OS X Mavericks game performace

syrinxx

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2011
45
0
hi,

its been nearly a month after the release of mavericks. i really hoped the gaming performance would increase with this new osx. i love to play diablo 3, BL2 and Sc2. in every game the performance got worse.

i own an imac mid 2011 maxed out. ati 6970 2gb.

diablo 3 for example is unplayable for me in multiplayer. i have no lag issues but if i start casting the fps drop dramatically. i played it maxed out ... now i do have to play it on lowest settings ... no increase in gaming performance.

i also noticed a fps loss in BL2 i also was able to play it nearly maxed out and the fps were stable an the game ran finde. no chance right now under MAV.

would love to read what you gamers out there think of Mavericks and this struggling in games.

cheers
syr
 

Messineo

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2009
17
0
I've been holding off on the upgrade to Mavericks for this very reason. I've yet to hear someone talk about how Mavericks really helped them.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,646
580
I've been holding off on the upgrade to Mavericks for this very reason. I've yet to hear someone talk about how Mavericks really helped them.
You obviously haven't read my thread!

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1658798

I think that Mavericks performance is going to be unique to the user, because people don't play the same four game titles. For me, it's been a net gain. It's also been something I've paid close attention to, specifically with regard to potential gains or losses. It's about managing expectations.

Mavericks is the biggest change to the gaming subsystem in OSX since almost forever. The jump in OpenGL - 3.2 to 4.1 - is huge, and it's going to take developers time to write to it, and it will take Apple time to fine-tune the drivers.
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
13
Mavericks is the biggest change to the gaming subsystem in OSX since almost forever. The jump in OpenGL - 3.2 to 4.1 - is huge, and it's going to take developers time to write to it, and it will take Apple time to fine-tune the drivers.
The new GL will only effect new games developed using the new libraries (they will also have to be Mavericks only to use this new stuff), older games using the older libraries have in some cases gotten a little slower, in some cases a little faster upto a max of ±20%.

I have seen both good and bad in already released games for Feral, for example Tropico 4 crashes on AMD cards on high end settings in Mavericks (driver bug will be fixed by AMD in an OS update) but F1 2012 is about 20% faster! so your experience depends on the game.

Edwin
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
13
Well, my understanding of how the division of labor works on GPU drivers is that Apple does about 90-95% of it, and the others manage the remaining 5-10%.
You're off by about 90-95% concerning drivers ;)

Edwin
 
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edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
13
That's not from me. It's from Siracusa, who used to work there.
If you mean John Siracusa I don't think he ever worked at Apple. He has written a number of awesome OS X reviews for Arstechnia but as far as I know he was never an Apple employee.

It could be confusion between Apple (who write the APIs) and AMD/Nvidia/Intel who write the GPU drivers.

Edwin
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,646
580
Its a shame there is no DirectX in OS X. OpenGL is a mess.
Seems like you're painting with a broad brush here.

In what way is OpenGL a mess?

----------

If you mean John Siracusa I don't think he ever worked at Apple. He has written a number of awesome OS X reviews for Arstechnia but as far as I know he was never an Apple employee.

It could be confusion between Apple (who write the APIs) and AMD/Nvidia/Intel who write the GPU drivers.

Edwin
Let me recheck that. It was on the Debug podcast last week.
 

kitsunestudios

macrumors regular
Apr 10, 2012
226
0
Its a shame there is no DirectX in OS X. OpenGL is a mess.
That'll never happen. DirectX belongs to Microsoft, and gives them a significant competitive advantage with gamers. They're not going to licence that.

Apple's choices are to create a proprietary competitor to Direct3D, or to stick with the open standard everyone else uses. While they might get more performance out of their own standard, it also creates a bigger strain on developer resources when creating drivers and games.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,646
580
It was Guy English, and noone correct him on it. Here is the quote in full:

"As may great things as there are about ZFS - volume management, all of this kind of...there's a lot of good stuff about it. I think ultimately, it's the transaction model that unlocks a lot of potential of future file systems, in terms of sharing it to iCloud and all that. And when it comes to writing the firmware for SSDs, it's not unprecedented, because when you look at the way Apple handles OpenGL - as opposed to Microsoft and a lot of other people - Apple writes 98% of the actual drivers for the cards, and it's only like low-level stuff that the vendors actually do, which is why OpenGL is consistent across Macs, in terms of behavior, Apple adds all of its own extensions , it does a lot of the OpenCL work. The card manufacturers really just get down to like 'ok, when you want this, I've got to mess with theses bits on this particular address line".

