Graphics Driver Improvement in Snow Leopard?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MarcBook, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. MarcBook macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    This is a (slightly) augmented version of my post in the Apple Games section, which doesn't receive as many visits as the OS X forum.

    Has anyone, especially those who experienced poor graphics performance (effects such as with Stacks, Exposé etc.) in Leopard found a noticeable improvement in Snow Leopard?

    For me, and my reasonably powerful NVidia 8600M GT, I always found the seemingly simple graphical effects in Leopard to perform abysmally. Frame rates were pathetic for effects such as the Genie minimising effect in the Dock. I've found that everything has greatly improved in Snow Leopard, how it should've been. My older post about the Dock animations is here.

    I just tried Battlefield 2142 for the first time in an age, now that I've got Snow Leopard installed. Many Mac users are familiar with the awfully sub-standard performance of this Cider port (which was their first shot at the process, I believe).

    It appears, however, that the performance of the game has somewhat improved under Snow Leopard. I can now run the game with decent performance at the Medium preset and 1024 x 768 resolution, whereas before on Leopard my MacBook Pro was struggling desperately with everything set to Low.

    Judging from this game improvement and the Dock performance improvement, Apple appears to have updated the NVidia graphics drivers or something to similar effect.

    Has anyone else noticed this sort of thing in Snow Leopard?
  2. gatepc macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA
    Actually my graphics card seems to be slightly slower then before not to mention now I am starting to see things glitching up a little like when I use expose or start a new tab on safari it looks weird ( I would have to post a screenshot to show you ) I never had this problem in 10.5
  3. MarcBook thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Hmm... that's odd. What graphics chip does your Mac mini have? I presume that's the Mac you're referring to, it being in your signature.

    I just feel like I'm getting the performance now that I should've had in Leopard. The 8600M GT was, and still is, a pretty decent dedicated graphics chip. It seemed pathetic how poor the Dock was performing for me in Leopard.

    I will add, however, that the new Exposé in Snow Leopard jerks occasionally, but not all the time, as does Spaces. Everything else is faster, though.
  4. Yaboze macrumors 6502a


    May 31, 2007
    The Garden State
    I really don't play games on my Macbook, but I have Diablo II and some other older Blizzard games installed. With that, I will say that with my X3100, the Dock and windows seem much faster in SL. The genie effect, magnification effect and others are smoother and less choppy looking.
  5. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    I'm having the exact opposite experience. My mac mini with 9400m is INCREDIBLY jerky in expose and spaces. It looks terrible. It was perfect in Leopard.
  6. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2006
    Charlotte, NC

    I'm running a 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo Mac Mini with 4GB of RAM and my graphical performance is absolutely horrendous. Stacks, Expose, and Spaces are all pretty consistently choppy. Heck, it's even choppy just moving a window around while playing an Xvid file in QuickTime (not even in HD). I chalked this up to the crappy GMA950 in this thing, but now I'm not so sure. I will say though, Leopard seemed to handle Expose and Stacks without any issues. I'm quite disappointed honestly.

    EDIT: The choppiness was even worse before I did a clean install. I had done an upgrade when the 10A432 media first started making it's rounds, but went ahead and did a clean install when I received my media yesterday. It helped, but it's still pretty bad.
  7. Chrysaor macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2006
  8. TheSpaz macrumors 604


    Jun 20, 2005
    My graphics have seemed to speed up in Snow Leopard. Everything from the Dock, to Exposé, to all animations have sped up.

    I tried playing Call of Duty 4 and it seemed like the same exact performance. COD4 didn't seem to change. I haven't played any other games yet though.
  9. MarcBook thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    I suspect, as is said in the Engadget review, that the benchmarking software for OpenGL wasn't enjoying Snow Leopard too much, hence the lowered results. I may be wrong, though...

    It seems odd that the Mac minis are suffering so badly... MacBook Pros (13") and iMac 2009 20" models have 9400M graphic chips, if memory serves, but I've heard of no issues with those models.

    Hopefully OS updates will fix these problems.
  10. finalcut macrumors 6502

    Oct 9, 2007
    Quebec, Canada
    is the dedicated video card enabled by default with SL 10.6? I remember having the option to switch from the inboard videocard to the dedicated one in 10.5.

    How can I know which video card is enabled
  11. jboy14 macrumors newbie

    Aug 31, 2009
    I have the same problem....

    I too cannot find the option to switch to a different video card. Is it in a different menu or done in a different way now?

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