If you are buying a new laptop READ THIS

If you are in the market for a new lap top to run rhino.

  1. Most importantly, Look for one with a standalone video card. Specifically an nvidia or amd. More vram and more rendering cores (cuda cores) are better. Mac users should be looking at a Silicon M1.

  2. Laptop Machines that are referred to as “hybrid” must have a stand alone card that you can force the machine to use instead of the built in intel. These machine prioritize battery life over performance and try to use the Intel graphics as much as possible. We have tons of calls about poor graphics performance with these machines and the fix is to set your windows graphics to force rhino to the standalone card, effectively making it a NON hybrid machine when using rhino. Your battery life unplugged will plummet but your models will run much better.

  3. Machines that only have intel hd graphics should be avoided for professional modeling… they will work ok for a light travel box, or in an emergency, but they do not meet the min spec for rhino which is 4gb of vram. Updated drivers are the most important thing to maintain performance if you are already running one. (this is true for macs as well.)

  4. Stop trying to run rhino on parallels. It’s not supported, it does not work well, you will have problems, and we can’t help you fix them. If you need windows on a mac, run bootcamp. Also understand that there is currently NO windows solution that is supported for M1 macs at the moment. If you need a pc, buy a pc, running rhino on a mac with parallels will not work well at all.

  5. Typically, machines that are built for 3d modeling or vfx will be referred to as a mobile workstation not a laptop… That may help get you to the right section of the websites you are shopping in. Machines with “lite” “air” in the name or have a very thin form factor will likely have intel hd graphics and should be avoided.

  6. If you are going to do pro work, buy a pro machine. Speed costs money, spend it wisely.

  7. Nvidia RTX cards are working well with rhino currently. (both the quadro and the geforce models) The key to shopping for one is Vram and CUDA cores. More= better for both. The Nvidia Denoisers work well too, and can drastically speed up render times.

The current crop of AMD cards are also working well , but their driver and feature support seem to lag behind Nvidia.

Hope these tips help narrow your choices in a dazzlingly crowded hardware marketplace.


Laptop computers are an expensive choice and almost always a big compromise in performance. Don’t buy one just to be “cool”. Only choose the expensive compromise of a laptop if you absolutely require portability.

Laptops are designed for the market that wants long battery life and compromise performance to get it.

Rhino 6 and 7 need to be run on a high performance workstations.

As a result, nearly all laptops need to be reconfigured to run as close to a power gulping workstation as possible, to run Rhino and other “Workstation” applications with decent performance.

If you choose a Desktop instead of a laptop, and connect your monitor(s) to the Nvidia card directly, it will likely run well out of the box.


With you 100% on all that you recommend. We sponsor Midshipman from the Naval Academy here in Annapolis. Our current Middie, Stephen is an engineering student who uses 3D CAD software in his classes and just bought an Eluktronics Prometheus with an AMD 5800H and Nvidia 3800 mobile processor with 64 GB’s of ram! I hastily add that he made his long term commitment to Naval Aviation and got enough of an increase in pay to cover the cost of this beauty! He can easily render in cycles on V7 with that beast!

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I want to but a new laptop
Really I want to buy a Mac (as I have 20 years worth of software licenses for other programs associated with Mac- to switch to a Windows pc would be a very costly exercise) and run Rhino Mac on it… but also Rhino Windows
My understanding is that boot camp is not available for the new M1 models
But the advice all over this forum is “do not even consider running Rhino on parallels “

Does that mean it’s now impossible to run Rhino for windows on a Mac?

Not trying to be contentious, and I have read every post I can find but I’m perplexed what the bottom line is. To get the best Rhino experience do I have to use a pc ?

See the current status at the top of this thread:

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Yes I saw that. My question was regarding running Windows Rhino on a Mac, not the current status of the Mac version. I mean based on the posts I’ve seen the consensus seems to be that the Rosetta Mac version is imperfect ? it’s hard to gauge honestly how useable it will be…
So my intention would be to try and run the Windows version (on a new Mac). However as boot camp is currently unsupported it seems uncertain whether it’s possible to run Rhino on a Mac and have an optimal experience ?

Well, I mean Microsoft can’t yet get 64-bit windows apps working on Arm processors, so yeah it’s not likely to work. Bootcamp worked because older Macs ARE PC’s, that’s not the case anymore.

Ah I see. Thanks for a quick explanation
Looks like I’m in the market for a new pc laptop

Most hopefully likely, Rhino 8 will run native on the M processors,
with Metal instead of open GL …
and so there is space to expect a significant performance hike. probably already during the WIP [at some point]


Oh right !
So well worth Just sitting tight and waiting.

OK, so basically I have been playing around with Mac Rhino, and it crashes and doesn’t really work on my ageing Macbook Pro (2012 model) in OSX - it crashes and I can’t render at all (rendering/ray tracing mode just freezes the computer)

It works OK,in Bootcamp Windows 10 - perfectly fine for modelling but struggles with rendering as the GPU doesn’t work in OpenGL so I have to use CPU. It just takes a while. but does work and is stable as you would expect.

Unfortunately a lot of the hardware and so on I have and use (e.g. Metric Halo ULN 8 / 2882 for example) only work on Mac, so I will always need a mac.

I would rather own one ‘good’ computer (a mac) than two machines for the same money (one medium spec PC Laptop and one Mac - probably Mac mini) but I need to use Rhino all day every day essentially (and be mobile - hence the laptop)

My macbook pro isn’t really up to the task. So i need a new computer.

