Is WindowServer smoother (now on Metal)?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by helix21, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. helix21 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    #1
    WindowServer's upgraded to Metal is perhaps the thing I am l looking forward the most.

    On my 2016 MacBook, WindowServer is always choppy when starting mission control. Has anyone noticed a change in this on High Sierra?
     
  2. FNH15 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #2

    It's much smoother. When I had a lot of apps in full screen and would invoke Mission Control, the animation would stutter in Sierra and before - that's all gone in HS.
     
  3. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2006
  4. v1597psh macrumors regular

    v1597psh

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    London
    #4
    Yeah! Much smoother animations! Especially in Mission Control. Although it's not very stable as of now. Many people report crashes and freezes with the new WindowServer
     
  5. ctrlzone macrumors regular

    ctrlzone

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    Feb 9, 2017
  6. hsouris macrumors member

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    Mar 21, 2011
    #6
    Does this change apply to older Macs like my 15-inch Retina MacBook from 2012?
     
  7. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #7
    Yes, all hardware which supports Metal version 1 acceleration
    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205073

    supports also Metal 2 acceleration.
     
  8. Blue Sun macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 11, 2009
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    Australia
    #8
    Was this tested on your 2013 15" rMBP listed in your signature? Is there a way to tell whether Metal or OpenGL is being used for certain processes (like WindowServer)?
     
  9. Watabou macrumors 68040

    Watabou

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    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    I also have the same 2013 15" Macbook Pro, and yes I can confirm Metal is used in WindowServer. It's really buggy in beta 1, lots of crashes and glitches forcing you to hard restart. But the WindowServer crash logs also indicate that's it's actually using Metal, based on the graphics driver loaded at crash time. I've highlighted the relevant parts here:

    Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 23.16.20.png
     
  10. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #10
    I suppose that when you drag a window, it still slightly lags behind the pointer? You can see hit buy grabbing the title bar next to some button an making small circles.
    That's annoying. You may think I'm nitpicking, but when you return to a system that doesn't have this issue (I think it was introduced in Mavericks), it immediately feels more responsive.
    Does Metal improve on that?
     
  11. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #11
    10.6 was the last release where the mouse cursor moved at the same time as the dragged window. But 10.6 had more lag in the mouse pointer. So the issue now could be caused by the less lag in the pointer, instead of more lag in the moving window.
     
  12. sshhoott macrumors 6502

    sshhoott

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    #12
    Is the Mission Control animation speed faster in High Sierra as compared to Sierra? I really miss El Capitan's fast Mission control behaviour, where it's not dependent on the user's speed of flicking fingers on the trackpad.

    How is youtube full screen animation speed while in Safari? I've always thought it could be faster.
     
  13. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #13
    I don't know if it's faster, but the duration of animations has little to do with OpenGL vs Metal or system performances. It's determined by the developer (here Apple)
     
  14. bbnck, Jul 1, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017

    bbnck macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #14
    I installed the Public Beta last night to see how Mission Control behaves on my iMac (Late 2015) with Radeon M380 graphics. It is definitely faster and smoother than it is under El Capitan and Sierra, but the animation stalls do still happen when a lot of windows are open, but from my tests it definitely requires a lot more effort to trigger them. Point is, it's not "buttery-smooth" 100% of the time like Craig promised, but I can definitely see a difference in overall performance - Mission Control animates a lot smoother, and stalls far less than it did before.

    I think most people will be happy with the performance improvements in Mission Control now the Window Server runs on top of Metal 2. Perhaps Apple will make some further improvements before the final release - it is the first beta.

    If you have an iMac with a more powerful GPU than I do (e.g. M395X or Radeon Pro 570), you may come to notice even better improvements than I am reporting, given those GPUs are far more powerful with more memory than the M380.
     
  15. ctrlzone macrumors regular

    ctrlzone

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    Feb 9, 2017
    #15
    im pretty sure this will be buttery smooth once no longer beta
     
  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #16
    2016 MBP with Radeon 455. I tried a basic interaction test between Sierra and High Sierra and don't see any real difference between them. Apps like Scrivener are still sluggish to resize or adjust columns. GUI heavy apps like Logic still the same.
     
  17. jeanlain macrumors 65816

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #17
    Resizing mostly relies on application code (what's in the drawRect() methods), which usually does not involve the GPU. The Window server has very limited impact there. Or at least, windows compositing by the GPU is no the limited factor when resizing, so OpenGL is already fast enough.

    I have the impression that in general, resizing was smoother in the Mavericks era, though it's hard to say whether it's due to changes in specific application code or in AppKit. I find borderline inacceptable that in 2017, apps like Mail and the Finder are still sluggish when it comes to resizing windows and columns.
     
  18. bbnck macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #18
    I've never had an issue resizing the Finder and Mail app windows, they've always felt snappy to me. I do experience this with some third party apps, but not with the apps Apple includes with the OS. What GPU does your Mac have?
     
  19. jeanlain, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017

    jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2009
    #19
    I've experienced lags on many Macs, and this is not related to the GPU. When a finder window has many columns populated with files, resizing can be choppy. Thought it seems that recent Sierra updates have improved this.
    As to Mail, resizing the message list (not the window) can be also choppy if you have many messages. Performance however seems to inexplicably vary. It can be very slow once, and the next try can be markedly better.

    A confess all this is nitpicking, but this shouldn't happen. AFAIK, Windows has alway been way better than OS X in respect to responsiveness.

    test example. Go to:
    /System/Library/CoreServices/SetupAssistantPlugins/SoftwareUpdateActions.flplugin/Contents/Resources/da.lproj
    In column view. Scroll the windows horizontally up the the root drive and back, then resize. Most of the time it's choppy (but not always, curiously).
     
  20. Ritsuka macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    #20
    From what I saw in windows the content of the windows is often out of sync with the window size when resizing, it's updated after a few ms.

    And since 10.7 OS X does use ColorSync for every GUI element, and it's a big slowdown. And 10.10 introduced those translucent views that are a real slowdown. Plus Core Animation compositing is now done out of process, and some views are now run in a separate process (the open and save panel for example, and system preferences panels are remote views).
     
  21. bbnck, Jul 3, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017

    bbnck macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2009
    #21
    Absolutely shouldn't happen. Apple is one of the richest companies in the world - it's their job to find a solution. If there are optimisation limits, they should not sell hardware with GPUs that aren't powerful enough to offer a good user experience. I do appreciate they acknowledge the problem and are trying their best to improve performance of system animations, but it shouldn't have been a problem in the first place.

    Nonetheless, they are making improvements - that's all that really matters now.
     
  22. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #22
    Scrivener is one the best apps around with a very light interface yet resizing windows or column is sluggish as hell on macOS.
     
  23. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #23
    Yes, Scrivener is utterly awesome and by far the best writers tool, but it is a 32bit app and thus uses deprecated APIs — Scrivener 3 has been in private beta for several months and is fully updated to the latest APIs, thus it should be much more performant in terms of drawing...
     
  24. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #24
    It has started to work on High Sierra though. I thought 32 bit apps wouldn't run?
     
  25. MacHiavelli macrumors 6502a

    MacHiavelli

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Location:
    new york
    #25
    High Sierra will be the last iteration of macOS to support 32-bit apps:

    "During its Platform State of the Union keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple told developers that macOS High Sierra will be the "last macOS release to support 32-bit apps without compromises.""

    https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/06/apple-to-phase-out-32-bit-mac-apps/

    Developers are on notice.
     

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