Apple Mac goes ARM with BIG SUR

At the end of the day it’s big news for 6% of the computer using public and much lower percentage of 3D artists. A large phone box has more than enough room for everyone using Macs for 3D.

Had I still been using Macs for 3D work this would’ve been the kick up the arse to buy a PC. I cannot see Apple making ARM processors that compete with Threadrippers which makes me wonder about the longevity of the iMac Pro and Mac Pro products. Maybe the iMac Pro will get one final Intel upgrade this year and that’s it and the Mac Pro is already EOL but will hang around in the Apple Store looking incongruous like the Trashcan did for so long.

Before declaring victory for Metal let’s see some Octane X benchmarks on desktop grade Apple GPUs. It might be fairly straightforward for Apple to bring high performance Laptops and low-mid end Desktops to market on ARM but what about the high-end?

Think of the developers, Redshift even with Apple’s assistance can’t get it to run well on AMD GPUs on Metal and now they have to turn their attention to ARM hardware.

Exactly the same as it does on PC. There will be a payed version and free version for Blender. The free version maybe after the current add-on is complete.

Im not going by any future speculation. I only know what current render engines are posting as working with and demoing Apple hardware and Metal.

Screen shot below is from the Otoy CEO’s FB post of Octane running on an iPhone

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I don’t care about Octane X running on an iPhone, no one does who does 3D for a living.

When a 250W Apple GPU is shipping and isn’t simply vapourware comeback with some benchmarks.

Of course we care!
Along with showing how efficient a full fledge render engine works on a iPhone, which to remind you is the silicone that will be SCALED up and not reinvented to run future Macs, it also shows how we can use and iPhone or iPad as a render slave. Maybe industry first?

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The crappiest of all eGPUs!

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Thanks for the reminder. Corrected it. :slightly_smiling_face:

It probably makes sense for Apple to move to ARM based architecture given that they also have a big slice of the mobile market. I am guessing that they are trying to blur the lines between their platforms. That might even have big adventages with the cloud stuff that they might want to build in the future.


I haven’t seen the presentation, but what does that list imply? Will Apple contribute resources (money or developers) towards these OSS projects, or already started porting themselves? Have Apple been in contact with the Blender foundation regarding this (possibly under NDA, but can’t image that to be the case)? Or will they just send a devkit and expect the massive work be done for them so they can look good, making this list hot air?

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There won’t be a massive amount of work required to port Blender to macOS for Apple Silicon. It will be almost trivial.

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Sure, the ARM port may be “trivial” but people will expect to actually use the program, which means porting to Metal.

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  • The GPU and CPU on Apple silicon share memory.
  • OpenGL is deprecated, but is available on Apple silicon.
  • OpenCL is deprecated, but is available on Apple silicon when targeting the GPU. The OpenCL CPU device is not available to arm64 apps.
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If they add a roof, it will block the sun.
I’ve installed an arch partition alongside Big Sur just in case.

Well, there is no need to port to Metal to actually use Blender. OpenGL, while deprecated is still supported. It would be a good idea to start looking at abstracting Blender away from a single graphics library like OpenGL, however.


Maybe Apple is onto something.


That is nice I only hope in a fast adaption in this older CPU architecture it’s was rising again in home’s PC use, but Linux is ready and on the way with many OS, that need a better developed RISC software, Apple push and stimulate competitions, that is good for all us, in the near future we have a lot opportunity, with growing ARM CPU and maybe new architectures, I think Intel and AMD respond soon to new competitors.

If 3D developers support the ARM evolution and Blender turns out to run like a charm on macOS, I’ll definitely consider a return to macOS. I’ll keep a close eye on the developments.

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I have no idea how you Mac people can put up with the Mac. my brother wanted me to open a pdf file and edit it and send it to him from his laptop. It literally drove me to screaming and cursing :joy:

I couldn’t drag and drop , every time I tried the screen of the app disappeared.

I couldn’t tell where is the “path” to the file was when I did a search for it so I can use “open file” from within the app .

I was so stubborn trying to figure it out for more than 15 minutes then gave up and copied the file to the desktop and opened it from there… LoL

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:slightly_smiling_face: It takes a little experience to know your way around macOS, but then it’s a really comfortable OS. Not to start another OS war, by the way. Each OS has its own advantages and disadvantages.


It’s all right my brother love everything Apple and I hate everything Apple. It’s funny to talk about it…