Mac OS X 10.3.7 build 7S214 improves graphics performance

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Apple offers developers a more recent seed of Mac OS X 10.3.7, along with a training video on Dashboard widget development.



Apple Computer on Thursday seeded its developers with Mac OS X 10.3.7 build 7S214, a pre-release copy of a forthcoming upgrade to its "Panther" operating system.



Currently weighing in at 25.4 MB, the maintenance update focuses on audio, printing, graphics, OpenGL intensive games, and FireWire storage and audio devices.



The Mac OS X 10.3.7 update is also highly rumored to include support for the initial release of Xsan, Apple's storage area network file system, as well as new products to be introduced in early 2005.



In a set of developer notes accompanying the software, the company said the latest build delivers "improved graphics performance affecting ATI and NVIDIA cards."



Last week Apple seeded Mac OS X 10.3.7 build 7S210, which bundled improved compatibility for FireWire drives that have previously failed to mount.



According to sources, Mac OS X 10.3.7 is slated to debut in the next three weeks.



Along with Thursday's seeding of Mac OS X 10.3.7, Apple posted a 55MB, 28 minute instructional QuickTime movie on developing Dashboard Widgets. The company also officially kicked-off its second Dashboard Widget Contest.



"Apple is pleased to announce a second Apple Dashboard Widget Contest," says a note on the company's developer site. "Now through January 5, developers have another chance to win a 40GB iPod and receive public recognition for their work. Enter the Apple Dashboard Widget Contest today to take advantage of this terrific opportunity to begin developing Widgets for Tiger. Entries will be judged on technical excellence, innovation, and ease of use."



Dashboard will officially debut alongside Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" in early 2005. Earlier this week Apple seeded the latest known build of Tiger, build 8A323.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    I hope we get all the functionality of the PC version of these drivers and similar performance.



    <-- optimist.
  • Reply 2 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    ^

    |----- uninformed



    When Windows has the same amount of computing happening in the graphics system, then you can complain about lack of performance. It's easy to be fast when you're not doing much.



    Which features do you see missing?
  • Reply 3 of 38
    Let me see, I have no control over things like FSAA. It is supported by my card, but OS doesn't let me configure it.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    I am not complaining about the performance of the GUI. I am complaining about full screen gaming performance. *cough* WoW *cough*
  • Reply 5 of 38
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Kickaha are you kidding. OS X can't do basic things like rotate the screen (NV Rotate.) And we all know the performance has a huge gap.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    No, not in the least bit. Performance? Of what? The GUI in general? Fact: Windows asks very little of its GPU for the general GUI. MacOS X puts it through its paces, even with Terminal. It's going to seem slower simply because it's doing more. This falls under the 'duh' category.



    Full screen games? Well, how are they rendered? OpenGL? CoreGraphics? QuickDraw(shudder)? OGL will see the best performance in most cases. What's the bus bandwidth for the GPU? How much RAM does that bad boy have? etc, etc, etc



    I'm not claiming that MacOS X drivers are 100% on par with their Windows counterparts... only that the average load on the GPU is much higher under MacOS X, and the graphics card more highly tasked as a result. Claiming that performance sucks, or is badly lagging, without taking this into account is just lunacy.



    (And really - care to explain why rotating the entire display 90deg is a *BASIC* feature??? I mean, WTH? It's a gee-whiz neato trick, and braindead simple with OGL, but... 1) why? 2) who the hell would do this?)
  • Reply 7 of 38
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha



    (And really - care to explain why rotating the entire display 90deg is a *BASIC* feature??? I mean, WTH? It's a gee-whiz neato trick, and braindead simple with OGL, but... 1) why? 2) who the hell would do this?)




    It's not a basic feature, or one that's often used. However, if it's braindead simple with OGL, then it should be implemented. I'd imagine that people who want to view long documents may need it.
  • Reply 8 of 38
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by schmidm77

    Let me see, I have no control over things like FSAA. It is supported by my card, but OS doesn't let me configure it.



    With the latest ATI update, you can customize OpenGL settings for individual applications and more. I don't know about NVidia cards though. \
  • Reply 9 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by MCQ

    It's not a basic feature, or one that's often used. However, if it's braindead simple with OGL, then it should be implemented. I'd imagine that people who want to view long documents may need it.



    Because so many monitors pivot 90degrees... \ (And yes, I'm sure someone will point out one that does - I know they exist - none are common.)



    Just because something *can* be done, does not mean it *should* be done, from a systems design point of view.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    Kickaha, can you please explain something to me in regard to GPU performance of the Mac being that you seem to know so much about it? I have 1.25 GHz PB with 1GB ram. I bought the professional line because I believed (mistakenly so) that the professional line would offer professional performance. While I do not work for CNN or some graphics company, I do enjoy making small movies for the family and the occasional game now and then when I'm bored. Why is it, that a low-tech game like Age of Empires 2, with all the updates installed, lags when I try to use the Regular sized map and 100 people? Why is it that Real Myst is so choppy that it's unplayable? Why is it when I use iDVD that motion menues become choppy when I add a few small videos as motion menus? Even during this reply, in this little window, the fan turns on and the cursor can't follow my typing (lags) and I'm not a fast typer like you.



