Redshift on a mac

   2210   10   2
User Avatar
Member
11 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
I have a well specd Mac Pro trashcan which is i realized is possibly going to take months of continuous rendering to finish an upcoming job in mantra. Cloud rendering will speed things up but it’ll cost a fortune which will come out of my pocket. so I’m deciding what best way forward short term and long term.

Technically I should be able to run redshift on Mac with 2 gtx1080s in 2 seperate thunderbolt connected enclosures. If such a rig actually works it should allow me to render it all locally under Mac OS in a reasonable time frame. But it seems like such a little-used path that worry it’ll end in endless bugs and frustration.

does anyone have experience running redshift on a Mac? I’d appreciate any wisdom from your experience. Thanks.
User Avatar
Member
165 posts
Joined: March 2014
Offline
There's already discussion about that on the RS forum and as far as i know this is working.
May I ask you why on the first place you bought the MacPro trashcan, that's 2013 hardware no ?
User Avatar
Member
11 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
Thanks Nnois– i found some productive conversations on redshift forum. Sounds like it will work very well with houdini, redshift and an external GPU. i think i'll pull the trigger.

I've been using the trashcan since it was first introduced. It is a great machine, really. I know that's not a popular opinion but mine's been able to render day and night rock-solid, cool, quiet and pretty fast for over 4 years now without issue. Compared to GPU PC's its like a slow and steady tortoise. With this project though I'm afraid it may finally lose the race unless I finally get with the times.

I would appreciate hearing from others who are running redshift on a mac how their experience is going.
User Avatar
Member
3755 posts
Joined: June 2012
Offline
jonahtobias
I would appreciate hearing from others who are running redshift on a mac how their experience is going.

It works fine - as well as the Linux version.
User Avatar
Member
11 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
That’s good to hear aryte.

I’ve settled on a 1080ti and sonnet enclosure. If all goes well I may purchase a second one. I’ll post here my experience.
User Avatar
Member
6 posts
Joined: Nov. 2017
Offline
How did your experience go?
User Avatar
Member
11 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
@matleaf – About two weeks into owning an eGPU and my experience has been… awesome! I went with a sonnet eGPU enclosure and a 1080 ti graphics card connected using a thunderbolt 2 to 3 converter. I also purchased a redshift license.

Getting the mac to recognize the GPU was difficult and involved terminal scripts – not plug and play at all (Apple is supposedly fixing this). However once up and running its absolutely smashing through renders.

Many jobs are 20-30x faster. Things like GI and volumetric lighting used to be too time-consuming to consider, I now just shrug. Best purchase I've made in years. Highly recommend. I will buy a second eGPU and card in the coming months to double speeds yet again. Even After Effects now runs faster (I set it to use CUDA in preferences).

Finally, by freeing up the CPU I'm able double the speed of certain tasks. For example I've been able to simulate pyro while simultaneously rendering the previous frame. For example, a frame that takes 4 minutes to simulate and 4 minutes to render will now take a total of 4 minutes to do both by splitting across the CPU's and the GPU, rather than 8 minutes if both were on CPU. Hopefully that makes sense.

Attachments:
Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 1.41.04 PM.png (99.4 KB)

User Avatar
Member
71 posts
Joined: Feb. 2016
Offline
Does the 4x PCIe 2.0 level speed of thunderbolt 2 limit the speed of your renders with eGPUs (vs cards directly connected to PCIe slots) ?
User Avatar
Member
11 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
The thing the 4x PCIe speed might limit is the speed geo and textures load into the cards memory. Typically scenes load into in the ipr quite fast and the render goes from loading to rendering as quickly as mantra.

The Nvidia drivers are less mature for the Mac than the other platforms and there’s no way to overclock currently. so I’m getting slightly slower speeds than an equivalent PC, but not by much.
User Avatar
Member
71 posts
Joined: Feb. 2016
Offline
Thanks. So long as the speed is only affected when loading data onto the GPU, I guess it’s a good solution.

Might look into eGPUs myself once Apple officially releases support.
User Avatar
Member
11 posts
Joined: Sept. 2015
Offline
Just as an update I've now connected a second 1080 TI to my Late 2013 Mac Pro setup. Configuring it was surprisingly difficult and took almost a full day but now it works well. Living life on the edge. My render speed is almost 2x as fast with two cards. Benchmark scene went from 12 minutes on one card to 6:20 with two.
  • Quick Links