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iOS and MacOS / Should I buy a Mac with OpenGL 2 support?

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Zigi
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Posted: 10th Apr 2018 09:19 Edited at: 11th Apr 2018 08:24
Hi all.

I would like to purchase a Mac computer specifically for AppGameKit to develop MacOS and iOS applications. I was looking at the requirements on Steam and while the minimum requirements mentioning graphics with OpenGL 2 support, the recommended is graphics with OpenGL 4 support. The trouble is, I develop mainly on my Windows PC and I don't really need a new PC, so I would be using a Mac only for testing and to compile for MacOS and iOS. For that reason, I would like to keep the price below £200 and I would prefer some sort of MacBook as I wont be using it daily and I don't want to dedicate an area of my desk to an old iMac. At the moment I'm looking at options on eBay but the ones I could afford are coming with OpenGL 2 and some with OpenGL 3 support which is technically might work, but I would like to get some opinion on that if it safe to buy a Mac today in 2018 that is support OpenGL 2 only or 3, or should I really consider to buy one that is support OpenGL 4?

//UPDATE
I did find some refurbished 2011 MacBook Pro and iMac with OpenGL 4 support around £400 but it is the kind of money I don't really want to spend on something I would be not using much and to be honest many of them is in horrible condition, broken dent cases, missing keys, cracked screens, no power cord, dead battery, dead speaker, dead USB, dead something... I can't accept anything like that for this amount of money. For £200-250 I did find some 2009-2010 MacBook in acceptable condition but the hardware is very old and support only OpenGL 3.

The trouble is I don't want to find my self limited because of the old shader model, but I'm not sure if I should I expect any limitation or not and what sort of limitation.
The games I'm making doesn't need much RAM, CPU and VRAM so I think even an old 2009-2010 MacBook would be enough, but I'm not sure about the shader model of the GPU if that would be ok or not. For example would the shader pack and games pack work with OpenGL 3?

I would appreciate any feedback.
Thank you.
smallg
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Posted: 12th Apr 2018 21:49
would be interested to hear the result too, please let us know if it works if you do end up getting an openGL 2.0
p.s. you could always look into dual booting on your windows pc.
life's one big game
spec= 4ghz, 16gb ram, AMD R9 2700 gpu
Zigi
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Posted: 13th Apr 2018 00:21 Edited at: 13th Apr 2018 00:25
I tried Hackintosh years ago but was not stable on my config, it was crashing and freezing all the time and also did not boot up sometime. I was also worry about malware, who knows what is hidden in the modified kernel scripts.
I don't think I'm going to buy such an old Mac with OpenGL 2 because they are running the old version of the OS and who knows how long it is going to be supported. AppGameKit just recently dropped Android 2 support and I'm having troubles with it even on Android 4 and 6 so I don't think such an old system worth the investment.

I'm not even sure about OpenGL 3, I'm considering a 2012 MacBook Pro now It is not cheap, twice as much I did want to spend but at least 4 times better than a 2010 MacBook I could definitely use it for years in the best case.
Anyway, if I end up buying an old Mac I'm going to share my experience here.
MillaSays
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Posted: 16th Apr 2018 12:10 Edited at: 16th Apr 2018 12:11
I'm using an old MacBook Air from 2010 (model A1369). Slow as molasses - if I did not know better, I'd swear it was using an old spinning disk covered in fairy-dust as opposed to an SSD. I only use it for compiling AppGameKit projects so it's lack of speed isn't really a big deal. Gives me a good excuse to get a new cup of coffee whilst waiting for it to boot or compile.

It's been entirely repaved with latest OS-X, and is kept current with patches and whatnot. Not much on it, just XCode and AGK. It compiles iOS apps without hiccups, and the apps themselves run nicely on latest iOS - on a brand spanking new iPad.

