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Blizzard Games to Utilize Metal API in OS X


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#21 devSin

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:20 PM

View PostCougar, on 28 October 2015 - 04:05 PM, said:

I don't think it's necessarily an ominous sign.
Not necessarily, but I think there's cause to worry.

I don't think they'll drop support for existing games (so future WoW, SC2, and D3 expansions will still have Mac support), but this could be the beginning of the end of Blizzard's lifetime support of the platform (sure, they could go back to the old days of eventual Mac ports, but that seems less likely to me at this stage than just abandoning us outright—they still have to maintain and support a game after porting it, so it doesn't seem likely that there's some insurmountable issue that they couldn't solve by the time the game releases a year or so from now).

I have to admit it stings a little bit more knowing that it's for a game that's going to get console ports. The end of an era for sure.

(One thing I could definitely see is this being all about Metal: Blizzard is only going to have a Metal renderer for Overwatch, but Metal is not yet ready for use and Blizzard can't commit to it being ready in time for the release of the PC game—so at this point all they can say is that the game is being developed for Windows.)

#22 macdude22

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 06:44 PM

To be honest this seems like a game more suited to the console crowd than the Macintosh crowd. *shrug* If I was a bean counter I know where I'd stick my resources.
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#23 Frost

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:29 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 28 October 2015 - 06:44 PM, said:

To be honest this seems like a game more suited to the console crowd than the Macintosh crowd. *shrug* If I was a bean counter I know where I'd stick my resources.

Well, sadly, that applies to almost everything. A flop on the PS4 will still sell more than a success on the Mac, usually. Not saying I like that state of affairs, it just is what it is. :unsure:

That being said, everything Blizzard makes is on the Mac and has been for a long time. It would be a break with a very long tradition of support if they didn't have a Mac version.
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#24 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 28 October 2015 - 08:45 PM

View PostCougar, on 28 October 2015 - 05:36 PM, said:

Witcher 3 is coming to Linux...which is arguably a worse proposition than a Mac version. So I wouldn't write a Mac version off just yet. But Apple's graphics cards do it no favors.

I would argue that it is not a worse proposition at all. Don't be surprised if Mac games rapidly take a backseat to SteamOS (Linux) releases going forward because again, bets are the money is going to be there. I doubt very much that Aspyr and Feral have begun making Linux ports just for the Linux PC crowd. They are no fools and can see the writing on the wall too. This is why so much Linux development recently. Little of that is about supporting Linux boxes. It is all about supporting the upcoming Steam Boxes, etc. It sure is not for the minuscule existing base of Linux gamers. It is all about the future of Steam, SteamOS and Steam Machines, Streaming Steam and doing a lot of it with Linux releases in the future in a calculated move toward independence from Microsoft and Windows that seems to be gaining a lot of support in advance of the hardware releases coming up soon.

I don't know any better than anyone else if Valve can really pull this off or not but so far it is looking like it might be shaping up to be successful if all the interest on Steam is any indication. I don't think they have even bothered to support Steam Streaming content from Macs have they? I don't have a lot of faith that they will bother either personally.

In a somewhat related note I have observed that GOG seems to have lost some of their enthusiasm for Mac games as well although they still do it when it is easy. As a case in point, the recent trend where apparently it is too much trouble for a game developer/publisher to release a Mac version of a Windows release on GOG even though a Mac version exists on Steam for the very same title. I guess it just isn't worth the time and effort to make whatever changes are necessary to do that. I think that also is telling. Wrapping easy ones in Wine or Boxer is trivial. Even that they don't bother with for a great many titles which they easily could. I know this as I have done the ones they don't bother with that I own. They didn't require any special settings, workarounds or anything. We're talking pure "could not be bothered" in these cases of stuff as significant in terms of classics as say, Might and Magic series games. I guess the money just wasn't there or something. Otherwise, why would they not for such a small amount of effort rake in more cash?
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#25 Cougar

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 12:48 PM

Steam Boxes are a "wait to see" sort of thing. Judging from initial poor reviews, and the bad specs/prices, I am quite skeptical. If they do sell, people are going to realize there are barely any games and then just install Windows.

