Mac OS X 10.6 requirements reveal OpenCL limitations

OpenCL, the open standard framework due to ship with Mac OS X 10.6, has been widely hyped as having the ability to squeeze performance out of often-dormant GPU chips, giving a satisfactory speed boost. Well, almost all GPUs. Seeming to have gone unnoticed in the flurry of news following Apple's WWDC event on Monday, the system requirements for Mac OS X 10.6 hold some interesting pieces of information.

Firstly, Snow Leopard officially requires double the RAM of its predecessor, at 1GB in contrast to 512MB. H.264 hardware acceleration, which QuickTime X will use to improve performance, only works on Macs with an NVIDIA 9400M graphics chip. For those that don't follow Apple, that's the new integrated chip that's been slowly working its way into Apple's product line. OpenCL, however, will not work on all Mac GPUs. The functionality is limited to the following:

  • NVIDIA Geforce 8600M GT, GeForce 8800 GT, GeForce 8800 GTS, Geforce 9400M, GeForce 9600M GT, GeForce GT 120, GeForce GT 130.
  • ATI Radeon 4850, Radeon 4870

And a final revelation that may shock some of you: 64-bit support requires a 64-bit processor.

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All this flak over something that just provides a behind-the-scenes speed improvement to those systems that support it. The experience is not going to be crippled if the hardware is lacking OpenCL support. As another note, sometimes Apple takes initiative when it comes to new standards. I'm not saying that this is always a good thing, but on occasion it does yield favorable results. FireWire is one example that comes to mind. It was probably much easier (and quicker) for Apple to go ahead and write the OpenCL standard than it would have been to try to get it incorporated into OpenGL. This is similar to systems supporting Intel Turbo Memory or some other performance-enhancing technology that doesn't affect the behavior or features of the OS other than its performance. This may change in the future, but from all the information that has been presented thus far, it appears to be this way with 10.6.

As to the comment about memory requirements, everything points to Snow Leopard being an improved, faster version of Leopard on supported hardware. I would therefore expect SL to deliver performance at or above the level of Leopard on equivalent hardware, except in cases where 64-bit precision requires more memory. In those cases I would expect SL's memory requirements to scale similarly to that of any other 64-bit OS, Windows included. In short, I wouldn't read into the memory requirements too much.

Now I don't expect anything I posted above to be given much consideration, since it appears that the average poster on Neowin is 13-years old. Nonetheless, my opinion is stated above.

sonyman said,
Now I don't expect anything I posted above to be given much consideration, since it appears that the average poster on Neowin is 13-years old. Nonetheless, my opinion is stated above.



Best comment ever. I'm glad to see somebody on here who isn't a ranting zealot, one way or the other.

+1

There's been A LOT of rage in the last few days. A lot of hate, too. The comment (all of it) is breath of fresh air in a sea of chaos.

And I thought Hybrid SLI was coming to Snow Leopard. That would have made the MBP an ultimate gaming computer! I guess Apple will not consider this, even though it's featured in Windows PCs.

JessicaD said,
Raid,

Windows 7 does offer so much to so many users and will be compatible with "older" hardware. To learn more about 7 and what it can do, head on over to Microsoft Springboard and take a test drive today.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd361745.aspx

Jessica
Microsoft Springboard / TechNet
v-jedeen@Microsoft.com

Did this make anyone else lol? Did the fanboy versus fanboy discussion just hit a new low in Neowin comments?

LOL at the pro M$ comment.

Windows 7 RC1 didn't even have drivers available for my five year old BenQ/Acer scanner & my six year old Epson Inkjet Printer. Windows XP SP3, however, had stock drivers for both devices.

All of this griping about OpenCL sounds just like the complaining that people were doing about CoreImage when it was first released.

nVida chips have GPGPU capabilities since GeForce 8xxx series.
AMD/ATi chips have GPGPU capabilities since HD 3000 I guess.
OpenCL needs GPGPU capable chips.

What's the big deal?

ALL DirectX10 capable graphics cards (with Stream Processors) have GPGPU support. Apple should really support OpenCL with the Radeon HD 2600's.

This is a horrible article, research should have been done first. The reason only these cards will work is because the other ones don't have the Hardware capabilities to utilize OpenCL...I don't see how this is something Apple could have changed?

The fact that some older cards don't have the capabilities of running Aero glass is something Microsoft can't change, yet people still slag them off for it. The only problem is Apple's latest and greatest OS won't function to its full potential on a large portion of their systems.

Regardless of how you dress it up, it is a poor decision by Apple to include technology that a large portion of their users can't even utilise.

Frank Fontaine said,
Regardless of how you dress it up, it is a poor decision by Apple to include technology that a large portion of their users can't even utilise.

So what's your alternative? Keep their new features in the oven until world+dog can use it?

Would you argue that Direct X 11 shouldn't be released until sometime in 2015 because people with an Nvidia 8-series can't make use of certain hardware accelerated shaders?

