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Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.

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Urs
u-he
 
17104 posts since 7 Aug, 2002, from Berlin

Postby Urs; Thu May 08, 2014 11:29 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Hmmm, I can see a dozen reasons. Here's a third of those:

Maybe Logic has App Nap turned on. Stupid concept in Mavericks. Turn off.

On Windows it's often that plugs that crash won't process anymore, but the app continues (they simply try/catch all exceptions). Maybe a gazillion of your instances simply aren't processed :-p

On Mac you often get memory aligned generously on mallocs. If your app uses more memory than your caches can hold, you might get performance penalties.

Have you logged buffer sizes? Is your app optimised for small buffers or large ones?

Hehehe, in my observation performance between Mac and Windows is neglectible. If anything, Quartz drawing on Mac is faster than our homegrown drawing on Windows ;)
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Fri May 09, 2014 2:45 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Hi Urs, thank's for the ideas ;). I'll check App Nap, but I didn't enable anything. The crashes - not really, I don't even catch them as I assume it won't crash, so no reason to degrade performance. But the memory idea is worth verification. The plugin actually uses quite some precomputed data (at most a few MB). But the sad part is, that there's nothing one could do about it, and it would mean the Macs suck anyway. I mean if bigger memory requirements cause more than 3x performance loss, then it is a hell of a problem... Btw. what do you think about my idea about IRQs?
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Fri May 09, 2014 3:14 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Ha! Urs, you are a genius! :D It's really the memory apparently. I just did another test with a different plugin, which doesn't really need much memory, but it is possible to drive it quite CPU hardcore with some settings. And guess what - 20 : 20 on Asus : MacBook. So it is the memory. Well, so the conclusion here is that memory management on Macs is a problem... I'd like to know if it is the OS or the HW. I'll try to compare 64-bit versions when time allows, maybe it will work better since the OSes are 64-bit natively, but from my experience it is not a big difference usually.
otristan
KVRian
 
1110 posts since 28 Mar, 2005

Postby otristan; Fri May 09, 2014 7:52 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

maybe some good prefetch hint can help this.

_mm_prefetch

Be sure to use aligned SSE loading and reorder your data to optimize cache as well.
Olivier Tristan
Developer - UVI Team
http://www.uvi.net
http://blog.uvi.net
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Fri May 09, 2014 1:30 pm Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Thanks, but I think it won't help, the plugin really needs to walk through lots of tables and stuff... But thanks for the idea.
Delfinoverde
Banned

Postby Delfinoverde; Fri May 09, 2014 1:42 pm Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

@ MeldaProduction – Did you really check your latest MAC installers?
I tried to install a demo Plug-In from v8.01 but AGAIN it crashes my DAW! :!:
Possibly another demo from version 7 is causing those issues?
Isn't it possible to run both versions?
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Fri May 09, 2014 1:54 pm Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Of course we check it! No problems known. Except for one - if you install 8.00 plugins and uninstall one, it destroys the styles... so you need to reinstall one of them, to bring the styles back. It will be fixed in 8.02. But without any uninstallation there are no known problems. What did you do exactly? Please be specific, you didn't even say which DAW, which plugin, version 7 of what?? I really need you to be specific.
analoguesamples909
KVRian
 
1489 posts since 28 Dec, 2007

Postby analoguesamples909; Fri May 09, 2014 2:07 pm Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Im no expert but I found the dawbench tests interesting...I got the feeling its only on low latency where macs start to loose out a bit in performance...

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Sat May 10, 2014 4:12 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

analoguesamples909 wrote:Im no expert but I found the dawbench tests interesting...I got the feeling its only on low latency where macs start to loose out a bit in performance...

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm


HOLY CRAP! Nice site man! But I don't understand your conclusion - from the graphs Macs have lost on every front and A LOT!... Especially with low buffer settings. And as far as I remember a few stubborn macguys years ago were telling me that's the point - Macs can handle super-low latency. Then I bought my first mac and it run iTunes to play some mp3 - well, it was glitching... :D with just mp3... :D So this benchmark has pretty much confirmed all my findings...

Ok, guys, I'm pretty much considering this solved - Mac OS X is slow. Period. The reason is probably the memory management, not sure yet. Will do some more benchmarks, but low priority. Enough of trying to find what's wrong with Apple... :D And thank you all for the info and ideas!
remedy
KVRer
 
22 posts since 14 Apr, 2013

Postby remedy; Sat May 10, 2014 5:46 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

MeldaProduction wrote:Mac OS X is slow. Period. The reason is probably the memory management, not sure yet.

Part of the reason that raw performance is suffering on Macs is because of the messaging overhead of the microkernel architecture OS X uses. Although minor, keep in mind that we are currently on an uneven version number and historically the even version numbers seem to better, both in stability and performance while the uneven numbers are used to bring in the more experimental features.

