Macbook Pro and Air native Graphic Cards that work well with Blender and Cycles?

Hi folks,

I’m pretty new to Blender though I’ve been experimenting and teaching myself a bit.

I’m a MAC dude and beyond that, a “portable”/laptop dude… I’ve been working on my Macbook Pro with quad i7, 2.4 Ghz, 4 GB Ram, and AMD Radeon HD 6770M, Intel HD Graphics 3000… not sure why the computer specs lists both.

So… I know from experience and talking to someone a year ago that my graphics cards aren’t good enough for cycles. I’m looking to get a new laptop (MAC) so my question is which have the necessary graphics chips and power to run Blender well?

Macbook Air – Intel HD Graphics 5000, dual core i7
Macbook Pro – Intel Iris Graphics
Macbook Pro — Intel Iris Pro
Macbook Pro — Intel Iris Pro, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 2GB GDDR5 memory.

Those are the options I see at the Apple Store online for laptops.

Is there ANY way the Macbook Air would run Blender effectively? Which of the above options would work?

Thanks in advance!!!


Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”

Hi there, the beauty of MacBooks is the lower power consumption and that means the GPU is adjusted and not useful for GPU rendering.
But the CPUs of the MacBookPros are good and for finale rendering you can use online services.

For Cycles rendering, the Macbook with the Nvidia chip wins, no questions asked (due to CUDA, which is exclusive to Nvidia gpus). If gpu rendering isn’t your thing though, your own quad core will spank any Macbook Air out there.

Really, unless you really want to get into gpu rendering with cycles (and a heavy price premium for a very modest gpu at that), just stick some more RAM into your current machine and call it a day.

Edit: Since you’re a beginner anyway, that quad core processor in your current Mac should be plenty fast. If you get serious about Blender, there are options that are vastly superior to forking out for a new laptop, but for now, just use what you got and start learning. (And did I mention, have fun?)

Note the GT750M will not be very good for cycles gpu rendering. Don’t be surprised if cycles on the cpu gives you a shorter render time than on the gpu

Actually, this part may be true, or at least close to it. Seriously, stick to your current machine. There isn’t a Macbook out there that will be worth the money for such small increase in performance over your own.