Does LayOut support the use of External Graphics Processors (eGPU's)?

I’m running SketchUp Pro under macOS Mojave, does SU (and especially LayOut) support External Graphics Processor Unit (eGPU) “acceleration”?
I’ve learned that MacOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later is designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL Apps using an eGPU. Apple also cautions that: “Not all apps support eGPU acceleration; check with the app’s developer to learn more”.
So, does LayOut (which could really use the help) support eGPU use? Is LO a “Metal, OpenGL, or OpenCL App”? If not, why not?
Trimble, can you make this possible? Soon please?

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I second the request!


Thanks Ellen, but is Trimble listening?

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Hey SketchUp Team,
Can you answer these follow on questions? Basically, I want to know if either of these approaches will work for me to accelerate the graphic performance of LayOut on my iMac BEFORE I go out and buy an eGPU! Thanks!!
The Apple website says the following regarding the use of eGPU’s:

  1. As stated in the “Prefer External” option below, does the LayOut app “self manage its GPU selection”?
  2. As stated in the “Set external eGPU display” option below, does the LayOut app “default to the GPU associated with the primary display …”?

Apple website: Use the Prefer External GPU option
Starting with macOS Mojave 10.14, you can turn on Prefer External GPU in a specific app’s Get Info panel in the Finder. This option lets the eGPU accelerate apps on any display connected to the Mac—including displays built in to iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro:
Quit the app if it’s open.
Select the app in the Finder. Most apps are in your Applications folder. If you open the app from an alias or launcher, Control-click the app’s icon and choose Show Original from the pop-up menu. Then select the original app.
Press Command-I to show the app’s info window.
Select the checkbox next to Prefer External GPU.
Open the app to use it with the eGPU.
You won’t see this option if an eGPU isn’t connected, if your Mac isn’t running macOS Mojave or later, or if the app self-manages its GPU selection.
Some apps, such as Final Cut Pro, directly choose which graphics processors are used and will ignore the Prefer External GPU checkbox.

Set an external eGPU-connected display as the primary display
If you have an external display connected to your eGPU, you can choose it as the primary display for all apps. Since apps default to the GPU associated with the primary display, this option works with a variety of apps:
Quit any open apps that you want the eGPU to accelerate on the primary display.
Choose Apple menu  > System Preferences. Select Displays, then select the Arrangement tab.
Drag the white menu bar to the box that represents the display that’s attached to the eGPU.
Open the apps that you want to use with the eGPU.
If you disconnect the eGPU, your Mac defaults back to the internal graphics processors that drives the built-in display. When the eGPU is re-attached, it automatically sets the external display as the primary display.

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Hi Beamer2

As already explained in another thread, In my personal experience with my newly acquired eGPU connected to my MBP (or with any Mac with Thunderbolt and the latest updated OS), it all works for SU and LO. Just plug and play within minutes and enjoy. There is the preference button for the eGPU in the info panel of the apps ( so also for SU and LO). It also works for all apps which use OpenGL, CL or Metal when the primary monitor is connected directly to the eGPU and runs the main window of the app (like SU or LO). Photoshop and Lightroom however, have their own specific settings for the eGPU in the preferences panels of these apps…
No need for running special apps like Colin has already mentioned. It is build in the OS by Apple.

How much LO benefits from the OpenGL, CL or Metal acceleration is difficult to tell. I am not a regular user of LO. But I imagine it all depends how you use LO in relation to the SU-model.
I sure know that SU benefits a lot of a fast en newest models of Graphics Cards with a lot of memory. The responsiveness and ease of navigating big models improved significantly!



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Thank you very much Andreas …
I’m hoping to get confirmation from the SU team on this as well …
This information helps a lot, now I just need to get a Mac that has Thunderbolt 3 … unfortunately, my current iMac only has TB 2, which, according to the Apple web site, will not play!

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