Should Windows only support 2 processors because most computers don't have 4 or more cores, or drop support for 3DNow! acceleration because most PCs don't have it?

Why does Apple always take forever to release graphics hardware that's been out for at least six months? They always tout it as being the newest and fastest GPU ever, but if you just browse through Newegg you can find graphics cards that are at least a whole generation newer. You'd think with only the Macs to support, they'd be quick with drivers. Plus they always charge a ridiculous amount for upgrades, and (I'm not sure about this) the only way to not void your warranty is to buy a "Mac edition" aftermarket card.

I say the same in Macrumours, for example for notebook the most powerful gpu available is the 9600m gt, while dell, Sony and many other manufacturer are selling 9800 gtx and higher.

Probably because hard-core gamers aren't their target market, and to offer the latest and greatest graphics card would eat into their profit margins. I don't say that as a dig at Apple, but it's the truth. Why would they offer the latest (and thereby more expensive) graphics chips if chips even a generation old are already more than enough for their users (as evidenced by the fact that people seem to be buying them without complaints of poor graphic performance)?

It'd be nice if they offered a greater variety, though, but they also seem to insist on writing the drivers for the graphics cards themselves. It gives them more control (and technically ensures greater quality control - or at least, ensures that any screwups with the driver are something on their end). I'd imagine that delays them a bit. And your remark about "with only Macs to support, they'd be quick with the drivers" makes no sense - we're talking about graphics chips. They don't make their own, and there are a number of models to support. In fact, if they're really writing the drivers with little to no help from ATI and nVidia, then they're supporting roughly double the graphics chips that either one of those two companies has to. (Technically under double, since they don't use every single graphics card model that those companies put out, but you get the idea.)

It is the fastest and Newest ever.... compared to other Mac's, small print dude, small print

Raikou Tch said,
They always tout it as being the newest and fastest GPU ever, but if you just browse through Newegg you can find graphics cards that are at least a whole generation newer.

In all seriousness, in answer to your question:

It's because Apple still hasn't managed to both engineer the high end cooling systems needed by MODERN GPUs AND keep their design aesthetic where they want. It's much easier for them to go with 1-2 years out-of-date tech that's already been die-shrunk, etc. -- chips can almost be passively cooled by then, etc. It's that simple.

I'm gonna stick with my Amiga 500 for now then. Screw upgrading my system just for an obsolete OS... Workbench 1.3 comes with a clock!

Rudy said,
You obviously have no idea what OpenCL is. OSX supports OpenGL already lol

It's basically for GPGPU processing, same as CUDA, same as Directx 11 will support etc. There's no reason why they couldn't have just supported implementation of it within the OpenGL standard akin to what directx 11 will be doing. I wasn't talking about support if it's supported by either of them I was intending that it would be more ideal to base on a more open and populated pre-existing platform API so there would be wider support. Who was I kidding though this is Apple they don't work that way.

Digix said,
It's basically for GPGPU processing, same as CUDA, same as Directx 11 will support etc. There's no reason why they couldn't have just supported implementation of it within the OpenGL standard akin to what directx 11 will be doing. I wasn't talking about support if it's supported by either of them I was intending that it would be more ideal to base on a more open and populated pre-existing platform API so there would be wider support. Who was I kidding though this is Apple they don't work that way.

Dang everyone here thinks its the same as CUDA. OPENCL IS NOT CUDA. OpenCL is a set of API functions that will use CUDA. Go read before you open your mouth.

PsykX said,
Wait... you have the choice between Windows 7, and Snow Leopard, and you're choosing Vista??

Haha. This actually made me LOL.

andrewbares said,
I'd choose Vista right now. It works better than any other OS I've tried. When Windows 7 comes out, he could upgrade then.

Have you used Mac OS X? If not, then you can't really have an opinion.

PureLegend said,
Have you used Mac OS X? If not, then you can't really have an opinion.

Don't be an ass. The topic is with OS X, and he's said he's tried many. God forbid someone actually having a preference though, right? Sheesh...

here its the irony, they claim that windows vista fails because of its hardware requirements and now they are doing the same thing...

OpenCL makes things faster but there's nothing else visible to the end user. Snow Leopard will work the same with or without OpenCL

eilegz - Why don't we actually talk about the issue rather than making this another Windows / OSX comparison or slanging match. I think there are enough of those going on here on Neowin right now.

Snow Leopard officially requires double the RAM of its predecessor, at 1GB in contrast to 512MB. H.264 hardware acceleration, which QuickTime X will use to improve performance, only works on Macs with an NVIDIA 9400M graphics chip

Still higher requirements its more like vista, older macs will get a gimped experience.

@eilegz : You're getting it wrong. The same Macs that ran Leopard will run Snow Leopard fine or better.
The video card limitations apply if you really want OpenCL to run. It doesn't mean Snow Leopard will run only on Macs with those cards... OpenCL is not mandatory either, but it's a great, great addition.

