Guidance for a new Macbook

I am at the point where I need to break down and get a new Macbook.

What is the current recommended macbook Configuration for Rhino (officially or from user experience).

Currently i have 32Mb memory, intel
Radeon Pro 560X 4 GB and no serious performance complaints.

Is there anything i should look out for in the new macbooks? Is 32MB sufficient?


My main Rhino machine is a 10 core i9 iMac with 64GB.
(Showing your age referencing MB :wink: I did my undergrad thesis on a machine with 64K of Core, running Fortran from punch cards.)

However, I also have an M1 MacBook Air with 16GB of unified RAM. The surprise is how well the M1 Air runs Rhino.

Based on my experience with the M1 Air, I’d get myself the 14-inch pro and upgrade to the M1 Max with the 24-core GPU for $200 and then bump the memory to the Max 64 GB for $400 because M1 Max memory can’t be updated later.

This comes out at $3,099 plus tax.

If you do a boatload of rendering, you could spend $200 more for the M1 Max with the 32-core GPU - I don’t, so not an issue for me.

If you can wait, see if anyone else has one running Rhino.

And to be clear, my next move is to probably buy the Apple Studio computer to replace my iMac. And yes, I’m waiting for someone else to write that review…

Happy Hunting!


My first 'puter had 16mb of memory. 8mb in each of two cabinets the size of a refrigerator. it had two 600mb disk drives, each the size of a washing machine. I missed out on punch cards and paper tape but learned on paper teletype machines.

Is 64GB overkill on memory for Rhino or is 32GB sufficient for a new macbook pro?

Currently, yes! I have 64GB of unified memory and Rhino 7 uses from 800MB to 14GB, at least that’s what I’ve observed while loosely monitoring memory usage. Firefox uses from 1 to 2GB and most other mondaine apps around 500MB.
The 64GB come in handy in other programs though that can better make use of it.
If money is no issue and future proof-ness is something you think about than I’d say go for it. You’ll be totally fine with 32GB though!

The M1 Max and Ultra are beasts. You can easily render 4K images in Blender, while modelling in Rhino, listening to a podcast on YouTube, and running a stable diffusion image generation, all at the same time. The fans don’t even spin up. It’s hilarious! And the energy consumption is very low (10 to 50W).

Hah, I did my UG thesis on a 64 K machine, with fortran and punch card program entry. There was NO storage other than punch cards or printed output. Ironically, my thesis was a program to allow the placement of 2D shapes in X&Y with rotation and flipping and adding cut in/cut out shapes. The output was a punched paper tape that you’d then carry to the flat bed flame cutter.

As for the real question - what CPU are you running in the MacBook pro? The Apple Silicon with shared memory is pretty efficient. I’m happy with 64GB in a i9 iMac so I think you’ll be fine with 32GB until you are doing reverse engineering with massive point clouds that you are building to.

That said, I’ve only run Rhino in a M1 MacBook Air with 16GB - which works amazingly enough.

If you are going to be doing a ton of rendering, at the moment a PC is the way to go.

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The thing that can date me is learning FORTRAN on an 36-bit Sperry mainframe editing code on a teletype terminal.

I have no need to be miserly here. Howevever, you can spend $6100 on a Macbook Pro. I am trying to get what I need to run Rhino (and others) comfortably without throwing away money needlessly.

At B&H, 64MB is about a $700 upgrade.



I’d look at diff-arch’s reply since he has experience with the kind of machine you are interested in. More than memory, I suspect what matters most to performance is the CPU you go with.

If I was buying a new mac now I’d go with the following for $3,700. I’d use an external monitor and an external hard drive since they keep getting cheaper and faster.

Have fun sorting your way through this.


14-inch MacBook Pro - Space Gray
(14-inch MacBook Pro - Space Gray - Apple)



  • Apple M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine
  • 64GB unified memory
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • 96W USB-C Power Adapter
  • 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Three Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI port, SDXC card slot, MagSafe 3 port

As soon as Succos is over I plan to order that in 16".


Best of luck with the new Mac!

THX, I might need it. My current Macbook is a total dog. My previous one was the best computer I have ever had.

Just a thought - if I was actually getting a new CPU today I’d be getting the MacStudio. You can get the same hardware, minus the monitor, that is an M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine & 64GB Memory & 1TB SSD for $2,800. You can buy a nice monitor for $1,000. Or, if you want to max it out go with the Ultra for an extra $1,200.
It depends if you need to have the laptop as your main machine. I currently run with a loaded Intel iMac and an M1 Air as my portable, and it runs Rhino too, just slowly.
If nothing else, this has been fun to dream about! Thanks

How do you like your new Macbook? I’m currently looking at one myself and would love your advice. All the M2 vs M1pro and M1max is confusing to me, especially choosing my CPU and GPU. I typically run a 32gb Ram windows desktop beast but I want something portable and my windows laptop is sooo heavy. I’ll still have my desktop so I’m struggling to decide how strong I need my laptop to be so I can use Rhino on it without being annoying but can switch to my workhorse for heavy duty files and renderings.

This is my third macbook. I had several Windoze laptops and none lasted more than three years. My first macbook lasted 10 years and I had no problem using it for rhino until the keyboard came apart and it could not be replaced. The higher cost paid off with long life.

My second macbook was a dog. The keyboard was @#$# and it only lasted 3 years like the PC. Not a good investment.

This third one is much better. The keyboard feels much more solid than the previous one. It is an M1max.

I got 64 GB of RAM. I typically see about 50GB in use and zero swap.

I don’t do rendering so I have not encountered those types of rhino problems. I do see glitches from time to time that suggest problems with the Intel emulation.

I saw a 16-inch one with the same specs on Amazon for just over $3000 last week. Don’t know if that was a fluke. I was kicking myself when I saw it. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your response. I’m glad you think this latest one is better than your second one, I’d be so disappointed! I’d be super skeptical of the Amazon one, especially if they only had the 1 available. It’s probably for the best that you didn’t get it.

Im surprised you are using 50gb of ram at a time- what else are you running besides Rhino? I had been thinking about doing 32gb…

I wish they 13” pro had a better with a max chip. I think I would like how light, compact and portable the smaller size is.

How much cpu/gpu did you go with?