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OS X Graphics API's: OpenGL vs Metal vs Vulkan

OS X Metal API OpenGL Vulkan DirectX Performance

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#101 marksatt

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 03:37 PM

View Postltcommander.data, on 31 March 2016 - 10:27 AM, said:

https://www.unrealen...e-4-11-released

So UE 4.11 is now out with Metal for Mac out of beta and the default renderer as promised.

Interestingly there's a note about a commandline to activate experimental SM5 features. I wonder what that adds? Additional features already available in Metal that don't fit the union of OpenGL 4.1 and Metal featureset (since right now the OGL4.1 and Metal renderers offer feature parity) or is this access to new features beyond what Metal officially supports such as tessellation?

"Shader Model 5" is Microsoft's name for the feature-set defined by Direct3D 11. In UE4 enabling Metal's experimental Shader Model 5 support means using Compute shaders for various post-process effects and allowing texture-cube-arrays, obviously we can't support things like tessellation that Metal itself doesn't actually provide.

#102 ikir

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 05:01 PM

Can we hope Apple will implement tesselation in Metal?
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#103 jeannot

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 08:51 AM

That would be a shame if they don't. Metal can't afford to lack a mainstream feature forever.

#104 star-affinity

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 12:30 PM

View Postikir, on 08 April 2016 - 05:01 PM, said:

Can we hope Apple will implement tesselation in Metal?

Maybe there will be some new stuff revealed about Metal in the upcoming WWDC.

#105 star-affinity

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 04:14 AM

View Poststar-affinity, on 11 April 2016 - 12:30 PM, said:

Maybe there will be some new stuff revealed about Metal in the upcoming WWDC.

Yes! Tessellation is one of the new features added for Metal in macOS Sierra: http://www.anandtech...-macos-sierra/2

#106 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 10:23 AM

Metal tesselation was on one of the WWDC presentation slides, so even Apple seem to think it is 3. level important.
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#107 ikir

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 03:47 PM

View Poststar-affinity, on 16 June 2016 - 04:14 AM, said:



Yes! Tessellation is one of the new features added for Metal in macOS Sierra: http://www.anandtech...-macos-sierra/2

Great news indeed! Now gimme me some new Metal games!
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#108 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 04:13 PM

View Postikir, on 16 June 2016 - 03:47 PM, said:

Great news indeed! Now gimme me some new Metal games!

Angry Birds HD incoming!!!

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#109 mattw

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 10:01 AM

Although I'm still enjoying my back catalogue and some recent OS X releases like Life is Strange and the latest Nova Covert Ops Mission Pack I do keep reading about and watching videos of the F1 2016 game that is getting released on the PC and consoles later this month.

I'm guessing however there is basically zero chance of Metal in 10.12 Sierra with the limited improvements allowing this to be ported?

Obviously we missed out on F1 2015 because of the graphics API situation but I'm guessing my only options for the latest F1 game before the actual season is over are buying a console and yet another steering wheel for that or finding a way cramming another SSD in my Mac Pro and reluctantly buying and installing a copy of Windows along with the annoyance of dual booting?
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#110 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 01:35 PM

mattw, why add a new SSD? The other one(s) is (are) too full to add a Windows partition? Also, just in case, keep in mind that it's kind of a pain to install BootCamp on a drive which is in the optical bay rather than in the hard drive sleds.

#111 mattw

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 08:42 AM

Yeah my boot SSD is only 480GB and in bay 1 - the other 3 bays have mechanical disks 4TB, 3TB & 3TB all mostly full as well and I have another disk 6TB in the 2nd optical bay for time machine plus the optical drive.

Hence it looks like either buying a larger SSD, replacing 2 x 3TB with 1 x 6TB or adding a PCI card in the last free slot for another SSD. Trouble is costwise plus the windows lincece that is console kind of money for any of those routes so I'm not sure if that might be a better choice.
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#112 star-affinity

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:24 PM

Anyone here knows if there's any substance to this?
The person is arguing that Metal is nothing compared to DirectX 12 and Vulkan.

Metal is, on a basic level, on a bad foundation. It's based on OpenGLES 3.0. It doesn't have the API and might never because Apple doesn't care about gaming. That's why I say it isn't in the same ballpark. We're comparing a mobile graphics API to a desktop one.

https://forums.macru...6#post-24472414

#113 Janichsan

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:06 PM

View Poststar-affinity, on 06 April 2017 - 02:24 PM, said:

Anyone here knows if there's any substance to this?
The person is arguing that Metal is nothing compared to DirectX 12 and Vulkan.