@andrewbares : You have just less than 500 posts and the only 10 posts I remember of you were those where you whined real bad about Apple especially in unnecessary spots where you're seriously misinformed. Either grow up, stop complaining or calm your nerves, or even then, post constructive comments.

I think what people don't realize is that it's OpenCL that doesn't support the devices. While Apple had a big part in the making of OpenCL, so did ATI an nvidia. If the hardware doesn't have all the features required for OpenCL there's nothing Apple can do about it.

It will be the same once OpenCL is released on Windows and Linux

Rudy said,
I think what people don't realize is that it's OpenCL that doesn't support the devices.

I think you mean "the devices don't support OpenCL". OpenCL is something that can change, the devices can't.

Rudy said,
I think what people don't realize is that it's OpenCL that doesn't support the devices. While Apple had a big part in the making of OpenCL, so did ATI an nvidia. If the hardware doesn't have all the features required for OpenCL there's nothing Apple can do about it.

It will be the same once OpenCL is released on Windows and Linux

In response the the several above replies (#10.1-#10.3). First, yes it is "OpenCL doesn't support the devices." Apple developed the standard but it was worked on by ATI, Nvidia and several other companies and it is managed by the khronos group (the same group that manages the OpenAL and OpenGL standards). A bit of wikipedia does you good http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenCL
And, its not at all what CUDA is. CUDA is NVidia only. CUDA is a set of access points in the drivers for running code. There is C for CUDA and now there will be OpenCL for CUDA. It is not apple's fault that AMD happens to not have computation drivers for its ATI cards. Go talk to them, stop flaming apple.

Somewhat disappointing that products not even a year old aren't supported in OpenCL! My iMac is about a year old now and runs the ATI 2600HD Pro graphics chip.. and it's not in that list! Thanks, Apple!

I was planning to buy a refurbished 2.8ghz iMac that Apple sells right now but when I heard that I changed my mind (I almost ordered it last week....thank god i didnt!!).

StevoFC said,
Yeah... Mine has the 2600hd too. :(

well when you buy from Apple who do take the risk like all computer manufacturers that your product will be replaced and discontinued. However PCs are supported for years to come.

thealexweb said,
well when you buy from Apple who do take the risk like all computer manufacturers that your product will be replaced and discontinued. However PCs are supported for years to come.


nice. they don't tell you that in the Mac commercials! PC = Better value, more secure, more power, etc.

andrewbares said,
nice. they don't tell you that in the Mac commercials! PC = Better value, more secure, more power, etc.

Most of the things you just said are true.

StevoFC said,
Yeah... Mine has the 2600hd too. :(

one of mine has 8800 gts not much expectation there and the other got 4 4850s 8 core i7 2 zion. I want to run 8 operating systems in parallel on that. Wish me luck.

I would recommend to stay with Leopard until at least 10.6.3 update. Anyone remember how buggy was Leopard when was released?

i upgraded to Leopard on day 1, dont remember any issues.

cabron said,
I would recommend to stay with Leopard until at least 10.6.3 update. Anyone remember how buggy was Leopard when was released?

Your X1600 might not have OpenCL support (yet, or not at all), but you'll still be able to install Snow Leopard. It is nearly impossible for Snow Leopard to be slower than Leopard, and I'm talking about every possible domain. The biggest slowdowns you may get is like 1%, 2%, while the biggest speed enhancements you will receive is like 200% or something.

And keep in mind that even without OpenCL, Snow Leopard still brings LOTS of speed enhancements and small yet interesting features that will make the OS more complete, finished, successful and convenient to use. Go to Apple's site to check it out. For 29$, it's a theft. I don't know why somebody would "stick to Leopard for a while"...

PsykX said,
Your X1600 might not have OpenCL support (yet, or not at all), but you'll still be able to install Snow Leopard. It is nearly impossible for Snow Leopard to be slower than Leopard, and I'm talking about every possible domain. The biggest slowdowns you may get is like 1%, 2%, while the biggest speed enhancements you will receive is like 200% or something.

And keep in mind that even without OpenCL, Snow Leopard still brings LOTS of speed enhancements and small yet interesting features that will make the OS more complete, finished, successful and convenient to use. Go to Apple's site to check it out. For 29$, it's a theft. I don't know why somebody would "stick to Leopard for a while"...

and all hail warship mr.Jobs

PsykX said,
Your X1600 might not have OpenCL support (yet, or not at all), but you'll still be able to install Snow Leopard. It is nearly impossible for Snow Leopard to be slower than Leopard, and I'm talking about every possible domain. The biggest slowdowns you may get is like 1%, 2%, while the biggest speed enhancements you will receive is like 200% or something.
And keep in mind that even without OpenCL, Snow Leopard still brings LOTS of speed enhancements and small yet interesting features that will make the OS more complete, finished, successful and convenient to use. Go to Apple's site to check it out. For 29$, it's a theft. I don't know why somebody would "stick to Leopard for a while"...

Where the hell did you get your performance stats from? Please back these up with a link because I suspect its not "you will receive is like 200% or something"....

