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Shedding some light on world of warcraft's horrible performance

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soundfx4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2001
Location
Roanoke, VA
Has anyone here ever figured out what the story is with wows horrible performance? It seams that almost all systems I've seen it play on, or played it on will perform somewhat acceptable at sometimes but other times it's just horrible. My friend plays wow on an almost identical setup (same Graphics card, same cpu, and even has half the ram I do) but he reports that he gets 40 fps in 25 mans, where as I get 15 ish. I've also played wow on a dell XPS before and it too performed like crap. I just don't get it...it's baffling to me. Even if I turn all the settings to low, textures, anisotropic, view distance, specular lighting, etc. The performance difference is slight in say a 25 man raid. The only setting that makes a big difference on performance is shadow quality (which I keep low, but I shouldn't have to given my system specs)

Here's a bit about my system

OS: Windows xp X64
CPU: Q6600 @ 3 GHz
Bus speed: 333 MHz
Memory: PC2-6400 @ 500 MHz
Graphics card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 @ factory clock speeds

As you can see while it's not a 10,000 dollar power house, it should be more than sufficient to run most games at high settings. The only other game I've played on this set up is L4D and it runs fine with all settings and textures high at 1920 x 1080 with a 2x anisotropic filter setting (or 4x? I don't remember). My friend and I even use a custom server so we can spawn zombies, gas cans, propane tanks etc and we go FREAKING NUTS. Fire, and zombies everywhere, explosions everywhere, and I don't see so much as a hiccup. It's beyond me :\ maybe it has something to do with the fact that he's on vista and I'm on x64? Maybe windows 7 would run it better :shrug: Any ideas?
 

cmichaelt

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Can you overclock your cpu more? from what i've read wow is more CPU intensive when it comes to 25 man raids.
 
OP
soundfx4

soundfx4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2001
Location
Roanoke, VA
Can you overclock your cpu more? from what i've read wow is more CPU intensive when it comes to 25 man raids.

I may be able to, I haven't really tried all that hard to be honest. I bumped up the clock a bit beyond what it's at now (I believe 366, or 400) and it didn't like that so it set back to defaults. I haven't played with voltages or anything else but then again, I've never really had a successful overclock at all on previous systems so I just kind of stopped worrying about it. I'll play with it some tomorrow to see what I can get out of it.

To be honest, something I'd REALLY love to do is turn off all friendly spell effects. Not only do they hurt performance, but they're a distraction! I can't tell you how many times I've actually lost my character in all the flashing lights and particles from the stupid spells going off around me from other players...that's incredibly frustrating...but that's another issue lol
 

deadlysyn

Folding Team Content Editor, Who Dolk'd my stars S
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Location
Stealing your megahurtz at night
I know it may sound a bit redundant, but how does your connection to the servers look? The faster your connection, and the lower your ping, the less likely you are to have issues like you are talking about. As far as I know, your hardware should have no troubles at all with that game.
 

Hardin

Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Lich King killed performance a lot of people complained about it. It's not a problem with the computer, I think the only thing to do is to wait for Blizzard to fix it eventually.
 
OP
soundfx4

soundfx4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2001
Location
Roanoke, VA
I know it may sound a bit redundant, but how does your connection to the servers look? The faster your connection, and the lower your ping, the less likely you are to have issues like you are talking about. As far as I know, your hardware should have no troubles at all with that game.

Naw, not at all. I'm familiar with the frame rates being associated with latency aspect of the game. My latency is always below 300 when raiding, which in itself is pretty high. I could potentially fix this problem by transferring to a closer data center, but I'm not sure how blizzard has their raiding servers set up. I would assume they use the same geographical location to ensure latency is as consistent as possible, but I've no way of knowing for sure.

