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Posts with tag framerate

World of Warcraft's evolving engine

World of Warcraft's evolving engine
Some people say that World of Warcraft's visuals are outdated. The game's graphics haven't been updated since launch, they say. In terms of some older art assets, I would agree, but the overall picture is a different story. The system requirements when WoW launched were a meager 800MHz CPU with 256MB RAM and a 32MB graphics card. Today, the bare minimum requirements are a dual core CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 256MB graphics card.

Mists of Pandaria requires an expensive computer to run smoothly at the highest possible graphic settings, and yet it will still run on hardware from 8 years ago. Do you know of many other games with a spread like that?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria

Media Player boosts WoW performance

Many players have experienced faster WoW loading times with Windows Media Player (WMP) running in the background. Some players are also reporting lower latency and higher frames per second.

This tip surfaced in the Europe forums late November and was picked up by the US forums two weeks ago. Many players are reporting shortened loading times, some by more than 50%.

I did a quick test and found that by running WMP in the background, minimized and not playing anything, the login screen popped up about 20 seconds quicker than usual. The world loading time (time between clicking Enter World button and character appearing on screen) was also faster by about 15 seconds. However I did not see any significant improvements in latency or framerate. To eliminate performance boosts due to caching or preloading, I rebooted my machine between each set of timings.

Some players have also suggested adding:

SET timingMethod "1" or SET timingMethod "2"

to the file to achieve the same effect without running WMP. For me, this shortened the time for the login screen to appear by 20 seconds as well, but only shortened world loading time by 5 seconds. Combining WMP and the tweak resulted in the same timings with just running WMP alone.

There's been no official Blizzard response to this yet, although a likely explanation is that WMP modifies how your computer handles background applications. With WMP open, all available CPU resources apparently become allocated to WoW, leading to better performance.

Does this quirk work for you? Do you see any improvements in framerate and latency?

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Odds and ends

PowerPC performance tweak

This tweak was reported to us by reader Blake some time back, but I've only recently had the chance to test it out myself. And, like most of the respondents in this thread, I agree that there's a noticeable improvement in framerate, though Blizzard poster Tigerclaw comments that the performance impact will really only effect those with heavy UI usage. The feature, added in patch 1.12.1, is designed for PowerPC Macs (the Intel systems already use "a better mode of optimization" according to Tigerclaw) with more than 512MB RAM, as it may add a couple of extra megabytes of memory usage. It's still considered a beta feature, but it's easy to enable and easy to disable if you have trouble with it. So if you run on a PowerPC system, give this a shot -- you may notice a 5-15% improvement (though some report even better improvements).

Filed under: Tips, Tricks

Windows on an Intel Mac: WoW, what a difference

We've already seen WoW on an Intel Mac thanks to our resident Mac-user, but he's managed to go one better. Previously we saw the OS X Universal Binary version running at 50-60fps; running WoW under Windows on the same hardware, maximising all the graphics settings, there's actually a gain in framerate to the tune of 6fps.

Those of us with PCs creaking along on the default settings are justified in being envious. While keeping up with the vast succession of new PC games requires regular upgrades and a killer gaming rig, if your free time is taken over by WoW then you obviate the need to upgrade -- but miss out on the fantastic framerates such upgrades can afford.

Filed under: Odds and ends

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