Rudy said,
You still get Grand Central too Should help your dual core cpu

Grand Central is just a multithreaded task scheduler. Did OSX not have that before?

GreyWolfSC said,
Grand Central is just a multithreaded task scheduler.

No, it isn't. The kernel has almost nothing at all to do with Grand Central Dispatch—it isn't even mentioned in the Technology Brief—but I'm sure you knew that by studying the ADC white papers in depth before making your comment.

Architecturally, GCD has more in common with QuickTime than any kernel service.

Did OSX not have that before?

Yes, it did.

evn. said,
No, it isn't. The kernel has almost nothing at all to do with Grand Central Dispatch—it isn't even mentioned in the Technology Brief—but I'm sure you knew that by studying the ADC white papers in depth before making your comment.

Architecturally, GCD has more in common with QuickTime than any kernel service.


Yes, it did.

Sarcasm is not necessary. I am not a Mac user or fan. It was a question, and I find nothing that indicates Grand Central is more than what I asked. Everything I'm seeing indicates it's simply a multi-core, multi-threaded task scheduler.

It is simply a multithreaded scheduler.

Apple Grand Central Technology Brief
Grand Central Dispatch is a revolutionary, pervasive approach to multicore processing.
GCD shifts the responsibility for managing threads and their execution from applications
to the operating system.

I am not a Mac user or fan. It was a question, and I find nothing that indicates Grand Central is more than what I asked. Everything I'm seeing indicates it's simply a multi-core, multi-threaded task scheduler.

Just because you're honestly misinformed doesn't change the fact that you're wrong.

If I came here and started saying "WinFS is just Google Desktop Search" I'd be every bit as wrong as you are and rightly be called on my nonsense.

GreyWolfSC said,
It is simply a multithreaded scheduler.


You could have at least read the whole thing: the overview is what? 7 pages long.

Given that (as far as I know) the thing is still on ADC and blocked by NDA I'll point you to the bottom of Page 2 - last 3 paragraphs.

The kernel scheduler has as little to do with GCD as CoreImage does.

evn. said,
Just because you're honestly misinformed doesn't change the fact that you're wrong.

If I came here and started saying "WinFS is just Google Desktop Search" I'd be every bit as wrong as you are and rightly be called on my nonsense.


You could have at least read the whole thing: the overview is what? 7 pages long.

Given that (as far as I know) the thing is still on ADC and blocked by NDA I'll point you to the bottom of Page 2 - last 3 paragraphs.

The kernel scheduler has as little to do with GCD as CoreImage does.

I've had an ADC account for about 10 years. It's not under NDA, or at least the TB isn't. It's right here: http://images.apple.com/macosx/technology/...ef_20090608.pdf

Where the hell did you get your performance stats from?

I was just stating that the biggest performance boost you may get somewhere in the OS may be like 200%, that makes a lot of sense considering all the improvements they put, and considering the fact that they claimed 1.7x and 2.4x speed improvements in some places...

And they're working for about a year and a half on just improving the speed of the OS, hence that 2% decline in some parts of the OS.

It's just a figure to give you an idea that the OS will NOT be slower contrary to Hell-in-a-Handbasket said, do you really need a source for that? :-

GreyWolfSC said,
I've had an ADC account for about 10 years. It's not under NDA, or at least the TB isn't. It's right here:

Me too, but we're not talking about who's been a member longer but rather what the heck GCD is. Since you've provided the link (I normally read this stuff from the hard drive) here's the relevant quote:

GCD understands the entire system and automatically maps the blocks of work a you write to individual threads and cores as appropriate. It does this through a combination of the following:
    â€Â¢ Blocks, as extensions to C, C++, and Objective-C
    â€Â¢ An efficient, scalable runtime engine
    â€Â¢ A rich, low-level system API
    â€Â¢ A convenient, high-level Cocoa API
    â€Â¢ Sophisticated analysis and debugging tools

If GCD is a "multi threaded, multi core task scheduler" then so is Visual Studio.Net. It's clearly much more than the kernel scheduler and almost completely unrelated of it. I suppose if ULE made it into XNU (I don't have the kernel source to check) then maybe that portion would be covered by the GCD umbrella but it's still a tiny - and largely insignificant portion.

A much better analogy would have been Thread Building Blocks/Intel Performance Primitives coupled updated versions of things like Accelerate.framework and Instruments - but even then you'd see how grossly inaccurate your description was.

Unrelated.

was just stating that the biggest performance boost you may get somewhere in the OS may be like 200%, that makes a lot of sense considering all the improvements they put, and considering the fact that they claimed 1.7x and 2.4x speed improvements in some places.

Since the tech brief is posted - one example is the claim that using a GCD pool for setting up multithreaded tasks is 5000% faster than forking off to an NSTask.

If you have an application that does nothing but spawn threads all day that would be a huge performance improvement. Chances are nobody actually does that and thread management is a tiny portion of the overhead for most applications.

