MetalFX could turn Apple into an Alienware competitor

What you need to know

  • Apple unveiled its MetalFX graphics upgrade technology at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2022 as part of the Metal 3 API for developers.
  • MetalFX works similarly to Nvidia’s deep learning super sampling and AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution technology by relying on machine learning to deliver images optimized for better game performance than hardware-based rendering.
  • The second game-centric announcement Apple made was around the Fast Resource Loading API, similar to Microsoft’s DirectStorage and AMD’s Smart Access Storage to help reduce game load times.
  • Apple announced that No Man’s Sky And the Resident Evil: The Village It will be among the first games for Macs to use this new technology, allowing the game to scale from 1080p on low-end devices to 4K on premium devices, such as the Mac Studio.
  • Mac gamers can benefit from strong graphics performance despite the lack of a separate GPU. Other major advantages include longer battery life on laptops, which may be attractive to mobile gamers who play on laptops.

After unveiling new hardware, like the newly redesigned MacBook Air and updated MacBook Pro 13-inch powered by the company’s latest M2 silicon, Apple cunningly announced its intention to be the next gaming house. The company showcased new developer tools, especially the Metal 3 APIs and MetalFX, an upgrade tool for AI-powered games. These moves indicate Apple’s intent to transform from a mass-market PC company, based on devices like the iMac and MacBook Air, and those focused on creators with hardware like the MacBook Pro, into a gaming brand.

Although new to the Apple ecosystem, tools like MetalFX have been in the PC space for years, driven largely in the past by Nvidia and more recently backed on competing graphics cards made by AMD. In the world of Nvidia GeForce, MetalFX is like Nvidia’s deep learning supersampling, or DLSSa technology that uses machine learning to analyze different parts of a scene in a game and upgrade it to create a clearer and more detailed image.