Improving World of Warcraft Performance

- Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
This thread's purpose is to provide some information that may help improve your World of Warcraft experience. Your mileage will vary.

Many of these tweaks assume that you know a fair bit about computers as-is and that you're comfortable modifying your Config.wtf file. This file can be found in your World of Warcraft\WTF folder and can be simply edited in Notepad.

----------------------------------------------*SUGGESTION 1-DX11*

With Mists of Pandaria, DirectX 11 mode is now enabled by default on capable systems.

One of the new features in Cataclysm is WoW's ability to render using the DirectX 11 API. This API can be enabled on systems running a DirectX 10, 10.1, or 11-compliant graphics card and operating system. This includes all graphics cards from the nVidia GeForce 8000-series and up, and all ATI cards from the Radeon HD 2000-series and up; some Intel chips support this as well, but any possible improvements are far more subtle.

In addition to just having the right GPU, you must also have an OS that supports DirectX 10/11. For full DirectX 11 rendering, you need Windows Vista w/ SP2 or Windows 7. Windows Vista without Service Pack 2 will be able to run the API still, but it will only use shader model 4.0 (DX10).

This API can be enabled by going to Options, navigating to the Advanced tab and then changing the graphics API to DirectX 11.

Many players with shader model 4.0/5.0-compatible graphics cards running Windows 7 or Windows Vista have noticed significant performance gains using this API.

----------------------------------------------*SUGGESTION 2-gxTextureCacheSize*

This section is relevant ONLY if using the older DirectX 9 mode.

Navigate to your Config.wtf file and add this line:

SET gxTextureCacheSize "xxx"

Replace the x's with a value - in megabytes - that's about 70-80% of your GPU's VRAM size. Also note that this only has an effect on the D3D9 (default) graphics API. If you're using DirectX 11 or OpenGL, this is useless. For quick reference, here are some fast values for common video memory sizes.

128 MB: 96
256 MB: 192
384 MB: 288
512 MB: 384
768 MB: 576
896 MB: 672
1 GB: 768
1.125 GB: 864
1.25 GB: 960
1.5 GB: 1152
2 GB: 1536

These values leave some extra VRAM for background tasks. You can always set it higher or lower as need be. On XP going higher may be of help since the GUI's less GPU-intensive. Same goes for Windows Vista and 7 systems where you have Aero turned off or disable desktop composition when in-game.

To get an idea of some of the real-world performance differences, check out my benchmarks here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3229374095#1
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.4GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
Edited by Kodiack on 10/18/2012 3:17 AM PDT
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- Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
----------------------------------------------*SUGGESTION 3-FLASH IS BAD*

Are you getting poor performance in-game when you have a Flash video playing in the background? Disable hardware acceleration! Right-click the Flash application and select "Settings". Make sure "Enable hardware acceleration" is disabled. Reload the page and framerates should improve drastically.

Why does this work? Flash videos use the H.264 codec, which will clock some GPUs down to 400 MHz when they're playing back the video. This can significantly hinder performance.

More information can be found here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1127153390#1

----------------------------------------------*SUGGESTION 4-MOAR GRAPHICS CARDS*

There have been mixed feelings on multi-GPU setups. I did some testing on the matter and found some pretty good scaling in the end. While your results may be different, I'd like to provide some of my benchmarks as food for thought:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3053897547#1

Just remember to take these results with a grain of salt. There are many things that can negatively impact performance: Insufficient RAM, lower-end CPUs, heat, improper maintenance, etc. Plopping in another graphics card won't always provide better performance, but if you're held back by your current graphics hardware, it is something that may be worth looking into.

----------------------------------------------*SUGGESTION 5-ULTRA IS OP*

Regardless of how powerful your computer is, it will probably still be brought to its knees when maxing out this game. Even my computer chokes with shadows on Ultra. Turn shadows down a notch or two and you'll likely net significant performance gains with a minimal impact on visual quality. To see some numbers yourself, check here:

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/2030264750#1

Even though you may think that your computer should tear through the game, it probably won't. Ultra shadows are extraordinarily demanding and it's difficult to recommend playing with them at their highest setting.

----------------------------------------------*SUGGESTION 6-VENT NORMALIZATION*

Okay, okay, so this isn't performance-related, but it's a great recommendation nonetheless. This makes Vent easier to hear by, surprise surprise, normalizing incoming sounds. To do this, follow these instructions (copied from an old thread at the TACT forums):

* Go to Setup
* Enable Direct Sound
* Select the SFX Button
* Select Compressor and click Add.
* Under Compressor Properties, use the following settings:
o Gain = Adjust for how loud you want people to be. (I use 15)
o Attack = 0.01
o Release = Around 500
o Threshold = Around -30
o Ratio = 100
o Pre delay = 4.0
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.4GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
Edited by Kodiack on 10/18/2012 3:17 AM PDT
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- Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
reserved
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.4GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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85 Draenei Paladin
5700
Addons can be a culprit during raids as well. This becomes even more apparent in 25 versus 10 man raids.

Make sure that addons such as Recount that communicate in the background are configured to not do so. Healbot can't be configured as such so you'll just have to deal with that one.

