Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 21:48 UTC
Mac OS X "Has Mountain Lion been feeling faster for you compared to Lion on the same machine? It's probably not just you: Mountain Lion appears to include improved graphics drivers and low-level graphics subsystem improvements. According to our testing, these improvements result in an approximate performance increase of up to 10 percent. Those improvements can make your current hardware feel faster despite the fact that your CPU can't magically crunch numbers any faster. The changes also lay the foundation for Apple to update OS X's OpenGL support in a more timely manner, which could potentially lead to better graphics performance in the future."
Order by: Score:
Seems smoother to me
by Tony Swash on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 22:31 UTC
Tony Swash
Member since:
2009-08-22

Every time a new version of OSX has been released I have planned to wait a while before upgrading and every time I have caved in and installed it on day one. For Tiger I actually queued at the Apple Store in Regents Street in London on the day of release to get a copy with 10 minutes of being released, I was around 700th in the queue, which was a bit silly but actually quite good fun.

I have to say this seems one of the smoothest system updates I have ever done and my Mac just seems somehow smoother and a bit more responsive. It always takes a few days to tailor the set up to suit me and some of that involves trying to avoid new features which I don't like, but I suspect that this is just the result of the natural conservatism of someone who has used Macs (and Windows PCs) almost three decades, one just gets set in ones ways. This time it took me a day or so to work out how to get rid of the Duplicate item in the Edit menu and replace it with the familiar Save As item, this had been bugging me since Lion but this time I managed to do something about.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Seems smoother to me
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 22:37 UTC in reply to "Seems smoother to me"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

It was high time too. Mac OS X's interface has been feeling sluggish for several releases now. I'm very curious how it'll feel on my dad's iMac.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Seems smoother to me
by redshift on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 00:47 UTC in reply to "Seems smoother to me"
redshift Member since:
2006-05-06

...trying to avoid new features which I don't like, but I suspect that this is just the result of the natural conservatism of someone who has used Macs (and Windows PCs) almost three decades, one just gets set in ones ways. This time it took me a day or so to work out how to get rid of the Duplicate item in the Edit menu and replace it with the familiar Save As item, this had been bugging me since Lion but this time I managed to do something about.


I would be interested in what you did to change that. For most things I can live with it... but it gets unwieldy for large files (often I work with very large keynote files). Fortunately Adobe has not yet bought into the new Apple save method on creative suite where most of my large files lurk.

On my iMac (24-inch, Early 2008) , Mountain Lion was a smooth update with no issues so far. It seems a little snapper after the upgrade. The only disappointments were a few missing features that were not supported on my computer like airplay.

Edited 2012-08-03 00:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Seems smoother to me
by Tony Swash on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Seems smoother to me"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

To the get the Save As.. back see here for instructions

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/07/29/get-save-as-back-on-mountain-lions-f...

It's very easy, just involves changing two keyboard shortcuts in System Preferences. Seems odd but definitely works.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Not trying to troll, but when macs really need these kinds of tweaks to be sensible it never harms their reputation as an easy to use computer that was designed to be intuitive.

But holy hell, suggest that as fix for KDE or Gnome 3 and you'll get slaughtered with people's comments on how it proves Linux isn't for normal people and only for geeks.

Reply Score: 4

excellent release!
by sergio on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 02:36 UTC
sergio
Member since:
2005-07-06

Lion release was a complete disaster... I used it for 1 week and went back to Snow Leopard.

With Mountain Lion I'm having a total different experience, It is fast, stable and very polished.

In a nutshell: Mountain Lion is what Lion should have been.

Reply Score: 3

RE: excellent release!
by kaiwai on Sat 4th Aug 2012 00:50 UTC in reply to "excellent release!"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Lion release was a complete disaster... I used it for 1 week and went back to Snow Leopard.

With Mountain Lion I'm having a total different experience, It is fast, stable and very polished.

In a nutshell: Mountain Lion is what Lion should have been.


