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Quake Wars - Low End?


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#261 Janichsan

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 08:59 AM

:blink:  That was quite a quick response. That's what I love about this forum – always at the source.

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#262 G-News

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 09:30 AM

View PostGlendaAdams, on January 7th 2008, 03:54 PM, said:

We're still working with Apple trying to increase performance.  We're also integrating another new PC patch into the Mac code, to keep it up to date.  

Right now we have what we feel is good playable framerate on all the target machines, but doing automated benchmarks vs Bootcamp show there are some bottlenecks in OS X that are limiting the game from hitting higher frame rates.  It's an interesting problem, since the game in regular play is limited to 30fps, you don't absolutely need the super 60-100 fps timedemos to play and be competitive.  But obviously the higher the max frame rate the better the game can hold a constant 30fps in busy scenes. Plus after the crazy gaming web site/forum freakout about Doom 3 timedemos way back in the day we're reluctant to release until we have benchmarks that are at least in the right ballpark.

Glenda

Interesting, thanks for the update!
Let's hope all this dedication for higher performance is going to result in a few baseline changes in OS X that will help improve performance of other games /Open GL apps as well. In direct comparisons, OS X has almost always been slower for 3D games, even when comparing OpenGL to OpenGL. This seems to be, especially seeing how Vista is such a performance hog,  a rather unnecessary limitation of OS X. If Apple can do anything about this, due to your feedback, the long wait is surely justified.
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#263 nagromme

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 10:17 AM

Thanks for the update. I can survive the wait :)

(General comment: I don't expect OS X and Windows to EVER perform the same, even in OpenGL, because the two OS's just do things differently. I would be astonished if that could ever be made to have no effect on framerates. I like the way OS X is designed--and am recalling various comments about how OS X doesn't let you hack directly to the lowest "layers" or whatever Windows games sometimes do. Which sounds to me like good OS design, no matter what the limitations it may place on games. But I'm glad to see Aspyr and Apple working on improvements, since I still choose to game in OS X!)

#264 bobbob

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 01:58 PM

View Postnagromme, on January 7th 2008, 10:17 AM, said:

OS X doesn't let you hack directly to the lowest "layers" or whatever Windows games sometimes do
That would be entertaining. But, no. Often, DirectX is one of the highest layers available.

#265 nagromme

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 02:07 PM

I believe there's some accuracy to my informal statement, though I'd appreciate any clarification on the true technical details :)

#266 QuantaCat

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Posted 07 January 2008 - 02:20 PM

So that craze about spyware (or however it's called) and such was a hoax? (if I could do internetian-intonations, this would not sound very "trusting" ;D)
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#267 G-News

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:23 AM

View PostQuantaCat, on January 7th 2008, 09:20 PM, said:

So that craze about spyware (or however it's called) and such was a hoax? (if I could do internetian-intonations, this would not sound very "trusting" ;D)

What nagromme was probably talking about is that under Windows, certain software can access hardware directly, without going through the kernel, unlike OS X.
However, I'm not completely sure, this is actually still the case with NT/XP/Vista. It was real with 95/98/ME however.
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#268 QuantaCat

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 10:53 AM

Well, almost.
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#269 bobbob

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 08:28 PM

View PostG-News, on January 8th 2008, 03:23 AM, said:

under Windows, certain software can access hardware directly, without going through the kernel, unlike OS X.
No, it can't, it's similar to OSX. You'd need a kernel-mode driver to do that, and most Windows games don't use a kernel-mode driver for anything but the few that use one for copy protection. Maybe you're thinking about running DOS games in Windows 3.1?

#270 nagromme

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:26 PM

Found the reference--happens to be from Glenda Adams:
http://www.barefeats.com/doom3.html

She lists some factors affecting Mac vs. Windows game performance:

3. More robust and modern OpenGL implementation on OS X. The fact that OpenGL is engineered from the ground up on OS X to be accessible from many applications at once is wonderful for the rest of the world, but does have a performance hit for games. Sharing GL with the rest of the system invokes a small overhead that Windows doesn't have, since Windows can basically assume GL is just in use for one application.

4. OpenGL framework/drivers split on OS X. On Windows, ATI and nVidia are responsible for the OpenGL code all the way from the hardware to the game. On the Mac, Apple handles the top layers of OpenGL and then hands data off to the video card drivers. On Windows this allows the video card manufacturers to do some more direct optimizations that make sure data gets passed to the card as fast as possible. The Mac can't short circuit that process, since there is a fairly well defined boundary between GL and the video card drivers. This is complicated by the more modern GL implementation on OS X as well- Apple can't just put in a bunch of hacks to shove data around the wall and into the cards, just for the game.


#271 bobbob

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Posted 10 January 2008 - 04:40 PM

View Postnagromme, on January 9th 2008, 09:26 PM, said:

3. More robust and modern OpenGL implementation on OS X. The fact that OpenGL is engineered from the ground up on OS X to be accessible from many applications at once is wonderful for the rest of the world, but does have a performance hit for games. Sharing GL with the rest of the system invokes a small overhead that Windows doesn't have, since Windows can basically assume GL is just in use for one application.
I think DirectX has that covered, at least in Vista. The OpenGL ICDs make it kind of moot as far as any kind of point, though, since Windows itself doesn't have much to do with those. Some ICDs probably do work pretty well with multiple contexts. Especially ones for recent cards that have hardware support for hundreds of contexts, as required for DX10.

Quote

4. OpenGL framework/drivers split on OS X. On Windows, ATI and nVidia are responsible for the OpenGL code all the way from the hardware to the game. On the Mac, Apple handles the top layers of OpenGL and then hands data off to the video card drivers.
Indeed, ATI and nVidia still have to use kernel-mode drivers on both OSs to do that funky low-level stuff, and the game devs have nothing to do with that. It's just that ATI and nVidia can better optimize on the Windows side because they can optimize their OpenGL implementations for certain cases as well.

Quote

This is complicated by the more modern GL implementation on OS X as well- Apple can't just put in a bunch of hacks to shove data around the wall and into the cards, just for the game.
I don't know what she means by modern OpenGL implementation, as Apple is almost always a ways behind the spec, but optimizing per-game is a tradeoff that can benefit people playing the game without a cost except the game devs' and card vendor's time. When you hear her talking about working with Apple to improve QW:ET performance, this is exactly what's happening. She's just saying nVidia and ATI go farther for their customers than Apple will. The only time you really hear about this kind of stuff is when (say) ATI improves performance by 80% (claimed), or when (say) ATI screws up and the results are not visually identical.

#272 G-News

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:30 PM

View Postbobbob, on January 10th 2008, 11:40 PM, said:

The only time you really hear about this kind of stuff is when (say) ATI improves performance by 80% (claimed), or when (say) ATI screws up and the results are not visually identical.

Or when people like Gabe "$2Mio." Newell or John "Tarmack" Carmack claim that Apple is anything but helpful when it comes to games.
Maybe there is some truth to that after all.
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#273 QuantaCat

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:48 PM

I wouldn't believe Newell. He seems to be a money-hungry bastard. But Carmack didn't even have a game on the line, nor any money. So I think it's safe to say that he wasn't as biased as Newell.
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#274 nagromme

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 01:51 PM

There's no question that games are way down Apple's priority list. And rising too slowly.

#275 Tesseract

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 02:03 PM

The Games page on developer.apple.com is still touting "Velocity Engine" as one of the great Mac technologies for game developers.  :glare: