So exactly which mac can run "ultra"

Mac Technical Support
03/22/2013 02:07 PMPosted by Dugnar
OS X OpenGL is faster than nVidia or AMD/ATI OpenGL on Windows (for example if you have a Windows 7 Bootcamp partition on your Mac you can test this by yourself using Unigine benchmark which is free), so Apple and nVidia or AMD/ATI OS X OpenGL implementation and drivers don't suck at all!


Okay let's say you're right. Not a driver or implementation issue. So then why am I still getting sucky frame rates on my machine? Mac Pro, 12GB RAM, running on an SSD, Radeon HD 5870 1GB video card. In Windows, on this machine, I get outstanding framerates in WoW. In OS X, I get noticeably worse performance, sometimes as much as half the fps.

Why? If it's not the drivers or the implementation, what is the problem, exactly?
03/23/2013 01:25 PMPosted by Hackeysack
OS X OpenGL is faster than nVidia or AMD/ATI OpenGL on Windows (for example if you have a Windows 7 Bootcamp partition on your Mac you can test this by yourself using Unigine benchmark which is free), so Apple and nVidia or AMD/ATI OS X OpenGL implementation and drivers don't suck at all!


Okay let's say you're right. Not a driver or implementation issue. So then why am I still getting sucky frame rates on my machine? Mac Pro, 12GB RAM, running on an SSD, Radeon HD 5870 1GB video card. In Windows, on this machine, I get outstanding framerates in WoW. In OS X, I get noticeably worse performance, sometimes as much as half the fps.

Why? If it's not the drivers or the implementation, what is the problem, exactly?


Yes something is off, probably the Mac client for Wow :(
Am I one of the few people here on the forums that plays WoW on a Mac mini?

I'm lucky to get 10fps in raids and 25fps everywhere else... on LOW settings.
Am I one of the few people here on the forums that plays WoW on a Mac mini?

I'm lucky to get 10fps in raids and 25fps everywhere else... on LOW settings.


Courageous, you are. XD The price you pay for integrated graphics.
after some final testing I've done, I've come to a unfortunate conclusion. Something is either wrong with OS X or WoW on OS X.

Hardware: 27" iMac 2012, 3tb Fusion drive, 32GB RAM, i7, 670MX 2GB, Maxed out.
on true "ultra" settings:
OS X: 28-35 FPS
Win 8: 50-60 FPS

on modified "ultra" settings (all ultra but view distance):
OS X: 40-60 FPS
Win 8: 60-80 FPS

guess i'll keep the boot camp side ready for my gaming needs.
you point your finger at wow, but let me show you something else

Windows nvidia drivers
314

Mac OS X drivers
304

Lets look at what OS X is missing now shall we.

306
Performance Boost – Increases performance for GeForce 400/500/600M Series GPUs in several PC games vs. GeForce 301.42 WHQL-certified drivers. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:


310
Performance Boost – Increases performance for GeForce 400/500/600 Series GPUs in several PC games vs. GeForce 306.97 WHQL drivers. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:


313
Performance Boost – Increases performance for GeForce 400/500/600 series GPUs in several PC games vs. GeForce 310.90 WHQL-certified drivers. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system configuration:


314.22
Performance Boost – Increases performance for GeForce 400/500/600 series GPUs in several PC games vs. GeForce 314.07 WHQL-certified drivers. Results will vary depending on your GPU and system


this doesn't include even any of the bugfixes. point being. we are not, one, not 2, not 3, but FOUR performance optimisations behind on 600 series nvidia chips.

10.8.4, updates nvidia drivers from 304 to 310, which will bring us 1 or 2 of them, but by time that goes GM, i'm sure there'll be something newer than 314 for windows.

