State of Rhino on Apple Silicon really that poor?


I recently got recommended this video on YouTube, where the author seemingly takes the current version of Rhino for a spin on a 16" MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip. It should be noted that at no point in the video, do they deliver proof of the specs or model of the Mac.

Especially shocking seems the part where they convert the about 2500 polysurface cubes to simple meshes, and scene navigation gets even more laggy and sluggish, when traditionally meshes were pretty much a guarantee for better performance in Rhino.

Down in the comments of the video, someone even asked about Rhino 8 WIP and TestMetal, and the author claims that there really is no improvement in terms of performance.

Is the state of Rhino on Apple silicon currently really that poor?

Yes, I know that Rhino doesn’t run native yet, but these computers really seem to perform great even in Unreal Engine or the Unity high-def render pipeline, which traditionally performed rather poorly on macs. There’s also footage out there from Blender, which really seems to take advantage of the ARM chip.

I’ve by the way quickly recreated their demo scene on my 5 year old MacBook Pro (Intel) and there is no issue at all with performance, except maybe in raytracing view.

i looked at his answer and there is a good chance that he in fact did not try testmetal since he only answered in regards of rhino 8 showing no improvement.

from what i read in recent threads is that testmetal does actually really help. having the wip 8 installed and not using this in this state imperative test command will probably show the same slow results as Rhino 7

I suspect you’re right that the author may not have actually tested with metal enabled. I replied as such in the video.

[edit] sure enough; you were right. The author did not test with metal enabled.

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well now he did, and he seems positively surprised :crossed_fingers:

I feel like there is way too much misinformation about ARM Macs and their performance out there right now. It’s pretty hard to get a good impression.
A lot of people do “reviews”, but aren’t thorough and/or scientific enough in their approaches to be believable, others shill way too passionately for Apple or immediately take them hard to court.

that is because people rather believe chinese whispers than reading what is written. that in fact is unfortunately also true for many other aspects of our tv dulled society. but ok some knowledge is really not easy to gain, so who´s to blame…

That’s probably not a socially acceptable metaphor any more.

I’m not trying to blame anyone here. I was just writing about my recent observations and wanted to know whether the statements made in the video were believable.
And while there may be a correlation between the decay of information quality and the rise of easy and lazy consumption methods, there doesn’t seem to be much quality written content out there either, especially describing the performance of Rhino on the latest ARM Macs.
Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be anyone here on the forums willing to do an objective write up - and it’s not like people haven’t asked before -, so dubious YouTube videos are pretty much all that remains.

idk about that. that is the official term for this well known game (except america maybe) nowadays everything can be politically incorrect if you just wish so… hope nobody calls me a basher when i say i would like to eat chinese dumplings, might as well also be incorrect to wear a black pullover or even to speak of them then. in austria we say “stille post” meaning silent post but oh well that might be bashing deaf people maybe… :man_shrugging:

regarding the misinformation in this aspect, i think it is just very early, many people already having m1 mac did not speak up, or even less do actually use Rhino and even less those who would use the Wip 8 and/or visit this discourse and obviously even less those who know of the testmetal command.

still there is quite a bit of information on discourse which if you have followed it should give you enough confidence… i actually would buy a new mac already (and i am pretty desperate) at this state and i am rather very careful, i am just waiting for a neat and compact mac mini which has enough horse power (ups horse bashing)


The Mac Mini is a computer from their consumer line of products. I wouldn’t expect a pro-sumer version with more exciting hardware specs, since Apple traditionally is very strict about differentiating between their standard and Pro line of devices. There probably purposefully isn’t much overlap, since slightly underpowered consumer devices promote more sales from the more expensive and powerful Pro line.

How would a user who does not closely follow this forum know about the semi-secret, undocumented TestMetal test command? Perhaps TestMetal should be promoted to a regular command in V8 WIP.

We’ll make metal the default when we feel it is complete enough to be used.

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There is a difference between making it the default and making it available for “public” testing in WIP V8.

Indeed there is, and who better to decide when that point is reached in a limited access Work-In-Progress build, than the developers?

I agree that the developers should make the decision about access to new features. I’m just suggesting perhaps is the time to promote the use of Metal from the semi-secret test command to a more visible alternative for testing but not the default.

Steve jumped into the You Tube video comments to suggest TestMetal should be tried:
“You need to run the test command “TestMetal” in Rhino 8 to enable metal based display” If it is good enough to publicly suggest to random You Tube video creators and viewers then perhaps it is good enough to be more widely tested.

I would not characterize V8 WIP as “limited access” since it is prominently listed on the primary download page of the McNeel website and available to any user who has purchased a license. Welcome to Serengeti

I see “limited access” as only in use by people that own a permanent V7 license, are aware that the WIP development process exists, have found and installed it, are using a Silicon Mac, and are actively running it.

That’s a lot of hoops to jump through. The number of WIP users on M1 Silicon Macs is relatively small.

TestMetal works great for spinning 1000s of boxes in shaded mode. There are still too many cases where it underperforms or doesn’t work at all that we want to address so we don’t end up with youtube videos on Rhino+Metal not working for something like technical display and layouts.

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i agree with @davidcockey’s clear thinking, Metal is important enough to be promoted to a rather more regular state at least in a clear communicative suggestion of some sort, even if it is not fully developed and even if the hick ups may cause more confusion than having fun spinning a field full of shoe boxes.

but isn´t that exactly what one would expect taking a WIP for a ride? not working/unexpected behaviours is part of that experience and i am sure nobody would start making youtube videos with a work in progress complaining how it is not ripe for production in my humble understanding at least.

also the general improvement seems significant enough to let the cat out of the litter box finally, maybe a short message when enabled could alert people to the lack of completion for the time being.

metal is a very important part of mac Rhino now, i can remember discussing that with Steve years ago, each day hoping that it will be coming finally. i am thrilled for a long time while others might not even have a clue what metal is and how important that eventually will be and actually already is.

I do agree with you two in general and we aren’t that far off from being able to make metal default (warts and all). Just a little patience.


Hey guys!
I’m an author of the video posted above. And yeah I’m already more than 15 years using Rhino, also the most part of time it was running under Apple Bootcamp and Parallels Desktop and I have to say that it runs fast enough for my needs in that scenarios. In terms of buying new 16” M1 Max I supposed that I’ll get the same or even higher performance but was very disappointed when saw what I saw. Thanks for Steve he bring some hope in a future Rhino 8 Mac OS that it will use all the power of Apple Silicon chip’s. I made another few test with a simple geometry objects also in Blender 3.0 and have to say the performance is way better, 500k cubes still allows to operate in a viewport.

Your disappointment is understandable, since Rhino 7 is advertised as ARM-compatible, but its laggy performance seems unfit for getting serious work done.
McNeel have again played their cards well, since now every macOS that buys an ARM Mac - soon there will be no other choice - also needs to upgrade to Rhino 8, because the WIP version surely will expire shortly after the golden master gets released.