OpenCL and OpenGL on Mac egpu
 
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OpenCL and OpenGL on Mac egpu  

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jdcbaker
(@jdcbaker)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hello

I'm using an Akitio node with a 1070ti on a late 2013 macbook pro retina. I've recently updated to the 10.13.4, and use the egpu mainly for cuda rendering, typically the octane render plugin in Houdini, and this all works perfectly.

However is there any support for openCL or openGL on the egpu in mac? In Houdini when I search for available openCL, I only get the internal intel graphics and the internal Nvidia 750.  The vendor for the openCL on both of these is Apple, and when I've tried searching for Nvidia Corporation nothing is found.  This is also backed up by Davinci resolve, as when I select Metal or Cuda rendering, I can choose between the 750 or the 1070, but with openCL selected, I can only choose the 750.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: jdcbaker

 

However is there any support for openCL or openGL on the egpu in mac? 

Hi,

Not 100% sure I follow your question but OpenCL and OpenGL support, as well as recognizing connected eGPUs, is mainly a function of the applications being used. The developer has to optimize specific app functions using the above APIs, as well as allow the application to see and communicate with the eGPU through the OS.

[edit - I think I misunderstood part of your comments... as far as Apple's part, their main role (which they've not done a good job with except Metal) is to make sure their OS supports current versions of OpenCL, OpenGL, etc. It could be that what you're seeing is a disparity between the versions of OpenCL and OpenGL that Apple supports, and the version of those same API which the applications require.

An arbitrary example: if a dev builds an app which requires v5.2 of an API, and Apple only builds in support up to 3.8, that app or some parts of that app may not function on a Mac, regardless of eGPU.]

Bring peace to your computing life: stop trying to understand Apple.


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jdcbaker
(@jdcbaker)
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Thank you,

I kind of understand that it relies on the application to make use of either openCL or openGL, much in the same way Octane uses Cuda to render, it's a way the software can communicate with the gpu/s.

In Houdini, openCL can be used to speed up simulations and the problem I'm having is that I don't have the option to select the Nvidia 1070 to use for openCL, the only card that is picked up for use with openCL is the internal Nvidia 750m.  

I've been through the Houdini forums and followed advice there about selecting the GPU for openCL, however when displaying a list of usable openCL devices, the 1070 is not being seen.

So I guess my question is, is it possible to get my mac to see the 1070 as a device that can be used with openCL? 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

It sounds like Houdini has not yet been updated to recognize eGPUs on Mac but I could be misunderstanding your scenario.

As far as the Mac seeing an NVIDIA GPU installed in an eGPU, it's only possible with the third party hacks being developed on this site (see Mac Thunderbolt forum, thread is pinned near the top). But it's a two-pronged problem: 1) getting the Mac to recognize and play nice with the NVIDIA card — what the hack does; and 2) getting the app to recognize and play nice with the card on a Mac — up to SideFX. You could have the first part and have the GPU running benchmarks and the like, but still not have it work in Houdini specifically.

Really, the only application I'm seeing right now that's playing well with eGPU out of the gate on Mac is DaVinci Resolve 14 and 15 beta. I'm sure others will follow suit this summer though; many developers were likely waiting for Apple to release their official eGPU OS version and support notes before they dove into supporting this workflow. For sure Adobe has done nothing with it so far but likely will.

On the 3D side, Cinema 4D for Mac *might* offer a solution, based on some demos that were done a few months ago with the new iMac Pro, but I haven't heard much from that side of things since 10.13.4 was released.

Bring peace to your computing life: stop trying to understand Apple.


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jdcbaker
(@jdcbaker)
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Yes, it looks like Houdini doesn't look for egpus.  But it could also be that the Nvidia webdrivers don't install openGL and openCL support for their gpus on the late 2013 macbook pro retina.  I say this just because the openCL vendor for my internal Nvidia card is Apple and I don't have an option to select Nvidia corporation.

I have been in contact with Nvidia and they say they are working on macbook pro drivers for egpus but they don't have an eta.

Hopefully it'll be soon, but being able to use octane and view raw grades realtime in davinci is good enough for now, and will hopefully stretch out the life of this old mac until apple decide to get their act together for the creative industries.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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