New Macbook pro - What processor to go for?

Hi there,

Im due for a Macbook Pro update. Just confused about what spec. Is there any pro’s or con’s for running Rhino 7 on the two versions they offer?

  • 8-Core CPU-14-Core GPU vs 10-Core CPU-16-Core GPU
  • 16GB unified memory vs 32GB unified memory


Did you read this pinned post at the top of this category?

I did but not sure it answers my question. Not sure how the new GPU will deal with Rhino. Is Rhino a majority single processor program or does it use the multiple cores? I had a Macbook 12" with all Intel i7 and GPU which seemed to handle Rhino well. Now I have a 2020 MacbookAir with more Intel i7 power on paper but the whole thing seems underpowered compared to the Macbook. Spinning wheel a lot. Not only when using Rhino though also at other heavier programs. Just want try prevent that as much as possible.


To be totally frank, I’d wait at least until some trustworthy reviews are out - even until maybe someone has tested it with Rhino -, and until Rhino 7 is officially supported on macOS Monterrey, which the new MacBook Pros will come pre-installed with.

I wouldn’t expect miracles, but performance should at least hopefully be decent.
McNeel has been known to shill hard for Nvidia GPUs in the past, and currently they haven’t implemented Metal in Rhino yet. It’s a project of theirs, but I wouldn’t expect anything until Rhino 8 or even later. Until then, Rhino GPU usage on macOS probably won’t be optimal, not on x86, nor on ARM.

This used to be the case, but there’s at least some multithreading going on in version 7.
However, I don’t know how this is handled on ARM.

What is known, is that Rhino is currently “virtualised” on ARM macOS, and although performance is said to be generally good with Rosetta 2, I’d check out the current state of affairs with the M1 chip to be sure.
There must be some people here who’ve at least tested M1s, however I haven’t seen any threads praising the performance in relation to Rhino, but keep in mind that the early ARM macs also weren’t meant as prosumer devices, but rather for casual computing.

Concerning memory on Apple silicon, I’d keep in mind that it is “unified”, which means that the CPU and GPU share it. This could mean that the GPU can access hilariously high memory resources - for instance up to 32GB -, but it also could theoretically mean that if you have only 16GB and the CPU and GPU simultaneously want to use a maximum, both would only have 8GB at their disposition.

Honestly, nobody can tell you exactly how these new chips will perform with Rhino, until some thorough tests were made.

Hey, thx. Just downloaded Monterrey to my macbook. Will see how it goes before I update all. Good point about the unified memory being shared.

I’ve been surprised at how well Rhino 7 is running on my M1 Air. I have the 16GB version and I’ve just opened a 360MB file that was used to develop, (i.e. evolving versions in the same file), an insole with a couple of hundred hexagonal vents in it. It opened the file in about 13 seconds using the Oct 20 update .09002.
It is slow to rotate, that is the screen updates about twice a second and goes blocky. I didn’t hook my 3Donnexion Space Mouse to it, so using the trackpad was a little funky. That said, if a 16GB M1 can do this, I’d love to run Rhino on a 64GB M1 MAX.

Really waiting to hear from someone having tried Rhino on either of the new models.

Just got my MBP this week. First evening I’m trying to work with a 2.5Gb construction file sent by a customer but so happy it just runs so smooth. Of course with a file like that I sometimes get a spinning ball after running a command but its very quickly finished. So far very happy and a big improvement. Even over my i7 iMac.

Rene, what flavor MBPro did you get?

Got the middle one. 10-core CPU 16-core GPU 16-core Neural Engine

Also upgraded to 32Gb RAM but have since seen several youtube video’s that that might not have been needed.

Given you can’t upgrade the Ram, better to get too much today, so it’s just enough tomorrow.

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Couldn’t agree more. If I understand it correctly though the RAM but also the SSD storage is on the same chip with fast comunication. So when it doesn’t have enough RAM it can rather quickly use available SSD storage. Clever stuff.

Indeed it is clever stuff. I’ve been stunned at how well my M1 Air runs Rhino. I had kept a 2018 MacBook Pro on hand for emergencies, and something happened under Rhino’s hood, and suddenly Rhino runs surprising well on the top end Air. My son now has the 2018 Intel MacBook Pro.

I’m really looking forward to a native Apple Silicon version in Rhino 8 (pretty please!) Then I can pass on my intel iMac and get the as yet unannounced iMac with the M1 Max !

Only thing I have noticed is I get these weird reflections at time. Though it was only a specific file but now have noticed it in multiple files. They come and go when I rotate the file. But they don’t effect the work though.

same here

Hello - do you have a new link to this article, tried this link but seems not to exist anymore? Thanks in advance.

Hi, looking to get a M1 MBP - seems the work works well, what’s the rendering like? I’m currently running a 2012 Quad Core i7 iMac which really is slow on the rendering side of things…

Rhino is working fine except for the occasional reflections I mentioned earlier. But these are not in rendering mode.