Why is Rhino so slow?

Newest version of Rhino on a new macbook pro still lags, especially when models become slightly complex. Really screws up the fluidity in my workflow. Why is it still so slow?

Currently running:
Macbook Pro Retina
2.5 GHz Intel Core i7
16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB

Can you explain more about what specifically is slow for you? For instance, is it a command that you’re waiting for to complete or are we talking about rotating the view of the model in a particular display mode. At a guess, I bet you’re referring to the latter, but I want to make sure. If you can provide a sample model that you find slow to work with as well that would be useful in seeing if there’s anything we can suggest. I have a similar Mac here to test it on as well.

If the model is confidential or too large to post here, you can upload it to our servers using www.rhino3d.com/upload

The program just feels sluggish all around, specially when orbiting and panning. Ghosted view in perspective feels incredibly heavy. It’s not with any model in particular, just overall. I’ve been using rhino in windows for over 5 years and that feels so much more streamline, even on my old computer. It just doesn’t feel natural on macs. It’s very frustrating.

hello Brian,
i had the same some time ago working with files from +500mb , this is what worked for me:
coming from a windows station where I was used to set the resolution high to have more line detail and smaller menu icon size in rhino i did the same in rhino MAC on my MAC book pro retina 2.3ghz and it was slow…
so make sure to set in your “System preferences” “Displays” to “best for display” or in scaled to “best (retina)” and change your icon and menu size in the Rhino preference settings in “tool palette - tool buttons” with the slider towards smaller to make more space on your screen. Further for the Open GL setting leave all appearance settings to “none”. With the retina screen this resulted in faster graphics without loss of model detail on screen.

Thanks for explaining more… so it’s all display performance from the sounds of it. Do any of @Eckhardt 's suggestions help such as making sure the OSX display setting is set to best for display?

Eckhardt, I tried your suggestions. They made no noticeable difference. Also in the display setting there is no “best for display” option, rather a “default for display” which is selected by default.

My file is less than 50mb and I’m experiencing some serious lag when all objects are in view. Even in wireframe mode. Feels like the program really struggles once anything gets over a certain level of complexity.

Thanks for trying those tips, were you able to upload the file? If it’s slow to rotate the display in wireframe too, I’d like to see the file.

If the Mac version shares this with the PC, this might help:
Under File/Properties/Rhino Options/View there is an option for "Dynamic Redraw."
If you change the Frames Per Second to say 16 to 24, Rhino will simplify the drawing while you are moving, as in adoptive degradation. If you don’t see the option it might be in another place.

You might also try adjusting the power options, to what extent, you will be able to, I am not sure, but often in CAD, as well as gaming, the power management will lower the processor whenever it can. Doing CAD/Design is often a mixture of quick moves and non-movement periods, this often tricks the power management into thinking that you aren’t doing anything.

There are other mitigating factors. The Macbook Pro’s are optimized for weight and thinness. In comparison, a Lenovo W540 series mobile workstation’s GPU and CPU can take takes about 175 watts from the wall. The Dell Precision 17’s have a few classes of video chip over that. I don’t believe any modern Mac laptop has that kind of performance and cooling, yet. The Mac Pro would likely be a good Rhino workstation.

Also, I’ve noticed that my roomate’s first 13" Macbook Pro all of his 8GB of physical memory, and then used virtual memory for even heavy web-surfing. It’s good that you have 16GB of memory. It would seem likely that people using Rhino with 8GB or memory will experience stuttering. All the same, you should close other programs, just to be sure. On the windows side, 8GB of memory allows Rhino to make some pretty big drawings, but Windows’s isn’t much of an operating system, is it? There, I’ve offended everyone.

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here’s a 50MB .3dm that i would consider sluggish… still usable at this point but jumpy and needing to pause a bit (a second or less) in between actions.

(or save the bandwidth and just draw a circle then Array it 505050 for 125k circles)

if you do that @spirtualposer, does it exhibit a similar level of sluggishness as you’re talking about in this thread?

On my old home desktop rig i7-2600k/GTX 570, it’s a little laggy. Not too bad. Not fast. Perhaps 8 frames a second. Brilliant moires.

Well…that is pretty slow.

Wow, I thought this would be bad on my Windows box as well - being as Rhino’s display is not that great with lots of “wires” - but it’s pretty snappy using normal mouse RMB rotation with my 780 here. Textmaxspeed is about 15 seconds, so about 6.67 FPS.

Have to check on my 2010 Macbook pro with its 9600 GT as a comparison.


right… just wandering if that’s what @spiritualposer means by slow… or if he’s seeing something else.

i mean, if people are drawing models with 100k curves in it then they should realize software does has limitations with how big a project can be and they will eventually bog down.

for me, it’s actually pretty quick since i’m from a sketchup background… try 125k circles in sketchup…

started typing this message 2hrs ago… it took 2 minutes to array 50x50… going to force quit now since it still hasn’t completed going 50 times in Z… once it completes, i’m pretty positive it’s going to be completely unusable.

so while the example model is sluggish, depending on perspective, it might actually be amazingly fast ; )

anyway-- i forgot what i wanted to say 2hrs ago and i’m getting sleepy.

Yep, I’m curious too. Hopefully, we can calibrate all our expectations :smile:

I’ve seen skp models like that…fwiw.

FWIW, I have been using Mac for Rhino for a few months now, on my 3 year old 13" MacBook Air with Yosemite, only 4 gig of memory, without any problem. I get a rare “wheel of death” moment that probably has more to do with other programs in the background than Rhino. I have been blown out a few times when I did something to push the program.

I think Mac Rhino its pretty cool for us hobbyists. There is still some cursor inconsistency (sometimes I have an arrow instead of crosshairs), and Zoom/Window works on the second effort each time you type it (never the first), and you have to type ZW when you are using the Mac Theme as the Mac style command window hides those icons during execution of any command. I am pretty old and have a pretty small screen and pretty big bifocals so I need to zoom in to get the right snap more than most I think.

But I only do small hobby projects, sailboats, toys, mining equipment (retired mine super), and I am comparing it to Sketchup 2015, the object being, “Do I move up to Sketchup Pro or buy Mac Rhino?” To me, Rhino is more in line with the skills I used in AutoCAD years ago, so the learning curve has been gentle. I don’t miss that “stickiness” where if you fail to group just one time…, but the Push/Pull of Sketchup is great and I would love it if the gumball was developed even further to help… Frankly, I almost dropped my Sketchup Icon from the dock today, seldom use it now. (I still grab stuff from their library though! It re-works pretty simply in Rhino.)

My Magic Mouse works great with Mac Rhino, but as with other Mac programs you have to kick-start it once in awhile with the touchpad. Maybe that is just a MacBook Air thing…

As for lag, lag seems to me as an inherent problem when you manipulate huge models or drawings and >50 meg to me is huge. I learned Cad in the 90’s, back then we had to use small files that were later assembled into large reference files for output. I still keep my files pretty small, so perhaps there is a lag, just not affecting the way I draw on my little Mac - and I love my little coffeeshop Mac in a Sack.

I will be buying Rhino, going to give it some time though to see if folks will do some plugins for it this summer, and maybe some improved render program will come available, or at least some better tutorials for Rhino Render. Perhaps they are out there and I just haven’t found them.



Agreed. It’s already on its way, but a little more easily locatable documentation is needed to showcase the cool things Gumball can do with extruding, etc.