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Irishman

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So, after peeking into the WWDC app for this year, it's become clear that there are a lot of sessions regarding Metal and OpenGL all week long, certainly more than last year.

The implications for gaming on macOS are obvious, so I thought to myself "Self? Why not start a thread to discuss this?"

So, I am. :)

Some of these sessions are entitled with iOS in mind, but I'm sure will have relevance for macOS, too.

Tuesday the 14th, from 3:00PM to 6:00PM PT, there is "iOS Graphics and Games Lab"

Tuesday the 14th from 4:40PM to 5:40PM, there is a "Adopting Metal, Part 1"

Tuesday the 14th from 6:00PM to 6:40PM, there is "Adopting Metal, Part 2"

Tuesday the 14th, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM, there is "Metal Lab"

Tuesday the 14th, from 7:00PM to 9:00PM, there is "OpenGL and OpenGL ES Lab"


Wednesday the 15th, from 2:00PM to 3:00PM, there is "What's New in Metal, Part 1"

Wednesday the 15th, from 4:40PM to 5:40PM, there is "What's New in Metal, Part 2"

Wednesday the 15th, from 6:00PM to 6:40PM, there is "Advanced Metal Shader Optimization"


Thursday the 16th, from 12:00PM to 12:40PM, there is "What's New in GameplayKit"

Thursday the 16th, from 1:00PM to3:00PM, there is "GameplayKit Lab"

Thursday the 16th, from 2:00PM to 3:00PM, there is "Advances in SceneKit Rendering"

Thursday the 16th, from 3:00PM to 6:00PM, there is "Metal Lab"

Thursday the 16th, from 3:00PM to 6:00PM, there is "macOS Graphics and Games Lab"


If Apple keeps to their history with these, they will upload videos to their WWDC dev page for the sessions (not the labs), where they're presenting new information, as the week goes on. https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/schedule/#/

Since most of us don't live in the Pacific Time Zone, some of these will show up overnight or while we're at work. If I see it, I'll post it in this thread to share.

If you see it, post it up. It should present many opportunities for discussion. :)
 

MacsRgr8

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There was no mention of Metal during the Keynote and that got me a bit worried....
Apple will still encourage the use of Metal as the gaming 3D gaming API.

As OpenGL is pretty much dead, it seems Apple is stuck at OpenGL 4.1

The non-Apple world has gone Vulkan as the successor of OpenGL (next to D3D obviously).

So, is Apple isolating itself from other PC gaming by stimulating the use of Metal instead of Vulkan?

TBO, I am not waiting for iOS gaming titles to "come to the Mac". Same as Apple TV 4, gaming really, really is below par.

I had hoped Apple would support Vulkan...
 
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Irishman

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So, Adopting Metal, Part 1 is streaming live now. Apparently, the times are not in PT.
[doublepost=1465941266][/doublepost]This stuff is going over my head, not being a coder. Anyone seeing anything interesting?



Pt 2 is coming up in about 6 minutes.
 
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Irishman

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Come to find out, Apple does have a graphics and games technologies evangelist!

He's listed at the end of one of the Metal sessions.

Allan Schaffer is his name and you can reach him here: aschaffer@apple.com
 
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jeanlain

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The big plus in Sierra appears to be Tessellation support in Metal, though it works quite differently from DX 11 and may make porting more difficult. And I believe that the system trace instrument is a big one.
Still waiting for the first Metal game...
 
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Irishman

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The big plus in Sierra appears to be Tessellation support in Metal, though it works quite differently from DX 11 and may make porting more difficult. And I believe that the system trace instrument is a big one.
Still waiting for the first Metal game...

In programmer circles, whom do we know of who has said that such tessellation differences a) exist, and b) make porting more difficult?

As a follow-up, geometry shaders are a sore spot for the current version of Metal. Koyoot in another thread here https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...o-apples-poor-graphics-support.1974373/page-6 seemed pleasantly surprised by the mention of Shader Model 6 in Apple's dev notes? https://developer.apple.com/library...dOSX1012/WhatsNewiniOS10tvOS10andOSX1012.html

However, in reading this rather comprehensive Metal feature list, Resource Heaps are only being used in iOS 10, tvOS 10, but not macOS.
 
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koyoot

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In programmer circles, whom do we know of who has said that such tessellation differences a) exist, and b) make porting more difficult?

As a follow-up, geometry shaders are a sore spot for the current version of Metal. Koyoot in another thread here https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...o-apples-poor-graphics-support.1974373/page-6 seemed pleasantly surprised by the mention of Shader Model 6 in Apple's dev notes? https://developer.apple.com/library...dOSX1012/WhatsNewiniOS10tvOS10andOSX1012.html

However, in reading this rather comprehensive Metal feature list, Resource Heaps are only being used in iOS 10, tvOS 10, but not macOS.
That is unfortunately the case. I thought that it was also apparent on OS X, but it is NOT. Its crazy idea. iOS platform has got it, but OS X does not have.
 
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Irishman

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It's funny how 24 hours make things "somewhat painful", rather than a "total disaster".

:)
[doublepost=1466024303][/doublepost]
That is unfortunately the case. I thought that it was also apparent on OS X, but it is NOT. Its crazy idea. iOS platform has got it, but OS X does not have.

Could be more to the story? Are you watching the "what's new in metal part 2" live stream? Dan Omachi is talking about DCI P3 support for WCG in Sierra.
 
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koyoot

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No. I don't have time currently. It 11PM here where I live. I will come back to this when it will be posted on YT or wherever it will be possible to watch.
 
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jeanlain

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Arrays of Textures were also an important missing feature. They're now in Metal... but only on iOS. They seem to require the most recent mobile GPUs.
https://developer.apple.com/metal/feature-sets/
There's something strange in that table in that El Cap and Sierra represent different GPU families. I believe it's a mistake.
 
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Irishman

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Arrays of Textures were also an important missing feature. They're now in Metal... but only on iOS. They seem to require the most recent mobile GPUs.
https://developer.apple.com/metal/feature-sets/
There's something strange in that table in that El Cap and Sierra represent different GPU families. I believe it's a mistake.

I think so, too. That's why I'm reserving nerd rage until after all the sessions are over. :)
 
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koyoot

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It looks like Apple is building their own API while using standard approach. Interesting. Metal looks like a bit of a hit and miss of features of few APIs and industry standards, but also at this point still lacking basic tools that help with development.

P.S. While I look at the table of components: tvOS has features directly taken out from Shader Model 6.0, and OS X still lacks this. Is it possible that Sierra will have those features announced on the release of OS?

Edit. One more little thing. Difference between GPU families on OS X shows that some GPU will not get some functions of Metal, and will not be able to run on those GPUs. Apple decided to design Metal with that in mind. So it will simplify the optimization of application for specific family of GPUs, and family of features, with exclusion of some type of hardware.

From one perspective - it is good approach. Simplifies the development on optimization level. From the other: FirePro D700 can not get some love in games, for example.

One more thing: https://developer.apple.com/metal/limits/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Level_Shading_Language

;)
 
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koyoot

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What if...

What if, Apple did the GPU family feature sets to allow developers optimize for specific feature set their application, and it is due for hardware to manage it, without optimizing how the hardware handles it, through the drivers?

It is possible because AMD GPUs have hardware scheduling, on the GPU, and Intel iGPUs... well they have gigantic scheduler stuck on their back which is obviously the CPU.

Only Nvidia would have problem here because of the static scheduling. They do not have Hardware Schedulers since the Fermi era.
 
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jeanlain

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The GPU families represent different classes of hardware that support different features; and in the table, there are several possible families for each OS, which represent the different AX chips. On macOS though, El cap and Sierra have distinct GPU families, which makes no sense. IMO, they should both have the V1 family since both OSes support the same GPUs.
 
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wubsylol

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The GPU families represent different classes of hardware that support different features; and in the table, there are several possible families for each OS, which represent the different AX chips. On macOS though, El cap and Sierra have distinct GPU families, which makes no sense. IMO, they should both have the V1 family since both OSes support the same GPUs.

The table is referring to what Metal supports, not what each GPU supports, so it lists GPUFamily1 for both 10.11 and 10.12, however the v1 and v2 is referring to the features available on that GPU with each OS. They are separate because new Metal features in Sierra won't be available on El Capitan.

Contrast this with how features support for iOS 8 is listed and the difference between what iOS_GPUFamily1 and iOS_GPUFamily2 support.
 
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koyoot

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The only thing that is interesting for me at this moment is this: will games use dual GPU setups from Mac Pro.
 
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jeanlain

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The table is referring to what Metal supports, not what each GPU supports, so it lists GPUFamily1 for both 10.11 and 10.12, however the v1 and v2 is referring to the features available on that GPU with each OS.
Ah I get it now. Thx.
[doublepost=1466095819][/doublepost]
The only thing that is interesting for me at this moment is this: will games use dual GPU setups from Mac Pro.
I don't think Metal makes that easier, and given the size of the target market, you can forget about it.
 
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Irishman

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Hey, Koyoot,

You may have already answered this question a billion times, or it may be clear to all but me (both options are equally likely), but are you a developer for the Mac?

best,

Brian
 
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jeanlain

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Speaking of developers, it'd be nice if Mark, Leman or another expert commented on the new features of Metal.
[doublepost=1466106303][/doublepost]Oh boy, I'm watching the "What's new in Metal part 2". The presenter's accent is just atrocious. And I say that as a Frenchman who's English accent is far from perfect, but geez... His is horrendous.
"Annozer apprrosh iz tou youz rrunntaiim constaants"
"Differrent parrt of ze codd"
:confused:
 
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koyoot

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I don't think Metal makes that easier, and given the size of the target market, you can forget about it.
Perfect situation would be if you would optimize for the API only, without managing the hardware. It would be for hardware and API to adapt and manage itself(Hardware Scheduling).
 
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