I have MacBook Pro 15" late 2016 w/ AMD r460, and I just found that Safari does not enable r460 hardware acceleration when viewing webGL sites.

For example, I cannot play this site with Safari. https://wizgrav.github.io/clubber/index.html

If I check this page with Firefox or Chrome, they play this site just fine enabling dedicated Radeon r460 card. However, Safari never turned on the dedicated r460 card, no matter what sites I was seeing.

Can any body please confirm that the site below is not playable using Safari, and how I can solve this problem?


1 Answer 1


I can confirm that this site does not work in Safari, Safari Technical Preview, or the latest WebKit nightly, as of the 5th of March 2017.

The issue is not with your specific hardware (r460), this runs in Chrome on far older hardware. I tested it on a 2009 iMac w/ Nvidia GeForce 9400, it worked in Chrome but ran very slowly, it did not work in Safari. I saw the same behaviour on the 13" 2016 MacBook Pro with 2 thunderbolt ports.

The root cause of the issue seems to be Safari being more picky than Chrome or Firefox. I don't know if this is an issue with the page author's code, or with Safari, but if you open up the Web Inspector's Console tab you'll see that there are a couple of logged errors; an IndexSizeError, and a TypeError. Either way I expect this issue is limited to this site unless you can find additional examples of this.

Your options for solving this are probably quite limited. You could raise an issue on GitHub on the linked repo, or submit a pull request if you can work out how to fix the issue manually.

If you try out other WebGL (v1) examples you shouldn't see this issue, check out a few at this link: http://webglsamples.org

Edit: I have raised this as an issue on the GitHub repo, I'll update this answer accordingly.

Edit 2: It's been fixed, although the performance in Safari is quite poor compared to Chrome.

Edit 3: Safari doesn't support hardware acceleration with WebGL according to the OP's comment from a phone call with Apple Support. This is also demonstrable when comparing the example website mentioned in the question, https://wizgrav.github.io/clubber/index.html , in Chrome and Safari.

  • 1
    Thanks for your input. I also called Apple to see what was the problem, and it seems that the problem is that Safari does not support hardware acceleration with the dedicated GPU, which in my case was r460. Actually, I tested several webGL sites and it turned out to be true that Safari never enabled hardware acceleration with r460. The apple representative told me that this was expected, although I could not understand why they are making this issue intentionally making it impossible to use better hardware resources with Safari. I hope they will fix this problem.
    – noclew
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 21:29
  • Could be because of potential security concerns, it's surprising that searching for it doesn't turn up any relevant results. I'll update my answer with your info then, because your question is now the 6th result when searching for "safari webgl hardware acceleration" on Google.
    – Josh Doug
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:31
  • 1
    I totally agree. I was also surprised that this issue was not discussed enough.
    – noclew
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 18:25
  • I could also be a means of limiting power consumption. Apple seems to be really big on touting Safari as very energy efficient, which comes into play with laptops.
    – Roshambo
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 14:45
  • I don't think that's it, hardware acceleration actually improves the performance and efficiency of using something like WebGL which should save battery. Compared with Chrome, Safari made my laptop run hotter and consume battery faster but with a slower frame rate, worst of both worlds. Only plausible reason (imo) is security concerns or they just haven't got around to supporting it for some reason.
    – Josh Doug
    Commented Jun 29, 2017 at 19:33

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .