State of Rhino on Apple Silicon really that poor?

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.

that is a little unfair in your description i think and for sure not something which they would do purposely to lead everybody astray. also everybody from McNeel side is specifically advising against buying a new Mac if its for Rhino, there are multiple topics where this was stated. it is sure not ideal and as you have pointed out, advertising that Rhino is running on Apple Silicon is sure a bit misleading… but those buying a new licence for Rhino also have the duty in their own respect to check if the computers fit the requirements, which again is not an easy task in this regards, but purposely? i dont think so.

I love Rhino and I love the Mac’s but can’t afford to buy PC just for a Rhino to use it. M1 Max is really powerful laptop and I wish that sometime (earlier would be better) I be able to work in Rhino with a comparable performance such as Blender, C4D, Maya etc. :slightly_smiling_face: Peace! :v:t4:

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Well they surely were as surprised by Apple’s move away from Intel as anybody else, but they made a conscious choice to implement Metal in Rhino 8 - which will be a paid update -, I believe even before Apple made their plans public, probably because the raytraced view never really worked all that great on macOS, but was nonetheless advertised as a novel feature in Rhino 7.

I believe that you shouldn’t advertise on your website that your software works on ARM macs, then on your forums discourage people from buying these computers (if that’s true).

Btw, raytraced view is not working in a current Rh8 build. :man_shrugging:t2:

not that much i hope, i did an intensive job and everybody else attending the topic alerting everybody to the imminent change a little more than 3 years ago, in this topic which you have showed up yourself at some point :slight_smile: and later in this

oh and here some late news to how ARM is going to affect actually everybody sooner or later, having arm processors running in intel pc, will definitely shake earth additionally.

that is exactly the point where i said that its not optimal, but what shall they say, no its not working? when it actually works? that the performance is not native should be clear. but, working is working…

if you run Rhino 7 on intel you are not forced to buy a new mac at all, they are working to get the switch for Rhino 8, nothing wrong in my book there.

Please note, Rhino 8 is not being compiled as a native ARM based application yet. The performance improvements are due to differences in Apple’s OpenGL drivers with their Metal drivers for display. This means that Intel based Macs will also see performance improvements with metal enabled in Rhino.

Is it already decided whether Rhino 8 will be available as native ARM build or will it still be a Rosetta thing on those ARM Macs?


We hope to have a native ARM compile for Rhino 8, but haven’t done so yet. Rosetta does a pretty amazing job of transpiling the Intel instructions to ARM instructions. I suspect we’ll see a performance boost with a native ARM compile, but not a very big one.

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