Editorial: Mac Pro puts the pedal to Metal in Apple's race with Nvidia

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 58
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member

    dysamoria said:
    Game development on a Mac Pro huh...? Doubt it. That is a PC development world. Games do get ported to Mac OS sometimes, and gamers consistently complain that the performance is inferior on Mac OS (even when run on the same hardware as Windows).

    More importantly: Two of the major game *engines* (Unreal and Unity, not iD-tech) are ported, but not necessarily the development tools. The development is still primarily Windows-based. CryTek even seemed to have abandoned the Mac porting feature for CryEngine, shortly after announcing CryEngine (originally tied to DirectX on Windows) would be massively cross-platform.

    Am I holding old info? Have these engines’ development environments and toolchains actually been ported to Mac OS?

    Even if developing games on a Mac Pro would be fast enough to justify studios buying Mac Pros for development (all the positive wow statements mean nothing for Mac Pro sales), the game itself would have to be cut down massively to run on *any other Apple product* (the ones consumers can actually afford to buy).

    The same thing happens to PC games, as we see when developers show off BS at E3 and then ship games with far inferior-looking versions of the same games... but the GPU performance on Windows is consistently higher level for desktop gaming than on Mac OS, and only the non-anorexic Macs were ever competitive at all (while still running Windows).

    so...

    Is Apple actually going to start courting gaming on Macs? How will they do that?
    First, Apple "actually" started courting games for Mac OS X in 2001. These engines have been on the Mac for many years. So what's new is development making its way to the Mac. And the quotes, while certainly only words, do indicate that is happening.  

    The quote from Unity literally states it "will give creators everything they need to create the next smash-hit game, augmented reality experience or award-winning animated feature"

    Epic says its "Unreal Engine on the new Mac Pro takes advantage of its incredible graphics performance to deliver amazing visual quality, and will enable workflows that were never possible before on a Mac. We can't wait to see how the new Mac Pro enhances our customers' limitless creativity in cinematic production, visualization, games and more."

    Pretty clear they are not talking about playing games on Mac Pro hardware. OF course, games being optimized for DirectX is the reason why games would play better on Windows than any other platform. So the goal and the incentive are both obvious to Apple. It's noteworthy that Apple is drawing attention to gaming, given that its priority has been pro creative apps. 
    I see your bolded text, I’m just not seeing any explicit statements that the entire game development pipeline is available on Mac OS. I see a lot of “forward looking statements” with words like “will give” and “will enable”... I’ve been down that path with platforms before. It doesn’t mean the pipeline is there NOW. If you have more explicit statements of fact about the development pipeline on Mac OS for non-mobile gaming, I’m all eyes.

    Yes, it IS noteworthy that Apple is drawing attention to gaming, and that’s why I posted my original comments. It caught my attention, especially in context to the Mac Pro, which is the only machine Apple “will be offering” that can match a desktop PC for sustained performance. If all they’re talking about is accelerating development for mobile games, then I’d like to know that for a fact. I don’t care about mobile gaming, personally. I should have specified that in my original comment.
    ElCapitan
  • Reply 22 of 58
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,038member
    So the great unanswered question is will there be a Mac Pro available for me to purchase before January 1, 2020?

    On the consumer end of the Mac line I expect to see Apple developed GPUs in the not too distant future. If they ever decide to move the Mac to ARM, that would just about be a requirement. Note that Microsoft is preparing to ship an ARM based Tablet running Windows and this time it is being positioned above the Intel version.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 58
    dysamoria said:
    Game development on a Mac Pro huh...? Doubt it. That is a PC development world. Games do get ported to Mac OS sometimes, and gamers consistently complain that the performance is inferior on Mac OS (even when run on the same hardware as Windows).

    More importantly: Two of the major game *engines* (Unreal and Unity, not iD-tech) are ported, but not necessarily the development tools. The development is still primarily Windows-based. CryTek even seemed to have abandoned the Mac porting feature for CryEngine, shortly after announcing CryEngine (originally tied to DirectX on Windows) would be massively cross-platform.

    Am I holding old info? Have these engines’ development environments and toolchains actually been ported to Mac OS?

    Even if developing games on a Mac Pro would be fast enough to justify studios buying Mac Pros for development (all the positive wow statements mean nothing for Mac Pro sales), the game itself would have to be cut down massively to run on *any other Apple product* (the ones consumers can actually afford to buy).

