Quartz 2D Extreme

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Quartz 2D Extreme: What is it and what will it bring to the table?



In a thread over at MacNN there have been some speculation as to what this new technology might be and what it will do. I figured we should have a thread over here as well for our AI-intelligentia to chew on.



Here is a quote from that thread:



Quote:

Originally posted by Millenium over at MacNN

As for Quartz 2D Extreme, if this is actually a rewrite of Quartz to use the graphics card for all drawing (rather than just for compositing, as the current Quartz Extreme does), then this should increase the system's responsiveness. It is not strictly related to CoreImage, but they use some very similar concepts. Q2DE, however, does things which would apply in many more places, and so it should boost things almost everywhere.



So if this technology matures and gets shipped with Tiger, what will it mean for users and developers? Will this finally bring about the end of slow window-resizing and have the Mac OS UI return to the snappiness of old?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    Quartz has nothing to do with slow window resizing...for fucks sake...how many times must it be explained.



    OS X resizes everything in the window on-the-fly while Windows delays resizing things in the window. This is why you can get instant feedback on Macs at the expense of choppier window resizing as opposed to Windows where you don't get that instant feedback in-window feedback.



    It has nothing to do with Quartz. You'll realize that iApps that have lots of different panes and elements crammed into one-window will resize much slower than windows with less elements to move around. If Quartz was a culprit, all windows would suffer the slow-window resize syndrome, which is not the case.



    Can someone explain this more eloquently and post it as a sticky note for noobs?
  • Reply 2 of 89
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    The main benefits of pushing drawing to the GPU as well as compositing seem to be that 1. it frees up the CPU to do other things at the same time, 2. it means there less "chatting" between the CPU to the GPU since more of what the GPU cares about is pushed onto it from the start. Seems like more of a speed/processing gain than a quickness/responsiveness gain. But I'm not an expert.
  • Reply 3 of 89
    fahlmanfahlman Posts: 694member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    ...Rude post...



    He didn't know and he asked a question, Instead of being rude link to some of those topics where it's been discussed soooooo many times so he can be as smart as you, but probably not as rude.
  • Reply 4 of 89
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    Can someone explain this more eloquently and post it as a sticky note for noobs?



    I'll do one better.



    I'll refute it.



    The window resizing is, as you say, because of live-content redraw, particularly in Cocoa apps where it is the default. Cocoa UI widgets all use Quartz's CoreGraphics for their underlying, most basic drawing.



    Quartz 2D Extreme will offload CoreGraphics to the GPU where possible, which means...



    Yes, Quartz 2D Extreme does indeed have the possibility of significantly improving window resizing speed. It may not in all cases, but it does have that distinct possibility.
  • Reply 5 of 89
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    I'll do one better.



    I'll refute it.



    The window resizing is, as you say, because of live-content redraw, particularly in Cocoa apps where it is the default. Cocoa UI widgets all use Quartz's CoreGraphics for their underlying, most basic drawing.



    Quartz 2D Extreme will offload CoreGraphics to the GPU where possible, which means...



    Yes, Quartz 2D Extreme does indeed have the possibility of significantly improving window resizing speed. It may not in all cases, but it does have that distinct possibility.




    If it doesn't in all cases, what's the point? People will keep complaining. Most of the calculations done by the CPU to move the elements accordingly won't be done by the GPU and that's probably the main reason why resizing is so slow.



    Apple just needs to optimize window resizing algorithms...Quartz 2D Extreme will most likely do little.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    I'm a bit perplexed by the comment about Windows window resizing. I was to understand that window items and elements updated dynamically (graphic driver willing) when you resize a window, as well. So how is this "updating" different than OSX windows updating? (...or is this distinction too subtle to pick up visually, and more of a distinction of technical implementation?) That said, hasn't realtime window updating in Windows been fairly spiffy since the days of Win2k and GeForce2 cards? So why is this still such a rough thing for even modern Apple hardware to muster? At least in Windows, there was some settings panel where you could disable realtime updating if the hardware wasn't up to it, and viola- snappy window resizing. So why are we forced to grin and bear it in OSX, in lieu of having an option to scale down to deferred updating?
  • Reply 7 of 89
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    If it doesn't in all cases, what's the point? People will keep complaining.



    That's an asinine comment. If it doesn't help *every* case, it shouldn't be included?? Balderdash.



    Only the least technically minded will still complain, after a quick explanation.



    Quote:

    Most of the calculations done by the CPU to move the elements accordingly won't be done by the GPU and that's probably the main reason why resizing is so slow.



    So you do admit that you really don't know what the slowdown is.



    The movement of elements isn't the slowdown. The rendering is. And that's what Q2DExtreme is designed to address.



    Quote:

    Apple just needs to optimize window resizing algorithms...Quartz 2D Extreme will most likely do little. [/B]



    Actually, it will most likely do quite a bit. The 'resizing algorithms' you vaguely hint at are actually rather difficult to generalize. The current ones in Cocoa are highly convoluted to try and capture most cases, but *any* developer who wants good performance needs to optimize them for their own window content. Period. This is out of Apple's hands.



    Apple is concentrating on the portion that they can do the most good in, and that is Quartz 2D Extreme... even for window resizing.



    kks, your original reply above was rude and out of order... not to mention wrong.
  • Reply 8 of 89
    gavrielgavriel Posts: 175member
    There is a thread over at Ars Openforum, in the Macintoshian Achaia, discussing the slowdowns that sometimes appear in the Mac OS X UI. Halfway down on page two, member Thaen chimes in with this noteworthy little tidbit:



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Thaen at Ars Openforum

    (for the record)



    Window resizing will be 100% fixed in Tiger for anyone with a CoreImage compatible video card. Period. It's amazing.



    When asked for further information he goes on to say this:



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Thaen at Ars Openforum

    We saw a demo at the conference (WWDC) where the head engineer working on CoreImage showed how CoreImage-enabled applications (NOT all Cocoa apps, I finally got out of him after -- requires some kind of tuning for applications using custom UI elements) did Window-resizing.



    The short version is that it's so fast that in order to take the benchmark measurement, they had to turn off Quartz' vsync-awareness: IOW, more than 60 fps live resizing for Safari. I saw no Finder demo, but I think it's safe to say that Apple will be "encouraging" its developers to get on the bandwagon.



  • Reply 9 of 89
    Well, there you have it folks...window resizing fixed for people that have the highest end G4s or G5s...where window resizing isn't much of a problem.



    People without a CoreImage-ready computer are shit out of luck.



    I guess I was wrong...but it doesn't matter really since the complaining will never stop for people with G3s or low to mid-end G4s that don't have CoreImage-ready cards...unless they spend money on a card that is overkill for their CPU. Wasn't that the whole point anyways? To stop the complaining?



    When Tiger is out, people will still be wondering why window resizing is slow.



    ps. Who knows if Thaen really is saying the truth...like Stef right after Thaen's post "That's what they said about Quartz Extreme."
  • Reply 10 of 89
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Nope, sorry, wrong again. No developer who knew anything about Quartz Extreme would have ever claimed that it would have fixed window resizing - it had nothing to do with it. Stef is incorrect.



    I distinctly remember those claims... but they were being bandied about by people who hadn't a clue what the new technology really did. Contrast with this case, where claims of non-effectiveness are being tossed around. Ah, how the pendulum swings.



    In both cases, end users are throwing out speculation (pretty baseless ones I might add), and trying to make it look like technical data. Tis not.



    And please... 'highest-end G4s and G5s'? iBooks are highest-end? Come on... sour grapes in the absence of facts are silly looking.
  • Reply 11 of 89
    I've heard from a few of the forums I frequent that Quartz 2D also speeds up text rendering. Safari was used as an example. With Quartz 2D enabled, text rendering sped up.



    Mike
  • Reply 12 of 89
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Yup, because the text rendering system uses... ta-da! Quartz 2D to render.



    Most things that use Quartz 2D, indirectly or directly, will see a benefit from this. I suspect that CoreGraphics is included as well, and is the point at which the acceleration is taking place... in which case a LOT of situations will see a speedup.



    No, not *every* situation... but a lot.



    I've been chewing over the need for developers to alter their applications for the benefits wrt window resizing, and I think it points to what I was hinting at earlier: custom UI elements require developers to offer resizing methods if they want any sort of efficiency. Otherwise Cocoa is left to try and do it the old-fashioned (and slow) way. If devs have to tweak something resizing-related to be able to activate the new Q2DE resizing, then this would be a logical requirement.
  • Reply 13 of 89
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    And please... 'highest-end G4s and G5s'? iBooks are highest-end? Come on... sour grapes in the absence of facts are silly looking.



    What are you saying?



    Even the recently released iBook update isn't CoreImage-ready with its videocard.



    Who here has a CoreImage-ready computer...raise your hand and post your specs. I've got a feeling only a minority here have a card that fits the CoreImage bill. Unless you're the owner of a G5 computer or a year 2003 G4 PowerMac or recent PowerBook, you're out of luck.



    Sorry, Kickaha, but this Quartz 2D Extreme is pretty out of reach for to those that need it the most.
  • Reply 14 of 89
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    What are you saying?



    Even the recently released iBook update isn't CoreImage-ready with its videocard.



    Who here has a CoreImage-ready computer...raise your hand and post your specs. I've got a feeling only a minority here have a card that fits the CoreImage bill. Unless you're the owner of a G5 computer or a year 2003 G4 PowerMac or recent PowerBook, you're out of luck.



    Sorry, Kickaha, but this Quartz 2D Extreme is pretty out of reach for to those that need it the most.




    I think any Mac that is capable of Quartz Extreme is capable of Quartz Extreme 2D.
  • Reply 15 of 89
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    No way, dude! 2D is the new, new barrier to negotiate, after that 3D barrier was broken through! 2D hardware acceleration...now that's just crazy talk!
  • Reply 16 of 89
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MPMoriarty

    I think any Mac that is capable of Quartz Extreme is capable of Quartz Extreme 2D.



    Well, if Thaen is to be believed and Kickaha seems to also believe that Quartz 2D Extreme is offloading graphics to the GPU, then you won't be getting Quartz 2D Extreme goodness unless you have the latest crop of graphics cards.
  • Reply 17 of 89
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Randycat99

    No way, dude! 2D is the new, new barrier to negotiate, after that 3D barrier was broken through! 2D hardware acceleration...now that's just crazy talk!



    I hate 3D games now...I hope people will start leveraging the new GPU capabilities to bring high quality 2D graphics effects to 2D remakes of old games or even make new kinds of 2D games.
  • Reply 18 of 89
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Heh- for a refreshingly over-the-top revisitation of a classic 2D game (Asteroids), applied with fancy modern graphics effects, check out Argonaut 2149. Whoah, dude! (It's even made just for us Mac users on OSX)
  • Reply 19 of 89
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Randycat99

    No way, dude! 2D is the new, new barrier to negotiate, after that 3D barrier was broken through! 2D hardware acceleration...now that's just crazy talk!



    I'm holding out for the next-generation, 1D hardware accelleration, myself.





    Nothing like morse code.
  • Reply 20 of 89
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    Well, if Thaen is to be believed and Kickaha seems to also believe that Quartz 2D Extreme is offloading graphics to the GPU, then you won't be getting Quartz 2D Extreme goodness unless you have the latest crop of graphics cards.



    There's no 'believe' about it. Q2DE will be placing more graphics rendering onto the GPU. But please don't put words in my mouth regarding the necessary hardware.



    How about we take a look at the requirements for CoreImage? Now, CoreImage and Q2DE are two quite different technologies, but CI is, IMO, the more processor intensive of the two. In that respect, this should be a more restrictive list than for Q2DE.



    Got that list of cards supporting CoreImage handy, do you?



    No?



    Here, let me help: (from http://www.apple.com/macosx/tiger/core.html)



    Quote:

    The performance gains and features supported by Core Image ultimately depend on the graphics card. Graphics cards capable of pixel-level programming deliver the best performance. But Core Image automatically scales as appropriate for systems with older graphics cards, for compatibility with any Tiger-compatible Mac.



    Supported graphics cards:



    ATI Radeon 9800 XT

    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro

    ATI Radeon 9700 Pro

    ATI Radeon 9600 XT

    ATI Radeon 9600 Pro

    ATI Mobility Radeon 9700

    ATI Mobility Radeon 9600

    NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra

    NVIDIA GeForceFX Go 5200

    NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra



    These cards are available in today?s PowerBooks, Power Mac G5s and both the 17-inch and 20-inch iMac.



    Yeah, that 17-inch iMac... wow, what a high-end machine... and man, nobody could ever be complaining about a GPU *that* advanced!



    Remember also that Quartz Extreme had a more limited list of supported cards in the developer previews than in the final release.
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