Inside Mac OS X Snow Leopard: GPU Optimization

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  • Reply 81 of 102
    [QUOTE/]This supports my longstanding argument that gamers' embrace of the PC platform has never been about the quality of the experience, but rather about cheap hardware. Gamers are mostly kids and dysfunctional adults, both on limited budgets. If they could afford high-end graphics workstations, they'd be using high-end graphics workstations. Apple is right to ignore this market, there is little serious money to be made from "gamers."[/QUOTE]







    You're an idiot to describing any gamer as dysfunctional. How "mature" is it to describe anyone in such an insulting and superior manner when the OP is about an operating system?

    Does an Air Force electrical engineer married to a doctor at one of the country's premier university hospitals raising two kids (fantastic kids, I might add ) in a major metropolitain city count as "dysfunctional adults on limited budgets"? If so, then I stand corrected.



    If not, why not man up and apologize to those you've insulted so callously.



    BTW - if Apple ever EVER got around to respecting people's desire to freely use computing hardware the way they want to (i.e. set their OS free) you could possibly see games being developed that take advantage of the technologies mentioned in the OP.



    Don't hold your breath for that either.
  • Reply 82 of 102
    Valve's hardware survey covers far more than 1 million gamers. Over 17 million people use it. Furthermore, the low requirements of Valve's games are testament to the findings of the survey - namely most gamers do not have bleeding-edge hardware.



    512MB cards have been out for 4 years, yet their market share has only really become significant in the past 12-18 months. There are still plenty of people who have less. Look at the cards themselves - plenty running on cards 3+ years old.



    And to the moron(s) who think games aren't profitable - the US game industry rivals Hollywood in its dollar intake. Governments around the world now give grants to companies to set up game studios in their cities. Get a clue and spare the rest of us your stupidity.
  • Reply 83 of 102
    mariomario Posts: 346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    What test did you use? I'd like to try it as well.



    I just used XBench. You can see more details here:



    http://discussions.apple.com/message...26336#10126336
  • Reply 84 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mario View Post


    I just used XBench. You can see more details here:



    http://discussions.apple.com/message...26336#10126336



    Thanks.
  • Reply 85 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Win7FTW View Post


    [QUOTE/]



    BTW - if Apple ever EVER got around to respecting people's desire to freely use computing hardware the way they want to (i.e. set their OS free) .



    Don't hold your breath for that either.



    We won't. Because that's the last thing anyone in their right mind would want. Apple succeeds spectacularly with Macs and OS X precisely because it's a closed, controlled ecosystem. Anything else (or anything less), and OS X becomes a Windows clone. And who the hell would want that?? The whole reason behind Apple's business model when it comes to Macs (and their resulting success) is that OS X is tied to Apple's hardware. This is the reason customer satisfaction rates are so high, year after year. This is the reason the also-rans of the industry aspire to render their products more "Mac-like" in every way possible.



    This "freely use computing hardware the way they want" notion lives and dies in small corners of the internet, and in the even smaller corners in which Apple fan sites live, fuelled mainly by the geek/tech-enthusiast minority that (wrongly) thinks it knows whats best for everyone else. In fact, Apple seems to know best. Period. Hackintoshes and mucking around with the OS and wailing about "freeing" it is alright for that small segment of Apple's user base (a segment which in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential anyway), but it would be a monumental disservice to the average user.



    Apple succeeds because of these specific differentiations. It's a coveted business model that others only wish they could emulate successfully. We're at the point now, where if the average user has $1000+ to spend (and apparently, plenty of them do!) a Mac will be near or at the very top of their list. That's quite an accomplishment. It's the reason Ballmer ends up looking stupid, flustered, and tongue-tied at press conferences, especially when he's in a room-full of Macs.



    And by the way, the last thing Apple's numbers, record Mac sales, and dominance of consumer mindshare and opinion would suggest is for Apple to free its OS. There's simply no demand for that and no reason to do so.
  • Reply 86 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    We won't. Because that's the last thing anyone in their right mind would want. Apple succeeds spectacularly with Macs and OS X precisely because it's a closed, controlled ecosystem. Anything else (or anything less), and OS X becomes a Windows clone. And who the hell would want that?? The whole reason behind Apple's business model when it comes to Macs (and their resulting success) is that OS X is tied to Apple's hardware. This is the reason customer satisfaction rates are so high, year after year. This is the reason the also-rans of the industry aspire to render their products more "Mac-like" in every way possible.



