Blender on Apple OSX

I am about to purchase a new computer. I am leaning toward a Mac for the video editing and other creative stuff, but another of my considerations is how Blender will work on it. So if any of you has any opinion on the following I’d appreciate hearing it:

  1. Any buggy behavior with OSX since this is a newer o/s for Blender?

  2. Since the Macs have a single button mouse, how does this affect productivity on Blender which uses three buttons (even if one can be emulated with another key like Alt on Windows).

  3. The PowerMacs come with dual processors. During the loooong animation renderings, can Blender take advantage of more than one processor by spawning multiple threads? How well does it work on the single-processor new G5 iMacs?

  4. Any other Windows/Mac comparison issues?


  1. I’ve been using it on my G5 for about a month now and I haven’t run into any problems.

  2. Just go buy a $10 3-button mouse with a scroll wheel. The scroll wheel alone is worth spending the money.

  3. I don’t believe it takes advantage of both processors, at least I haven’t noticed it. I do have a utility that displays CPU activity, so I’m confident on this one. If you use Yafray to render, there is a button to select the # of CPU’s to use, but I don’t think it actually does anything. I know the stand alone version of Yafray isn’t multi-CPU capable because that’s what I was using before I got on the Blender bandwagon.

Only for me with a 16MB graphics card :frowning: (some minor flickering of textures in the 3d window). With a flashy new G5, you shouldn’t have a problem.

I agree with getaspoon, I have a cheap 3-button Microsoft Intellimouse (£12). I did have an Apple one that cost £50-60 then I discovered how much a rip-off they were so I sold it. A 3-button mouse helps in a lot of OS X apps.

It doesn’t support it as yet but it might come eventually if someone decides to optimise it. The advantage of the dual proc is that you can use your machine as normal while doing a render, so you can be modelling during the day and rendering in the background (just run another copy of Blender if you use the internal renderer). Or as was mentioned, use a 3rd party renderer that supports dual processors.

Very few. Sometimes you’ll find that some games made with Windows specific stuff won’t run but all the blend files are platform independent and most of the games work. I haven’t had any problems I can think of.

I agree completely about the 3-button mouse. You can also use it with the rest of OS X, including most applications.

You can use Blender with Apple’s Xgrid distributed rendering software if you have access to multiple Macs (like a classroom). I use it with a wireless network of three Macs of various ages to speed up animation rendering.

Xgrid won’t help with the multiprocessor issue, though.

On the contrary. Since soon in its development, Yafray has been SMP enabled. It only uses a single processor if you set the command line argument to 1 (or the processor number when using the file export from Blender) or when using the direct plugin from Blender which isn’t SMP (the plugin, not Yafray).


I have a … a … (ummm… err… that is…) … all right! I confess! I have a Microsoft(!) 3-button optical laser mouse and I love it. :o

It really is the best mouse I’ve ever used. Nothing to get gummed up, works on almost any surface, amazingly precise. And I haven’t got a clue how it works. Not surprisingly, Macintosh applications of recent vintage will quite-happily use the full features of that mouse. No drivers or what-not needed. Seamless on Linux too.

Definitely the only “Microsoft product” I really, really like. :wink:

I also have an optical wireless MS mouse (with side scrolling tilt-a-wheel as I like to call it). A great buy.


I use a Wacom, but that’s because I love having the tablet for other uses. It’s just a bonus for me that they come with a 2-button-scroll wheel mouse.

I also have a MS mouse and no complaints there, either.

Seems like they bought a nice mice company when they decided to go in that market. :wink:



Could be… but I don’t think MS is all bad. They do things OK… sometimes…

I have a new iMac, and blender runs OK. I had some serious problems when I first started, then found the problem to be layered GL apps with quartz. Apparently it’s a problem with OS X. Don’t let the Dock, floating clock, floating CPU monitor (or anything that uses openGL) to sit on top of the Blender window.

I have a new iMac, and blender runs OK. I had some serious problems when I first started, then found the problem to be layered GL apps with quartz. Apparently it’s a problem with OS X. Don’t let the Dock, floating clock, floating CPU monitor (or anything that uses openGL) to sit on top of the Blender window.

i’m a die hard mac freak, and have used blender on many machines and have not encountered the problem you describe, so my feeling is the problem must be something specific to your graphics card and not to OS X in general.

having said that, i have had the well documented problem on a G4 400 Mhz with the stock ATI Rage 16MB card. upon launch Blender would freeze and slow the entire system down to a crawl. the solution, as described in the Open GL bug tracker on, was to set screen depth to ‘thousands of colours’, or 16bit as it is referred to in the real world.

Blender (2.34) has performed flawlessly for me on the following machines: G4 450 mhz, G4 iMac 1.25Ghz, G4 Powermac Dual 1.25Ghz.

hope this helps.


I tried the colors setting for the display and it didn’t change a thing. As soon as I have ANY GL app over my blender window (inlcuding Dock), it slows down the interface repsonse time of blender. (2-3 second delays between button clicks, or even button tips when I hover over them). The iMac has NVIDIA 5200 Ultra 64 MB, so I don’t think that would be the problem. I received some responses in a different forum that ultimately lef me to the solution.

Anyway, I still love OS X over Windows anyday!

I have been monitoring the site for help, but I can’t seem to get it to work. I am having the same choppyness problem. Switching to thousands of colors doesn’t help. I have the dock hidden. I don’t have anything floating around.

If I create a new user, it will work fine, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what the problem is with my main account. I don’t have anything particularly interesting installed. No haxies or whatnot.

Any ideas?

I am on a Dual 1Ghz PowerMac running 10.3.6.

You sure you don’t have any apps running in the background with your main user? Go to system prefs>accounts>startup items. See if you have anything that launches on startup that might be eating cycles.

Check applications>utilitles>process viewer, see if anything is running the processor while it should be idle.

nothing substantial going on in the activity monitor. The monitor itself is taking up 4 percent, but that’s about it.

I really appreciate the help. I use blender at work (on a PC) and really like being able to bring work home to the mac.