2019 MacPro, what options will drive Rhino 6 Performance

I’m lusting after the new MacPro and given the ”opportunity” to spend a LOT of money, I’d appreciate feedback as to what Apple options will deliver the most bang for the buck.

More RAM
More Cores
More GPU

What will make Rhino 6 for Mac scream?

For Rhino itself, fast cores and fast drives will generally make the most noticeable differences.

i dont know how this fuctions and i am on my way of learning rhino 6! on mac book pro but it has soo many bugs… sometimes one face of the solid is not selected by contol +shit , sometimes pan doesn’t work in perspective !

Geez, why Mac?

Does this happen after you have put you computer to sleep? I’ve had this many times and it is always due to this.

Why not? Switching to windows is not an option for many of us.

Overall, I think Mac rhino has improved a lot, and it’s getting closer to Rhino for windows. Now that we are getting so close after so many years, I think it is really important to keep reporting bugs and wishes and don’t give up.


I speak through experience. Mac is beautifully made and it is eye candy but performance? It is terribly slow compared to it’s rivals within the same price range + sound card problems, keyboard problems tons of dongles I have to carry with me plus insane price on top of it.
It is great when you do small stuff and no rendering at all, once your stuff becomes more complex it is pain.

and why not Mac ?? I’ve used both platforms over the years and Windows is also littered with problems, yes Macs are more expensive, but in my experience you get a longer working life out of them, and even 5 years later you can still get around £250 back when you trade in old machine :+1:.


it’s completely irrelevant when deadline is approaching and you fight for each hour wasted because your stuff is terribly slow and keep crashing due to the lack of computation power

plan your workflow and project work more carefully, work smarter, not harder, then you will minimise deadline panics, this is when most mistakes are made :+1:

and what’s completely irrelevant is posting ‘geez, why Mac’ , in the part of the forum which is for Mac users, using a piece of software that has been developed for use on a Mac :+1::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I have +20 years of experience and I’ve dealt with deadlines for ‘yesterday’ where quick delivery matters.
See the post topic: it’s about performance.

yep, its about getting a Mac :+1:

Perhaps we need another category entitled “religious wars”.

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:joy::joy::joy::+1::+1::+1: , yeh 2 groups, ‘FanBoys Windows’, and ‘Fanboys Mac’ :joy::joy::joy::joy:

Nothing religious about it. I have both PC and Mac and I know what’s better for task that requires performance,

The biggest bottleneck in a computer tends to be the internal bus for intensive operations. You have few options on that in most cases and none on the make. But that is where the biggest boost will generally come from.

If you look at your mac choices:

Disk space: The amount of space you need is dictated by the amount of extra stuff you want to store on your system. Even the minimum 1TB is sufficient for heavy users. You’re not likely to get a performance boost there. The amount of “disk” does not really performance unless you store 950MB of videos on it.

Memory: Next to increasing the internal bus speed (which is not a mac option) more memory is the best performance increase you can get. IMHO, for a Rhino-type user you need at least 32MB. If you want to splurge, 64MB is a good upgrade.

GPU: After memory, the GPU is going to get you the best performance. Upgrading to the top GPU is $100.

CPU: Sorry Intel, but CPU upgrades are generally a waste of money. For $200 you get an upgrade to from 2.3Ghz to 2.4Hz with no change in cache or bus speed. Unless you are doing molecular modeling or something that requires intensive CPU for extended periods of time (ie months) you are not going to notice the difference. That’s a theoretical increase in speed of 4%. Because of all the other bottlenecks in a system, you’re not going to see a real difference.


  1. Take the $400 memory upgrade to 32MB
  2. Take the $100 GPU upgrade
  3. Take the $400 memory upgrade to 64MB
  4. Spend what you need on storage (for me, the minimum 1TB is more than ample).
    Don’t spend a dime on fractional increases in CPU speed. Only upgrade to a better processor model. And then take the lowest speed available.

Thanks for a useful answer. I’m a one product designer in a company that’s all Mac, except for some data gathering and analysis tools.

My “big” machine is a 2015 iMac with 24GB ram, a quad core i7 and a Radeon R9 GPU. I also have a 2018 MacBookPro with a 6 core i9, 32 GB Ram and a Radon Pro 560X GPU. The real difference is in Rendering, the MacBookPro screams vs. the 2015 iMac.

I’m thinking I’ll hold off until the next iMac Pro upgrade, assuming there is one, and get that. The 27" screen using a 12.9" iPad pro as my 2nd screen gives me all the real estate I need. For now I use the iMac for the real estate, and if I have to do a bunch of rendering I move it to the MacBookPro.

Finally, it’s not so much religion as habit. I’ve never been able to get used to the Windows file system, and I assume Windows folk have the same problem with MacOS.

Thanks all for the useful discussion!

Hang in there, out there.

Same here! Glad I’m not alone.

thanks a lot

Hi @bgrh,
From my personal experience. Rhino 6 for Mac is a big improvement over Rhino 5, but still a long way to go…

Things to consider:

  1. Most Rhino/Grasshopper plugins do not work on Mac.
  2. All development is done for Windows first then you have to way a year or two for it to appear on Mac (and if).
  3. Rhino itself and Grasshopper are considerably slower on a Mac! And I have tested it many times.
  4. Any MacPro will an overkill for Rhino as it is just simply can’t use all the power and apple technology.
  5. No support for Metal. Now Cuda on Macs and Apple are removing OpenGL support.
  6. Grasshopper - only a couple of components use multiple cores. The rest just single core. (btw it is 2020 outside)

I know most of this problems will be fixed and @bobmcneel team is very helpful and always advise what to do if you have any problems.

Macs are still great and I was using mine through Rhino 5 beta and still using it.

It depends what you are going to use it (Rhino) for. I would advise to try it out on a Mac first if it is possible.

Just for your information, I am using 2017 MacBook Pro at home with 2.9 Core I7 and 16GB , Radeon pro 560. And Rhino / Grasshopper works as fast as possible even on big models. Slowdowns I experience sometimes are not a hardware problem.

Hope it helps.

Just a few comments to keep updated

Since we don’t control the 3rd-party developers, Apples SDKs, or Microsoft’s SDKS there is very little we can do about this. It is really up to the plug-in developer to support both Windows and Mac.

On Rhino 7, Windows and Mac share the same code base. You’ll notice that the WIPs are both released at the same time.

Have you tried the Rhino WIP. We are making some improvements, but I’m guessing they are not on par yet.

No yet. Not in Rhino 7. This is a major project it would delay Rhino 7 for a couple of years.