Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: GPU Optimization

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  • Reply 21 of 102
    OpenCL is a tool that developers can use. The mere presence of OpenCL does precisely nothing for existing software. In order to take advantage of it, a program has to be written to use it.



    As for Flash, it seems that there's no way to access the H.264 decoder in the video card except through QuickTime. So writing an OpenCL-based H.264 decoder for Flash might be Adobe's only option for hardware video acceleration. It would certainly perform faster and more efficiently than the current CPU-based solution. Keep in mind, though, that QuickTime is primarily a library for applications to use; it's not just the application with the hideous icon. I don't know the particulars, but Adobe probably could use QuickTime to do video decoding and playback.
  • Reply 22 of 102
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZannX View Post


    A lot of claims in this article seem rather strange ... Apple should focus less on this sort of non sense and actually sell their products for that they're worth: a whole shibang less. ... Good luck trying to topple directx with OpenCL. .... Food for thought.



    You pretty much missed the entire point of the article.
  • Reply 23 of 102
    Let me add my agreement with those expressing disappointment in the article. Seemed to spend an awful lot of time pointing out Windows' flaws and how Apple is going to thwart the evil Microsoft with OpenCL. I don't care. We get it. Apple = good. Microsoft = bad.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 24 of 102
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to the monthly hardware data report published by Valve's Steam covering roughly a million PC users, even among members of the gaming community, most of whom have 512MB or more of VRAM and a better GPU than most Mac users and, the majority are still running Windows XP, on operating system which offers no GPU-accelerated user interface.



    Oh Gawd...



    Can someone who knows whatever language this is translate it for me?



  • Reply 25 of 102
    shogunshogun Posts: 360member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Even among Valve's Steam users, who represent the premium fringe of early adopter, big spending PC buyers, only 36% are now running Vista, nearly three years after its launch.



    It took 5 years or so from the mighty Microsoft to hammer its OS to adapt to this new computing paradigm and release Vista.



    Sweet Jesus. This English is killing me.
  • Reply 26 of 102
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stuffe View Post


    There's not a lot of meat in this article, compared to the others in the series. I don;t care what Windows did in the past, or what Windows Gamers still use, I want to know about SL, and despite the strapline, this article only talks about openGL, not OCL or GCD.



    I think it's a great article. Historical perspective is a very valuable thing that most writers (esp. tech writers), just don't do at all.



    That being said, it does appear to be more of a "road to" instead of an "inside" article. It's more about placing the GPU optimisation historically than it is about the details of it's implementation.
  • Reply 27 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shogun View Post


    Oh Gawd...



    Can someone who knows whatever language this is translate it for me?







    It really has no meaning. I have no idea why this article quotes steam statistics. Steam is a game distribution platform so their sample is Gamers.



    A very odd sample for something like apple to analyze.



    64 bit doesn't 'benefit' gamers the most (no idea where that even came from). Almost all games run just as well in 32 bit (if not better). The fact that most of these steam users have a GPU with over 512 VRAM that's better than most mac users (as quoted by the article) is completely meaningless in the context of the article. It just means that gamers have good graphics cards (better than mac users... duh?) and the majority of them run 32-bit XP (even though it's a lower percentage of XP usage than the general population). The fact that XP doesn't have GPU accelerated user interface is unimportant.



    What does this mean? Not a lot. If you game at all (and I do, a lot), you'll know that developers happily support 32 bit xp with all the new games since it's after all the largest market (something that apple users just can't seem to grasp).



    Again, I have no idea what the article is trying to prove when quoting what hardware / OS gamers use. All I know is... gamers sure as hell aren't running OS X.



    The only real point is that gamers (steam users) have good video cards (over 512 VRAM as quoted by the article) but XP (the most popular OS on steam) doesn't have a GPU accelerated user interface. Ok, so what? No idea.



    And it quotes that 'only' 36% of steam users run vista. Again, this is a higher percentage than the general population so I fail to see what the article tries to point out aside from the fact that people who play games tend to upgrade hardware more often and thus their operating system... therefore making the xp -> vista upgrade sooner than the general population.
  • Reply 28 of 102
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZannX View Post


    A lot of claims in this article seem rather strange and shallow. None of this really means anything to the average consumer. Any PC user in need of a GPU will obviously not be running Intel GMA and those who have netbooks don't have need of a dedicated graphics card. Netbook users should really be using linux anyway if they want optimal performance while not sacrificing a whole lot in features since the purpose of a netbook is rather limited anyway. So the stab at Microsoft in the netbook market is kind of pointless.



    Apple should focus less on this sort of non sense and actually sell their products for that they're worth: a whole shibang less. I guarantee you a whole lot more people will switch if it costs them less money. Sure Windows 7 costs you money to upgrade (by the way, I haven't ever paid for an OS and I haven't bootlegged one either), but OS X costs you the premium of buying a new Mac over a new PC which is considerably higher. This is also partly the reason vista isn't widely adopted regardless of how good / bad it is. It still requires people to either upgrade or buy new hardware. XP's adoption rate was similarly low when it first came out.



    To a lay reader, it's almost like the article is trying to say that PC's didn't have graphics capabilities until 2007 while Macs have been processing high end graphics since 1999 and an iPhone is more powerful than a netbook. Think about that for a second. Way to go.



    Good luck trying to topple directx with OpenCL. I'll be picking up a GTX 300 happily awaiting DX11 and its integrated environment in Windows 7.



    Also, just to point out for the steam survey: 36% of steam users use Vista while 18% of the general population use vista. Food for thought.



    Apple's Support for the gaming world is moving ahead at light speed . We will over take the p/c realm very soon.



    So all you x-box types are wallowing in old mud like systems with little advancement . Apple with be the gaming platform leader by 2015 . I await all the halo's on mac one day .
  • Reply 29 of 102
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZannX View Post


    A lot of claims in this article seem rather strange and shallow. None of this really means anything to the average consumer. Any PC user in need of a GPU will obviously not be running Intel GMA and those who have netbooks don't have need of a dedicated graphics card. Netbook users should really be using linux anyway if they want optimal performance while not sacrificing a whole lot in features since the purpose of a netbook is rather limited anyway. So the stab at Microsoft in the netbook market is kind of pointless.



    Apple should focus less on this sort of non sense and actually sell their products for that they're worth: a whole shibang less. I guarantee you a whole lot more people will switch if it costs them less money. Sure Windows 7 costs you money to upgrade (by the way, I haven't ever paid for an OS and I haven't bootlegged one either), but OS X costs you the premium of buying a new Mac over a new PC which is considerably higher. This is also partly the reason vista isn't widely adopted regardless of how good / bad it is. It still requires people to either upgrade or buy new hardware. XP's adoption rate was similarly low when it first came out.



    To a lay reader, it's almost like the article is trying to say that PC's didn't have graphics capabilities until 2007 while Macs have been processing high end graphics since 1999 and an iPhone is more powerful than a netbook. Think about that for a second. Way to go.



    Good luck trying to topple directx with OpenCL. I'll be picking up a GTX 300 happily awaiting DX11 and its integrated environment in Windows 7.



    Also, just to point out for the steam survey: 36% of steam users use Vista while 18% of the general population use vista. Food for thought.



    Thanks for registering just to provide us with wonderful insight like macs are expensive and "good luck trying to topple DirectX with OpenCL". Some day you might realize that you get what you pay for and that OpenCL isn't competing with DirectX, but to be fair you would need to read more than this article to understand what OpenCL strives to be and what it brings to the table.



    Edit: I do agree with your second post, the Steam information isn't entirely relevant and AI is trying draw comparisions when it doesn't need to. They should have focused on what OpenCL actually does (which is to allow all available processors, both CPU and GPU, perform tasks previously limited to just the CPU). After reading the Ars review, I don't feel like any of this series really tells you enough, and they do take too many shots at Microsoft.
  • Reply 30 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    Apple's Support for the gaming world is moving ahead at light speed . We will over take the p/c realm very soon.



    So all you x-box types are wallowing in old mud like systems with little advancement . Apple with be the gaming platform leader by 2015 . I await all the halo's on mac one day .



    I'm not sure where xbox comes in, I play the majority of my games on a computer.

    Regardless of how good macs / pcs are, the way that apple is set up prevents it from dominating in pure market share from a business standpoint. Apple does it on purpose. If they have the majority of the market, they will have the same problems microsoft is having right now. Just think about it. If apple really wanted people to adopt OS X over Windows, they'd let OEM builders use it. They would also charge less for Macs to get people to switch. Apple is high margin, low volume, that's their business model.



    Quote:

    Thanks for registering just to provide us with wonderful insight like macs are expensive and "good luck trying to topple DirectX with OpenCL". Some day you might realize that you get what you pay for and that OpenCL isn't competing with DirectX, but to be fair you would need to read more than this article to understand what OpenCL strives to be and what it brings to the table.



    Yes, i registered after reading this article on google news. Got a problem with that?



    The article talks about GPU accelerated user interfaces. One of Directx 11's goals is to do just that. I'll admit I didn't do research on OpenCL since I personally don't care about it, but this is what I got from the article.
  • Reply 31 of 102
    cmf2cmf2 Posts: 1,427member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZannX View Post


    I'm not sure where xbox comes in, I play the majority of my games on a computer.

    Regardless of how good macs / pcs are, the way that apple is set up prevents it from dominating in pure market share from a business standpoint. Apple does it on purpose. If they have the majority of the market, they will have the same problems microsoft is having right now. Just think about it. If apple really wanted people to adopt OS X over Windows, they'd let OEM builders use it. They would also charge less for Macs to get people to switch. Apple is high margin, low volume, that's their business model.



