Mac or Windows for Blender

I use blender for my small business Render Reality. I do all of my work on a Windows based PC which is taking a serious nosedive this week right in the middle of a project. I think I am forced to run out and buy a new PC. I always use a laptop so I can work no matter where I am (assuming I can plug into power… rendering eats battery life like no one’s business).

So, I am writing to ask if I should seriously consider a Mac this time around? I want to like them. They seem so well designed and user friendly from what I’ve read and heard. But there are so many problems… like no mac support for indigo or AutoCad.

So, I have to ask, is there a really good reason to own a mac? Or should I stick to Windows?

I don’t know what you mean by your p.c. taking a “nosedive”, but I don’t think whatever the problem is warrants buying a new p.c. … unless your p.c has one of those “all in one motherboards” (video / periperals … etc all integrated) … and if it does … next time don’t buy one of those.

Otherwise, whatever the problem is that component can just be replaced (motherboard / memory / hard drive / power supply / vidoe / audio card.

What actually is the “problem”? (Maybe it’s not even hardware releated ?? need to reinstall some software?

I don’t know anything about current Mac’s but my impression of them (which could be totally bogus), is that they are “all in one unit” unlike the component descriptoin above. If that’s the case, or even if they have reduced compents that would seem to me to = more $$$ for repair … availabitly etc.

Doing some online googling / shopping should give you some price / performance comparisons pretty quickly.

Anyway the bottom line is what Application programs are you running? You seem to have already answered your own question, saying that Indigo / Autocad is not available.

The Appllication program will dictate what O.S. and hardware you need.

And if the app (like Blender) runs on all 3 O.S’s, then I guess it’s a matter of which it runs best on … though I’d guess there is no difference between the three O.S’s


From a Blender perspective there’s no downsides to using a Mac (that I’ve found at least), as long as you get one with decent graphics options.

Personally I just prefer using one generally, but in practise if you’re attached to Windows only applications for whatever reason and you’re comfortable with them then stick with that.

I do know people that own Mac’s and run AutoCAD in parallels and so on - but in reality it’s quite a lot of fuss and if it’s a large amount of your time you’re better off just sticking with Windows.

Hey! I use blender regularly on my macbook intel core duo 1.7 ghz, and it works better than fine.
There are some things though, on the intel build, when you use the b key for box select, no little box appears, so you just have to imagine where the box would be, I got used to this quick.
And also, a lot of times, when you use menus, it will temporarily turn whatever is behind it an orage color, but after a click or something that goes away.

All in all, I would suggest getting a mac, I love my mac :slight_smile:



then you can run on a PC or a MAC .

just jokeing…

I say windows xp Pro, because of the software selection, software price, Freeware and open source support/ selection.
and GAMES!!!

Mac is not too hot for games, Linux is terrible for games (but getting better every day)

My spiffy $570 Dell Athlon X2 box w/2GB RAM with WinXP renders almost exactly as quickly as my Mac Dual G5 w/2GB RAM and OS X 10.4 that cost almost $3k. If I were to run Linux on the Athlon box, it would be even faster.

Also, when you’re making money and in the middle of project, you don’t have time to start buying components, swapping them out, and trying to figure out why your tool is dying. You need to get a tool that works, right away. Simple as that.

All other things aside, you will get more rendering speed for your dollar to stay away from the Mac. (I love OS X, and it’s my OS of preference, so don’t y’all give me no crap about hating the Mac or anything.)

Perhaps I was not too specific… but the PC that took a nosedive is a laptop. I find it a bit more difficult to work on a laptop than a typical PC or I’d really consider that. Regarding what is happening, well, the maching is crashing to the blue screen with a “stop error”. It thinks some new software or hardware or driver is causing a problem. But the only software I’ve installed lately is blender 2.43 and firefox 2.whatever. I can’t believe that is the cause of all this. It also has started crashing programs out… like firefox just disappears. Then if I try to restart it, it won’t come back up… again and again and again. Even my spyware scanner won’t run.

Another factor is that I am in the middle of a project and I hate delaying deadlines, so debugging whatever is going on with my laptop would delay it even further.

As for specific programs, my core is blender. Secondary desire is yafray, which is mac available. 3rd priority is indigo and AutoCad since I rarely use them. But it would be somewhat sad to lose indigo. I can run AutoCad on my desktop. So, no big loss there.

The one I am looking at is a macBook pro with 2GB of ram, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 15.4" glossy 1440x900 display. I hope that’d be beefy enough to render my images overnight while I am sleeping :slight_smile:

And I assume that since blender comes wit Python built in now, that should just work.