That was my first impression when I installed Lion - the feeling that it was always rough around the edges but I kept making up excuses that maybe a 10.7.x release will address those problems but alas the problem was never really addressed. Mountain Lion for me was the first 10.x.0 release where I actually felt happy after installing it - I just hope that with the move to LLVM/Clang and the better debugging tools that we'll see improved code quality and thus more refined 10.x.0 releases to come.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by mutantsushi
by mutantsushi on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 05:09 UTC
mutantsushi
Member since:
2006-08-18

OK, I love developments like this... Performance at both high end and low end (integrated) are awesome.
Changes like this, as well as other performance related subsystems, and subsystems which may enable new development approachs, etc. are exactly what I look forward to in an OS release. All the iPod-ization UI stuff and changes which are basically APPLICATION updates (not OS updates) are really rather low on my list, even if might applaud a minority of the changes Apple is doing in that department.

I get it that this stuff may not be 'front page' material in terms of their core marketing audience at this point (remember when it was?), but why the need for secrecy, why not have a detailed description of technical sub-system changes available for those interested in it? Not to mention developers who may be dependent on things like the OpenGL stack.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by mutantsushi
by Panajev on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by mutantsushi"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

iOS or MacOS X developer? WWDC videos are there to detail such changes ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by mutantsushi
by kaiwai on Sat 4th Aug 2012 00:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by mutantsushi"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

iOS or MacOS X developer? WWDC videos are there to detail such changes ;) .


I had a look at the videos and they really don't go into much details other than "this is what is new and this how you use it" but nothing mentioned on how Apple actually has improved the underlying performance such as "we're now using Core Animation in more areas, we've migrated the Core technologies from OpenGL 2.1 to OpenGL 3.2" etc. This is the one thing I love about Microsoft - when they changed GDI in Windows 7 they not only said, "this is what we've done" but actually explained how they went about it, the design limitations before and how they were addressed. For me I think that if Apple spent the sort of time Microsoft does they would earn a decent amount of geek credibility as a company that makes great products but there are some real technical underpinnings.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by mutantsushi
by Tony Swash on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 11:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by mutantsushi"
Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Now that Apple have publicly committed to a more or less annual upgrade cycle for both OSX and iOS I wonder how that will work out.

I presume with iOS at V6 and OSX at version 8 (since the first release) a lot of the heavy lifting that must happen in the first few years has been done and the engineering team are less stretched and can concentrate on polishing. If there are major structural changes to come I would expect them more on the iOS side.

Reply Score: 2

More than just graphics
by darknexus on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:27 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Speaking from my own experience, I think the improved performance is due to more than just accelerated graphics. I've noticed overall better memory usage and much less resource utilization overall, leaving more free RAM and CPU cycles to do other things. Offloading some graphics processing might account for some of that, but it seems there are other optimizations under the hood as well. I'm quite pleased about this, though Lion didn't feel ridiculously slow to me as some have said (in fact I had a much more pleasant time with Lion than Snow Leopard, which I found to be buggy as hell).

Reply Score: 2

Experiences after 3 days
by avgalen on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:31 UTC
avgalen
Member since:
2010-09-23

* Installed on my girlfriends MacBook with Snow Leopard. She is a Mac, I am a PC. (but we get along just fine)

1) Buying it and installing it was easy, but slow (about an hour download and 1 hour install)

2) There was no indication of which programs might not work (as I am used to see before the actual upgrade process starts on Windows)

3) After the upgrade the OS seems to work just fine, but slower than before

4) Mathlab doesn't work anymore because it uses X11. Installing XQuartz solved this

5) Her dictionary application (Japanese-English) doesn't work anymore because it used Rosetta (Power PC). No solution yet

6) "make" doesn't work anymore. She is using XCode for a major codebase (OpenCV) and even reinstalling hasn't solved this

Conclusion: Slower and several business applications stopped working, but she is continuing troubleshooting instead of just downgrading. The "IOS"-ification is strong in this one.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Experiences after 3 days
by _txf_ on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:43 UTC in reply to "Experiences after 3 days"
_txf_ Member since:
2008-03-17

5) Her dictionary application (Japanese-English) doesn't work anymore because it used Rosetta (Power PC). No solution yet

"No solution yet". I think you mean no solution ever (unless of course you try running an old version of PPC osx in qemu). Aren't there other Dictionary applications? Is the application unsupported? Just who is still using PowerPC applications?

