OS X Metal vs OpenGL benchmark

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by jeanlain, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. jeanlain, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016

    jeanlain macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    Now that GFXBench Metal is out on OS X, when can at last test Metal performance and compare it to OpenGL.

    Here's my results (13" MacBook air with 1.5 GHz i5, intel HD 6000). I only use offscreen tests since V-Sync is clearly forced on the onscreen openGL tests. I indicate the Metal results first, units are fps except for texturing.

    Manathan: 24.7 - 30.5
    T-Rex: 73.7 - 85.7
    ALU 2: 74.5 - 77.6
    Driver overhead 2: 56.8 - 51.8
    Texturing: 4992 - 5144

    So a clear advantage for OpenGL across the board, except for the driver overhead test.
    HOWEVER, it should be stressed that on this weak GPU, all other tests are GPU-bound and Metal is not predicted to bring ANY advantage here. So I think these results just show that the Metal drivers are not mature yet in respect to the GPU code they produce.

    I'd be interested to see results from other GPUs.
  2. Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    Mid 2012 Retina MacBook Pro with Nvidia GT 650M with 1 GB (Metal/OpenGL – all onscreen):
    Manhattan 3.1: 20.5* / –
    Manhattan: 30.1 / 24.7
    T-Rex: 68.1 / 43.7
    ALU 2: 43.4 / 29.9
    Driver Overhead: 119.7 / 27.2
    Texturing: 14491 / 11863
    (* It looks actually like a lot less, somewhere in the single digit range.)

    So, there are in fact improvements, although to a varying degree: the OpenGL 3.0 feature set based T-Rex test runs significantly faster. The Manhattan test, which is based on an OpenGL 4.x feature set, on the other hand gains much less.
  3. jeanlain, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016

    jeanlain thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    What about offscreen tests?
    The onscreen tests were also in favor of Metal on my Mac, but results were highly suspicious in openGL as they were lower than the offscreen results (this was the contrary on Metal) despite onscreen tests running at lower screen resolution. And several results showed 59.9 or 29.9 fps. If it's not due to V-Sync, I don't know what it is...
    That doesn't look to be the case for you though (except for ALU 2, which could be a coincidence).

    Also, does it run a full retina resolution? I find strange than my Mac performs better than yours in some tests. The offscreen tests simulate a 1080p display. This is useful to compared between Macs.

    If my Mac gets better results than yours, which has a faster CPU, it clearly means that your results are GPU-bound (due to higher screen resolution). In this case I wouldn't expect Metal to bring any improvement. Weird...
  4. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    So, the results on my late 2015 iMac with M395X are:

    Manhattan 3.1: 32.2/-
    Manhattan: 50.5/32.6
    T Rex: 111.5/59.9
    ALU2: 73.1/59.9
    Driver Overhead 2: 119.5/59.9
    Texturing: 25686/68253 (odd result!)

    Manhattan 3.1: 235.7/-
    Manhattan: 298.5/162.4
    T Rex: 560.7/368.6
    ALU2: 688.5/502.3
    Driver Overhead 2: 380.7/90.9
    Texturing: 67134/50858

    Pretty astonishing differences between OpenGL and Metal!

    A question though, what resolution do these test run in onscreen?
  5. Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    My offscreen results:

    Manhattan 3.1: 51.0 / –
    Manhattan: 66.8 / 57.8
    T-Rex: 136.9 / 149.5
    ALU 2: 114.7 / 124.5
    Driver Overhead: 248.3 / 28.1
    Texturing: 15303 / 15422

    So, these are a bit more of a mixed bag, with OpenGL being faster in most cases.

    The info text only says "full native resolution", but I can't say if it's really 2880x1800 or rather 1440x900 with lots of anti-aliasing.
  6. jeanlain thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    Given the much lower performance of onscreen tests, I'd say they run at full resolution. It's strange that Metal has the advantage under these conditions. Vertical sync may be messing with the performance in the openGL tests, as it does on my Mac. See the results that imacken got: 3 tests at 59.9 fps. Clearly, onscreen tests cannot be trusted.
    So based on offscreen tests, it appears that Metal has the advantage only on the AMD GPU.
  7. Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    It's a bit early to draw conclusions based on benchmarks of only three machines, of which one has a mediocre Intel GPU and the other has an outdated Nvidia chip that barely meets the requirements for Metal.

    I agree that the apparent vsync limitation (at least on Intel and AMD drivers) makes the onscreen results not particularly reliable, but I wouldn't put too much faith in the offscreen results either: I don't really know what GFXbench does there, but the offscreen numbers do not translate into realistic framerates when rendering actually onscreen at 1080p. The offscreen numbers are almost always invariably higher, so there are other factors at play.
  8. Ferazel, Feb 21, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016

    Ferazel macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    Cool, I'm glad a proper OS X metal benchmark came out. Here are my results for OFFSCREEN.

    11.4 public beta
    Mac Pro 4,1
    GTX 670 using OS X drivers

    Test Name (value): Metal / OpenGL
    Manhattan 3.1 (fps): 188.6 / --
    Manhattan (fps): 267.9 / 126.5
    T-Rex (fps): 596.8 / 491.3
    ALU2 (fps): 530.3 / 526.1
    Driver Overhead2 (fps): 218.4 / 23.11
    Texturing (MTexel/s): 68089 / 67053

    In order to have a standard basis of comparison we should all be outputting it for OFFSCREEN so that all of the render target sizes are the same. We can then compare GPUs directly instead of relying on the machine's resolution which could vary widely.