I know there are also services for this, but none of them are free, and the one that used to be free (smoothping) I'm not happy with because it was free with NO mention of them ever charging and then out of nowhere they started charging. But even when they were free, I would get DCed sometimes, so I don't know that I trust them. :shrug:
 

SunTzu69

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2004
Location
Canada
I had issues at one time and had read that WOW is very intense on memory bandwidth (and memory in general). It has something to do with how it loads alot of game content pre-emptively so that it does not need to load when you arrive at a new flight path location, etc. Characters are loaded into your memory before they are anywhere near you, etc.

I am no expert in this, but I thought it made sense when I read it.

:)
 

deed

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Open a support ticket may be your best bet... I just tried it on a 3800+ 2gb of ram and onboard card and got more frames then you on low :/ Puzzleing

I get worse frames on my gtx card lol?
 

Hardin

Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Does he have anti aliasing enabled? Adaptive aa really slows down performance in that game.
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
I know it isn't latency that makes it run slow (it can though). I'm sitting at an average of 60-78ms latency and I still get low FPS during 25 man raids.

I run everything full out (1920x1200; 2x AA, everything else on full but shadows) and I'll dip down into the 17's when raiding. I know some people in the guild that have moved to i7 based system and see higher FPS than my QX9650 running at 4.0GHz; they are at stock. My guess at this point is that it is either CPU limited or memory bandwidth limited. I know the card itself (GTX 260, same as you) is not the limiting factor as I can drop everything to low and still hit around the same FPS.

I really need to take a day off and get my system overclocked again. Been running the GPU and memory stock for months. I'm a bad overclocker :(

I'll let you know if I find anything.

Does he have anti aliasing enabled? Adaptive aa really slows down performance in that game.
I get the exact same performance on 0x, 2x, and 4x. 8x starts slowing it down, but not a lot.
 

killem2

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
In case of WoW, you need to manually set it, though, from the config.wtf (or you can use task manager every time you run it to manually set affinity for all cores)
SET processAffinityMask "x"
Replace x with 3 for dual-cores, 7 for triple-cores, 15 for quad-cores and 85 for octa-cores (or threads, aka Core i7. Also, for unknown reason 7 is suggested as "optimal" for Core i5's instead of 15)
 

Daleon

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2004
I was using a pretty similar setup as you before my last upgrade. It did pretty good at 1080p with pretty much max settings. A few things tweaked down but not much. I run pretty much the same visual settings on my new system and really see no noticeable difference. Only times that are rough is loading into Dalaran really. Raids I never even look at my frames since its never an issue.

Make sure your HD is healthy. I was using a RaptorX and now using an SSD but WoW is on a 1TB WD Black. I never ran XP64, because the performance never looked that great on it. Win7 64 is great though and may be worth the move.

Try running some bench's on both systems to see how they compare.
 

4GHZ_or_bust

Now 6GHz or Bust!
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Michigan
Naw, not at all. I'm familiar with the frame rates being associated with latency aspect of the game. My latency is always below 300 when raiding, which in itself is pretty high. I could potentially fix this problem by transferring to a closer data center, but I'm not sure how blizzard has their raiding servers set up. I would assume they use the same geographical location to ensure latency is as consistent as possible, but I've no way of knowing for sure.

http://www.wowwiki.com/US_realm_list_by_datacenter

Blizzard has USA server farms in 4 locations, and yes it does make a bit of difference if you connect to closer farm. I play mostly on Detheroc as most of my friends are there but Detheroc is based in Texas. When I checked a random server in Boston, my average ping time went under 100ms vs about 200-250ms with Texas server.

However latency has little help with video performance. In the end having lots of RAM (minimum 2GB free) and good HD (7200 rpms or better) will help along with decent cpU.
 

johnny*

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
In case of WoW, you need to manually set it, though, from the config.wtf (or you can use task manager every time you run it to manually set affinity for all cores)
SET processAffinityMask "x"
Replace x with 3 for dual-cores, 7 for triple-cores, 15 for quad-cores and 85 for octa-cores (or threads, aka Core i7. Also, for unknown reason 7 is suggested as "optimal" for Core i5's instead of 15)

This setting tends to help immensely with most people running quad cores (processAffinityMask 15) like your Q6600. You should also try the following:

/console gxtexturecachesize X

(where X = amount of video memory on your gfx card, i.e. 896 on the 260gtx)

Alternatively, you can change the parameter manually in your config.wtf file.

