Sketchup Pro (with Vray) GPU query

Hi there.

Will the following spec run Sketchup Pro (with Vray):

Intel Core i7 4.2Ghz quad core
AMD Radeon Pro 580 8GB

Any assistance will greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Sean Napier

Yes but no gpu or hybrid rendering

As stated on system requirements page of Vray, you’ll need NVIDIA GPUs and not AMD.

Thanks for that Rob.

What would you recommend as a bare minimum usable spec for Apple hardware?

Kind regards,
Sean Napier

At the moment, if you want to buy a Mac, you must forget about GPU rendering, as they all come with AMD or Intel graphics, so the spec you proposed will work as well as any.

Essentially, if you can’t do gpu rendering then obviously more cpu cores the better. 32GB ram is fine but if you could do 64gb that’s better. (Depends on your model and texture sizes)
Depending on your iMac model (thunderbolt 3) you could add an eGPU enclosure with an NViDia card. That would enable GPU rendering.

Hi Rob. Thank you for your helpful reply.

I work for an IT firm and one of our clients are looking at low cost as possible iMac to run Sketchup Pro with V-Ray and as my knowledge of 3D rendering is limited, I am learning fast.

We are trying to get the client to go for a Windows based PC that can be upgradeable at a later date as well as use nVidia cards.

Kind regards,

If you want to stick with OS X/macOS another option is to upgrade an old Mac Pro 4.1 or 5.1. They can take Nvidia graphics cards even up to gtx 1080 and you get CUDA support when you install the drivers. I have a gtx970 in my Mac Pro 4.1. The processors can also be upgraded, but the dual processor version needs de-lidded chips which makes it awkward. Hard drives are very easy to add. You have 4 bays plus you can put an SSD in one or two of the optical drive bays. You can put an SSD in a PCI card which is the fastest way on a Mac Pro 4.1/5.1 but not quite state of the art speeds.

Some people have hacked the EFI to get the boot screen working but you don’t have to do that. If you buy an Nvidia card for Windows PCs you can just stick it in and the display comes on before the login screen, but you need the drivers installed first.

If you’re the IT support person this will be more work for you. When OS updates come out, you have to be very careful to NOT allow them to run. NVidia are usually very good at bringing out new drivers within a couple of days of Apple’s updates. To do the updates you have 3 options.

  1. Disable the web drivers and remote into the Mac to do the updates. This is what I do.
  2. Put the old video card which has EFI boot screen back in temporarily to do the updates. This is what I do when I forget to disable the drivers and cause a kernel panic…
  3. Install hacked firmware to give you a boot screen then you can perform updates normally.

If all the above sounds like fun, go for it!

Gordon, thank you very much for your time and effort in educating me.

I now have all the info I need to advise my client on the best solution within their budget.

Thank you for everyone’s replies. Very helpful.

Kind regards,
Sean Napier

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