Apple Announces Metal for OS X El Capitan

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Apple today announced a boost to performance coming to users with OS X El Capitan in the form of Metal, previously available only for iOS. The company promises the inclusion of Apple's breakthrough graphics technology into El Capitan will boost system-wide performance and battery life while simultaneously allowing games and graphics-intensive apps to "tap into the full power" of Mac graphics processors.

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"OS X delivers unparalleled integration between Mac hardware, iOS devices, apps and online services, and has helped Mac sales outpace the PC industry every year for the last decade,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “Customers loved last year’s landmark OS X Yosemite release and made it the fastest-adopted PC operating system ever. With El Capitan, we’re further refining the Mac experience with enhancements to window management, Spotlight and built-in apps, and improving performance so everyday activities — from launching apps to accessing email — are faster and more responsive.”

Showcasing Epic's forthcoming game Fortnite, a few developers from the well-known game studio showcased how the graphics engine will be perfect for high performance games, combining the computing power of OpenCL and graphics power of OpenGL into new API that does both. With Metal, Apple machines will be able to accelerate Core Animation and Core Graphics, boosting system-level rendering by up to 50 percent, and efficiency by up to 40 percent. Specifically for higher-end games, however, Metal will take full advantage of a Mac's CPU and GPU, delivering "up to ten times faster draw cell performance," for a richer gaming experience.

Apple also noted that when working with Adobe, the developers were able to deliver up to an 8x improvement in rendering when using After Effects. Other than Epic and Adobe, companies like Blizzard, Feral, Foundry, Autodesk, and Aspyr were all mentioned in today's keynote as future adopters of Metal.

Top Rated Comments

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68 months ago
Wow! This is my personal highlight this year! Did Apple just kill DirectX?

Unreal Engine (Epic Games), Modo (The Foundry) and Adobe CC will be running on Metal, and that's just the beginning! Last year I posted a question what if Metal ran on OS X... and got mixed negative replies. This year it's real.

Think about it again: for some gamers like me, the only reason we still keep a Windows PC alive is because of games. Now, with the native Metal support and major game engine developers like Epic Games on board, Macs will soon turn into serious gaming machines, running beautiful games natively on the best OS, OS X!

Gamers won't be exclusively tied to Windows anymore! That's truly epic.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
I doubt Adobe would be in on it if it were useless
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago

Almost useless. With the slow integrated graphics cards most macs come with this isn't gonna do much.

I see it as a really big step. I'm sure someone smarter than me can explain it in detail, but adding metal to OSX is like making the graphic cards on the mac similar to the graphics card in an Xbox/Playstation. Because Apple controls the whole system they can get maximum performance and quality out of the dedicated graphics card.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago
Anything that boosts battery is fine with me.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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68 months ago

I doubt Adobe would be in on it if it were useless

Adobe is like a little whore, jumping back and forth trying to please MS and Apple at the same time.

First they told to be hugging Microsoft optimising Photoshop and Lightroom apps for Surface devices,
now they licking Apple's bare metal... ;)

It seems, they eager to optimize everything, except of their own Flash. ...Or at least making it more secure.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
68 months ago
by the way... this game looks pretty ******... like random iOS / WiiU games... not a good demo
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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