    Sorry, I mistook you for just another troll, you do have a lot of valid points. I agree with a lot of this.



    Quote:

    Yes, i registered after reading this article on google news. Got a problem with that?



    The article talks about GPU accelerated user interfaces. One of Directx 11's goals is to do just that. I'll admit I didn't do research on OpenCL since I personally don't care about it, but this is what I got from the article.



    OpenGL is typically what most would consider as the competitor to DirextX. OpenCL is more about offloading some processor intensive (often non-graphics related) tasks to the GPU.
  • Reply 32 of 102
    jb510jb510 Posts: 124member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stuffe View Post


    There's not a lot of meat in this article, compared to the others in the series. I don;t care what Windows did in the past, or what Windows Gamers still use, I want to know about SL, and despite the strapline, this article only talks about openGL, not OCL or GCD.



    my sentiments exactly... I'd especially like to hear what major applications actually are designed to make use of GCD and OCL. Further I'd like to know what the ramifications of levergaing the GPU might be to applications that traditionally rely on the GPU, what happens to my video playback or gaming when Adobe LR decides to use it?
  • Reply 33 of 102
    zengazenga Posts: 267member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Poppleganger View Post


    what the fuck is a jingle pundit



    dude my thoughts exactly when i started to read the article.



  • Reply 34 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    I have noticed one good think about Snow Leopard this evening. On Leopard if I tried to watch a video in iTunes while encoding with Handbrake in the background, iTunes would stutter. On Snow Leopard it doesn't. It seems better at balancing resources amongst programs.
  • Reply 35 of 102
    As jingle-pundits desperately try to denigrate Snow Leopard as a "Service Pack,"



    Who is this? It's odd, I tend to get a lot of apple bashing links, but nothing on the issue.



    Just did a google search on jingle-pundits and only got hits from appleinsider.
  • Reply 36 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    This "Snow Leopard as Service Pack" meme has spread far and wide in short order. I heard it today from someone who usually never talks about Apple.



    I suppose from a user perspective, the number of features is not very many, but from a developer perspective it is quite major. Hopefully if developers embrace the new APIs, user programs can become faster than their Windows equivalents, and after all, the Applications are what the user is really about. The fundamental job of the OS is to make applications work better. In that sense this is what an OS release should be.
  • Reply 37 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aduzik View Post


    OpenCL is a tool that developers can use. The mere presence of OpenCL does precisely nothing for existing software. In order to take advantage of it, a program has to be written to use it..



    I agree in general, but don't agree with the "mere presence of OpenCL does precisely nothing for existing software" statement. Apple said CoreImage is re-written using OpenCL and this gives 20% performance boost on average. My assumption is that Apple will use OpenCL wherever possible, e.g. ImageKit, ImageIO, Accelerate framework etc. All applications which use the improved frameworks will use OpenCL indirectly. But yes, the majority of the applications need to be updated to take advantage of OpenCL.



    The main point of the article is still valid: Apple takes the right direction and leads, Microsoft is lagging behind and copying.
  • Reply 38 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    This "Snow Leopard as Service Pack" meme has spread far and wide in short order. I heard it today from someone who usually never talks about Apple.



    I think it's a bit broadly applied, probably a mischaractarization. I think anyone that wants to get into that argument really needs to explain Windows 7 as it relates to Vista.



    I even have an old PC/Computing magazine issue where John C. Dvorak called Windows 98 an $89.99 service pack for Windows 95. Just to head off any snarky comments, so far that I've found, he hasn't made any such comment on Snow Leopard.
  • Reply 39 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I think it's a bit broadly applied, probably a mischaractarization. I think anyone that wants to get into that argument really needs to explain Windows 7 as it relates to Vista.



    Yes, good point. Windows 7 is being treated like the second coming, but if you stop and think, how many new features does it have really? This is one rare instance when MS marketing has beaten Apple. Very similar product but completely different perceptions.
  • Reply 40 of 102
    Quote:

    This "Snow Leopard as Service Pack" meme has spread far and wide in short order. I heard it today from someone who usually never talks about Apple.



    The whole "Service Pack" association with snow leopard ultimately has no impact on the end user. People aren't going to switch from windows because of it and mac users aren't going to switch back to windows because of it... nor are mac users NOT going to purchase it because for $29.99 it's almost a no brainer.



    If you compare it to Windows 7, sure snow leopard has less features. Even if Windows 7 isn't revolutionary, Microsoft has to present it as a complete revamp to repair the damages from vista. Windows 7 also costs more (a lot more). But again, the cost of Windows 7 isn't a large factor either since retail windows sales accounts for less than 5% of the revenue and most people will get windows 7 through MSDNAA, work, or a new computer.
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