    This "freely use computing hardware the way they want" notion lives and dies in small corners of the internet, and in the even smaller corners in which Apple fan sites live, fuelled mainly by the geek/tech-enthusiast minority that (wrongly) thinks it knows whats best for everyone else. In fact, Apple seems to know best. Period. Hackintoshes and mucking around with the OS and wailing about "freeing" it is alright for that small segment of Apple's user base (a segment which in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential anyway), but it would be a monumental disservice to the average user.



    Apple succeeds because of these specific differentiations. It's a coveted business model that others only wish they could emulate successfully. We're at the point now, where if the average user has $1000+ to spend (and apparently, plenty of them do!) a Mac will be near or at the very top of their list. That's quite an accomplishment. It's the reason Ballmer ends up looking stupid, flustered, and tongue-tied at press conferences, especially when he's in a room-full of Macs.



    And by the way, the last thing Apple's numbers, record Mac sales, and dominance of consumer mindshare and opinion would suggest is for Apple to free its OS. There's simply no demand for that and no reason to do so.





    Well you sure told me... what's it like on planet Apple anyway. Does steve tell you when and how to wipe too?
  • Reply 87 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Win7FTW View Post


    Well you sure told me... what's it like on planet Apple anyway. Does steve tell you when and how to wipe too?



    You don't need to say it like that, you're just using a troll's talking points now.



    The plain fact is, no one has competed directly against Microsoft in commercial retail boxed desktop OS and survived. DR DOS is gone, the same with Be and OS/2. Next tried as a last-ditch effort but had to get bought out by Apple. There just isn't enough money in it. Computer OSs are just too complicated these days. How Apple can afford to maintain the OS is to use premium hardware to subsidize it. If IBM couldn't do it, why should Apple follow suit?



    I don't think the retail boxed linux distributions exist anymore either. Linux is surviving mostly because many thousands of enthusiasts, grad students working on thesis projects or various people in private or government organizations donate code and time to it, and even that hasn't thrived against Windows, except maybe in the server market.
  • Reply 88 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    We won't. Because that's the last thing anyone in their right mind would want. Apple succeeds spectacularly with Macs and OS X precisely because it's a closed, controlled ecosystem. Anything else (or anything less), and OS X becomes a Windows clone. And who the hell would want that?? The whole reason behind Apple's business model when it comes to Macs (and their resulting success) is that OS X is tied to Apple's hardware. This is the reason customer satisfaction rates are so high, year after year. This is the reason the also-rans of the industry aspire to render their products more "Mac-like" in every way possible.



    This "freely use computing hardware the way they want" notion lives and dies in small corners of the internet, and in the even smaller corners in which Apple fan sites live, fuelled mainly by the geek/tech-enthusiast minority that (wrongly) thinks it knows whats best for everyone else. In fact, Apple seems to know best. Period. Hackintoshes and mucking around with the OS and wailing about "freeing" it is alright for that small segment of Apple's user base (a segment which in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential anyway), but it would be a monumental disservice to the average user.



    Apple succeeds because of these specific differentiations. It's a coveted business model that others only wish they could emulate successfully. We're at the point now, where if the average user has $1000+ to spend (and apparently, plenty of them do!) a Mac will be near or at the very top of their list. That's quite an accomplishment. It's the reason Ballmer ends up looking stupid, flustered, and tongue-tied at press conferences, especially when he's in a room-full of Macs.



    And by the way, the last thing Apple's numbers, record Mac sales, and dominance of consumer mindshare and opinion would suggest is for Apple to free its OS. There's simply no demand for that and no reason to do so.



    Excellent post. Apparently so many people fail to see the obvious. It is pretty clear now that the biggest problem for Microsoft is to keep it's business model afloat. It failed in mobile devises and Microsoft admitted this - it released Zune. Even if there is a spike in profits related to Windows 7, it is unlikely that this profitability is sustainable. So, while Microsoft's business model is falling apart and the giant is looking for alternatives, so may people still point to that model and say Apple should follow it!
  • Reply 89 of 102
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheSnarkmeister 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. Similarly, only 17% of this high end gamer demographic is running a 64-bit edition of Windows, despite being a population that benefits the most from 64-bit addressing.
    This supports my longstanding argument that gamers' embrace of the PC platform has never been about the quality of the experience, but rather about cheap hardware. Gamers are mostly kids and dysfunctional adults, both on limited budgets. If they could afford high-end graphics workstations, they'd be using high-end graphics workstations. Apple is right to ignore this market, there is little serious money to be made from "gamers."



