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Acorn 4.2.2: Supercharged for 2013 Mac Pro [u]

7 December 2013 673 views No Comment

And, by supercharged, Acorn developer Gus Mueller means all kinds of OpenGL, OpenCL (via Core Image) and Grand Central Dispatch (GCD) goodness have been baked in for faster performance and longer battery life. All of this in anticipation of Apple’s soon-to-be-released 2013 Mac Pros, which are expected on or about December 18.

“Pixels get to the screen so much faster now that everything is drawn through OpenGL,” writes Mueller in a blog post. “Not only that, but Acorn takes advantage of OpenCL by virtue of using Core Image. Acorn also uses custom OpenCL kernels I hand coded to speed up other operations.”

Acorn 4.2.2 (MAS, $49.99) [u]
— A New “Radial Gradient Blur”, which is sort of a like a vignette, but with a blur
— You can now change change the depth of an image to 16 bits per component with the Image ▸ Image Depth menu item
— RAW files are now opened as 16-bit per component / 64-bit pixel images
— The default color profile has now been changed to sRGB. (You can also change the default profile in Advanced prefs)
— All drawing is now going directly through OpenGL, which makes things quite a bit faster
— See full release notes for details

Mueller adds that he’s incorporated some super fast algorithms, combined with GCD, to minimize the amount of drawing that happens, which results in better performance and longer battery life.

There is a lot more discussion about the technical details here, notably about the OpenGL voodoo required.

As of this writing, Acorn 4.2 is available direct from Flying Meat — the Mac App Store version will be submitted once the kinks have been fully worked out. Perhaps Acorn 4.2.1 will be the version that gets posted, a tactic Mueller used with the release of Acorn 4.

[u] Acorn 4.2.2 is now available on the Mac App Store.

That said, whether you’re getting a 2013 Mac Pro or not, Acorn 4.2.2 looks like it will pack a serious punch. And, double kudos to Gus for being the first out of the blocks with a seriously Mac Pro optimized app…

What’s your take?

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