This is his blog with a bio.

http://kickingbear.com/blog/about
 
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edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
13
It was Guy English, and noone correct him on it. Here is the quote in full:

"As may great things as there are about ZFS - volume management, all of this kind of...there's a lot of good stuff about it. I think ultimately, it's the transaction model that unlocks a lot of potential of future file systems, in terms of sharing it to iCloud and all that. And when it comes to writing the firmware for SSDs, it's not unprecedented, because when you look at the way Apple handles OpenGL - as opposed to Microsoft and a lot of other people - Apple writes 98% of the actual drivers for the cards, and it's only like low-level stuff that the vendors actually do, which is why OpenGL is consistent across Macs, in terms of behavior, Apple adds all of its own extensions , it does a lot of the OpenCL work. The card manufacturers really just get down to like 'ok, when you want this, I've got to mess with theses bits on this particular address line".

This is his blog with a bio.

http://kickingbear.com/blog/about
Thanks for finding the quote, still stand by my assertion he is not 100% accurate given my own experiences when it comes to the specific claim that drivers are 98% Apple.

I'd agree Apple control OpenGL strictly compared to other companies and write a lot of it themselves however the card companies do the actual driver work. Things like "Apple adds all of its own extensions" is API work not drivers. Might be semantics but they implement OpenGL and expose OpenGL support in the OS, the driver companies then write the drivers that can hardware accelerate those features.

So to summarise in simple terms Apple make the feature available on the Mac but it's up to the driver companies to make it work in hardware instead of a software render. I believe but cannot be sure that Apple have assisted Nvidia and Intel drivers during the initial support for the Mac on these cards.

I don't think he meant the drivers specifically but was more a generalisation about Apple's graphics chain, even if it meant the entire chain I think it's a little exaggerated but I get his point Apple like to have tight control of the graphics chain so they can control the overall behaviour across hardware.

Edwin
 

Messineo

macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2009
17
0
You obviously haven't read my thread!

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1658798

I think that Mavericks performance is going to be unique to the user, because people don't play the same four game titles. For me, it's been a net gain. It's also been something I've paid close attention to, specifically with regard to potential gains or losses. It's about managing expectations.

Mavericks is the biggest change to the gaming subsystem in OSX since almost forever. The jump in OpenGL - 3.2 to 4.1 - is huge, and it's going to take developers time to write to it, and it will take Apple time to fine-tune the drivers.
I just read your thread - I'm glad to hear some positive news. I would love to switch to Mavericks by the end of the year.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,089
16,624
The Misty Mountains
Ok, it's a new year. :D

Any new revelations on the effect of Mavericks on Mac Gaming? I've read that it handles memory better and because I tend to see lots of spinning balls in general, I'm tempted to upgrade. Better performance overall?

Anyone here use Bootcamp and upgrade to Mavericks? Any issues with that? I'm running Windows 7 in Bootcamp, any issues with a Mavericks upgrade? Does whatever version of Bootcamp in Mavericks support Win7? I'd be very very unhappy if I lost my Bootcamp Partition. Thanks!
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
13
Ok, it's a new year. :D

Any new revelations on the effect of Mavericks on Mac Gaming? I've read that it handles memory better and because I tend to see lots of spinning balls in general, I'm tempted to upgrade. Better performance overall?

Anyone here use Bootcamp and upgrade to Mavericks? Any issues with that? I'm running Windows 7 in Bootcamp, any issues with a Mavericks upgrade? Does whatever version of Bootcamp in Mavericks support Win7? I'd be very very unhappy if I lost my Bootcamp Partition. Thanks!
We have at least 2 games shipping in the next month or so that will require Mavericks due to features, performance improvements and bug fixes only available in the latest OS.

As 2014 progresses I can see more and more games being Mavericks only especially ones that used DX11 on the PC. Mavericks has support for many new OpenGL features that allow more performance and support for DX11 based titles.

We have no issues with Bootcamp and Mavericks works just like all the previous Mac OS X releases.

Older games might have a few small regressions as Mavericks is a new OS but these are usually fixed by OS updates or patches. All Feral games run on Mavericks without any major issues as long as you are running the latest updates.

Hope this info helps a little :)

Edwin
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,089
16,624
The Misty Mountains
We have at least 2 games shipping in the next month or so that will require Mavericks due to features, performance improvements and bug fixes only available in the latest OS.

As 2014 progresses I can see more and more games being Mavericks only especially ones that used DX11 on the PC. Mavericks has support for many new OpenGL features that allow more performance and support for DX11 based titles.

