3D board view with Apple (M1) silicon

I have a quite wired problem with 3D board view, I have just received my Mac Mini with M1 processor and I have installed KiCad to continue my board design, and I was really surprised that the 3D board has a really big rendering time, in my case, it is more than 5000ms (0,2fps) which makes the board view in 3D absolutely not useable.
The same board on my old Hackintosh with Vega 64 GPU makes the rendering with 17fps.

I have already uninstalled/installed the latest official release but nothing is changed also tried the 5.99, with that version the rendering time is around 2000ms, better but still not useable.

I have searched on the forum but not found that anybody reported such an issue.
So I am really wondering am I the only one who is facing this rendering problem?

Any suggestions are welcome.

works fine for me in 5.1.9

Thanks for your reply, can I ask how many components your board has?
Mine has quite many, almost 500 components, but as I mentioned my old Hackintosh could handle that.
Did you install the prebuild package or compiled it yourself?

Do you have: 3D viewer / Settings / Raytracing turned on or off?

This is a huge difference. My daily PC is a 10 year old i7-860 that still chugs along nicely, and I have 5 to 10 frames per second when raytracing is turned off. When I turn it on however, each rendering can take 10s or more.

Another big factor is the amount of pixels that have to be rendered. Running the 3D viewer full screen also has significant impact. The other settings under Preferences do not appear to have much influence for rendering performance.

Yes, Raytracing is off. But you know what, if I switch it on, I can reach ~10fps (plus at the end of the movement 16s rendering time) with a full-sized window compared to 0.2fps with Raytracing off.
I have used also a full-sized window on my old Hackintosh (with Vega 64 GPU) without Raytracing and I could reach 17fps.
What I can also see in iStat, that with Raytracing all the 8 cores (4CPU + 4GPU) are used fully
but if I switch Raytracing off only 1 GPU core is used about 50%.

iStat looks like this with Raytracing off:

It looks like a bug to me.
I assume the rendering speed with raytracing off, and with the “preview” with raytracing on should be the same (so in your case about 10fps).

Thanks your reply.
What do you think, should I report this somewhere else? (I am quite new here, so I do not know)

This is ok, it’s how it works: Raytracing uses only CPU, while the regular rendering uses (just a bit of CPU and) GPU.
It looks there is some problem with yout GPU/Drivers, etc.

So, as far as I know, iStat shows on the left side graph (bar graph) the actual core loads, the right graph shows the overall core load in time.
So the left four bars visualize the load on the 4 CPU cores, the 4 bars on the right show the load of the 4 GPU cores. So in the case Raytracing all cores are in use, 4 CPUs and 4 GPUs.
If I switch Raytracing off, only just a bit of GPU is in use:
In the case of a MacOS (especially if the HW is genuine, like in my case, M1 Mac Mini) I do not know to update the GPU driver, everything should work out of the box.

I was checking in wikipedia M1 CPU, it has 4 high performance CPU cores + 4 energy-efficient CPU cores.

I’m not following Apple trends but from some old news they are dropping? native OpenGL support and move to use their Metal system only. (so OpenGL is implemented on top? of Metal?)
KiCad uses legacy OpenGL (very old) on 3D-Viewer, it may be that it is not proper supported on their drivers.

Sorry, you are absolutely right, I mixed up things. 8 CPU cores (4 performance and 4 efficient) and separately there are 8 GPU cores.
I have configured differently the iStat Menu, and in the case of Raytracing on the GPU load is 45% but as showed before CPU is fully loaded.
If Raytracing off, as before no almost no CPU load, and the GPU is 18% loaded:
(see, next post from me, because as a new user I cannot post two images in one post)

Regarding OpenCL and Metal, I do not really have any info.


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.