OS X Leopard is stupendously great in just about every respect (okay, it's a little buggy here and there), but one giant major suck has been the performance of Blender 2.45 on an Intel MacBook (especially with the Intel 950 chip). With the OS upgrade, Blender's interface became horribly slow and boggy. After a bit of usage Blender would start to really grind more and more as it spent more and more time doing garbage collection. It wasn't unusable, exactly, but just kind of crappily poky and weird.
Some folks on the Interweb tracked down the problem to a memory leak of some sort in Apple's openGL driver, or in Blender's use of it. It appeared that Apple might have done something funny in their update. No one had a solution.
I just yesterday (02/22/08) was a post on BlenderNation giving a couple of workaround solutions: one by some funky tweaking through OpenGL Profiler (you'll need Developer Tools installed), and the other by downloading someone's custom build.
The problem appears to be with double buffering gobbling up too many resources, and Blender's use of openGL for the UI. Presumably this will be fixed in the upcoming 2.46 (which looks very good, btw).
I tried the profiler workaround and it WORKS. Whoa. Thank my blessed lucky stars.
I've cleaned and posted up the instructions here, just to help spread the word:
- Download and install the latest XCode, which includes Apple's developer tools.
- Start /Developer/Applications/Graphics Tools/OpenGL Profiler
- Click +. Find your Blender application.
- Open Launch Settings at bottom of the screen. below and check "Use custom pixel format"
- Click the Edit... button. In the "Custom Pixel Format" click Attributes.
- Double-click kCGLPFADoubleBuffer
- Go back to main window. Make sure Blender is selected in the application pane.
- Click the Launch button.