Front Row - CPU or GPU?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by PseudoWoobie, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. PseudoWoobie macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2006
    Hi all,

    Just a quick question to ease my curiousity. Would anyone happen to know whether apps like Front Row and CoverFlow draw their animation power primarily from the cpu or the graphics card? On my iBook G4 I notice how CoverFlow really slows down when scrolling, and I was wondering if that would be because of the G4 or the 32mb video card.

    P.S. Would the animation in these programs be considered Core Animation, or is Core more referring to little system animations?
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'm not an expert, but GPU, at least on newer Macs. Assuming it's the same as most similar Apple technologies, if the GPU isn't sufficient to handle it (that is, doesn't offer sufficient programmability) THEN it gets dumped off to the CPU. That's why the fancy transitions on Keynote (for example) aren't available on a machine with older graphics cards--they can't be handled in real-time by the GPU, so they're not even available. Other apps hand it off to the CPU, if the real-time-ness isn't as critical.

    That's probably what's going on with CoverFlow in your example. I note that it and Front Row barely even touch the CPU on my MBP, probably not because it's so fast but because the GPU can handle it.

    On a wildly unrelated note just because I feel the need to say it "out loud", speaking of CoverFlow, I just found out that it supports a full alpha channel for transparency in PNGs--you can do some awesome stuff with that.

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