It's difficult to benchmark "real world performance" because my work load is going to be very different from yours.

cabron said,
I would recommend to stay with Leopard until at least 10.6.3 update. Anyone remember how buggy was Leopard when was released?

I do

GreyWolfSC said,


Sarcasm is not necessary. I am not a Mac user or fan. It was a question, and I find nothing that indicates Grand Central is more than what I asked. Everything I'm seeing indicates it's simply a multi-core, multi-threaded task scheduler.

It is simply a multithreaded scheduler.




Sounds like the Task Manager (with core affinity) that Windows has had since XP (in fact, since Windows 2000 Professional, as it was originally in place for SMP). In short, old technology. However, it took the replacement of hyperthreading with true multicore processors for everybody for it to truly become usable, even in Windows.

In short, pervasive but far from revolutionary. (And neither Apple *or* Microsoft can take the credit for the pervasiveness; that can be dropped at the door of Intel and AMD, for bringing multicore to the masses with entry-level Celeron Dual-Core and Turion.)

PsykX said,
The biggest slowdowns you may get is like 1%, 2%, while the biggest speed enhancements you will receive is like 200% or something.

90% of all statistics are made up. Don't throw percentages around when your only backup for it is because you think it is.

And keep in mind that even without OpenCL, Snow Leopard still brings LOTS of speed enhancements and small yet interesting features that will make the OS more complete, finished, successful and convenient to use.

Go to Apple's site to check it out.

As if Apple would say otherwise. It's called marketing. And Apple surely has a way with statistics and graphs.

cabron said,
I would recommend to stay with Leopard until at least 10.6.3 update. Anyone remember how buggy was Leopard when was released?

Ah you scared? That why god man invent back up and they got aspirin. Head aches are thing of the past. And we are so close to getting pot legalized. Oh my did i just say that. Now we going to see more kids stare at their shoe laces and not know how to tie it just laugh and laugh. I am going to upgrade as it comes out and let the bugs fly in my windshield. But I have a feeling that its going to be great. Because they are taking their time in developing it. And its just a betterment and 32 to 64 bit of an already great operating system. A very elegant cat. It purrs. Trust me its going to be great. It will make you faint. When you install it just have your girlfriend behind you so you dont hit the floor when you faint.

GreyWolfSC said,

Sarcasm is not necessary. I am not a Mac user or fan. It was a question, and I find nothing that indicates Grand Central is more than what I asked. Everything I'm seeing indicates it's simply a multi-core, multi-threaded task scheduler.

It is simply a multithreaded scheduler.


I think your right on in your comment grand central looks like a boss that devides workloads and schedules tasks for cpus to be more efficient and responsive. And I guess is a more souped up version. It be nice to see it work on a zion 8 core. Will see how it will help me run windows 7, Leopard fedora ubantu xp vista lindows and susy at the same time one on each of me 8 30 inch monitors. I cant wait.

roblife said,

I think your right on in your comment grand central looks like a boss that devides workloads and schedules tasks for cpus to be more efficient and responsive. And I guess is a more souped up version. It be nice to see it work on a zion 8 core. Will see how it will help me run windows 7, Leopard fedora ubantu xp vista lindows and susy at the same time one on each of me 8 30 inch monitors. I cant wait.

Did anyone just lol at this comment when they saw ubantu? I hope you have a dictionary open on one of those... preferably somewhere to the side of your e-peen so you can actually see it.

Might have mixed it up where Apple said Windows NT is an old technology (16 years), but failed to mention that Unix (which OS X is based off of) is 40 years old.

Hardware acceleration of video in Windows is limited to the Geforce 8 series hardware and up. Though OpenCL probably requires specific implementation in mind.

dagamer34 said,
Hardware acceleration of video in Windows is limited to the Geforce 8 series hardware and up. Though OpenCL probably requires specific implementation in mind.

Wrong, the Windows hardware accelerated desktop (Aero) can be used on any video card that supports DirectX9.0 and Shader Model 2.0. This includes cards as old as the GeForce FX5200.

If you're talking about hardware accelerated video decoding, that's been around for even longer.

Hardware acceleration for video in Windows has been around for a long time, pre-6 series Geforce, and the older ATI cards. Almost every card you buy anymore has some sort of video acceleration (hardware assisted at any rate). Just depends on what decoders you're using. x264 Hardware acceleration started in the 7 series cards (from memory anyway, and I believe on the higher-end GT/GTX cards, not sure about the lower-end).

I think he's talking about bitstream decoding, which can only be done on GF8 and newer. GF6 and 7 do not support this.

bb10 said,
I think he's talking about bitstream decoding, which can only be done on GF8 and newer. GF6 and 7 do not support this.

No, PureVideo has worked with Nvidia chips since the 6000 series.

bb10 said,
Yes, Purevideo does not equal bitstream decoding. ;)

Try again. That's precisely what it is and what it is for. The API for off-host bitstream decoding was added to DirectX in Windows 2000 and many codecs have taken advantage of it.