    Oh, and before all you casual gamers, start spamming me. I'm not talking about you, and you know it. If you are on this site, reading this, you clearly have a life, even if you do occasionally enjoy a game. It is the obsessive gamers, the fanatics that are most radical and fanatical about advocating for the Wintel platform.



    I tend to disagree...



    While there are 64-bit versions of some applications, I'm not aware of any game that really takes advantage of 64-bit... thus no reason for gamers to move to 64-bit OS. Heck, chance of missing 64-bit driver for some exotic gaming hardware is probably much higher than chance of game running faster on 64-bit OS.



    From my personal experience, gamers are on average spending much more money on hardware than non-gamers and they upgrade much more often, but their priorities are specific. More gamers will rather upgrade their graphics card than OS - period! Hardware accelerated desktop on it's own has no effects on gaming, and DX9 still holds well against DX10, so for majority of gamers getting faster graphics, bigger screen, gaming kbd and mouse, more RAM etc... is much more important than moving to Vista 64.



    Apple doesn't have choice but to ignore this market, as market is already ignoring Apple. Number of Macs is still too low to be interesting for game developers, and number of Macs with decent graphics is even so much lower. Developing for such limited market would require titles to be more expensive in order to cover development costs and generate some money. Considering that, I would expect that Mac users would anyhow decide to spend one-time money on Windows and play regular Windows games than to purchase more expensive Mac-specific versions of the games, even if available.
  • Reply 90 of 102
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    You sure about that?



    http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews...os-x-10-6.ars/



    Well you're right, they're not the same. One is improving upon an already solid OS that set the bar, while the other is "improving" or rather, fixing, a failure (that even Billy G. tried his best to distance himself from.)



    In any case, it's pretty clear that your employers want everyone to just forget Vista ever existed and treat Windows 7 like it's The Second Coming, even though Windows users haven't had a decent OS since 2001. And XP was really nothing to be proud of. In this case I certainly hope Windows 7 will be dramatic. Your company needs it to be. Badly. A few more awkward and uncomfortable press conferences like the one just past (room full of Macs and all), and your boss Ballmer's head will explode, never mind flying chairs.



    Yes, XP was nothing to be proud of - just tremendous, incredible success. But who would be proud of that?
  • Reply 91 of 102
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    We won't. Because that's the last thing anyone in their right mind would want. Apple succeeds spectacularly with Macs and OS X precisely because it's a closed, controlled ecosystem. Anything else (or anything less), and OS X becomes a Windows clone. And who the hell would want that?? The whole reason behind Apple's business model when it comes to Macs (and their resulting success) is that OS X is tied to Apple's hardware. This is the reason customer satisfaction rates are so high, year after year. This is the reason the also-rans of the industry aspire to render their products more "Mac-like" in every way possible.



    This "freely use computing hardware the way they want" notion lives and dies in small corners of the internet, and in the even smaller corners in which Apple fan sites live, fuelled mainly by the geek/tech-enthusiast minority that (wrongly) thinks it knows whats best for everyone else. In fact, Apple seems to know best. Period. Hackintoshes and mucking around with the OS and wailing about "freeing" it is alright for that small segment of Apple's user base (a segment which in the grand scheme of things is inconsequential anyway), but it would be a monumental disservice to the average user.



    Apple succeeds because of these specific differentiations. It's a coveted business model that others only wish they could emulate successfully. We're at the point now, where if the average user has $1000+ to spend (and apparently, plenty of them do!) a Mac will be near or at the very top of their list. That's quite an accomplishment. It's the reason Ballmer ends up looking stupid, flustered, and tongue-tied at press conferences, especially when he's in a room-full of Macs.



    And by the way, the last thing Apple's numbers, record Mac sales, and dominance of consumer mindshare and opinion would suggest is for Apple to free its OS. There's simply no demand for that and no reason to do so.



    Spectacular success with 8% of US market, less world wide?



