Apple announces Metal for Mac

Among the many improvements Apple’s Craig Federighi announced for OS X El Capitan, is the addition of Metal. Launched on iOS 8 last year, Metal provides the lowest-overhead access to the GPU, enabling you to maximize the graphics and compute potential of apps and games.

With a streamlined API, precompiled shaders, and support for multi-threading, Metal has up to 40% greater rendering efficiency than standalone OpenGL. “Metal combines the compute power of OpenCL and the graphics power of OpenGL in a high-performance API that does both.”

With OS X 10.11, Apple is also bringing Metal to Mac. The graphics technology of Metal will provide developers with “near-direct access” to the GPU to allow them to reduce the overhead from drivers and OpenCL, thereby allowing them to greatly speed up the rendering performance in their apps. Initial updates from Adobe show that OS X 10.11 will bring up to 8x improvements in rendering performance and reduce CPU usage by 2x in certain scenarios.

The final version of OS will be rolled out as a free upgrade everyone this fall, with a public beta version coming in July.


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