iMac 27" Radeon 570 or 580 for Blender (& rendering)

I am looking at getting an iMac 27" with a Radeon 570 or 580 cards.

Anyone using this configuration and can let me know how it is with Blender and rendering?


I got the same question since you I’m a Mac user. Is it true cycles ignores Radeon card and only works with nvidia?
sould I save on the gpu and get an i7 instead?

Is it true cycles ignores Radeon card and only works with nvidia?
No. See

While it’s true that Cycles works on AMD GPUs via OpenCL by now, OpenCL (as well as OpenGL) support on Mac OS is the worst of all platforms. Most people around here (including developers) aren’t going to be using iMacs either. I wouldn’t assume it works until somebody testifies, under oath, that it does.

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While Mac OS is probably better than Windows in many ways, I would never consider buying an iMac for Blender and Cycles. Like BeerBaron indicated it’s a risky business. It’s just more of a headache for more money in my opinion.

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Cycles on a Mac is quite good, provided that you’re using Nvidia hardware. CUDA doesn’t rely on Apple’s OpenCL implementation.

Thanks for everyone’s replies, and Richard for the link to the Blender support documents.

This clarifies a lot.

Going by the Blender support docs, any Radeon 540 and above has 4th generation GCN architecture. Blender requires 2.0 and above.

(double post)

I feel it’s the bane on Mac. I have used it for graphics and Photoshop for many years, I like the environment, but Windows is more customisable for 3D.

This may change in the coming ‘Pros’ but at a huge cost.


I think I’ve clarified something for myself - although any Radeon 540 and above supports GCN architecture 2.0, to date, Apple OSX only supports OpenCL 1.2

True, I have iMac 27" 5k and you know what! My i7 PC works much better for 3d with Nvidia GTX 960 than the iMac.

iMac is great for development and some non GPU graphics but you cannot use full power of its GPU in 3d or graphic software which required full GPU power.