World of Warcraft on a 13″ Retina Macbook Pro

I stopped playing WoW in 2008, and since I didn’t need Windows for gaming, I ended up putting Fedora (and ultimately Ubuntu) on my old Core 2 Duo desktop. After years of fighting with slow computers, I recently bit the bullet and bought the 13″ Retina Macbook Pro (MGX82LL/A). Even though I hadn’t played WoW in years – or any other PC games, for that matter – the gamer in me was still reluctant to go with a computer with no dedicated video card. I’d read up extensively on the Intel Iris 5100 chipset in the Macbook but I couldn’t find anything about its performance in WoW, which was the least-taxing game I could think of.

Well, as fate would have it, Blizzard recently announced they’d be purging the names of characters who hadn’t logged in for 5+ years. Since I had a new computer and I didn’t want to lose my beloved Undead Rogue it seemed like a good time to rejoin. After a couple days of playing, I figured I’d write this post as a service to any other would-be Macbook Pro purchasers curious about its performance in WoW.

This isn’t a detailed benchmarking post – I’m not Anandtech. The short version is that the performance of WoW on the MGX82LL/A is very good. I get 30-60 frames per second basically everywhere, though with settings only set to “fair.” The main thing I wanted to report here is heat. The laptop gets HOT when playing WoW. I installed iStat Menus to get the sensor data – see below.

WoW Settings
WoW Settings
MGX82LL/A CPU temperature - Baseline
MGX82LL/A CPU temperature – Baseline
MGX82LL/A temperature in WoW
MGX82LL/A temperature in WoW

The CPU sensors show temperature increases of over 100ºF. That’s pretty darn hot. I’ll play with the settings to see if I can get the temperature to something more reasonable.

Sleepys Is Amazing, aka The Power of Twitter

About a year and a half ago we went shopping for a bed. We went to the Sleepy’s in Deer Park and tried out a bunch of the beds. They had some computer where you lay on it and it recommends firmness, and we ended up getting a Kingsdown based partly on the recommendations of this computer (it was also a really comfy mattress). I forget the model of the bed but it had different firmness on my side and my wife’s, which seemed like a cool feature.

Fast-forward to now. The bed is no longer comfortable. It feels actually like sleeping on concrete. I’ve been sleeping on the couch (an Ikea Ektorp) because that’s actually less painful than the bed. And between the two sides of the bed is a solid piece of styrofoam, which with each side sagging has become sort of a mountain down the center of the bed.

So there’s some background info. In a moment of mild despair I asked this on Twitter:

My Internet buddy Jon Hayden responded, and we had a brief Twitter conversation about beds, both of us having purchased ours at Sleepy’s. (Twitter’s embedded tweet thing appears to include the original tweet in an @reply, so this looks like of strange.)

The next day (Jan 27th) I got this reply from Deana Ramos, @SleepysCare, to my surprise:

Being a cynical guy, here was my response:

Today’s 1/29 and I was planning to write an email to Sleepy’s to see what (if anything) they could do, but my phone rang and the caller ID came up “Sleepys LLC.” Uh oh…

Well, I spoke to a rep from Sleepy’s and sure enough, she was calling in reference to my Tweet. She assured me that Sleepy’s is very concerned about customer satisfaction, apologized for the trouble, and said she would credit my full purchase price toward another mattress – and when I’ve picked one out at a showroom and am ready to purchase it, I should call her directly for discounted pricing. As I told her on the phone, I was STUNNED. At a high level I was pretty impressed they managed to call me based only on my Twitter name, but it IS my actual name, but I think that’s pretty resourceful of them. But on another level, WOW. I mean, that computer at Sleepy’s was part of the reason we bought the mattress, and of course the salesman wants to sell, but I’m a firm believer in caveat emptor – if you buy something and don’t like it, too bad. Plus it’s been almost two years since I bought it. This is really amazing. Assuming this really works out, I’ll be a Sleepy’s customer for life. Amazing!

When the admin of your online community dies

In 2000 or 2001 I started playing EverQuest. I was relatively late to the game, joining after the 3rd expansion (Luclin) was already out. I played it for a few years, at one point obsessively. In truth, I was never really that good, but I was in a guild that I loved and for the most part we all had fun. Like in other MMOs, when you start playing EverQuest you need to choose which server to play on. Basically I picked a random one to create my character on: Tarew Marr (most servers in EQ were named after the deities in the game).
Continue reading “When the admin of your online community dies”

I abandoned WoW

WoW got boring so I let my subscription expire again. Rogue was an amazing class to play through Burning Crusade but with Lich King the game got pretty stupid and while Wintergrasp was awesome, it got boring too, so Khal is in mothballs again. I picked up my druid a bit but that got repetitive too – I’d just get to 80 and the same thing would happen.