Saturday, 26 May 2012

How to avoid loud fans when playing World of Warcraft on the 2011 MacBook Pro 13"

Some time ago I retired my old Dell XPS laptop for a 2011 MacBook Pro 13" with a solid state drive. I don't have much time for gaming these days, but from time to time I would like to cast some holy paladin heals in the Warsong Gulch battleground in World of Warcraft.

I was worried that WOW would be to tough for the Intel HD Graphics 3000 card, but to my surprise it ran in 60 fps when running around in Goldshire:

There was a problem though, when running up to Stormwind to search for some new gear and enchants at the auction house there was a major increase in the fan speed. The auction house area is quite crowded on the Silvermoon server. The previously silent Mac was not so silent anymore :(

After some searches I found the follow work-around: The console in WOW allows you to limit the frame rate of the game with the maxfps console command. I created two macros, one that sets the frame rate to 5 which I use when I'm in the crowded Stormwind area, and another macro which limits the frame rate to 30 which I use inside the battlegrounds. Here's a screenshot of how I set up the 5 fps macro:

With these two macros I can play the battlegrounds with a reasonable frame rate and visit the city centers without having the Mac noticeable increasing its fan speed.

Did this solve the loud fan problem when you play World of Warcraft on your Mac?