    Overall, the performance gains are pretty impressive for these benchmarks. Obviously, ALU and Texturing are GPU limited functions so their gains really wouldn't improve. However, a 20% bump with just the default OS X drivers are pretty good. Really wish we had more tests.
  9. koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    It looks like Metal already almost ties performance between OS X and Windows.

    M395X looks to have 600 FPS offscreen for T-Rex on Windows, 47 FPS onscreen for Manhattan benchmark.

    My MBP Mid 2012 with GT650M(Non-Retina model, with lower core clocks than the one in Retina model) vs. GT 650M Windows/OpenGL:
    T-Rex Offscreen: 107/121 FPS
    Manhattan Offscreen: 60/68 FPS
    Manhattan 3.1 Offscreen: 37/56 FPS
    Offscreen is done in 1080p resolution. Regardless of platform. It looks like Metal pretty much ties with Windows platform currently in OpenGL. However the lack of some of features is becoming apparent in benchmarks that need them, vide the Manhattan 3.1 Benchmark.

    The question now: how easy will be to port games from Windows to Metal? ;)
  10. 1madman1 macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2013
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    First OSX app I've encountered that's caused my Mac Pro (5,1) to shutdown from excessive power draw! Probably didn't help that I had half a dozen other things open at the same time.

    Plenty of synthetic GPU benchmarks (though no actual games) shut it off in Windows. This is a consequence of using 6pin > 8pin PCI-E power adapters!
  11. hackintosh5 macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2009

    Sorry to borrow but to keep standard results and I didn't have much time
    Mac Pro 6,1 Quad 3.7 GHz
    Mac OS 10.11.3
    12 GB ram


    Test Name (value): Metal / OpenGL
    Manhattan 3.1 (fps): 173.366 / --
    Manhattan (fps): 248.875 / 157.07
    T-Rex (fps): 393.955/ 369
    ALU2 (fps): 565.235 / 523.65
    Driver Overhead2 (fps): 178.768/ 45.408
    Texturing (MTexel/s): 68894 / 67652
  12. jeanlain thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 14, 2009
    Ouch, I didn't expect the Mac Pro to be that far behind the iMac for CPU-limited tests, especially the Driver Overhead one. The iMac is twice as fast.
  13. Adam552 macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2006
    Liverpool, UK.
    Are there any reasonably intensive metal games out yet that we can compare fps with?
  14. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
  15. Adam552 macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2006
    Liverpool, UK.
    That's a shame... anyone know any games coming out on Metal soon? I heard Blizzard was getting ready to implement Metal into some of their games.
  16. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    As ever, we hear of developers 'planning' to adopt Metal, but, what is it, 9 months on and nothing has been announced as far as I know.
    Another dead duck? Hope not.
  17. Adam552 macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2006
    Liverpool, UK.
    Actually just looked it up, seems Blizzard is already testing Metal with WoW:Legion http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/20043464897
  18. Janichsan macrumors 68000


    Oct 23, 2006
    …which is not due before September 2016. So, it's still a looooooooong time before it is officially supported.
  19. Adam552 macrumors 6502

    May 30, 2006
    Liverpool, UK.
    At least, it'll be included in the pre-expansion patch too ^^ get to test it on the PTR at least :D
  20. Grade macrumors regular


    Apr 13, 2007
    What about that game showned on the Keynote, where Metal was announced? Is it still in development?
  21. Ferazel macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    Yeah WoW is the only "high-end" game to support OS X Metal that I know of as well. Early tests from people in the WoW forums say it is about as fast a the 2.1 OpenGL rendering path was (OS X's Core 4.1 profile is notoriously slower). Which still doesn't hold a candle to Windows performance on the same hardware.

    That's Fortnite, still being worked on by Epic. https://www.fortnite.com/

    Both Unreal and Unity have versions of Metal API for OS X available for people who use those engine to export in. Seem that Unity's doesn't support parallel render command encoders yet, so it's not fully optimized and shouldn't be used for benchmarks.
  22. marksatt macrumors regular

    Jun 26, 2013
    Epic UK

    Yep - Fortnite shipped an update that added Metal as an option in January. Its still in closed alpha so I've no public details to share about Metal - that will need to wait for the final public release of UE4 version 4.11...

    Does the Unity D3D11 renderer use deferred contexts? If not then comparing to Metal without parallel command encoders is quite justifiable. Not every game/engine will benefit from parallel encoding since you really need to be render-thread/CPU limited for it to be faster.
  23. Ferazel macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2010
    My guess would be no since Unity is often targeting the lowest-common-denominator. While not every engine benefits from splitting their rendering logic into separate threads, I would be surprised if Unity didn't realize that this is the way the wind is blowing and re-engineering so they can take advantage of it. They've been "jobifying" their rendering so that they can get the rendering off a single thread and into multi-threaded jobs they can execute in parallel while keeping a thread for submitting GPU commands. So it's like a fake command buffer, but still synchronous. In the current beta release, one of the graphics programmers has stated that only DX12 is using native parallel command buffers with PS4 and Metal soon. Source
  24. JordanNZ macrumors 6502a

    Apr 29, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    They're comparing the same presets in live vs alpha without realising that the graphics have been bumped up massively in alpha at the same presets (view distance etc). Which makes the comparison void. Metal is already faster.
  25. wubsylol macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2014
    My experience, using equivalent settings, is the opposite.

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