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Sixth beta of Mac OS X 10.6.4 seeded by Apple, clear of issues

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple this week issued another beta of its forthcoming security and maintenance update for Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.4, with the latest build remaining free of known issues.

People familiar with the matter said build 10F564 weighs in at 600MB -- roughly 20MB larger than the previous build. Developers were reportedly asked to focus on Graphics Drivers, SMB, USB, VoiceOver and VPN.

The last beta, build 10F58, was issued to developers last Tuesday. It, too, was said to be clear of issues.

The last few builds have all contained the same focus areas and enhancements, and this week's update is no different. The updates addressed issues that could cause the keyboard or trackpad to become unresponsive, and also fixed a problem that prevented some Adobe Creative Suite 3 applications from loading.

Apple first began widespread testing of Mac OS X 10.6.4 in late April. The previous update to Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.3, was released at the end of March. It included improvements for QuickTime X and OpenGL-based applications, in the form of a 437.2MB update.
post #2 of 35
Looks like it's time for this puppy to be released! I imagine later today or tomorrow evening.
post #3 of 35
Bring it.
post #4 of 35
Certainly wouldn't want the keyboard to be responsive...
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

Looks like it's time for this puppy to be released! I imagine later today or tomorrow evening.

Has Apple ever released a final version so quickly after a beta (same day or next day)?

I don't think so.

Take your time, Apple. Get it right. Don't rush it.
post #6 of 35
My CS3 has been up on blocks for over a month now!
post #7 of 35
I wonder if these "graphics driver fixes" mean improved Steam performance to bring it on par with Windows performance on the same systems. Also, can't wait for my MacBook keyboard to register every single stroke I make... has been plaguing me since... forever actually, even on Leopard.
post #8 of 35
Looks like Snow Leopard is finally polished, hopefully iLife will be updated at WWDC and I'll be ready to get my new 15" anti-glare MacBook Pro and a Ubuntu netbook. (the iPad is not a option)
post #9 of 35
I'm just hoping it kills my terrible mouse issues...

(stupid mouse settings change for ~3s every time I switch between programs)
post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

I wonder if these "graphics driver fixes" mean improved Steam performance to bring it on par with Windows performance on the same systems. Also, can't wait for my MacBook keyboard to register every single stroke I make... has been plaguing me since... forever actually, even on Leopard.

It's quite possible that there will be some performance improvements in OpenGL and/or the graphics drivers, but I wouldn't expect the performance deficit to be fixed overnight. It will likely require multiple updates from both Valve and Apple.

That said, any performance improvements would be very welcome.
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post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Looks like Snow Leopard is finally polished, hopefully iLife will be updated at WWDC and I'll be ready to get my new 15" anti-glare MacBook Pro and a Ubuntu netbook. (the iPad is not a option)

The iPad is not...what did that have to do with anything? More than whining in general that is...

/Ferrari is not an option
post #12 of 35
VPN? Is there integrated VPN in OS X? Is it mm?
post #13 of 35
Great to see 10.6.4 advancing, reckon they'll release it over next two week with WWDC around the corner and all. Well I hope anyway, (as CS3 is out of action on the MBP)

Yep iPad is a little pricey, but 2 million of these puppies were sold, that's impressive.

/Aston Martin is not an option either
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

I wonder if these "graphics driver fixes" mean improved Steam performance to bring it on par with Windows performance on the same systems.

How do you define on par? PC performance is a sliding scale based upon the graphics card and processor, plus driver refinement and OS. I doubt that two identical graphics card would be the same on either platform. Direct X is heavily optimized and coded for, where OpenGL isn't really used outside of the new Valve ventures and id. I think within 10 frames a second would be considered on par.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwatson View Post

Certainly wouldn't want the keyboard to be responsive...

check your batteries or your connection.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Has Apple ever released a final version so quickly after a beta (same day or next day)?

I don't think so.

Take your time, Apple. Get it right. Don't rush it.

Well they've got to release it sometime. It's not like this is a .0 release. If this build is as stable (from reading here on AppleInsider and elsewhere, it's pretty much ready.

Also not to mention, Apple is typically a few builds ahead of what they release to developers. I know when I worked at Apple, when Mac OS 10.0 was still in development, we were at least a dozen or so builds ahead of what the ADC members would get.

Apple have their own Q/A testers where their primary job is to try to make the OS crash and boom. They are only relying on public developers to test their applications with the beta builds to make sure their apps do not create conflicts.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

How do you define on par? PC performance is a sliding scale based upon the graphics card and processor, plus driver refinement and OS. I doubt that two identical graphics card would be the same on either platform. Direct X is heavily optimized and coded for, where OpenGL isn't really used outside of the new Valve ventures and id. I think within 10 frames a second would be considered on par.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/val...mac,10432.html

Portal on a Macbook Pro:

32 fps on OSX, 58fps on Windows 7 with same display settings.

That's almost double
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feynman View Post

Well they've got to release it sometime. It's not like this is a .0 release. If this build is as stable (from reading here on AppleInsider and elsewhere, it's pretty much ready.

