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More news from AMD: OpenCL support in OS X 'El Capitan'


This is an amazing week - not only did AMD help break up Cycles into smaller kernels, but now they've taken a big step towards proper support on OS X too!

Ton Roosendaal writes:

After having struggled with limited OpenCL support for years, the OS X driver team at AMD made a big step forward by supporting function calls in the OpenCL compiler now. This is in the Beta 3 release of El Capitan.

That means that Blender now can support the current Cycles render engine for Mac Pro (10.11) with similar GPU render quality as Cycles had for CUDA in the past years.

More info, and test download.

Note: the "split kernel" version of Cycles stays in development, this would be the preferred way to have Cycles work in the long term. That work isn't finished yet though. For as now, a "mega kernel" would (and is on OSX 10.11 now) outperforming the "split kernel" in both quality and speed.

About Author

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. thought so - Apple would not release a MacPro and mention openCL and then not doing anything.
    AMD and Apple obviously are working on the driver aspect together.

    Now of Apple would make openGL more open ;)

  2. Ton,

    I have bought a hugely expensive NVIDIA K5000 Quadro for Mac OSX but I painfully found out that the GPU actually renders slower on my Mac than CPU. Would El Capitan solve that issue as well? Or only if I additionally buy an AMD card?

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