Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Growing Pains for Mac Users

We are now seeing two sets of Mac OpenGL driver-related bug reports: problems with the new Mac Book Pros (with an nVideo GeForce 8600) and with the new iMacs (with an ATI Radeon HD2400 or HD2600).

This doesn't surprise me for two reasons (both of which are speculation, btw...I am not privy to what goes on inside Apple):
  1. Both of these cards are "next-gen" in a major way: DX-10 compatible hardware. That means they have a lot of cool new features. My speculation is that this larger jump in functionality of the hardware means more changes (and more bugs) in the drivers.
  2. We're getting closer and closer to the next major OS upgrade (10.5), but this new hardware has to run 10.4. So I wouldn't be surprised if everyone at Apple is fighting two fires at once, limiting resources.
So while this is frustrating to Mac users who have these machines, I would encourage patience. I don't think we've seen to date a Mac that has been "left broken" -- several machines have had problems with the drivers in their initial intro, and Apple usually fixes them as soon as possible. In the long term I believe that these will both be really nice X-Plane machines.


Anonymous said...

Do you publish a bug list somewhere? It requires quite a bit of effort to draft a meaningful bug report: among other things, to make the bug genuinely useful to the software developers, you need to provide definitive instructions that allow them to replicate the problem. I've seen some rendering problems with a new MacBook Pro with NVIDIA graphics, but I really don't want to invest the time in preparing a report if you already know about the problem.

Benjamin Supnik said...

We don't publish such a list...I wish all of our bug reports were so detailed -- if the bug report is complex to write up, one option would be to send a description with "details on request".

But...once the product is in final release most of our bug reports that really turn out to be bugs are due to compatibility issues, and come in via tech support requests.

(E.g. a user with a new machine that happens to have funky drivers says to our tech support guys "I tried it and it blew up, help!")

Anonymous said...

I was experiencing just this problem until I upgraded to 10.5.2. The OpenGL drivers seem to have been fixed, and a little patience has paid off.

Thanks for posting this, Ben.