Meanwhile, Mac sales are healthier than ever. I certainly do not buy this "woe is Mac gaming" narrative. Especially with this Kickstarter cRPG Renaissance, I am spending less and less time gaming in Windows.

#26 Janichsan

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 02:24 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 28 October 2015 - 08:45 PM, said:

I would argue that it is not a worse proposition at all. Don't be surprised if Mac games rapidly take a backseat to SteamOS (Linux) releases going forward because again, bets are the money is going to be there. I doubt very much that Aspyr and Feral have begun making Linux ports just for the Linux PC crowd. They are no fools and can see the writing on the wall too. This is why so much Linux development recently. Little of that is about supporting Linux boxes. It is all about supporting the upcoming Steam Boxes, etc. It sure is not for the minuscule existing base of Linux gamers. It is all about the future of Steam, SteamOS and Steam Machines, Streaming Steam and doing a lot of it with Linux releases in the future in a calculated move toward independence from Microsoft and Windows that seems to be gaining a lot of support in advance of the hardware releases coming up soon.
You are totally right: there are many developers that seem to have bought into Valve's plan to make SteamBoxes with SteamOS the Next Big Thing™. Quite a few indie developers seem to favour Linux/SteamOS support over Mac, even if they had in the past.

However, Cougar is more than right to be sceptical: there is no indication that SteamOS will be an overwhelming success, and what's more, no reason for it. The SteamBoxes aren't more appealing than an equivalent Windows PC (many of them are nothing but already available Windows PCs with a Steam sticker slapped on), and SteamOS has no killer features that would make it a feasible alternative to Windows with Steam in Big Picture mode. Everything you can do with a SteamBox, you can do with a Windows PC. In fact, probably even better.

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#27 mattw

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 02:47 PM

It's very difficult to predict what the future holds. I'm an OS X only gamer but always keep an eye on the other options, especially these days with the direction of the hardware, i.e more mobile chips and smaller being the priority.

I actually don't think I've never been happier with the quality and number of games for the Mac since the late 1990's and my upgraded 2009 Mac Pro is running better than ever with El Capitan so I'm hoping for a few more years before it becomes an issue.

If all this doom and gloom become reality I'm really not sure what I would chose to do. I don't think I could put up with maintaining a Windows gaming PC even though once in the actual game the OS would be out of sight. My brief use of various versions of Windows during the day are enough for me so I really don't mind a smaller selection of titles or slightly less performance. The trouble is OS X does everything else so well for me (audio, photos, media management...).

The Steam machines like consoles all seem aimed at being used with your TV and a game pad and I still actually prefer gaming on my Mac because of the higher resolution display (1440p now) and a desk with a keyboard and mouse are really nice - I must be in the minority I know...

My other concern with a console is the life cycle and cost of games - I wouldn't want to go back to using optical discs and would want to take my library of titles with me to the next machine (not need to hang on to old kit), which it seems is more of an issue than on a computer - i.e games are more a throw away idea.
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#28 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 06:44 PM

I don't mean to be doom and gloom but on the other hand I try to be realistic about things. In the over three years now since I switched to Mac I have really loved the experience on the whole. I have even been very satisfied when it came to gaming because so much of what I already own was accessible in various ways on my iMac and a great deal of excellent titles have been released by Feral and Aspyr in this time frame most of which were games that appealed to me. On top of that I am a Blizzard fan and from the most recent games all the way back to the first Diablo I can play it all on this system beautifully. So it has been good so far on the whole and then some. I'll never go back to everyday computing on Windows. I'd do Linux before I did that any day. I am so done with them. They are business oriented and that's fine but I don't work in business anymore and do not need to know anything about their software anymore thank goodness.

