Extremely Poor Graphics Performance - high end Retina MBP 11,3

Had a first look at Rhino on a top of the line Retina MacBookPro11,3 with dual video cards, 10.9.5.

Rhino reports Mac is running on the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB, however, 3D performance was so slow as to be effectivly unusable with a single object with any complexity. In this case it was a single polysurface with lots of rounded perforations. All shade modes rotated poorly except Rendered, which rotated reasonably well.

All Rhino OpenGL appearance settings set to - None. OS X Displays set to - Best for Display (FWIW, I tried all the modes from Larger text to More Space…and read the various posts about Retina Macs)

Rhino and System Information both report that the Nvidia is active over the Intel Pro. Interestingly, VirtualBox running Win 7, with experimental 3D enabled which pipes the OpenGL to the host card, when displaying the model with Creo, rotates the file smoothly in all modes.

The file rotates well in Rhino on a couple other models of non Retina desktop iMacs, as well as a 5 year old Pro with Nvideo GT120.

Can’t post the model but here is an idea of its complexity.

Software information

Software versions
Rhinoceros version: 5.0 Wenatchee 2014-12-02 (5A599)
IronPython version: 5.1.2014.1006
Language: en (MacOS default)
OS X version: Version 10.9.5 (Build 13F34)


Third party kernel extensions
org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxDrv (4.3.12)
org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxUSB (4.3.12)
org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetFlt (4.3.12)
org.virtualbox.kext.VBoxNetAdp (4.3.12)

Hardware information

Computer hardware
Hardware model: MacBookPro11,3
Processor: Intel Core i7-4850HQ CPU @ 2.30GHz
Memory: 16 GB
Architecture: Intel 64 bit

Video hardware
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB
Memory: 2048 MB
Screen size: 1440 x 900
Displays: Color LCD

USB devices
Apple: Internal Memory Card Reader
Microsoft: Microsoft 3-Button Mouse with IntelliEye™
Apple Inc.: Bluetooth USB Host Controller
Apple Inc.: Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad

Bluetooth devices

OpenGL information

OpenGL software
OpenGL version: 2.1 NVIDIA-8.26.28 310.40.55b01
Render version: 2.1
Shading language: 1.20
Maximum texture size: 16384 x 16384
Z-buffer depth: 24 bits
Maximum viewport size: 16384 x 16384

Implementation settings
Use texture compression: No

Appearance settings
Antialiasing: 0x
Mip map filtering: None
Anisotropic filtering: None

I’m still trying to figure out how to best address this (disconcerting) issue without access to the file. Would it be possible to generate another file that you can share that exhibits similar behavior?

I can send the file to Mcneel privately. It is 21MB zipped. How best to send?

Do you know if this issue has been fixed yet? i got a brand new Macbook pro 15" top spec:

Processor 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB

I had the exact same problem, pretty much unusable until i boot camped my mac and used the windows version of rhino. i can’t handle windows so I’ve resorted to using my 2011 macbook pro as it runs faster haha

i really don’t know if this applies the the performance loss you’re seeing but it’s something i came across recently which moreOrless cripples rhino on mac when working with models containing a lot of objects.

in the right sidebar, if you have the ‘Objects’ panel active while modeling:

…and make a large_ish selection of objects, rhino gets real real slow… so if you have that panel active, try switching it to another choice to see if performance improves.

(again, just a wild suggestion… i guess there are a number of other things which could be causing whatever problem youre seeing)

Still exists. We performed the same experiment as you, with same results:

  1. Install Bootcamp/Win 8.1 on the MBP 11,3 with NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB

  2. Test same offending file in most current MacRhino and WinRhino.

  3. Test same geometry in another application in OS X.

Result - WinRhino fine, MacRhno unusable with a file with any complexity. Another application is fine in OS X with same geometry.

Question(s) we have not been able to answer because we do not have the hardware (yet):

  1. Is this issue just MacRhino and NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB?

  2. Does the MacRhino issue affect other hi res displays, i.e., 5K iMac w/ AMD Radeon R9, or Mac Pro 2013 w/ AMD Fire Pro (insert any 4K +/- Display)?

