VRAY for Mac - new user

I am using a 30 day free trial version of VRAY. I appreciate that it’s a steep learning curve. But a lot seems to not work well on my 2017 powerbook. I’m reluctant to buy a new computer just now. Is it just my old computer that’s causing buttons to simply not work as they appear to in online videos? Is VRAY just not suited to a Mac? Please don’t tell me to buy a PC.
Before I drop a bunch of money on VRay (and / or a new powerbook), I would love some advice. VRay really does seem more sophisticated than Twin Motion etc. I have been using Podium for few years. I can produce decent renderings but it’s not very sophisticated and crashes a lot.Time to learn something better.
I have tried to post on the VRay forum but I cannot bc I am not yet a paid user.

well it’s a 6 year old machine, you have to expect it to run slower.
especially since apple made the M1/M2 switch a few years ago, most softwares are now optimised to the new chips, not the old intel ones.

6 year old isn’t that old for a generic computer, but 3D / rendering is a world where 6 years can be an eternity. my mac mini is almost 3 years old and I’m considering upgrading it next spring.

vray works ok on mac. on a recent one at least. it will never work as well as on a PC, because it has been enveloped with Nvidia GPU in mind. and macs don’t have those anymore.

buy a PC :slight_smile: . if you’re serious about rendering, you’ll get a better result for half the cost.

if you want to stick with a mac, then yes, you’ll need a more recent one. Vray and twinmotion are pretty similar, the main advantage of vray is its full integration as an extension while twinmotion is a separate software. but they both suffer from the same problems on mac, no RTX / ray tracing, and none on the horizon for the moment.
You could have a look at enscape, also on mac, cheaper than vray (from the same company). but you’ll have the same type of limitations.

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Thank you for all your feedback. Everyone in my department uses a Mac. Mac have really fallen behind last few years but it’s all I know. thanks.

quite the contrary.

but some fields are more developed on macs, some on pcs.
3d renders have been mainly developed on Nvidia GPUs for years.

The tech is here on mac, but for the moment, nobody has taken the time to make an equivalent using metal and the newly announced ray tracing. maybe they will. maybe not.

For graphical design, photo, video, sound, it’s perfectly fine.
for Cad, you have fewer options but overall, it’s fine.
3d renderings, PCs are above.


I use a Mac and VRay. Instead of ‘buying a PC’ optimized with hardware for rendering I just use ChaosCloud. I run small low res tests locally then send renders to the cloud. You should have some render credits available to you to test out.

I also learned this way - running smaller files locally but then sending renders to the cloud where I could watch them in the browser. As soon as something looked wrong or a needed to change something I could stop it… and then re-send after changes.

This keeps me from investing in hardware that will eventually be outdated, and it spreads my costs out per client - I download a spreadsheet of the credits I’ve burned for client projects and bill accordingly - and my machine is free to keep working on other projects.


I’m using V-Ray on a 2016 MBP and MacOS 12.6.9. It works OK. I have been crashing a bit the last few days, but I’m not sure what’s doing it. Might be V-Ray related. Up until 6~9 months ago I was using it on a 2014 MBP with High Sierra.

I do recommend the SketchUp Campus online tutorial for V-Ray. Good quick walk through with a practical exercise.


Agreed I have 2 old Mac laptops–2019 is the newer one–and keeping Vray rendering in the cloud is the way to go.


The problem with intel macs is that from 2013 until 2021, the increase of performance of the chips was minimum, they kept the 14nm transistors for a loooong time cause AMD was way behind intel in performance, that changed exactly in 2017 when Ryzen CPUs were launched, and generation after generation the increase in performance was growing exponentially. That’s one of the reasons why Apple decided to make their own chips for macs, the performance of the chip of an iPad was better than the one on a MacBook Pro in 2018.
I really suggest you to test a MacBook with an M series SOC, it’s something unbelievable, the performance and the efficiency of those chips. Recently were launched the M3 chips, the M3 Max has better performance than an M1 Ultra, they’ve achieved that in less than two years, the M1 ultra was only in the desktop Mac Studio machine.
The M3 has a new architecture and the Gpu now has dedicated hardware for ray tracing and mesh shaders, those are features that Vray and many other rendering engines use with Nvidia gpu’s. So far, blender rendering engine has full support for those features of apple M3 chips, a render that takes 4 minutes with an M1 Max, takes 19 seconds with an M3 max MacBook. Apple has been pushing hard with the development of softwares optimized for M SOCs, I think that chaos will eventually optimize Vray to get advantage of apple’s gpu’s if they don’t want to loose a market that has been increasing a lot the past few years, Redshift announced that soon will be released a new version that will make full use of the new M3 features, I’ve watched some videos of artist that use Blender, Cinema4D and Maya are migrating from pc to mac cause the performance per watt is unmatched, is not even close.


Thank you. Do you who know about these things feel that the specs below are as good as possible from a Mac? Is now a good time to upgrade or will Mac release something significantly better soon? It’s a $4000 machine. Don’t want to buy now if something better is coming out soon. I do not follow these things closely.

My issue with Vray isn’t just that it’s slow. It is that a number of the functions just seem to not work at all. I wonder if this my computer’s age, the fact that it’s a Mac, or just my ignorance

Apple M3 Max chip

  • 16-core CPU with 12 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
  • 40-core GPU
  • Hardware-accelerated ray tracing
  • 16-core Neural Engine
  • 400GB/s memory bandwidth

Media Engine

  • Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW
  • Video decode engine
  • Two video encode engines
  • Two ProRes encode and decode engines
  • AV1 decode

it’s the brand new mac, it’s the best mac processor you could get right now.

depends on what functions you’re talking about. could be any of those answers really. if it’s Raytracing, it’s a mac problem. but other things could be your computer age not being able to handle things, or an incorrect parameter.

can you list the various things that block you maybe ?

geez. 4000$ to not be able to use raytracing :smiley:

chaos cloud solution mentioned above is a valid solution for mac users. you could also get your hand on a second hand gaming PC, with a RTX GPU, to run your renders on the side while you work. it would be far cheaper than a brand new 4000$ mac, especially if your current one still works ok on anything but vray.

Is this for a MacBook Pro?

I wouldn’t get a laptop for rendering. You’ll cook it.

Before you spend a bunch of cash on this consider spending 1-200$ on cloud credits. Learn what you can in 30 days. Then decide if you want a dedicated render station (get a PC, visit the VRay forums for advice) - I believe you can send renders to the PC from the Mac if you are networked together using Chaos Swarm.

Or, maybe you’ll learn that the cloud works well enough for you - so you can get a new Mac for most of your work but send the heavy stuff to the cloud.

Or maybe you’ll really get into it and then you can build up a dedicated PC powerhouse machine and run everything local and keep your Mac for basic stuff.

Or maybe get that souped up Mac and give Enscape a trial.

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A lot of us just bill the time and don’t want to add space for a PC. I get it. It’s a tradeoff

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Stay with Mac!!!

VRay worked on my Mac Book Pro M1 very well.
I tried to get it to work on an older Mac Book with intel chip (2020), and that did not work at all, the software kept crashing.
I have it now running on a Mac Book Pro M2 and am very happy.

I am able to work on non Sketchup things while rendering, so I am not blocked at all.


Hi can you help me with my V-ray issue?

click yes. and go to the chaos license server web interface I guess.

once connected (using trimble as a login), on top click licensing, and see what licenses you have.

that’s all I can say for now, I’ve had it only recently and still haven’t put my hands on it. but other users will probably know more.

also, it can be a good idea to contact Vray on this one too.