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OlaHaldor

Performance on Mac is disappointing

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I mainly fly on a PC, but for fun I installed X-Plane 10.30b7 on my Mac Pro 2009. The specs

- Mac OS X 10.9.3

- 2 x 2.26 GHz quad xeon (8 cores in total)

- 12 GB RAM

- GeForce GTX 680 4 GB

- A fast RAID

 

No plugins, no addons, just the basic C172 at a local airport (which has no scenery at all), I adjusted the render settings to my liking - and I get only about 8-15 fps.

That can't be right, can it?

 

CPU usage is way below 50%

GPU usage is also way below 50%

 

X-Plane using 5GB memory. And 1.5GB GPU RAM was used.

 

 

 

So where's the bottleneck? Old CPU architecture ? Or is X-Plane really that bad optimized for Mac? (which strikes me as funny since Austin uses a Mac ?)

 

In comparison, the same setup (location, plane and render settings) on my PC gives me 50+ fps.

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The older (first gen) i7 / w3500 Xeon CPU is definitely the cause.

A 2.2 Ghz with a 4.2GT/sec QPI bus is to blame.

I replaced my CPU with a W3690 (3.46 Ghz @ 6.4GT/sec QPI) and popped in a GTX 670.

It's acceptable now - but not stellar.

I use it for all my development - since if our scenery runs well on my older-gen machine, it'll run even better on a reasonably modern system.

-CK.

Ps make sure you've downloaded the nVidia OSX "web drivers" from nVidias website. They bump up your card from PCIe 1.1 to PCIe 2.0 speeds.

Edited by chris k

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I've got the nVidia drivers installed as well. Didn't notice any difference in performance, so I guess it's tied to CPU. In terms of tech, the Mac Pro 2009 is ancient. But it's still a good workhorse.

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If you want a second machine say for visuals- Try to score a pair of Xeon X5680 or X5690 CPUs on eBay and swap out the CPUs on your 4,1.

There's some great tutorials out there on swapping the 4,1 dual socket processors.

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I've heard the CPUs in the dual CPU Mac Pros don't have the usual socket. The CPU itself doesn't have pins, instead it's the motherboard. So finding the CPUs with holes in them instead of pins can be a challenge. I've heard. Not that I've looked at it. But I don't think I'll be upgrading the Mac any further. RAM and an SSD perhaps. But the CPUs will be as they are. Don't wanna risk anything. :) 

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It's actually the top metal Lids they're missing. The Socket is the same. Just it's slightly thinner die (vertically) as it has no integrated head spreader (IHS). i.e. the die is exposed not he top.

 

Just don't tighten down the heatsink all the way and you'll be fine.

 

Instancing *does* work on nVidia, but it's slower than non-instancing, so yeah - it's still broken.

 

- CK.

Edited by chris k

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Another thing to do, if you haven't already is make sure the Compress Textures box is checked. It made a big difference to me.

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...is X-Plane really that bad optimized for Mac? (which strikes me as funny since Austin uses a Mac ?)

 

In comparison, the same setup (location, plane and render settings) on my PC gives me 50+ fps.

 

45+ FPS with 2010 iMac

Edited by gthomas

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Too many factors are involved with FPS, two identical systems (I mean hardware + operating system + drivers) could easily return different FPS values.

Even saying "45+ FPS with 2010 iMac" (no offence to you, gthomas, it's just an example) doesn't help because there're no informations about your system and X-Plane configuration so it's almost impossible to give a clue to OlaHaldor in this way... but it would be very interesting to know how you can obtain that value.

 

Angelo

 

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Actually it doesn't matter what render settings I use. I can set it all to the lowest possible, switching off a lot of settings, yet I don't get nearly the same frame rate or velvet like, fluid feeling of being in control of a plane on the Mac vs. the PC.

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Too many factors are involved with FPS, two identical systems (I mean hardware + operating system + drivers) could easily return different FPS values.

Even saying "45+ FPS with 2010 iMac" (no offence to you, gthomas, it's just an example) doesn't help because there're no informations about your system and X-Plane configuration so it's almost impossible to give a clue to OlaHaldor in this way... but it would be very interesting to know how you can obtain that value.