    So what kind of success is having 90+ % of the market..? Divine?
  • Reply 92 of 102
    nikon133nikon133 Posts: 2,600member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadow View Post


    Excellent post. Apparently so many people fail to see the obvious. It is pretty clear now that the biggest problem for Microsoft is to keep it's business model afloat. It failed in mobile devises and Microsoft admitted this - it released Zune. Even if there is a spike in profits related to Windows 7, it is unlikely that this profitability is sustainable. So, while Microsoft's business model is falling apart and the giant is looking for alternatives, so may people still point to that model and say Apple should follow it!



    Biggest MS problem, OS wise, is that hey don't have anywhere to grow.



    If 10% of Mac users are not happy with OSX and want to swap, it will hardly be noticed in Windows world.



    If 10% of PC users are not happy with Windows and want to swap, Mac market share will double.



    However, in my dictionary having nowhere else to grow is sign of success, not failure.



    Outside if desktop and server market, MS is quite lame. No discussion there.
  • Reply 93 of 102
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    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.



    Would you care to clarify this statement? Do you really mean that graphics accelerator cards don't function under Windows XP? So the user interface performance in Windows XP is the same whether you are running with the appropriate graphics card drivers vs. running in generic VGA mode with no acceleration?
  • Reply 94 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    Would you care to clarify this statement? Do you really mean that graphics accelerator cards don't function under Windows XP? So the user interface performance in Windows XP is the same whether you are running with the appropriate graphics card drivers vs. running in generic VGA mode with no acceleration?



    I think it means that Windows doesn't use the 3D functions of the card when drawing the desktop, it only uses the old 2D drawing methods. It's called acceleration because the 3D part of the card is where all the grunt is.
  • Reply 95 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post




    So what kind of success is having 90+ % of the market..? Divine?



    Ignorance and inertia.



    Apple sells a closed system, with an OS that is deliberately not licensed to everyone and their dog, and which is priced as a Premium product, effectively locking out a large portion of the market. Which explains why Apple has a lock on on the $1000+ notebook brick-and-mortar store share of the market.



    We can't ship junk. There are thresholds we can't cross because of who we are.



    Apple doesn't do bottom-end, nor are they very active in the mid-end. This isn't by accident.



    The market isn't one big market. It has segments to it. It's a pyramid. You've got bottom-end, mid-level, and Premium, if those terms help you to understand the principle that the market is made up of divisions. Apple functions and makes an absolute killing at the Premium end. Apple, as a matter of course and by design, will have lower market share overall. As stated by Jobs, Cook et al, they choose to lock themselves out of certain segments of the market. A Premium product manufacturer doesn't target certain income brackets - there will be consumers that will be absent from target demographic demographic. This is what has Microsoft acting so defensive: Windows still has overwhelming unit sale market share, but it is now almost entirely at the low end of the market.



    "Market Share" is very often misunderstood. With a fraction of Microsoft's market share, Apple is not only thriving, but it also is in a position as:



    1) The industry innovator

    2) The most powerful brand in the industry today

    3) Producer of the most coveted notebooks and devices in the industry today

    4) The one to follow. Apple does everyone else's R&D for them (apparently.)



    So when you discuss "market share", you need to determine exactly which end of the market you're talking about. The lion's share of*what part*of the market? The Premium end of the market pyramid is near or at the top. It's much more narrow, but the consumer approaches tech (and other products) from an entirely different perspective (often not on price), with difference epxectations that Apple happens to cater to. Ideally, you WANT to rule the Premium end. It's these customers that build your brand, that make it desirable, and that will pay top dollar for what you provide.
  • Reply 96 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    I think it means that Windows doesn't use the 3D functions of the card when drawing the desktop, it only uses the old 2D drawing methods. It's called acceleration because the 3D part of the card is where all the grunt is.



    There is such a thing as 2D acceleration, the idea is probably at least a couple decades old. I don't know if most commonly used desktop activities merit 3D acceleration or is necessarily beneficial. Some of the Mac stuff makes sense for people that don't know so much about how to use a computer, but not much allowance is made for people that do know how to use a computer and don't need fancy transitions and effects. I shut off whatever I can because they are time-based transitions and effects and as such, usually waste my time when I'm waiting for the effect to finish and show me what I wanted to see.



    If you're using the computer to play games, whether or not the OS uses the GPU for regular desktop activities might not be a concern at all. I can see GPU acceleration on the desktop being useful for media creation.
  • Reply 97 of 102
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    There is such a thing as 2D acceleration, the idea is probably at least a couple decades old. I don't know if most commonly used desktop activities merit 3D acceleration or is necessarily beneficial. Some of the Mac stuff makes sense for people that don't know so much about how to use a computer, but not much allowance is made for people that do know how to use a computer and don't need fancy transitions and effects. I shut off whatever I can because they are time-based transitions and effects and as such, usually waste my time when I'm waiting for the effect to finish and show me what I wanted to see.



