Qualification of Maya 2008 on Mac OS X

Last updated: Oct 24th, 2007

General Note about OSX 10.5

"Maya 2008 has not been significantly tested on Mac OS X 10.5 and while it may be possible to use Maya successfully on the newest version of Mac OS X, Autodesk cannot guarantee the performance or behavior."

Products Version Software Date
Maya Complete/Unlimited 2008 - PowerPC 200708030030-704171
Maya Complete/Unlimited 2008 - Intel 200708030025-704171

General Configuration

In order to determine whether your system is qualified to run Autodesk Maya 2008 and mental ray for Maya, you must have a qualified processor, operating system, graphics card, and official Apple-supplied graphics driver. See the following sections.

In addition, other requirements are as follows:

General disclaimers:

Information for specific Mac OS X versions

To tell which version of Mac OS X is installed, select "About this Mac" in the Apple menu. The general OS version number will be just below the logo; e.g., Version 10.4.10.
To find the precise build number, click the version text. It will change to the build number; e.g., Build 8R2218. (Occasionally Apple will release slightly different Versions with the same version number but which may behave differently. It may only be possible to identify the OS version by the build number.)

Mac OS X version
10.4.10  8R2218

Workstation and Graphics

G3 and G4 based workstations and laptops are no longer tested, though it's possible to continue to use Maya with these machines. See note above under General Disclaimers

Mac workstation
Mac PowerPC Based
Power Mac G5 Single 1.6 GHz Untested
Single 1.8 GHz Untested
Dual 1.8 GHz Untested
Dual 2.0 GHz Tested
Dual 2.3 GHz Untested
Dual 2.5 GHz Untested
Dual 2.7 GHz Untested
Power Mac G5
(PCI Express)
Dual Core 2.0 GHz Untested
Dual Core 2.3 GHz Untested
Dual - Dual Core 2.5 GHz Tested
G5 ( 17" and 20")
All models Untested
Xserve G5 All models Untested
Mac Intel Based
Mac Pro Dual 2.0 GHz Dual Core Xeon Untested
Dual 2.66 GHz Dual Core Xeon Tested
Dual 3.0 GHz Dual Core Xeon Tested
Dual 3.0 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Tested
Intel (17"**, 20" and 24" )
1.83 GHz Core 2 Duo Tested
2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo Untested
2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo Tested
MacBook Pro (17")* 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo Tested
Xserve Intel All models Untested

* All Macs with built in Flat Panels (iMacs and PowerBooks) are limited to built-in screen resolutions. These resolutions may limit the use of Maya; for example, menu bars may not be fully drawn and windows may need screen resolution that is not available. Using an external monitor and setting the resolution to 1280 x 1024 allows full use of Maya menus and windows.

** Only 17" Intel Imac's with ATI X1600 graphics on board have been tested.

Legacy Graphics card

Cards not listed in the chart below are no longer tested. However, these cards may still be acceptable for use with Maya. Please refer to earlier Maya for OS X qualification charts to evaluate a particular card's previous use in Maya. While you may continue to use one of these cards, please note that we may not be able to provide support for any issues you encounter.

Tested Graphics Card 

Driver Notes

All qualifications are performed using only the official Apple default drivers that are included with a particular version of an OS (e.g., 10.4) or OS update (e.g., 10.4.10). Drivers acquired by any other means; e.g., directly from a graphics vendor, are considered unsupported and therefore not qualified. We cannot guarantee the stability of Maya using unsupported drivers. We have received numerous reports of problems with drivers other than those released by Apple as part of the OS.

To verify which version of a video driver is installed on your Mac OS X system, In a Finder window, navigate to /System/Library/Extensions/(vendor extension file). With this file selected, choose File -> Info to view the version information.

For example, to determine the version of the video driver installed for the Nvidia GeForce FX 6800 Ultra, select the /System/Library/Extensions/NVDANV40Hals.kext file and then choose File -> Info.

General notes about graphics cards on Mac workstation

Dual monitor support

Apple systems can be run in Dual Monitor configuration by using a single graphics card which supports dual output (e.g. Nvidia GeForce 6800 or ATI Radeon x850xt).

Graphic card chart
Graphic card Qualification Status
ATI Radeon x850xt Passed with limitations[1,2,3]
ATI Radeon x800xt Passed with limitations[1,2,3]
ATI Radeon 9650 Passed with limitations[1,2]

ATI Radeon X1900XT - Retail (PCI Express G5)

Not Qualified

ATI Radeon X1900XT (Mac Pro)

Passed with limitations[1,2]
ATI Radeon X1600XT (Intel iMac) Passed with limitations[1,2]
ATI Radeon X1600 (MacBook Pro) Passed with limitations[1,2]

Quadro FX 4500 (PCI Express G5)

Passed with limitations[1,2]
Nvidia 6800 Ultra (G5) Passed with limitations[1,2]

Nvidia 7300 GT (Mac Pro)    

Passed with limitations[1,2]
Nvidia 7600 GT (Intel iMac) Passed with limitations[1,2]

Nvidia 7800 GT (PCI Express G5)

Passed with limitations[1,2]

Notes and Caveats

Vendors Drivers version Short Description
1 10.4.10

Polygons and/or NURBS may be drawn incorrectly in hardware render buffer

2 10.4.10

No Shadows in hardware renderer

3 10.4.10

CG shaders with reflection maps do not display properly

1 10.4.10

Polygons and/or NURBS may be drawn incorrectly in hardware render buffer

2 10.4.10

No Shadows in hardware renderer

3 10.4.10

CG shaders with reflection maps do not display properly


Compiler Requirements

If you are building plug-ins for Maya, note that the Maya API requires a specific compiler and linker, on each of the platforms Autodesk supports in order to build compatible plug-ins. Autodesk Maya 2008 is built on: Mac OS X 10.4 with the XCode version 2.4.1 using the gcc 4.0.1 (Apple Computer, inc. build 5367 ) compiler. Using this compiler will guarantee binary compatibility when building plug-ins.