Thursday, December 09, 2010

Updating to OS X 10.6.x

If you have a DirectX 10 or 11 class video card (that is, a GeForce 8nnn or newer or a Radeon HD card) and you're on a Mac, consider updating to OS X 10.6.x if you're still on OS X 10.5.8.

10.6 has performance enhancements in the video drivers that I suspect will benefit X-Plane 9 users, but it will really matter for X-Plane 10. We need OS X 10.6 to expose some of the OpenGL extensions that these cards have. Thus 10.6 will get you faster frame-rate, more realistic lighting, and more efficient VRAM use.

(If you have an older card, I don't know if you'll get any benefit, although I doubt you'll see a performance loss.)


gthomas said...

The upgrade from 10.5 to 10.6 is only $29. From 10.4 it's $119--still cheap for what you get.

G5 Guy said...

Though impossible, of course, on a PPC machine.

Benjamin Supnik said...

G5 guy, what video card do you have? I didn't think Apple ever put DX10-class video card into a ppc machine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Just to let you know gentlemen: I'm running xp9 on my powerbook G4.

Lozz said...

I don't know if it was because of 10.6 or because of updates to X-Plane. But when I ran the original release DVD (v9.0) of XP on 10.5.x I remember getting much better object performance. I had objects on tons or mega with default distance. Now I have objects turned down to 'a lot' on medium distance running 10.6.x and XP 9 fully updated. What more my 2008 Mac Pro 8-core 2.8 GHz can hardly handle any more objects than my early 2008 MacBook Pro 2-core 2.4 Ghz. I have the Mac Pro only run 1 object density higher than the MacBook.

I think 10.6 hogs more GFX resources in the background than 10.5. I noticed my GFX card fan would spin up a lot more with 10.6 than it use to with 10.5.