This was all true before the big man passed away though, I'm pretty sure that if he was still alive I would still not be able to play HTML5 audio without glitches through a moderately expensive audio interface on the current OS X version.
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Sat May 10, 2014 5:55 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

:D :D yeah! :D
analoguesamples909
KVRian
 
1489 posts since 28 Dec, 2007

Postby analoguesamples909; Sat May 10, 2014 8:19 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

MeldaProduction wrote:
analoguesamples909 wrote:Im no expert but I found the dawbench tests interesting...I got the feeling its only on low latency where macs start to loose out a bit in performance...

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-1.htm


HOLY CRAP! Nice site man! But I don't understand your conclusion - from the graphs Macs have lost on every front and A LOT!... Especially with low buffer settings. And as far as I remember a few stubborn macguys years ago were telling me that's the point - Macs can handle super-low latency. Then I bought my first mac and it run iTunes to play some mp3 - well, it was glitching... :D with just mp3... :D So this benchmark has pretty much confirmed all my findings...

Ok, guys, I'm pretty much considering this solved - Mac OS X is slow. Period. The reason is probably the memory management, not sure yet. Will do some more benchmarks, but low priority. Enough of trying to find what's wrong with Apple... :D And thank you all for the info and ideas!


I wasnt specific enough.

On the surface it appears OSX is slow - but certain apps - show that its more similar. For Cubendo there is a big deficit. However for Pro Tools 9 - its more even.

Look here

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-4.htm

Ableton Live is quite similar according to my tests - and Logic is most likely the most efficient for OSX.

I think it depends how they are coded - with certain cross platform apps being more PC oriented. It does appear there is a slight PC advantage - but as I understand it - the Mac app has to be well designed to work in OSX to show that they are actually quite close in performance. Again - Im not expert but I heard it is due to the audio kernal in OSX. Its slightly slower - but more robust. That makes sense to me. Sometimes W7 seems a bit snappier - but I have more crashes.
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Sat May 10, 2014 8:37 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

Actually I think you are just talking about ProTools. The thing is, PT has always been written on Mac, and then ported to Windows using a Mac->Win wrapper! So anything on ProTools must be faster on Mac. Yet, for 64-bit buffers the Win : Mac ratio is 6:1 !!!! That kind of proofs Macs are so slow, not because of the HW.

When you look at hosts on Windows, the difference in performance is minimal. On OSX it is huge, my original tests shown 3:1 Reaper:MainStage !! That means that OSX is the opposite of robust. There may be crashes on Windows, but that's more likely the software you use, as there is way more software available. All Macs I tried were crashing at least as often as Windows, and I do way more horrible things to Windows :D.

And about Logic - according to my test Logic vs. Reaper was 2:3, which means Logic lost, a LOT! I mean if the difference would be 5%, then ok. But 50%!!! But it's actually probably just because logic was using only the main cores, which I think is illogical. So at the end Logic could win... but it didn't.
machinesworking
KVRian
 
826 posts since 15 Aug, 2003, from seattle

Postby machinesworking; Sat May 10, 2014 10:14 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

You're using different computers, with different hardware, and different DAWs. Comparing Reaper to MainStage for CPU performance alone is about one of the strangest things I could think of doing? MainStage isn't designed for CPU efficiency.
Reaper is a pig on Macs, and as you've pointed out Pro Tools is hugely ineficient on PC compared. If you really want to do a comparison though, at the very least you should be using the same computer specs, and testing against that with Bootcamp. Ableton Live shows the least difference in performance, CPU test over the years put it at a 3-5% difference in favor of Windows, (or zero difference), nothing at all like the massive variances you're getting, which seems to be due to the complete lack of any sort of standard hardware or software in your approach?
MeldaProduction
KVRAF
 
5090 posts since 15 Mar, 2008, from Czech republic

Postby MeldaProduction; Sat May 10, 2014 10:24 am Re: Why is Mac OSX so slow compared to Windows, especially using Logic and MainStage, despite better HW?

What on earth is MainStage designed for then? The fact that it starts choking at 25% CPU (and it shows 100% to hide it...) is riddiculous. And simply opens 3 times less plugins than Reaper. End of story, in this matter I have no idea what you think is inappropriate on that.

When it comes to comparing different computers, then yes I agree. It is ideal to use the exact same machine, I'm planning to do that, but it's not that relevant here. I originally wanted just to find out if there is some problem with the plugin, turns out there's none, so now it's just the curiosity, so it has to wait :).

Anyway by the benchmarks I have more or less proven the MacBook is faster than the other computer.
Using the profiler I have proven there are no multithreading synchronization issues or anything, the processing itself is just slower when performed in the host, parallely. And the only logic reason I can see now is that Urs recommended - memory handling. I verified by using a less memory requiring plugin.

So at the end in practice the Mac is simply slower. And the exhaustive benchmarks fully support my theory:

http://www.dawbench.com/win7-v-osx-4.htm
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