Also not to mention, Apple is typically a few builds ahead of what they release to developers. I know when I worked at Apple, when Mac OS 10.0 was still in development, we were at least a dozen or so builds ahead of what the ADC members would get.

Apple have their own Q/A testers where their primary job is to try to make the OS crash and boom. They are only relying on public developers to test their applications with the beta builds to make sure their apps do not create conflicts.

Look, we're not doubting that Apple is going to release 10.6.x at some point. Also, we understand that Apple has their own internal QA team and that they would be several builds ahead.

However, the whole point of seeding developer betas is to get feedback. It would be naive to think that a few hours of testing would give Apple enough useful information. Apple wants the betas to be tested in a wide variety of real life hardware-software situations, something that requires time and diligence, especially since developers aren't getting any remuneration for their efforts.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

VPN? Is there integrated VPN in OS X? Is it mm?

Yes there is... Using it every day and it's great (L2TP over IPsec, PTPP, Cisco IPsec). It's one of the best new features of Snow Leopard if you ask me .
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/val...mac,10432.html

Portal on a Macbook Pro:

32 fps on OSX, 58fps on Windows 7 with same display settings.

That's almost double

Agreed. It's possible that we'll see an increase in performance now that Valve is on the platform. Valve said that Apple has worked closely with them and that they are helping Apple with gaming stability and performance.

That said, it was interesting to see that Valve announced that Macs were much more stable then Windows machines when gaming. The Steam clients report many statistics to Valve and they announced that Macs crash far less. I'd hate to lose stability for speed.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotOn View Post

Looks like Snow Leopard is finally polished, hopefully iLife will be updated at WWDC and I'll be ready to get my new 15" anti-glare MacBook Pro and a Ubuntu netbook. (the iPad is not a option)

I had to revert to 10.6.2 on my iMac as it became unstable an continuously froze under 10.6.3. Here's hoping to a polished update. The other lovely glossy screened machines had no issues.
I too would love an updated iLife. The suite needs some love, for sure.
The iPad option is already taken. Its a thing of beauty and a joy to use.

The Aston MartinDB9 is not an option. (DOH!)
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

How do you define on par? PC performance is a sliding scale based upon the graphics card and processor, plus driver refinement and OS. I doubt that two identical graphics card would be the same on either platform. Direct X is heavily optimized and coded for, where OpenGL isn't really used outside of the new Valve ventures and id. I think within 10 frames a second would be considered on par.

I don't think we should have to settle for lower performance because we're using Macs. In fact, I've heard that World of WarCraft runs faster on a Mac right now. I think we should expect Valve's games to eventually get framerates within 5% of the windows versions. Any less, and somebody is slacking.

Also, OpenGL is used everywhere but on Microsoft platforms. That includes gaming consoles and non-Windows operating systems. OpenGL doesn't need people making excuses for it.
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post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpcg View Post

Yes there is... Using it every day and it's great (L2TP over IPsec, PTPP, Cisco IPsec). It's one of the best new features of Snow Leopard if you ask me .

VPN support had been in Leopard already (and maybe even before), they have however increased the support for a wider range of types of VPN. But there are still a number of common older CiscoVPNs which are not supported by Snow Leopard yet (ie, you still need Cisco's client).
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorre View Post

I wonder if these "graphics driver fixes" mean improved Steam performance to bring it on par with Windows performance on the same systems. Also, can't wait for my MacBook keyboard to register every single stroke I make... has been plaguing me since... forever actually, even on Leopard.

It took many years for graphics drivers on Windows to reach their general level of maturity. It also takes a lot of cooperation between developers and driver development teams at ATi and nvidia to ensure solid driver support for a new game.

In other words, improvement in 3D performance isn't just a matter of issuing one single update. It's a continual process dependent on a lot of factors. 10.6.4's driver updates will not magically put OS X gaming performance on par with Windows'. That's a highly unrealistic expectation, especially since we're talking about graphics drivers that Apple writes internally, with a primary emphasis on stability and minimizing power consumption rather than maximizing 3D performance.

If Apple were open to allowing ATi and nvidia to directly write and release drivers for OS X, then we'd probably notice improvements in 3D performance at a quicker rate, but catching up to Windows would still take years. But Apple will never surrender that kind of control to an outside party, so their drivers will still emphasize stability and battery life rather than raw performance.

Apple will gradually iterate graphics drivers, and we'll probably see a few percentage points of performance improvement by the end of the year. A more noticeable and immediate impact on performance will come from Valve's improvement of their OS X code. They freely admit that their code is work in progress stuff right now, so as they get more familiar with OS X and as the OpenGL version of Source matures, things will get better.
post #25 of 35
I have found 10.6.3 to be very stable indeed. Basically I now only reboot my computer for software updates.

In terms of stability my Mac now has the "feel" of the computers I used at Uni 13 years ago which were big Sun servers, some with uptimes in years.

To those discussing graphics performance, on the desktop at least I think it's excellent. I have a Mac mini which only has 9400M integrated graphics, and yet I can resize and move 1080 HD movies around the screen apparently without effort.

