Report; all Mac machines starting next year will have Apple CPU's/GPU's

What this means, the Macintosh computer will essentially become a beefed up iPhone or iPad (which could make sense, as interoperability with iOS is a major priority for the company).

What this could also mean, the walls of Apple’s garden getting higher still and maybe getting a roof too. Developers may not be able to just make builds for MacOS anymore without special compilers and Mac-specific API’s and instruction sets, which could also mean an opportunity for Apple to outright ban Blender and FOSS as the last shreds of openness are closed off. Heck it could even mean a lot of developers will again have to choose whether they want be a Mac. vendor or a Windows vendor, as they won’t have the resources to develop two versions of their source code.

This has been the subject of rumors for years now, but it seems to be a lot more serious this time and a lot more detailed.

Stretching the click bait with the title a little bit… :slight_smile: the 12" Macbook is rumored to have ARM processors in it next year, not all.

I think Apple may be fed-up with Intel’s progress and has decided to design their own desktop CPU processors, much like it’s doing with the processors in the iPhone line. And switching to AMD processors would only be someone else’s timeline once again.
Designing your own hardware that powers your own software allows you to progress at exponentially faster rate than waiting on someone else’s road map.
Here’s to hoping that they one day decide to design their own desktop GPUs.

It may not be immediate, but Apple designing and coding there own products will only help improve that product, much like it did with the iPhone. It took a bit, but the iPhone 11 is generations above the latest Snapdragon and Andriod based mobile phones. Hopefully this happens with their desktops in the near future.

Fanboying aside :slight_smile: on a business and tech side, Apple has shown time and time again that when they get serious about a certain tech and go all in it’s been nothing but good for that said industry. And it usually catches the naysayers off guard, leaving it to late for them to react.
And don’t worry I’ve seen Apple ideas fail too. :slight_smile:

Honestly I’m just glad Apple is starting to take creative industries more serious again, and collaborating with those industry leading companies to get them up to speed with Mac systems.
Which if they’re finally looking towards the CG/3D world with targets like VR, this can only be a good thing, right?


And just encase your’re not reading between the lines…
If Apple is serious about the CG/VR/3D industry as they are hinting at, and Blender continues on the growth path it’s on and becomes a/the major player in the CG/3D industry; then you can bet that Apple will for sure have Blender running as smooth as butter on their machines, no matter the hardware.
Blender has already made the other top players in this industry take notice and spread the cash.

I hope you’re right in this regard.

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I get why they’re doing it. Intel has yet to embrace a flat memory model. Contemporary Intel-based computers are nothing more than a bunch of 8086’s all shrunk down and burned onto a single chip. Worse, multi-core CPUs are bunches of bunches of 8086’s. The number of steps to address each 64k page of RAM are completely insane.

It’s really too bad Motorola didn’t win the CPU battle. They made flat memory models possible way back in 1988.

(Requisite caveat of bias, I am an employee of an Apple partner)
Sorry @Ace_Dragon This is a bit of conjecture, and incorrectness.

  1. Developers may not be able to make builds for macOS without special compilers and Mac specific APIs.
  • For the record EVERY OS has specific APIs, or is your contention here that windows builds of Blender don’t use win32.dll? With regards to special compilers, not sure exactly this mean. Blender builds with xcode. You can build an ios app on any old machine with xcode.
  1. “which could also mean an opportunity for Apple to outright ban Blender and FOSS as the last shreds of openness are closed off”.
  • I’m not sure what this means at all. Apple ships their compiler tools for free. So your assumption here is that they would start charging for xcode or only allowing commercial users to use them? I think that seems like quite a stretch and if so they would have quite the backlash.

I think you’re conflating hardware changes with software ecosystems a bit here. Playing devil’s advocate for you here though, what COULD happen is if Apple changed macOS with this new hardware to only right “signed” apps like on any iphone (or android). Even if so I’m not sure how that significantly effects or hurts Blender or Open Source software. The only impediment there is that Blender would need to be signed and distributed through their app store. I get hardcore open source proponents dislike this but Blender is already signed for macOS through apple’s system, so I don’t see this as a huge change.

BTW: I’m in no way for a closed ecosystem that precludes Open Source Software, but I don’t think this is that.

I’m curious as to why you say this and how you reached this conclusion…?
Are you talking about only the hardware or the software?

What in hell is a FLAT memory model? Please explain, no need to hold back on the tech stuff.

