FabFilter User Forum

Mac OS minimum 10.12 requirement

Hi just wondering when the minimum requirement got bumped up to 10.12? Been using timeless 3 and all the other dec 8 2020 updates with macOS El Capitan no problem.

Curious if volcano 3 will at least install on 10.11.6 but just not be officially supported?


I’d like to know this too.


Hey guys!

Our latest plug-in Volcano 3 indeed requires macOS 10.12 or higher. All our other plug-ins are currently still 10.10 and up. However, we are planning to release a general update for all other plug-ins later this year, which will also require 10.12 or higher. While we were adjusting the website for Volcano 3 we already took the liberty to adjust this for the other plug-ins as well.

Ralph Verdult

To clarify this a little, we always try to support as many past releases of macOS and Windows as we can. However, with macOS this is difficult since Apple quite aggressively deprecates features from older OSes.

We have always been using OpenGL graphics acceleration, but this has been a deprecated technology for years on macOS, so we decided to bite the bullet and port our graphics acceleration code to Metal for macOS and iOS. This is a bit unfortunate, because we can no longer share the code between macOS and Windows (which still uses OpenGL), but we didn't want to get caught in the situation where Apple actually removes OpenGL from a new version of macOS and we don't have an alternative. As a customer, you won't really notice that we're using Metal now, except that it is maybe a little bit more efficient.

However, the Metal support requires a minimum of macOS 10.12, so that's why we had to raise the system requirements. You won't be able to run Volcano 3 on a 10.11 system: it simply doesn't have the required APIs so I expect the plug-in to fail to load.


Frederik (FabFilter)

Hey thanks for the detailed explanation Ralph and Frederik I appreciate it.

It’s understandable and I’m amazed those last updates still run so great on my old machine.

A little bummed but I still love fabfilter!


In case anyone is interested, OpenGL is legacy and Khronos.org is focused on Vulkan. www.vulkan.org

Vulkan spans every major OS platform and with MoltenVK has a layer to work on OS X/macOS, though no official support from Apple.

At any rate, using Metal and Metal Shaders should have been investigated and begun a transition towards five years ago. I'm just speaking as a former NeXT and Apple Engineer. The Rosetta 2 layer of compatibility is also something that will be pulled in a few years and native ARM binaries will be required, thus requiring Universal binaries with dual x86/ARM dmg packages.

Microsoft's is primarily a DX12 first, Vulkan second, OpenGL legacy third platform. There is no way to get around it. Sooner or later your graphics acceleration layer will have to be tailored to each platform.

AMD invented Vulkan and gave it to Khronos.org so Nvidia, AMD, Imagetec and others can extend it. And it's really evolved. Apple started Metal a year before AMD worked on Vulkan. AmD has optimized Metal drivers so all AMD based Radeon systems for OS X should support Metal out of the box going back to atleast the Polaris 10 era and newer.

Here is the plist of supported GPUs in eGPUs from High Sierra. I'd recommend anyone on El Capitan to at least upgrade to High Sierra.


Marc Driftmeyer

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