So what will be with Metal and OpenGL living together?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by kissmo, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. kissmo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    #1
    I know there are many threads but none really had a straight answer.

    I have the following HW:
    iMac mid 2011 27 inch
    mac mini 2012
    MB Air 2013 17 inch

    So Metal as far as I understand will be supported on the Mac Mini and the MB Air.

    Just help me understand - if Apple decides to not use OpenGL support only and move to Metal only then my iMac will be stuck at the last OS it can run?
    I still believe it's blurry the communication a little how the support for Metal will work and I would like to get more understanding if possible.
     
  2. hojx macrumors 6502

    hojx

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    The following are currently supported:
    • Late-2012 and later 21.5-inch iMac
    • Late-2012 and later 27-inch iMac
    • Late-2013 and later 27-inch iMac with 5K Retina display
    • Late-2012 and later Mac mini
    • Mid-2012 Mac Pro
    • Late-2013 Mac Pro
    • Mid-2012 and later 11-inch MacBook Air
    • Mid-2012 and later 13-inch MacBook Air
    • Mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro
    • Late-2012 and later 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    • Mid-2012 15-inch MacBook Pro
    • Mid-2012 and later 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
    • Early-2015 12-inch MacBook
    As of OS X El Capitan, the OS can still be installed on OS X Yosemite systems that do not support Metal and I believe that will be the case. Metal is the Mac-equivalent of Direct X.
    It is unlikely Apple will ever throw OpenGL out of the window considering the device lifetime of Macs.
     
  3. kissmo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    #3
    Thanks for the reply mate!

    I hope I can get 2 more years life out of my iMac. The trick will be to see how Apple will update OpenGL(functions support).

    I know Metal is like DirectX. I just am sad for my iMac.

    Buying iMacs in Eastern Europe is like spending 1 month salary and you try to get the most out of it.
     
  4. CaffeinatedNoms macrumors member

    CaffeinatedNoms

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    Jun 8, 2014
    Location:
    Northeast England
    #4
    Metal isn't removing OpenGL, and OpenGL will still be a part of MacOS (hopefully they'll extend it to v4.4 but that's just a personal wish). Half the system relies on OpenGL just to draw things to the screen... so you can't just turn it off. From what I understood, Metal is just a faster alternative that mean that apps coded now can eke more power out of a Macs graphics systems than apps coded a couple of years ago.

    I also have an unsupported Mac - a 2011 MacBook Pro - but I'm not worried about its longevity being hurt by Metal. I'm just pissed off that I had to buy a third power brick for it since the second one exploded last week. Gur!
     
  5. Zarniwoop macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 12, 2009
    Location:
    West coast, Finland
    #5
    OS X user interface runs totally on top of metal in El Capitan. There is some kind of fallback system for older devices. Nobody has really figured it out yet why does El Capitan run faster also on older pre-2012 Macs. Perhaps there is some sort of Metal Lite for user interface for old HW. I don't know.

    Apple might support openGL for couple of OS X generations, but it is too expensive to write two display drivers for all future computers. They could write openGL stack on top of Metal in future, kind of an emulator, but that is not sure. This is just speculation.
     
  6. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #6
    It means the older graphics cards use only the features of Metal that they do support by those same cards don't have full feature set support in things like games.
     
  7. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #7
    Looking through the netkas's blog it appears at this point it is still a mixture but with that being said I believe that long term they're working towards the goal, as you've noted of fully basing it on Metal with OpenGL hanging around for legacy reasons (unless of course the report on netkas's blog was based on an earlier version). It'll be interesting to see what happens going forward and whether the OS X Metal will be kept in sync with the Metal on iOS.
     
  8. hojx macrumors 6502

    hojx

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    Jan 18, 2014
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    Singapore
    #8
    Even without Metal, the tweaks Apple has made in El Capitan will lower the load on the graphics chip. One obvious change has been the removal of the blur in Mission Control.
     
  9. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #9
    I am sure that OpenGL and Metal will coexist for some time, after which OpenGL will be implemented on top of Metal and eventually dropped. Right now, there doesn't seem to be feature parity between Metal and OpenGL (the later still exposes more functionality on OS X), but i'm sure that this will change in the future.


    How is removal of blur lowering the load on the graphics chip? Or, to put it differently: how do you know that 10.10 was doing the blur in Mission Control in real-time? What if it was a precomputed image? Anyway, slowdowns in Mission Control on 10.10 only happened if you had a) specific applications open that were expensive for the window server to draw or b) many windows at the same time. The additional cost of blur effect is negligible compared to that.
     
  10. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

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    Jul 4, 2015
    #10
    You don't need to drop anything. A legacy support is always helpful. Windows can run just about any app or game from the last 20 years because of legacy support for many APIs. Some of those games on Steam came out before Direct X became common
     
  11. leman macrumors 604

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    Oct 14, 2008
    #11
    Apple is not really a big fan of legacy support. In fact, they love to discontinue legacy frameworks as soon as possible. Its a different philosophy. That said, I am sure that OpenGL will be supported for foreseeable future, even if it might be in a form of an open-source API emulator on top of Metal. I wouldn't expect any new OpenGL features in OS X though, it will probably stay frozen at 4.1
     
  12. MrNomNoms macrumors 65816

    MrNomNoms

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    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    #12
    Well they've kept OpenGL ES around on iOS as well as upgrading it to the latest version of OpenGL ES so anything is possible - I guess it all comes down to the feedback they receive from third party developers and whether Apple do one last push for OpenGL by upping it to 4.5 then basically saying, "this is where development stops" - bug fixes but don't expect any new features.
     

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