Good for who? The CG/3D world or good for Apple?
If its the latter and only the latter than Apple can go F…K themself.
I think they showed their true colors and i personally hope they fail with whatever they do…because i hate walled gardens and the corporate mentality that create it as well as the sheep mindset of the consumer trapped in it.
Every self-respecting creative should stay away from Apple because they are NOT creative anymore, they are creatively corrupt and authoritarian and they want to disrupt the market. Eff them with their tactic - they should stay what they are right now for the creative industry - IRRELEVANT.

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I literally posted a link in my above post.
It’s from Geekbench which has proven to be the standard for measuring a CPU’s performance.
So much so that most companies producing said CPUs constantly refer to their Geekbench score even when they’re not on top.

Here it is again.

Edit: If viewing on your phone, you may have to turn the phone to landscape mode if you want to see the scores.

What “Walled Garden”? I can download any app that I can download on Windows, as long as there is an OSX version.
You’re not forced to download Apps through the App Store, Apple just recommends it because of the vetting process. How detailed that vetting process is is another argument.
I literally have only two apps that I’ve downloaded through Apple’s App Store, Final Cut and Affinity Photo. The rest of my apps all come from the creator’s websites. Resolve, Blender, Daz Studio, Capture One, etc. etc.
OSX will prompt you the first time you start a non-app store app but you just “allow” and that’s it.

I for one am glad for the measures Apple has put in place. Like, "Program X is requesting to view your external drive, or use camera, or record keystrokes and send to server (Razer), even record screen queries pop up (Daz Studio).
When I first doenloaded and opened Daz Studio, OSX warned me that DS wanted to record my screen. All I had to do was deny that permission for Daz and carry on.

Was it a malicious recording option that DS requested? Probably not. But Windows never prompts me with those types of warnings, especially not the first time opening a program.

So for me, I’m fine with the extra steps any developer has to take when coding for OSX, and from what I hear it seems to be easier. Devs who code for all there desktop OS systems seem to favor OSX. During the latest “Blender Today” Pablo asked Dalia which OS did he prefer to code for, and almost without hesitation he answered OSX. And that’s easily not the first time I’ve heard that.


I don’t have a problem with the OS itself actually and that’s not what i mean with walled garden. The whole Apple eco-system is the garden and you as a customer have no options, you are 100% dependent on apple products since they don’t allow you to use alternatives.
Everything in the apple world is controlled and curated and monopolized and i hate it when a company tries to control everything inclusive the customer and what’s in their head.
And make no mistake i am no fan of Microsoft either, they can all go to hell if you ask me. But they give more options and that makes them the lesser evil.

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Yeah, you do get tied to their option and their option only. Up until last year this hasn’t been a problem for me. But, now transitioning to CG/3D I’m left scratching my head wondering why I just can’t use an Nividia card.
Not getting to use a GC of choice has stung a little.

And I think one of those options are, ironically, a locked down mode for Windows 10 that limits you to their store if you want an app. That in turn might not be a terrible deal for older folk and others who never keep up with PC security.

I don’t think it would hurt Apple to create a mode for iOS that allows you to get apps. from anywhere on the internet, they can even put up a bright and flashy warning sign about diligence in security if you turn off what would then be called “safe mode”.

Sounds an awful lot like Nvidia with CUDA honestly. The only difference is that in this particular case CUDA is beneficial to GPU rendering. If Apple and Nvidia hadn’t gotten into a weird pissing match we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. My understanding is that the Metal framework is quite robust, and at least OTOY seems pretty excited about the possibilities. Would be nice if Apple can fund a Metal branch for Blender – not like they don’t have cash to spare!

I used Redshift for a couple of years and recognise your username from the forum Kays, I stopped updating Redshift shortly after the Maxon buyout when the development slowed to a crawl. Features that were promised over three years ago have still not been delivered and the shut complaining and keep paying your maintenance attitude too much in the end.

IMHO, I don’t think the Apple/nVidia spat has made much if any difference, all that happened was that those using CUDA on the Mac learned a few years ago that Apple was tightening their platform rather than finding out now with the release of Apple Silicon Macs that CUDA was now to be booted. We’ve had a few years to make other arrangements.

For all Apple’s assistance with Redshift it currently doesn’t look great and in any case Redshift’s USP of speed has been eroded by developments in GPU hardware and AI denoising employed by other renderers. It looks like the Redshift core is not a good fit for Ampere at all, have Redshifts cheats surfaced and become an impediment to performance? Cycles in comparison has seen massive leaps in performance with hardware ray tracing and now Ampere so much so I’d be surprised if Redshift had any lead in speed anymore. Will RNDA2 or Apple GPUs be a good fit for Redshift or will Redshift devs have to embark on another long drawn out process of development? Keep paying your maintenance and stop complaining otherwise the thread will be locked and I’ll ban you!