    I agree, I prefer things to just be snappy than waste my time with transitions.



    One possible non-user benefit of 3D desktop is to the Apple programmers. i.e. It's probably easier to program Expose by telling the 3D card that windows are objects moving away from you, than to code it using 2D APIs.
  • Reply 98 of 102
    shadowshadow Posts: 373member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post


    Biggest MS problem, OS wise, is that hey don't have anywhere to grow.



    If 10% of Mac users are not happy with OSX and want to swap, it will hardly be noticed in Windows world.



    If 10% of PC users are not happy with Windows and want to swap, Mac market share will double.



    However, in my dictionary having nowhere else to grow is sign of success, not failure.



    Outside if desktop and server market, MS is quite lame. No discussion there.



    The biggest Microsoft problem is that they can not continue screwing up their partners by taking lion's share of each computer sale and let them starving with the remains. The landscape here changed dramatically. Apple could stop growing market share and remain profitable (of course the stock will go down in this case because there is an expectation for growth in it's current stock price), Microsoft has problems with this. While preparing for Vista release, Microsoft hoped for a spike of both direct sales and sales to OEMs who were supposed to pay premium for the new OS. In reality, there was huge resistance from OEMs to switch to Vista. In the netbook market Microsoft also has problems with making profit (the profit they are used to make, that is) and are desperately searching for a solution. One of the things they hope could work is selling crippled down Windows 7 version and then charging the users for an upgrade. The second, hinted by Balmer during a recent event, is to "change the perception what netbook is" and claims that the ultra-thin full-featured notebooks are the way to go.



    To summarize, Microsoft has problems milking their cow, because they left the cow starving for way too long.
  • Reply 99 of 102
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shadow View Post


    The biggest Microsoft problem is that they can not continue screwing up their partners by taking lion's share of each computer sale and let them starving with the remains. The landscape here changed dramatically. Apple could stop growing market share and remain profitable (of course the stock will go down in this case because there is an expectation for growth in it's current stock price), Microsoft has problems with this. While preparing for Vista release, Microsoft hoped for a spike of both direct sales and sales to OEMs who were supposed to pay premium for the new OS. In reality, there was huge resistance from OEMs to switch to Vista. In the netbook market Microsoft also has problems with making profit (the profit they are used to make, that is) and are desperately searching for a solution. One of the things they hope could work is selling crippled down Windows 7 version and then charging the users for an upgrade. The second, hinted by Balmer during a recent event, is to "change the perception what netbook is" and claims that the ultra-thin full-featured notebooks are the way to go.



    To summarize, Microsoft has problems milking their cow, because they left the cow starving for way too long.



    Microsoft is lucky (or learnt its lesson) in the sense that Windows 7 is fairly lean and fast. Which means it can run on netbooks as it is without needing a crippled version of the OS. So Windows 7 should be relatively acceptable across the whole range of the PC market.



    Marketing it is another thing though, after Vista failed expectations and as you say, faced major resistance.



    I just hope Windows 7 64bit gains a lot of traction so the whole PC industry can be dragged into making proper 64bit drivers and making proper use of that 4GB+ RAM... Since we'll be sitting comfy with Windows 7 for the next 3 years(?) before the next significant OS release...
  • Reply 100 of 102
    OpenCL will benefit high-end software applications that can take advantage of multiple GPU for processing computations such as when rendering detailed scenes or designing complex polygon/nurb models. Though unfortunately for customers Apple left a lot of their customers legacy GPU out of this new feature. Example their are customers running Snow Leopard on Macs that have the Intel Core 2 Duo processor with ATI X1600 graphics, etc but are not part of the OpenCL supported GPU.



    Also it's unfortunate Apple didn't take more time testing the OS as it's enhanced graphics implementation in Snow Leopard broke some third party software that studios use such as Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max, Cinema4D, Blender, etc where customers have reported problems that vary from shaders not displaying correctly to GUI artifacts to crashing the application completely. The graphics issues are being experienced by customers who are running both legacy and current GPU such as the NVIDIA 9600 and ATI 4870.
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