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Optimized Performance in OS X El Capitan
Apple’s new Macintosh operating system features performance enhancements throughout the system. Unlike other operating systems, like Microsoft Windows, the new version of OS X will actually run faster on an existing computer. Mavericks also introduced several performance enhancements. This is good news for people who want to squeeze a few more years out of their Mac.
Apps launch 1.4 times faster and switching between apps is twice as fast. Retrieving Mail messages is twice as fast and opening a PDF in Preview is four times faster.
Metal is the most exciting and promising performance enhancement in El Capitan. The technology, which debuted in iOS, allows graphics code to run directly on the graphics processing unit (GPU), bypassing the layers and overhead of OpenGL. Metal makes graphics performance much faster and smoother on existing hardware. You don’t need a new video card or a new Mac to enjoy faster and more responsive graphics and gaming. Metal is supported on all Macs manufactured in 2012 or later.
Apple has gone a step further, enabling apps, core animation and core graphics to run on top of Metal.
Every aspect of OS X El Capitan graphics will be faster and smoother, not just games developed specifically for Metal.
This also dramatically reduces CPU usage, which will make your Mac run even faster and improve battery life.
Apple is clearly going after Microsoft Windows gamers and digital media artists, partnering with Adobe, Epic, 2K, Unity, Blizzard Entertainment, Feral, Unreal Engine, The Foundry, Campo Santo, Autodesk and Aspyr.
Epic demoed Fortnite, an upcoming game, at the WWDC. Fortnite features amazing graphics, taking personal computer gaming to a whole new level.
Apple has a unique advantage when it comes to developing technologies like Metal. The Mac has a finite number of GPUs, unlike Windows computers, which offer many different options for graphics cards. Sometimes having too many options is a disadvantage. Microsoft couldn’t support direct GPU technology like Metal. There are simply too many PC models with dozens of brands and models of graphics cards. There are some partnerships between gaming companies and Windows PC graphics hardware manufacturers, but nothing as tidy and complete as Metal.
El Capitan Release Date and Compatibility
Beta versions of El Capitan are already available for developers. The general public can install beta versions of OS X 10.11 in July. The final release will be available in the fall, most likely in mid-October. El Capitan is absolutely free. Apple no longer charges for OS X upgrades.
If your Mac can run Yosemite, it can also run OS X El Capitan. You should experience better performance compared to Yosemite, making it a no-brainer. Just make sure any critical apps you use will run on El Capitan. OS X 10.11 will run on the following models (and anything newer):
- iMac: mid 2007
- MacBook: 13-inch aluminum, late 2008; 13-inch, early 2009
- MacBook Air
- MacBook Pro: 13-inch, mid 2009; 15-inch, mid / late 2007; 17-inch, late 2007
- Mac Mini: early 2009
- Mac Pro: early 2008
- Xserve: early 2009