StarLion said,
Wrong, the Windows hardware accelerated desktop (Aero) can be used on any video card that supports DirectX9.0 and Shader Model 2.0. This includes cards as old as the GeForce FX5200.

If you're talking about hardware accelerated video decoding, that's been around for even longer.


Desktop-based hardware acceleration at the operating-system level in Windows Vista required nothing more than supporting DX 9 and SM 2.0. nVidia's FX series and newer and every ATI/AMD GPU since R300 (Radeon 9700 and 9800) as well as even Intel's GMA x3100, supports that. Did the requirements increase with Windows 7? Absolutely not. The nVidia and AMD parts go all the way back (on the Mac side) to 2004 (in short, pre-dating the Intel Switch); for PCs, go back to 2003.

X.264 acceleration? Also quite old (nVidia 7 series and AMD X1K series, respectively, in 2005).

GreyWolfSC said,
Try again. That's precisely what it is and what it is for. The API for off-host bitstream decoding was added to DirectX in Windows 2000 and many codecs have taken advantage of it.

That's nice, but without capable hardware you'll get nothing. Bitstream decoding was introduced on the GF8 GPU. Now you try again.

So the hardware acceleration is limited to older hardware?... why does it seem like Apple is always behind in hardware, yet they claim windows is behind.....

neufuse said,
So the hardware acceleration is limited to older hardware?... why does it seem like Apple is always behind in hardware, yet they claim windows is behind.....

What, MS isn't a PC manufacturer? Or what are you comparing their hardware claims with?

other then the Xbox and Zune, what Hardware does MS assemble ? ( i think the MS Table is an HP running Vista with special Software)

neufuse said,
So the hardware acceleration is limited to older hardware?... why does it seem like Apple is always behind in hardware, yet they claim windows is behind.....

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
other then the Xbox and Zune, what Hardware does MS assemble ? ( i think the MS Table is an HP running Vista with special Software)

Mouse and keyboards

I think neufuse is talking about how Windows 7 runs better than Vista on older hardware, yet OSX doubles the requirements for RAM and OpenCL will not work on a WIDE range of Apple computers.

RAID 0 said,
I think neufuse is talking about how Windows 7 runs better than Vista on older hardware, yet OSX doubles the requirements for RAM and OpenCL will not work on a WIDE range of Apple computers.

I'm not sure how that makes Apple "behind in hardware" though.. Odd way of formulating that, in that case. I rather think it was about bashing Apple for their kind of marketing and belittling Windows, and not caring much for what he wrote.

Also, "doubling RAM" sounds a bit harsh when it's only about a requirements increase by 512 MB to a gig.

Jugalator said,
I'm not sure how that makes Apple "behind in hardware" though.. Odd way of formulating that, in that case. I rather think it was about bashing Apple for their kind of marketing and belittling Windows, and not caring much for what he wrote.

Also, "doubling RAM" sounds a bit harsh when it's only about a requirements increase by 512 MB to a gig. :D

The 9400M "slowly working its way into Apple's product line" is behind in hardware. Windows PCs are already using the latest Nvidia chips like the 2xx series. They, (and lots of Mac fans,) touted OpenCL as a "great thing" that Windows didn't have. Not only does Windows have GPU processing abilities with PhysX and CUDA, it looks like it won't be all that useful for many Mac owners.

You guys should calm down a little and read between the lines. Obviously the OP meant "windows based pc's" rather then "windows" the o/s. Give the poor guy a break.
+1 for GreyWorlSC

GreyWolfSC said,

The 9400M "slowly working its way into Apple's product line" is behind in hardware. Windows PCs are already using the latest Nvidia chips like the 2xx series. They, (and lots of Mac fans,) touted OpenCL as a "great thing" that Windows didn't have. Not only does Windows have GPU processing abilities with PhysX and CUDA, it looks like it won't be all that useful for many Mac owners.

CUDA is also available on OS X. The CUDA SDK has been available for download on it for some time. As to what takes advantage of it, so far, I am unaware.

NeoTrunks said,

CUDA is also available on OS X. The CUDA SDK has been available for download on it for some time. As to what takes advantage of it, so far, I am unaware.

Understood. I wasn't aware of that. The issue is the same as with OpenCL though: what Mac models will be able to use it?

CUDA 1.0 supports the following NVIDIA GPUs. The compute capability version is indicated in brackets.

* Tesla C870 (1.0)
* Tesla D870 (1.0)
* Tesla S870 (1.0)
* Quadro FX 4600 (1.0)
* Quadro FX 5600 (1.0)
* GeForce 8800 (1.0)
* GeForce 8500 (1.1)
* GeForce 8600 (1.1)
* GeForce 8600M (1.1)
* GeForce 8400M (1.1)


(snipped)

to the others that do care, I meant OSX supporting older hardware and and windows supporting newer hardware out of box... Apple makes it hard to talk about OSX by its makers name when the maker is also a Hardware vendor themselves... was completly talking about software in this case and the support of hardware in the OS

GreyWolfSC said,
Understood. I wasn't aware of that. The issue is the same as with OpenCL though: what Mac models will be able to use it?


