New Mac Pro: Hardware Compability with Rhino for Windows


i would like to run rhino5 on a Mac with Bootcamp. I’m thinking about the new Mac Pro. As you know, the apple mac pro’s hardware is quite preconfigured. So my question is, how useful is the new Mac Pro Hardware for Rhino5 on Bootcamp. Does anybody have any experience?
I’m also happy with basic Information like: Can Rhino use multi core?

The technical details of mac pro’s elementary version are:

Processor: 3.7GHz Quad-Core, Intel Xeon E5 with 10MB L3 cache and Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

Memory: 12GB, DDR3 ECC memory, 12GB (three 4GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory

Graphics: Dual AMD FirePro, D300

Storage: 256GB, PCIe-based flash storage

Thanks for any answer!


You wont have any issues running Rhino 5 on this configuration on a Mac Book Pro with Bootcamp. I run it every day on a similar Mac Book. This issue to be aware of is the underlying pain in the behind that using a Mac with Bootcamp is. If you have a need for both a Mac and Windows, there is some merit to it, that’s how I started out. I quickly got tired of switching between the Mac OS and Windows and moved everything over to Windows, because I used Rhino all the time. The weakness of using a Mac and Bootcamp to run Windows exclusively, is that you have a convoluted operating system that you have to maintain. If something goes wrong with the either Mac OS or Windows side, you’re in trouble. Running some form of Windows back-up on the Bootcamp side won’t help if you run into trouble in Windows, the hybrid system keeps most good back-up software from working properly, plus you still have to maintain the Mac OS side with proper back-ups. I had an issue on the Windows side and thought my back-ups would help, no luck. I had to totally rebuild my Bootcamp system from scratch and re-install everything. The lesson learned is that I use a Windows back-up program for files only, Time Machine to back-up the Mac and WinClone (on the Mac side) to back-up the Bootcamp partition and Windows Operating system. Like I said, it’s a pain. I like Mac’s, but if I had to do it again (and the next time I get new hardware), I’d not go the Mac/Bootcamp route again. I’d stick with a good PC and save myself the hassle. If you plan on using Rhino all the time, my advice would be to buy a good CAD PC. Hopefully, my next purchase will be a laptop from Boxx Technologies:

As far as I know Rhino is not [multithreaded][1] (could be wrong). A new Mac Pro sounds lovely (and expensive). Perhaps a bit overkill depending on your work? All depends on what you’re doing…

I haven’t had any problems running Windows 7 on Bootcamp on an iMac. I really didn’t have the space to have multiple computers and I wanted the screen real estate (I regularly need to pack it up and move it around the flat, but a laptop screen was too small for my liking).

I have the same software and backup setup as mcramblet with a Time Capsule/ Time Machine and Winclone. My backup system is mostly automated and my important files are also on the cloud so I can get at them quickly from either OS or mobile device. Luckily I haven’t any issues yet (fingers crossed, which is why I sound more positive). For me the biggest headache was the setup (make sure you have a wired keyboard handy when you’re installing Windows), but since then I’m very happy with the way things have run, knock on wood.

So far I’ve found no problem running Zbrush, Maya, Photoshop, and Rhino as far as performance goes. It’s really not much of the time I’m bogging down performance (only once in a while in Maya with lots of textures and polys). I opted for the highest end 2012 iMac with the 680mgtx and 24 GB RAM (the higher end iMacs have better video cards). It’s not a workstation but it has a 1GB of VRAM and it’s enough for most things I do (this year’s 780mgtx has 2 GB, but it performs about the same in most areas). The screen is large enough/ high enough resolution that it’s a reasonably good substitute for dual monitors. If something’s chugging in Maya a bit I can always turn down the texture resolution, fast interaction, etc. For me it’s a nice option to be able to run OSX on the same box, but I’d have been equally happy with a more basic windows box and dual monitors if I had the room. I’d rather build a middle of the road PC myself and upgrade it more frequently than being on the bleeding edge, which is what I’ve done in the past. It’s just better bang for the buck. My two bits.

My experience is very much like mcramblet. However other than Rhino my whole workflow is in OSX so I cannot go Windows only.

The switching between Bootcamp and OSX is a pain but an automator script to quit all apps and the Command Control Eject keyboard shortcut for a quick restart ease the pain a little.

I took out my optical drive and replaced it with a second harddrive to isolate my work files in case of problems. I use Winclone to back up Bootcamp and have Carbon Copy Cloner automatically backup my .3dm files in Bootcamp to my Mac partition.

I use Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X 10 to make the transferring of files a little safer between the different HD formats.

I use Mac Rhino for presentations via Apple TV and a big screen. As Mac Rhino gets better I am able to do more and more natively in OSX but most of the time I need my Windows only plugins.

@sochin & @mcramblet Now you have me worried.