As for 3D games, yes there is a gap there. But if you read the NVidia Windows driver release notes, you will see these guys actually play all the latest games, and specifically tune the driver parameters for each one. In the NVidia control panel is a list of "profiles" for each game. There is just no competing with that. And anyway do we really want 100 little hacks and tweaks for specific apps in our driver? Surely that bloats it and makes it less stable, with so many code paths, impossible to test them all.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by desides View Post

If Apple were open to allowing ATi and nvidia to directly write and release drivers for OS X, then we'd probably notice improvements in 3D performance at a quicker rate,

I think it would be worse.

One of the reasons Apple writes the drivers is because nVidia and ATi have little or no incentive to write good Mac drivers as there is next to no competition in the video card market on the Mac.

On Windows, the video cards are in direct competition with each other, so ATi and nVidia both put a lot of work into the drivers to maximize the performance of each card because people will buy based on the benchmark numbers.

On the Mac, nVidia or ATi strikes a deal with Apple to supply the video cards for some model of Mac. That Mac won't likely change for around 12 months. Once they're in there, they have no reason to improve the drivers because they already have guaranteed sales for a year. However, Apple still wants to please developers and users so they have some motivation to improve the drivers.

As slow as Apple is, I think it's better than the alternative.
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

big Sun servers, some with uptimes in years.

Am futilely resisting the attempt to engage in a nostalgia-fest for Uni days. IBM 3084Q, anyone?
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by desides View Post

It took many years for graphics drivers on Windows to reach their general level of maturity. It also takes a lot of cooperation between developers and driver development teams at ATi and nvidia to ensure solid driver support for a new game.

In other words, improvement in 3D performance isn't just a matter of issuing one single update. It's a continual process dependent on a lot of factors. 10.6.4's driver updates will not magically put OS X gaming performance on par with Windows'. That's a highly unrealistic expectation, especially since we're talking about graphics drivers that Apple writes internally, with a primary emphasis on stability and minimizing power consumption rather than maximizing 3D performance.

If Apple were open to allowing ATi and nvidia to directly write and release drivers for OS X, then we'd probably notice improvements in 3D performance at a quicker rate, but catching up to Windows would still take years. But Apple will never surrender that kind of control to an outside party, so their drivers will still emphasize stability and battery life rather than raw performance.

Apple will gradually iterate graphics drivers, and we'll probably see a few percentage points of performance improvement by the end of the year. A more noticeable and immediate impact on performance will come from Valve's improvement of their OS X code. They freely admit that their code is work in progress stuff right now, so as they get more familiar with OS X and as the OpenGL version of Source matures, things will get better.

So in other words, never?
Personally I think they should at least give us the option to replace their drivers, if we're willing to take the chance, why not?
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian577 View Post

So in other words, never?

Not sure how you infer that conclusion.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
The last few builds have all contained the same focus areas and enhancements, and this week's update is no different. The updates addressed issues that could cause the keyboard or trackpad to become unresponsive


When is it due? I have 2 working, but undetectable Bluetooth wireless iMac keyboard and mouse since I re-applied the Mac OS X 10.6.3 Combo update a few times to correct unrelated issues. I can use the keyboard and mouse, but they cannot be updated with the Aluminum Keyboard Firmware Update 1.1 and their settings cannot be changed because the Apple Bluetooth Assistant fails to recognize that they are connected to the iMac.

Hopefully, the Mac OS X 10.6.4 Combo update will correct this issue. I have not reported the issue to Apple yet because they are including a fix for the Apple wireless keyboard which, I have to assume, will correct my problem.


post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by desides View Post

Not sure how you infer that conclusion.

Let me rephrase that, it's not going to to occur within any reasonable period of time. Personally I'm starting to think Valve wasted their time making native versions. They may have been better off using Cider for releasing these older titles. Perhaps native versions would be fine for future titles but porting games from DirectX to OpenGL was probably more trouble than it was worth. The biggest problem is that OS X was never designed for gaming, the more I struggle with Steam for Mac, the more I wonder if I'd have fewer headaches relaying on Windows for my gaming needs.
post #32 of 35
if i was to purchase 10.6 what version disk would they send me 10.6.3 or what
thanks
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

if i was to purchase 10.6 what version disk would they send me 10.6.3 or what
thanks

I am not sure what specific point release of 10.6 you will get on disc, but it should not matter that much. You are purchasing a license for 10.6, and thus you are eligible for point release updates. To update, use Apple > Software Update in the upper left of the screen, or go to:

http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1017

Just use the disc to get started.

Nullis in verba -- "on the word of no one"

 

 

 

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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post

if i was to purchase 10.6 what version disk would they send me 10.6.3 or what
thanks

When I purchased Snow Leopard, I got 10.6.0, even though 10.6.2 was current. I purchased the $29 Upgrade version. It shouldn't matter though, as you will always be updating the OS anyway.
post #35 of 35
According to Mac Rumors, 10.6.4 is available now. Funny, don't see it listed anywhere (yet) on AI.
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