Though mind you, I'm not doing fancy graphics or anything - just your standard 2D stuff. I also don't run apps natively on the Mac. I do my dev work in Linux and Windows, and Mac just isn't a target for releases. Only Windows, Android and iOS are.
PHeMoX
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Posted: 16th Apr 2018 12:48 Edited at: 16th Apr 2018 12:56
To be honest, I would probably ignore iOS / OSX if you are considering a £200-250 secondhand but definitely on the older side Mac or Macbook. There's actually a very serious difference in performance for gaming between the pre-2010 era Macs and the stuff that came after that with more decent actual GPUs in them. In short, yes, you are very much going to notice the difference between something OpenGL 4.0 capable and something stuck in OpenGL 2.0 era hardware. I'm not saying it can't be done, but looking at my iMac from 2012, I wouldn't for the world opt for anything older if the idea is testing out some game development projects. It would definitely be too slow.
If you're not willing to go all the way and get a new Mac (don't get me wrong, I know they're expensive as heck, but you could run Windows on a Mac and dual boot that way around too), I would at least suggest going with a better 2011 or 2012 model if you're able to find it cheap. It will make a serious difference for testing. Well maybe unless you're not making anything big and in 3D of course. One should also consider how long a 2010 model would still be relevant knowing it's an 8-year old system. My 2012 iMac is starting to show some serious signs of old age for newer games.
Zigi
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Posted: 16th Apr 2018 23:13
Thank you for the replies.

I would like to buy a new Mac for a long time actually but my current PC is enough for what I do. To target and test on a Mac is simply not good enough reason for me to replace my PC with a Mac cost £1600, I even find £400 for a 2012 Mac too expensive for my needs. This is why I was looking at this relatively cheap 2009-2010 MacBooks, but I realize it would be a short term solution only, these Macs are simply too old, barely useful for Web browsing I would imagine. Yes I was looking at a decent 2012 MacBook Pro for £410 but I was hesitating too long as I did not want to spend that much and the Mac was not in a good condition, the case was broken and the screen was faulty too, not too bad but for £400. eh just no I can't do that.

Anyway, thank for the info.
MikeHart
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Posted: 21st Apr 2018 19:34
I doubt you will be able to install High Sierra on these old machines. In 2020 Apple is saying goodbye to Intel CPUs and OSX anyway. So you might rethink your whole approach anyway and safe your money.
Running Windows 7 Home, 64 bit, 8 GB ram, Athlon II X2 255, ATI Radeon HD 4200. Using AGK2 Tier 1.
Zigi
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2018 01:08 Edited at: 22nd Apr 2018 10:55
Quote: "I doubt you will be able to install High Sierra on these old machines. In 2020 Apple is saying goodbye to Intel CPUs and OSX anyway"


The minimum requirements of High Sierra is MacBook Late 2009 but I imagine more than the standard 2GB RAM would be recommended to run it.
I also heard the rumours about Apple is about to merge MacOS and iOS in to one and I know ARM is becoming popular among notebook manufacturers and I heard rumours about ARM is the future. So I can imagine the MacBook Air product line become ARM based and maybe going to run iOS or Apple may launch a new ARM/iOS based product line to target home users in which case the "player base" going to be using some sort of ARM device running iOS but I don't personally think that the whole ecosystem going to change so much, I won't be able to use an Intel based Mac and MacOS by 2020.

But I see your point and I agree except the date. 2020 is too early in my opinion but who knows. Google is also about to merge Android and ChromeOS, Microsoft also got plans for merging the mobile and desktop version of Windows and slowly we can also see mobile devices that can be used as a desktop computer by using a dock or hook it up to a monitor and keyboard directly.... Personal and home computing going to change a lot that's for sure but I can't see Intel going anywhere, Intel just launched the Compute Cards for example which is going to be an other very exciting new way that may change home computing completely. But developers and creators always going to need more power, I'm not sure if a mobile OS and a mobile hardware can provide that by 2020.
MikeHart
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2018 14:39
Good for you. My 2009 Imac just went out of the OSX support, I can't install HS on it. Most likely that 2009 Macbook will be next with the comming iteration of OSX. When is that coming? Less than a year by the current release frequency.
Running Windows 7 Home, 64 bit, 8 GB ram, Athlon II X2 255, ATI Radeon HD 4200. Using AGK2 Tier 1.
Zigi
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Posted: 22nd Apr 2018 15:32
Quote: "My 2009 Imac just went out of the OSX suppor. Most likely that 2009 Macbook will be next with the coming iteration of OSX"

I haven't actually thought about that I don't know how OSX releases are and how long a Mac is supported. It is a good point. Thanks for letting me know. I definitely need to get something more recent then.
SpecTre
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Posted: 24th Apr 2018 20:50
Hi,

I have a MacBook Pro Retina 13" early 2015 version which at the time I got it, cost around £1000.
This runs everything I throw at it, AppGameKit, Unity, Game Maker 2, Photoshop, ZBrush, etc with no issues.

