Mac Powerbook and ATI Video Cards

Hey all, this week I am going to purchase either a mac dual G5 system or a g4 17" powerbook. The deciding factor is the video card, or more specifically it’s OpenGL support. The powerbook has an ATI radeon card in it, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me if blender will run with hardware acceleration (and wings as well, although I know this isn’t the right forum…)

I’m pretty scared because of all the horror stories I have heard pc users tell about ATI cards and Blender. I sure would hate to buy the laptop then be stuck without my precious 3D magic maker :o (and wings as well, although I know this isn… wait, Deja Vu.) Since all the high end macs ship with Radeons, am I to take it that ATI driver support for OpenGL is better than on PC’s?

If I can get performance that is at least as good as my athlon 1.2 ghz with a old geforce2 pci, I will be happy with my purchase, and hold off on the g5 desktop until next semester.

Any experiences to share?


I would think that, like linux, ati’s drivers do not have that problem with slowdown, but rather dont’ support the latest features [which blender doesn’t use in the first place]

I have used blender on a white ibook, and it ran reasonably [I didn’t do anything extreme however], but you ought to be able to play with it yourself

get a usb flash drive [you’ll want one anyway], put blender on it, and some of your more high poly models, look for such a mac you can use, and find out yourself how it works

[I haven’t been in an apple store before, so I don’t know what would they would think of you doing that. The larger computer stores [frys, comp usa…] probably would not notice]

also, if getting a mac, get a usb mouse for it with 3 buttons, it makes things a lot easier [than the command+click for rmb, option+click for mmb, and click for lmb…]

I haven’t tried, but you may be able to do similar with wings3d [put it on a flash drive and test it on a mac]

I took your advice and the performance was quite zippy. Interestingly enough wings increase in performance was more pronounced than blenders (!)

Regradless I am now a proud owner of a pimped out and fully loaded powerbook with all the trimmings. I can even use my peecee monitor as a second display making my desktop that much bigger. Time to wipe win2k from the athlon, slap freebsd on it and make it a renderbox.

It’s going to hurt when it comes time to repay my student loans :o