Blender 3.1 update adds GPU Metal rendering for M1 Macs

Popular open-source 3D software Blender has just been updated to version 3.1, and the update brings significant improvements, especially for Mac users. Blender 3.1 now has GPU Metal rendering for Mac with the M1 chip and its variants.

A Beta version of Blender 3.1 with Metal support was released in December 2021, and the update is now available for all users. Ever since Apple ended support for OpenCL technology in macOS in favor of Metal, Blender never offered the option to enable GPU rendering on Mac.

Now, with the Metal backend, the app not only runs faster due to the access it has to the GPU, but also works with the GPU built into the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra chips. As stated on the Blender website, render times are up to 2x faster with GPU Metal rendering compared to standard CPU rendering.

However, that’s only part of the story, as Blender 3.1 uses less memory, ray-tracing accuracy has been improved, asset browser libraries are now indexed for faster loading, and l application received 19 new nodes.

You can discover all the new features and download Blender 3.1 on its official website. It should be noted that GPU Metal rendering only works with Apple Silicon chips and AMD graphics cards, and requires a Mac running macOS Monterey 12.3 or later.

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Steven L. Nielsen