BZFlag on Macbook

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kajo
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BZFlag on Macbook

Post by kajo » Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:11 pm

Hey guys, I've been playing Bzflag for a while on an usual computer using Windows XP. Everything has worked out perfectly, no stuttering, smooth playing. Lately, I bought myself a new Macbook Air 2012. Of course I wanted to try out how BZflag runs on a Mac - unfortunately, I was disappointed of the result. When I joined a server (HiX Map), I suddenly had the feeling that something was wrong. I felt, like I was lagging, but the stats didnt prove that. I'm using the same Wlan as when I'm on my windows computer. Anyway, after trying it out several times, I've come to the result when I play BZflag on my Mac, it is studdering, jittering... I just dont understand what could be the reason. I've got the latest stuff on my Mac, however, BZflag runs smoother on my 7-year-aged windows computer. As I'm not really familiar with Mac OS X, I wanted to ask you guys if you have same experiences or if you could give me some suggestions how I can fix that issue.
I'd really appreciate your input.

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blast
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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by blast » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:24 pm

Have you tried turning off Smoothing in the graphics settings? I know in the past, at least, that caused some issues on Macs, though I seem to recall it was more related to crashes than performance issues. Still, worth a try.
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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by kajo » Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:25 pm

Well, at first thank you for your quick reply. I've just tried turning off Smoothing. At first I tried it out on a server where I was alone. I don't know if it was just the placepo effect but it appeared to me that it worked better, no stuttering. Then I switched to a server with more people (about 6). Right after I had joined the session, the screen started stuttering. I noticed my fps went down from about 70 to 2-3, then go up and rise again. I don't know if that's the reason, but I tried out using energy saver few days ago with fps limit 50 in order to reduce lagging, however, it didn't worked and i actually turned off energy saver again... In conclusion, on a server with few people it worked out, when joining a server with more people it started stuttering again...

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by blast » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:29 pm

Are you running on battery at the time this issue occurs, or are you plugged into AC power?
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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by kajo » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:26 am

Well, I noticed this problem when my Mac was plugged in and when it it was not. By the way, I spoke to Ashvala and he thinks this hardware jitter problem appears because of the graphic card I'm using.

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by macsforme » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:28 pm

Correct, BZFlag currently runs poorly on some macs due to an issue with the Intel HD 4000 integrated GPU. Specifically, it appears that there is an issue with Apple's drivers. If you are able to, install Windows or Linux on the machine and use one of those operating systems to play. You also might want to complain to Apple about the state of their drivers. Currently, we have limited access to the required hardware to diagnose this issue and determine a workaround.

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by kajo » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:42 pm

Allright, thank you for this information.

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by macsforme » Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:33 pm

If you are able to, please try the build from http://forums.bzflag.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=18428 and let me know if it is any better. I have had one user tell me that the framerate on their Intel HD 4000 improved with this build.

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by kajo » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:51 pm

Well, I guess you mean the version I'm using right now. Ashvala has allready sent me a link so I can download the new version with changed settings for my Intel 4000.If we are talking about the same version, I can state that this version runs significantly smoother on my Mac then the former one. However, to achieve a decent result I've had to turn quality to low and choose a lower screen definition. Undertaking these steps, I can confirm that it actually runs much better.

Edit: I was having problems with FPS too. My FPS rate dropped suddenly and went up again. Using the new version, I can confirm this has been solved.

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by macsforme » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:06 pm

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Which version were you using before? I don't know what version Ashvala linked you to, so which version is working better? Did you actually try the one I posted the link to? You say you were having fps problems "too?" Were there other problems you were having? Do you still have to set quality to low to get a decent fps?

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by trainee » Thu May 02, 2013 2:57 am

Constitution wrote:If you are able to, please try the build from http://forums.bzflag.org/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=18428 and let me know if it is any better. I have had one user tell me that the framerate on their Intel HD 4000 improved with this build.
Hi Constitution:

Long time.

I tried this version on both a MacBook Air (late 2011) and a iMac (mid 2011), and this version seems more responsive than 2.4.2. Both computers are running OS 10.8. Still not as good as the Windows client on a Mac running windows with Boot Camp, but I don't have a Windows 7 or 8 disk, and I haven't figured out the work-around for running XP on 10.8.

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Re: BZFlag on Macbook

Post by macsforme » Thu May 02, 2013 1:26 pm

It's boresnake!

Thanks for the info. It's good to know that there have been improvements. The specific issue here appears to be with the Intel HD 4000 GPU, which exhibited sudden drops in framerate under specific conditions. It looks like both of the machines you have use other GPUs, and unfortunately our primary developers have not had much access to machines with the affected GPUs. The issue does seem to lie with Apple's drivers, which are apparently sub-par in general if you can get much better framerates on windows.

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