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OscarSelstam (Offline)
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Join Date: 16.09.2018
Location: Blekinge, Sweden
Default Accelerated rendering via external GPU - 16.09.2018, 11:44

I recently upgraded my workstation with a eGPU (Radeon RX 580) and have been trying to use it with Cheetah3D. From the tests I performed it seems that rendering using Falcon isn't any faster with it connected.

I know that Cheetah3D is moving towards using more of the Metal API, which I assume performs this type of acceleration automatically. I still feel that I should voice my desire for this feature.

Thanks


MacOS 10.13.6
MacBook Pro 13-inch, 2018
Processor: 2,3 GHz Intel Core i5
Ram: 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
Graphics (Internal): Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB
Graphics (eGPU): Radeon RX 580
   
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misoversaturated (Offline)
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Default 18.09.2018, 05:31

I'm waiting for that too.

Just curious, do you have the Blackmagic eGPU from Apple?
What apps do you use it with and what is the performance gain?

I'm thinking of getting one myself but first have to wait if Apple releases new Macs in October with decent internal cards.

Some background about Falcon and GPU support can be found here btw.


MacBookPro Retina 2.3 GHz i7 16 GB Ram nVidia 750M / OS 10.9.5 / Cheetah3D 7.3 beta / Blender 2.79 / LuxRender 1.6 / PS CS4
   
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OscarSelstam (Offline)
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Default 18.09.2018, 08:27

Thanks for the link! I hadnít realised that Falcon ran on CPU, Itís a shame though.

Iím using the Razer Core X. I based my decision on the information provided at: egpu.io
The Razer Core X was relatively cheap while still providing enough space and power for my (at the time GTX) card. Please note that MacOS still doesn't support nVidia cards, which is why I upgraded to AMD Radeon RX 580.

I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of apps that do support multiple GPUs. Substance Painter, Maya, Unity and Photoscan all support it with the option to not use it as well. Pixelmator Pro uses both GPUs in tandem and seems to be working very well.

In case youíre interested, I recorded some results of a photogrammetry project using Agisoft Photoscan:

Photo Alignment (17 photos at 3264 ◊ 2448 )
65.0s = Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 + CPU
19.8s = Radeon RX 580 + CPU
27.9s = Tandem GPUs + CPU

Dense point cloud generation (17 photos at 3264 ◊ 2448 )
540s = Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 + CPU
283s = Radeon RX 580 + CPU
205s = Tandem GPUs + CPU

My conclusion is that any too much handshake between the cards can sometimes cause a slower result than just using the stronger card.

Gaming
I tried running CS:GO on the mac. The card is able to handle the highest settings, however I think that the bandwidth is too narrow for high resolutions (such as 2560 x 1600). Running in a lower resolution removes the apparent latency that I experienced. I might also help to fiddle with some of the V-sync settings, but I havenít given it too much thought.

Personally, I think this is one of the best purchases Iíve made ever. Gaming isnít my focus but thatís the one area where the eGPU shows its flaws. I hope I was able to give you some perspective!


MacOS 10.13.6
MacBook Pro 13-inch, 2018
Processor: 2,3 GHz Intel Core i5
Ram: 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3
Graphics (Internal): Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB
Graphics (eGPU): Radeon RX 580
   
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misoversaturated (Offline)
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Default 18.09.2018, 20:25

Thanks Oscar for the detailed review!
I'd need it for Cycles mostly - and Cheetah of course whenever it's ported to Metal API. An upgradable case like the Razer would be more reasonable than a Blackmagic which will be outdated in two years.


MacBookPro Retina 2.3 GHz i7 16 GB Ram nVidia 750M / OS 10.9.5 / Cheetah3D 7.3 beta / Blender 2.79 / LuxRender 1.6 / PS CS4
   
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