13" MBP Performance

My current MBP is on it’s last legs, it’s 5+ yrs old and starting to feel very sluggish with heavy Rhino files. I would love to ditch the 15" in favour of the 13" but I question the 13" performance. Unfortunately my Apple store does not have a top of the line 13" on display for me to try out. Is anyone here using a 13" MBP with the 3.1Ghz i7?

I’ve been able to test heavy files on the base 13" and while performance is better than mine, it’s still a bit slow for my liking.

Any thoughts on this?

Yes. The 13" has the embedded Intel graphics chip so it’s not going to have very fast video performance, and OpenGL will be terrible in a Bootcamp partition if you run Windows Rhino too.

Is this still true? The only MacBook Pro with a nVidia grafics card costs over 2800 € (it’s their most expensive model) - all the others have the integretad chip… It’s really a shame if we can’t use any of the cheaper models for MacRhino.
I also have to by a new one soon as my old MacBook Pro isn’t working that well anymore. It’s 6 years old and have had a rough life :smiley:


@Philip Yes only the 15" top of the line model features a non-embedded graphics card. Rhino still works fine on MBP’s without cards but performance seems limited. I can say that the new 13" MBP out performs my old Mid-2009 MBP but it’s still not as good as I had hoped.

@unleashedlive You mean display performance (navigating, zooming, panning in heavy models), right?


Yes. It’s not terrible but we’re working on a large (5ft tall) robotic device right now, lots of internal components, 200-300mb Rhino files and it (13" MBP) is a bit sluggish. The file is completely unusable on my Mid-2009 MBP however.

If the sluggish display speed is only in shaded modes, try adjusting the render mesh per objects or globally to reduce the poly count. You can also enable bounding box display in the display mode you’re in via the Display Panel>Object Settings or in Preferences>Display Modes>Shaded>Objects>Dynamic Display. This may give you the speed you’re looking for.

That actually sounds quite good to me :smiley: Perhaps the Intel chip isn’t so bad after all…


If you read my comments again, it’s only truly bad if you also need Windows OpenGL on a Bootcamp partition like many Mac Rhino users do. If you stay in OSX, the embedded Intel graphics are OK.

Keep in mind that on a laptop, a driving design consideration is extended battery life. This comes at a performance trade-off including graphics speed.

If you buy a car designed for outstanding fuel economy, you can’t expect it to have high speed and performance too.

Ok, thanks, now it’s clear.

Usually yes, but that is also slowly changing… Take a look at for instance Porsche 918 :smiley: :wink:


In my humble opinion, I can’t imagine a screen smaller than 15" for CAD work. It’s simply too difficult to “see” what your’e working on. These days though, 13" screens are available in much higher resolutions which does help some. Many years ago, I set in my mind the parameters for the perfect portable workstation that includes a 15" screen as a minimum and a five pound weight as a maximum. The time has certainly arrived wherein those requirements have been met. Look at the MSI Ghost, Origin PC and Cyberpower Fangbook Edge; these all appear to be built on the same chassis, weigh less than 4.5 lbs, have high res 15" screens and plenty of cpu and gpu power. I mention these as they are Windows specific machines as it is my belief that Rhino works best under Windows…cheers, Rob