 

Angelo

first, the 45+ is an indication that it is not badly optimized for the mac

even if it were at an airport with no scenery, which it is not, this would show that it's not XP/Mac that is the issue

 

Since you thought "it would  be very interesting to know how [ I ] can obtain that value":

2.93 GHz i7

16GB RAM

Compressed Textures

Resolution: High

Trees: Overgrown

Objects: Mega Tons

Roads: Tons

# of cars: New York

World detail: Very high

Airport Detail: high

shadow: static

HDR: off

Screen Anti-Aliasing: 8x

anisotropic filter: 2x

clouds: 10%

aircraft: 172SP

weather: low viz

 

just went to an airport with no scenery: 59 FPS

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Unless nVidia magically fixes their OS X drivers, the days of being able to get decent X-Plane performance on OS X are pretty much over.

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Unless nVidia magically fixes their OS X drivers, the days of being able to get decent X-Plane performance on OS X are pretty much over.

What do you call decent?

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Win7 on the exact same hardware = ~2X the speed

really 2x? supposition/predigest or measured?

 

But that still does not answer 'what is decent?'

 

It would be interesting to see a version of x-plane truly optimized for the mac instead of a cross platform design understandably tilted toward the PC to attract disaffected MSFS users. The things that would enable a mac pro to slay dragons are not done (those choices either do not exist on the PC or would perform poorly), while other choices perform well on a PC but not a mac. These are programing choices not inherent positives or negatives of either system.

 

The current situation is that XP runs faster on an iMac than it does a mac pro. If the opposite choices were made the results would be different. It is these choices made by LR, more than video card drivers, that affect mac users on XP.

 

however, the question remains: 'what is decent?'

Edited by gthomas

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really 2x? supposition/predigest or measured?

 

 

Measured - My Rig - MacPro 3.46Ghz Hexacore, GTX670 - Boot into Win7 and it's night and day on FPS.

 

Another comparison done by Ben himself (before I had a bootcamp partition):

From: Ben S <bxxxxx@xsquawkbox.net>Subject: Re: Bug report: Instancing Disabled on Apple + Any nVidia HW (even though supported)Date: December 19, 2012 at 7:46:18 AM GMT+11To: Chris K <xxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com>hi Chris,Just an FYI: another user sent me Mac/Win comparisons, so I don't need you to destroy your system to run Bootcamp.But I will say: there's fps to be had on Linux and Windows58 fps on Linux50 fps on Windows35 fps on Mac.cheersben

_________________

 
Thats a 1.5X increase right there - (Ok, perhaps not 2X but it feels like it!)  more if you factor vs Linux on same hardware  ;)
 
- CK.
Edited by chris k

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Someone really needs to lean on Apple/nVidia. This has been a problem for years. Valve and Blizzard have tried to push them a bit to make their AAA titles run, but it unfortunately causes an artificial increase in Mac system requirements for most games.

 

My 2012 MBP is ticking along great, except for X-Plane. Always seems to be the case. I think this year's the year I take the plunge and build a gaming rig, while saving the MBP for "real" work.

Edited by Dhruv

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What do you call decent?

 

Decent meaning that you get about equal performance from systems which are about equal in price. Up until v10 this was was the case. My Mac Pro was actually a little faster than a similarly expensive Windows machine. However, with nVidia's terrible drivers, and Apple's reliance on nVidia GPUs, this is no longer the case.

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It would be interesting to see a version of x-plane truly optimized for the mac

 

Because the big problem is something Laminar can't do anything about, there's no logic to this. Ben can't force nVidia to improve their drivers, and 99% of the performance gap between Windows and OS X is tight there. As has been pointed out elsewhere, X-Plane actually runs slower on OS X if you enable instancing. The drivers are that bad.

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My 2012 MBP is ticking along great, except for X-Plane. 

 

Same here. My 2010 Mac Pro is showing no signs of slowing down, and plays Windows games in a VM with no problems. But in X-Plane, in a complex 3D cockpit, I can see 15 fps.

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