What Laptop - PC Rhino, Keyshot & T-Splines

Hi Guys,

So I’m going to have to bite the bullet and drop the Mac :frowning: There are so many plugins and software options available for PC that working on my MacBook Pro is just unviable at the moment.

At the moment I running Mac Rhino Beta and Keyshot. Luckily I can decommission Keyshot from my Mac and switch it to a PC, and as you know, Rhino is free as beta at the moment.

In order to be able to hot desk I need a laptop - I’m getting a load of advice on i5 over i7 intel chips based on clock speeds vs hyperthreading etc.

  • Do any of you run laptops?

  • What would be your suggestion for Rhino, Keysho & T-Splines to run smoothly on a PC laptop?

  • CPU is most important for Rhino and Keyshot - don’t really need the graphics card (open GL) for much - or do I?

Thanks in advance


I have a Lenovo W530 that works quite well with Rhino - I don’t use T-Splines or Keyshot so I cant comment on those. It has an i7 -3740QM @2.7GHz and a Quadro k1000m-2048.0 MB graphics card.

I use it with a dock that connects it to two external monitors, mouse, 3dmouse etc. If you want to do this I strongly suggest steering clear of the usb docks. I struggled with one for a while before giving up and getting the full blown dock.

It got reasonable results in the holomark test scores here. Have a look in that thread, there are a lot of configurations that you can compare.

The consensus seems to be that you need a decent graphics card, ideally a workstation one (ie quadro, not GeForce) as Rhino uses OpenGL and not DriectX. There are plenty of threads on this topic if you have a look. Exactly what you should get depends on your budget.

keep the MBP and bootcamp it?

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Ah, thanks for the info and the links - quite a bit to get through but food for thought!

That was another thought - I could bootcamp. I only have 8gb in this machine though and it’s maxed out - I think I read somewhere that it will take 32gb even though it’s not specced for that - it’s a 2.2ghz i7 so not too bad.

The main point is lack of plugins etc.

I’m working on a job at the moment where I’m modelling coral to be 3D printed, it’s a real pain so thinking t-splines is the way to go.

I left behind the Mac and switched to Windows (for real, not Bootcamp), I’ve been much happier ever since. I recently got a new laptop for work and it’s proved to be a very capable machine. It’s a HP Z Book 15. My company buys very specific configurations and does the upgrades themselves, otherwise they’re very pricey. I have the fastest CPU offered, 16 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD and the Quadro 2100M. I even use my existing Thunderbolt Display with this laptop, which was nice not to need to buy another monitor. Not too many PC’s that have Thunderbolt, which makes it a good choice if you have any peripherals from the Mac side. I use this with Rhino, T-Splines and Keyshot, all with good success.

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I second the SSD! Definitely worth spending a little extra on, even if you have 2 drives, one smaller ssd for installing all your programs on and a second, larger hdd for your files. You will notice the quick boots and load times.

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I’ve just noted the Hardware Recommondations thread! oops :smile:

Just bought a seat for Keyshot this month and I’m self employed so have to watch the cash flow at the moment, otherwise I’d splash out - it’s such a quagmire on the PC front, so out of touch with what’s new!

Just been looking at Scan computers via Simply Rhino but your machine sounds like it flys, I’ll take a look at HP and these other threads.



Just noted that you can upgrade your older Mac to double the recommended RAM without any problems

I think I might just buy Windows and run Rhino and t-splines on bootcamp :confused:


Cheers guys!

Mac Rhino is free for now. You will need to buy Rhino for Windows. Or did I misunderstand what you were trying to say?

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Yes, it’s free for now but not for ever, when it’s launched it won’t have layout capabilities which is a drag… I’ve been looking at AutoCAD LT for Mac as a work around… Each decision is an extra cost and working within another program. I’ve used AutoCAD from 1992 - 2008 so not unfamiliar with it - I just prefer Rhino.

Rather than buy a cut down Mac version of Rhino and an expensive layout program I may as well buy Windows7 64bit, Rhino 5 for PC and T-Splines plugin. At least I’ll have all those other plugins and scripts at my finger tips.
The main thing is I can spend £100 on 2x 8GB modules and buy the software but I don’t have to buy another computer which pretty much pays for the software(ish)

There are many things I like about the Mac version though, I haven’t used Rhino on a PC since version 4 when it was first launched, the company I worked for had 2x licenses and that’s where I first used it.

(a big thanks to Jeff for the idea of bootcamp!)

I would caution you to be very diligent with the backup system that you put in place. WinClone is a must to backup the Bootcamp partition. I’ve been burnt a couple of times using Bootcamp. Without elaborating here, look up other Bootcamp discussions like this:

Thanks for the tips. It’s odd working in Windows again, especially on the MacBook Pro - Steve Jobs will be spinning in his basket! “One fifth of my HDD proffered to Bill Gates?! How could you?!” Etc…

Anyway, back in the real world; it’s been working a treat, and t-splines is awesome, just the ticket for this project, I was able to pick it up and run with it within about half an hour!

You may see me switch to a PC posts in a few short weeks, got my eye on an Alienware 18 dual graphics etc. Overkill? Maybe, but at least it’ll be a formidable 32gig machine, I can be mediocre on a flashy laptop which is only being used to half of its potential, rather than being mediocre on a Mac which is struggling a bit :smile:

Thanks again for the help guys