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Metal capable GPU's

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Hi,
Forgive me if I have missed a discussion on this, but when I search for Metal or related on the Forum, I don't find much.
And what I did find was not very useful.

There are two issues here, the first is for Mac owners, the second is about what one of the biggest companies in the world (Apple) is aiming to do about graphics technology, and how it affects end users.
See here:
Apple (re)looking at Gaming

Bottom Line for Mac Owners: if you have a Mac (Mac Pro, Mac Book etc etc) and want to upgrade it, then you will lkely be loking at updating the OSx as well as some components.
As the following link explains, if you want to update anything newer than a Mac Pro 2010 and upwards past High Sierra, you need a GPU that is Metal capable.
Install macOS 10.14 Mojave on Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012)

I'm not sure if this applies to all Macs after 2012, but I'd suspect so.

So I think Mac owners fall into four categories:
(1) Cannot upgrade past High Sierra for various reasons (perhaps cannot change existing GPU etc etc)
(2) Can upgrade by selecting a suitable GPU (and following instructions....:0}
(3) Can already run > High Siera (due to using a GPU that is Metal Capable) but if they change GPU's to a non-Metal capable one (for whatever reason) lose that capability
(I know of at least one case where that happened, and am sure there are more)
(4) Cannot upgrade their GPU (as for most/all of the newer MacBooks)

And with the continuing developments in Metal, it seems to me that a site like TPU that aims to keep people informed, should perhaps do more to....inform them....:-}

As in, why isn't there a note in the TPU GPU archive about a GPU being Metal capable or not?
And what about more Reviews about gaming on Apples?
And about games that are Metal related?

I'm not trying to say anything here about the relative merits of Metal, CUDA, OpenCL/GL, Vulkan etc.
Or about the pro's and con's of an Apple machine.
But I think there needs to be better information so people can understand the issues.

There seems to be bit of a vacuum wrt Apple OSx/hardware on the TPU Forum, at least in some aspects.
Sure, an Apple/Mac is not an ideal machine for gaming, but then that's not why people buy them.
And it seems a bit short-sighted to try to ignore a group of computer owners that's as big as Apple has now.

On a side note, people tend to misunderstand Windows/OSx user numbers.
Sure, there are a LOT of Windows machines, with all Windows at maybe 1 billlion users, and Windows 10 at 400 milion.
And Apple has 100 million active Mac users.

Big difference?
Well, yes....and no.

Bear in mind, a very large fraction of the Windows PC's are VERY basic.
And nothing you can run any really fancy games on.

Whilst even an 8 year old MacBook is STILL seen as a useful machine, and sells for up to 50% of its original MSRP.
And Apple is selling $25 BILLION of Mac's a year now, with laptop MacBooks making up 80% of that.

With respect to knowledge of MEtal, the comments/thread that discussed the newly released (new for 2013) Radeon/Saphire HD7950 Mac Edition focused entirely on the COLOUR of the GPU, and whilst a lot of people were puzzled over the differences, nobody had any idea.
And the general feeling was it was just a "Mac Edition" because it was white, and cost more:
Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition Pictured

But nobody understood, from Reviewers to Forum memnbers, was how the Firmware was different.
That it was Metal capable.

Furthermore, I see that on the GPU database on TPU, that Metal is not listed.
Why not?
Is everyone hoping it will go away?

Perhaps it's a bit naive to be blaming Apple for charging more for Apple-branded products, whilst nobody seems to realise that Nvidia is doing EXACTLY the same thing in how they market GPU's for GeForce (and gamers in general).

As in the GPU's for many GeForce units are often lobotomised full feature GPU's.
And if you want to get a fully function GPU (for any work station related work), you need to buy a Tesla, Quaddro or other unit.

And I think the view that GPU's are driven by what gamers want, is an outdated outllook now.
Sure, that used to be true, but not anymore.

I think now it's more a case of gamers beeing seen as a herd of cash cows that the GPU developers like Nvidia want to milk.

And that the newest developments in GPU's are not for gaming, but are for other purposes.
You only need to look at the newest Ampere line from Nvidia, or even the Turing line before.
The biggest architectural developments were never intended for gaming.

A related issue is what Intel is doing with GPU's/CPU's and Apple is doing with Metal and related.
None of them are focused on gamers, but on much bigger markets.
 

Rei

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There seems to be bit of a vacuum wrt Apple OSx/hardware on the TPU Forum, at least in some aspects.
Sure, an Apple/Mac is not an ideal machine for gaming, but then that's not why people buy them.
And it seems a bit short-sighted to try to ignore a group of computer owners that's as big as Apple has now.

