Blender, Mac, ATI - Bad idea?

I’m thinking about getting an iMac in the future. But I’ve heard bad things in the past about Blender on ATI Cards. Specifically on Macs.

One of the cases was in 2.49 but didn’t happen on 2.5.

Anyways. Do you think it’s safe for me to get an ATI iMac with Blender?. Or is it still a bad idea?.

I’m running Blender fine on my ATI card right now. Just wondering about the newer iMac cards. But when I buy one I bet they’ll be changed.


And one last thing - Does anyone think Macs have a problem with 3D software?.

What I mean is Maya is currently incompatible, C4D has had an issue in the past and Indigo Renderer is currently incompatible(Snow Leopard).

Are they just freak things with the software company’s?.


ATI drivers are just crap. My son got a firepro card for his PC and it wouldn’t run Maya. Complete crap.

The problems you are talking about are more that the program you are after hasn’t been ported over to the Mac OS. Modern Macs can run Windows and Mac OS. You need to install something called ‘Bootcamp’ which will allow you to choose which OS you launch when you turn your computer on.

I’ve had an iMac, intel core2duo 2.4 GHz, 4GB RAM, 24" screen, ATI Radeon HD2600 XT 128MB for two years. Didn’t use bootcamp but partitioned the drive so it windows and mac. Everything runs fine on Windows 7 64 bit - Pro-E, Blender, and Autodesk stuff inc. Maya Demo, 3DS Max Demo, Showcase. It’s not a workstation but it’s not far off. Best thing is it is running quiet all the time, not like a workstation. I just use the mac side for home stuff, email, iPhoto, iTunes, etc.

Blender runs well and fast on my Imac (core I7 2.8ghz, 8 gb of RAM, Ati 4850 and OSX 10.6.4).

I can’t find any benefit from getting a Mac at all.

Do you think the ATI problems might be over?.


Why get the same hardware but vastly overpriced? For the same price you will get an awesome PC that will run rings around the mac.

I’m not asking people’s opinion on Macs. Just on ATI cards in them.



We took care to have respected all ATI or NVidia driver/gL-specials in
Blender 2.5. Iám not aware of actual bugs.

The related dev´s have both vendors around, so it should not be an issue.

Too bad ppl answering questions not asked :mad:

Don´t conclude from any OS to another, makes no sense driverwise…


I’ve an i7 iMac with an ATi 4850. Blender 2.5 works fine, given the current bugs still present in the beta. Blender 2.49 had some small graphic glitches in the buttons window, these aren’t present in 2.5

@jensverwiebe, Richard Marklew: Would you feel safe buying a new iMac?

I think I may get a new computer in early 2012. So hopefully ATI will be better by then. If there’s any problems.


This is my first Mac and on my old pc, I had a Nvidia graphic card, so I can’t tell. But what I’m sure is that Blender runs fine. The problem I have in Blender 2.49 are exactly the same I had on my old computer (sculpting with my wacom, painting).

About Blender 2.5x, I use the builds from and that can be better or worse depending the build (glsl display, sculpt…), but that’s still a beta version.

So I guess they’re just past problems?.

I encounter the same bugs on my Imac AND on my MBP which have a Nvidia 320 chipset. So I guess that’s not ATI’s fault :no:

I suppose.

The biggest problem with ATI in the past, and still somewhat today, is a tendency to not completely replace the old driver files with the new ones. ATI use to have a utility to completely remove old drivers before you install the new and strongly suggested everyone use it.

I had an iMac in the past and had no showstopper bugs with Blender. The performance was also greater then an equivalent PC I had at that moment. That was an eyeopener for me. Not to say that machine was much more stable.

My current machine (got the parts very cheap so it was a nobrainer) is an i7, ATI HD 5770 with Windows 7 and it also not without its merrits. The relation ATI and OpenGL is better then a couple of years ago but is certainly not something to take as an example. Also on Windows I had had some problems that traced back to the drivers.