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Macs, heat, and WoW: How to fix and prevent heat issues in 5.0.4 and beyond

Macs, heat, and WoW How to fix and prevent heat issues in 504 and beyond
It's no secret that Macs, and especially Mac notebooks, run pretty hot while playing WoW. However, in the wake of patch 5.0.4, a lot of Mac users are reporting dangerously high temperatures, and worried players have flooded the Mac Technical Support forum.

A player named Growltiger believes he/she has found what's causing the problem, and has even devised a fix that's seemed to work really well for the people who've tried it. Blizzard's acknowledged this and is working on patching the issue as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I thought that, in addition to including Growltiger's solution here, it might be a good idea to run an article on how to fix and prevent heat problems with Macs. We write for a pretty computer-savvy audience here at WoW Insider, and odds are good you'll find some people in the comment section who really know their stuff. I won't claim to be one of them, but I hope some of the things that have worked for me will also work for you.

Even if you're a novice computer user, you should find a few tips here. However, if you're one of the players looking to implement Growltiger's fix, fair warning: It's not for the faint of heart.

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Filed under: Hardware

Breakfast Topic: Oh, the lengths that we go

A man walks into a bar... or in this case, a Panera Bread café, lugging his whole iMac. He orders a cup of coffee and proceeds to play World of Warcraft using the coffee shop's free Wi-Fi. It almost sounds like a joke, except that it isn't. Gizmodo reported that the Panera Bread iMac Man has made a habit of going to his favorite haunt with his entire desktop computer and playing WoW using the complimentary Internet connection.

I'd probably be surprised if I wasn't guilty of having done similar things using a less conspicuous machine. By less conspicuous, I mean a Macbook Pro mounted on a laptop cooling pad and flanked by a Belkin N52te, a Razer hard mat and mouse, while wearing a headset. That wouldn't stand out too much in Starbucks, would it? I do order an iced venti 1-pump classic nonfat 8-scoop matcha green tea latte and a maple oat scone to camouflage my set-up somewhat.

Let's face it. Many of us love this game so much we sometimes go to great lengths just to play it. Logging in from a friend's house, an Internet café, or even bringing around our entire computer set-up around in a van, Vork-style, just looking for a place to log on. I've got an HSPDA USB modem in my laptop bag, you know, just in case.

What were the extremes you've gone through in order to play the game? When you needed to log on just at the exact time, maybe to catch that expiring auction you've been watching, or to finish those Achievements just before the holiday goes away. Because of the Gizmodo story, my imagination right now is limited to nabbing free Wi-Fi, although I'm sure some of you have more outrageous stories to tell... cutting meetings short, excusing yourself in the middle of lunch, or even *cough* calling in sick. What lengths have you gone to just to play WoW?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Breakfast Topics, Humor

Scattered Shots: New and improved abilities

Scattered Shots: noun. 1. (Scatter Shot, singular) An ability used by Marksmanship hunters, especially to annoy other players in PvP. 2. (Scattered Shots, plural) A column at WoW Insider about anything even loosely related to hunters, except for high-level raiding and completely improper, sometimes libelous personal commentary.

Hunters are getting quite a few changes in Wrath of the Lich King, but so far haven't covered them all. Today I'd like to go through the newest abilities and discuss them in greater detail.

New Baseline Hunter Abilities:

Nope, no Camouflage. We talked about this before, but it looks like the devs read our article, "Do hunters need Camouflage?" and decided the answer was no. So, instead we have a couple other new abilities to look forward to:

Kill Shot:
This is the new level 80 hunter ability, and it provides us with a bit of utility that help us to stand out and perform better in various situations:

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Filed under: Hunter, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Wrath of the Lich King, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

Seeing Azeroth with the options turned up

Frostbolt went out and got himself one of those shiny new 20" iMacs, and he says wow, WoW looks good on it. One of my favorite things about WoW is how well it seems to run on almost any hardware, but I know what Frosty means-- there's a big difference between playing with all the options off and turning on the underwater, drunk, and glowy effects. Spells, buffs, and instances look so much better when you have a nice rig and all the effects turned on.

Right now I'm running WoW on a PC I've had for a while-- it doesn't look too bad chugging along at 1.8ghz, 512mb of RAM and a GeForce 5200, but by the time Burning Crusade hits, I'll be done building my new monster: overclocked to 4ghz with a watercooled processor, 2gb of RAM (that's right, baby), and a GeForce 7900 GS in the PCI-e slot. All I need is to find a deal on a case and the RAM, and I'll be set to build my monster WoW machine.

But sometimes you don't even need a whole computer-- a few months ago I went ahead and invested in a sweet 24" Dell widescreen monitor, and that, as Robert Frost says, "has made all the difference." I couldn't imagine healing a 40 man raid with a 15" or even a 17" monitor-- all those meters would cloud up the place before long. Then again, I've seen screenshots around of people playing WoW at 800x600 resolution. I'd consider that unplayable, but maybe I'm being elitist. According to the latest Steam survey, 1024x768 is still the standard for Half-Life players-- Blizzard doesn't track the same info (or at least they don't release it), but I wonder if WoWers tend to skew their tech faster or slower than that. Thoughts? What kind of rig are you playing this game on?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard

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