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R2D2

maxwell upgrade special offer question/GPU

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Hi Pylon,

 

regarding the upgrade to V4 there is this statement (regarding Studio):

 

"Mac Users: Maxwell GPU rendering feature is not currently supported on macOS. For GPU rendering, Nvidia graphics cards with CUDA support are required, and Apple does not sell computers which include these at this time."

 

But then:

Maxwell | form•Z key feature list: GPU support

 

Confusing me as I have a macpro with dual GPU (2xGTX960)

 

Will maxwell make use of these cards when using the maxwell FZ-plugin in OSX ?

And, as long as there is no multi-GPU support: can one of the two cards then be dedicated to rendering only ?

 

Thanks

Edited by R2D2

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Hi R2,

Short answers:

1. Your GTX 960 card is unsupported by Apple, so not officially supported by Next Limit either. However, it very well may work for small scenes (RAM limitations). Download the Maxwell 4 trial and give it a try.

2. Multi-GPU rendering will be available in Maxwell 4.2, coming very soon. For now, one GPU is used.

3. Personally, I've had great success simply using the new denoiser in Maxwell V4 with CPU rendering. With this combination, there are virtually no limitations on scene complexity and image size, and I get a great result at least twice as fast as V3… often 4x faster. I highly recommend taking the V4 denoiser for a test drive.


Longer Answer:
I reached out to Next Limit for clarification. Here are the summarized details, with a few of my own comments:

Maxwell's GPU rendering requires contemporary Nvidia graphic cards, with a CUDA compute capability of 3.0 or greater. Here's a extensive list of cards and their capabilities:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CUDA

And here's a list of GPUs Apple has included in their products:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202823

If you cross reference the two lists, the GPUs delivered by Apple that support Maxwell are:
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M
NVIDIA GeForce GT 680M
NVIDIA Geforce GT 750M
NVIDIA Geforce GT 755M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 775M
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 780M

These cards are all far behind the state of the art. Unfortunately, Apple has not officially supported high-end Nvidia GPUs in a long time. In practice, to do serious work with large scenes/resolutions you'll need contemporary GPUs with significantly more power and RAM that these.

In June, however, Apple announced (forthcoming) official support for external GPUs via Thunderbolt, as well as new Mac Pros sometime after 2017. So there may be better options available soon.

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Thanks Pylon,

 

Nvidia supports newer GTX cards with their own drivers for OSX (i.e. my 2x Gtx960), these also work using the latest CUDA driver.

 

But the statement:

„Maxwell GPU rendering is not currently supported on Mac OS. For GPU rendering, nVIDIA graphic cards with CUDA support are required, and for the time being Apple does not provide machines that include these.“

is true of course- lets hope Apple comes back soon including better Nvidia options again.

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