World of Warcraft running faster under Boot Camp than OSX?

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Illuminated Keyboard, originally uploaded by kpanic.

I’ve blogged a little about playing World of Warcraft on a Mac, and how Blizzard plans to continue to make OSX native versions of WOW despite the introduction of Boot Camp, the beta application from Apple that allows the new Intel machines to boot Windows XP.

I’m quite happy they’re going to continue to support OSX, but in the short term it might be worth giving Boot Camp and WOW a spin if you do have one of the new Intel iMacs or Macbooks.

Gabe over at Penny Arcade tried it out and noticed a visible improvement in performance over running it in OSX [pa].

I’m running WOW at 1440 x 900 with all my graphic settings jacked all the way up. I’ve got spell effects and textures and all that good stuff up as high as it can go. With these settings under OS X I hovered between 15 and 20 FPS. It was just barley playable but for raids and stuff I’d drop down to a lower resolution and take off a few of the fancy effects. Now on the same laptop, but running under Windows with the same crazy settings I averaged between 35 and 40 FPS. That’s a pretty fucking big difference in my book. It was even able to maintain that frame rate in major cities and in a raid out in SS.

Now since the Blizzard usage specs only mentions the G4/G5 Macs I’m pretty sure if you’re running WOW on an Intel Mac you’ll have to be emulating it through Rosetta which has to be taking a chunk of speed away, so that might account for some of the difference.

Might make it worth running through Boot Camp for a bit. However it still runs fine on my late model iMac G5 and Powerbook G4.

5 Comments so far

  1. Steven W. Riggins (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 7:03 pm

    Blizzard has posted that Apple and ATI are slow on getting some driver improvements in that exist on Windows.

    I am a 22 year Mac user, but I sure wish I could get driver updates faster!

  2. Jonas M Luster (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 9:06 pm

    Actually, WoW is a UniBin since 1.9, so if he runs it on the official severs and not some emulated server, he’ll run it natively.

  3. Brad Wilson (unregistered) on April 27th, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

    Apple’s OS X video driver for the MacBook Pro underclocks the GPU’s clock and RAM speeds in order to save on power and heat.

    The ATI drivers under Windows don’t do that.

  4. phoenix (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 10:20 am

    Personally, I’d love to see some new drivers that unlock the power behind the video card in the MacBook Pro, heat be damned.

  5. Jeffery Simpson (unregistered) on April 28th, 2006 @ 10:22 am

    Exactly, who needs to have children later on? I just want that epic gear and a good frame rate.

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