OS X Games with Metal?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by tamag901, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. tamag901 macrumors newbie

    tamag901

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    Fabula Nova Chrysalia
    #1
    Hi,

    Seeing as El Capitan has been out for over a month now, are there any games for OS X which have Metal support yet?
     
  2. Lexdexia macrumors regular

    Lexdexia

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    #2
    None that I know of as of now. Companies that port PC games over to OS X such as Asper and Feral have announced that they will be using Metal. But they were rather vague on if they'll update existing games with Metal or release newer games with Metal support.

    I reached out to the developers of the upcoming 'Firewatch' game (coming to PC, Mac, PS4) and they said they have been using the technology since it was announced at WWDC, but is "unsure about launch day". So I dunno.

    I've tested a list of well-known games on El Capitan and none of them offer any noticeable improvement in graphical quality or FPS - in comparison to Yosemite (because they have not been updated with Metal support).
    • Batman Arkham City
    • Tomb Raider
    • Minecraft
    • League of Legends
    • Bioshock Infinite
    • Team Fortress 2
     
  3. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

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  4. Irishman macrumors 68030

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #4
    Bitter much? If Metal succeeds, all your bitching about Apple not caring about gaming will be silenced.

    Can't wait. :)
     
  5. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Seems like your the one's that bitter but keep waiting...because it will never happen.
     
  6. alvindarkness macrumors 6502

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    It's great that metal support is being incorporated in some major engines such as unity and unreal, but IMO not having Vulkan support is going to be the massive hindrance to mac gaming in the near future. Here Apple (who themselves are part of the Khronos group) had a chance to get on board with a modern cross platform API (Windows 7/8/10, Linux/SteamOS, Android etc), with vast cross vendor support - and instead seem to have jumped ship.

    Dan Ginsburg (from Valve - who granted are pushing Vulkan), recently mentioned developing for DX12 makes no sense with Vulkan around the corner, and I quote "Unless you are aggressive enough to be shipping a DX12 game this year, I would argue that there is really not much reason to ever create a DX12 back end for your game. The reason for that is that Vulkan will cover you on Windows 10 on the same class of hardware and so much more from all these other platforms and IHVs that we have heard from. Metal is single platform, single vendor, and Vulkan… we are gonna have support for not only Windows 10 but Windows 7, Windows 8 and Linux.”

    Not sure how you see it, but this to me is Apple making a major move indicating they couldnt give a damn about gaming (particularly having AAA titles released on OSX with equal footing). Although as an outside spectator, I could be, and probably am, completely wrong :)
     
  7. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Except Unity, Epic, Blizzard, Aspyr and Feral...
     
  8. Irishman, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015

    Irishman macrumors 68030

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #8
    DX12, Metal, and Vulcan are all similar solutions for the same problem - providing highly efficient APIs that make games run smoother and more beautifully, and that run on current and future hardware. OpenGL has been around since 1992 - see https://www.opengl.org/wiki/History_of_OpenGL, while DirectX has been around since 1995 - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectX . They've had decades to create mature, feature-rich solutions. Apple will need time to catch up. That doesn't mean, however, that Apple shouldn't make Metal. Cross-vendor support for game titles doesn't mean for a minute that the Mac will get more games. It hasn't meant that in all the years that Apple has supported OpenGL. Windows and DirectX have been - and continue to be - the preferred platform for most game developers because that's where the money is. By making Metal, Apple is trying to be strategic about being the place where the money is in the future. I don't think it's an accident that Metal appeared on iOS first. It introduces the new API to its biggest gaming partners, so that by the time Metal appears for OS X, it's more of a known factor for developers. All Apple has to do is make the switch easy and continue to develop it to please casual game-makers and AAA game-makers alike.


    Yes, Ginsburg is very pro-Vulkan. Everything in bold above is a sales pitch.

    The most difficult time for developers to make the switch to Metal is now. Over time, as it reaches feature parity to Vulkan and DX12, it will be easier. This, to my eyes, is what it looks like Apple cares about growing the Mac and iOS game market.
     
  9. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #9
    All Metal benchmarks that I have seen for iOS and OSX aren't showing any real world improvement over OpenGL except for the overhead tests. Considering that Apple has terrible OpenGL performance compared to Direct X you can't really hope for much here (OSX even loses to Windows on OpenCL and CUDA too). It's better to keep expectations low and be surprised if things turn out good enough, than to keep expectations high and be let down.
     
  10. alvindarkness, Nov 6, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015

    alvindarkness macrumors 6502

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    #10
    DX12, Metal and Vulkan are all basically mantle rip offs in one way or another. Since the Khronos group (that Apple is a part of) decided to build upon the components in mantle when developing Vulkan, and Apple used those same concepts to develop Metal. It doesnt need "time to catch up".

    So a company that has no AAA titles being developed for it natively is going to improve the situation by creating a vendor specific API that no one else uses? We will see what happens, but I think linux will over take OSX as a gaming platform within 2 years, thanks to SteamOS and Vulkan. Meanwhile Apple in their myoptathy will think they are doing fine with "casual gamers" instead of actually expanding into other (massively lucrative) gaming markets - their choice.

    I'm not saying Metal on its own is a horrible idea, but not supporting Vulkan is absolutely a horrible idea. Other platforms have support for multiple modern 3D APIs, so why cant OSX do the same and give us both Metal and Vulkan? You know a few months ago it seemed they would, and now it is clear they wont. I think it is obvious that Apple is using this as an agenda to push Metal - even though they could support both.