Also, make sure that needless addons such as gatherer and gearscore are turned off since these will also be communicating in the background and add additional "noise" for all the other raid members computers to process and use up resources.
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- Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
I've slightly updated this topic. I removed the portion about the large address aware flag because it will be added to WoW by default in patch 4.1. Huzzah!

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1658706617?page=8#145
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.4GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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- Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
I've updated this thread a bit to include updated information with 4.1's changes. Note that turning down liquid detail with this patch may provide even larger boosts than before. I about doubled my framerate by knocking it down one step from ultra.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.4GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
Edited by Kodiack on 4/29/2011 12:24 PM PDT
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90 Orc Hunter
6735
kodiack,
I'm runnin on XPsp2 which isn't supported by leatrix. Do you know of anywhere that would have a walkthrough for adding regestry values to help with latiency issues with Sp2?
Edited by Fitzeronik on 12/21/2011 3:05 PM PST
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
Fitzeronik, the Leatrix latency fix shouldn't be necessary anymore with the optimize network for speed option that was added a while back. Latency issues can stem from a number of problems. I'd recommend posting a thread over at technical support so we can more thoroughly look into it.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/1011701/
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.8GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live WoW Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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85 Worgen Hunter
12380
hello there im running wow in my toshiba satellite a laptop. sadly it looks like im playing SNES even on lower settings the game performance is really poor, when i do 25man raids it drops to 1 fps sometimes, and thats not good, ill put the information of my laptop here so you can check it and if you have any tip will be great



Intel Pentium T4300 Penryn Socket P (478) (@45 nm) 2100 Mhz ( L1I: 2 x 32 Ko, L1D: 2 x 32 Ko, L2: 1024 Ko )
2gb ram ddr2
graphic card Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family
Intel Corporation:Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller:


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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
Heya, Bháltazar, I'm afraid that laptop won't ever perform all that well. Intel's integrated graphics are extremely low-end and won't ever produce stellar framerates.It wouldn't be a bad time to start looking into a new system.

Until a new system is able to be obtained, though, there are a few things you can do to improve FPS. First off, turn all the settings to their bare minimums. Most settings can incur a pretty heavy hit on lower-end hardware. If you're not already, play in DirectX 9 mode instead of DirectX 11 as well. I would also recommend playing around with the reduce input lag option in the advanced settings. Enabling it will improve the game's responsiveness, although it will hinder your framerate. Which is better will depend entirely on the person playing.

If you're running with vertical sync enabled, you'll also want to enable triple buffering in the advanced options. Vertical sync prevents screen tearing, although it will lower performance a fair amount if you don't have triple buffering on.

Lastly, you can try manually setting your gxTextureCacheSize value as outlined in the first suggestion. Your mileage will definitely vary, but I've seen some great results with manually defining it on some of Intel's hardware. You would probably want to try a value in the 512-768 range.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.8GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live WoW Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
Edited by Kodiack on 1/5/2012 9:07 PM PST
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85 Worgen Hunter
12380
thank you very much for the answer, ill start looking for a desktop pc now, since i have read that desktop are a lot more good than laptops, anyway, do you have a good recomendation about what kind of equipment should i get to play wow at maximum settings, like cpu graphic card, etc etc.
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
The market's got what you're willing and able to pay for. What's your budget?
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.8GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live WoW Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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85 Worgen Hunter
12380
i can spend around 5 thousand for febreary.and im thinking about buy a machine that will be good for at least 5 years starting 2012
Edited by Bháltazar on 1/6/2012 7:11 PM PST
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MVP - Technical Support
90 Blood Elf Hunter
17635
That's quite the big budget, if it's all for tossing together a computer. You should post a thread over at the Games, Gaming and Hardware forum.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/2721885/

Most modern systems can last quite a while. If you don't skimp on processor and motherboard, you can easily reuse hardware for several years without any issues.
________________________________________________
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.8GHz | 12GB RAM | ATI 5970+5870 | F120 SSD
Live WoW Tech Support: irc://chat.freenode.net/wowtech
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85 Blood Elf Paladin
6725
As of late I have been having a lot of lag issues. A new computer would be nice, but not really in my budget. I recently went with the blizzard default settings, and now the game seems choppy, almost like my character is moving faster then the frames of the game. I am also running a Toshiba satellite, its about 3-4 years old, all gear in tact, except upgraded ram. I have also been trying to self tune the PC itself. I was wondering if you had any suggestions.
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90 Blood Elf Mage
9985
Much love for my fellow(suffering) Toshiba Satellite users<3

I know this thread is old, but I have something just to throw in here(=
From what I've heard, a good beginning budget for optimized performance is within the 500-900 dollar bracket, if you build from scratch.

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85 Night Elf Rogue
2295
01/06/2012 07:11 PMPosted by Bháltazar
i can spend around 5 thousand for febreary.and im thinking about buy a machine that will be good for at least 5 years starting 2012


With a budget of 5k I would buy one of 3k right now and save the rest for a good system in 2-3 ish years.

Tech is moving way too fast right now to spend on high end systems.
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85 Worgen Warrior
10510
sometimes better use old tech than new tech some cases
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