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Blizzard Games to Utilize Metal API in OS X


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#81 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 12:25 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 09 November 2015 - 08:56 AM, said:

I would not need to watch anything to know that outcome there. What is your point though? That is not how it typically works. Console gamers on Xbox live are not competing with Windows gamers using mice and keyboards. So my point still stands. The experience is still fair and just as much fun. If it sucked, it wouldn't be popular but it is, far more popular than FPS on PC. That's the fact of the matter. I acknowledge the issue of precision but made the point that it doesn't count for anything on a level playing field and normally the playing field is level.

Counter Strike is EXTREMELY popular on PC. At the time of this post there are 590,000 people online playing the Counter Strike: Global Offensive (and that's 1 PM EST on a monday - far from peak numbers that you'll see in the evenings and on weekends). That number also goes up if you include the other Counter Strikes (Source, 1.6, etc.).

Consoles have some really popular shooters, but outside of COD and Halo (which is Xbox exclusive) there's not much of a consistent audience for them. Battlefield is just as popular on PC as it is consoles.

You always have to keep the PC mega-giant games in mind when remembering how popular console gaming is. Xbox Live has 39 million active users as of a few weeks ago. League of Legends - the most popular game in the world, and also PC exclusive has an estimated 90 million active users. That puts League of Legends as about as popular as Xbox and Playstation combined.

Steam has 65 million active accounts. Consoles get all of the marketing and hoopla, but the PC giants of Dota, League, Counter Strike, WoW, etc. all pull absolutely insane numbers of players in consistently month to month.
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#82 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 05:44 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 09 November 2015 - 11:42 AM, said:

Mainly that it only looks so easy and natural when you nephews play their console FPSs because the games massively help. There's a quite insightful video about the aim assist in the recently released Halo 5:



With some variations, that's basically what you have in all console FPSs.

Works for me. :)
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#83 Tetsuya

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 09:35 PM

View Posttcrown, on 07 November 2015 - 01:45 PM, said:


Macs are selling in record numbers every 1/4 while PC's are in decline, laptops above $1000 are 80% Macs, etc., etc.

Except for the part where those Macs that are selling so well dont even ship with Discrete GPUs - just Intel Integrated.  The only MacBook that has a discrete GPU is the top end 2500$ model - those aren't exactly flying off shelves - and the only iMac that has a Discrete GPU is either a BTO or the 5k iMac - and in all the cases that a Mac does ship with a discrete GPU - its woefully underspec for the monitor it is driving.  

THAT is why Overwatch isnt coming to OSX - it has nothing to do with Metal not being up to stuff - it has everything to do with more than 80% of the machines Apple ships not having even the tiniest amount of GPU muscle.

#84 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 04:16 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 09 November 2015 - 09:35 PM, said:

Except for the part where those Macs that are selling so well dont even ship with Discrete GPUs - just Intel Integrated.  The only MacBook that has a discrete GPU is the top end 2500$ model - those aren't exactly flying off shelves - and the only iMac that has a Discrete GPU is either a BTO or the 5k iMac - and in all the cases that a Mac does ship with a discrete GPU - its woefully underspec for the monitor it is driving.  

THAT is why Overwatch isnt coming to OSX - it has nothing to do with Metal not being up to stuff - it has everything to do with more than 80% of the machines Apple ships not having even the tiniest amount of GPU muscle.
But Blizzards games have always been good at running on low end spec'ed machines, scaling easily, so I am not sure that is such a good argument. Of course, Blizzard could suddenly have increased their minimum spec level drastically... But given the number of machines without mid- to high-end discrete cards, I would be surprised if they also aren't targeting Windows machines with integrated cards. After all, all other MOBAs does it, including Heroes of the Storm. I do think that is one of the major reasons that BLizzard are so successfull.
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#85 MichalM.Mac

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 05:09 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 10 November 2015 - 04:16 AM, said:

But Blizzards games have always been good at running on low end spec'ed machines, scaling easily, so
Current state of OpenGL/Metal looks more likely. However it could delay Overwatch 1-2 years. I don't think Apple is going to put big Metal improvements into point updates. So 10.12, 10.13? Who knows...