That’s a little disturbing to discover since Blender is the main reason I’d be buying this thing. Is this true only on your mac or do you think this is the case on all macs?

Previously, I would have agreed about the games. But now I do all my gaming on the Wii and 360. So, I don’t care about computer gaming anymore.

I wonder what freeware I might like to try that would not be available for mac…

What about things like MakeHuman, that terrain building software… what was that called? Gimp is available on mac right? You are pushing my button against the Mac. I am afraid of what I might be missing out on if I buy one. But I ran out to a Mac store at lunch and a Best Buy to see some Vista machines. I have to say, I was underwhelmed by the vista machines and blown away by the macs.

That’s odd that you cheapo windows box goes faster than your mac. Do you think the configuration I quoted above would be fast? Is there some reason a Windows machine with similar hardware would be faster? I’ve never heard this before. Not sure why it is. Perhaps OSX uses more system resources than windows?

The point is the price difference. The Dual G5 is about a year and a half older than the PC. Still, I was talking about price/performance. If you have the cash laying around, get the Mac.

You’ll have to remap all the Expose function keys so you can use F9-F12 for working in Blender.

I had them install blender at the apple store. F12 worked when pressing the function button at the same time… thanks for the advice guys. Off I go to buy a new PC

One drawback (if you can call it that…I can) to using Blender on a Mac is that in order to keep the install clean, the Scripts folder is folded into the .app file. What that means is that in order to load any additional scripts, you have to use the terminal and stick them in with unix commands. Probably not an issue with most people around here, but enough of a pain for a non-unixer that I don’t bother with scripts on my mac.

there are reasons that the entire (not graphics, but mechanical) design profession is using PC’s

Macs are for pink shorts wearing graphics designers. PC’s are for hard grunty 3d work. simple as that.


I just came back to the thread to report that I bought a new MacBook Pro. I got the 15 inch glossy screen upgraded to a 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo. It also has 2GB of ram. Seems pretty sweet so far. Man, I have a lot to learn though…

And the first thing is how I get my custom scripts into the tool. Great timing for your post. Can you provide a more detailed description? I am familiar with linux and a command prompt but not Mac and this left me confused. Thanks for your help…

Yes, but no tablet support unfortunately. (tablet support works fine in Seashore though)

Hmm, I’ve never had to do this before, all I do is create my own custom scripts folder, and throw my scripts in there, then I open blender to a default file, open the user prefs pane, click on file paths, and point your Python path to your scripts folder.

Hope this helps!

I use both. I find it annoying in Mac that it’s not possible (well, as far as I know without using the command line) to simply open up multiple sessions of Blender simultaneously. For this reason, and for a few minor reasons relating to some design issues of the Mac filesystem interface (like, that many files simply don’t appear in the finder, for apparently arbitrary reasons) I have to say I prefer the PC for Blender work. I also don’t like how temporary internet files get shunted onto my Mac desktop by default, and other minor annoyances that I can’t be bothered to find out how to set differently. I also don’t trust iTunes to touch my mp3 collection, because it’s always trying to do some kind of weird crap to it.

I like the FreeBSD aspect of Mac, but I’m starting to think that for that, I may as well just go with Linux. The OS X stuff I am not all that impressed by. The mac I work with is from work, and it’s the main desktop computer I use, but I have to say if I were planning to buy a computer myself I wouldn’t consider a Mac.

Vista does not look very promising either though, and all my media files play better on VLC and MPlayer than on Quicktime or Windows Media Player, so it’s looking increasingly likely that my next major computer purchase will wind up being a Linux box.

reading some of the threads I get the feeling some people don’t really know how to use a mac.

you can as mentioned set a folder for script files or you right click on the blender icon and select open package/ show package content. Than you can browse the blender application folder and copy your scripts into it via drag and drop.

Why is it a problem that in OS X invisible files you should not work with are invisible?
Use terminal if you want to see them or turn them on. This is unix. It can do it.

From my years of work experience with windows and OS X, I know OS X has also some flaws but never did I need to reinstall software because I was able to crack XP without really messing with it.

OS 9 was nice but well not comparable to where windows was.

Today? The new intel switch enables you to get a computer where you know ALL hardware will run and will run fine.

Here at the university we have to deal everyday with dell laptops which don’t do this and that. They are cheaper and have a similar CPU in. But do you get the same for the money? No. I rather spend some more money on an architecture where I know only one cook was making the dish and not many.

At the end in a working environment you just don’t have time to hassle with os - hardware problems.