Running high-end games on low-midrange MacBook Pro GPUs (part 2)

April 8th, 2012 by Mark Nanut 2 comments »

BF3The takeaway first: Battlefield 3 (multiplayer as well as campaign) is very much playable on 9600M GT with 256MB video RAM and a mid-2009 dual core Macbook Pro, with a few tweaks applied and a few compromises, mostly the resolution at which the game can be played comfortably. » Read more: Running high-end games on low-midrange MacBook Pro GPUs (part 2)

Get rid of OSX lag and run your Macbook Pro GPU at full speed

December 3rd, 2011 by Mark Nanut 1 comment »

BF3

To avoid a lengthy intro, here is the thing: at some point OSX – and I’m talking specifically Snow Leopard 10.6.8 here – started feeling sluggish. The transitions didn’t feel smooth anymore and the general feeling was that OS was not as snappy as it used to be. Turns out all this has something to do with OSX’s built-in GPU power management, which reduces GPU clock speeds in order to save power. So what we want to do here is to turn this sort of throttling off and keep the GPU at its maximum speed at all times. » Read more: Get rid of OSX lag and run your Macbook Pro GPU at full speed

Permanently disable vertical sync in OSX (BeamSync) for faster UI

July 8th, 2011 by Mark Nanut No comments »

Higher FPS with BeamSync off(disables BeamSync automatically at every login)

Here is a simple Automator application I put together to automatically disable BeamSync when logging into Snow Leopard. It’s not a particularly elegant solution, but gets the job done; I have been searching online for that one program which supposedly existed some time ago on the link http://glyf.org/beamsync/beamsync.gz, with no success. The other option – to modify com.apple.windowserver.plist with Property List Editor and put value of “deferredUpdates” to 0, just didn’t work for me, not even when doing a terminal command “sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver Compositor -integer deferredUpdates 0″ and rebooting – the changes just won’t stick.

Update 7.8.2013: Finally somebody created a REAL app for disabling Beamsync, without needing to use Quartz Debug. It is called BeamSyncDropper and you can get it here. It also works with Snow Leopard.
Update 24.5.2013: Here’s a newer automator app that works with Quartz Debug 4.0 and Snow Leopard and later OSX versions. You can download QD 4.2 from here. Download the zip with automator app from here. Put the Quartz Debug app in the Application folder, then launch the automator app from anywhere. What the automator app does: it launches Quartz Debug, enables QuartzGL and disables BeamSync and hides Quartz Debug app. Changes won’t stick if we force-quit the app, so it must remain open – and hidden. That’s it, you can set the automator app to execute automatically at system launch.

» Read more: Permanently disable vertical sync in OSX (BeamSync) for faster UI

Running demanding games on low-end MacBook Pro graphic cards

May 29th, 2011 by Mark Nanut 3 comments »

aka “Performance gaming on a low-end Macbook Pro laptop”

This post (which admittedly has nothing to do directly with being more productive on a Mac) was initially meant to be a lot more thorough and longer and cover step-by-step all the essentials on how to optimize old Macbook Pro with ATI X1600 graphics to run games well. Instead I decided just to focus on how to optimize it to run well one of the most demanding first player shooter multiplayer games right now, Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BFBC2 or BC2). You can then, however you find appropriate, apply these methods on other games as well, even though I have to admit that the time to upgrade the “gaming rig” has now finally come. Besides, there’s been said a lot online on how to optimize performance of Bad Company 2, so let’s just see how to get it to be playable in our case. We’re talking only fairly decent 20-30 FPS here, low resolution of 1024×768, low settings, all while retaining good visual quality and what’s also of utmost importance: keeping the game responsive and snappy. » Read more: Running demanding games on low-end MacBook Pro graphic cards

Fix slow Exposé in Snow Leopard

November 6th, 2010 by Mark Nanut 1 comment »

Exposé in Snow LeopardEver since I installed 10.6 Snow Leopard, the all-new, slow, laggy Exposé has been a constant annoyance for me. The windows in the 10.6 Exposé were now all neatly aligned and labeled, but the transition animation was choppy, adding to the perception of a slowed down OS. As always, I am running the OSX user interface mostly with BeamSync turned off, but that didn’t help the choppy 10.6 Exposé much. Being an optimization freak, a slow interface is sort of a worst thing for me. The general conclusion was that Exposé in the previous version of Mac OSX, 10.5 Leopard, was faster, smoother and also more intuitive, and the question was how to get the same functionality of Leopard’s Exposé back into Snow Leopard. » Read more: Fix slow Exposé in Snow Leopard

Use less than default 1GB Spotify cache, save disk space (SSD)

September 22nd, 2010 by Mark Nanut 9 comments »

Ok, this is another post related to saving more disk space, particularly in the context of using a small SSD drive. My Kingston SSDNow SNM225-S2 (Intel X-25M) SSD’s capacity is only 80 GB and there is a constant need to have less clutter and pack more useful stuff into it. In my previous post I explained how to snatch back disk space from the jaws of Gmail, and I’ve been since monitoring who are big “squatters” on my disk. It turned out that the client for the popular music service Spotify can actually use more space than it really should.

» Read more: Use less than default 1GB Spotify cache, save disk space (SSD)

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