AMD Rx Vega 56 / 64 for Blender and Adobe apps
I got a plan to buy an eGPU some day for my 2015 MBP.
My main reason for buying eGPU is Blender Cycles render. As I know the Vega cards are really good @ blender on Windows, but I haven't seen anyone using them as eGPU on Mac. (not sure if Vega cards work in blender + mac now) It may be too early to ask, but I want a future proof setup, that is officially supported, as I understand AMD cards are going to be supported. I also use all Adobe package every day, so I want to buy a card that is going to be supported at all apps without glitches.
Maybe I should wait till iMac pro comes out or even spring till eGPU's are "officially" supported, but I'd love to step into this beautiful eGPU world sooner 😀
MBP 15' mid 2015
Ok I will tell what I have discovered now.. AMD cards unfortunately currently are not good fit for Blender under Mac OS. It's something with Mac OS not letting to split kernel for OpenCL & Cycles (probably I use not 100% correct wording). It's a problem that needs to be solved between Apple and AMD. Until then AMD cards are useless on Mac for Blender Cycles renderer.
That means right now nVidia card for rendering with Cycles in Blender under Mac OS is the only option. I'd like to know how big is the performance loss compared to Windows in Blender rendering. Someone maybe can do a test and post a result.
And what do you guys think , will nVidia cards bet officially supported when eGPU on Mac becomes official.
MBP 15' mid 2015
Anyone can try to confirm this?
Is there a test/benchmark to try?
is this happening with every Radeon card or just Vega?
I confirmed, AMD cards do not work. It is likely Cycles renderer specific issue because Indigo renderer supports OpenCL with AMDs on macOS:
I bought the Apple eGPU Developer Kit as I saw all the improved OpenCL benchmarks all over the place and read all about how Blender 2.79 had much better OpenCL support. However, the disappointment when I got the eGPU up and running is that Blender 2.79 is about the ONLY app that doesn't work with the eGPU. The Cycles render engine says "compiling kernel, this will take a minute the first time" and never completes. It can also lock up the entire computer.
So my box is sat disconnected under the desk as Blender is my favourite 3D app and I'm eagerly waiting for the iMac Pro and hoping the drivers from the macOS update for iMac Pro will make Blender work for me or that AMD releases their Blender plugin for Radeon Pro Render (which looks amazing) for Mac when the iMac comes out (can we hope?). It's out for Windows and Linux but sadly nothing for Mac. If that came out I'm sure the eGPU would be amazing. As it is... big waste of money and an ugly paperweight.
Until then I'm stuck with CPU Blender Cycles render. I was really hoping for much more than that.
Which GPU do you have?
@ikir the laptop has
AMD Radeon Pro 560 4 GB
Intel HD Graphics 630 1536 MB
and the eGPU has
AMD Radeon RX 580 8 GB
macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 is out, any chance it has GFX updates?
AMD extension versions in 10.13.1 are v1.58.32.
AMD extension versions in 10.13.2 are v1.60.24
I don't know what that means. I'll test some GPU things when I get chance. See if the eGPU behaves any differently.
Risked it... I set Blender 2.79 to use OpenCL compute on the dedicated Pro 560 and pressed GPU Compute render Supported and it said "compiling kernels" and after a few seconds it actually started rendering instead of crashing the Mac. That's the first time I've seen Blender render on the GPU on the 2017 MBP.
The render is disappointingly slow though. The CPU renders the scene in 24 seconds and it took the GPU 4 minutes flat.
That's almost 2Tflop of GPU. So what hope has the 6Tflop RX 580 got under my desk?
It is huge progress though. The nightly Blender releases enable OpenCL over multiple cards I think. If the kernels can compile on the more recent AMD cards that's great news and future optimisations will surely come too.
I'll connect up the eGPU later on and see if it works.