    The sad thing is, companies like Valve gave us some of the best high end titles on mac in the past. Now in their early implementations of source2 Mac's are second class citizens (and using compatibility - OpenGL 2.1, instead of core). I can see the OSX versions of l4d3, portal3 etc just running horrendously bad compared to the vulkan counterparts. But hey, obviously thats a great thing for mac users.
     
  11. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Is there any cross-API benchmark using Metal beside GFXBench? That's just one. On iOS, guys from Unity, EA, Crytek and Epic said that Metal enabled them to do things that were just not possible with openGL. And that's not just at an Apple keynote, see http://www.frostbite.com/2014/11/frostbite-tech-demo-battlefield-4-on-ios/
    It's sad that they never released frostbite for iOS though.
    In a slide from a Siggraph conference (which you can find), a Unity guy sais that Metal provided a great leap in performance, while DX12 didn't. Granted, that was on iOS vs Windows, so not the same kind of platform. But Metal on iOS does work well, and it's also simpler to use than competing APIs. See: http://aras-p.info/blog/2015/03/13/thoughts-on-explicit-graphics-apis/
     
  12. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Why should it be up to Apple to "support Vulkan"? Does Microsoft Support Vulkan? They're not even part of Khronos.
     
  13. alvindarkness macrumors 6502

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    Jul 11, 2009
    #13
    I guess Apple doesnt need to. Windows is open enough to allow vendors to support Vulkan. NVIDIA's 358.66's driver for windows, released two days ago, comes with a library that exposes a bunch of vk functions. Linux support with wayland etc is expected shortly. Intel has/is open sourcing their vulkan drivers, and AMD is said to have closed source ones for linux drivers waiting. Seems the vendors themselves are the ones doing all the work on Windows and Linux.

    Either way I hope in the long run it doesnt matter. I'm just being greedy wishing for a future with AAA titles getting great treatment on OSX. Hopefully all the big engines end up supporting metal well, or at the very least a good vulkan to metal wrapper is made for the porting houses. We'll see what the future holds.
     
  14. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #14
    Metal enables developers to make more calls, which means that more objects can be animated or rendered. But if we compare the same scenes rendered in OpenGL and Metal then the benefits aren't visible. That's why the GFXBench results are disappointing. But along comes Vulkan and makes Metal and OpenGL look redundant.

    I wouldn't place faith in staged demos. They almost never deliver in real life. Adobe already backtracked on their Metal demonstrations.
     
  15. Irishman macrumors 68030

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #15
    Metal is brand new. The most it can hope to be is promising. And it is.

    Wait for the numbers to come in on which to base an opinion.
     
  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #16
    Your approach is good, to take a seat and see what happen instead of vigorously claim it's gonna be the best thing ever and destroy Windows. I had seen the hype and defensive arguments about a dozen failed or overhyped APIs from Apple in the last 20+ years that failed to deliver performance equal to what was available on Windows. Almost everything from certain QuickTime codecs to Quartz to OpenCL and now Metal didn't live up to the hype and made users complain of various slowness. I think recently people have finally woken up to being platform agnostic. Use Windows when it's the best solution for a task, use OSX when it's the best solution for another task. But humans are tribal. We once defended symbols and the promises made by priests. We now defend our favourite brand logos and the promises made by corporate marketing departments.
     
  17. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    #17
    In this case (see the links I provided), it's developer who are praising Metal. I'm not talking about not staged demos. However, this is on iOS. Developers seem less enthused by Metal on OS X, because of missing features (like geometry shaders, which openGL has had for 10 years or so).
     
  18. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Right now we simply cannot tell if OS X will support Vulkan. OS X is not listed among the platforms that do, but that's a given. Even if AMD/nVidia were currently working on Vulkan drivers for OS X 10.12, we wouldn't now about it. They would have signed an NDA with Apple. Only if the whole Vuklan stack was provided by the GPU vendors with no input from Apple would they be allowed to talk about it. Regardless, why would they? Vulkan isn't out yet, and there's no release date.

    This thing is, Apple wants everyone to use Metal, so I can't see them supporting Vulkan. On the other hand, I don't see how they could prevent nVidia/AMD from providing Vulkan drivers like they do on Windows.
    It's strange that Apple is on the Vulkan working group at Khronos. If they want to put Metal above all else, they should leave Khronos like Microsoft did years ago. It bet some Khronos members would like them to leave.
     
  19. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    #19
    Part of that reason is because Apple makes it hard for a third party API to be added to a system that is already released. Most of the time the new APIs come with a major OS update and leave previous versions of OSX in the cold.
     
  20. MacAlien macrumors 6502

    MacAlien

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    Oct 17, 2012
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    Boston
    #20
    Is Metal even fully implemented in El Capitan yet? I thought I'd read where only little parts of it were active or some such so certain features and improved performance wouldn't necessarily be noticeable, no?
     
  21. marksatt macrumors regular

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    Jun 26, 2013
    Location:
    Epic UK
    #21
    Like any new API it has its share of bugs & obvious-once-in-use deficiencies but Apple view it as 'complete'. However for many a AAA game it lacks essential features - many of which are present even in Apple's obsolete OpenGL 4.1 implementation.
     
  22. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    #22

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