Hardware: Anyone using eGPU on mac?

Nah, I went to just get build a cheap windows
maching to use Blender Cycles Render.
I can just change the GPU as they get cheaper, and I can still work on my mac while it works on the render.

Also I think Brazil is not yet out for mac.
But as cycles get integrated to MacRhino I guess that would be the time to fiddle with the eGPUs.

With the Rhino render I just couldn’t get a good glass material render, so I just use it if need to just do a quick proposal.


You could always pick up a used 4.1 or 5.1 Mac Pro tower and stuff a couple NVidia GTX 970’s in it (you can run two of those cards without any mods off the onboard PS with $7 power splitter cables off eBay).

These days 970’s can be had for well under $300 and there isn’t much of a performance increase (like maybe 1 second on the Mike PAn benchmark if that) by going to 1070’s so unless you need the addition VRAM on the cards (and I’ve yet to have a scene that won’t fit into 4gb of vram) there’s no real need to go to 1080’s.

This approach realizes 40 second benchmarks in blender. I built a pair of boxes like this. By leaving a GTX120 in a single wide slot so the gpus are free to render and I can continue to work while they are doing so.

Just an option.

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except cycles isn’t in Rhino for Mac (yet?)

@Toshiaki_Takano What are the requirements for cheap windows for Rhino/Brazil to work properly? I’m just working on jewelry for my start up company, not large files for architecture.

Hi Triinh, sorry for the confusion, I’m using mac to model and using the windows to render, but for the windows PC, I’m just using the Blender cycles renderer. So I only have mac Rhino at moment so never used Brazil or can’t.

As for the PC side, I built it with core i3 and geforce GPU as I wanted CUDA cores.
MacbookPro these days only has intel gpu so, hence I made the post of external GPU.

Maybe putting up a new thread might get more useful answers. So, ”advice for Hardware for Rhino and Brazil for Jewerly design”

As Brazil is only available for windows OS, I would assume winPC would be a more cost effective choice…

Oh duh. Right. I’m exporting to obj and rendering in blender. Missed the rhino cycles bit

Mainstream emergence in upcoming 10.13.4.

On a developer box, probably not close by to you:


well that looks awesome

I’ve been using an Akitio 2 box for about 18 months and here is a quick breakdown:

Some notes:

  • the eGPU will only power external monitors. There was a work around sometime ago, but you only get a very small gain from the GPU. If you use it on an external monitors, you get about 85-90% use of the GPU.
  • Thunderbolt 2.0 boxes don’t seem to work on High Sierra, because the workaround script floating online is no longer supported by the developers. The GOOD NEWS in this case is that TB3 boxes are supported natively by MacOS.

About Rhino:

  • I use Rhino almost on a daily basic, it’s second only to Unreal Engine at the moment. On MacOS I have encountered ZERO problems with eGPU using Rhino. On Windows, I have had some issues with toolbars getting very small when moving a window from the external monitors to the laptop monitor.

My advise:

  • If you want to get into eGPU, either wait to get your hands on a new Mac, or if you a owner of a MacMini and don’t mind sticking around with macOS Sierra.
  • A TB3 box will work with TB2 Macs, if you buy anTB2<>TB3 adapter, so if you thinking of getting your hands on an eGPU now, get the TB3.
    *BIZON looks nice, but it’s very expensive. I got my Akitio TB2, + a custom metal box, + 500W power adaptor and a RX480 with 8GB for the same price as the Bizon Box.

Hope this helps someone…

Some Links:
This is the officially supported box if anyone is interested:

And this is the Unreal Engine forum:

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Double check on the internet first though. I had the Akitio Node for a month and tired to get it to work on Windows 10 via BOOTCAMP on a 2015 MacBook Pro with an Apple TB2<->TB3 adapter, but had no luck. After a few weeks I understood that the Akitio Node just did not like Thunderbolt2. (I also had some issues with the macbooks built in nVidia card, it was too old (gt750m) to support the newer 10xx cards.)
Anyway, point is check online prior to buying a fancy box for an “old” computer :wink:

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Sure thing. I would only recommend AMD cards for eGPU on a Mac for now, because RX480/580 are natively supported and thus do not require additional drivers to run. I also think the only box officially supported is the Sonnet.
In the end of the day, the best solution is to just get a newer Mac with TB3 and a TB3 box.