6) "make" doesn't work anymore. She is using XCode for a major codebase (OpenCV) and even reinstalling hasn't solved this

You need to install the command line utilities from within Xcode. It is in the preferences.

It should be noted that OSX does not come with gcc any more. Its default compiler is clang but it also has llvm-gcc ( not quite the same as gcc).
[/q]

Reply Score: 2

RE: Experiences after 3 days
by Panajev on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:46 UTC in reply to "Experiences after 3 days"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09


6) "make" doesn't work anymore. She is using XCode for a major codebase (OpenCV) and even reinstalling hasn't solved this


In order to slim down OS X and Xcode itself there have been a few changes that caused this problem of yours. Command line tools are no longer bundled by default, but available as an optional download you can trigger from Xcode itself (and they did a good thing let me tell you... no longer having to download 3GB or so of extra stuff at each iOS SDK point release).

So,

1.) Install Xcode 4.4 from the App Store (free).

2.) Open Xcode, and in XCode's Preferences > Downloads you can install command line tools.

3.) Make it system-wide clear where these tools are: sudo xcode-select -switch /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer

4.) Accept the command line build utils license: sudo xcodebuild -license

(scroll down and the you have to type accept or agree or something ;) )

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 07:54 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

It installed fine on my wife's iMac, my MacBook and iMac at work.

However my iMac at home proved a little more difficult.

After the installer was downloaded it started installing, the first bit took 3 minutes. Then it did a reboot and the real installing would begin, however it quickly stopped saying my hard disk was damaged. I only could hit a restart button, but that would just restart the Mac AND the installer, which would quit again.

For some strange reason the Disk Utility did find "errors" and suggested I hit the repair button, but it was greyed out. Also I could find no way to boot Lion.

Holding command + R when booting gave me a rescue console. Again I did the Disk Utility and now I was allowed to repair, but it said all was fine. Rebooting skipped the installer and booted Lion. Again the Disk Util said all was fine so again I started the Mountain Lion installer and now it installed fine.

It does feel a bit snappier and so does the new Safari.

I wish they'd spend more time speeding things up. I'm sure some is to be gained if they looked at memory management and the file system.

Reply Score: 2

Misleading fluff from Ars Technica..
by Hieper on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 09:51 UTC
Hieper
Member since:
2010-12-08

The title should have been 'Graphics BENCHMARKS give Mountain Lion (_USERS_) that speedy feeling'.

'up to' 10% improvements won't be noticed in regular use. If users feel ML is faster, it's more likely due to using more optimized applications (like Safari 6).

The quality of Ars articles during the holiday season disappoints...

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

If users feel ML is faster, it's more likely due to using more optimized applications (like Safari 6).

Or placebo. It's a trivial trick to our minds, they are very powerful like that.

Why would the effect be confined only to audio tech improvements? Once I made a small experiment on a buddy of mine, who was absolutely certain he can feel a huge speedup after overclocking his CPU - thing is, in a controlled test, he was unable to tell when it was running at full, and when at half speed; his guesses were no better than chance.
(also http://plan9.bell-labs.com/wiki/plan9/Mouse_vs._keyboard/index.html and in another field: http://news-service.stanford.edu/pr/2008/pr-wine-011608.html - a ~"higher version number" changes the way people experience wine)

Reply Score: 2

Snappy
by tony on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 22:51 UTC
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

Scrolling seems much faster on my 2011 MacBook Air (i5). Also like the addition (finally) of search in address bar in Safari.

Install was great. Took 20 minutes during a meeting (longer to download).

Reply Score: 2