General Discussions
Vectorworks CAD and Rendering

Vectorworks CAD and Rendering  


Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago

eGPU to improve workflow and rendering with Vectorworks

The Idea
My actual intention to build an eGPU was to gain better renderspeeds when rendering stage- and lighting designs for visualizations of theatre and event.
So I went ahead, bought an Akitio thunder 2, modified it and was good to go.

My Setup:
- Macbook pro mid 2012 El Capitan
- 2,3GHz Core i7
- 16gb RAM
- NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 512 MB
- Akitio Thunder 2 with some housing mods
- KFA2 GTX 970 4gb
- Dell DA-2 PSU

What I gained was a serious performance boost for large files with many objects in complex layer and class environments
when working in wireframe mode or open gl render mode.
But when rendering  final quality there was no performance boost at all.
After some research I found out that Vectorworks is using the GPU only in wireframe and open GL,
but for the more complex render modi it is using CPU.

Lesson learned - first make your homework and then start to build:)
No seriously, I'm very happy with the boosted performance in daily workflow.
For the renderings I will wait if Apple is coming up with a serious pro laptop in 2017,
if not I will swap to windows, go with a maxed out Lenovo P50 and optionally with a serious render workstation at home.
(which is only of limited use, as I'm travelling a lot in business an private)

I'd be grateful for shared experiences of other vectorworks users.


Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts

itsage liked
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Funny thing about doing your homework first.  I do a lot of renderings so I looked for a machine with a lot of vram.  I bought a pc gaming machine from eluktronics.  Fabulous machine but when it came to rendering no speed increase from my 4 year old mac book pro.  Because I learn after the purchase that rendering in my application renderworks with vectorworks is exclusively a cpu based process.  Even worse, short of a 8 core dual cpu setup it is as fast as it is going to get unless I use some sort of gpu rendering software.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts