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OpenGL – Cheetah Speeds Under Leopard?


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:22 PM

According to the Apple Developer Connection website, Apple's Leopard page previews some good news for mac gamers:

OpenGL Improvements
OpenGL is the industry-standard API for developing portable, interactive 2D and 3D applications. Mac OS X has supported OpenGL from the outset and in Leopard it supports the latest OpenGL 2.1 specification which adds pixel buffer objects, color managed texture images in the sRGB color space, and improvements in the shader programming API.

Leopard also provides a dramatic increase in OpenGL performance by offloading CPU-based processing onto another thread which can then run on a separate CPU core feeding the GPU. This can increase, or in some cases, even double the performance of OpenGL-based applications.
While our own Tuncer Deniz had some inside line on this, it seems that Apple is now confident enough to put the results in writing. Admittedly, there's usually a gap between lab tests and real-world performance, but when Apple unleashes Leopard next spring, fans of obscure OpenGL-using titles (like "World of Warcraft" and "Doom 3") can expect to see some major performance gains.
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#2 nagromme

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:35 PM

Cheetah? I hope not :) Cheetah was 10.0 :)

#3 Quicksilver

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:54 PM

View Postnagromme, on October 25th 2006, 03:35 PM, said:

Cheetah? I hope not :) Cheetah was 10.0 :)

I believe he meant Cheetah-like speeds.  Was I the only one who caught the "obscure titles" joke?   ;)
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#4 Brad Oliver

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:57 PM

The blurb refers to the multithreaded OpenGL, and it's here now on Intel Macs in 10.4.8. Most apps need patches to take advantage of it.
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#5 Someone

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:57 PM

View PostQuicksilver, on October 25th 2006, 02:54 PM, said:

I believe he meant Cheetah-like speeds.  Was I the only one who caught the "obscure titles" joke?   ;)

No, I'm sure nagromme got it. He was just making fun of the unfortunate title.

The moral is, don't try to be witty with your article titles because jokes can be made. And I was actually going to pull the same stunt as nagromme but he beat me to it. :)

#6 Eric5h5

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 05:39 PM

Quote

but when Apple unleashes Leopard next spring, fans of obscure OpenGL-using titles (like "World of Warcraft" and "Doom 3") can expect to see some major performance gains.

As Brad said, some people already have this, and the performance gain in Doom 3 wasn't exactly "major."  Basically I wouldn't expect anything, unless you're limited by the CPU instead of the graphics card (which applies to which games these days, exactly?)

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#7 Janichsan

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 06:12 PM

Well, okay, but the MTOpenGL support in Doom 3 seems to be quite experimental. Who knows what gain is in this when the game is actually fully optimised to use it?

But that's all speculation right now. Time will tell.

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#8 Blackshawk

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 07:57 PM

I thought using MT-OpenGL was a completely different process from normal coding of a game. I've heard it can really really screw you up if you don't know what you're doing.
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#9 reallynotnick

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 08:58 PM

Is it possible that this will work with all games and magically multi-core them without making them to do the multi-core in the first place? Because if 10.4.8 already has this then what is all the halablu about?

#10 Eric5h5

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 10:03 PM

View Postreallynotnick, on October 25th 2006, 10:58 PM, said:

Is it possible that this will work with all games and magically multi-core them without making them to do the multi-core in the first place?

Not as far as I know.

Quote

Because if 10.4.8 already has this then what is all the halablu about?

It's only in the Intel build ATM, and it's sort of "unofficial".

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#11 owlboy

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 11:36 PM

Grrrr, need PowerPC info…

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#12 Tesseract

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 05:49 AM

View PostEric5h5, on October 26th 2006, 09:39 AM, said:

Basically I wouldn't expect anything, unless you're limited by the CPU instead of the graphics card (which applies to which games these days, exactly?)
Single-player CoD 2, as far as I can tell.

#13 yves

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:45 AM

View PostTesseract, on October 26th 2006, 01:49 PM, said:

Single-player CoD 2, as far as I can tell.

Only singleplayer?! I would hope not because the only reason I really need the speedup for in COD2 is multiplayer although replaying singleplayer with some extra eyecandy won't hurt either.
You have any reason in specific for mentioning singleplayer as opposed to the whole game? It just seems a bit odd to me.
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#14 Blackshawk

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 08:54 AM

Quote

Is it possible that this will work with all games and magically multi-core them without making them to do the multi-core in the first place? Because if 10.4.8 already has this then what is all the halablu about?
They have to be coded with the ability to use it. Some games could do it after being patched, though.
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#15 Tesseract

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 10:02 AM

View Postyves, on October 27th 2006, 12:45 AM, said:

You have any reason in specific for mentioning singleplayer as opposed to the whole game? It just seems a bit odd to me.
SP seems slower when rendering about the same amount of stuff as MP, hence my hypothesis is that SP is more CPU-bound than MP, possibly due to AI code and such. I cannot back this up with actual measurements.

View PostBlackshawk, on October 27th 2006, 12:54 AM, said:

They have to be coded with the ability to use it. Some games could do it after being patched, though.
Though evidently it can be forced on, going by the Doom 3 results at Bare Feats.

#16 teflon

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 12:20 PM

no, Doom 3 was given MT OGL code in the latest patch. However, Aspyr couldnt figure out how to activate it, so they just left the code in there as it didnt detract anything, hoping that Apple would stick it in eventually...

which they did!
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#17 Tesseract

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 05:53 PM

View Postteflon, on October 27th 2006, 04:20 AM, said:

no, Doom 3 was given MT OGL code in the latest patch. However, Aspyr couldnt figure out how to activate it, so they just left the code in there as it didnt detract anything, hoping that Apple would stick it in eventually...

which they did!
Where did you get that info? That's different to what Brad said here and here.

#18 bobbob

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 10:30 PM

View PostBlackshawk, on October 25th 2006, 06:57 PM, said:

I thought using MT-OpenGL was a completely different process from normal coding of a game.

Yes.

Quote

I've heard it can really really screw you up if you don't know what you're doing.

Multithreading can be a problem, but multithreading OpenGL is Apple's problem. It shouldn't make a bit of difference to games programming unless Apple screws up.