Blender on Macbook Pro

Hello all.

Is it worth buying an MBP for a Blender?

I will use it as a mobile workstation. I wouldn’t ask this question if it wasn’t for the need to have Logic pro x. (tho i need to decide to go with logic or cubase; i prefer logic…)

MBP spec:
16 inch, 64gb RAM, 5600M 8Gb HMB (new gpu), 1TB storage, I9 4.8Ghz 8core CPU.

  • what performance can I expect in Viewport / rendering ?
  • is AMD Pro render works ok? Is it faster than cycles no MBP? Is there any stability issues ?

On my PC with blender i mostly work with scenes with 2M to 3M tris static scenes. Simple animations like 200-500 frames.

Is hardops, boxcutter work in blender on MBP without issues?

I will be grateful for any advice.

Can you handle the fan noise? MBP gets really loud under load.

This will not be a problem.
What worries me is:

  • performace
  • rendering time ( from what I’ve read the only option is amd pro render) for fastest results
  • stability

Sometimes I have to show the project to the client, make changes quickly ( graphics, music, animation, video etc…)

Heavy tasks will be done on PC which is more than capable…

I think about MBP because of: mobility, the possibility of having logic pro x, os eco system like airdrop from iphone / ipad etc…

So fans are not the problem at all.

Ok, so from what I have compared between Mac and Windows builds of Blender 2.8 there is some discrepancy: not everything works as well in the viewport on Mac as soon as Eevee is being used.

If booting into a Windows install via Bootcamp is an option for you then I’m sure for Blender you’ll get more out of the hardware. Should be pretty good then, pending quality of AMD GPU drivers (which I have no clue about).

Install windows on it… unless Apple has done something to sabotage performance in Windows on their hardware.

Thank you for your answers.
Unfortunately, i still can’t make a decision.
Installing win on mac is just something I want to avoid. (I have enough of windows experience on my PC).

So it’s best to check it out for yourself…
Thanks again.

I’m using mid 2012 15" retina MBP, with 2.7GHz 4 core CPU + Intel HD4000 graphics (i7-3820QM), 16GB RAM.

My subjective opinion regarding viewport performance (in solid view):

  • I can move around and manipulate any objects smoothly up to around 1.6M tris scene in solid view. Switching to look dev, it took around 40 seconds for shaders compilation. Look dev is stuttery but still usable as a way to see UV mapping. I wouldn’t go any higher tris in look dev mode.
  • Around 2.5M tris there’s slight stutter but it’s alright most of the time.
  • Around 6M tris it’s stuttering most of the time.
  • Around 8M tris it’s not feasible to do any work, except to see the final results.

I expect you would have better results in 16" MBP.

I usually render in desktop so I cannot comment on MBP performance. Also haven’t tried AMD Pro Render.

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Blender and Eevee works ok on a Mac. Cycles uses only CPU, so it is useless. Radeon Pro Render is also unusable because it is slow and very unstable.

Look at Octane X presentation tomorrow (WWDC2020):

It should work great for GPU rendering on MacBook Pro. Also multi-GPU setups. Otoy claims it scales perfectly.

Try to avoid Windows installation on your MacBook in my opinion. It can break your workflow, break your shiny Macbook and burn your eyes.