This is even assuming you are on 10.8.3, if you are not, then you don't have 304 you have 295 (10.7.5)

Windows driver support has always been superior to OS X and it will always show. the gap is bigger the newer the mac, (ie 2012 mac) because the newer the GPU, the more important up to date drivers are. 1-2 years from now, when that gpu is as optimized as it's gonna get, you'll see the parody between windows and OS X close considerably on that hardware as the OS X driver will be caught up to the optimizations on that hardware and will be behind on optimizing the new stuff at that point.
Omegal, that's some really good information you included about the drivers that I haven't found anywhere else. Thanks!
Omegal, that's some really good information you included about the drivers that I haven't found anywhere else. Thanks!

i'm always looking at the state of windows drivers, and reading the change logs. i also keep an eye on how far behind os x drivers are. i make a point to know how much worse off we are in OS X. sometimes the performance difference between windows and OS X isn't this bad. but it's pretty bad on nvidia 600 series gpus right now (which is basically ALL 2012 macs) because the hardware is newer and nvidia's earlier drivers were just not optimized at the start. they have been optimizing the heck out of those gpus on windows but those changes are just not coming to OS X fast enough. OS X going from 295 to 304 was a huge leap. 304 to 310 may help more in 10.8.4, but we really just need to get up to 314 already. i wish we'd get faster drivers on os x.
Speaking of nVidia 600 series GPUs, look what was just announced:

http://www.evga.com/articles/00730/

EVGA GeForce 680 GTX Mac Edition. Interesting that this is coming out almost literally on the heels of the ATi Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition.

Maybe EVGA and Sapphire know something we don't regarding upcoming drivers for these cards in OS X?
i was not pointing my finger specifically at wow... my statement was "something is wrong with OSX OR WoW on OSX"

that is some impressive info. thanks for the insight. is there somewhere others can obtain that info publicly?
Maybe EVGA and Sapphire know something we don't regarding upcoming drivers for these cards in OS X

Probably

the 310 drivers in 10.8.4 actually even add support for titan. (granted, with no mac edition, the EFI won't support boot screen)
http://netkas.org

that said. i own a 680GTX and an ati 7950. the 680GTX performs poorly on a 3, 1 mac pro (2008), very poorly. about 15% poorer than a 5870 from 3 years ago in fact. the 7950 performs better than 5870 but BARELY and only in certain areas, while still worse than 5870 in others. (these results are inconsistent with 4,1 and 5,1 mac pros though which have better cpus that can overcome driver difficiencies and actually boost the 680 numbers considerbly over 7950 and 5870. kind of a weird thing i can't really explain as i'm no expert on driver coding, only that on older cpus, the nvidia drivers bottleneck, HARD)

reason being, 680 and 7950 are pretty new hardware and our drivers are not pretty new. meanwhile, the 5870 being out a good while is about as optimized as optimized can get. the state of drivers on these new mac cards though i think need some real love before the mac edition cards are worth their investment cost (UNLESS you do not have a 5870. if you're sporting a 8800 or a 4870, then you are best off with one of these new ones and getting some jump on performance now and more later when drivers evolve)
that is some impressive info. thanks for the insight. is there somewhere others can obtain that info publicly


Driver pages with a little searching, such as this
http://www.nvidia.com/object/notebook-win8-win7-winvista-64bit-310.90-whql-driver.html

and also knowing what OS X version is at by going to system/library/extensions/geforcegldriver
and choosing "get info" to see what version is at for ours. granted, not all optimisations windows get are ones that effect macs, or we may get some they don't cause the performance bug was mac only to begin with. in general though a lot of optimizations do go both ways as they improve and optimize their software code to control their newer hardware
The new iMac can do vanilla content at 60fps!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZCWSIC0zvI

^ Quicktime Player has really impressive video capture, too bad it doesn't also capture audio. I was able to record 1440p at 60fps without any problem, both in WoW and Trine 2. The built-in WoW recorder can only seem to handle 720p at 60fps or 1080 at 30fps. :/ (this is with the 3TB fusion drive)

Edit: then again, youtube only seems to play the video at 20-30fps anyway, so guess it doesn't really matter unless you're looking at the source video.
Am I one of the few people here on the forums that plays WoW on a Mac mini?

I'm lucky to get 10fps in raids and 25fps everywhere else... on LOW settings.


