Maya on MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by adevejian, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. adevejian macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I am really smitten with the MacBook Air, its gorgeous. My question is, do you think the new MBA's (hopefully released Oct 14?) will be capable of handling simple modeling / animation / dynamics work? Nothing too fancy, I'm not going to be rendering massive vfx quality stuff.. but maneuverable and not too sluggish.

  2. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    With integrated graphics, probably not. I think the likes of Blender and Sketchup are what you are limited too.
  3. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    You can run it. You can use it. You won't be able to create extreme models but anything basic or beginning modeling, you should be able to perform on the air. It won't be fast during renders though.
  4. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    From the manufacturer's web site:

    So at least according to them, no, it won't run. No hardware-accelerated graphics card, no go. It won't run on a MacBook either.
  5. isoceles macrumors member


    Jul 24, 2008
    MacBook Air for rendering Maya? Why waste your time? I would recommend a getting a MacBook Pro or even better, a Mac Pro. If you already have the MBA and money is an issue buy a cheap PC with a dedicated video card and use it for rendering.
  6. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    The poster has this, as stated in his sig "Mac Pro 3Ghz 2xQuad". I'd guess, he would like the MBA to do some basic work then transfer the files to the MacPro for rendering. Don't want to put words in the guys mouth - but this seems logical.
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  8. ckmaes macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2007
    I've got Maya 2008 Ext 2 installed on my MacBook Air 1.6. It runs ok for simple modeling, but anything more than that will be painful.
  9. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    why bother? if you want to run maya, buy a real computer, not an overpriced toy.
  10. stormtroopar macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    I posted this in the other thread, thought it might help some people if they are in the same boat of thinking about getting the new rev b Macbook Air for using Maya and other 3d apps... In short, I have the new rev b, 1.86 Ghz 128 SSD drive version and so far, Maya runs well on it. I was so happy Apple decided to use Nvidia chipset and gfx card for all their notebook, making them much more powerful for 3d usage. And most moderate games run well on it so far as well...

    Here is the post from the other thread:

    I work in the film visual effects industry so I use maya and other 3d apps extensively.

    The main issue usually with running Maya is the graphics card. A more expensive notebook doesn't mean it will run it well versus a cheaper one!! It all depends on the graphics card in the machine.

    Typically, an Nvidia graphics card will run it well, even mobile versions. ATI cards' opengl drivers tend to be not very stable and hence why 3d used to run real bad on the Mac because it used to be the only graphics card option. Intel chipset with on board graphics is the worse, it does not support 3d well at all. Drivers are bad for opengl and they are very slow anyway so that is why they are not even supported on the autodesk website.

    I used to have a Sony Vaio from 4 years ago and ran maya very well because it used an nvidia 6200m mobile graphics card. That machine is by no means beefy at all, but 3d wise, it ran fine! I have even done lectures and classes on it many times with no problem. So don't misunderstand you have to have a macbook pro to do 3d. Again, its more related to the graphics card and its drivers.

    So this leads to the question, does Maya run on the new Macbook notebook and the answer is: Yes!! I just got the new macbook air with the nvidia 9400M chipset and from the brief test I tried, it runs fine and surprisingly didn't have any artifacts I have seen so far... It used to have in past maya versions, especially on OSX.. very prone to display issues. I am running Maya 2009 on it right now, and Zbrush (but zbrush is more cpu bound than gfx card). But typically, if you were using Windows on the Mac with a nvidia graphics card, Maya will run fine. Except a few things like paint effects and whatever else the autodesk website saids.

    Also the comment with the video card Ram... I remember the days when even professional open gl cards were only 64mb and Maya ran fine. Video ram isn't as important in 3d content creation software as oppose to gaming. That is unless you do very high resolution complicated work. So don't trust all the hype and talk people and company throw out. Typically, with Nvidia graphics card, Maya and other Opengl application should run fine. If any issue they have on the Mac, its usually because of their drivers on OSX and not the hardware themselves. Doing 3d is probably still more reliable if you had bootcamp and run it on Windows on your Mac. But so far so good for me!

    Personally, I am REAL happy they finally switch all their notebook from bottom and up to using Nvidia graphics card and chipset. And I LOVE the new macbook air!!! Its awesome! So light and portable yet, quite fast and does the 3d work when I need to. I am a real happy camper!

    Hope this helps.
  11. adevejian thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for all the responses. Yeah, I most likely won't buy the "overpriced toy" MBA because of the countless reviews I've read or heard. I just love the slim design and the portability. My girlfriend recently purchased a new MacBook Pro with the highest specs and it handled Maya surprisingly well, albeit I wasn't doing anything too complicated in modeling and rendering.
  12. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558
    Rightly so! If you have to have your computer with you every day, nothing beats the MBA. I really appreciate that my bag is 2 pounds lighter now. (I had a white MacBook before.)

    And the looks are nothing short from gorgeous.
  13. TTTT macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2009
    Just to update those interested in this thread, I have been in direct contact with the Hardware qualification dept. at Autodesk. They are going to be testing
    a new macbook pro with the 9400/9600 graphics shortly, but will NOT be testing the new imacs in the near future, so don't expect any direct answers from them. I will post again when they notify me on the results of the macbook pro test, so every one knows.

Share This Page