Metal vs OpenCL/OpenGL

Nice boost when using Metal vs. OpenCL:
Hey Blender devs - make Blender happy in macOS!

Metal vs. OpenGL:

Interesting article:


I have a very hard time imagining Blender supporting Metal, which is a proprietary Apple only framework. Doesn’t Apple support Vulcan though ?

Metal compute is broadly just a rebranded OpenCL 2.x.

Those benchmark figures are a measure of how crap Apple’s OpenCL1.2 compiler (which was known to be full of bugs) vs their Metal compiler and does not show that Metal is a wonder API.

@Groover Groover, Apple does not support Vulkan.

Bullshit. You might as well say that Vulkan is rebranded OpenGL.

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You’re not alone. I don’t believe in Blender for Mac as well. But you can dream…

No, it does not. However, there’s an independently developed library called MoltenVK that, if you pardon the oversimplification, translates Vulcan to Metal. That’s probably the only chance for future Blender on Mac.

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No need to be rude and show your ignorance. Showing your ignorance would’ve been enough.


It will come to Blender eventually, but it will be way way way to late. It’s funny watching a few software and hardware CEOs fight Apple almost out of spite just to be burned later.

It’s also interesting to watch all these other software companies scramble to make sure they have a metal compliant version of their product.
Why? Is it because they are really wanting to service their hand full of Mac OS users? Or is it that they don’t want to be caught with their pants down again?

Everyone chucked when Apple said they wanted to design their own mobile processors. Now the A13 chip is generations ahead of the closet snapdragon chip that it’s not even funny.

The rumors and rumblings through out the tech sites is that Apple is preparing to launch its own desktop GPU compatible only with metal and their computers. If history repeats itself Nivids GPUs will be a small after taught of what windows users use while working on their bloated outdated OS.

I hope Blender doesn’t believe that Navidia is going to be the end all be all of GPUs from here on out, and put all chips in that basket.

But for now us Mac users can all work with and learn Blender with comfort knowing that their are several of the bigger Render engines making sure that they have a Metal version working and ready for when that time comes.
It would be nice though getting to use Cycles with metal in the future because Cycles seems to be a really good renderer.


Apple is throwing money and resources at companies to get them to support Metal for the release of the Mac Pro. The companies aren’t scrambling to support Metal because there’s a huge business opportunity at all if anything the Pro creative business is falling. Most of the studios that had Macs have long since stripped them out, this includes audio post facilities.

Every professional 3D artist I know has moved from Mac to PC and will never go back. The Mac Pro is going to be obscenely expensive, the 28 core Xeons alone are $7.5k and that’s before Apple’s margin. The GPUs are completely custom which means completely custom pricing. With the low spec base Mac Pro starting at $6k you’ll soon hit $15k for a workstation that’s slower than the current 32 core Threadripper let alone the 3rd Gen Threadrippers coming later this year (next month) and early next.

I don’t know anyone who’d want to spend 2-3x the money on a slower Mac Pro than a Threadripper based PC whether they’re doing 3D, compositing or video editing. It doesn’t make economic sense.


I see, although Apple has a history of NIH, I fully expected them to support Vulcan as this seems to be the cross platform 3d/compute solution all the big players are willing to put their full effort behind going forward, from hardware to software. Good thing that there is atleast a third party solution, if not exactly ideal.

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Blender is working for OSX at the moment right ? From what I understand Apple is no longer updating OpenGL, but it’s still supported ‘as-is’ ?

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Yes, Blender ‘working’ in macOS but to make Cycles working old High Sierra and terrible Nvidia drivers should be used. Nvidia drivers are unstable and give extremely poor OpenGL performance. On Mojave/Catalina macOS AMD Vega is double as fast as 1080Ti in High Sierra.
So Blender for Mac become a joke. Unfunny joke.

That’s just not true. Apple isn’t paying companies to switch to Metal. lol. I can guarantee you that Grant Petty (BMD CEO and an engineer’s CEO; reminds me a lot of Ton) wasn’t paid to be one of the first professional adopters of Metal. He’s doing it because of fore-site, and it’s already paying of for that company with… well just read the articles.

