TL:DR – The base model MacBook Air can run WoW at 1440x900 on “Good” at about 30fps no problem.
As many of you tech geeks likely know, Apple released a new version of their MacBok Air line a few weeks ago. The main difference between these laptops and a normal laptop is:
1. Its stupidly thin, small and the battery lasts a long time
2. It uses a custom built super fast solid state drive
I was in the market for awhile for a new laptop and everyone I talked with said go mac (I’ve never owned a mac before, always been a PC). So I went and picked up a MacBook Pro 15’’ Corei5, 4GB of ram, etc….LOVED the design and usability of it but with the release of the MacBook Air it just seemed like a better deal for what I wanted it for so I took the Pro back and bough the base model MacBook Air 13’’ (Core2Duo 1.8ghz with 2GB of ram).
For fun, I thought it would be a laugh to install WoW on it and see how poorly it ran…I mean….2GB of ram…core 2 duo…..I was guessing around 5-10 fps. With the new launcher (OMG I LOVE YOU) you can boot WoW after only about 200mb downloaded so I figured trying it would only take like 10-15 minutes.
What I found blew me away…..not only does the new MacBook Air run World of Warcraft….it runs it extremely well. By default the game boots with its graphic settings set to “Good” at a native screen resolution of 1440 x 900 and looks amazing. I found on average I have the following frame rates:
Dalaran: 20-30fps with an all time low of 14 and an all time high of 60 (V-Sync on). This is completely dependent on the amount of people.
Open world: 40-60fps
I found I sit around 30fps in a battleground fight and I have no problem jumping into big battles in AV.
Overall the battery lasts about 3 hours playing WoW from full to dead, as long as you want if plugged in.
The only issue I found was the laptop gets pretty hot (the chipset got up to about 90 degrees after a few minutes) but I found the heat source is very centralized to a specific area on the laptop and a simple $20 cooling pad keeps her running at about 75-80 degrees even after 3 hours.
All in all, it’s an amazing machine and I love it