more pleasurable on a PC with a good video card - playing with all settings set to full, death effect on, full screen glow on, running at 1280x1024, it still outshines the performance of the dual 2ghz G5 w 2GB of RAM that I use in my studio.

    [Edited on 5-26-2005 by vicicasas]
     
  8. jsaure

    jsaure Member

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    One of the demo rigs Bliz had @ e3 was a Mac. I couldn't tell the difference.
     
  9. jbd

    jbd Member

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    I'll say this for WoW.... it makes me have another purpose for the PC i have at the house that I have never turned on once I got my Mac. :) Yeah, the PC version is a LOT better experience.. especially since the PC i have is purely built for gaming.
     
  10. DiveSolana

    DiveSolana Member

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    jbd- i was wondering if you could tell me the specs of your gaming pc, i need a sample to follow kasi:yes:
     

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