@Northern_Power_House - what OS version is on your MBP? Ours has 10.9.5. We were wondering if 10.10.1 is any different, but have not had a chance to try such on the MBP 11,3.

With regard to hi res display, we’ve discovered that Apple has made some driver changes in 10.10.1, only, that is claimed to have improved hi res (Retina) on the nMP. Potentially unrelated, yet vaguely germane.

FWIW - McNeel will get this sorted. Still a WIP. MacRhino is looking great! We are chomping at the bit to add MacRhino to one of our Mac only schools with 150 lab Macs. We are also chomping to start rolling out hi res displays. (Much of our Mac Faculty are already on Retina MBPs) Our engineering school is PC based and has no interest in Rhino. They focus on Creo and Solidworks.

Never mind. Just realized I had a 10.10.1 external boot drive. Same issue with 10.10.1, unfortunately

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Just to chime in and let you know this is not forgotten…this issue is still on my list.

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Thanks Dan, would be great to have a fix as my old MBP is getting a bit tired now with all the heavy lifting.

Not sure if it helps but i originally got the MBPR with the intergrated Intel Iris Pro Graphics, i sent it back as it was too slow. I then got the top spec MBPR and was hoping that the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB would speed thing up but pretty much the same result.

@ec2638 I have looked at the model you sent, and I see one case where tumbling the model is markedly slower on the Mac than on Windows on the same machine. I have a retina laptop (not your model) with a LED Cinema display attached. The Mac is slower at rotating a model when a viewport is in ghosted mode or X-ray mode and on the retina display. If the viewport is in other display modes, or if the viewport is on the LED Cinema display, then display frame rates are comparable.

Ghosted mode and X-ray modes are transparent modes and require multiple drawing passes to create a single frame on the screen. This is why these display modes are generally slower than others.

I don’t know why the combination of a transparent mode and retina display is an issue with your model, but I will log this as a bug to be investigated.

Can you confirm that it is this same combination of conditions that is slow on your different retina laptop?

N.B. Technical modes like Technical, Artistic, or Pen mode take too long to calculate on either platform and won’t work.

@Northern_Power_House please post your Rhino information from the About Rhinoceros > More info… dialog. Please also post or send us a model that we can use to duplicate the problem you are seeing.

Thank you for examining this, Marlin.

It is not the same, unfortunately. What you describe sounds “normal” on your different model MBP. With the test file you have, especially when displaying just the “red” layer, and progressively a “tiny” bit better on the other layers, which are progressively “lighter”, I’ve confirmed on the 11,3 Late 2013 MBP that:

  1. The following modes are essentially “unusable” on the laptop display - Wireframe, Shaded, Ghosted, X-ray

  2. Rendered display mode rotates as expected (well) on the laptop display.

Interesting find. I do not have a TB display available at present, but do have plenty of iMacs. I attached the 11,3 MBP to a 13,2 Late 2012 iMac via Target Display Mode, essentially the same thing for this purpose I believe. When MacRhino, running on the 11,3 MBP, is window moved to the iMac display, everything is “normal” as you experienced. Model rotation is usable.

Something sure appears broken with MacRhino (but not WinRhino/bootcamp) on the 11,3 Late 2013 MBP.

Do you think this issue, until identified, will affect other high res displays, specifically the 2013 Mac Pro with 4k-5k display or 5K iMac?

When you wrote that Wireframe was unusable, that set off alarm bells for me. I didn’t test Wireframe myself because (of course) Wireframe is always fast. So I tested your model on my laptop some more. Your model is slow in Wireframe mode on my laptop, too. So, it’s not just the 11,3 MBP. You don’t really notice this slowdown until you have a model with a lot of lines to draw, like your model.

This was enough for me to track down the problem, which is in line drawing on retina displays.

This will be fixed in the next WIP release.


Impressive. Bravo and muchas gracias…

Hi @ec2638 …just checking in: have you had a chance to test this fix in the latest WIP?

Yes, I did on the 11,3 Retina MBP with the test file provided. Works great now!

Thanks for the speedy fix.