Apple Unveils "Metal 2" Graphics API, Better Performance & Capabilities For VR
Written by Michael Larabel in Proprietary Software on 5 June 2017 at 02:06 PM EDT. 73 Comments
PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE --
Well, it doesn't look like Apple is going to abandon their in-house "Metal" graphics API in favor of the Vulkan industry standard for high-performance graphics... Apple used WWDC today to announce Metal 2.

Metal 2 is the next major update to the Apple graphics API for iOS and macOS. The big result of Metal 2 is that it's suitable for VR on macOS. In fact, Valve is now bringing SteamVR to macOS with Metal 2, assuming you have a Mac with a graphics card powerful enough for virtual reality. Apple is also supporting external graphics cards with MacBooks via Thunderbolt, with their Thunderbolt 3 dev kit using a Radeon RX 580.

Metal 2 has big improvements for draw calls, improved debugging, a faster debugger, GPU counter access, a reworked display pipeline with VR in mind, support for viewport arrays, GPU queue priorities, and more.

Overall it's a sizable update for Apple's Metal API, but so far haven't found any real features of it not already found in Vulkan. Apple also still appears to be keeping Metal 2 in-house with no signs of supporting this API outside the Apple space.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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