Is it safe to use a Macbook Pro for rendering?

Hello community,

I’m a visual artist who has been using Blender for a few months now, slowly learning more and more.
I’ve recently decided to include 3D animation as a part of a project of mine. The scenes I’m working on are more and more complex and it takes more for my computer for rendering. I use a Macbook Pro 15" from 2016, and it makes a lot of noise when rendering, which can last hours.
I’m wondering if it is OK for me to treat my laptop this way. Sometimes I worry I may be pushing it too much and that it may fail sometime.

Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.

Most modern CPU’s have very strict self-protection systems in place to prevent any long term damage to the components. What you’re hearing is the fans spinning up to keep the internals cool enough not to cause damage. Unfortunately these very systems that are keeping your machine safe, are likely also throttling down the performance for the same reasons, which means longer render times.

You’re generally not in danger of ruining your laptop, but you’re also finding out some of the limitations. You could take some steps to minimize any additional heat issues, like for instance keeping it well ventilated, ideally raised off the table so that there is an air gap underneath it. Keeping it in an air conditioned environment helps too as outside air temperature will have an effect.

One of the many advantages of the new Apple ARM processors is that they consume very little power, and hence heat is not a huge problem for them. As you push your projects to the next level, you might consider a computer update at some point. If you’re intent of sticking with MacOS, I would advise to keep an eye out for new Mac Book Pro or iMac hardware announcements around July/August.

Dear Midphase,

thank you for the quick answer!

It gives me some relief, as the last thing I wanted was to fry my computer if i leave it for 12 hour sessions for example. My 2016 Macbook has an intel i7 and a 4Gb Radeon Pro 640 (which I believe Blender does not use).

Are you making reference to the new Apple M1 processor?
I may need to render my final animations before the Summer, but I do have some budget for the iMac mini, which has the M1 processor and seems to perform very well. At the rate my Macbook is rendering, I was considering sending the animation to a render farm, but it may be wiser to get the iMac if it performs better. If you have any thoughts, I’d appreciate them.



Personally I think the new Mac Mini M1 is a better bang for the buck, especially if you already own a monitor.

It depends a bit on the type of rendering that you’re doing. I think these new machines are very fast, and my guess is that the M1 would run circles around that 2016 i7 yielding potential exponential increases.

If there is a way for you to share the scene somehow (even privately), I’m happy to render it on my M1 Mac Book Air and give you some hard data on the render times.

Dear Midphase,
thank you!! I would really appreciate it. :slight_smile:
I will make a copy of my scene and send it to you over DM with a few specific frames to test.

I’ve seen great things about the new M1 iMac Mini, especially for video editing (my main line of work), so if it’s a big improvement I may just get one…

Speak soon and thanks again!!

You should also read up on the massive M1 thread, lots of good info there:

Thanks! I’ll go over it for sure.
No I’m not sure if there’s an option to send a DM :sweat_smile: Do you know how can I share the scene with you?