We have no issues with Bootcamp and Mavericks works just like all the previous Mac OS X releases.

Older games might have a few small regressions as Mavericks is a new OS but these are usually fixed by OS updates or patches. All Feral games run on Mavericks without any major issues as long as you are running the latest updates.

Hope this info helps a little :)

Edwin
It does, thanks much! :) I'll back up my bootcamp partition and give it a shot. (Now if my bootcamp backup using Winclone, only works. :p
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,089
16,624
The Misty Mountains
I went ahead and upgraded to 10.9 and had no issues. Most importantly my Bootcamp Win7 partition is still functional. :):) I've not used it enough to verify that 10.9 does a better job with managing memory, ie less spinning beach balls. I'm seriously considering a RAM upgrade. Now I just need to try some Mac games, not that I'll be able to tell a difference. My primary concern were the SBBs that happen frequently when doing routine non-gaming tasks.

Thanks! :)
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,924
51
Beach balls are the one issue I'm not having with Mavericks, though I wonder how much having an SSD and 16 GB of RAM is helping. Also, 10.9.1 fixed a good amount of other problems I was having. Finder slowness remains a major annoyance, but overall, I'm much happier with Mavericks than I was before. I upgraded from 10.8.5, and the process was completely smooth.
 

antonis

macrumors 68020
Jun 10, 2011
2,075
903
We have at least 2 games shipping in the next month or so that will require Mavericks due to features, performance improvements and bug fixes only available in the latest OS.

As 2014 progresses I can see more and more games being Mavericks only especially ones that used DX11 on the PC. Mavericks has support for many new OpenGL features that allow more performance and support for DX11 based titles.

We have no issues with Bootcamp and Mavericks works just like all the previous Mac OS X releases.

Older games might have a few small regressions as Mavericks is a new OS but these are usually fixed by OS updates or patches. All Feral games run on Mavericks without any major issues as long as you are running the latest updates.

Hope this info helps a little :)

Edwin
Ok here's the 1 million dollars question: From a game developer's point of view do you consider possible that in the near future games will support the new Mac Pro's dual GPUs in OS X ?

I know that in Windows crossfire is supported automatically while in OS X each application should include specific code to support it. Is this realistically possible or is it too much of a hassle for a game dev. company to do it ?
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,002
4,565
Ok here's the 1 million dollars question: From a game developer's point of view do you consider possible that in the near future games will support the new Mac Pro's dual GPUs in OS X ?

I know that in Windows crossfire is supported automatically while in OS X each application should include specific code to support it. Is this realistically possible or is it too much of a hassle for a game dev. company to do it ?
It depends on a number of factors. In principle, doing something like Alternate Frame Rendering is quite simple - you create an OpenGL context per card, which share resources, and ping-pong between those when rendering. The rest depends on whether your application can actually benefit from this, and — how good Apple's OpenGL sharing infrastructure is. A more realistic thing is to utilise the second (inactive) GPU to do some support work, such as rendering shadows etc. Again, this depends whether Apple's OpenGL allow true multithreading and how good the implementation of resource sharing is.

All in all, as a potential game developer, I wouldn't bother with providing special support for multi-GPU systems. I would at any case use multithreaded OpenGL with multiple contexts though - on a multi-GPU system its quite easy to set create context on the inactive GPU, potentially improving performance. Again, this is something which has to be tested out.
 

antonis

macrumors 68020
Jun 10, 2011
2,075
903
It depends on a number of factors. In principle, doing something like Alternate Frame Rendering is quite simple - you create an OpenGL context per card, which share resources, and ping-pong between those when rendering. The rest depends on whether your application can actually benefit from this, and — how good Apple's OpenGL sharing infrastructure is. A more realistic thing is to utilise the second (inactive) GPU to do some support work, such as rendering shadows etc. Again, this depends whether Apple's OpenGL allow true multithreading and how good the implementation of resource sharing is.

All in all, as a potential game developer, I wouldn't bother with providing special support for multi-GPU systems. I would at any case use multithreaded OpenGL with multiple contexts though - on a multi-GPU system its quite easy to set create context on the inactive GPU, potentially improving performance. Again, this is something which has to be tested out.
Thanks for this great info. I hope the launch of the new MacPro (and the fact that this machine is "locked" with dual GPUs) will bring this matter on the table, in the near future. As far as I can tell by watching some benchmarks, it seems that the Windows implementation of crossfire literally doubles (at least in most cases) the performance. Do you happen to know if this is just a "rendering ping-pong" method between the 2 GPUs or something more sophisticated ?