    The same thing happens to PC games, as we see when developers show off BS at E3 and then ship games with far inferior-looking versions of the same games... but the GPU performance on Windows is consistently higher level for desktop gaming than on Mac OS, and only the non-anorexic Macs were ever competitive at all (while still running Windows).

    so...

    Is Apple actually going to start courting gaming on Macs? How will they do that?
    I doubt it, although I’m not an expert in the field. PC games in and of themselves are a niche category.  Yes the graphics can be better than consoles and the frame rates higher and smoother but it requires a significant investment in hardware and a fast to very fast internet connection. Plus game developers are releasing ’Console Brand X Exclusive’ games where you have to wait to get the PC version of a game.  Honestly, I think a streaming iPad or iPhone to a 4-8k screen is more likely for Apple game development. 

    But once again, I’m not a game graphic expert. I moved into a streaming dead zone in the mid 90’s and have only recently gotten semi-reliable 15-20 mb speed, so I am not that knowledgeable about what games are popular on what platform. 
  • Reply 24 of 58
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,430member
    As a side note, since I seem to have jump-started this thread into talking about gaming, I ideally would like to stop using PCs entirely. At this point, I only have a PC (an old one) for games. I’m not a hard-core gamer, but I would like to have some fun with games published after 2008! I hate Windows with a passion, and I hate the voodoo of PC builds and troubleshooting.

    I did networked 3D rendering across multiple machines, years back, including a MacBook Pro, and I played most of Half-Life 2 on a MacBook Pro, but I gave up doing anything other than music on my Macs after the thermals caused a MacBook Pro to die. I’ve waited since before the 2013 Mac Pro for an Apple machine that I could use for desktop-level gaming in Windows, while doing everything else in Mac OS. The only reason I didn’t buy the 2013 Mac Pro was Apple’s refusal to sell a retina-class display of their own making. I kept waiting. I really REALLY never want to do a PC again. However, in 2019, Apple announced that they’re kicking me (and many others) out of their Mac Pro market by pricing it at TWICE as much as the last model.

    There’s no other machine from Apple that will serve this function, since the rest of Apple’s computers are too compact to run at 100% for extended periods of time. I also have no interest in the treadmill of replacing a machine every three years in order to pretend thermal stress isn’t an issue with the rest of Apple’s expensive computers. It’s really weird that Apple has no mid-range workstation; from Apple, it’s either too little or too much. This is a mistake. Verbose editorials that prop up Apple’s all-seeing and all-knowing godliness wont change facts.
    ElCapitanmuthuk_vanalingamcornchip
  • Reply 25 of 58
    bigtdsbigtds Posts: 167member
    Someone pointed out that 'internet experts' would get in here and point out all of Apple's 'mistakes'...And they are here. Thanks internet... I'm amazed at some readers misunderstandings of the article being demonstrated here.

    1- Apple doesn't make Mac Pros for gamers to play games on. If you are looking to spend your time playing games - the VAST majority of humans use a mobile device now. If you are still interested in an X-Box or Playstation, welcome to 2003. I don't even know that many kids who care about consoles. 25 year old's, 30 year olds, maybe. But I wouldn't bet my future on console gaming.

    3- I don't think Apple is looking to become a defecto game development platform nor does it care about the 80% of PC games that no one plays for more than 6 months. if they can leverage some development from iOS to the Mac, I can see why they would like that and how it would benefit them.
    I don't think you know what you're talking about. Have a look at this: https://www.wepc.com/news/video-game-statistics/
    dysamoria
  • Reply 26 of 58
    It is not a question of Metal vs CUDA. Metal is a weaker language for GPGPU than CUDA but it is getting better and should reach parity at some point in the future. The issue is that a "Pro" computer must allow users to install any GPU and drivers that they wish. The decision must be up to the customer not the manufacturer.
    I do not think Apple is preventing Nvidia from selling its GPUs to Mac buyers (or preventing Mac users from buying Nvidia GPUs). I think Nvidia isn't providing Metal Mac drivers, probably because it doesn't see much value in it. It's not up to Apple to develop and maintain drivers from some ransom selection of GPUs that somebody might want to use.

    Apple also didn't block Microsoft from bringing its apps to iPad. It took a while because Microsoft first wanted to try getting Windows Phone and tablets to take off, but once that folded it gave up and ported Office to iPad. Apple also has an frienemy relationship with lots of other companies, and still works with them and takes their money. 