You have to remember that almost all Mac users are windows user. I still have to boot into windows to use Blender to its fullest, But a lot of Windows users have never owned a Mac or even used one and only go by internet forum banter to base their onions on which is the better machine. :slight_smile:

Like I said before all Nvidia has on lock is the 3D world, the other industries have/are switching. (I’ve already linked videos of Mac laptops out rendering (video files) window Nvidia DESKTOPS with dual cards, and not by a small margin, so I’ll spare the thread) And like the video world and the show of numerous companies getting on board, things are about to change in the 3D world, too.

So just remember that here in the near future I won’t need the highest end most exspensive mac to outperform what ever Window’s machine is out there; a Macbook Pro will probably be more than capable. :slight_smile:

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These quotes from the CEO’s and developers aren’t saying "Hey This will be a good compromise to Nividia and Windows.

ALL these quoates include a phrase like, " NEVER been able to do something like this, NEVER possible before, faster more efficient a whole NEW level of creativity, … truly never seen before, something we could never dream of before" :slight_smile:
Sebastien Deguy, Adobe’s vice president of 3D and Immersive, stated that “we’re incredibly excited about the new Mac Pro, which represents a strong commitment from Apple towards creatives working in 3D. We’ve already started porting the Substance line of tools, as well as Dimension, to Apple’s new graphic API Metal to fully take advantage of the immense power the new Mac Pro hardware offers and empower 3D creatives in unprecedented ways.”

Jules Urbach, the CEO and founder of OTOY, stated he was “incredibly excited about the all-new Mac Pro and how it will empower our users.,” adding that his company’s Octane X "has been rewritten from the ground up in Metal for Mac Pro, and is the culmination of a long and deep collaboration with Apple’s world-class engineering team.

“Mac Pro is like nothing we’ve seen before in a desktop system. Octane X will be leveraging this unprecedented performance to take interactive and production GPU rendering for film, TV, motion graphics and AR/VR to a whole new level. Octane X is truly a labor of love, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of our Mac customers later this year.”

Note that Mac Pro not only took Apple years of engineering but also involved a “long and deep collaboration” with pro software developers like OTOY, with Metal at the center of that work. Metal is pretty clearly a big priority for Apple.

Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty similarly called his company’s DaVinci Resolve not only “the world’s most advanced color correction and online editing software for high-end film and television work” but also “the first professional software to adopt Metal.”

He added that “with the new Mac Pro and Afterburner, we’re seeing full-quality 8K performance in real-time with color correction and effects, something we could never dream of doing before. DaVinci Resolve running on the new Mac Pro is easily the fastest way to edit, grade and finish movies and TV shows.”

Maxon CEO David McGavran similarly stated that his company is “excited to develop Redshift for Metal,” adding that “we’re working with Apple to bring an optimized version to the Mac Pro for the first time by the end of the year. We’re also actively developing Metal support for Cinema 4D, which will provide our Mac users with accelerated workflows for the most complex content creation. The new Mac Pro graphics architecture is incredibly powerful and is the best system to run Cinema 4D.” That’s a lot of Metal work.

Francois Quereuil, Avid’s director of Product Management, stated that “Avid’s Pro Tools team is blown away by the unprecedented processing power of the new Mac Pro, and thanks to its internal expansion capabilities, up to six Pro Tools HDX cards can be installed within the system - a first for Avid’s flagship audio workstation. We’re now able to deliver never-before-seen performance and capabilities for audio production in a single system and deliver a platform that professional users in music and post have been eagerly awaiting.”

At WWDC19, Mac Pro was shown running Avid Pro Tools with 6 HDX cards installed

Pixar’s vice president of Software Research and Development, Guido Quaroni, stated, “we are thrilled to announce full Metal support in Hydra in an upcoming release of USD toward the end of the year. Together with this new release, the new Mac Pro will dramatically accelerate the most demanding 3D graphics workflows thanks to an excellent combination of memory, bandwidth, and computational performance. This new machine clearly shows Apple is delivering on the needs of professionals at high-end production facilities like Pixar.”

