Mac: M1 and Blender

As sculpting is my main discipline, next to Blender I still love ZBrush. It works great on PC and Mac, I’ve only bought it once and the updates keep being free every year.

Eevee and Cycles are very capable renderers, and so are LuxCoreRender and Octane, which are all available for free, which is great, considering that a renderer like Keyshot costs a fortune + more for the yearly updates.

I tried Houdini a few months ago. It turned out not to be my cup o’ tea. :slightly_smiling_face: The non-destructiveness and procedural generation possibilities are impressive, but I think the UI / UX is overly complicated. I like my editors straightforward, focused on creativity. The ZBrush UI may scare people off, but once you got used to its paradigms, it works like a charm. Which might also be the case with Houdini, but that scared me away. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yeah, I can see that. Honestly I felt (and continue to feel) the same way about Blender with an overly complicated UI/UX, which is also why what gives me a lot of hope for Blender’s future are Geometry Nodes that I can wrap my head around much better. Ultimately it’s about being comfortable with the tools and knowing how to go about achieving a certain result.

The big question for me will be this time next year – will I renew my Houdini subscription or not (the answer might depend heavily on what Houdini 19 brings to the table, but the latest update 18.5 left me a bit disappointed).

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Does Blender have been tested on Ubuntu for M1? wouldn’t it solves the problem with opencl?

ubuntu for m1 isn’t hardware accelerated at the moment, so it would be incredibly slow. On top of that, you wouldn’t be able to use the gpu.

This threat is the best, ALL IN 1
DONT delete nothing please

I haven’t deleted anything, but I did move the connect-Mac-to-a-PC discussion to its own dedicated thread:

Feel free to continue the discussion there.


That was indeed a smart idea!

Thank you !

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Great. Many thanks.
I modified a topic title a bit as Windows is just a temporary solution for this temporary solution. In fact the goal is working Linux machine because it supports NVLink for multi GPU setup.

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I’m doing a CPU test against the HP PC with i7 and 48 GB Ram. The M1 is doing great in Blender!!!

Unbelievable! Same scene of me putting quite a strain on the computer.

M1 (CPU only. Blender runs in Rosetta, fan can be heard quietly): 9 minutes and 1 second.
HP-PC (CPU only. Fan very audible): 9 minutes and 4 seconds.

Now the graphics card (GPU) is added here. This is of course very very fast.
HP-PC with RTX2080: 1 minute and 57 seconds.

If there is now an M1 version of Blender at some point that supports Metal, then things will look even better for the M1.

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As someone interested in animation, where single core speeds and rendering in eevee are priorities, the M1 looks like a winner as far as laptops are concerned. I’d buy a 16 gig ram MacBook Air today if only we didn’t seem tantalizingly close to a 14 or 16 inch MacBook release.

Unless I’m wrong, it seems like the only bottlenecks are the ram for working with big scenes or environments with complex textures, and also cycles performance is much slower than any RTX gaming laptop. These honestly seem like very minor tradeoffs. The M1 chips, going by the word online, are incredibly fast in frame rate playback and baking. Am I missing something?


You’re pretty spot-on if your use case is as you describe. I’m blown away with my little M1’s performance for how I use Blender.

It’s definitely not a render machine with Cycles (Eevee works great), but it handles all other aspects of Blender extremely well, at almost high-end computer levels.


Just came across this video. The guy believes Apple did nail the performance aspect in advertised (so it isn’t an Apple bashing screed), but you should really wait until the higher end models come out due to the shortfalls with the rest of the Air.

For instance, Apple’s famous stinginess on ports and limited options for RAM, SSD’s, and storage. The monitor can also be a serious limiting factor if you need a lot of screen real estate for your work.


I normally don’t watch videos with people slapping their foreheads; it’s just bait for gamers to click on it. But I’ll bite this time. :grimacing:

We all knew this was a first run of what is a larger goal for Apple and their new chips.

As someone who dropped $900 ish ($0 with my iMac trade in) for a Mac mini it was an expense I could afford to try out the new systems.
And I couldn’t be happier with the performance of what realistically could have been a $600 machine at sale prices now.

Port wise I’m not hurting since I purposefully targeted the mini vs getting the laptops.
2 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C 4 ports with their own buses so just like 4 on previous.
1 HDMI 2.0
Gigabit Ethernet port.
And I use two 32 inch 4K screens :grimacing:

Definitely would love more RAM when it’s available, all his other concerns are just because he didn’t but the Mini. Or needs a fresh video about M1’s for YouTube. :wink:

I will also invest in the next iterations of MX that Apple has planned, knowing it will be a serious push for professional users, and I’ll be able to push the M1 to back up machine roll. :grinning:


Have you tried LuxCoreRender yet? I’m curious how the macOS version performs using OpenCL on an M1 Mac.

How is real-time playback in eevee on the m1 mac mini?

I have tested Luxcore in November and it really was not bad at all: Look here

Might test it again to see if results will change with newer version…

I haven’t tried it yet. I’ve been playing with Eevee so much lately with crazy good results that I haven’t been looking else where.

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“Real-time” play black with Eevee isn’t really a thing, and it’s not great on the M1. Say that though, it’s not great with higher end cards either.
I don’t know if anyone is getting 30-60 fps with Eevee when playing back a full scene animation.

That’s cool. I’m just trying to dig up any hidden gotchas with using an M1 and Blender for animation. I could just play it safe and buy an Asus gaming laptop with RTX and a 5000 series cpu but I’m not looking forward to having a loud fan blowing hot air, plus they are much more expensive and build quality is nothing like a mac. At this point I’m like 90% sure about getting a mac but like i wrote earlier, I can’t help but wait just a bit longer to see if the bigger macbooks are coming soon.


I’m in about the same boat, being severely tempted into getting a Mac, but holding off to see what the future holds.

Right now, I’m either gonna get one of the bigger Macbooks, or a Razer Blade 15 if I decide to stick to the old tried and true, which has about the same build quality and style of a Mac.

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