#86 tcrown

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 08:35 AM

View PostTetsuya, on 09 November 2015 - 09:35 PM, said:

Except for the part where those Macs that are selling so well dont even ship with Discrete GPUs - just Intel Integrated.  The only MacBook that has a discrete GPU is the top end 2500$ model - those aren't exactly flying off shelves - and the only iMac that has a Discrete GPU is either a BTO or the 5k iMac - and in all the cases that a Mac does ship with a discrete GPU - its woefully underspec for the monitor it is driving.  

THAT is why Overwatch isnt coming to OSX - it has nothing to do with Metal not being up to stuff - it has everything to do with more than 80% of the machines Apple ships not having even the tiniest amount of GPU muscle.

Ananadtech has shown that Intel has been dramatically improving its GPU wit each iteration, the argument of only being able to play games on a discreet GPU is disingenuous. I played and finished Shadow of Mordor on a late 2012 Mac mini which was more than capable of the job @1080p on low to med., settings.

Apple controls the whole widget every single chip in the pipeline and very single piece of code in the stack and can optimize for best performance without having to throw tons underused specs at a problem.
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#87 Tetsuya

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 08:37 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 10 November 2015 - 04:16 AM, said:


But Blizzards games have always been good at running on low end spec'ed machines, scaling easily,

And Overwatch is not one of them.  Its a fast-paced FPS and is actually quite graphically demanding.  People in the beta on mid-spec machines have been complaining about performance already.

View Posttcrown, on 10 November 2015 - 08:35 AM, said:



Ananadtech has shown that Intel has been dramatically improving its GPU wit each iteration,

Yeah, theyre all the way up to being as good as six year old low-end parts i can pick up for 45$

Quote

the argument of only being able to play games on a discreet GPU is disingenuous. I played and finished Shadow of Mordor on a late 2012 Mac mini which was more than capable of the job @1080p on low to med., settings.

People dont want to play games at low-med settings at 30fps or less.  I certainly dont.  

Quote

Apple controls the whole widget every single chip in the pipeline and very single piece of code in the stack and can optimize for best performance without having to throw tons underused specs at a problem.

Except they dont do that and never have.  OpenGL implementation has always been 2-4 years behind, with little to nothing optimized for gaming.  And your Mini was driving at 1080p - the iMac is 4k now running on Intel Integrated.  And the new Mini could never do that with its new gimp-tastic Core-M based CPU.

#88 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 10:33 AM

I think the best example if how truly un-far intel integrated graphics have come is that the HD 6100 that's in the 13" and 15" retina macbook pro's right now is roughly the same power wise as the 6770M in my late-2011 Macbook Pro. In terms of gaming my 4 year-old MBP is really no different than the current base 15" model.

The 6770M is a mid-range mobile graphics unit from 2011. It's not like it was a powerhouse for its day or something.
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#89 mattw

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 12:57 PM

I know it sucks when Apple change from a dedicated GPU to Intel graphics from our point of view as enthusiast gamers but I really can't see it being the main issue.

On the PC side Integrated graphics are just as commonplace and the trend is also towards more portable lower powered devices so the average specification for a GPU is not really improving.

You only have to look at the Steam Hardware survey to realise that even on the PC side not many folks have particularly gaming oriented hardware - a lot of course just use whatever happened to come in their machine and most are now portables that aren't easily upgraded (there are exceptions of course with "gaming" versions but these are a small subset).

If the issue is Metal being immature or OpenGL missing too many features the first at least should be solved eventually and if the game is still popular then we may just get a client, especially if Mac sales keep increasing.

There are of course still some smaller developers targeting PC/Mac as a primary platform but all the major ones seem to be console first most of the time. I'm not that surprised as the fixed hardware helps them and they can charge more for the software than would typically be possible on the PC.

Also it used to be easy to predict a steady generational improvement in hardware CPU and GPU on computers but these days there are improvements in some areas and not others with each generation and they are small steps.

