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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Aspyr has updated Civilization V with support for the new Mac Pro, offering OpenCL frameworks to improve performance on NVIDIA and ATI chipsets in OS X Mavericks, as well as 4K resolution. The company says most Civilization V players should see faster game and visual performance as a result.

Click the image for a full-sized 4K screenshot​
Civilization V is available on the Mac from the Mac App Store [$14.99], Steam, and Aspyr's GameAgent digital store. The game is being offered for 50% off temporarily on the GameAgent store alongside the update.

Update 8:53AM PDT 3/21/2014: A prior version of this post claimed that Civilization V takes full advantage of both video cards on the Mac Pro, based on information provided by Aspyr via a blog post and press release. Aspyr has updated its blog post and reached out to MacRumors to issue a correction.

The Civilization V update does not utilize both video cards in the Mac Pro. An Aspyr spokesperson explained that the update "focuses on the OpenCL framework so that more processes are centered around the GPU, thereby reducing the overall memory footprint" and that the company "made the decision to focus on one card so that all other ATI and NVIDIA setups would benefit from the structure instead of JUST the Mac Pro."

We have also updated this post with a full-resolution 4K screenshot of Civilization V.

Article Link: Civilization V Updated for Mac Pro, Includes 4K and OpenCL Support [Updated]
 

DanCorleone

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2013
90
15
Wow. Civ in 4k. Astounding for someone who played the original Civ, which was may have been as low as 320 x 240!
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Cool! I was hoping games would start to support both cards without Boot Camp, but I'm surprised to see it start so soon.

I wouldn't get one JUST for gaming, but my work machine wants to play sometimes!
 

MartiNZ

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2008
1,210
114
Auckland, New Zealand
Holy cow. It has enough performance issues in normal HD, but I guess maybe just maybe the Mac Pro can handle that.

Is that picture in picture how it really looks? The UI elements are tiny by default! Pretty cool, good on Aspyr.
 

cclloyd

macrumors 68000
Oct 26, 2011
1,760
144
Alpha Centauri A
I can't even get it to run at 2880x1800. It renders that many pixels but all the art is still pixilated. Does that happen for anyone else? (PS I have the Steam version)
 

WestonHarvey1

macrumors 68030
Jan 9, 2007
2,582
1,709
Does that mean they enabled Crossfire (which I thought the Mac Pro drivers couldn't do), or that they're using the other GPU just for compute tasks?
 

leman

macrumors P6
Oct 14, 2008
15,443
12,188
Brilliant. This makes Civilisation the least graphics intensive game that can benefit from the dual GPU in the Mac Pro :rolleyes: I wish they would have actually make some noteworthy improvements, like fixing their extremely slow load times/horrible save menu - and most importantly, extremely slow AI.

----------

Does that mean they enabled Crossfire (which I thought the Mac Pro drivers couldn't do), or that they're using the other GPU just for compute tasks?

From what I gather they are using the second GPU to decode compressed textures. It sounds like your typical marketing BS.
 

antonis

macrumors 68020
Jun 10, 2011
2,085
1,009
Brilliant. This makes Civilisation the least graphics intensive game that can benefit from the dual GPU in the Mac Pro :rolleyes:

But it's a start. There were tons of skepticism if companies would even bother to support the dual GPUs of Mac Pro. These are good news, hope more will follow Aspyr's example. Good job.
 

ikir

macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2007
1,737
1,545
Good job Aspyr, playing in 4K is an achievement, I applaud the work of optimisation behind! Hope to see other games with OpenCL and dual video card support.
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,495
21
But with the added power of OpenCL, will the AI be just as stupid?

It's nice to see them taking advantage of modern technologies, though I'm not sure how big a market there is for playing Civ V at 4k on a new Mac Pro.
 

springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
1,151
955
I'm much more interested in the use of OpenCL than 4K support. I mean, lots of GPUs (and CPUs) support OpenCL, so that should benefit people who own iMacs and MBPs as well.

OpenCL is a compute technology, not a graphics technology per se. Do we have any more information on how it's being used? Is it being used to power the AI? Effects like the ocean or whatever?
 

Aspyr-Blair

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2012
319
34
Austin Tx
I'm much more interested in the use of OpenCL than 4K support. I mean, lots of GPUs (and CPUs) support OpenCL, so that should benefit people who own iMacs and MBPs as well.

OpenCL is a compute technology, not a graphics technology per se. Do we have any more information on how it's being used? Is it being used to power the AI? Effects like the ocean or whatever?

Hey guys, our apologies but the blog post that is being quoted here has an error. The OpenCL update does NOT take advantage of the second card, but rather focuses solely on taking full advantage of the OpenCL framework so that iMac and MBP owners would see benefits as well. MacRumors and we will get the edit out asap.

Springsup is right on with the tech. Essentially OpenCL (used properly) allows you to shift computing processes over to the GPU, thereby reducing the overall memory footprint of the game.

We chose Civ V as the focus for this effort for two reasons:

One, Civ V is by far the biggest game on the Mac. It was important to us that if we were to spend the time, money, and resources on an update that we knew wouldn't make any money, it really needed to benefit the most amount of users as possible.

Two, Civ V would get the most benefit from a reduced memory footprint because of the way the game works. :apple:
 
Last edited:

jlgolson

Contributing Editor
Jun 2, 2011
379
4
Durango, CO
Hey guys, our apologies but the blog post that is being quoted here has an error. The OpenCL update does NOT take advantage of the second card, but rather focuses solely on taking full advantage of the of the OpenCL framework so that iMac and MBP owners would see benefits as well. MacRumors and we will get the edit out asap.
Our post has been updated to reflect this new information from Aspyr.
 

commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,029
115
Hey guys, our apologies but the blog post that is being quoted here has an error. The OpenCL update does NOT take advantage of the second card, but rather focuses solely on taking full advantage of the OpenCL framework so that iMac and MBP owners would see benefits as well. MacRumors and we will get the edit out asap.

Springsup is right on with the tech. Essentially OpenCL (used properly) allows you to shift computing processes over to the GPU, thereby reducing the overall memory footprint of the game.

We chose Civ V as the focus for this effort for two reasons:

One, Civ V is by far the biggest game on the Mac. It was important to us that if we were to spend the time, money, and resources on an update that we knew wouldn't make any money, it really needed to benefit the most amount of users as possible.

Two, Civ V would get the most benefit from a reduced memory footprint because of the way the game works. :apple:
http://www.aspyr.com/news_articles/civilization-v-gets-open-cl-update-for-mac-pro

Mac gamers that play on the Mac Pro will now be able to fully take advantage of the machine’s second video card, which means better visuals and improved performance for the critically acclaimed strategy game. In particular, Civilization V on the Mac Pro will now support 4k monitors while running into fewer crashes. Additionally, the game should run faster (meaning less waiting in between turns in late-game situations).

This update makes Civilization V the only Mac game that currently supports the second video card on the Mac Pro. It should automatically download and install for Steam users; Mac App users can head to the Mac App Store to get the update. For even more info on how to take advantage of the new update, check out the knowledge base article over at our Support site.
It's kind of concerning that such an incorrect statement could emerge from the company. It's not a small error, but a complete 180.

In any case, would it be a lot of work to use the second GPU for OpenCL tasks? I'm assuming you're using OpenCL for the texture decompression which is done with DX11 compute shaders in the Windows version. I suppose it would help if those textures are needed asynchronously rather than needing to keep the second GPU's work tightly in-sync with the game rendering on the first GPU.
 
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