Rhino 7 doesn't use GPU's on Mac's at all now?

Hi all,

Just to clarify, am I right in stating that on Rhino 7 for Mac, AMD GPU’s on Macbook Pro’s etc are not supported for any rendering or Raytracing?

I have a 2019 16" MBP top spec machine & AMD GPU, and have found that it isn’t selectable for raytraced renders in the Cycles preferences.

Therefore is everything done via CPU? I feel like I’ve got a lot of wasted hardware in this machine if so!

Currently that is unfortunately the case. A Metal backend is needed for support to return. ETA unknown.

That said, you can install the Intel denoiser plug-in through the _PackageManager. That should help with getting render results faster.

A list of eGPUs supported by OS X: Use an external graphics processor with your Mac - Apple Support

Any chance to use them with Rhino?

Rhino Render / Raytraced don’t support these at the moment.

OpenCL was dropped on the Apple platform by the Cycles developers due to lack of commitment and support for the technology by Apple.

As mentioned when in the future there is a computing backend for Cycles based on Metal we’ll see GPU rendering return for Rhino Render and Raytraced.

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I am a little bit curios about the way cycles is integrated in Rhino.
In wich way the cycles development is going into the Rhino development. Is it a floating process (the engine gets updates with every Rhino service release if a cycles engine update is available). Or is it more that a new Version of cycles find just the way in big Upgrades like Rhino6, 7, … 8 etc.
How does all get under one hat :slight_smile: ?

Depends mostly on my workload and the amount and quality of changes in upstream Cycles.

Currently it does look like the next Cycles update will happen in Rhino 8. There have been quite big changes in Cycles that make it a bit tricky to do in Rhino 7 already. But we’ll see.

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crossing fingers for metal and silicon :slight_smile:

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So, to ask the original poster’s question in a slightly different way…
Is there no Mac-compatible hardware I can get, or no software configurational changes I can do, to make Rhino 7 display faster on my iMac (2017 5K 4.2GHz i7, 40GB RAM and irrelevant? Radeon Pro 580 8GB graphics). I just upgraded from Rhino 5 and am disappointed with this aspect (but excited by several other new features of 7 so still happy I upgraded). If I switch to “Rendered” mode for the Viewport it’s so laggy as to be practically unusable if I have the window fullscreen (Viewport property shows 4198x2596 pixels). If I shrink the Rhino window so that Viewport property shows about 2400x1900 pixels it becomes comfortably responsive again.
I’d even think about upgrading my iMac but I think the next version will have the M1 chip and Rhino won’t even run at all. I’m mostly interested in eliminating lag in the Viewport in Rendered/Raytraced mode, but I guess it would be interesting to know if there’s any way to do final renders faster also (a “CPU” farm?..but again, that’s not my main question). I guess making a Hackintosh with the fastest of these Best CPU For Rendering [2021 Guide] could be an option? but I really don’t want to spend that much time and money on it. Just wondering if there’s any relatively low-hanging fruit I can find to ameliorate this issue.

The short answer is no. And it’s no McKneels fault. This rests solely on Apple for killing openCL, and CHOOSING to not allow NVidia to be able to put in 3rd party CUDA drivers. As a result, Blender.org had no choice but to drop CUDA from more recent builds of Cycles.

Apple has effectively boxed off any approach to 3rd party apps have GPU assisted rendering support.

Are there workarounds? Yeah, but you have to go back in time hardware wise, not forward. You can (and I did this several years ago) run CUDA on older OSX builds (13.6 is as far as you can go) and then grab a previous build of blender that still supported CUDA. Then you can EGpu (or in my case with a small farm of 3 2010 towers all of which had 2 NVidia GTX 970’s in em) use that for a render farm. And even though the hardware is positively ancient, it outrenders a current gen top of the line Mac Pro 10 ways from Sunday. CPU rendering will never be anywhere near as fast as GPU rendering, as GPU renders are a massively parallel process and GPU renders (even with 4-6 cores per proc) just don’t scale. A single (relatively ancient) GTX 970 will still smoke the fastest multi core Xeon in the rendering dept.