I think I've just evolved myself in my views over time about what makes sense to me in terms of best user experience for the money. I see Steam Boxes even though more expensive than consoles as being easily competitive with desktop PCs suitable for gaming at the same level of performance and that is all I would ever want a desktop PC for anyway. The thing is, I don't really want another desktop computer at all. In fact, I am not even sure next time around I want my Mac to be a desktop. I might just get an Air so I can use it anywhere in the house or even take it with me if I travel or go to my sister's to keep an eye on the kids while she is away or something. It's a lot less money than a desktop. Its a very fast computer and for my personal computer needs now it actually is fully capable of them aside of gaming. It can even play some games well as a bonus not that I'd ever want it to be all I had for that, that's for sure.

So that leaves, what to do about gaming which becomes separate from personal computing hardware-wise. I will probably change my mind many times between now and when I spend the money next time which for me is roughly two years off I think. If a Steambox will give me full access to my existing Steam library though a combination of Steamplay/SteamOS titles and the rest can run on Windows on that box which I am assuming will be an option on at least some if not all of them then that might work for me. On the other hand, I might just go with an Xbox and/or PS4 for all the AAA I could ever have time for. In either case, my total outlay will probably be around a grand less than an iMac with a 3 year lifespan tops if I depended on it for gaming. For a lot less money I get mobility, the comfy couch, the big screen, what's not to love there?

I really do think that as time marches on desktop computers aside of notebooks are going to become a real rarity in people's homes and as that happens support for gaming entertainment on the platform will die off too because the money just won't be there for it anymore. I think Valve is very wise to have charted the course they are now on which gives them somewhere to go as this comes to pass and I cannot see how it won't. Instead what I see is it happening already. Among my own family none of them use desktops anymore. They don't need them. They use iPads, iPhones and my daughters still use MacBooks with one being a teacher for whom it is a very useful tool for her work. Not a one of them has a desktop anymore. My sister does the majority of her computing right on her iPhone and she does fully utilize that capability. It's all she wants or needs. This is the way of the future. Desktop computers in people's homes are on the way out. Ultimately, so is PC gaming as we once knew it.

Sure, this isn't all happening next month or next year for that matter but it is happening.

Naturally in its first iteration the Steam OS, controller and the Steam Boxes will leave a lot to be desired. They will have problems but it has to begin somewhere and if Valve did not do what they are doing now I honestly believe that Valve would find themselves in some serious trouble before another decade passes.

By the way, like anything new Steam Boxes are more expensive than they are going to be when initial demand for them settles down. Not only that but I suspect that people will be building their own Steam Boxes down the road too as vendors begin offering the appropriate cases, motherboards sized for them, etc. although as is the case today the do-it-yourselfers will be an enthusiast minority who get max bang for buck but who must learn what is necessary and do the work for that which most consumers won't bother with.
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#29 Cougar

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 07:18 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 29 October 2015 - 06:44 PM, said:

I don't mean to be doom and gloom but on the other hand I try to be realistic about things. In the over three years now since I switched to Mac I have really loved the experience on the whole.

I think this says a lot about your perspective. So, for the entire time you've been a Mac user, Steam has existed...

For me, the Golden Age of Mac gaming started with Steam and SteamPlay. The other day I was able to pick up Alien: Isolation, a brand-new port, for $12. That's nuts. In the Dark Ages it would've set  me back $50, I would have had to pay shipping because nobody sold Mac games in stores, and I would've had no way to play in Windows because no SteamPlay, so if the performance sucked...(never  mind that there was no Bootcamp, so I couldn't do that anyway.) And not to mention, the amount of indies that arrive on the platform now is astronomical compared to ten years ago, thanks to things like Unity and a healthier platform.

I don't see PC gaming going anywhere. It's always been a niche, and it will always do certain things better than its competition.  VR, if it takes off, will only increase the demand for them. I've never been a console gamer because I hate controllers, and a lot of games I like just don't play well on them.