Initially I had Windows 10 dual booted on it so I could run either operating system but I have since got rid of Windows altogether now as all the software I use is on the Mac anyway and just works so much better.

It is relatively compact and the battery seems to last a long time when developing.

I know it is a big cost but if you are considering replacing the Windows machine, it is worth it.
With a Mac it is always better to pay as much as you can on one as you will find you will have it for many years.
Like I said I got it in 2015 and it has not got any slow down on it at all and still works like new.
Zigi
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Posted: 24th Apr 2018 23:05
Thanks SpecTre. I have just checked and a 2015 MacBook Pro is still cost around £600-£800 2nd hand depends on the condition but it would be not any better than my PC.
I'm appreciate your reply though but It would be too expensive to be a 2nd computer only for building apps .

I heard a lot about how reliable and balanced the Mac computers are and I'm thinking about buying a new Mac for a long time. But as I mentioned, my current PC is capable to do everything I need and I don't really need to replace it just yet, I think I could use it an other year or two maybe even for games. I have no problem running the most recent games but even if I could not, I have just purchased a PS4 Pro last year for the PSVR and I can even use the PSVR on my PC with a 3rd party driver it even works with AppGameKit VR so not even games and not even VR motivate me to buy a new or better computer at the moment. If I would buy a computer to replace my PC I would not consider anything less than a core i7, 16GB RAM or 32 if not upgradeable, and a 2GB but more likely 4GB dedicated VR ready graphics and if it would be an iMac then a 27" display is a must have but it would be insane expensive right now. Maybe in a year or two I consider to get one to replace my PC, For now I'm looking at something from 2012 instead. Anything more recent either too expensive for my needs or not enough to fully replace my PC or both
MikeHart
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Posted: 27th Apr 2018 20:36
If it is just about build stuff, how about using MacInCloud. I will definitely give it a try soon for my own language, as I need to build OSX releases.
Running Windows 7 Home, 64 bit, 8 GB ram, Athlon II X2 255, ATI Radeon HD 4200. Using AGK2 Tier 1.
Zigi
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Posted: 28th Apr 2018 19:44 Edited at: 28th Apr 2018 19:52
Quote: "If it is just about build stuff, how about using MacInCloud."

Well, I would like to also test the games to make sure everything works as expected. It would be suicide to release something untested.
MacInCloud sounds interesting especially with the pay as you go plan but I have few concerns:
>-They mention that the login time we purchase do expiry after certain amount of time, it is 60 days at the moment, so by end of the day even the pay as you go plan is basically means $15 a month.
>-Anything outside the App store need to be requested to be installed, since AppGameKit is not using licenses to unlock features but need to purchase to get the full product also the DLC's separately. Not sure if they can actually install AppGameKit for me. And to get admin access and let me do whatever I want would require a monthly plan and not cheap. Maybe it would be more simple to ask them to install Steam but maybe even Steam would require admin rights every single time I want to install something on a Mac, I don't know.

Maybe it would make more sense to risk it and buy a Mac for credit...
nonom
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Posted: 29th Apr 2018 12:05
Quote: "I doubt you will be able to install High Sierra on these old machines. In 2020 Apple is saying goodbye to Intel CPUs and OSX anyway. So you might rethink your whole approach anyway and safe your money."

It is key if you are thinking about buying a Mac. At least to be able to publish in the store. I'm afraid my MacBook Pro will be obsolete soon because it's from 2011, but I have an iMac 24" from 2009 and can't install Sierra+ so finally I'm using it just for entertainment.
peterflax
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Posted: 1st May 2018 20:08
please share the results ! thankyou in advance.

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