    I understand that the GPU is doing more in Mac's than PC's, but is it too much to ask that a professional model computer be able to do such simple tasks? It feels to me that Apple is letting me down by selling me a professional laptop that doesn't perform in a professional manner. The games I listed above are hardly the most hardcore, even iDVD written by Apple doesn't impress me because it's so choppy. Please explain how their little rewrites are going to help me enjoy my computing experience.
  • Reply 11 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    They won't. The Achilles heel of laptops is the bus, and no amount of programming is going to change that.



    A PowerBook is a professional *laptop*... which is by necessity a whole other beast than a desktop. The desktop bus allows for massive data flow to the GPU, but on a laptop, not so much. Hence, no reason to put in a GPU that can handle many times the data its fed - it'd just be wasted.



    Laptops aren't geared for graphics in many cases. They work okay, but you'll never get the kick-ass graphics you'd find on a desktop. (Yes, I'm aware that there are some Wintel 'laptops' that do offer amazing graphics performance - they weigh a ton, and have insane power requirements. They're closer to a 15" form iMac G5 with an attached keyboard.)



    The slow typing in Safari is a bug in WebKit, and has nothing to do with the graphics system.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    pbpb Posts: 4,234member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Kickaha

    The slow typing in Safari is a bug in WebKit, and has nothing to do with the graphics system.



    So are his questions about performance. I think they have much more to do with the weak CPU infrastructure of the Powerbook than with the very strong graphics chip in the latest Powerbooks.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    Kickaha and PB, I appreciate your comments. The sad thing is that I'm stuck with limited performance that can't be fixed with an update from Apple. It's depressing really, but thank you for your honesty.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Yup, you're likely getting near the top performance for your hardware... it's just that laptop mobos are simply not geared for top performance, they have other requirements like battery life and weight to take into consideration.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    Kickaha, I don't think it's disputed that OpenGL performance in many 3D apps lag their windows counterparts - C4D has half the screen redraw performance on macs of similar hardware to their PC counterparts. While C4D makes this stark, other 3D apps have similar lag, and this has got to be addressed. I don't dispute your GUI point.



    Brian, I have a powerbook too and though for a great many pro activities (Quicktime video, Flash, Photoshop, driving very large screens etc) it's fantastic, I'm sure it's not optimised for games (or they for it). It's a weakness of the platform, but one which doesn't reflect a powerbook's all-round performance. The overall balance of hardware performance - graphics, CPU, network connections, optical drives - I find exceptional.



    My $0.02.



  • Reply 16 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bathgate

    Kickaha, I don't think it's disputed that OpenGL performance in many 3D apps lag their windows counterparts - C4D has half the screen redraw performance on macs of similar hardware to their PC counterparts. While C4D makes this stark, other 3D apps have similar lag, and this has got to be addressed. I don't dispute your GUI point.



    Nor do I dispute yours. The question is... is the problem in the driver(s), the bus, the card implementation (remember, an Apple card of any stripe is not *exactly* the same as the PC one in almost every case... close, but not exact), the OpenGL implementation... what? Depending on the particular machine, particular card, OS version, etc, it can be any one of these that is the overwhelming factor, but it is always some mix of them.



    Quote:

    Brian, I have a powerbook too and though for a great many pro activities (Quicktime video, Flash, Photoshop, driving very large screens etc) it's fantastic, I'm sure it's not optimised for games (or they for it). It's a weakness of the platform, but one which doesn't reflect a powerbook's all-round performance. The overall balance of hardware performance - graphics, CPU, network connections, optical drives - I find exceptional.



    I wholeheartedly agree.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    10.3.7 is supposed to be improving graphics as it has been stated in this thread. Why can't Apple produce drivers for the Powerbook that perform better than "reasonably"?



    I know that the first argument everyone thrusts into my face is that the "average" users (the ones Apple actually focuses on) only type college papers, perhaps have 300 photos in iPhoto, have never made more than a handful of 5 minute movies in iMovie, have maybe 2000 songs in iTunes, and don't really use iDVD or Garage Band at all. I know Apple is always concerned about them, and rightly so, provided that they are using iBooks or iMac's because they are bare-bones computers with minimalistic components in order to run what mom and pop need to do (write letters, email, surf the web, import some pics).



    But the professional line seems entirely unprofessional in my view. Many times I'm in places I don't have the luxury of having a desktop Mac. I'm out in the middle of the desert half a world away, or deep in a jungle somwhere I've never heard of. I don't believe I'm asking too much for my money to be able to use this Powerbook for iLife and a few non-intensive games. Listen to this - "System requirements for RealMyst : Power Macintosh G3 300 MHz, Mac OS 8.6 or later / 64 MB RAM, Mac OS 10.1 or later / 128 MB RAM, 3D Video Card / 16 MB Memory" Given that knowledge, am I to believe that my 1.25 GHz Powerbook with 1GB of RAM is being bested by a 300 MHz G3 with a 16MB GPU? That, my friends is the very definition of "Professional" to me.



    I'm terrified to spend more money on other professional applications such as Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, or Photoshop (right now I use Gimp which seems to work fine) when iLife underwhelms in performance on my laptop.



    All that said, is Apple concerned about it's professional users doing professional things on their professional laptops, by doing something to make their graphics perform far better than reasonably? 10.3.7 is supposed to make OpenGL better and provide some better drivers, most likely for PowerMacs. Who tests these releases? Do they just write letters and not do anything demanding of their computers? Are all the testers using desktops? Or is it that they don't want to tell Apple just how bad the situation really is? I sometimes wish I had the luxury of being a consumer rather than a professional user, but I have demands that simply aren't being met with the current OS release.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    Quote:

    "System requirements for RealMyst : Power Macintosh G3 300 MHz, Mac OS 8.6 or later / 64 MB RAM, Mac OS 10.1 or later / 128 MB RAM, 3D Video Card / 16 MB Memory" Given that knowledge, am I to believe that my 1.25 GHz Powerbook with 1GB of RAM is being bested by a 300 MHz G3 with a 16MB GPU? That, my friends is the very definition of "Professional" to me.



    Anyone who makes assumptions about the performance of a pro laptop based on a game isn't a pro. Hysteric perhaps, but not a pro.



    1GHZ, 1GB RAM running Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign (with hires image display turned on), C4D and the odd incident of Word vX. Word lags, and C4D render times suck, but its a portable. Adobe's suite runs fine, but what do I know, I don't get paid to run games on my laptop.
  • Reply 19 of 38
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Brian Green

    10.3.7 is supposed to be improving graphics as it has been stated in this thread. Why can't Apple produce drivers for the Powerbook that perform better than "reasonably"?



    Because as I pointed out above, even 100% perfect drivers wouldn't be able to overcome the hardware limitations. It's just that simple.



    Quote:

    But the professional line seems entirely unprofessional in my view. Many times I'm in places I don't have the luxury of having a desktop Mac. I'm out in the middle of the desert half a world away, or deep in a jungle somwhere I've never heard of. I don't believe I'm asking too much for my money to be able to use this Powerbook for iLife and a few non-intensive games. Listen to this - "System requirements for RealMyst : Power Macintosh G3 300 MHz, Mac OS 8.6 or later / 64 MB RAM, Mac OS 10.1 or later / 128 MB RAM, 3D Video Card / 16 MB Memory" Given that knowledge, am I to believe that my 1.25 GHz Powerbook with 1GB of RAM is being bested by a 300 MHz G3 with a 16MB GPU? That, my friends is the very definition of "Professional" to me.



    You aren't doing something silly like running it at full detail, etc, etc, are you?



    And you do realize that those specs are the 'barely limping along at the lowest possible settings' list, right? You're not going to convince anyone that a 300MHz G3 can beat your PB. (Wait - is that a *Classic* game??)



    I really don't know what to say - it sounds like either your expectations are unrealistic, based on assumptions more geared to the desktop line, or something is wrong with your system, because iLife kicks along just grand on my PB G4.



    Quote:

    I'm terrified to spend more money on other professional applications such as Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Soundtrack, or Photoshop (right now I use Gimp which seems to work fine) when iLife underwhelms in performance on my laptop.



    All that said, is Apple concerned about it's professional users doing professional things on their professional laptops, by doing something to make their graphics perform far better than reasonably? 10.3.7 is supposed to make OpenGL better and provide some better drivers, most likely for PowerMacs. Who tests these releases? Do they just write letters and not do anything demanding of their computers? Are all the testers using desktops? Or is it that they don't want to tell Apple just how bad the situation really is? I sometimes wish I had the luxury of being a consumer rather than a professional user, but I have demands that simply aren't being met with the current OS release.




    If you need that kind of power, you need a desktop, period. You bought something that isn't going to provide you with the kind of power you're apparently seeking.



    That being said, I know several professionals who use FCP and DV cameras for professional work on PBs in the field, and are quite happy with them... but they all have desktops in the office for the demanding tasks.



    It's called being a realist about the hardware.
  • Reply 20 of 38
    cowerd, I am a pro user and I was using the game to make a point. A 1.25 GHz Powerbook ought to be able to blaze through a game made for a 300 MHz G3. Please don't make assumptions about me or my profession just because I use a game to illustrate a point. While all people may not get paid to play games on their computers, I use mine for both business and personal use.



    As Kickaha pointed out, I'm simply demanding too much from a laptop that can't overcome it's own hardware limitations, though I didn't believe I was.



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