#30 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 09:18 PM

Well again, it isn't PC gaming is by itself going away. It is desktop personal computers as a common thing in people's homes that is going away. It is because of that I think that ultimately PC gaming as we knew it will therefore go away too. It really has nothing to do with my perspective as having had Steam the entire time I've been a Mac user. The fact is, some of what you point out there was also true in the PC world as Steam was picking up steam, no pun intended. Boxed computer games shelf space dried up at local retail while console games took over because that was where the money was. Frankly, so far as that goes I was not better off than a Mac user for boxed software at one point until Steam addressed that situation and pretty much saved PC gaming doing it at the time.

I am also very familiar with the world you describe before I ever returned to using Macs. Three years ago I made the change permanently but it was not the first time I've owned one. That goes back to the Peforma 6300 PowerPC I had and there the days of MacPlay boxed software, etc. at the local Egghead store, such as the selection was and it was minuscule compared to PC. Still, I loved the Mac then too and stuck with it for a few years before returning to PC more because of my work than anything else. Once there, naturally I enjoyed gaming there up until it nearly died and then Steam right around that same time literally saved the day.

Prior to that, I lived an even more spartan gaming life as a full time Linux only user which was again work related and while I could have setup dual boot for Windows, I hated dual booting then just as much as I do now. So I didn't do it. I used Wine back in the day when Transgaming was born and sold a monthly subscription to Linux users at 5 bucks a month which gave us access to their WineX fork of Wine and voting rights over what got priority for making games work. Going back to this time, one of the reasons I have despised Trangsgaming and its founder was because they built their "porting" company on the backs of Linux users they offered more promises than value to and once they had come far enough along to seek greener pastures doing ports elsewhere they threw their Linux faithful right under the bus and discontinued any support whatsoever for them, those same people who funded their startup basically.

I've been playing games on personal computers since I was downloading crap like shareware asteroids and good stuff like As-Easy-As which was an incredible Lotus 1-2-3 clone that was completely free. I'd drive a few towns away to the only computer store there was in my area which by the way was midpoint between the cities of Boston, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island with each only an hour away. In other words, a store that sold IBM PC-XT clones was a real rarity then as were the machines themselves for that matter.

So, I have been at this for a long time and I have experienced it from a variety of viewpoints, not just from the position of a Windows gamer using Steam to a switch to Mac gaming using Steam which is not exactly a dramatic switch beyond the decidedly limited selection vs Windows and that of course is far, far better than we have ever seen it before now.

All that said though, I don't think it changes a lot where things are headed. Also, my take on personal computers in homes is distinctly different from my take on personal computers in business. Those are not going anywhere for a long time. As such, there will no doubt be some in homes for a long time. However, there is a reason the PC hardware market is not doing well, a few reasons actually and I imagine you are well aware of them too. People keep them longer and right there you know those people are not core gamers but more importantly outside of business far less consumers buy them now. They buy iPads and other tablets instead. They use notebooks. I think it is safe to say very few kids in school use Desktop computers either at home before college and certainly not when they go to college. That's already been true for years.

So it all comes back to the home PC desktop installed base shrinking dramatically in the coming years and a move to consoles by the majority of gamers by far. Now Steam is going to join them as well. I think that is telling. If PC gaming was doing just fine and making money hand over fist with no end in sight there would be little need to do the things Valve is doing now. There is a need to look ahead though and they are. This is just the very start of a long range plan to ensure their survival I think and that is good.

