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Thursday, February 23, 2006
Barefeats: A Few Interesting WoW Tidbits
7:57 AM | Evan Holt | 1 comment

Barefeats a Mac benchmarking website, has posted some interesting notes about testing the Universal Binary of Blizzard's World of Warcraft.

As noted on their Quick Notes page:

We were experimenting with different video settings in Full Screen mode while running our horde warrior around near Camp Narache in Muldore, a combination of action and environment that has proven to stress the graphics processor. We discovered that if you simply access the Multi-sampling drop down menu, log out of the of the realm, and re-enter, the frame rates jump up by 55%. This happens consistently.

It might explain why were were getting a big drop in framerates on the Intel iMac when switching from Windowed to Full Screen mode. The action described above bumps the frame rates back up to what we were expecting to see. This phenom does not occur on PPC Macs.

There are some interesting insights on World of Warcraft performance:
1. We ran WoW on three different dual processor machines. WoW was using 110% of the 200% available cycles. My guess is that it's handing off some sound processing to the second processor. At any rate, two processors (or dual cores) are better than one.
2. WoW uses as much as 400MB for itself. Total "all processes" memory usage with only WoW running averaged 1.1GB. That means you'll want to have at least 1.25GB of memory if the only thing running is WoW. You'll want 2GB or more if you like to run WoW with other apps.
3. When running in Windowed mode, frame rates were more affected by CPU speed than by graphics processor speed. However, when running in Full Screen mode, the faster GPUs made a significant difference -- especially when running at maximum quality settings and high resolution (1600x1000 or better).
4. Frame rates seemed as affected by the complexity of the surrounding scene as by the amount of activity.
We plan to devote a special page to WoW sharing more performance tips and comparing a wide variety of Mac systems using two or three test scenarios.
For a full breakdown of the framerates of the new Intel iMacs and how well it fairs with World of Warcraft, visit Barefeats using the link below.

Barefeats: Quick Takes

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• Barefeats: A Few Interesting WoW Tidbits7:57 AM
C&C Generals Deluxe Edition On The Way7:57 AM
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Mac Games News for Wednesday, February 22, 2006

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