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TF/FX Thomas Fitzgerald Design


An open letter to Apple - Please Save 3D content Creation on the Mac and Support nVidia GPUs


This is a copy of a letter I sent to Tim Cook. I doubt if he’ll ever read it but you never know!

Dear Tim

I have been an Apple user as long as I can remember. As a motion graphics artist, the Mac has always been my computer of choice, and I have always fought for getting the various companies I have worked for over the years to properly support and invest in Apple hardware and software. This was particularly challenging when I first started out in 3D. Managers have always been reluctant to use the Mac for 3D applications, especially when I started in the late 90s.

However, my persistence paid off, and as Apple embraced the pro video and motion graphics market throughout the 2000s, my belief in Apple was vindicated as many of the leading applications were ported to the Mac, and company bosses saw the benefits of having an all Mac pipeline, in reduced support costs and so on.

However, the tide is turning, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a Mac user in the 3D industry once again, and it is all down to one thing - Apple’s lack of support for nVidia GPUs. The 3D industry is undergoing a transition to GPU based rendering, and so far, all of the major renderers require nVidia based GPUs. Many of the leading solutions such as Octane, Red Shift and now Arnold GPU are based on nVidia languages such as CUDA, and will probably never support alternative architectures. This is unfortunately leaving those of us who still want to do 3D on our Macs out in the cold.

While I understand that there may be valid business reasons for Apple not to use nVidia GPUs in your computers, nVidia have publicly stated that Apple is blocking them from even releasing drivers for the Mac under Mojave. I really can’t think of why Apple needs to do this. It is also a real shame that Apple won’t allow nVidia support for external GPUs. I'm saddened that two industry leaders can’t come together to solve whatever issues that there may be to prevent nVidia GPUs being used on the mac in whatever form that can work.

I understand that the 3D market may be pretty small in the grand scheme of things, and may seem expendable, but given Apple’s connection to Pixar, and the prestige associated with the higher end of the 3D content creation space, I hope it is something something Apple would still consider important. Without nVidia support, I don’t think that the industry will continue to support the mac for much longer. Already there is an exodus among users to Windows, something I would hate to have to do. However, unless something changes soon, those of us who have long loved creating 3D on our Macs may soon have no choice, if we want to stay current. This is a real shame, as computers like the iMac Pro are perfect for 3D content creators, or would be if they supported nVidia.

So I implore you to reconsider whatever reason there is for preventing nVidia GPUs from working with the Mac and come together with the company to fully support their GPU products, either as an eGPU or as a primary option in the future Mac Pro and other macs. I would really hate to see high end 3D content creation become next to impossible on the mac, but that is the direction we are heading in unless something changes soon.

Yours Sincerely

A long time fan.