I’m considering various possibilities for a new Macintosh purchase, and am curious as to what extent Ortelius takes advantage of a system’s GPU or GPUs for rendering for the display and for other calculations. Will integrated GPUs of different speeds have any effect on speed while scrolling, for example? Would an on-board discrete GPU speed things up noticeably? Would Ortelius use the resources that an external eGPU provides?
Ortelius does not directly work with the system’s GPU, except in how the GPU is utilised by the standard APIs available to all developers. Internally, all graphics rendering is accelerated by the GPU, so a faster GPU will enhance performance across the board. We take no steps to prevent this; for example, on a dual GPU MacBook, we allow Ortelius to use the faster GPU if the user wants to, which improves performance to the detriment of battery life. While I don’t have numbers to give you, we do see much faster performance on machines with discrete GPUs. I would expect that an external GPU would similarly offer enhanced performance, but note that Ortelius does not have a game-like graphics architecture, so the speed-up may not be as dramatic as you would see with some applications.