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WoW Legion is out on Mac (61% faster thanks to Metal)

World of Warcraft Legion, the latest expansion to the biggest MMO out there, is finally available. It was released on August 30 for Mac and Windows and can be purchased directly through

World of Warcraft (WoW) continues to lose subscribers every year, but Blizzard hopes that Legion will turn the tide.

Legion certainly includes the same old features you could expect from an expansion (Level cap raised to 110, a new Demon Hunter class, new areas to explore and more dungeons and raids).

But Legion also introduces game-changing features, such as:

  • New legendary Artifact weapons
  • New PvP-specific talents
  • A new world-scaling leveling system
  • And Class Order Halls

This is enough to make WoW Legion one of the most exciting Mac games this year. Nearly every system has been overhauled and critics so far are liking it. A lot.

WoW Legion Mac


A much better Mac experience thanks to Metal

Last year Apple released Metal, the brand-new engine that would revolutionize graphics and gaming performance. Many high-profile developers were on board, but over a year later, absolutely no game supported Metal.

I’m glad to confirm the first Mac game to support Metal is finally here. WoW now has a version that officially supports Metal and you don’t need to have Legion to benefit from it. With Count It, we measured both WoW using OpenGL and WoW using Metal and compared the results:

WoW Mac Metal

The results speak for themselves. The Metal version of WoW is over 60% faster than the older version.

For both OpenGL and Metal versions, two tests were performed for each version. You can see the detailed specifications and results of two of the tests performed:

WoW Legion Mac benchmark results

During Legion’s beta phase, a Redditor compared both versions and found that the Metal version was 21% faster than the OpenGL version. It seems Blizzard has been hard at work making the Metal version even better.

Have you tried Legion or the latest WoW Metal version? Let us know how it’s going so far.

  • star-affinity

    This is awesome news! I wonder if there’s such a big improvement in WoW for all graphics cards that supports Metal. I mean I guess there will be an improvement overall, just curious by how much. Also curios how performance is compared to running the game in Windows on the same hardware…

  • mattxg

    Great article, Ric and an interesting insight into the potential sources of the well known 30-50% performance impacts of gaming under macOS – maybe the OpenGL drivers having simply been historically terrible. Here’s hoping these Metal improvements help other games too.