    Oh really?
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/01/18/apples-management-doesnt-want-nvidia-support-in-macos-and-thats-a-bad-sign-for-the-mac-pro
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/02/14/video-nvidia-support-was-abandoned-in-macos-mojave-and-heres-why
    edited October 2019 muthuk_vanalingamdysamoriaphilboogie
  • Reply 27 of 58
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,913member
    Loadedaxe said:
    Apple needs to learn that a Pro computers do not have limitations. The new Mac "Pro" has limitations. It is, therefor, not a pro computer.
    Dude, pass the reefer. 
    WgkruegerAppleExposedbaconstangfastasleepwatto_cobraOkiRun
  • Reply 28 of 58
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,913member

    13485 said:

    3- I don't think Apple is looking to become a defecto game development platform nor does it care about the 80% of PC games that no one plays for more than 6 months. if they can leverage some development from iOS to the Mac, I can see why they would like that and how it would benefit them.
    I'm pretty sure you mean "de facto". Although "defecto" game development is certainly a suitably snarky comment all by itself.
    Ha. Yes, “Release now, patch later” does seem to be the popular game dev lifecycle. Or never - Skyrim still has quest-breaking bugs in it, several active-player-years later. 
    edited October 2019 AppleExposeddysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 58
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member
    dysamoria said:


    First, Apple "actually" started courting games for Mac OS X in 2001. These engines have been on the Mac for many years. So what's new is development making its way to the Mac. And the quotes, while certainly only words, do indicate that is happening.  

    The quote from Unity literally states it "will give creators everything they need to create the next smash-hit game, augmented reality experience or award-winning animated feature"

    Epic says its "Unreal Engine on the new Mac Pro takes advantage of its incredible graphics performance to deliver amazing visual quality, and will enable workflows that were never possible before on a Mac. We can't wait to see how the new Mac Pro enhances our customers' limitless creativity in cinematic production, visualization, games and more."

    Pretty clear they are not talking about playing games on Mac Pro hardware. OF course, games being optimized for DirectX is the reason why games would play better on Windows than any other platform. So the goal and the incentive are both obvious to Apple. It's noteworthy that Apple is drawing attention to gaming, given that its priority has been pro creative apps. 
    I see your bolded text, I’m just not seeing any explicit statements that the entire game development pipeline is available on Mac OS. I see a lot of “forward looking statements” with words like “will give” and “will enable”... I’ve been down that path with platforms before. It doesn’t mean the pipeline is there NOW. If you have more explicit statements of fact about the development pipeline on Mac OS for non-mobile gaming, I’m all eyes.

    Yes, it IS noteworthy that Apple is drawing attention to gaming, and that’s why I posted my original comments. It caught my attention, especially in context to the Mac Pro, which is the only machine Apple “will be offering” that can match a desktop PC for sustained performance. If all they’re talking about is accelerating development for mobile games, then I’d like to know that for a fact. I don’t care about mobile gaming, personally. I should have specified that in my original comment.
    You said that with "words like 'will give' and 'will enable'" ... "It doesn’t mean the pipeline is there NOW,"

    No, what it pretty clearly means is that these developers wrote this in June about the new Mac Pro, which wasn't set to be delivered until the fall. 

    It sounds reasonable that the first release of Metal dev tools for Mac Pro may not be equal to the "entire game development pipeline," but it really doesn't matter. That fact that so many major developers are investing in Metal means Apple has done years of outreach. Apple itself only just now released Metal optimized Final Cut X. Having anything to report this early is really something.

    Compare Catalyst iPad apps brought to the Mac: Apple had three basic ones, now has an expanding set of its own apps (like Podcasts, Reminders, Find My) that are hard to tell apart form App Kit Mac titles. Third parties are bringing over apps, including Twitter. Catalina just shipped! It's still beta-ish itself right now.

    Compare how quickly Google or Microsoft have been able to roll out entirely new initiatives and get developers lined up behind them. It's a lot of work.

    You can bitch with Mark Gurman and his ridiculous Bloomberg naysaying about how Apple is top down incompetent, but you are not going to look very smart in the hindsight of a couple years. 
    radarthekatStrangeDaysmacplusplusp-dogfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 58
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,913member

    TheNubi said:
    There is no chance of Metal being an industry standard. It’ll just be the standard for Mac. Like in every other case when a developer has to choose between allocating resources for Mac specific APIs or Windows, guess which will get the lion’s share?
    You read it wrong. He didn’t suggest Metal will become an industry standard on PCs. He suggested it will bring pro applications & tools to the MP, optimized for Metal. And that if they do that they’re more likely to include support for Metal in their end-user titles, gaining access to Macs and the huge iOS audience. 

