SketchUp Pro 2018 with VRay not recognizing AMD eGPU on Macbook Pro


Hi there,

Our in-house designer is working with SketchUp Pro 2018 with VRay. He is doing 3D modeling and had been having issues with lag. We did extensive research to make sure we got a eGPU that was compatible and supported by Apple (they only support AMD as of this post), same with the dock. His Macbook has no problem recognizing and using the eGPU on other programs, however, we can’t get SketchUp to recognize the eGPU, so we cannot get it to tap into the GPU for processing. Since it’s a Mac, we can’t upgrade his CPU or RAM.

Any suggestions on troubleshooting, or if we need to go another route, would be great. All his specs are below, but I can give more information as necessary.

His system set up is:

MacBook Pro 15" (Mid-Late 2017)
High Sierra OS 10.13.6
3.1 GHz
i7 Intel Core Processor
AMD Radeon Pro 560 (Internal GPU)
Intel HD Graphics (Internal GPU)
AMD Radeon Pro WX9100 (eGPU)
Sonnet eGFX Breakout Box (650W)

Sorry but no experience with eGPU - though interested if others can solve as it seems to be a good idea in theory. If you can’t get it working, consider a render Node license and network via SWARM… or buying VRAY Cloud credits as I have a Macbook Pro and wouldn’t want to or suggest to anyone to do daily or intensive renderings on it.

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To bad, Vray is a Cuda based renderer, and AMD Doesn’t support that.
So you can have twenty egpu’s , if it is not NVidia, you are out of luck.
Though they say ‘there on it’ (AMD- support), If your time has value, go for the nodes:

You can buy two windows machines with Nvidia Gforce 10xxti cards in them, install Vray nodes to help render in a ‘Swarm’ for the price of eGPU(?)

Or go beta with the cloud:


Or do what I did and get a 10 core iMac Pro. Though still not as fast as a PC-Node based system…at least you can continue to work in OSX as your render cranks in the background with no fan noise like with the poor little laptop has staining to do the smallest render tasks.

You should just swap the eGPU with an NVIDIA card, which is supported by Apple in an eGPU enclosure. NVIDIA cards will allow Vray to take full advantage.

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I have seen this before. We were initially looking at Nvidia for our eGPU, but we were hoping not to have to do any work arounds because none of us feel very comfortable in our ability to execute them with our crashing the system. Hence going with the AMD card.

I’m going to look into the script though to see how easy it is to execute.

We’re trying to not buy another machine, so nodes doesn’t seem like it’d be the viable option. How has your experience with VRay cloud been? The SketchUp projects our designer does are very large scale, so it might fall into the intensive realm with rendering.

To be honest, I don’t render enough these days to fully use it but the potential is there for sure. An initial test I did seemed to work fine but then later after exporting a more complex and large VR Scene for uploading it had an error…something I need to sort out and report back. Again, I wouldn’t use it in all cases but good to know how it works all the same. Will circle back once I figure it out and if you beat me to it, report back on your experience.

I have found vray cloud to be excellent. Obviuously it frees your machine up from the render task- at the moment it is in public beta so free to use with no restriction. The cloud should scale up with the size of project submitted. It will take your render config so either progressive or bucket. It’s very easy to use. I run a Hackintosh with an Nvidia 1080Ti GPU and it makes the interactive render very good but I only ever do 1920x1080 renders locally, all my 4K renders I send off to vray cloud.

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