[quote]Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon:
<strong>"Why does everybody think that Quartz is some amazing technology that needs tons of hardware thrown at it?"
...because it's slow..?
But my point is that the technology doesn't have to be "amazing" -- it just has to be the 3D hardware engine that is already in the graphics chips (Rage128 and beyond).
"The truth of the matter is that if the designers of Quartz had planned for hardware acceleration from day 1 then current hardware would be more than fast enough."
Hmmm. Who knows what the real reason is? Maybe the explanation is quite simple. They had a big job incorporating backwards compatability and Unix under a decent interface. So? They get 'X' working. Then they speed it up...then they add bells and whistles and maybe h/w acceleration...
One can only guess at other reasons why they didn't add h/w acceleration from day one? Speculate?
Inertia -- Apple has always built software graphics engines and worried about hardware acceleration later. QuickDraw, QD GX, and now Quartz. They are getting better at the API level it seems, but somehow they just don't deliver at the implementation & driver levels.
"The stuff Quartz is doing pales in comparison to the amount of graphics most 3D games are doing."
It's funny you should say that. I've often been quite perplexed by the level of sophistication in game interfaces and the dazzling graphics there in and wondered what's keeping OS 'X' for example to 'catch up'...
Games are typically built from the ground up to leverage the hardware they expect to run on. It seems like the Quartz guys weren't even allowed to talk to the OpenGL or hardware people. They'd damn well better hurry up because GUI & 2D support is rumoured to be on the list of future items for DirectX, which means M$ will be able to do some very fancy stuff in their GUI.
"Instead the engineers who did Quartz built a software graphics engine,"
...but I find it hard to believe they didn't have an idea of where they where going with it...
"something which I don't think has had a place on new machines in the last 2-3 years... and it has been obvious that things were going this way for the last 5-6 years, at least."
Well, current machines are doing spectacular games graphics...I'm curious as to why this level of functionality isn't possible in X? Maybe its evolution and first things first?
It probably just wasn't prioritized at a high level, so it got put off and put off and put off. Unfortunately it is something that can be done a lot better if it is made a priority very early in the design phase.
You say computers haven't had the power in the last few years for a Quartz type engine? Hmm. Well, Opp' Systems have, visually, stayed pretty much the same since the Mac 1984 interface. Since then, computing power has become relatively ridiculously powerful. What's keeping the design of OS from having visual fluff? As soon as Apple does something different from OS 9, dinosaurs sceam blue murder? Maybe OSs aren't were they should be because there isn't enough competition in the OS market (hello Microsoft...) and in the Games market there IS alot of competition...therefore much speedier advancement in interfaces.
I meant for doing these kinds of things in hardware. The capability is relatively new. Using graphics hardware tends to break some assumptions which are built into software that was built with only software graphics in mind. Hardware is powerful, but usually you have to fit with its
way of working rather than it fitting to yours. This is why you want to plan for it at an early stage. For software that has been around a long time, this is very forgiveable because it wasn't even understood that such hardware would exist, much less how it would actually work. Over the last 5 years or so, however, the direction things are going has been pretty obvious to anybody actually paying attention to PC level graphics.
"Now they have to figure out how to make this software engine into a hardware engine, which is generally harder and less efficient than building a hardware engine in the first place."
Yeah, I guess so. But who's to say with any authority that this is the case? Maybe the Racyer buyout was part of a plan to accelerate the OS and go somewhere new? Maybe the Raycer buyout has yet to see its realisation? Technical delays? etc? I dunno. But it's fun to speculate.
The romantic in me says Apple has got a plan and Raycer chipsets/Open GL OS acceleration/special functionaility (whatever its form...), High End Nvidia Apple collaboration on High End Graphic Cards and G5s are all a matter of time.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Apple shouldn't be trying to compete in terms of graphics chips -- they are going lose if they do. They cannot compete with nVidia, ATI, 3DLabs, etc. Why should they? They don't compete in the CPU design business, why should they try in the GPU business -- especially since modern GPUs are arguably more complex. If they only add acceleration for some new Raycer designed hardware then all the existing machines don't benefit even though they include a bunch of very powerful and under-utilized graphics chips. Apple is all about high margins on products built with well integrated off-the-shelf parts -- designing a graphics chip would be a silly thing to do.