Getting Better WoW Wireless Performance

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 27th, 2005, 06:37
Category: Software

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft (WoW) on a PowerBook and on my new dual G5 2.7 both wirelessly and sometimes the network totally wigs but here are a few things i’ve found that help a lot…


I’ve been playing World of Warcraft (WoW) on a PowerBook and on my new dual G5 2.7 both wirelessly and sometimes the network totally wigs but here are a few things i’ve found that help a lot:
First, download AirPort Management Tools (or install them off the CD):
AirPort Client Monitor
AirPort Management Utility
You can get these from the Airport Support Web site.
The link for them is on the right side listed under Additional Resources, “AirPort Management Tools”
The two utilities will graphically map out what your reception speed is and what the noise level is. So turn them on and leave them running for a few minutes. Then move closer to the access point and do it again. Try raising your AP unit and see what changes, etc.
Secondly, make sure you (or your neighbor) aren’t using a 2.4Ghz phone. If your neighbor has one it will also effect you too as they have between a 50-150 foot range which could overlap your wireless network. Don’t keep your cell phone next to your powerbook either.
Third, look at getting a better antenna for your AP. If you are using Airport Extreme make sure the antenna says “Apple” on it. I’ve bought 2 where the sales people said they should work but you have the wrong connector and there are apparently 3-4 different connectors all with funny names. Apple sells two (> $100) by Dr. Bott; however I found 2 at CompUSA (search for “apple antenna”) that are < $43.00.
Make sure your access point is mounted high up!! Having it on the floor or your desk is not good enough. I saw a huge network range gain when I mounted mine above door level versus having it on the floor.
Fourth, consider getting an AirPort Express Base Station to function as a repeater from your main wireless hub. Don't forget your mac to a degree is blocking the signal somewhat. (Especially something like a G5 case). If you tend to keep your powerbook floating around the house it will help to have a 2nd (or 3rd) airport express. It's silly to spend $2-3K on a computer and cripple it because you wanted to save $100 on buying the cheapest access point they made. (Don't use cheap tires on your Porsche....)
Fifth, more memory helps. WoW is very not fun on 512mb, even on a dual 2.7. I bumped up to 2.5 GB and it's nice..... Going to a gig made a huge difference on the powerbook, going to 2 gig's helped a little but not a lot. I'm thinking the sweet spot is between 1 and 1.5 GB. Your mileage may vary.
Sixth, play with the graphic settings. Walk (or ride) to an isolated location and play with the graphic settings, spin in a circle and watch your frame rate. Change one setting and spin in a circle and see if you like the quality difference and see what the speed difference. Oh and turn off the music. It's nice but it sucks up CPU time. Pick and choose which other sounds you like and want on. Play with the settings.
Seven, check out your /Library/StartupItems for things that are in there that you don't care about. Not going to go into details on this one as you may cause more harm then good if you don't know what you are doing. For those of you who installed things like WebObjects, XCode don't forget you have OpenBase running. So if you've installed things like MySQL or other tools they generally start up on boot.
Eight, sometimes it helps to bounce your cable modem, router and wireless stuff before you are going to sit down for a long session of playing.
Nine, Reboot before you start playing. A lot of applications don't always clean up after themselves. If you need to look up stuff online, make a pdf and use Preview to look at it since it takes up much less memory then Safari or Firefox does. If you have to run Safari make sure you close all windows or at hide the application (don't Minimize it as any java scripts, flash, animations will continue to play in miniature).
Ten, do a Mod audit. Turn some off and see if you can live without them. If you are using a compilation make sure you want everything in there on. Some have class specific add ons and if you don't have plans to play that class you can turn those off.
Eleven, do the other stuff people have suggested on the Blizzard Mac Tech support forum.
They know what they are talking about and be nice to the Blizzard folks, they work hard.

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