4K / UltraHD / 5K Displays: Improved Graphical Performance on El Capitan?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Halbertus, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Halbertus macrumors newbie

    Halbertus

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    #1
    Is there anyone who can help me out with some feedback on graphics performance running a 4K display at 60Hz on OS X El Capitan?

    Most reviews on the OS, especially ars technica, claim that performance for 4k displays has dramatically improved. Unfortunately there is only very little detail on which hardware is concerned.

    From what I can sum up so far with 10.11 (15A284) only certain integrated Intel chipsets seem to profit from the newly introduced metal graphics engine. Discrete graphics should be integrated into Metal later on in future releases of OS X. Nonetheless users with discrete graphics (Mac Pro, nVidia 750M) are reporting better (graphics) performance with their setups on these forums.

    Back in june i have been testing numerous displays connected to a rMBP 13" 2015 on Yosemite. Unfortunately my impression was that the latest MacBook Pro is not capable of rendering a 4K desktop smoothly. Animations would stutter a lot - up to a level where to my liking the experience was not acceptable.

    Seems others would share my impressions, as one can find numerous posts and videos on youtube about UI lag - for example on the latest rMBP 13".



    I made up a short theory of how desktop performance would be affected back then:

    HiDPI Scaling mode (Best for Display>More Space) x Transparency Setting (Reduced transparency On>Off) x Clamshell mode (Lid closed<Lid opened)

    UI transition would be a lot better, when every factor would be set to positive (green), but even then the interface looked choppy and felt unresponsive at times.

    The displays I have been testing are the following:
    • Dell UP2414Q (4K [UltraHD 3840x2160@60Hz] MST via rMBP 13" Early 2015)
    • Samsung U32D970Q (4K [UltraHD 3840x2160@60Hz] SST via rMBP 13" Early 2015)
    • Dell UP2715K (5K [5120x2880@60Hz] MST via iMac 5K Late 2014; 4K [UltraHD 3840x2160@60Hz] via rMBP 13" Early 2015,)
    I returned all of the products and settled with an iMac 5K afterwards. This one performed nicely running Yosemite and also works flawlessly on El Capitan. - Still I would prefer a mobile solution in case it was possible now.

    As I do not currently have the time to test for myself any feedback would be very much appreciated.
    Please also provide details on your monitor, HiDPI Scaling mode, Mac and - if it's a MacBook - whether you are running in clamshell mode.
     
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #2
    I use a Dell P2715Q at 3200x1800@60Hz with my Mac Pro 5,1 (as listed in my signature below) and I am running El Capitan. When I tried to replicate what the person was doing in your linked video, I found everything to be buttery smooth and extremely fast. None of the jitteriness that person experienced.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any other computers here capable of driving a 4K display so I can't help test further.
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    Always in clamshell when at home. Usually running 3008 with Safari or other text app. Love running full 4K on Lightroom except, big exception here, Adobe does not give the ability to scale the menu fonts nearly large enough for 4K.

    Got my Dell UP2414Q on eBay for $350 and it works perfectly. My 4K experience so far...big thumbs up.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Halbertus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Halbertus

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    #4
    Thanks for sharing!

    Can you confirm that El Capitan has improved overall graphical performance, or was it fluid for you on Yosemite already? With your setup you seem to not benefit from driver support in "Metal". That's why I wonder whether there have been further optimizations.
     
  5. MCAsan, Oct 2, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015

    MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    When I got my Dell I was already running El Capitan beta and had no problem. I can say I have not noticed any improvement as the beta was stable already.

    Rather that needed 4K improvements as the reason to move to El Capitan, I would think the default is that you will move to El Capitan unless there is an obstacle. From my subjective experience, 4K and graphics are not reasons to hang onto older Mac releases. ;)
     
  6. Halbertus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Halbertus

    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    #6
    Of course I would also recommend the update. In fact I am also running El Capitan on my iMac. There is lots of improvements - not only concerning graphics!

    The question behind is whether Apple has finally managed to tweak performance of UI rendering on HiDPI screens by optimizations made publicly available in El Capitan.
    If that was the case one could assume that the choppy performance me and others were complaining about in mid-summer could have been software/driver related - which means it could potentially be fixed with the update.

    If again this is true I would be very interested in finding out which mobile mac hardware is the best bet ($/user experience) assuring 4K desktop performance is flawless when connected to display at home ;)
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #7
    I don't have any solid evidence to back up my claim, but it felt like UI performance was indeed tweaked and felt much smoother in El Capitan. I noticed this the first time I booted in to El Capitan and was using beta Nvidia web drivers which did not give my video card Metal support. I have since updated to the latest non-beta of the Nvidia drivers which did add Metal support and didn't see any difference from when there was no Metal support.

    One thing I have noticed is that, based on what iStat Menus is reporting, VRAM usage is much lower in El Capitan.
     

Share This Page