SET gxTextureCacheSize "896"


These two "tweaks" almost invariably result in drastically improved in-game FPS. You should also make sure your shadow quality slider in the video settings isn't maxed out; shadow quality seems to have a huge effect on performance.
 

Automata

Destroyer of Empires and Use
Joined
May 15, 2006
Interesting, something reverted my process affinity mask variable. It was set to '3' instead of '15'. I'm looking forward to testing this tonight. I've also never seen that texture cache size one, I'll also try it. Thank you.
 

rumbl3

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Location
Michigan
I was running wow full blast on ubuntu with a phenom 2 tri core black edition i think 720, 2x 2 gb sticks of corsair xms 2 ddr 800, 9800 gt evga, biostar mobo.

all of it stock. I also ran it full blast in win 7 beta during the time. But mainly played in linux.

But not sure about now i sold my rig to kill my wow addiction even tho this machine can run the game lol it looks horrible.

I had done some of the tweaks these guys are listing too.
 
OP
soundfx4

soundfx4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2001
Location
Roanoke, VA
I was using a pretty similar setup as you before my last upgrade. It did pretty good at 1080p with pretty much max settings. A few things tweaked down but not much. I run pretty much the same visual settings on my new system and really see no noticeable difference. Only times that are rough is loading into Dalaran really. Raids I never even look at my frames since its never an issue.

Make sure your HD is healthy. I was using a RaptorX and now using an SSD but WoW is on a 1TB WD Black. I never ran XP64, because the performance never looked that great on it. Win7 64 is great though and may be worth the move.

Try running some bench's on both systems to see how they compare.

That's very interesting to hear, I do have a license for windows 7 that my friend gave to me (he didn't end up using it) so I may give that a try

In case of WoW, you need to manually set it, though, from the config.wtf (or you can use task manager every time you run it to manually set affinity for all cores)
SET processAffinityMask "x"
Replace x with 3 for dual-cores, 7 for triple-cores, 15 for quad-cores and 85 for octa-cores (or threads, aka Core i7. Also, for unknown reason 7 is suggested as "optimal" for Core i5's instead of 15)

This is something I've never heard about before. I'm definitely giving this a shot. Thank you very much for that input, it is now changed to "15"

This setting tends to help immensely with most people running quad cores (processAffinityMask 15) like your Q6600. You should also try the following:

/console gxtexturecachesize X

(where X = amount of video memory on your gfx card, i.e. 896 on the 260gtx)

Alternatively, you can change the parameter manually in your config.wtf file.

SET gxTextureCacheSize "896"


These two "tweaks" almost invariably result in drastically improved in-game FPS. You should also make sure your shadow quality slider in the video settings isn't maxed out; shadow quality seems to have a huge effect on performance.

I'll give that a shot for sure in addition to the affinity setting. I have high hopes for these settings! /crosses fingers.


Interesting, something reverted my process affinity mask variable. It was set to '3' instead of '15'. I'm looking forward to testing this tonight. I've also never seen that texture cache size one, I'll also try it. Thank you.

Mine did that too, and it actually did it on wow exit (I changed the setting with wow running and went to restart and it was restored) I set the file to read only hehe, try and change it now :p
 

JonSimonzi

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2008
I did both tweaks, didn't notice any difference. But, I never had any problems with my FPS anyway.


And, I just want to point out, this i my 1337 post. Felt it belonged in the games section :)
 

johnny*

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
For me, the aforementioned tweaks nearly doubled my minimum FPS in Dalaran, Shattrath, etc.; this is at 1920x1200 and 8x multisampling with everything but shadow quality maxed, never drops below 40 FPS.

Keep in mind also, addons can have a huge effect on overall performance (some are absolute hogs). I've pared down my addons to just the essentials (afflicted, MSBT, pitbull, gladius) in an attempt to maximize frames.