My current favoured option is to buy a Macbook Pro 16" Intel version with 32GB Ram and the Radeon 5500 Graphics card (8GB)
… and then run Rhino on Windows (Bootcamp) until the mac version is working better on Mac…

I would welcome some opinions on this… especially any experiences anyone has running Rhino Windows on a (recent) Mac under Bootcamp.
I only buy a laptop every ten years or so typically… and it’s a big expenditure (obviously) which I can’t afford to get wrong

Thanks for any comments negative or positive

If your workflow needs a faster cpu/gpu for Rhino and assuming this is the bulk of your workflow (computing time), then get what’s fastest.

Laptops are never the fastest or cheapest. Bootcamp is not going to make it faster. The Rhino Mac version seems like a weaker version of the PC from what i read in this forum.

A top notch user-assembled PC with 128Gbs of RAM, today costs 500EUs/$ without counting the GPU (i got a nvidia 3070 for 1000EUs) - 1500 max for a full machine. A laptop will keep you restricted to lower-tier perf forever at a premium price. I still dont think a laptop is the way to go if you need graphic perf.

Keep your macbook for your old SW or buy a used MacPro later. Invest wisely in a medium perf PC. Your HW cost will be 50% over the long term. (please correct me if im wrong).

Just my economic opinion on cost vs usability and time to get job done. I hate windows (the GUI), I hate macs since 20 years (sales policies) - i was in a few things at Apple that showed me the dark side of it. I respect both approaches. Macs were (then) super to install - PCs were horrible. Today, this is on par the same (but i have no experience reinstalled Macs to be honest - can you still copy a virgin OS installed on one machine to another? I was pleasantly surprised this worked on my last PC full HW change (MOBO and all)).

Short story why i think this way (i also studied economics and SW engineering)…

I have an old (my last - started with a 128K (and Apple][ to be complete)) mac PowerPC 8500 in a box just in case - i was a Mac professional dev/designer and engineer until 2000 when my 1 year old top notch/$ Mac was obsolete in view of OSX. 20 years and 7 or 8 PCs’s later - 3 of which are still running - a top notch PC that cost 1500 to fully refurbish to top spec, a holiday/rhino6 capable laptop - and a 15 year old PC laptop running my cnc. I still hate windows day to day usage (save dialog most of all)… But Mac vs PC budget is 10/1 given how often I update. And perf never slows down on these PCs. Just drop a new CPU or GPU and your good to go (every 5 years you’ll need a new MOBO and RAM if you really want to keep up with the OS (see Windows 11 coming with new HW restrictions - i still hate MS - but note Mac’s have done the same thing over and over…).

Last note: Remember that OS and Apps are ever more RAM/CPU hungry to handle more new features including features, security, faster IOs etc…

Why would you want to render on CPU instead of GPU?

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Thanks for the detailed reply.
As I have to carry the computer on the train most days (different work locations) I have to use a laptop unfortunately. I will likely install a monitor at the main destination/studio, but would also need for location work. The mac I use at home can be static though (my metric halo stuff doesn’t travel around much)

I appreciate what you’re saying about that being a big compromise, and by definition having built-in obsolescence… to date (for the last 15 years or so) I have found if I buy an ‘over specc’d’ laptop, it generally future proofs me enough for them to last a few years.

so really I either buy a new mac (eventually) - or 2nd hand as you recommend, AND a PC laptop (short term)
… or just get a decent mac laptop (now) and run Rhino on Bootcamp - and have one computer.
But the latter option makes me nervous… does Rhino for Windows run smoothly on Bootcamp on the newer (2020/21) models ? will Rhino for Mac continue to support the Intel models… or will that get phased out moving forwards

Regarding the last point… for whatever reason if I enable OpenGL on the Rhino for Windows running on my old mac the software doesn’t run (well it does but so slowly as to be unusable). I don’t know why… I mean that’s a lot of my reservations about using Bootcamp for Rhino Windows… will it even work properly ?

Thanks again for your input. I realise for most this is just boring

Not boring at all :slight_smile: Im on holidays in Algarve under a parasol sipping portuguese custom beers exploring my CNC options for the future which is not my bread maker at all -but hopefully will.

Being on the Go is an issue and i approve your buying the best to keep longest approach. Works for tools or cars also :slight_smile: But being able to model ideas on the go is key. That’s why i have a paper notebook and a high res pen (plus a backup)… Laptops are ok. Better with a mouse and 2 screens - so PC comes back to being the thing… Sharing files on the cloud should be a given.

For your nervous question:Rent a Mac not a thing yet? Find someone (at apple store or forum, neighbor etc) that can lend you a clean new Macbook to test. Only you can answer if the process works or not.

Finding the right PC laptop was quite an issue. I had to trade high-res screen for better price (1 instead of 2K$) - but i have a better graphic card,

You have another potential option in cloud pc vm… not shure how that would work in the train but it is an option. RDP is getting better if you dont mind screen latency and the oops mouse/keyboard delete at the wrong time sometimes…

Cheers :slight_smile: Glad someone is enjoying themselves. Beautiful part of the world too
Can you let me know which PC laptop you went for ? would be good to understand a baseline spec that works (do you do much rendering ?)

Cloud PC VM. That’s a bit of lateral thinking that hadn’t even occurred to me thanks, I’ll look into it.

I don’t think rent a mac is a thing, Have emailed tech support. Hopefully they can advise… I really just need to know that it works (2021 Intel mac in bootcamp) and can utilise hardware correctly - i.e. all drivers compatible etc.

contact a [nice] mac repair shop owner, talk to the owner, make a beer offering, He will set you up.

will give it a go. thanks for the advice.
edit : £90 to test it (welcome to London)

Enjoying myself will happen when i can do GH to CNC full time

But this is the california of europe…
The laptop i chose was just a ASUS VivoBook Pro - 16GBs RAM, 512GB SSD, medium res screen (not bad but not great as a Lenovo book), graphic card is great - faster than Lenovo. Screen could be a brighter but nothing a parasol can’t fix. Half price from the Lenovo or MS tablets.

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