Snow's new processing power

Discussion in 'macOS' started by dark knight, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. dark knight macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2008
    can someone please shed some light on snow leopards better use of multiple cores and its use of graphics hardware for other tasks. are future programs going to be able to make use of this or is snow leopard using all this extra power now, as i type.

    if it is the case that the graphics hardware is being put to better use in my unibody mbp, does that mean that switching to the 9600 will provide a general performance boost to osx rather than just in graphically challenging programs as before.

    also, can snow leopard only utilise the currently selected graphic hardware or can both chips be put to some sort of co-processor use at the same time.

  2. electroshock macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    1) Can't really predict what the future brings, but it would depend on future developers' decision to add OpenCL-aware code to their program, so it really depends on a per-app basis. Apple just provides the building blocks, but it's now up to others to actually leverage them in their software.

    2) I haven't heard of Snow Leopard using OpenCL services in any substantial fashion at this time.

    3) I doubt you would observe a readily observable performance boost to non-GPU-intensive applications on Macs with Snow Leopard and an OpenCL-compatible GPU at this time.

    4) I think you still only get to use a single GPU to drive video rather than both sets of GPUs concurrently in Snow Leopard. I'm not certain if OpenCL would permit you to utilize the unused-for-video GPU concurrently, though that's an interesting thought.

    OpenCL is the sort of technology that may potentially hold significant promise for performance improvements, but only if it can be leveraged. So it remains to be seen, but I do expect more apps to take advantage of that over time -- as developers refactor their code where suitable and learn how to utilise the OpenCL API.
  3. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Core Image in Snow Leopard uses OpenCL. However, it used the GPU directly before, so the speedup from this isn't that large.

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