How to make World of Warcraft run faster?

So, if you like I just took the plunge into Vista thinking it would make everything better and faster I’m sure you are as just as disappointed. So without giving you any technical reasons as to why it’s running slower (on the same computer you were using with Windows XP just a week ago…) lets jump right into speeding things up.


First things first, let’s ensure we have the newest video card drivers. So far, each time a new driver has come out for my video card, it has been the biggest single boost to WoW performance every time! So update your drivers frequently! If you can’t tell what video card is in your system, right click on your desktop and click personalize (remember, were in Vista now). Next click “Display settings” and in the drop down box you should see the make and model of your video card. Mine is an NVIDIA card so I would need to go to nvidia to retrieve the newest drivers. If your card is an ATI card, go ahead and navigate to ati.amd to grab the newest drivers.


Alright, now that we have the newest video card drivers (and have restarted our computer) let’s take a look at the next biggest boost. Many people will argue with my suggestions in this section, but that’s good, because depending upon your video card model, driver version, DirectX version, and whether or not you have an adobe product loaded on your system (strange isn’t it, fortunately it doesn’t matter because we are going to play with settings here anyway…) these settings will be different for everyone. So let’s start in the World of Warcraft display properties.


While Warcraft is running, run your mouse over your latency bar. Yes, that little green (though, more than likely yellow if you are on one of the damn original servers) bar that tells you your latency between you and the wow servers. Ever sense a recent patch, it also shows us our video FPS (frames per second.) So here is what I want you to do. Start changing settings in your video options menu and keep restarting wow and check this number. Smooth game play hovers at roughly 30-45fps (and of course higher on faster computers…) and will go up and down depending upon where you are (in Orgrimmar expect low FPS, and in arena you can expect a much higher FPS) so make sure you are in the same place when you take each sampling. This is quite time consuming and is irritating to do, but once you have the optimal settings for your system, your game play will be much smoother. Remember, when you hover over the video settings, Blizzard generally tells you whether or not the setting will help, or hinder performance.


This last setting is relevant to only Windows Vista. Here are two settings I wish to note that destroyed performance on my system. Duel monitor setups will slow wow way down in Vista, and not running Warcraft in full screen will be a huge bane to performance. Now let’s talk about Vista’s settings. What I want you to do is right click on the World of Warcraft icon and go to “Properties.” In properties you will need to go to the “compatibility” tab. Check “Disable visual themes,” “Disable desktop composition,” and “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” and click apply. This will turn off some of Vista’s special effects while World of Warcraft is running. This will help WoW’s performance. I have not noticed “Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 2)” to make any difference.


Well, these are just three things I have done to make my system go faster, and I would love to hear any feedback as to other things you can do to make wow run smoother on Vista. Please drop me a line over on my site and I will be sure to share it with everyone I can.


For the horde! (And yes, Vista is quite an upgrade from XP and will eventually be able to game the same as XP. For those of you who haven’t yet switched, you may want to reconsider if you are an extreme WoW player.