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Multithreaded OpenGL Benchmarks with WoW


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#1 IMG News

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 10:41 AM

Barefeats has posted benchmarks of World of WarCraft taking advantage of the new OpenGL multithread update from Blizzard. In their initial results, gamers enabling multithreading are likely to see a significant increase in their FPS.

Interestingly, not all new Mac models showed a speed bump, it looks like this might be of more benefit to Mac Pro owners than those using notebook computers:

Big gains are to be had with multi-threaded OpenGL enabled in lower resolutions (full screen) or in windowed mode.

Though we saw gains on the Mac Pro with the Radeon X1900 XT, we saw no gains on our MacBook Pro 17" Core Duo with the X1600 Mobility.
Head over to Bare Feats for the benchmarks, and also watch for more as they explore this option with other hardware configurations.
Return to Full Article - InsideMacGames News


#2 rbarris

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 11:36 AM

Some points to consider:

MT-GL cannot raise the frame rate in situations where you are GPU limited - that's the ultimate upper bound for a given scene.  Those conditions may occur due to a combination of resolution and quality settings.  In the BareFeats test, it says that all quality sliders were at maximum, which likely includes trilinear filtering and aniso filtering.  I'd definitely agree that if you want to push all the sliders to maximum, the difference between MTGL and non-MTGL mode is reduced, since you become GPU limited that much quicker.

Laptops do tend to hit the GPU wall sooner because of power and clocking limits, and especially so if all quality sliders are set to maximum.

However, in scenes where there are a high count of animated characters (Ironforge / Orgrimmar crowds, or raid encounters), the CPU tends to become the limiting factor again and these are the cases where MT-GL has the most noticeable effect.  The majority of the support for MT-GL in WoW was initially developed on a 15" MacBook Pro; for crowd scenes the MT-GL benefit is measurable and significant.  Alas, the BareFeats benchmarks currently posted do not reflect this because they are not occurring in a crowded scene AFAICT.

Put another way, the MT-GL boost helps the most in cases where the CPU would have been heavily impacted - usually due to dozens of animated characters being visible and active.  The technique can't push the GPU any faster than its limits, but it can "pull up the dips" and keep the GPU running closer to its peak ability.

#3 Kees

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 12:02 PM

wicked good stuff from Blizzard.
The gpu on the MacBook hitting its limit was my first thought when reading the article. second was my long standing wish for Apple to finally include some (optional) real graphics power in their portable pro line again. (any kind of graphics power in their consumer line would be nice too)
but it's great to see companies put those duo cores to good use.

#4 hambone

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 11:28 PM

I <3 rbarris. somedays he is the only thing standing between me and buying a PC just for gaming.

its a cliche, but its true that it "all about the people" and that one guy in the right place makes all the difference. imagine Macs without Blizzard, and Blizzard without Barris.

ugly.

#5 rbarris

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 01:31 AM

View Posthambone, on October 31st 2006, 05:28 AM, said:

I <3 rbarris. somedays he is the only thing standing between me and buying a PC just for gaming.

its a cliche, but its true that it "all about the people" and that one guy in the right place makes all the difference. imagine Macs without Blizzard, and Blizzard without Barris.

ugly.

In fairness to the many people that contribute their efforts to the product, it should be pointed out that Blizzard is over 1900 people worldwide, and the Mac programming team is four of them.  Not all of those people are working on WoW though, we do have some other projects churning along..

#6 Janichsan

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 01:46 AM

View Posthambone, on October 31st 2006, 07:28 AM, said:

<3
Is that a butt with a pointed hat?

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#7 ajmas

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 09:27 AM

One other thing to consider is that some games might artificially give themselves a max frame rate. If you screen can only do 72 fps, what's the point of the game trying to produce more? Instead it makes more sense to use that extra processing power for better physics models and other mathematical intensive routines.

#8 owlboy

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 09:40 AM

wtb [PPC MT OpenGL OS X of the Tiger] 2g.

-Owl

#9 electricdawn

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Posted 31 October 2006 - 10:57 AM

Stupid question: How do you get the console in WoW?  Thanx.... :blush:

v/r, E.

#10 MacManX

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 06:09 PM

I'm not sure that there is a console. What do you want it for? You can get your frame rate by pressing Control-R.

#11 owlboy

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 01:45 PM

You have not been able to open the console since closed beta.

-Owl

#12 rbarris

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 11:44 PM

By the way, for those that might not have seen, wanted to point out that the 2.0.1 client which is now in public beta (PTR realm) has support for MT-GL.  Anyone with a WoW account can download it and install it to try it out.