    Metal will be the standard for a Mac...and iOS. And iPadOS. And tvOS. That’s a large market of gamers, and if devs are willing to work on MP for tools, they very well may be willing to target them. 
    macplusplusp-dogwatto_cobraOkiRun
  • Reply 31 of 58
    Can’t wait until this turns into another 50+ comment thread bemoaning that Apple lost the script, doesn’t know its market, and needs strategic help from anonymous internet people
    Hey I resent that. ;-)
    StrangeDaysgatorguyJWSCdysamoriaphilboogiewatto_cobraOkiRun
  • Reply 32 of 58
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,913member
    It is not a question of Metal vs CUDA. Metal is a weaker language for GPGPU than CUDA but it is getting better and should reach parity at some point in the future. The issue is that a "Pro" computer must allow users to install any GPU and drivers that they wish. The decision must be up to the customer not the manufacturer.
    I do not think Apple is preventing Nvidia from selling its GPUs to Mac buyers (or preventing Mac users from buying Nvidia GPUs). I think Nvidia isn't providing Metal Mac drivers, probably because it doesn't see much value in it. It's not up to Apple to develop and maintain drivers from some ransom selection of GPUs that somebody might want to use.

    Apple also didn't block Microsoft from bringing its apps to iPad. It took a while because Microsoft first wanted to try getting Windows Phone and tablets to take off, but once that folded it gave up and ported Office to iPad. Apple also has an frienemy relationship with lots of other companies, and still works with them and takes their money. 

    Oh really?
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/01/18/apples-management-doesnt-want-nvidia-support-in-macos-and-thats-a-bad-sign-for-the-mac-pro
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/02/14/video-nvidia-support-was-abandoned-in-macos-mojave-and-heres-why
    The first is an AI piece drawing its own conclusions. Even their unnamed sources don’t say it’s for sure or who would have set the policy. It’s merely conjecture, not fact. 
    edited October 2019 macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 58
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,913member
    Can’t wait until this turns into another 50+ comment thread bemoaning that Apple lost the script, doesn’t know its market, and needs strategic help from anonymous internet people
    Hey I resent that. ;-)
    Bahah. I almost typed “random” too!
    randominternetpersonlostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 58
    mjeraghmjeragh Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Metal is such great API.
    Check out this https://lanterntech.com/2019/10/18/gpu-speedup/
    Article to see for yourself 

    Dan_Dilgermacplusplusphilboogiewatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 58
    bigtds said:
    Someone pointed out that 'internet experts' would get in here and point out all of Apple's 'mistakes'...And they are here. Thanks internet... I'm amazed at some readers misunderstandings of the article being demonstrated here.

    1- Apple doesn't make Mac Pros for gamers to play games on. If you are looking to spend your time playing games - the VAST majority of humans use a mobile device now. If you are still interested in an X-Box or Playstation, welcome to 2003. I don't even know that many kids who care about consoles. 25 year old's, 30 year olds, maybe. But I wouldn't bet my future on console gaming.

    3- I don't think Apple is looking to become a defecto game development platform nor does it care about the 80% of PC games that no one plays for more than 6 months. if they can leverage some development from iOS to the Mac, I can see why they would like that and how it would benefit them.
    I don't think you know what you're talking about. Have a look at this: https://www.wepc.com/news/video-game-statistics/
    Wow, there is a LOT of interesting information in that "article."  Seriously, it's a treasure trove of factoids about all things video games.

    Having said that, the point that jumped out at me was comparing the chart for the trend in the overall PC gaming market with the Mobile market.
    In 2014, the worldwide PC gaming market was $23.5 billion.  This has grown to $33.6b.  That's impressive, right?  How about the global mobile gaming market from $22.5 billion in 2014 (just below the PCmarket) to $77.4 billion in 2019 (well over twice the PC figure).  Mobile is where the money is.  The only reason the console unit sales blipped up the past year (after a long-term downward trend) is because of the Nintendo Switch--a hybrid mobile platform.
    Dan_DilgerJWSCwatto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 58
    Dan_DilgerDan_Dilger Posts: 1,583member
    davgreg said:
    So the great unanswered question is will there be a Mac Pro available for me to purchase before January 1, 2020?

    On the consumer end of the Mac line I expect to see Apple developed GPUs in the not too distant future. If they ever decide to move the Mac to ARM, that would just about be a requirement. Note that Microsoft is preparing to ship an ARM based Tablet running Windows and this time it is being positioned above the Intel version.
    Apple was using PowerVR, and now its own similar TBDR "Apple GPU" in mobile devices primarily because that approach is so much more efficient. It's not clear if there would be an advantage to scaling up its own Ax GPU to try to replace AMD or Intel silicon, even in its own notebooks. Moving from Intel to ARM might make some sense if Intel keeps failing to deliver big advances and its CPU prices remain high. That wouldn't require Apple to also jump to using its own GPU though. Instead, its possible that it could move to an ARM-based Mac that uses a fast third party GPU or two to make up any difference in speed, say, delegating more of the UI experience to the GPU.

    Apple is already bring some core Ax functionality to Macs in the form of the T2 chip, and certainly learning from that. And the Afterburner product shows it has plans to tackle specific needs with a custom silicon solution. So it could begin adding more and more of these extra processors to Macs until the Intel CPU is increasingly less important.  
    p-dogfastasleepcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 58
    thttht Posts: 5,494member
    tht said:
    dysamoria said:
    Is Apple actually going to start courting gaming on Macs? How will they do that?
    They are not trying to woo PC games on Macs. They are trying to woo iOS gamers on Macs with Arcade. So if PC games go through a side door with Arcade, great. Otherwise, really doubtful they are going to make a play in the 3D FPS PC games market.
    I don't think Apple is "trying to woo iOS gamers on Macs with Arcade."

    It is trying to woo iOS developers to also make Mac gamers for Arcade.
    And yes, it is also "trying to woo PC games on Macs," initially with the cross platform OpenGL, and now with the optimized Metal.
    Apple doesn't need to "make a play in the 3D FPS PC games market." Its customers are Mac users, and it wants software for them.

    They have not made any effort to get 3D games for Mac users. If they did, they’d actually sell Macs that can play 3D games. It’s not much of a market for game developers at all for Macs. The vast majority are laptop sales, and of the desktops, it’s basically only the iMac 27”. Just don’t see any real attempt.

    Lots of effort for content creation obviously. But PC games? Really no effort but the perfunctory effort.

    But yeah, Apple Arcade looks to be their gaming play for Macs in the foreseeable future.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 38 of 58
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    MacPro said:
    Excellent article.  I am so glad at least somebody knows and writes about the history of Apple accurately.

    Although only mentioned in passing I am pleased you mentioned the costs of those powerful Macs such as the  "Mac IIfx--with a starting price well above $17,000 in today's money--with the much faster and more powerful Quadra 900, priced closer to a current-day $13,000." It helps put the cost of the new Mac pro in perspective and hopefully helps quash this totally silly meme that Apple has priced itself out of the pro-market spread by those that can't afford or justify one but secretly want one. 

    Basement nerds can't afford pro equipment. The want the Msc Pro to be $1,000 so they can compare it to their Windows virus-machine and not buy the Mac anyway.

    dysamoria said:
    Game development on a Mac Pro huh...? Doubt it. That is a PC development world. Games do get ported to Mac OS sometimes, and gamers consistently complain that the performance is inferior on Mac OS (even when run on the same hardware as Windows).

    More importantly: Two of the major game *engines* (Unreal and Unity, not iD-tech) are ported, but not necessarily the development tools. The development is still primarily Windows-based. CryTek even seemed to have abandoned the Mac porting feature for CryEngine, shortly after announcing CryEngine (originally tied to DirectX on Windows) would be massively cross-platform.

    Am I holding old info? Have these engines’ development environments and toolchains actually been ported to Mac OS?

    Even if developing games on a Mac Pro would be fast enough to justify studios buying Mac Pros for development (all the positive wow statements mean nothing for Mac Pro sales), the game itself would have to be cut down massively to run on *any other Apple product* (the ones consumers can actually afford to buy).

    The same thing happens to PC games, as we see when developers show off BS at E3 and then ship games with far inferior-looking versions of the same games... but the GPU performance on Windows is consistently higher level for desktop gaming than on Mac OS, and only the non-anorexic Macs were ever competitive at all (while still running Windows).

    so...

    Is Apple actually going to start courting gaming on Macs? How will they do that?

    This isn't forever. As Apple gets more popular and releases better hardware and software than Windows garbage, gamers/developers will migrate. This isn't 1995 anymore.
    Dan_Dilgermacpluspluscornchipwatto_cobraOkiRun
  • Reply 39 of 58
    i totally read "In 2005, as Microsoft struggled to catch up with own composting engine in Vista"

    and that is probably more accurate than what was actually written.
    zhirop-dogbaconstangfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 58
    Great write up! Takes me back to the days feeling like a boss using early SGI boxes :)
    watto_cobra
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