So things have be a little quiet after the excitement of getting my MacBook, and this is mostly attributed to me playing World of Warcraft a lot. Furthermore, it’s been me playing World of Warcraft on my MacBook, which is not only possible but actually a good experience.
So far I’ve played WoW on 4 computers – my parents’ AMD Athlon 3000+ (512 MB RAM, 64 MB VIA graphics), Hari’s Pentium 4 (512 MB RAM, 128 MB nVidia graphics) and my Mac Mini (1.42Ghz PowerPC, 512 MB RAM, 128 MB ATi graphics), as well as my MacBook (1.83Ghz Core Duo, 1 GB RAM, 64 MB Intel Graphics).
Though WoW played on my parents’ machine, it’s not the greatest experience, with major lag in cities and slow framerates. Hari’s machine fairs better, but not by too much; I’ve really seen it get more than 20 frames per second while playing. My Mac Mini usually manages to average 10-15 fps and can get up to 25 in indoor environments, though cities like Ironforge do make it very slow.
And now to my MacBook. I really didn’t know how it would handle WoW – though it has the best processor of the lot, with a high clock speed and two cores, and the most RAM, its graphics abilities aren’t that great. However, out of the 4 machines, WoW plays the best on the MacBook. Framerates are between 15-20 fps on average with 30+ possible indoors, and there’s almost no lag, even in the busiest parts of Ironforge.
When you actually read the recommended system requirements for the game, this makes more sense – 512 MB is listed as the minimum RAM for the game, with 1 GB recommended – but it only recommends 64 MB or above for graphics. In other words, the problem with the other two machines is not so much their graphics, but their lack of memory.
The memory upgrade for Hari’s machine is still forthcoming and I’m now possibly thinking of going for 2 GB instead of 1 GB – though that will make it £150 instead of £75, which is a lot of money. I’d upgrade my Mac Mini too, but the method to take it apart looks quite scary and I’m afraid to damage it. Even then it can only take a maximum of 1 GB.