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Is the OSX High Sierra upgrade necessary to enable hardware acceleration?

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Hello and thank you for this wonderful product, I hope it continues to be a roaring success for you all.

I have not upgraded to High Sierra yet as some other apps that I have installed recommend not to - just yet.

I have upgraded Affinity Photo to 1.6.6 though and notice that 'Enable hardware acceleration' (which I think is a new option for v1.6.6) is greyed out in preferences due to (No compatible GPU).

Is this is because OSX High Sierra is needed to enable that feature?

I am guessing it is... but maybe my GPU just isn't compatible.

My configuration is fairly new (imac 21" retina 4K with dedicated ATI Radeon Pro 560 GFX)


Thank you!


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Hey Darragh, I think the option you're referring to is Metal compute acceleration? That's an extra option for integrated graphics on modern processors - Intel Iris should be supported. According to the integrated graphics page on Apple's site (https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT204349), your iMac is possibly supported, but you'd need to switch over to integrated graphics. You should find a checkbox on that same Performance page called "Use only integrated GPU" - if you check that and restart the app, you may find you can now enable Metal compute. As far as I'm aware, though, you do need to be on High Sierra.


Otherwise, whether you're using a discrete GPU or integrated graphics, hardware acceleration in general is already supported and defaults to OpenGL - you don't need High Sierra for this. Metal compute is just additional hardware acceleration for certain operations like filters, 360 projection etc. You could also try the new Metal renderer, especially if you're still on Sierra (since it currently behaves much better on that OS ;)).


Hope that helps!

Affinity Photo Video Tutorials - Affinity Photo for iPad Tutorials

Looking for a manual/documentation? Check affinity.help for online help!

@JamesR_Affinity for tutorial sneak peeks and more

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Thank you James,

     Yes, I was referring to Metal compute acceleration, apologies if that wasn't clear. The check box label in the preferences pane says "Hardware Acceleration:" and beyond the check box it further says "Enable Metal compute acceleration". Below that in brackets then it says (No compatible GPU).

   If I understand you correctly, this option is specific to the Intel CPU's onboard graphics processor and not the discrete GPU then?

I have a Macbook 12" here which is upgraded to High Sierra so I downloaded the 1.6.6 version of Affinity to test it.

The Macbook has no dedicated GPU only the intel HD 515 that is integrated on the CPU. Now with this configuration the Hardware Acceleration: (Metal compute acceleration) is available and in testing the lighting filter on an image it is MUCH faster and smoother than the imac. This obviously should not be the case since the imac has a way more powerful dedicated graphics processor than the Macbook 12.

So perhaps High Sierra is the difference here and is needed to enable this option, and this option will provide performance improvement on dedicated graphics processors like I have in the imac also?



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Well I was able to answer that question myself as the other apps I was waiting on for High Sierra support are now updated.

So, having just updated the imac to High Sierra, the option to enable 'Metal compute acceleration' is still not available. 

Re-testing the lighting filter on the same image as before and the lowly Macbook 12 is still miles smoother and faster at applying this filter.

So it does seem like the Metal compute GPU acceleration in the imac 4K is not working for Affinity Photo 1.6.6.

Is this feature really just for integrated GPU? if so then it would be great to have it on dedicated GPU also as it's much faster.



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I also have similar questions. I'm Mac Pro 2010, High Sierra. The graphics chip is nvidia GTX680.
This chip is compatible with metal1. Other applications also recognize metal. I don't know whether "Metal1 correspondence" automatically evolves to "Metal2".

This is an imagination. Or, because metal uses natural hardware acceleration, it is judged that there is no need to select it, and the hardware acceleration item is grayed out? But when I select OpenGL, it remains grayed out and don't change.

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