Are there performance advantages of using pthread vs Dispatch?

I'm working on a graphics application, and I'm experimenting with parallelizing the rendering and simulation. My first attempt has been using three queues: the main queue for simulation, a queue for rendering, and a queue for synchronization:

let renderQueue = DispatchQueue(label: "render", qos: .userInitiated)
let syncQueue = DispatchQueue(label: "sync", qos: .userInitiated)

// The currentState is the shared state between rendering and simulation
var currentState = SimState()

func run() {
    DispatchQueue.main.async {
        while true {
        let newState = simulation.update(currentState)
            syncQueue.sync { currentState = newState }
    renderQueue.async {
        var renderState: SimState!
        syncQueue.sync { renderState = currentState }

So this works, but with performance stutters. When I profile the application, I can see that there are periods where all my queues are blocked at the same time.

I notice that in the slides for the "metal game performance optimization" from Apple, they are actually using pthread primitives for parallelization:

So is pthread just more suitable for performance-critical parallelization, or is Dispatch still suitable for this application>

This is an interesting question but the answer is intimately tied to all sorts of Apple-specific details and thus is kinda off topic for Swift Forums. My recommendation is that you post your question to DevForums (and specifically Core OS > Concurrency) and I’ll respond there.

Share and Enjoy

Quinn “The Eskimo!” @ DTS @ Apple

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Thanks @eskimo - I've created that thread here:

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