Amy Bunszel, the senior vice president, Autodesk Design and Creation Products, stated “Autodesk is fully embracing the all-new Mac Pro and we are already working on optimized updates to AutoCAD, Maya, Fusion, and Flame. This level of innovation, combined with next-generation graphics APIs, such as Metal, bring extremely high graphics performance and visual fidelity to our Design, Manufacturing and Creation products and enable us to bring greater value to our customers.”

Jarred Land, the president of Red Digital Cinema, said “Apple’s new hardware will bring a mind-blowing level of performance to Metal-accelerated, proxy-free R3D workflows in Final Cut Pro X that editors truly have never seen before. We are very excited to bring a Metal-optimized version of R3D in September.”

Foundry’s chief product and customer officer Jody Madden said, “with the all-new Mac Pro, Apple delivers incredible performance for media and entertainment professionals, and we can’t wait to see what our customers create with the immense power and flexibility that Mac Pro brings to artists. HDR is quickly becoming the standard for capturing and delivering high-quality content, and the Pro Display XDR will enable Nuke and Nuke Studio artists to work closer to the final image on their desktop, improving their speed and giving them the freedom to focus on the quality of their work. We look forward to updating our products to take advantage of what Mac Pro offers.”

Bill Putnam Jr., the CEO of Universal Audio, stated, “the new Mac Pro is a breakthrough in recording and mixing performance. Thunderbolt 3 and the numerous PCIe slots for installing UAD plug-in co-processors pair perfectly with our Apollo X series of audio interfaces. Combined with the sheer processing power of the Mac Pro, our most demanding users will be able to track and mix the largest sessions effortlessly.”

Matt Workman, the developer of Cine Tracer, said “thanks to the unbelievable power of the new Mac Pro, users of Cine Tracer will be able to work in 4K and higher resolution in real-time when visualizing their projects. And with twice as many lights to work within the same scene, combined with Unreal Engine’s real-time graphics technology, artists can now load scenes that were previously too large or graphically taxing.”

Kim Libreri, the CTO Epic Games, said, “Epic’s Unreal Engine on the new Mac Pro takes advantage of its incredible graphics performance to deliver amazing visual quality, and will enable workflows that were never possible before on a Mac. We can’t wait to see how the new Mac Pro enhances our customers’ limitless creativity in cinematic production, visualization, games and more.”

Unity’s vice president of Platforms, Ralph Hauwert, stated, “we’re so excited for Unity creators to tap into the incredible power of the all-new Mac Pro. Our powerful and accessible real-time technology, combined with Mac Pro’s massive CPU power and Metal-enabled high-end graphics performance, along with the gorgeous new Pro Display XDR, will give creators everything they need to create the next smash-hit game, augmented reality experience or award-winning animated feature.”

Simonas Bastys, the lead developer at Pixelmator, stated, “he new Mac Pro is insanely fast —it’s by far the fastest image editor we’ve ever experienced or seen. With the incredible Pro Display XDR, all-new photo editing workflows are now a reality. When editing RAW shots, users can choose to view extended dynamic detail in images, invisible on other displays, for a phenomenal viewing experience like we never imagined.”

Cristin Barghiel the vice president of Product Development at SideFX, stated, “with the new Mac Pro’s incredible compute performance and amazing graphics architecture, Houdini users will be able to work faster and more efficiently, unleashing a whole new level of creativity.”

Serif’s managing director Ashley Hewson said, “Affinity Photo users demand the highest levels of performance, and the new, insanely powerful Mac Pro, coupled with the new discrete, multi-GPU support in Photo 1.7 allows our users to work in real-time on massive, deep-color projects. Thanks to our extensive Metal adoption, every stage of the editing process is accelerated. And as Photo scales linearly with multiple GPUs, users will see up to four-time performance gains over the iMac Pro and 20 times over typical PC hardware. It’s the fastest system we’ve ever run on. Our Metal support also means incredible HDR support for the new Pro Display XDR.”

