Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Jun 2014 17:42 UTC

Metal. If the name sounds hardcore, it's because it's a hardcore improvement to the way games will be able to perform on iOS 8. Metal represents a much more no-nonsense approach to getting the most out of the Apple A7's gaming performance, assuring users of the iPhone 5S, iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display that their devices will continue to be top-notch game systems come this fall.

Right now in iOS 7 software called OpenGL ES sits in between the game and the core hardware that runs it, translating function calls into graphics commands that are sent to the hardware. It's a lot of overhead. And iOS 8 is getting rid of a lot of it.

A nice overview of Apple's Metal.

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Simple question
by Luis on Fri 27th Jun 2014 19:00 UTC
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I'm completely illiterate when it comes to graphics and games, so when I hear all this buzz about new graphics APIs like Metal and Mantle, I can't help to ask myself how this works.

I believed (probably wrongly, it seems), that for a graphics API you first and foremost needed the GPU (the hardware) to support certain features, and then the drivers to enable the usage of those features. For example, when they release a new GPU (Nvidia, AMD, etc...) and they say that it supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.2. Does this just mean that the drivers for that new GPU support those APIs? Is it unrelated to the hardware itself???

If so, my old Gen 4 Intel IGP that supports OpenGL 2.1 (I use Linux), could potentially support OpenGL 4.2 if someone actually cared to implement it in the drivers???

And if not, if hardware support for those features is needed (like a CPU that supports SSE4, etc...), how can Apple announce a new graphics API without partnering with GPU manufacturers to provide those features that Metal should offer?

Sorry if it's a completely silly question, but it really makes me wonder and I couldn't find any good answer to it by just searching.

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