Hello CAD world and a question about computer power

Hi People of the internet!

I’ve been designing and making for 22 years now, (I’m a wooden boatbuilder that strays into furniture and artwork). I’ve been proud of being “old school” and having it all in my head, with the odd few lines drawn on sheets of plywood when necessary, it’s what I have, and it’s worked.

Having chopped the end of my thumb off recently, due to an “old school” attitude to my machine guards, I’m a little less proud… It has however afforded me the opportunity to learn something new so I have chosen to learn a little about designing on a computer. I have always used Macs so gravitated towards Rhino as It was one of the few that seemed to work on this system. It’s great, my life has had a shift in trajectory and I’ll never go back. One very rookie question if I may…
I am running Rhino 6 perfectly well until it comes to Raytrace and rendering, I am using: MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
2.3 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5
Intel Iris plus graphics 640 1536 MB
Catalina 10.16.6

My question is whether this computer is not powerful enough to run Rhino properly, and if that is the case does it mean ideally using a more powerful machine? Or is it realistically possible to upgrade what I have somehow. I am moving toward building more sophisticated boats and would like to be able to design on the computer rather than on the loft floor and by eye.

Thanks in advance for any replies.



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i think. you are the only one who can determine the power of your computers.
if you see that the computer crashes and must hang or it is slow … you must go for a powerful configuration

I’m going to change my computer to a more powerful one
.I encounter difficulties and crashes every time I work on large files.
mine and a Windows pc
i5 9300H 2.4 GHz
8 go ram
gtx 1050

Rendering and especially raytracing require a LOT of graphic computing power. Your Intel chip is not up to it. I’m not familiar with the actual detailed capabilities of it; it and its video drivers may not even be able to execute in hardware some of the OpenGl functions Rhino 6 uses.

Overall performance of Rhino would be better on a faster machine and as you move into larger more complicated models you may find more memory useful, but as you indicate the basic machine you have seems adequate. Serious users on Windows find i7 and i9 chips at the highest speed available along with 16gB to be beneficial.

If you want better shading and raytracing performance you have little choice but to get a new MacBook Pro with the best available AMD Radeon graphics chip. I’d also recommend the 16" since it has more pixels allowing you to see more of your model at once without panning and zooming. You might even want to consider one of the desktop Macs with the big 5K screen.

If you are not an Apple fanatic you might want to consider a Windows machine, but if you are not already familiar with Windows it would be a small additional effort to become familiar with the new environment. The Windows version of Rhino has additional capabilities that have not yet been migrated to Mac. It would require some additional study to discover how useful those capabilities would be for you. I’m not really sure myself what these differences are since I’ve always used the Windows version. I do use a 2012 MacBook Pro Retina with the Nvidia graphics chip for my everyday computing, though.

Sorry to hear about your thumb. Real bummer. “Eternal vigilance” and all that but work in crafts like yours for as long as you have and there’s a too real chance of something like that happening. Glad for you it wasn’t worse.

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