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Mac OS X 10.5.6 fixes OpenGL problems?


The latest update of Mac OS X includes fixes for ATI videocards ('Includes fixes for possible graphics distortion issues with certain ATI graphics cards.').

Blender was still usable (no crashes, but sometimes rather slow) on my Macbook Pro after the dreaded 10.5.5 update, but my first tests with 10.5.6 indicate a big performance increase.

While it's not without problems, it may be worth while to try this out of you can't use Blender on your Mac. Please let us know if this solved the OpenGL issues for you!

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Does anyone know if the 10.5.6 update fixes the Macbook Intel graphic card problem? Up to know anyone with an Macbook with the Intel GMA video card has had constant crashes and slowdowns on the menu... Is this the solution they have all been waiting for????

  2. Well on my nVidia MBP (Macbook Pro) there weren't any OpenGL Backround Image problems, node editor problems as usual with the 10.5.5 update and the Blender 2.48a release.
    So it wasn't really having problems for me earier except for what was mentioned by me 2 lines up.

  3. it seems as though it fixed at least the trouble I recently had with my macbook after getting the 10.5.5 Update. the delay is still there but it's stable and doesn't crash after two clicks (which it did before) … I hope it remains this way.

    @madpsychot: there are builds on which have a fix for the delay (though last time I checked game engine wasn't displaying anything) problem with Intel GMA graphics card.

  4. I have the older version of MacBook Air (Intel onboard graphics). I have tested some different versions of Blender on Mac OS X 10.5.5 with no luck. Yeah, there is some hacked 2.45 that works for few seconds and than crashes. I have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.5.6 yesterday. After reading this article I tryed out Blender 2.48 on the Air just for fun. And it seems to be working! It didn't crash, rotating of viewport seems to be quite fluent in not so complicated scenes... So there is some really good progress!

  5. One thing that it has definitely fixed is the diabolical audio interference I was getting through my headphones. I am new ot Macs and this audio problem has been infuriating me for the few months that I have owned this machine - tried all manner of fixes and spend god knows how long searching through threads on the subject, but now it's fixed, and silence is bliss - bliss!!
    I must admit, for a computer that sells so well in the music industry (and films as well, I suppose), I was frankly horrified at the audio problems I was having. Stiil looks like it's all over now, and I can certifiably say that this machine is now utterly, utterly, perfect!
    Oh, sorry, this is the Blender forum is it??
    Er.. that's a 3D program isn't it?
    Hey, is it any good?!? Is it as good as 3ds Max??
    sorry :D

  6. Still using 10.4... It sounds like it still might not be worth it to upgrade.

    I remember when Macs just worked. Well, mine still does...

  7. In Macmini the OpenGl issue remain. No solve menu slow performance problem with 10.5.6. I think that Apple can't solve this anymore, or don't know about this issue with Blender. Any people from Blender Foundation ask Apple about this? Why Tiger runs fine Blender in the same machine? But, for me is not possible do downgrade to Tiger, because another applications needs Leopard. Can Blender Foundation solve this in 2.50 using another way?

  8. This entire issue has irritated me enormously, from unhelpful yet repeatedly made statements like 'it works fine on my MBP' (WELL DUH! Of course it does! Because it only affects machines with Intel's GMA graphics, i.e. the Mac mini and MacBook - READ THE DAMN PROBLEM BEFORE TELLING US IT'S FINE ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT MACHINE) to 'it's not our fault, go bug Apple or Intel instead'.

    Unfortunately, upshot is if you are unlucky enough to be affected, tough ****. Blender devs aren't going to fix something that they consider an Intel or Apple problem, likewise, Apple are not going to fix it nor are Intel.

    I spent a YEAR in limbo over this, I don't think people who are NOT affected really realise just how bad the problem is, Blender is effectively unusable.

    The choices are blunt but simple:

    1. Use a different OS on the Mac via BootCamp or VirtualBox or downgrade Leopard to Tiger.
    2. Buy another Mac without the affected graphics chipset.
    3. Ditch Blender and try another 3D suite.

    Now new machines have come out with different chipsets, I can't see this problem being fixed retrospectively for a relatively small number of users, sorry to burst the bubble but it would have been done by now.

    I could not afford a new machine or ditch years of Blender work, I did not like having to use a secondary OS on a MacBook with rather limited free space. It's a case of put up or shut up. I had to go to a credit union and buy the new aluminium MacBook, no other choice for me.

  9. I have an Imac with ati graphics card, intel core duo 2, I never had problems with blender, it was a little slow I must say, but worked ok.
    I was hesitant to update to 10.5.6 for the reports of computers unable to restart. Then I read this page and the improvements on open gl and I just had to try it. For me it works, I did several renders of files and the speed increase is really noticeable.

    I'm just waiting for for blender 64 bit for mac.


    But I still think that ati sucks for not adopting open gl completely. I installed ubuntu 64bit on my mac using bootcamp, Ubuntu runs really well on a mac, but when I installed blender 64 bit I couldn't make it to work because stupid ati card. I'll try again to see if they finally fixed their cards.

  10. Yes this does not solve the intel chipset gfx problem... but luckily Toon Boom works fine on it, so i can practise my classical cell animations at home :-)
    sad, but it will never be corrected.
    i have a doublebuffer disabled build of 2_45 that works i can still fool around with it


  11. The MacBook (2006)(GMA950) problem is stil there. Blender was the first thin I tried with this update.
    I think I'll keep my external 10.4.11 system for a long time (booting on it when I want to Blend)

    Ther is nothin that can be done ine the Blender code to passthru the GMA/10.5/OpenGL problem ??

  12. I upgraded after numerous complaints to apple (around 15) and Blender works fairly well, albeit a tad slow. After around two hours of playing around, blender crashed. After restarting Blender, it stayed up for around five minutes and then began to freeze the hell out of all my apps (mail, safari, etc.) until I needed to push the power button. I couldn't launch terminal to kill the process and force quit applications wouldn't run either.

    Good enough for me, so long as it doesn't get progressively worse. Previously I couldn't do a damn thing with Blender.

    I'm sure I'll find areas that will bring the crash time progressively more frequent, but just the same, at least I can edit again.

    Good luck!


  13. The GMA issue aside, I really think Mac users of Blender get a raw deal. I'm now at a point where I need to use sound in Blender and according to the Blender site, sound isn't supported on Intel machines. No GMA support, no sound, NO 64 BIT either. I'm sure if I start looking into it, there will be more problems. I'm beginning to think that Mac users aren't important to the Blender team, the entire experience has been an uphill struggle for me, and damn expensive too. I'm close to just ditching it and buying something commercial that just frakkin works.

  14. I'm using mac os 10.5.6 with the intel graphic card and blender crashes when I create an animation.
    that really sucks. the only solution to the problem is biting the bullet and spending the $99 to get
    cheetah 3d..

  15. One more thing. cheetah 3d is better than blender anywhy. only problem is it cost $99 which isn't that much money in the long run.

  16. I could not get Blender 2.49b to run on my older (2007) mac mini. The interface was very sluggish. The mini is running Leopard, BTW.

    However, I just installed 2.58 on that same mini, and it runs just fine, tho I could not get it to play back a rendered animation (rendered to frames).

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