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Switching from PC to Mac

bdeschryver
Level 2
Hey guys,


I am thinking of switching from PC to mac (various reasons) but I wanted to have the advice of other (skilled) developers on that change.
My workflow mainly uses Unity, Blender, Sketchup; the targeted macbook(15inch with Nvidia 750M) should be used only for some moderate Unity and 3D creation and running moderate demos with the DK2. (similar to tuscany demo)
My current PC is a Dell Precision M4800 laptop with Nvidia Quatro K1100M.

Do you think this is a good idea ? Should there be other things to consider ?
Do you also have the feeling that more dev is done at Oculus for PC and that sticking to it would be a better idea for the future ?
If you have the same macbook, do you experience good results ?

Any thought would help before making the change !

Thanks
28 REPLIES 28

bdeschryver
Level 2
"Gigantoad" wrote:
"bdeschryver" wrote:
Hey guys,


thank you for your detailed answers !

I have to say that the original question was related to a workflow with mostly only Unity and the Rift, and knowing if that combination would give me trouble if used on a Mac instead of a Windows PC...
The idea is not to program in Xcode or VS, or create my own graphics engine; but to build and run some basic demos in Unity and use DK2 to show it to people. Also use blender to do some 3D creation.

Would you say that in that case, switching to a mac for the (current) DK2 dev should be ok?

Thank you !


Wouldn't you want to run other demos on the DK2 as well? It seems to me they are all released for Windows currently.


that is a very good point, thanks !

brydaman
Level 3
Two words, Boot Camp.
Respect for the extraordinary / Disdain for the mundane :: contempt.net

bdeschryver
Level 2
Hey guys,


I did some testing on a brand new macbook (not mine, testing before any switch from PC).
But I could not get a 75Hz refresh rate on the rift, only 60fps.
Do you manage to get 75Hz ? How ? Is the main macbook display at 60Hz ?


Thanks

mindabuse
Level 2
"bdeschryver" wrote:
I did some testing on a brand new macbook (not mine, testing before any switch from PC).
But I could not get a 75Hz refresh rate on the rift, only 60fps.
Do you manage to get 75Hz ? How ? Is the main macbook display at 60Hz ?


I've been maintaining DK2 support for Quakespasm-Rift on OS X natively (since the SDK supported OS X).

The rift display must be rotated 90 degrees (for 1920x1080) and set to refresh at 75 Hz in System Preferences.app under Displays. The rift must not mirror any other display. The rift will likely need to be the primary/main display for most apps. Direct-to-rift support only exists for DirectX on Windows - or in other words, there is no direct-to-rift for OpenGL or any non-Windows platform.

Lastly, in the case of the application, it must be allowed to render at >60 Hz. This is okay with Quakespasm-Rift because there are console commands to change the framerate and the ability to disable Vsync as well. It is possible that some applications simply update the game at 60Hz in a run loop — instead of making use of the CoreVideo DisplayLink API for synchronizing the update with the display, or relying on OpenGL vsync.

Hope this helps.

bdeschryver
Level 2
That is a very clear and complete answer ! Thanks

Ozoner
Level 2
I have been developing on both iMac and MBPro for a long time. I use Unity and though the work flow for Oculus needs help I am not having too many issues. Also I am getting a PC as well and I have ordered another DK2 kit. I will be using this workstation for testing product and overall performance and some development if I see a huge advantage. So in short if you are serious about building product you should have both at your disposal if possible.

Also the comment about having a slower machine be it IOS or Windows is very wise as the installed market out there most likely have less robust platforms then we are developing on and this is a good way to judge your products overall performance at the lower end. You may find yourself needing to make some adjustments before your release after testing on lesser powered units. But that is better then bad ratings for a good product being run on an old dog.

Gemiware
Level 2
When you buy a mac and you want to use blender, be sure to get a mac with an nvidia graphics card if you want to have hardware acceleration while rendering. I've got a 27" imac with an nvidia 780m 4M and it works like a charm. If you want to buy a macbook with nvidia card at the moment only the most expensive macbook has one.

youtnodknoem
Level 4
I recently just switched from mac to a gaming laptop. The reason I switched is because Macs are at least 2X the price for pretty much the same hardware inside. Granted I have a macbook air that I retain for anything outside of Oculus and Game development (The design and stability are still lightyears away from windows 8.1). Even so, I think windows laptops will give you the best bang for your buck when developing.

Mac is great for developing for web, iOS, backend, etc.. but not the best for game development imho. If you do want to spring for an expensive Mac Pro, that will handle pretty much anything you throw at it, but it'll be much more expensive to get that performance on a Mac then it would elsewhere.

MichaelNikelsky
Level 2
Just something else to think about:

OSX: OpenGL version 4.1 or 3.3 without any 4.x extensions( that is year 2010 status), no driver update without OS update and the drivers are based on modified older driver versions from AMD/Nvidia.

Windows: Currently OpenGL 4.5 with latest extensions, constant driver updates, better performance on the same hardware (about 25% for our testcases) compared to OSX.

Linux: similar to the windows drivers in features, no clue about performance though