Rhino 8 on M3 Mac Performance

Considering buying a new Macbook Pro M3. Is Rhino 8 stable and running well on Arm chips? Anyone doing production work on Mac? Possibly even running the windows version on Parallels?

Rhino on Mac is Ok for hobbyst / students, but not for professional uses. I am constantly struggling with it on my M1 Pro, and I am seriously considering buying a PC just for running Rhino.
Its performances on Mac are very far from those on a PC.
Mac Silicon boards are beasts, but Rhino itself is a big bottleneck. Rh8 is not stable enough, yet.

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Are you talking about stability or performance? Did some quick tests on a M3 Max and it seemed pretty good
Stil on an Intel Mac though

Both, but mostly performances.
For sure, Rhino on Silicon is a big step-up from Rhino on Intel (and this thanks to Apple, not to McNeel), but still it’s waaay behind Rhino for Windows.
FYI, Rh8 on M1 Pro cannot even handle one or a few boxes in standard rendered mode:

(See the thread for the video)

I’ve been using Rhino 8 on my M1 Ultra for a couple of days now and overall performance is great, much better than version 7. It even launches faster. The raytraced renderer still seems a little bit behind other programs and has some weird issues, but it’s an improvement nonetheless.

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I have run Rhino on Mac for many years. Previous to changing to an ARM machine, I used to run it with Parallels on an older Intel Macbook (2015). That worked great back at the time and had no real trouble or big issues. TBH: I wish I had never changed to an ARM machine. In hindsight, I think that was a big mistake.

Rhino 7 for Mac on the M1 has pretty poor display performance (esp. with things like modest-size CAD file underlays or anything with many small objects) and many small UI bugs and annoyances (In both Rhino itself, and in Grasshopper) that lead to an overall not very awesome experience. It’s still good… but just not great. Certainly it is not as good as the Windows version (IMO).

I’ve only just started to try out Rhino 8 on Mac to see how it works, but I am not ready to try and use it for ‘real’ work yet. The small bit I’ve used it: the display performance certainly seems much better so far - but I’m tentative about jumping into using it for ‘real’ work just yet.

FWIW: Rhino 7 for Windows will run ok on Parallels on an ARM Mac using Windows 11. With things like large CAD file underlays, I have found it to be faster and more responsive to run Rhino for Windows in Parallels than to run it on the Mac. For a time there was an issue saving files from Parallels to Dropbox folders on the Mac side, but that bug seems to have been fixed at this point - so using RH7 with Parallels is a viable option.

If I could, I’d go back in time and go with a regular Windows machine though and not have to deal with all the performance and compatibility issues of the ARM machine.



FYI, I was wrong (just trying it out again now): the Dropbox bug is still a problem which means for anyone who saves their work to Dropbox (like our team does), using Parallels is still not an option unfortunately.


Rhino 8 runs better on Apple Silicon than Rhino 7, for sure. There are problems (as others have noted) that we’re addressing early in the service release cycle for Rhino 8.

When you ask about “production work”, what do you mean, exactly? What do you produce?

Running Windows on a Mac via Parallels can work, but isn’t recommended, and isn’t supported.

I’ve been using Rhino on macOS from the start, meaning since the Rhino 5 beta (if I remember right). McNeel supporting macOS was a huge game changer for me. An affordable surface modelling application with mesh support wasn’t really available back then, and Grasshopper was the cherry on top.

In my personal experience, I find that even Rhino 7 on Apple Silicon was easily “production work” ready, with the exception of rendering.
I’ve toyed with the free version of Fusion 360, and overall the performance was even less good than Rhino 7, and I dislike the workflow (and business model), but I get why it’s appealing to users that are new to 3D modelling.

Virtualization isn’t officially supported by McNeel (cf. system requirements).

Even if Rhino 7 had it’s share of issues, I’m grateful that McNeel put time and effort into making it a even usable on Apple Silicon. That they later managed to make it work with the Metal framework and run natively, deserves a chef’s kiss!

Rhino 8 so far is a great experience. I really like it. It seems much snappier than Rhino 7, but still have to put it through it’s passes. I’ve been using it for about a week now, but I still use Rhino 7 for some scripting related stuff. I haven’t ported all my IronPython scripts to CPython yet.


Thanks for this info. Given the incredible speed of the M2/M3 max in other 3D software, I wonder where the bottlenecks are in Rhino…
Rendering aside, how are the performances modelling in Rhino viewport itself and via Grasshopper? How cumbersome is porting IronPython to CPython?

It’s okay, mainly some syntax differences (e.g. print "foo" to print("foo")), but I have lots of modules that I’ve written for Rhino and Grasshopper, so it’s gonna take me a while.

Thanks. Curious to hear how the performance will improve, depending on the scripts, should be quite noticeable.
How has your experience with Grasshopper been in Rh8 on Apple silicon?

Hi -

I’m not seeing any recent crash reports from you. Does that mean that you are regularly experiencing crashes that do not cause the crash reporter to pop up?

Good so far, but it wasn’t bad in Rhino 7 either.

Sorry to persist: Do you have any comparison GH on apple silicon vs intel?

Honestly, I can’t really remember. I’ve been on Apple Silicon for the last two years now.

I have noticed the performance bottlenecks as far as Rendered mode is concerned. My guess is that it is mainly a quality settings issue - or let’s say a “viewport quality during panning/orbiting setting issue”, as my iPad Pro M2 is easily handling a few filleted boxes in Rendered mode. But I am not sure…

I don’t think it makes much sense to discuss Rhino 7 as Rhino 8 has been officially released and v7 is not native to AppleSilicon.
(There might be some plugin exceptions though for now)

I’m a hobbyist planning to implement GH and Rhino inside Revit at work. Architectural office.

I have been using MAC since 2010 and Rhino for 4 years. Last year I purchased an ASUS TUF for gaming, but I’m not playing games. I think I getting old…

My last MAC was a 16" MacBook Pro 2019, i7, 16GB memory, etc. I sold it. Now I have a gaming laptop and using Rhino 8 on it. I’m thinkg to sell it and buy a Macbook M3 MAX.

Which platform is better? I’m satisfied with the ASUS, but I’m a MAC fan… A lot of things are missing from Windows but which platform is better for drawing in 3D? I still have an old Macbook 2017, but that is weak for this app.


Only you can choose what “better” means.
If you do a lot of rendering and/or need plug-ins that are not available for Mac Rhino, then a well setup Windows computer with an Nvidia RTX card (as much VRAM and CUDA cores as you can reasonably afford), then the Windows setup will run circles around the Mac.

If you mainly do surface modeling and like the look and feel of a Mac, then go with that.
I have a 2019 MBP (Intel/AMD) that works fine for Rhino V7. I also have a 2023 MBP (Silicon M3), that runs V8 very well. I don’t do any rendering and don’t use any 3rd-party plug-ins so the Macs and my Windows 10 Desktop (Nvidia Quadro gpu) all work very well. I’m on the Windows box most of the time as it has 2 nice big monitors.

I also have a 2020 iMac 27" (Intel/AMD) I use for Logic Pro. Rhino isn’t even installed on it.

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