Not sure, to be honest. With those models, all I can think of is a few models of the Mac Pro and the last revision of MacBook Pros (the non-unibody models). Hopefully, that's changed by now, as CUDA is now at 2.2.

Rudy said,
Mouse and keyboards ;)


Mice, keyboards, webcams, gaming devices, and audio players.

Never mind that the first three are OS-neutral, and the last two are largely OS-irrelevant.

Also, here's a shocker - not only is Snow Leopard 64-bit only (which I pointed out in an earlier post on a related topic), it actually requires the same amount of RAM as Windows 7 64-bit (the stated RAM requirement for 64-bit Windows 7 is 1 GB). In that same earlier post, I pointed out that the earliest of the Intel-based Mac minis are incapable of running Snow Leopard, since their processors are merely Core Duos; which means that not only can some Intel Macs "not" be capable of running Snow Leopard, they are quite capable of running Windows 7 (albeit the 32-bit version).

Oooops.

Jugalator said,
Also, "doubling RAM" sounds a bit harsh when it's only about a requirements increase by 512 MB to a gig. :D

Well technically speaking, it requires double the amount

All I get from this is that indeed OpenCL has been overhyped when it's got such limits. GPU acceleration is nice, and MS jumped on it with Vista. But the advantage for MS is that they go with DX, and any DX9 card and up takes advantage of it for the desktop. That, as everyone knows, is a boat load of older and newer cards.

Surely any rational mind would understand what neufuse's comment is related to. You guys are really choking over semantics, here. Some seem to have a thick skull, so let me spell it out to you: Apple claims to be cutting edge in the PC market, yet any tech savvy person can clearly identify that they lag behind and are over priced.

Rudy said,
Mouse and keyboards ;)

Ad cameras and finger readers I use the third finger for finger print. Ah and dont forget the one for the new world order. THe gps device for are you ready for this. Its street maps the cover story. They also have the so called surface. But i dont know if it will ever reach the market. And the track balls. Not popular. And the famous flight simulator joy stick.

NeoTrunks said,

CUDA is also available on OS X. The CUDA SDK has been available for download on it for some time. As to what takes advantage of it, so far, I am unaware.

Apple is always going to be behind in the hardware cuz the company actually gives a shiat about you and tests hardware software compatibility before dumping crap that dont work on anelsint users to install on anything that just been rushed out the door so you can have bashers in forums like this one for being behind and the other for crashes. I guess some people can never be pleased.

PGHammer said,
Mice, keyboards, webcams, gaming devices, and audio players.

Never mind that the first three are OS-neutral, and the last two are largely OS-irrelevant.

Also, here's a shocker - not only is Snow Leopard 64-bit only (which I pointed out in an earlier post on a related topic), it actually requires the same amount of RAM as Windows 7 64-bit (the stated RAM requirement for 64-bit Windows 7 is 1 GB). In that same earlier post, I pointed out that the earliest of the Intel-based Mac minis are incapable of running Snow Leopard, since their processors are merely Core Duos; which means that not only can some Intel Macs "not" be capable of running Snow Leopard, they are quite capable of running Windows 7 (albeit the 32-bit version).

And windows 7 is also compatible with the dos 1 meg limit and that is a good thing why? Like you cant afford 2 gigs of stick or even 8 and make it 8 gig. and blow minimums. Since when in 2009 we care about minimums. All we users look at now is max. Can I load 500,000 tera of ram and 500,000 2 gig westerns in there and 80,000 gpus and 80 80 core intel cpus. If that is true i'm happy. And let me run the evolution model on planets and see how et evolved. Hoohahahah. Minimums such waist to even tell me when software is so trying to catch up with hardware now. So many sloppy programers and we dont even use all cores yet. Gpus used as cpus what. Can i use hard drives as memory than or memory as hard drives. And screens as cameras. Kidding about the last. Blow the limit. Lets have a small foot print operating system with big things to handle and do. And as far as windows and apple why not use both. Like spoon and fork. Each has its use. Enjoy your meal. Said the godfather. Moohahahah.

Oooops.


roblife said,

Apple is always going to be behind in the hardware cuz the company actually gives a shiat about you and tests hardware software compatibility before dumping crap that dont work on anelsint users to install on anything that just been rushed out the door so you can have bashers in forums like this one for being behind and the other for crashes. I guess some people can never be pleased.

Yeah, those issues with the Nvidia CPUs (going back to the 8600) or the ATI 4870 in iMacs never had any issues. go look them up. I wish I could be drinking the kool aid, maybe then I would think anything Apple does is flawless too.

I think it's hilarious that Apple is doing everything that they accused MS with Windows, in terms of HW reqs, but now it's somehow OK, because Apple says so.

