Cycles: Remove support of Metal with AMD/Intel GPUs for 4.3 and onwards

Hi everyone,

Blender 4.2 will be the last release which supports GPU rendering using Metal with AMD and Intel on macOS. Starting with 4.3 Metal rendering will only be available on the Apple Silicon. CPU rendering on non-Apple-Silicon platforms will be kept fully supported.

The reason for this is ever increasing time investment which the team a whole needs to keep doing in order to ensure quality of Blender and Cycles.

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This is bad news for Apple users, who don’t want to run after the newsest Hardware and “AI-Improvements” from Apple. With a legacy computer (around 5-7 years old) you then only have GPU rendering in 4.2?

That would be a bad move from my perspective. Then you are helping to force Apple expensive M Hardware to the people and invest much time to write code for another “black box” system.

Will Vulkan give us the GPU rendering on older Apple hardware? Is that the planed replacement for loosing the Metal GPU rendering?

Thanks,
Helge

Some of the features were already permanently disabled, and almost all newer features are conditionally disabled on those platforms as they cause huge performance regressions. So none of the development past the 4.2 state would be usable in practice, but it will cost a lot of development power trying to find workarounds to avoid regressions caused by refactors.

Vulkan GPGPU is not available for Metal devices as far as I know, and there are no current plans to implement Vulkan in Cycles.

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Thanks for your clarification, quit bad for me.

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You’ll only have the CPU for rendering.

As a side note, if you have a AMD GPU that’s new enough, you can use boot camp to switch to Windows or switch to Linux and continue to use Cycles on your GPU for probably a few more years. This is because AMD is providing better support for their GPUs on Windows and Linux than Apple is providing on macOS.

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Sure, I also have a Linux partition.
Looking forward to hear, how many “legacy” mac users are out there if they realize it :wink:

In my experience as a trainer, many education institutes and also many freelaners have not the money to jump fast on new M-Hardware. As M is quite new and the Intel systems were still sold in parallel this will be a shock for many. We will see.

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The proposal to remove AMD GPU support from Cycles on macOS was made roughly 7 months ago in the developer release notes for Blender 4.0. Although this could of probably been communicated to the community in a better way.

But on a plus side, AMD and Intel GPU support in Cycles on macOS will still recieve 2 years of “support” as Blender 4.2 (the last version to have support) is a LTS release getting 2 years of bug fixes.

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And this is terrible news for me. It’s blowing my mind. I need to replace two computers, which is not feasible for me.

You can keep using Blender 4.2 LTS for another 2 years at least.

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The GPU support is still available throughout the lifetime of the 4.2 LTS, and the CPU support is still there.
Depending on a scene, CPU might already be a better choice due to the available set of features, and because of the GPU inevitably becoming slower due to the compiler issues.