I don’t intend to be a naysayer about the Mac, Apple makes great hardware. Our diehard Windows IT department has started purchasing Mac Books for some individuals because of the quality of the hardware. If someone has a need of both a Mac and a Windows machine, a Mac with Bootcamp is the best way to go. The only issue is the implementation of the dual OS system, I think it’s a little clunky and it makes backups too much of a hassle. I’ve been a Mac user for a really long time, but when I started using Rhino and got tired of booting back and forth, I realized I could just move to Windows. I converted my Adobe CS license, KeyShot and everything else to Windows and its been better. Now, the only hassle is the process of using WinClone to backup my Bootcamp partition, a several hour project, every time I do it. I take care of my own Mac, but our IT department is faced with this problem of backups for the other Mac Book/Bootcamp users and it’s a headache. Due to my experiences, I’m just trying to make sure people are aware and prepared for this. If you’re aware of this and if you also have need of a Mac, it’s a good way to go. If the intent is to use it only as a Windows machine, I don’t think it the best option.


The extra trouble of the two physical drives has a plus as it gives me 1 copy and two backups if I include my external backup.

If my bootcamp partition fails not a problem. I really only have Rhino on there so wipe and reinstall using Winclone or replace the drive. Drives are cheap… time is not.

My .3dm files are backed up to my Mac partition which are then backed up to a Bootable external drive of Mac partition. If my Mac partition fails I can just boot from the external drive and continue to work. If you back up properly you are fine regardless of what you use.

The only real problems I have had occur is when I got lazy and altered files on the Mac Partition whilst in Windows or vice versa. I never do this now, I always drap and drop or use the backed up copies. Creates a bit of work with knowing which is the last worked file but a good naming system solves this and it does not happen very often.

Like mcramblet said, if you need both Windows and Mac then Bootcamp is a solution with some hurdles. It does not make sense to me either to buy a Mac just to run Windows (I have only ever owned Macs)…even if it is a Mac Pro :slight_smile:

Use the best tool to do the job (all Windows) or jobs (Mac & Windows).

I’m glad wrknr brought the subject up. I’ve learned a few things (didn’t know about Paragon NTFS for Mac & HFS+ for Windows, Carbon Cloner, thanks). My plan has been to keep a clean version of the OS & major programs backed up and my work files separately, and take the hit in re-installing an extras as needed (drivers, utilities, etc). I guess I’ve been lucky so far and I haven’t had to restore my OS. I can imagine if it doesn’t go well on a re-install of a dual boot machine it would be a huge headache(!!) Thanks for sharing your experiences with it. I think I’ll re-examine my set up just to make sure it’s optimal. Again thanks for the feedback mcramblet & sochin!
Edit: “Drives are cheap… time is not.” Good point, especially my clients’ time.

fwiw, apple has dropped support for windows 7 via boot camp on the new mac pro…

Hmm, interesting… Considering how many people are avoiding Windows 8, it will be interesting to see how this evolves… Personally I like Windows 8, better than 7. But then again, I also thought Vista was a great improvement over XP… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I’m very happy to report that I’ve been released from Apple Bootcamp purgatory. My Bootcamp partition once again became corrupt and even after restoring with Winclone, something was not right. After days of chasing issues on the MacBook, I was released from it and given a new ZBook 15, with great specs. What a welcome relief to be free from Bootcamp!

Hi all,

We’ve been interested in how the new Mac Pro performs in Rhino as well.
As an architectural office we started off with 27" iMacs in 2010, using mainly Vectorworks for CAD. Meanwhile, we’ve switched to Rhino, almost exclusively, running Windows7 on these iMacs in Bootcamp.
I completely agree with @mcramblet and the others, backups with Bootcamp are a pain. Also, we have switched all our Software from Mac to PC to avoid rebooting all the time.
Since the projects we’re working on are becoming bigger and bigger, rotating the Rhino models is sometimes beyond laggy, but rather unworkable and no fun. That’s why we borrowed a new MacPro from our hardware supplier to test how it performs in Rhino. I have posted the Holomark2 benchmarks here (Thank you very much, @Holo!).
In absolute numbers, it performs more than twice as fast as our iMacs (32000 vs. 15000 pts) but the real life boost, imho, is not worth the upgrade. Sure, the processor is noticably faster (around 170%) but I have originally had high hopes for viewport performance. Unfortunately, our bigger project files are still very low fps (admittedly less so, but still no joy). Also I had hoped to use the double graphics chips for Vray RT rendering. OpenCL support seems not great at the moment, I only got RT to work occasionally, and it crashed a lot. The graphics drivers seem still buggy, they occasionally crashed in Rhino. All in all I hate to say it but: No Cigar! We got the most “lightweight” MacPro config for testing and maybe the more advanced gfx setups perform better (I’d love to see some benchmarks!). But right now we won’t go for it and get a PC instead (if they only didn’t look so naf…).
My personal recommendation for Rhino would be a fast (clock speed, not # of cores) Processor paired with a Cuda card (nVidia). I’m still not sure about the quadro cards. From what I read over at @Holo’s thread they outperform everything with meshes but when handling Nurbs models they’re on par with a GTX750ti (see @donl517’s setup here) , which costs only 10% compared to some quadros.

Not much wiser now, but the (small) new MacPro is not the answer. I’d recommend an iMac instead, costs the same, has cuda graphics and the thunderbolt display is included :wink: