Graphics cards compatiable with Rhino for OS X

Hey guys, I’m planning on buying a Macbook Pro for modeling mostly on Rhino for OS X (Windows too) and I wonder how well does the graphics cards preform with Rhino:

  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • Intel iris Graphics
  • Intel iris Pro Graphics
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M

Go with the Nvidia’s as down the line you’ll find they also have greater compatibility with GPU render engines such as the RT component of V-Ray for Rhino (obviously not an OS X option at the moment). The 650 & 750m also have great compatibility with a bunch of great third party standalone render engines including Thea Render (beautiful renders and great value for money).


Thanks jonmoore say is it possible to upgrade a laptop that has any of the Intel graphics cards with one of the Nvidia cards? because the laptops are sold as a package and they are quite pricey, does the Intel ones works with Rhino for OS X?

If you don’t like the high price vs amount of specs of mac, go with a different brand that is not mac. You can get more power for less money. Even so, I good strong laptop is expensive.

You could also next to the brand, also question yourself do you need a laptop, or will a workstation be good too, they tend to be more money efficient too.

If you’re looking for an NVidia option in a laptop format you’re very limited with Apple laptops as it’s only the highest spec 15" MacBook Pro that offers an Nvidia option and they’re more than double the price of the base model (unfortunately there is no way to upgrade Apple laptop GPU units as they are hardwired into the control board). However I will say that with Apple laptops if you can afford to buy the premium options the laptop will last you far longer. I recently passed on a 15" Macbook Pro from 2006 to a family member (2.6 Ghz dual core with 4gb memory) and they use the Rhino beta without any problems. You pay an awful lot for the final 25% of performance but you also pay for protection against early obsolescence.

You can of course go for one of the the non Nvidia models. I own the latest MacBook Air (Intel powered GPU) and that runs Rhino perfectly. I wouldn’t use the Air for rendering tasks (beyond preview renders) but that isn’t the point of the Air.

Your have three other options here that spring to mind:

1.) Search out the latest “hackintosh compatible laptop” options that are available to you. Be careful here though as you really need to know what you’re doing.

2.) Buy second hand hardware from a few years ago that meets your specification for Nvidia hardware

3.) Buy a reconditioned unit direct from Apple that has the Nvidia option. This would be my recommended option as it will save you a good deal plus you get all your standard warranty/support options of buying direct from Apple.

Hope this helps.


1 Like

Jonmoore thank you big time :smile:
I’ve though about buying a PC laptop and hackintoshing it but the laptops who works well with the the Mac OS uses Intel HD Graphics 4000. Do you think it will work well with Rhino for OS X? The laptop itself has a great compatibility with OS X.

Peter I don’t like the price but I love the OS itself.

If you prefer working on a mac enough, then you’ll have to stick to it : )

I like the machines, the OS is for me too troublesome in the aspect of software compatibility but, and the price tag is just a lot higher X% brand then other laptop-brands sadly.

They look pretty, and as far as I’ve experienced the OS is more stable sometimes.

ps. Good luck & may you become happy and rich doing your work :wink:

I’ve never attempted to ‘Hackintosh’ a laptop and everything I’ve read has put me off. A particular laptop model might work for a certain OS X revision flavour but as soon as Apple changes the drivers as it updates the OS you can run into problems. If I were on a limited budget I’d be looking at the 13" Macbook Air’s (new, reconditioned or second hand if it’s one from the last 12 months or so) as they have more than enough grunt to handle Rhino but will obviously be pretty slow for heavy duty rendering purposes (I also think they’re reasonable value for money). Any laptop than can handle heavy duty rendering purposes like the Windows variants made by Boxx are going to cost far more than a standard laptop so the Windows vs OS X agument is fairly redundent. Just look at the cost of this base model made by Boxx:

On the base consumer end, Apple hardware is definitely more costly than it’s Windows cousin but as soon as you get into pro configurations in many cases Apple hardware is actually more cost effective. I’m not going to get into an operating system debate here though as it seems redundent on an OS X forum. :smile:

Back to Hackintoshes, the desktop variants work really well and we run a number of them to add GPU rendering firepower to our network rendering solution at the studio.


Thanks jonmoore I’ll look for a good Macbook probably a second hand one. Peter from your mouth to God, I’m a jewelery design student so I hope that I’ll really succeed in my field :smiley:
I can’t thank to the both of you enough, happy modelling to all of us :smile:

You’re welcome, and the best of luck!