Suggestions for GPU renderer and graphics card (possibly for Mac with Razer Core)

I’m currently weighing up my options for a laptop replacement. I’m considering a Macbook Pro 13" with integrated graphics, for portability and battery life (non Touch Bar model reportedly has the best battery life), and have been looking at the Razer Core as a possibility for boosting graphics performance when rendering.

I realise that rendering is generally CPU based, but have started to read up on GPU rendering. Presuming I use Bootcamp, can anybody recommend a combination of graphics card and renderer which would work with the PC version of Rhino? Preferably a renderer with a healthy academic discount!

Please also feel free to advise if I’m barking up the wrong tree. I’m very open to suggestions of an off-the-shelf PC of modest specs to be my workhorse (definitely sub £2000 / $2000); just investigating an option which could be more elegant in terms of how I presently work.

I’m not so interested in PC laptops, despite the general disappointment in the Macbook updates. I value portability, battery life, durability. I’m sold on the idea of USB-C and would like to be able to dual boot into MacOS.

Razer Core does seem to work with the Macbook:

[details=Presently it supports these graphics chips:]Qualified AMD Radeon™ graphics chipsets:
AMD Radeon™ RX 480
AMD Radeon™ RX 470
AMD Radeon™ RX 460
AMD Radeon™ R9 Fury
AMD Radeon™ R9 Nano
AMD Radeon™ R9 300 Series
AMD Radeon™ R9 290X
AMD Radeon™ R9 290
AMD Radeon™ R9 285

Qualified NVIDIA® GeForce® graphics chipsets:
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1080
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX Titan X
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980 Ti
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 970
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 950
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750 Ti
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 750[/details]

Thanks in advance for any recommendations or opinions.

A few to look at are Octane, iRay and Arion which all make use of Cuda cores on Nvidia cards. I haven’t used the Razer Core but if speed is your main goal and you’ll be on a laptop, I’d recommend an external enclosure for multiple GPUs or build a dedicated tower PC with multiple PCIx slots, enough power and space+fans to keep it cool.

Rhino v6 is slated to also by default have GPU accelerated raytracing in the viewport as the “Raytraced” display mode. This is using the Cycles engine behind the scenes but integrated for the new materials and render settings in v6. Give it a try too when you can and let us know what you think.

@BrianJ thanks for your helpful response. I’m having second thoughts about whether to go down the Razer route, after experimenting with running a desktop PC as a rendering box over Microsoft Remote Desktop, which has its own advantages. Nevertheless, all of your suggestions still seem useful and I’ll be sure to check them out.