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WOW under XP/BootCamp on Intel Mac=


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#1 tthiel

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 10:41 AM

From Accellerate your Mac

http://www.xlr8yourm...dex.html#S20948

2GHz Core Duo iMac World of Warcraft performance w/Win XP vs OS X - The latest feedback on performance using an Intel based Mac w/BootCamp install of XP and OS X:

" Hey Mike, love the site. I installed Boot Camp last night and did a little test with World of Warcraft to see how a 20" iMac's ATI chip would fare under XP compared to OS X.
System details:
- 20in 2GHz Core Duo iMac
- 1.5 GB Ram
- 256 MB VRam

One of the great things about WoW is that the settings and AddOns are transportable from system to system, even from Mac to PC. Once I copied over the "WTF" and "Interface" folders from the WoW directory on the OS X partition to the XP partition (formatted FAT32) and launched WoW, everything comes up with the same settings and custom interfaces (which I use extensively). This makes it a balanced test.

- I was seeing about 25-30 FPS in the Ironforge Auction House area in OS X. With the same settings, I was seeing about 40-45 FPS in the same location with similar crowds in XP.

- In the open terrain area just outside Ironforge (looking over the cliff just to the left of the entrance), I was seeing about 30 FPS in OS X. In XP at the same location, again about 40-45 FPS.

I have almost all settings set to their highest level, except Terrain Distance, Terrain Detail Level, and Anisotropic Filtering, which were all set to low. All shader effects and Vertical Sync were off.

I was able to set everything to its highest level, and turn on all shader effects in XP and still have 30FPS while looking over a complex terrain. This would have choked OS X to about 15 FPS.

Something else interesting to note is that in XP there are MANY more options for refresh rate and bitdepth/sampling rate.
Let me know if you want more detailed information!
-Lars "

#2 placebo

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 02:33 PM

Not surprising. OS X OpenGL sucks.

#3 BenRoethig

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 02:34 PM

Apple's OpenGL implementation is less than optimal, that's been known for a while.  Hopefully they fix with 10.5 & OGL 2.0 or take more drastic steps such as coming up witht their own gaming API or even licensing Direct X from Microsoft.

#4 the Battle Cat

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 03:49 PM

We have a brand new "Dual Booting" forum as of this morning.  I'm going to move this thread over there.
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#5 Tetsuya

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:59 PM

all shader effects off.

many of the shader options remove load from the CPU and put them on the GPU, *improving* performance.

#6 Huntn

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 06:42 AM

A 50% increase in frame rates using WXP over OSX. Why am I not surprised? Anyone know if Blizzard wrote WoW for Mac from scratch or treated it as a port?  If ported, could this be the perfect example of how the conversions required to make a PC game run on OSX produce a major performance hit? Or is OpenGL the culprit?
-Hunt'n

#7 Tesseract

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:27 AM

I blame Mach.

#8 Drizzt

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:29 AM

View PostHuntn, on April 7th 2006, 12:42 PM, said:

A 50% increase in frame rates using WXP over OSX. Why am I not surprised? Anyone know if Blizzard wrote WoW for Mac from scratch or treated it as a port?  If ported, could this be the perfect example of how the conversions required to make a PC game run on OSX produce a major performance hit? Or is OpenGL the culprit?
-Hunt'n

I was always under the impression that Blizzard developed their Mac versions side by side with the PC version, thus allowing them to release hybrid CDs/DVDs when their games come out.  I could be totally wrong though.

#9 placebo

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:18 AM

View PostTetsuya, on April 6th 2006, 03:59 PM, said:

all shader effects off.

many of the shader options remove load from the CPU and put them on the GPU, *improving* performance.
I don't think it quite works like that. Your GPU is less taxed, and it's able to churn out frames faster since it doesn't have to render extra effects. This doesn't take anything off the CPU.

#10 DaveyJJ

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:51 AM

View PostHuntn, on April 7th 2006, 08:42 AM, said:

A 50% increase in frame rates using WXP over OSX. Why am I not surprised? Anyone know if Blizzard wrote WoW for Mac from scratch or treated it as a port?  If ported, could this be the perfect example of how the conversions required to make a PC game run on OSX produce a major performance hit? Or is OpenGL the culprit?
-Hunt'n

I thought it was simultaneous too so OpenGL is looking more and more like the culprit here.

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#11 teflon

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:52 AM

i blame it being a port of a port.

blizzard dev it first in PC, but keep the mac version as close by in code base terms as possible. That way they get twice as much beta testing, and more bugs taken out. So its a good thing TM. but with the switch to intel, they had to put the PPC code into xcode and chuck it out that way.

Now whilst xcode does a bit of proc dependant optimisation, its not as good as starting again from scratch. but blizzard arent going to do that, because its too time consuming.

So really, theres 2 sets of performance loss, x86 to PPC, and then back again. Not to mention that OpenGL is slightly hampered by the fact that everything goes through the system first.
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#12 rbarris

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 11:24 PM

View Postteflon, on April 7th 2006, 03:52 PM, said:

i blame it being a port of a port.

blizzard dev it first in PC, but keep the mac version as close by in code base terms as possible. That way they get twice as much beta testing, and more bugs taken out. So its a good thing TM. but with the switch to intel, they had to put the PPC code into xcode and chuck it out that way.