I do see also the advent of Steam for Mac as absolutely huge and for me it impacted my decision to go Mac three years ago in a big way. The one thing that had continued to hold me back was gaming and the fact that I would not own two desktops. One had to do it all and up until then the Mac just didn't cut it for me as much I wanted one for everything else. My resources are quite finite. It was a stretch to spend for this. When I did though three years ago, a top end iMac with best GPU, 12 gigs of RAM and i5 CPU ran me under two thousand dollars bought new. For another 169 I think it was I got AppleCare and two years later that paid for itself and then some in the form of the replacement late-2013 27" iMac I own now. Fast forward to the current models with retina I don't need because no mobile GPU can adequately drive that many pixels for gaming and I am looking at over 3 grand for a top end 27" system (not even full BTO top end either) running me around three thousand dollars. That represents a one thousand dollar increase in just three years. That is incredible. I cannot keep up with that every three years even if it did not go up again at all for the next decade. All that for mid-range gaming performance when brand new? And this is the best available option.

So of course Mac gamers are a minority and will stay that way. Who the hell in their right mind is going throw this kind of money for that kind of performance? There has to be a better way. The way I see is that better involves separating out everyday computing and gaming completely and taking the gaming elsewhere because Apple OS X is not a good long term prospect for gaming despite current appearances in my opinion. It would be different if Apple would sell appropriate hardware for our audience at prices mere mortals could stomach but they don't and they won't. I can't see how that isn't going to have consequences over the coming years. Just because there has been a wonderful ascension in recent years does not mean we can just expect it to automagically continue in light of everything else going on like a one grand cost increase for their best gaming desktop with half-baked performance. Most people are not going to do that and that means very limited market to sell to as always historically. Therefore, why should we expect things to get any better? I'd be more worried they will get worse as I mentioned earlier as SteamOS becomes a focus and OS X becomes an afterthought.

One game doesn't say that much and yet it is still somehow telling when even Blizzard changes direction and does not release for Mac for the first time in very many years. In fact, is this the first time ever or did stuff like Blackthorne never release for Mac anyway? If we had the users, they'd be making the game for us. We don't.
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#31 mattw

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 05:17 AM

I'd agree with that really. These days most people use a portable computer and mobile devices for their everyday computing and are quite happy with the performance.

For gaming it's either casual games on these computers and devices or a console with their TV.

That means these are going to be the key target markets for all the big game developers.

The desktop computer gamer is therefore a smaller group and Mac gaming a small subset of this group.

It must be said that although highly vocal hardcore gamers, i.e. the overclockers, the multi-GPU users etc. are not are large group either. On the PC side looking at the Steam hardware survey not that many real world gamers have a fantastic graphics card either...

I'd imagine a lot of the desktop gamers are older, i.e we grew up gaming on computers with cassettes and floppy discs and so still see an advantage in gaming this way - consoles as a mainstream device being a much more recent development.

Hardware improvements used to be very much a predictable progression but this has changed with the new mobility based computing revolution.

In the OS X years the prediction was for a massively multicore future. I went from a Sawtooth G4 (single CPU in 1999), to a dual processor G5 (2005) and then when Intel only releases forced me to move on from PowerPC from that to a base model 8 core Mac pro (2009).

Although overkill for me the previous model in 2008 had already shipped with 8 cores as the standard configuration. I worked at a reseller at the time and price difference from the base model single quad wasn't much especially as the price of RAM at the time made the extra sockets seem like a good idea.

All these machines allowed me to do GPU upgrades and with the G4 and Mac Pro eventually CPU upgrades as well. This means I've now ended up with 12 cores as although an incredible price when new used Xeon cpus can be very affordable.

It can be amazing when encoding video etc. but still overkill most of the time (the single core clock speed boost was the main reason for the upgrade) but then a new machine would have been way more costly for me and the 7950 I have at the moment seems about on par with the BTO high end mobile GPUs in the iMac.

The trouble is massively multi-core no longer seems the direction for Intel, in fact some machines like the Mac Mini have gone down to a dual core...this makes it hard to predict the options going forward.

