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Member Since 08 Feb 2017
Offline Last Active Jul 02 2018 05:04 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Answer questions for the Feral newsletter!

23 May 2018 - 04:57 AM

View PostEllieFeral, on 23 May 2018 - 04:38 AM, said:

New question!

What's your favourite series/franchise of games, and why?

The Borderlands Series!
Love the humor, love the story, love the art style, love the gameplay.
And love the fact that all titles have native Mac versions.

Runner-up: The BioShock Series.

In Topic: Some Performance observations re: Fortnite Battle Royale in macOS and Win10

14 April 2018 - 02:25 PM

View Postmarksatt, on 16 January 2018 - 09:22 PM, said:

I'm focused on keeping Metal support in UE4 moving forward with the rest of UE4 (it's a big team, so it keeps changing a lot!) so optimisation of the games is handled by others. As such there may well be more going on, but below I've summarised the obvious things that come to mind. I'll also note that we pay a penalty of 10-20% just for running on macOS/Metal rather than Windows/D3D11 which is often the difference between one resolution or quality level and another.

The lack of VRAM on that GPU is really going to hurt on macOS, we use more VRAM on macOS so we'll be paging a lot more between CPU & GPU which is bad. That's a necessary evil to avoid other inefficiencies caused by trying to map a D3D11-oriented engine on to the Metal API.

Behind the loading screen on macOS it will be doing a heck of a lot more shader compilation than it has to under Windows and unfortunately that is currently a highly serial single-threaded process.

The varying frame-rate will stabilise somewhat if you play on the same build for long enough as the local shader cache builds up entries. The price is longer load times of course. Metal (like both D3D12 & Vulkan) exposes the developer to the reality of how shaders are actually compiled for GPUs and expects developers to optimise around this. Unfortunately most engines are built on the abstraction provided by D3D11 which inherited the D3D9 model of separate shaders with near-zero runtime compilation cost, achieved by the driver vendors investing the man-hour equivalent of tens of millions of dollars to aggressively optimise their runtime shader compilers and make their D3D-driver fully asynchronous (so games don't block when calling D3D) via substantial multi-threading. Often they optimised their shader compilers to generate code that is *trivial* to patch when render-state (like render-target or texture-formats) change or even outright replace the games shaders with their own "specially optimised" version. The new APIs force/encourage driver vendors to optimise their shader compilers to generate "perfect" GPU shader code, even if it makes shader compilation much slower as that is now the game developers problem and not directly the vendors. That is not to say the vendors don't care - merely that the APIs send you down a particular implementation route.

Another cause of fluctuating frame-rates is that D3D11's GPU resource management is also heavily abstracted away from the developer with the vendor able to do a lot of under-the-hood optimisations as they control the implementation. Metal puts that all on the game developer a bit more like Vulkan (though the API & semantics are quite different) and right now we aren't as efficient at allocating resources as D3D which can cause hitches on the CPU.

That'll be shader compilation or resource allocation which is more expensive on Metal than D3D. If the game plays well in-game on macOS then really that's the important part.

Well, yep, that'll be the engine recompiling all the shaders & shader-pipelines ;)

Interesting read, thanks for sharing those insights!

I've noticed with my MBP's Iris Plus 650, Fortnite in general achieves pretty decent frame rates (mostly between 40 and 70 FPS) under macOS, except for severe frame drops every few minutes, which others seem to have also experienced on Macs with Intel GPUs.

Is there something specific to Intel's GPU architecture that might cause this, or could it be a driver issue?

In Topic: Feral's upcoming project?

09 April 2018 - 10:41 AM

View PostMr Pink, on 09 April 2018 - 08:17 AM, said:

Feral announced, 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' for macOS will be released on April 12 on Steam.

System requirements:
  • macOS 10.13.4
  • 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • 2GB Nvidia 680MX, 2GB AMD Radeon R9 290M, 1.5GB Intel Iris 540 graphics card or better
Feral shows the exact list of supported Macs on their site.

Thanks Feral, for supporting Macs with nVidia cards, even dating back to 2012. I had given up hope...
I hope this will come to the Mac App Store too.

That's great news really, much appreciated!
Would love if they'd find a way to make Deus Ex: Mankind Divided run on Nvidia GPUs too.

In Topic: Aspyr's upcoming projects

01 March 2018 - 03:39 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 28 February 2018 - 04:21 PM, said:

Nice to hear. Based on the still high popularity of these games, I would assume Civ V and possibly Borderlands 2 (and in extension BL: TPS) are among the more likely candidates for 64 bitification.
I was surprised that Borderlands 2 + Pre-Sequel and BioShock Infinite even are 32bit, as those seem like fairly recent games to me (I know, 2012 is over 5 years ago, but still).
I agree that they're probably among the most likely candidates.

In Topic: Vulkan Officially Released - No Mac Support

28 February 2018 - 10:34 AM

View PostSpike, on 28 February 2018 - 10:33 AM, said:

So DOTA 2 (and more coming) is not a AAA game?
Dota? Not really I guess.