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Someone drank deeeep from the Apple koolaid reservoir.


I can see you’re in danger of ODing on the Apple Koolaid. I should know I imbibed enough of it over the years.

What you’ve wasted your Saturday doing is collating and posting transactional marketing quote. "if I say something nice about your product, my product will get exposure too.’ That’s how this works.

In every single one of those quotes no one ever compares the ‘amazing performance of the Mac Pro’ to ANYTHING. That’s how you know these quotes are worthless.

I remember when the Trashcan was unveiled at WWDC they had a Foundry engineer turn up and say how amazing it was. Apple paid The Foundry a small fortune for a fake Modo Metal demo and platitudes.

I’m surprised people are so willing and naive to buy this obvious nonsense, Steve Job’s Reality Distortion Field is still functioning.

BTW, I’ve been using Macs for over 20 years, I have a Mac Pro 2,1, MP 5,1, Trashcan, several MBPs and an iMac in my studio. I know a bit about Macs. But more importantly I know Apple marketing BS when I read it.

Go into any VFX Studio you like and you won’t see a single Mac unless it’s a laptop owned by one of the rubbernecks. This is the reality.

Freelancers like my mates and I used to buy Mac Pros, we don’t anymore. We certainly wouldn’t be paying $15k-$20k for lower performance than we can get from a $6k-$7k PC. If you want to believe that marketing that’s up to you, I don’t. I know the performance of the Vega GPUs compared to nVidia’s GPUs and AMD Navi GPUs and I know the performance of the 28 core Xeon compared to Threadrippers.

You realise those Apple Vega GPUs are just 7nm Vega 64s and will likely be approaching $1000 for the single GPU and close to $2000 for the DUO. Who in their right mind would pay that? I’m sure 2xDUO GPUs would be powerful but not when you’re shelling out nearly $4k for them!

No one can blame Blender for not supporting Macs, Apple walked away from cross platform APIs and don’t forget it was Apple’s OpenCL bugs that made working with it on MacOS such a joyless experience that saw CUDA become the de facto standard for GPU based rendering. The bugs were fixed on Win and Linux long before Apple fixed them and they developed OpenCL! You can’t make this up. The jokes write themselves.


Lol, Whatever.
I use both systems and have to switch back and forth. And I didn’t waste anytime they were all in the Op’s original article. Saying nice things is one thing but a constant “we’ve never been able to work like this before” is another.

Haha, have fun in you singular thought that one system will always be better, and let’s remember this discussion in a year or two. :slight_smile:

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We all just smiled when people said this in the video production world. Now metal is coming into 3D and we keep on smiling. Gladly knowing that software developers of these large companies don’t feel the same way as the internet scubs.

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There were plenty of very similar quotes about the Trashcan when that was released, I’m sure I could find some quotes that would make you blush. It was a disaster. I regret buying mine, utter junk.

Like this new Mac Pro the Trashcan arrived with fanfare and EOL GPUs. Yeah, the GPUs in this new Mac Pro have been end of lifed by AMD. It won’t be too long before AMD release Big Navi and these 7nm Vega GPUs look ridiculous.

Let’s revisit this thread in 2 years. Here’s a few predictions:

This Mac Pro will be the last Mac Pro Apple build.
Apple will never release GPU upgrades for it. (It won’t sell enough to make it financially viable).
Apple will stop mentioning the Mac Pro within 18 months. It’s DOA before release. Anyone remember the Apple Hifi?


I say the same thing and I’m down.
I’m excited for the new Mac Pro verses the non-upgradable trashcan. Apple tries to learn from mistakes and I think they do well on that point.
This wasn’t really meant to be a dick measuring contest between systems but rather that Metal should be seriously looked at for Blender. Because the rest of the industry is…