Coming back to the Blizzard decision it seems the hardware requirements are actually low for Overwatch which you would expect in order to target the mainstream mobile computer market. If what I've read is true they are struggling to hire enough Mac coders to maintain all the their active titles and can't spare them to port this. Hopefully if this is true it means it could still see a release eventually either through new staff coming onboard or taking the project to an outside specialist to port.  I just hope it is a unique situation and not a sign of things to come, i.e Warcraft 4 etc.
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#32 Gotrek

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 02:37 PM

View Postmattw, on 31 October 2015 - 05:17 AM, said:

Coming back to the Blizzard decision it seems the hardware requirements are actually low for Overwatch which you would expect in order to target the mainstream mobile computer market. If what I've read is true they are struggling to hire enough Mac coders to maintain all the their active titles and can't spare them to port this. Hopefully if this is true it means it could still see a release eventually either through new staff coming onboard or taking the project to an outside specialist to port.  I just hope it is a unique situation and not a sign of things to come, i.e Warcraft 4 etc.

What is Blizzards starting pay for a Mac developer? It very well could be they just aren't offering enough to attract the talent they need.

#33 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 07:22 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 29 October 2015 - 09:18 PM, said:

In fact, is this the first time ever or did stuff like Blackthorne never release for Mac anyway? If we had the users, they'd be making the game for us. We don't.
Blackthorne did have a Mac version, but ported by MacPlay.

#34 macdude22

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 11:57 AM

I don't know the validity of this post but it is interesting perspective if true.

http://us.battle.net...c/19580947919#9
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#35 Cougar

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Posted 01 November 2015 - 12:11 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 01 November 2015 - 11:57 AM, said:

I don't know the validity of this post but it is interesting perspective if true.

http://us.battle.net...c/19580947919#9

Eh, don't really buy most of it. Despite our moaning on here about underpowered Macs (me included), they really are no worse for games than they've always been. Retina doesn't matter because you can run things in non-retina.

I think that last poster's theory is more plausible: Microsoft has gotten their hands in it. There has to be something going on to warrant the radio silence. And, as he notes, their commitment to Metal, especially in its incomplete state, wouldn't make sense if they were planning to bail on the platform.

#36 Janichsan

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 06:09 AM

View PostCougar, on 01 November 2015 - 12:11 PM, said:

Eh, don't really buy most of it. Despite our moaning on here about underpowered Macs (me included), they really are no worse for games than they've always been. Retina doesn't matter because you can run things in non-retina.
He does have valid points: instead of just one insufficient graphic APIs, we now have two. It's safe to assume that Apple won't update OpenGL any further, and knowing Apple, it will take at least two or three years until Metal is actually up to the competition.

In addition, there are now less Mac models with a dedicated GPU than ever. Your only option are the 27" iMacs, the top 15" rMBP, and the Mac Pro – and the GPUs in the latter two are either quite weak or not optimised for gaming.

What to some extent is hyperbole, though, is his first point, with Apple discontinuing support for older OS versions. There is a sliver of truth that Apple does not care much about backwards compatibility (which I think we have discussed more than once), but any application for an older version of OS X written properly in accordance to Apple's guidelines won't suddenly stop running just because that OS version is no longer officially supported. Even if a certain older API is deprecated, Apple warns about that years in advance, which normally should be time enough to switch to a modern equivalent (Hello, Mr. Kevill…).

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#37 Cougar

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 09:43 AM

Integrated graphics haven't stagnated, though. Apple may be using more of them but that's because they are more capable than before. If you take Retina off the table (and nobody should really be gaming in Retina) it's not really any worse. And remember the days with those lovely first-gen Intel graphics? And by far the most popular Macs are 13", which have always been integrated.

I am not sure why it is safe to assume Apple won't update OpenGL further, especially while Metal is inadequate for many things. 10.11 still brought plenty of OpenGL improvements, Yes, overall Apple is terrible with updating it, but it's not better or worse than it's always been.

Again, a lot of unsubstantiated sky is falling sentiments in this thread...personally, I need more evidence before I start to worry.

#38 Janichsan

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:41 AM

View PostCougar, on 03 November 2015 - 09:43 AM, said:

Integrated graphics haven't stagnated, though.
While that's true, they are still far behind in performance compared to contemporary dedicated GPUs. The Iris Pro 6200 that is used in the 21" iMacs fares not better than the Nvidia GT650M that is in my three years old top range rMBP – and which is already barely capable of running recent demanding games on anything but low settings.

Quote

10.11 still brought plenty of OpenGL improvements, …
Such as? Apple hasn't implemented any new OpenGL extensions since Mavericks two years ago. We are still stuck at OpenGL 4.1, which is by now a five year old standard.

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#39 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 12:06 PM

View PostCougar, on 03 November 2015 - 09:43 AM, said:

Integrated graphics haven't stagnated, though. Apple may be using more of them but that's because they are more capable than before. If you take Retina off the table (and nobody should really be gaming in Retina) it's not really any worse. And remember the days with those lovely first-gen Intel graphics? And by far the most popular Macs are 13", which have always been integrated.

I am not sure why it is safe to assume Apple won't update OpenGL further, especially while Metal is inadequate for many things. 10.11 still brought plenty of OpenGL improvements, Yes, overall Apple is terrible with updating it, but it's not better or worse than it's always been.

Again, a lot of unsubstantiated sky is falling sentiments in this thread...personally, I need more evidence before I start to worry.

The base 15" retina MBP from 2012 came with an Nvidia 650M GPU. The new base 15" retina comes with Intel Integrated and you have to spend around $500 more then you would have in 2012 to have the option for the dedicated GPU. The base 2012 rMBP literally outperforms the base 2015 rMBP in anything that uses a GPU for extra power.

All of the iMacs used to come with dedicated GPU's. In the past few years they have started using only integrated in the base models, but there was always an option for dedicated in every iMac that was mid-range and up. I'm really quite appalled by Apple's increasing hardware greed when it comes to the total lack of power in some of their base model machines, specifically the iMac range. The base iMac has laughable specs: 1.6 GHz dual core, HD 6000 GPU, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB 5400rpm HDD, 1080p screen : $1400 CDN. For comparison the base 13" MBA (which is $200 cheaper, or $80 cheaper when you configure to 8 GB's of RAM) has the same CPU, same graphics, 4 GB RAM, and PCIe SSD - better specs for less price in a Macbook.

I don't care if 95% of the iMac market doesn't need better specs than that. It's downright shameful for Apple to be selling something with that hardware for that price. At the very least make the fusion drive standard or something.

Sorry for the rant. I agree with you that for many product lines it's business as usual, but for some there is a very worrying trend towards popsnizzlety hardware. Not to mention you can't even get a dedicated GPU in your Mac anymore unless you are willing to drop $2,000+ (27" iMac, top-end 15" rMBP, or Mac Pro are the only options).
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#40 macdude22

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 12:51 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 November 2015 - 11:41 AM, said:

Such as? Apple hasn't implemented any new OpenGL extensions since Mavericks two years ago. We are still stuck at OpenGL 4.1, which is by now a five year old standard.

They did some driver improvements is probably what is being referred too. BL2/TPS do not have their trademark stutter on my 2012 MBP that they did under 10.10. Still have to run at subpar resolutions under OS X to get acceptable performance. I didn't bother to reinstall BL2 on my MacPro to test.

Apple is still making high quality hardware but they are increasingly choosing form over function and bean counting over customer satisfaction.

The integrated GPUs are passable at MBAir resolutions but embarrassing for an iMac, even the non retina models. I'll grant some leniency for bare bones cheapo base model but anything else aught to have a discrete GPU. This is not only a gaming issue. The retina 21" iMac barely has the GPU horsepower to drive the display sitting at the finder, let alone use it for anything meaningful. For a company that has prided itself on their graphical prowess it's a little bit of a glaring gap.
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