The regular improvements are on the mobile side with phones and tablets where CPU and GPU performances keeps leaping forward.
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#90 nick68k

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 09:51 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 10 November 2015 - 10:33 AM, said:

I think the best example if how truly un-far intel integrated graphics have come is that the HD 6100 that's in the 13" and 15" retina macbook pro's right now is roughly the same power wise as the 6770M in my late-2011 Macbook Pro. In terms of gaming my 4 year-old MBP is really no different than the current base 15" model.

The 6770M is a mid-range mobile graphics unit from 2011. It's not like it was a powerhouse for its day or something.

I also moved from a 6770M (in a 2011 iMac) to an Iris Pro 6200. I agree with much of what you say.

A couple of points though; comparing like-for-like, a comparable GPU from 2011 would be a GMA 950, which truly was anaemic. So, we have progress, of sorts. I note that the textures displayed by the 6200 (in WoW, at least) are significantly sharper than those handled by the 6770M at comparable resolution, so that's an improvement. Also, previously CPU-limited games, such as the rebooted Tomb Raider and War in the North, show significant framerate increases on the Broadwell iMac c.f. my previous machine, and play very nicely. Of course the situation could be improved by a dedicated GPU, and I wish the machine had one, but it is quite useable without. It will, of course, struggle with contemporary AAA titles.
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#91 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 11:16 AM

View Postnick68k, on 11 November 2015 - 09:51 AM, said:

I also moved from a 6770M (in a 2011 iMac) to an Iris Pro 6200. I agree with much of what you say.

A couple of points though; comparing like-for-like, a comparable GPU from 2011 would be a GMA 950, which truly was anaemic. So, we have progress, of sorts. I note that the textures displayed by the 6200 (in WoW, at least) are significantly sharper than those handled by the 6770M at comparable resolution, so that's an improvement. Also, previously CPU-limited games, such as the rebooted Tomb Raider and War in the North, show significant framerate increases on the Broadwell iMac c.f. my previous machine, and play very nicely. Of course the situation could be improved by a dedicated GPU, and I wish the machine had one, but it is quite useable without. It will, of course, struggle with contemporary AAA titles.

The HD 6200 is definitely faster than the 6770M, whereas the HD 6100 is pretty much the exact same.

The biggest power discrepency is the 2012 15" Macbook Pro with its Nvidia 650M on the base model vs the HD 6100 in the base 2015 model. The 650M was a very good mobile GPU (for 2012) and as such the 2012 15" Macbook Pro's run circles around the base model 2015 models in gaming.
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#92 devSin

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 05:54 PM

As far as I know, the game works in Boot Camp on current Mac hardware, so the discussion seems moot.

I think it is what Blizzard says it is: OpenGL and/or Metal on OS X doesn't support what they want to do. Hopefully Metal is on the fast track for rapid improvement and Blizzard will be able to support it in future, but for now, I think anybody who meets the minimum requirements will be able to play the game under Windows (and be fully supported).

In the meantime, WoW, StarCraft II, and Heroes should still get Metal support soon enough, and I expect Diablo III will get it when the client moves to 64-bit in the next expansion.

#93 nick68k

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 06:52 PM

View PostdevSin, on 11 November 2015 - 05:54 PM, said:

As far as I know, the game works in Boot Camp on current Mac hardware, so the discussion seems moot.


I'm not up-to-date with Windows pricing these days, but you still need to purchase a licence to use it though? It was an expensive proposition in the past.
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#94 devSin

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 07:00 PM

View Postnick68k, on 11 November 2015 - 06:52 PM, said:

I'm not up-to-date with Windows pricing these days, but you still need to purchase a licence to use it though? It was an expensive proposition in the past.
You need to spend the $100 or whatever to purchase a copy of Windows, yes.

Obviously, it's not something you'd want to do just to play a single game, but it opens up a lot of options.

#95 Matt Diamond

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 08:51 PM

View PostdevSin, on 11 November 2015 - 07:00 PM, said:

You need to spend the $100 or whatever to purchase a copy of Windows, yes.

I got a Windows 7 key on eBay for $65 recently. You have to know how to avoid the dodgy ones of course, but deals can be had.

In my case I expect Windows gaming will add 1-2 years of usable life to my old Mac Pro, so well worth the expense. Particularly since Windows 7 & 8 can both be upgraded to 10 for free.
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#96 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 08:17 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 11 November 2015 - 08:51 PM, said:

I got a Windows 7 key on eBay for $65 recently. You have to know how to avoid the dodgy ones of course, but deals can be had.

In my case I expect Windows gaming will add 1-2 years of usable life to my old Mac Pro, so well worth the expense. Particularly since Windows 7 & 8 can both be upgraded to 10 for free.

My advice would be stick to Windows 7 like glue until you encounter a game you want to play that requires you to have Windows 10 presumably for the latest DirectX but that might not be an issue either unless your GPU in that system would support it. I say this primarily and preferences aside (I do like Win 7 better personally) for compatibility reasons. I recently boot camped Windows 10 and ran into a fair number of older games having issues or not working at all. In contrast, every one of them runs fine in Windows 7, even the oddball ones requiring various compatibility settings to XP SP3 usually or misc. community created fixes such as one I had to grab for widescreen support with Nvidia cards in some game I can't recall now even though I just installed it yesterday. In fairness this is because i installed a ton of games after deciding yet again to put Windows on the system after all.

Personally, I didn't care for Windows 10 much ultimately. Windows 7 is just as fast, has a simpler start menu and offers best compatibility for someone with a large game library that extends over many years. Time marches on and Microsoft does do a very good job on the compatibility front so I am not knocking them there really. You can't reasonably expect everything to work forever and they sure beat Apple on this score easily. When used as purely a gaming OS by a Mac user though, there really is not much to recommend Windows 10 unless your hardware can support the most recent Direct X that may require it at some point if not already. My GPU can't do beyond DX 11 anyway and I don't own any games that support anything beyond that for Windows nor do I intend to buy any where I am going Xbox for that stuff.

So I am in a similar boat where milking this system for all it is worth is the way to go and for that I think Windows 7 is too. I don't want their upgrade even for free and I have installed and used it to see for myself. Since the freebie is essentially an OEM license deal, there is no benefit to even registering it since it cannot be brought with you to any other system after this. In the future who knows but for now, you'd need to buy it after burning the Win7 or 8 upgrade options on any particular system.
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#97 Matt Diamond

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Posted 12 November 2015 - 05:27 PM

Thanks for the Win 7 advice. For now that's what I'm doing.
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#98 mattw

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 03:55 PM

Given the earlier mention of the current state of GPUs on Macs I though this article today was interesting:

http://hexus.net/bus...ghtly-q3-2015/?

They note "About 30 per cent of PCs sold came equipped with discrete graphics" and the this was up from the last quarter....
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#99 Frost

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Posted 16 November 2015 - 08:10 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 11 November 2015 - 08:51 PM, said:

In my case I expect Windows gaming will add 1-2 years of usable life to my old Mac Pro, so well worth the expense. Particularly since Windows 7 & 8 can both be upgraded to 10 for free.

But only for the first year after Windows 10's release (unless they changed that since I last read the fine print). 7 & 8 also will not be getting DX12, which is certainly worth considering if you have a DX12-compatible GPU in your Mac and you're booting into Windows to play games.

I regretted upgrading to Windows 10 at first as I was dealing with all kinds of irritating instabilities, but to Microsnot's credit they've actually nailed most of them down and fixed them over the past couple months. It's not quite Win 8.1 rock solid yet, but it's at least on par with my experience of 7 at this point.
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#100 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 07:53 AM

I use Windows 10 in Bootcamp/Parallels every day for my IT job doing fairly power user stuff and haven't had any issues. The free upgrade offer expires summer 2016 (forget exact date - but its 1 year after the original Windows 10 release as Frost pointed out).

Windows 10 just got its first "Service Pack" a few days ago. I wouldn't install it on client computers at work, but all of the IT staff are using Windows 10 and/or El Capitan.
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