Mac: M1 and Blender

blender would definitely run fine on the Mac mini with your use case. I wouldn’t worry much about ram. it depends on the scene ofc, but viewport performance is generally good. Under the workbench viewport its buttery smooth, and with eevee viewport it fluctuates around 10-20fps so its usable

1 Like

SHaun thank s a lot … so it would run ok thats cool … I was thinking that its really hard to ask /or answer this time of questions … coz it depends on many things like depends if the 3d stuff IM cooking is a high poly with a lot of textures and stuff or a more simpler object etc…*and moreover M1 running Rosetta and not being optimized for Metal… . so hah I felt silly somehow … thanks for the quick reply ! …
I saw crazy stuff on youtube … liek here its maya not blender but it amazed me how much poligons this little mac mini can handel
or this guy doing a small modeling and animation of a car
theres a youtube vid displaying a blender magical fox … and it seems M1 handle it easily .
hope metal will become fully supported soon .
I have lot of bad experiences with pc laptops specially the heat and noice … I really have hopse on mac mini !

If possible, purchase a Mac Mini M1 locally and install Blender and run it to see if it does what you need it to. If it doesn’t, return it and get your money back and buy something else.

At the moment, my biggest issue is that I wish Apple had kept the swappable RAM as the older Intel model, and made it possible to go up to 64Gb, but apparently the new SOC architecture makes that not an option…apparently.

Regardless, for the price it’s definitely competitive with PC’s. For a similar price you’re likely looking at an i5 CPU, but when it comes to PC’s the main advantage is the ability to swap memory and storage and upgrade it (within reason).

1 Like

Nah, it’s because Apple is obsessed with thinness. SODIMM slots add too much to the minimum height of the case.

1 Like

In the case of the Mac Mini that doesn’t make as much sense since the case is identical to the Intel models where you could swap out the RAM.

But yeah, I get your point.


If the SOC and motherboard combo provided for more memory, then Apple would offer more options as they have always gouged users with an egregious markup on their RAM since the days of the original monochrome Macintosh…

The memory access system they have does not allow swappable RAM modules. Thats the bad part.

You can expect RAM to go up - the macMini was just the intro test product to see how this goes. If apple would not think that they could add more they would not have so openly said Bye Bye to Intel.

Seriously curious will the macPro.

1 Like

At the beginning of ARM Mac I always thought the RAM is part
of the SoC. But first teardowns showed that it looks like this :
Just beside the SoC, RAM on the PCB.
(And looks a bit sloppy)

I don’t think that adding Slots beside the SoC PCB or on system PCB would
add that much more latency. And I think such may happen for an M Mac Pro
I argue they could offer user replacable RAM Options, if they would want to.
But they could also easily offer NVme SSDs if it would be all about the users.

For a Mac Pro Apple can use HBM2E or GDDR6X shared CPU/GPU on-die memory (e.g. 32 or 64 GB) and several slots for multi-channel DDR5. They can now do what they want. Without looking at others.
It’s just a shame that Blender won’t take advantage of coming hardware capabilities…

Why do you say that? I mean just from a processing capability, Blender should be able to take advantage of that. We’re all speculating about future Apple products that nobody really knows much about. It seems that current component shortage is to blame for why Apple hasn’t yet announced any new machines since last November.

There is a point, and hopefully that point will happen by the end of this year, where the community can no longer continue to ignore Apple if (big if there) the new ARM technology scales up to make Intel and AMD counterparts seem like toys in comparison. Take the AMD Threadripper, currently the top dog in multi-cores at 64. Now such a CPU will run about $4000, just for the CPU itself, so a full machine equipped with such a processor starts in the $6000+ range. If Apple can offer an ARM computer with similar performance specs for half of that price (a $3000 Mac Pro Mini seems like a possibility), it will turn heads in the PC community as well since it would be difficult to ignore.

Of course this is just wild speculation, but my point is that if Apple continues to innovate in such a way that puts its competition to shame when it comes to sheer computing power, the Blender Foundation will be put in a position of not being able to ignore such power even if they can’t get Apple to give them money and hardware for free (which apparently seems to be at the heart of why BF is kinda ignoring Apple at the moment).


Personally I’m buying a Asus G14 tomorrow after humming and hawing for weeks and ghosting on this thread looking for any new info on M1 and Macs. I think if I wasn’t primarily interested in Blender then buying a Macbook air would be a no brainer. They are nearly ideal laptops. But 5900HS cpu currently has better performance than the M1 by just a bit but the 16 gig ram limit on the Macs is what tipped me to the Asus. Plus the blender foundation doesn’t seem too hot on Mac, yet.

Plus it seems like Mac has much better things around the corner so the M1s are now feeling like mid cycle products. I all too well know the sting of buying a macbook just to see a refresh weeks later so Im going to try my luck with the G14 and do something which i have done in years and fool around with linux.

I’m thinking two years down the road is when Macs will dominate, even with Blender.

I think if Blender had a native app i’d be down for rolling the dice on the M1.

Supposedly Blender 2.93 is built for the new M1 ARM cpu’s.

1 Like

Is that official? I thought there is currently only a separate Blender ARM build by @skw ?

I thought Apple offered the code changes to make Blender
Apple ARM compatible quite a while ago. BF will review
them and bring them into Blender.

Could be likely with 2.93 if nothing goes wrong.

So Blender will be offiicially supported on Apple ARM.
But this is not an optimization for M1, which will use its full potential.
But it will run native without Rosetta penalty and should be stable.
That’s all.

Cycles may stay CPU only, until Blender went over to Vulkan and
MoltenVK could be the bridge to Metal.
Which may take some time.


From what I gather, MoltenVK doesn’t help much with the GPGPU side of things, so while the port to Vulkan will open doors for Eevee, it won’t do much for Cycles, fluid simulations, and whatnot.

For Blender to take complete advantage of Metal, someone will have to take the time out to port the program to it. I don’t think there’s any way around it.

So we have to wait until Linux ARM runs natively on Apple ARM
or better Blender starts within a Linux VM Container, which
does the translation to Metal (?)

I’ve read a lot about adding a Metal wrapper for Vulkan to Blender, including an old tweet by Ton Roosendaal if I’m not mistaking. Wouldn’t that form a bridge for Blender to address all macOS graphics power and provide a Mac-friendly alternative to OptiX / CUDA / OpenCL ?

I’m not exactly the best person to ask about this, since I’ve only read a little bit here and there out of passing interesting.

From what I gather, it’s like you’re gaining access to Metal’s Direct X/Vulkan equivalent features through the wrapper, but it doesn’t do anything to address the more CUDA like aspects of the API.

1 Like

It is still on the workboard for 2.93 (, although it doesn’t look like there has been a lot of progress lately and there haven’t been any official builds for testing yet.

1 Like

For sure.
Cuda may work great and it is fine that Nvidia helped Blender to use the
full potential of RTX cards.
But Blender is a free open source App, and I would have thought that
this is just an option beside an open source standard.
No matter if Cuda is much better or not. But I think there are also still a lot
of AMD GPU users or even Blender Artists using Intel onboard graphics
e.g. on weaker PC Laptops.

I think it is totally unlikely that there is any Cudo profit anytime with
Apple ARM Macs, like with AMD intel Macs or PCs.
That doesn’t mean for me that affordable M1 Macs or maybe following
Apple ARM generations could make Blender fly.

1 Like