OPINION NEEDED! Best option for using Cycles in Blender on a Mac with eGPU
I am faced with an issue and I have 2 real options to solve it (from my understanding). I have a MacBook Pro 15" 2016 running Big Sur, Ive recently gotten into 3D design and was using Blender with Cycles on my work computer (windows). Only to come home to try and continue the projects on my MacBook and be very disappointed with the performance. So after a little bit of research, ive gone out and purchased an eGPU enclosure and an Amd RX 580 card. I then discovered cycles on Mac does not support such a setup... So after more research ive discovered that I can run bootcamp on my Mac and that will allow me to use cycles in blender. However when I did that Blender would crash before it even opens. After more research I think this is a driver issue, however it just seems like way too much messing around for me.
Right now I think I have 2 options...
1: Sell my newly purchased eGPU setup and buy a half decent but affordable PC tower to use with my external monitor purely for rendering.
2: Learn Octane and re create my scene as Octane supports my eGPU setup.
I do really like the simplicity of Cycles and there way more resources online for it than Octane....
Would really like someones elses opinion on what I should do! Please and thank you.
Drivers updates is a fairly simple and common thing to do afaik, and it's free to do. So that might actually be easier than replacing your hardware or learning new software.
FYI, Nvidia GPUs are a safer choice for GPU Rendering, even on Windows afaik:
Read under "So What GPU Should I Use?"
Also, if you're considering making a PC purely for rendering, try looking up cloud rendering first.
From what I understand, you upload your blend file to some cloud service that renders it for you.
I dunno how much it costs, tho, or if building a PC would be cheaper in the long run anyways, or if cloud rendering would be too inconvenient.
Cycles CPU Rendering with a 6-core Mac Mini is not too bad. (4:37 here at 100% image size).
Is your MBP only 4-core? How is the cooling?
If it’s thermal throttling, fixing the GPU driver issue in Windows Bootcamp is what I’d pursue.
The drivers included in AMD Adrenelin software version 20.4.2 (from last spring) work fine with Windows Blender 2.91.
You don't need an Nvidia graphics card for fast GPU Rendering in Cycles. AMD sponsors an engineer to keep Blender optimized for OpenCL on AMD cards.