Now whilst xcode does a bit of proc dependant optimisation, its not as good as starting again from scratch. but blizzard arent going to do that, because its too time consuming.

So really, theres 2 sets of performance loss, x86 to PPC, and then back again. Not to mention that OpenGL is slightly hampered by the fact that everything goes through the system first.

WoW is a big C++ program, with very minimal assembler code for certain pieces.  Compiler quality plays a role in performance, but there are far bigger fish to fry in the streamlining of the GL API in comparison with D3D, bottlenecks we are working on getting addressed.

Even though out users were happy to see WoW's performance on OS X get a nice bump with the move to Intel hardware, we can also plainly see that the speed on DX9/XP is generally higher, and we're motivated to figure out why (Apple is too).  Some of the issues are longstanding and when they are addressed, there will be benefit on G4/G5 systems as well - some are newer and more Intel specific and this is more a case of the x86 OSX drivers being in a 1.0 state - functional and fast, but not necessarily pulling every trick in the book that the x86 chipset can do.

Anyway, we want it to go faster on OS X too, and we're going to be tuning it up further.

#13 bobbob

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 01:46 AM

Before you jump to conclusions about their GL vs. DX renderers, maybe try running WoW in GL on Windows and see how well that works.

#14 rbarris

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 11:08 AM

View Postbobbob, on April 9th 2006, 07:46 AM, said:

Before you jump to conclusions about their GL vs. DX renderers, maybe try running WoW in GL on Windows and see how well that works.

From my POV, whether Windows-GL WoW is faster or slower then Mac-GL WoW on the same hardware doesn't really matter - we have a responsibility to minimize that gap, and get the game running at its best on your hardware.  The benchmark results just provide additional motivation IMO.  We have a few tricks we haven't been able to play on the OS X front yet (compiler issues and a couple of GL API issues) but we're seeing improvement on both fronts.  I'm optimistic that we will be wringing more performance out of the hardware with upcoming releases.

#15 Auron

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:17 PM

View Postrbarris, on April 9th 2006, 01:24 AM, said:

WoW is a big C++ program, with very minimal assembler code for certain pieces.  Compiler quality plays a role in performance, but there are far bigger fish to fry in the streamlining of the GL API in comparison with D3D, bottlenecks we are working on getting addressed.

Even though out users were happy to see WoW's performance on OS X get a nice bump with the move to Intel hardware, we can also plainly see that the speed on DX9/XP is generally higher, and we're motivated to figure out why (Apple is too).  Some of the issues are longstanding and when they are addressed, there will be benefit on G4/G5 systems as well - some are newer and more Intel specific and this is more a case of the x86 OSX drivers being in a 1.0 state - functional and fast, but not necessarily pulling every trick in the book that the x86 chipset can do.

Anyway, we want it to go faster on OS X too, and we're going to be tuning it up further.

Good to hear you guys are still working on speeding up the Mac version. Out of curiosity, bootcamp wont stop Blizzard from porting future PC games to OS X, will it?

#16 rbarris

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 05:51 PM

View PostAuron, on April 10th 2006, 09:17 PM, said:

Good to hear you guys are still working on speeding up the Mac version. Out of curiosity, bootcamp wont stop Blizzard from porting future PC games to OS X, will it?


FAQ's updated today:

http://www.blizzard....zz/genfaq.shtml

http://www.worldofwa...technology.html


Q: Apple's OS X Boot Camp software lets me boot Windows XP on my Intel-based Mac. Can I run Blizzard games under Windows using Boot Camp on these systems?

A: Yes, you can if you wish to do so. However, please note that as OS X Boot Camp is in beta form, we can't offer technical support for Blizzard games run under Windows using Boot Camp at this time.


Q: What is Blizzard's plan for native Mac OS support, now that Boot Camp is available?

A: We have a recognized track record of native Mac OS support, and we have no plans to break with that tradition. We understand that our Mac player base prefers native software whenever possible, and our cross-platform development practice addresses that.

#17 the Battle Cat

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:05 PM

Splendid response!
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#18 bookman

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 06:34 PM

Absolutely splendid response - thanks for settin my mind at ease Rob.  :)
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#19 Huntn

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Posted 10 April 2006 - 10:40 PM

View Postrbarris, on April 10th 2006, 06:51 PM, said:

A: We have a recognized track record of native Mac OS support, and we have no plans to break with that tradition. We understand that our Mac player base prefers native software whenever possible, and our cross-platform development practice addresses that.

I'm bouncing back and forth between thinking the dual booters are a small hard core group who do not represent most Mac gamers, to thinking this is the end of Mac gaming. Glad to know Blizzard is giving the Mac native versions a chance for the future.

-Hunt'n

#20 Tesseract

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 05:24 AM

Of course Blizzard is going to give it a chance. It's up to the users to continue to make it economically viable for them or not.