Mac vs Windows

very direct question. I’m wondering what to go for Macbook Pro or HP Z series. What OS is Rhino actually made for ,mainly? for windows or for mac. Appreciate your help!


Well, the major difference (aside from the interface) is that the Windows Rhino plug-in/third party ecosystem is currently a far larger and more varied one than the Mac side.

According to posts here, V7 seems to be struggling a bit on the M1 Macs. Should be better with V8.

If you don’t care which OS you want to use for all your other stuff, I would say go with Windows. But I’m a Windows person.

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It depends a bit on what you are doing, as Helvetosaur already mentioned there are way more plugins available on Windows than on Mac. If you need some plugins that are only on Windows then Windows it should be.

If I remember correctly Rhino started as an AutoCAD plugin before it became (fortunately for us) a standalone program so it’s origins are on DOS/Windows but I don’t think that these days there is much difference between Mac and Windows when it comes to Rhino itself.

Something else to consider is graphics card support, if you would need a Quadro card for your (other) software then Windows is these days basically the only option because the M1 etc. processors have their graphics built in due to their architecture.
Performance wise the latest higher end AMD (Ryzen 7 and up) and Intel (i7/i9 and up) processors are very close to the M1 processors, when the M2 processor arrives we’ll find out if they will still hold up.

With Mac you are “limited” to what Apple offers, with WIndows you can have a tailor made system made.
Windows might be a bit or a lot cheaper than an M-series Mac depending on specs you want.

I would suggest to choose based on what fits your use and software scenario/availability, appeals to you moer and what you are willing to invest money wise. There is really no right or wrong in the general sense, it depends on the details that matter to you.

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What kind of work and size of models will you be making?
I think the 3 main benefits of the (M1) MacBooks are:
Trackpad is second to none ( not only M1 )
Long battery life
Stays cool during normal use.

Grasshopper canvas is faster on PC.
Developing Python scripts on PC in Rhino is easier.
Customizing your workspace in PC is a lot easier.
More rendering options on PC (more plugins in general, also for Grasshopper)

The Z books are nice looking laptops but they run quite hot quickly I’m told and will be therefore more noisy.

In the end it will also depend on what other software you will need to be using.

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Brief and clear. I’ve got my answer! Really appreciate it.

Appreciate it! I’m learning product design and for now I haven’t set any limit for learning. I go as far as I’m can. What I understand is that Rhino works better on Windows (I’m a windows person). What windows laptop brand/model would you go for, if it’s for you?

I had no idea i9 is out. i7 was beyond my expectation :slightly_smiling_face: . I’ve read your reply few times. Inspired me. thanks a lot!

If you just start out, don’t spend too much on a laptop I’d say, for learning any i7 based laptop with at least 16gb of ram (preferably more) and dedicated nivida graphics card that has at least 4gb or ram will do fine. Once you know what you need you can make a much better choice and make the right investment.


This is a good advice, it should get you comfortable use of the laptop for a while.

Don’t spend money on a workstation laptop for now if you are looking for a laptop that is a bit more powerful than average, a good gaming laptop will give you better value for money compared to a workstation laptop if you are just starting.
For graphics card I would suggest to have a Nvidia Geforce RTX2060 or RTX3060 as bottom line for some futureproofing (i.e to get decent use for a couple of years, given that software demands tend to increase over time).

Regarding laptop brands, I’ve had good experiences with Asus and the Lenovo Legion gaming laptop.
Acer was good too, but they have some restrictions set in their BIOS regarding access to some things which might be an issue if you want to tinker with your laptop hardware etc. later on. If you don’t intend to do that then it is most likely a non-issue.

Some other things things to check is how much RAM the laptop can have installed, some laptops come with e.g. 16 GB or RAM but it cannot be expanded later if you need more memory. Another thing you may want to look for is whether it is possible to install a second drive in the laptop, as well as the number and type of connections for external monitors. Some only allow for one external monitor and some for two or more.

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