While Mac is better suited for professional users than playing games, Apple's recent moves to boost Mac performance have also attracted much attention. Foreign well-known technology blog media Arstechnica recently analyzed the status quo of Mac gaming experience, about Mac platform game experience friends can read this article, but also publish your experience on the Mac platform game view. The full text follows:
Metal 2 and virtual reality
To make Metal the standard graphics Mac for API, Apple released Metal 2 at the 2017 WWDC conference. This year's WWDC Theme Conference, Apple Corp spent a lot of time to introduce Metal 2. In general, the changes brought about by Metal 2 are major performance enhancements, support for VR and external GPU.
Unity AR and VR development director Scott Flynn said, Unity and apple and Valve cooperation and optimization of Metal 2 to support the current Unity VR rendering path. "We are very pleased to be able to utilize new features of Metal 2, to obtain additional performance, proved that it can make the need to draw command in half." for VR. At present, the industry agreed that apple is still catching up with the opponent state in this field, and not in the leading position.
Sherlock says Aspyr is looking forward to the upcoming VR support, but "at the moment, it feels like apple cares more about VR than leadership VR development and technology."." He said he expected Mac to become a platform for VR products to be ported.
According to Apple's current announcement of information and technology, Mac VR may not be the cradle of innovation. So now the performance of 2 Metal were determined too early, if Apple VR support is not worth what write a great deal about Mac game developers, so because of this year's WWDC conference excited?
The answer lies in the hardware - Mac hardware seems to be about to usher in a revolutionary upgrade. A few years ago, you might find it hard to buy a game in the market, with a laptop that would make you satisfied with your life and portability. But now it is different, such as the Razer Blade notebook computer popularity in the game and game developers in the game player is very good, but the laptop battery life, thermal management and workmanship to make a compromise, apple MacBook Pro can be reluctant to make such a compromise.
In making compromises in these areas, apple usually chooses to sacrifice device game performance. Smith of Feral says Mac is not a game platform, it needs to provide service for different users. In order to meet the wide range of needs of different users, "this sacrifice is inevitable."
Here, in the big game hardware forum, there has been such a bold idea: if you can connect to the notebook, is it very cool outside GPU? This way, at least, allows users to make laptops almost as good at desktop games as they are at home. Although some computer secrets have been tried in this field, reality is always cruel. One reason is that there is no faster I/O, which is worth more people to try.
But now with Thunderbolt 3, this standard allows data to be transmitted at speeds up to 40 Gbps. Even if the transmission speed of 40 Gbps is only theoretical speed, many years ago, we could not think of such speed. Thunderbolt 3 and other modern interfaces make it possible for laptops to use external GPU, which is why developers and Mac players are excited at the WWDC conference.
When asked what effect Metal 2 would have on his work, Aspyr's Sherlock Jez skipped the discussion of software and talked directly about external GPU support. "We are very pleased to see that this technology can help extend the life of existing devices so that more people can play better games."." He pointed out that many people can not play 3A class games, because the hardware conditions are not supported.
In Feral, Smith was also pleased with the arrival of GPU because it enabled the device to be upgraded further and extended the life of the device.
Prolonging equipment life is a crucial factor in practice. Although the previous generation of consoles and Mac in the past few years can be used in good combination, but the development of the game console has been faster than Mac. SONY and Microsoft launched the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One a few years ago, and the latest release of MacBook Pro has narrowed the gap. But SONY has released a stronger PlayStation 4 Pro, Microsoft has also launched Xbox One X, two new console consoles will be active Mac graphics hardware seconds into slag.
Of course, consumers will not be so quick to buy all the latest consoles, especially these two console supports 4K standards, most people have not yet begun to adopt this standard. In addition, both Microsoft and SONY require developers to support PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in addition to supporting new PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. This downward compatible rule will help.
But within Mac, the comfort zone of independent GPU is smaller. With the support of external GPU, Mac users are able to keep their device graphics hardware up to the console. This is probably the best solution, but also the Mac game player's only hope, not to mention the new iMac Pro pricing is not any one consumer can afford.
The best way to predict the future is to create it
If we are talking about the viability of the long-term use of Mac in some applications, who can speak more than Jobs in this respect? Smith quoted earlier Jobs's question as to where our destination was, he said: "to tell you the truth, the future of Mac games is really unpredictable."
Although progress has been made, the problem remains. Cross platform multiplayer support is one of the problems: in many cases, Mac gamers are restricted to a small, walled community. Smith is such a description of the problem: most games use a deterministic engine, this engine according to the need of client processing to calculate some things, such as pathfinding, unit location, refresh and fighting monsters. There are differences in algorithms for different clients, and no matter how small these differences are, they can lead to overt differences in behavior and eventually become disjointed.
Therefore, it is not always possible to support multiple players on multiple operating systems and architectures.
In addition, although Apple launched Metal 2, but between Mac graphics API and Windows graphics API gap have become more and more risk. This is because a new API - Vulkan, which is currently in the Windows, Android and other platform more and more attractive. Compared to Direct3D, there are many the advantage of its performance, even though it will bring a lot of technical aspects of the problem. In addition by MoltenVK and three party means to support Vulkan in macOS still did not get support. Many are willing to accept our interview with the developers said, hope apple can increase its support for Vulkan, from the current apple so dedicated to Metal, they should have no extra energy to ignore.
"In an ideal situation, our game should be played on all Mac and iOS devices." "As far as Mac game hardware is concerned, we can say it's better than ever," Sherlock said. "We're hoping to continue that momentum."."
Apple Corp's products and features released today make Mac developers more optimistic, but despite these changes and improvements, no one knows how much progress and upgrades will be made later. When it comes to what happens next, Howard should be the most fantastic. "Who knows?"." "Maybe in 5 years flying cars and suspension skateboards can change everything," she said."
Yes, we are talking about the future of the Mac game - and for many people, there are many things that are not clear. It looks like Howard should be a metaphor, mainly to describe the changing nature of Apple's plans and game technologies, and the damaging changes that will come. But for Mac players, this response should resonate in different ways. We can imagine a completely different future, but this future still cannot be defined. But it will still be a very lovely future.