SO if you really need to render a lot (and I’m talking animations not still frame here) this is the only viable approach to do it and still remain Mac based. Fortunately, the hardware is cheap because it’s so old. You can pick up 2010 towers for 3-400 a pop, upgrade em to hex core 3.46 Xeon’s for another $100 so so and dump in 96GB of ram for $50. Dunno what used 970’s run these days, I bought mine new when the 1080’s were all the rage.

How much faster?

I had to pull the 970’s in one of the boxes to stuff a 580 in it just to run the current builds of Rhino, and upgrade to 14.x to get metal to run. Net result is that one is now CPU only. A typical 4K frame in Cycles on the NVIDIA GPUS fully rendered in blender rolls in at about a minute a frame. A CPU is 7-9 minutes a frame.

Cycles Render of Rhino Model

The above animation rendered in about 30 hours on my now 2 GPU equipped render “farm”. If the 3rd tower was still GPU equipped that would have been cut by 1/3. If I rendered it solely in CPU on a single box current $20,000 Mac Pro it would have been an almost 2 week render. Thanks Apple.

I used to do fairly involved animations like that pretty regularly.

Rhino 7 is still fine on my 10+ year old tower. It’s gone as far as it can Go OS wise (13.x) but it’s fine for actual modeling and pretty much anything I need to do in Rhino BUT render full on ray traced stuff. For that I still need to export to cycles (and the Rhino blender import plug makes that a lot less miserable these days, back when the only option was OBJ due to no plug in it was really tedious).

So yeah. That’s sadly the reality we live in, as Apple has chosen to do all these things, mainly because they don’t want any viable means of doing anything on their OS that doesn’t involve you buying into the BS that the latest and greatest Apple hardware is the best thing since sliced bread speed wise, when the truth is that’s a total lie. It wouldnt’ do to allow one to slap in a relatively inexpensive GPU and get several more years of useful service out of the core box.

And despite the crap hype, the “new” apple offerings aren’t really all that much faster than the stuff from a decade ago in day to day use. Maybe for certain stuff where Apple owns the entire code base (Final Cut) perhaps, but for mainstream non Apple stuff? Nope. Not really.

How much faster? The linked animation here was a 1 minute, 4K @ 60FPS render


That’s sad. Thanks for the in-depth explanation. I just read a few articles pertaining to Apple and CUDA / NVidia / OpenCL and Metal. So, if I understand it correctly the only way Rhino’s going to use a Mac internal or external GPU is when they add some kind of Metal interface for the Rhino graphics. I guess that was Nathan ‘jesterKing’ Letwory comment above, which I now understand better. On the plus side it seems like Metal should run substantially faster than OpenCL with newer cards since there will be fewer layers of abstraction.
It looks like a ProRender plug-in was just released, that I think runs on Metal?..AMD ProRender Rhino Beta Plugin...any info? - #95 by goozoon
Unfortunately when I just tried it now twice it froze/crashed Rhino. Maybe I have some setting wrong or don’t understand how it’s supposed to be used. Anyway, it’s promising that it maybe it will work soon. I hope something also happens in the not too distant future to speed up the user interface Rendered and Arctic views too, would be nice.

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OpenCL/GL used to be a universal technology for all platforms, incl. Mac & Windows. However Metal is Mac-only. and it means any 3D software needs to have two sets of code, supporting both platforms, which may not be prioritized for software companys below certain scale.

IIRC McNeel has a plan of supporting Metal in Rhino 8. We shall see.

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I personally wouldn’t make myself depending on the OS when it comes to productivity. By all the hate for Windows, in many specialized fields it’s much better to go with the flexibility it offers. There is better hardware available, not only for gpu and cpu rending. Parts are easily replaceable and upgradable. Drivers are always up-to-date and the majority of 3rd party software is optimized for it, since it has simply the largest user base. If I could, I would definitely use Linux or MacOS, but the tradeoff is way to high. So I stick to Windows…
Because it’s just a software hosting my apps. Don’t give it so much meaning…


Guys on Mac with GPU, could you please try this:

It is a former Fryrender, later known as Arion

Is it working with GPU?

Great Render, but they write they do not support Mac.
or has their support page not being updated to new developments


I only see - you need to have Windows as render node or Rhino workstation with GPU as a main machine.

Cycles full support in Rhino 8 and we just got Rhino 7
Metal/Silicone is still future for Rhino

Just wondering, @LewnWorx
Could you try?

Dont understand. Try what?

Maverick, i meant, sorry