Metal is, on a basic level, on a bad foundation. It's based on OpenGLES 3.0. It doesn't have the API and might never because Apple doesn't care about gaming. That's why I say it isn't in the same ballpark. We're comparing a mobile graphics API to a desktop one.

https://forums.macru...6#post-24472414
Well, that was true for Metal 1.0 on iOS, which in fact offered just the same functionality as OpenGL ES 3.0. Metal has gained a couple of new features since then - both under iOS and macOS -, but the gist is still true: Metal is first and foremost developed as mobile graphics API and not fully on par with Vulkan or DirectX 12.

That said, it's apparently capable enough to be used for Feral to use it to port modern PC games such as F1 2016, Total Warhammer, Deus Ex Mankind, and Hitman, which all are very graphics intensive games. However, whether it's good enough to take full advantage of modern GPUs' performance or whether Feral had to make many compromises while porting these games remains to be seen.

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#114 MrUNIMOG

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:56 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 06 April 2017 - 03:06 PM, said:

Well, that was true for Metal 1.0 on iOS, which in fact offered just the same functionality as OpenGL ES 3.0. Metal has gained a couple of new features since then - both under iOS and macOS -, but the gist is still true: Metal is first and foremost developed as mobile graphics API and not fully on par with Vulkan or DirectX 12.

Just because it initially offered the same functionality, doesn't mean Metal is actually based on OpenGL ES 3.0, does it?
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#115 Boland

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 07:46 PM

View PostMrUNIMOG, on 06 April 2017 - 03:56 PM, said:

Just because it initially offered the same functionality, doesn't mean Metal is actually based on OpenGL ES 3.0, does it?

Exactly.
The person doesn't have a clue what they're talking about.

Metal wasn't based on GL ES at all.

#116 Janichsan

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 01:37 AM

View PostMrUNIMOG, on 06 April 2017 - 03:56 PM, said:

Just because it initially offered the same functionality, doesn't mean Metal is actually based on OpenGL ES 3.0, does it?
Depends on how you define "being based on". Metal in so far based on OpenGL ES 3.0 as they took the latter as a blueprint to decide what the former should be able to do. As a result, the feature set of the first version of Metal was pretty much identical to OpenGL ES's.

On the other hand, Metal is in fact not based on OpenGL ES 3.0 in the strictest meaning of the word, as they share no code base and are technically quite different.

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#117 ikir

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Posted 10 April 2017 - 11:58 PM

10.12.4 finalized Metal
https://twitter.com/...026526172467201
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#118 jeannot

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:06 AM

I don't know if it's due to metal but the new edition of Dear Esther runs ~5 times better. It uses Unity 5, which should support Metal, but I can't tell if Metal is used. The older version uses Source. On a complexe scene (the wrecked cargo boat), I may hit 30 fps with Source and 150 fps with Unity. It's not a fair comparison though, since they are totally different engines. In particular, Source is limited to openGL 2.X.

#119 elowel

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 01:27 AM

View Postjeannot, on 14 April 2017 - 12:06 AM, said:

I don't know if it's due to metal but the new edition of Dear Esther runs ~5 times better. It uses Unity 5, which should support Metal, but I can't tell if Metal is used. The older version uses Source. On a complexe scene (the wrecked cargo boat), I may hit 30 fps with Source and 150 fps with Unity. It's not a fair comparison though, since they are totally different engines. In particular, Source is limited to openGL 2.X.

Inspecting the process with Activity Monitor seems to imply that it's using Metal, which I think might make it the first Unity release to be running Metal.

#120 jeannot

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 09:01 AM

I'm not sure it uses Metal, because it can show the Steam fps counter, which I heard doesn't work on Metal games.
I compared a few apps that use Metal and some that don't with activity monitor. There's not way I can find to differentiate the two types. All apparently use both the GL and MTL drivers. :huh:
With that said, yeah, I think the Unity version of Dear Esther is like 8 times faster (I estimate the boat scene to run at ~20 fps on Source). But that may just be due to a single rendering task that is done in Software in Source (open GL 2.X) vs in hardware un Unity.

If anyone knows a way to tell whether an app uses Metal, I'm all ears. I know Netkas proposed something, but the temporary "com.apple.metal/" folders that he mentions are also created by GL apps, so I'm lost.

EDIT: ioregistryexplorer can help. Apparently, Dear Esther uses openGL on my Mac (El Cap).





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: OS X, Metal, API, OpenGL, Vulkan, DirectX, Performance