Which version of the Mac mini do you have? I used to play on an Early 2009 mac mini (Nvidia 9400M) and I found it ran MUCH faster (I'm talking nearly 100% fps improvement) if you disabled Full Screen Glow Effect (which is no longer offered as a checkbox in the gfx settings). You can disable it with "/console ffxglow 0", "/console ffxglow 1" to reenable.

I now have an Early 2011 MBP 15" (ATI 6750M 1GB), and ffxglow doesn't seem to make a performance difference on this GPU, but I'd be curious if there are still other macs out there (nvidia based perhaps) that see a significant gain with it shut off.
Just to echo the sentiments of the other posters here, granted this was a couple of years ago, but I had a Mac Pro 4,1 with a Radeon 5770, and I could run it max Ultra on Windows 7, but the mac wouldn't even run on "high" smoothly.

I do have to give Blizzard some credit though, I saw a MUCH better play experience with the advent of the 64bit client.

In my experience the two big performance killers on the mac are SSAO and Sunshafts. Disable them both, and you'll run a heck of a lot smoother.

I run with those off, water "good", shadows "good", view distance & objects high, spell effects ultra. This is on a Radeon 6750M 1GB hooked up to a 1920x1200 external monitor. I frame cap at 32fps just to keep fan noise down, but I don't see it go below that very often.

I haven't tried to run Windows natively on this machine, so I can't speak to Windows performance comparisons in this case.
In my experience the two big performance killers on the mac are SSAO and Sunshafts. Disable them both, and you'll run a heck of a lot smoother.

this depends on gpu, on a 5870 and above, on or off for those make 0 difference on performance. on 4000 or lower end 5000 series atis, they tank performance like 30fps each for some reason (and only in OS X). clearly a driver problem for those cards
the 680GTX performs poorly on a 3, 1 mac pro (2008), very poorly. about 15% poorer than a 5870 from 3 years ago in fact


I can confirm this on a MP 3,1. Just tried the EVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition and it tanked my performance. The recommended graphic settings were 2 notches lower in most cases(disabled, fair vs enabled, high w/5870).

In Bootcamp the game recommends all Ultra/High w/680 and did improve FPS by about 5 avg over the 5870, when in the exact same spot/settings. Unfortunately I was expecting more out of it.

Thx Omegal for the info
Am I one of the few people here on the forums that plays WoW on a Mac mini?

I'm lucky to get 10fps in raids and 25fps everywhere else... on LOW settings.


Mac Mini user here. 2.5GHz i5 with 8GB of RAM.

Only raiding I do is LFRs, which usually play just fine. Not currently in one, so I'm unsure of my fps in them.

I mostly do dailies, hunt for transmog gear, and of course, LFR. Normally I'm around 40-60ms and around 30fps.

Just out side of the shrine (Horde or Alliance, doesn't matter) my fps drops like a rock down under 10fps. Doesn't even need to be many people there either.

My settings:
resolution: 1920x1080
Play in windowed mode (aka not full screen)
Multisampling: 1x
Vertical Sync: Disabled
Graphics: Good
Shadows: Low
Liquid: Good
Sunshafts: Low
Partical Density: Good
SSAO: Disabled
Texture filtering: 4x Antisotropic
Projected Textures: Enabled
View Distance: Good
Enviroment Detail: High

I've been told that the view distance can cause a big fps loss for Mac. As well as liquid and shadows being set high.

I don't think I've ever bothered trying to do ultra settings.
http://www.barefeats.com/gpu680v4.html

Dunno how these tests would compare to WoW or how reputable these guys are in their testing, but the results seem to go along with what people have claimed when running either of the new Sapphire or EVGA cards in Mac Pros from 3,1 to 5,1.
I feel your pain OP, 2012 iMac, 32GB RAM, GTX 680MX, 512GB SSD, and I play on high. $3,000 machine and can't max out WoW, a little sad. Still love my Macs and OSX but it does get a little disappointing with graphics sometimes.

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