It’s a shame Apple didn’t use its considerable resources with assisting the port of Cycles to Metal. USD/Hydra is going to change our industry massively and Tangent’s work to implement Cycles as a Hydra render delegate currently working in Houdini. Cycles will be available for any Hydra compatible DCC in GPU accelerated goodness everywhere except on the Mac. Many more users of other DCCs will soon get the opportunity to see what an excellent renderer Cycles has become.

Playing in Apple’s walled garden is fantastic and there are copious benefits except when Apple doesn’t see what you do as a core interest of the MacOS future. I think Apple Silicon Macs will be fantastic for photo and video work with CPU and GPU sharing the system memory the performance could be next level even on extremely modest hardware. I just don’t see how this maps across to 3D DCCs. Is Apple Silicon even a viable platform for high end 3d will there be an Apple Silicon Mac Pro? There are so many uncertainties going forward.

I don’t really want to turn this into a Redshift-bashing thread, but I do agree with you on your grievances regarding Maxon/Redshift’s unkept promises and a punishing maintenance plan that seems more akin to a subscription than something that actually benefits users.

Regarding Apple/Metal – if they really have a serious interest in competing and possibly regaining some of the lost pro user base, I hope they’re looking at developers like Blender and working with them to facilitate porting the technology to Metal.

For my own purposes, I have professional needs and clients that require me to work within OS X primarily. What I do like about Blender is that I can work in OS X, and then at render time shoot everything off to a Windows machine and let it do the rendering. Of course I would prefer to stay in OS X completely, but having a secondary machine devoted exclusively to rendering is not a bad idea.

So for the time being, my primary need is that Blender remains OS X compatible even if I can’t get the full Cycles benefits as Nvidia users do. What I am hoping for is that NAVI 2 presents a compelling reason for the Blender developers to support it in the future (through Vulkan I would imagine), and that in turn Vulkan can help make a Metal compatibility more possible.

Octane X is also a very compelling render engine currently, and since I am still very heavily based in Houdini, that is definitely something that I am looking at very closely.

Regardless, when I read comments about OS X users only being 1% of DCC users, that type of talk is what I would expect from a for-profit company, not from a foundation devoted to helping artists everywhere and without a profit motivation. If Blender development isn’t inclusive of small user bases, then who is?

May I suggest that this really should be moved into a new, topic-specific thread? The original thread started-and-ended in April. Start a new thread, including a link to this one for context.

That’s not remotely fair on the Blender Devs. Blender supported GPU rendering on the Mac long before any other renderer. It’s not Blender’s fault Apple made such a mess of supporting OpenCL on their own platform that Blender could no longer spare the resources to work around their bugs which were fixed on Windows and Linux.

Blender is already being developed for Apple Silicon which is not even a tiny % of a small % of the Blender userbase. I think they’re going well beyond the call of duty and probably ahead of many other DCCs. Respect to the devs.

Blender should not be held to a higher level of scrutiny because of it being FOSS. It’s right and proper that Blender is developed for as many users as possible but it should not pander to a minority. The issue is how far do developers go to try and keep up with Apple ever changing plans, deprecated APIs and rejection of Open Source APIs. Blender have been unable to find a Metal developer, probably because no Metal developer is interested and could earn significantly more making Apps for iOS.

When Blender said they would not support Metal on Mac Apple did the extremely generous gesture of immediately requesting the loaner Mac back which was used to compile for the Mac. Someone please correct me if I’ve got that wrong.

Personally I would rather Blender concentrated on all those people who have to rely upon FOSS who may never have enough money to buy a Mac let alone feel hard done by while using one. I think the Mac community is very well catered for given its size. It’s unfortunate that Cycles no longer is GPU accelerated on the Mac but I also think it’s fair that Blender dropped support under the circumstances not of its making.

If a $2T company can’t put their collective hands in their pockets and donate money or resources so that a wonderful FOSS project can fund the development of better Mac support then who can?

There’s a lot of hearsay and speculation in what you just wrote. But I agree that perhaps we should move this to a new thread.

All that I wanted to do is point out that CUDA is an equally closed system, it just happens to be one that was adopted by the Blender development team.