GP007 said,
All I get from this is that indeed OpenCL has been overhyped when it's got such limits. GPU acceleration is nice, and MS jumped on it with Vista. But the advantage for MS is that they go with DX, and any DX9 card and up takes advantage of it for the desktop. That, as everyone knows, is a boat load of older and newer cards.

We are not talking about graphics acceleration. The OS X desktop has been graphics accelerated for a long time. OpenCL and CUDA are about using the computational power of a GPU and applying it to processes that aren't necessarily graphics oriented. For example, using a GPU to perform the calculations necessary to map a genome. It has nothing to do with DirectX.

NeoTrunks said,
We are not talking about graphics acceleration. The OS X desktop has been graphics accelerated for a long time. OpenCL and CUDA are about using the computational power of a GPU and applying it to processes that aren't necessarily graphics oriented. For example, using a GPU to perform the calculations necessary to map a genome. It has nothing to do with DirectX.


No...

The OS X desktop IS NOT ACCELERATED...

People seem to easily confuse a 3D composer doing the final rendering of the desktop image as 'acceleration', and it is NOT...

Most of the GUI calls on OS X are not accelerated at all with the exception of a few SSE tricks.

Apple has tried to accelerated GUI API calls several times, by trying to enhance legacy application drawing through the 2D or 3D GPU and has even introduced SEVERAL drawing library APIs that were accelerated and either failed or couldn't perform well on the lower end GPUs in Macs, so developers did not use them.


As for the composer that DOES USE the 3D GPU, it basically only uses the GPU to create a surface and hold a few textures (bitmaps of the applications) and combine them, do a double buffer write and display it on the screen.

- Which even in 'composer' technology is really poor as the OS X composer creates inherent latency and increased RAM usage by the way it process the bitmaps and transfers this to the GPU and then writes to the screen. (Even OpenGL composers on Linux do a better job, and in theory they have more overhead to deal with.)


In contrast Vista does offer desktop 3D acceleration, from native .NET WPF/XAML being fully accelerated to many GDI/GDI+ APIs accelerated through the 3D GPU, and even up to little things like all font rendering and even bitmap processing is handed over to the GPU (even JPEG decompression for an old application gets a speed bump as the GPU accelerates this instead of using the CPU.)


Apple is hitting a wall that they themselves created with OS X, and this year people are going to notice.

Apple also screwed themselves with their low end GPUs being slapped into shiny computers, and now not being able to support THEIR OWN HARDWARE that is STILL BEING SOLD.

Ironically Apple made fun of Vista for needing more RAM, yet Leopard has the same RAM thirst and Mac users didn't blink an eye.

Then Apple made fun of Vista for requiring a 2003 or newer DX9 card to 'get' the AERO glass effects and now Apple is requiring even NEWER video cards for their 'OpenCL' 'crap'... Sad.

Even more amuzing is that OpenCL doesn't even catch up to DX10 in many areas and also doesn't touch DX11, let alone CUDA or PhyX technologies.

And Yes DX10 and DX11 already have a full set of GPU libraries for non-visual calculations like physics. (XBox developers can explain this to you, as they use the GPU in the XBox for OpenCL type abilities and have been since 2005. DX10 is based on the XBox 360 and DX11 fully supports the DX technology used on the XBox 360. (DX10 would have, but NVidia wouldn't go for it as their 8xxx generation would not have been DX10 compliant.)



The thing here is Apple can't come out swing a big bat at Vista for over 3 years now, and then do the SAME things with OS X and even do them on a scale that makes the Architecture changes Vista require look like a pimple on OS X's requirement's ass.


People notice this crap, and go, wtf...


People are also noticing the shortfalls of the OS X architecture, especially as multi-GPU and pre-emptive GPU scheduling becomes a must by having many 3D applications running on screen at the same time, something OS X doesn't inherently handle, and OpenCL will make even worse as you will have non-game applications running and 'trying' to use the GPU in more places. Ouch... GPU Scheduler bottleneck nightmare to come...

(Ironically, Vista can do this, as it pre-emptively handles the GPU scheduling and doesn't use application or cooperative GPU thread multi-tasking like OS X does.)

See, Vista 'technology' does, and was designed around the future hardware that is still being made, it doesn't have to play catch up to the hardware.


The Vista 'technology' that Apple wants to make fun of is one small reason many Hybrid GPU designs work only on Vista, and also work without the user even noticing, as there is not even an extra screen redraw when flipping GPUs or GPU modes. In contrast, the NVidia 9400 Hybrid that OS X users, requires the users to log off, as the GUI has to be rebooted to the new driver and GPU just to flip 'modes'.


Apple's reality spin is coming around to hurt them, and sadly, I do not feel sorry for them anymore.

Thanks thenetavenger. It seems lots of people just think DirectX is only for games, and forget that "DirectX" is many things, and not just Direct3D, the part used mostly for games.

The hardware acceleration sucks a bit, but it's not really unexpected due to the (lacking) performance of the former chips.

Otherwise, I think 1 GB RAM is well worth the advantages.