Whilst even an 8 year old MacBook is STILL seen as a useful machine, and sells for up to 50% of its original MSRP.
And Apple is selling $25 BILLION of Mac's a year now, with laptop MacBooks making up 80% of that.
You are rather contradicting yourself here. It's as you said: Mac is not really for gaming purpose & not why people buy them. Surely it doesn't mean that it can't be used for gaming but it's not the focus of the product line. In fact, further improvement on Mac seems to have stagnated in the past few years compared to a decade ago.
On a side note, people tend to misunderstand Windows/OSx user numbers.
Sure, there are a LOT of Windows machines, with all Windows at maybe 1 billlion users, and Windows 10 at 400 milion.
And Apple has 100 million active Mac users.
And a major portion of Windows user are gamers while a small minority of Mac users uses MacOS to even play games on. There are even far more gamers on Linux than on MacOS. Given the tech as a whole (not just Metal), Mac is just not the preferable gaming machine.
Bear in mind, a very large fraction of the Windows PC's are VERY basic.
And nothing you can run any really fancy games on.
"VERY basic" is not the correct I'd use to describe Windows PC. It's more of a general-purpose PC if anything which can be custom-tuned to be gaming rig or productivity focused system, etc depending on the user's build. This means that Windows PC CAN be used to run "any really fancy games on". You should talk to Apple Inc. on why they are too focused on making their Macs productivity-based computers. IMO, Apple Inc. seems to have given up on trying to appeal to the gaming community to make their computers gaming oriented & just left that responsibility to other companies & the Mac-based gaming community.
Perhaps it's a bit naive to be blaming Apple for charging more for Apple-branded products, whilst nobody seems to realise that Nvidia is doing EXACTLY the same thing in how they market GPU's for GeForce (and gamers in general).
I dunno about Apple Inc. but Nvidia has their own R&D manufacturing facility to build & manufacture their own GPU (among other things) which drives up the cost but gives them flexibility to fine-tune their hardware & manufacturing process while AMD outsources their manufacturing to outside sources such as GlobalFoundries which has the near-opposite effect.
I do believe that both Apple Inc. & Nvidia are also charging a bit more for their brand kinda like what Beats By Dre did before being bought by Apple Inc.
As in the GPU's for many GeForce units are often lobotomised full feature GPU's.
And if you want to get a fully function GPU (for any work station related work), you need to buy a Tesla, Quaddro or other unit.
Dunno what you really mean by "lobotomized full feature GPU's" but they aren't really. GeForce is a gaming focused GPU, Quadro is a prosumer & workstation optimized GPU while Nvidia Tesla is a GPGPU & stream process GPU for data-centers & workstations, not for the general consumers. You can check the video below for more detail on GeForce Vs. Quadro.
And I think the view that GPU's are driven by what gamers want, is an outdated outllook now.
Sure, that used to be true, but not anymore.
GPU's were never driven by what gamers want but by what current technology can provide for gaming, productivity, workflow, etc.
I think now it's more a case of gamers beeing seen as a herd of cash cows that the GPU developers like Nvidia want to milk.
Hasn't this always been the case for any company in general. They are after all, a for-profit companies & they can't really be blamed for it.
And that the newest developments in GPU's are not for gaming, but are for other purposes.
You only need to look at the newest Ampere line from Nvidia, or even the Turing line before.
The biggest architectural developments were never intended for gaming.

A related issue is what Intel is doing with GPU's/CPU's and Apple is doing with Metal and related.
None of them are focused on gamers, but on much bigger markets.
That depends on the sectors responsible. While it is arguable whether they were intended for gaming or not doesn't mean they can't be can't be used for gaming purposes. After all, gaming technology for a long while now has been one of the major driving force for advancing computer technology as a whole & video games takes advantage of that advancement.

All-in-all, your rant here is rather misguided without looking at the big picture. If you wanna discuss more Mac gaming-focused discussion there should be other Apple-related forums for that but so far, I haven't seen any Mac gaming-focused community here. Who knows, perhaps this thread can be the start of it all & foster a new community of Mac gamers on this forum.
:clap::peace::lovetpu:
 
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Rei,
Well, thanks for your reply.

But first of all, my question was about METAL capable GPU's.
It's even got it in the Subject heading.
And my points are on that topic.

You seem to have missed that in your reply.
As I noted, the implications of Apple's development of Metal is not just for current Mac owners.

And that was actually my point.
For what is in absolute terms a VERY large company (Apple), and a pretty big collection of uses (Apple owners), I didn't see ANYTHING of any substance in the Forum on Metal.

Your answer included.
That was EXACTLY what happened in 2013 when the first Metal cap[able GPU was reviewed on TPU.
Nobody understood what it was for.

Hopefully there will be some replies from someone who knows something about the topic the thread is on.
And if you do, I'd like to hear about.
I really AM interested.

You obviously thought I was ranting, and responded as such.
But if you re-read my actual question, and maybe you'll see it differently.
I'm not trying to say anything contentious.
 
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Rei

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I'm not trying to be contentious either. Sorry if my post came off as a bit aggressive, wasn't my intention.

While i commented about gaming & GPU in general to their respective platform, I did also meant about Metal-capable GPUs in general. Apologies if my post didn't sent the message across.

Most GPUs that came after the Metal API was released should be Metal capable, providing the GPU driver is up-to-date & has the support for it.

While I am not a Mac gamer... Or even a much of gamer at all, I am interested in getting gaming into as much platform as possible. Dunno if Apple Inc. still feels the same way though; they haven't been marketing their platform for gaming for a while now it seems which turns off alotta game devs for the Mac platform. Though I do notice that many indie games & most AAA-games are already on Mac so they should have Metal support built into their games.

Anyways, I am clearly not an expert in this specific topic but I really am interested in this thread's further discussion by other members of this community. Hopefully, there would come further development on this topic going forward.
 
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So, thanks for your feedback in any case, you make some good points.

(1) Mac/Desktop Development stunted:
I'd agree with you, I think they've lost the plot, and are obsessed with the mobile market.
Part of the issue is they went ffrom a fairly small number of very devoted users, and then as iPods, IPhones and iPads added huge numbers of users, they started to neglect their workstatio/'desktop users.

(2) "Lobotomised":
Maybe a bad choice of words on my part: too emotive maybe.

What I mean't, was that if you look at a given GPU, let's say the GP104, the fulll version has 2560 shaders, and of all the cards based on it, very few offer that.
A lot have some of them deliberately disabled.

It seems to me, that based on models offered, and in particular the price for them, a large number of the ones that end up in gamer's PC's are not the full GPU either.
But the lower price "disabled" GPU's.
I don't have numbers, is just my feeling from what I've seen people saying they use.

It's a marketing strategy on NVIDIA's part.
And I agrree with you, it's not a "bad" thing, is just business.

And maybe this is not common knowledge, but NVIDIA tries to ban the use of the lower price GeForce in data centres, and to force DC's to use the equivalent but more more expensive Quadro.
I'm not sure how they enforce it.

For example, take these pairs.
Each have same GPU, and very similar specs.
Not exactly the same, but as close as a quick look turned up to show the trend.
The GeekBench scores are in backets, and are not going to be exactly accuarate, but again, they show each pair behaves about the same.

GeForce GTX 1070 MSRP = $379 (45,409)
Quadro P5000 MSRP = $2,499 (45,404)

(GeForce) Titan RTX: MSRP = $2,499 (168,069)
Quadro RTX 8000: MSRP = $9,999 (167,428)

GeForce RTX 2080: MSRP = $699 (119,595)
Quadro RTX 5000: MSRP = $2,299 (115,071)

I think if a pair of the above were put into brown paper bags, and someone tried them both, they wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Except when you had to pay....

That's all I'm trying to say, that a lot of the time the main difference between GeForce and Quadro is just the label.
And the PRICE tag.

Here's another example, where NVIDIA has decided to open some of Titan Xp's previously disabled functions (but unblocked in Quadro).
All it needed was a driver update.: NVIDIA Unlocks Certain Professional Features for TITAN Xp Through Driver Update

(3) Influence of gaming demand on GPU development in the past:
I'm more repeating what I've read when I say that: perhaps it's wrong.

In terms of where things are now, I think that from Turing, and expecially with Ampere, that the full potenial of the GPU's is not even close to being utilised by the games industry.

For instance, look at the RTX-OPS Metric from NVIDIA, that they are trying to use to show the advantages of Turing (and now Ampere) over the earlier GPU's.
Based on that, does a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti (TU 104) with RTX-OPS of 77.9 perform almost 8 times better than a GeForce 1080 Ti (GP104) with score of 10.7?
Has that been seen in games?
And yet, BOTH are GeForce, aimed at consumer market (i.e gamers), and not the Quadros or Teslas aimed at the people who do the HPC.

Look at the new Ampere range: the best models are not even for sale to the consumer public, but are for very high end HPC/Data Centre related tasks.
And NVIDIA didn't even make enough of the lower end ones, and were taken by complete surprise by the demand for them.

So related to this, I wonder if that's what's behind Apple's Metal development.
But I don't know myself.

Most GPUs that came after the Metal API was released should be Metal capable, providing the GPU driver is up-to-date & has the support for it.
Yeah, I was wondering about that, but I don't think NVIDIA ones are.
I think NVIDIA didn't bother adding it on after 2016.

I just bought an old MacPro (2010/212) and have been messing around with it.
To upgrade it to the current Mac OSx (Catalina), it needs a Metal Capable GPU.
At least to do the upgrade.

I haven't seen a really complete list for Metal capable GPU's.
Closest is the Geekbench Metal Benchmark list: Metal Benchmarks

For Mac/Apple users, upgrading your GPU is a strange topic, because after 2013, the MacPro's were made in a very bizarre format (like tin can!) where you couldn't upgrade components.
And it was only in 2019 that a new MacPro desktop was brought out in the more traditional format, that it became an item.

So if you look at the GeekBench list, the newest NVIDIA GPU is the Titan Xp, from 2016.
And nothing after that, at least for NVIDIA.

For AMD, they seem to have kept on making them, as in the Vega II, and the new Pro Vega II Duo, which is on the MacPro 2019.
 
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