Sketchup isn't recognizing my eGPU...help!

video
gpu
mac

#1

I bought an education license of SketchUp Pro. I am running it on MacBook Pro (15", 2016), with a Sonnet eGPU attached running an ATI Radeon RX 580 card. On the MacBook, I have an AMD Radeon 460 (built into the laptop).

As you can tell from my setup, Sketchup should work fine. But it doesn’t. It frequently crashes and stutters a whole lot. When I went to check the app preferences, under OpenGL, it states that it is rendering via the AMD Radeon 460 OpenGL engine under renderer. From my understanding, Sketchup doesn’t seem recognize the eGPU (in other words, where all the power is).

Does anyone know how to make Sketchup recognize the right GPU?


#2

I can’t help sorry I am just replying so I get pinged when somebody answers you!

I haven’t seen anybody using a Mac External but there are a few members with Hackintosh setups so in terms of drivers and pointing at non standard GPU’s in OS they may be the best bet?

Maybe I read @RTCool or @robertjuch had a Mac with an external GPU, or I could be wrong.


#3

Thanks, liamk887. There’s a wide difference between a Hackintosh setup and an Apple-certified setup on account that everything should work with the Apple setup and everything shouldn’t in the Hackintosh. Haha.

But seriously, if there’s any k-texting involved, that would greatly help. The whole reason I spent 700 bucks on this setup is so that I could work trouble free with Sketchup. And now the app won’t recognize my eGPU. So…this sucks.

Please help anyone!


#4

That’s not exactly an Apple-certified setup you have there. From Sonnet’s site:

You’re taking a chance that it’ll work with anything. Are there any apps that it does work with and how do you set which GPU they use? In System Preferences/Energy Saver?


#5

I don’t think it’s officially supported, this is because Apple are still messing about trying to push Metal rather than Vulkan.

But have a go with this new open source API: https://moltengl.com/moltenvk/

Worth a shot!


#6

It’s almost out of beta. That’s what Sonnet told me before I bought the product. We’re talking as early as this summer is when it’s likely out officially.

I guess. But it makes video-gaming like heaven, Cinema4D silky smooth, and Final Cut without lag. So, it must be doing something. Something like Sketchup should work.

I’m kinda concerned about the Open source thing. And I’m not a coder but an animator. When I install this, will it make my computer go nuts? Will it stop using Metal? How will metal optimized apps work?


#7

I am sure it’s fine, it’s open source and on GitHub, there is a more detailed breakdown here: https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/02/vulkan-is-coming-to-macos-ios-but-no-thanks-to-apple/?comments=1

Unfortunately regardless of the fact it’s almost out of Beta they are not really supported by Mac yet so they can have lots of problems.

I would say just run SU without the eGPU, it wont have that much of an impact on SketchUp itself it does not make super use of the GPU.

I am running a Mac one year older than yours and I can happily run models up to 2-300MB. I only move over to my PC at that point. You should be fine making models however.

Rendering and games are what you need the GPU for really, and if it’s working for those things then it sounds like you should be ok, you will just have to wait a while for full support.


#8

I have no experience with eGPU, but I had a similar issue with my windows notebook with two graphic cards and OBS Studio (software for screen recording).

I could not choose graphic card I wanted use, instead i should disable one in device manager.


#9

Thanks roju.

Yeah, I’ve actually tried OBS (I had to record my gameplay from my PS4) and my eGPU went into high gear so I know it’s working. I running on a mac and I don’t seem to have that feature.

I have a feeling there’s some way to enable the eGPU to work for SketchUp probably through the terminal, but I’m not too familiar with that aspect of computer science, so I’m hoping someone on this forum could back to me on that.


#10

Has there been any update to this?

eGPUs are now supported within MacOS, and there’s even a list of recommended enclosures and cards on Apple’s website, so hopefully Sketchup support has been added??

It’d also be interesting to hear some input of which actions speed up with the faster GPU, and whether you feel it’s worth it?


#11

It depends really, as SketchUp runs mainly on the CPU rather than the GPU, any large models are going to benefit a lot more from your RAM.

There is not much different between my Mac and PC in terms of using SketchUp itself, however I saw a massive boost when I upgraded the RAM in my PC, still 16GB (the same as my laptop) but to a better and faster brand.


#12

Funny, I was just reading this MacWorld article with a video review today on eGPU’s.


#13

Official (Apple)support is ‘limited’:
Only AMD graphics cards and thunderbold 3 ports. A lot of render engines need CUDA based GPU’s (Nvidia), so you are ‘on your own’ when preceding that route.


#14

I have the same problem here. I installed windows in bootcamp on my mac and added an Akitio Node with an Nvidia gtx 1070 in it. The problem is that sketch up keeps on using the internal graphic card and there is no way to switch it. One would think that especially in windows you are able to work with a second better graphic card.

I need this graphic card to run realtime render program enscape directly and smooth in sketch up. Anybody any suggestions? It seems like a legit setup to me.


#15

Most eGPU enclosures seem to state that they’re not supported under bootcamp - only for Mac OS.


#16

You can disable your internal GPU in device manager on windows. For me this works :slight_smile: