Experimental Procedure: How to use Maxwell 4 GPU on Mac

March 14, 2017 Technology, Tips 10 Comments

Hello everyone,

In this blogpost we would like to give you an update on the possibility to use the Maxwell 4 GPU rendering option on Mac machines. As you probably know, the GPU option of the latest V4 only works with Nvidia graphics cards. Things have not changed, as AMD cards are still not supported. However, we have been looking for workarounds to make GPU available to OS users. Let´s see how that would work!

The Trick

The trick is to make your Mac system recognize your Nvidia card.

You can use an external Thunderbolt case to plug in an Nvidia graphics card that meets our GPU requirements. We will explain one way to set this up, but if you have discovered a different method, it might work too, as long as the Nvidia card is recognized.

STEP 1: Get the latest Maxwell 4 update

Make sure you have the latest V4.0.1.1 installed and working. You can update your license form the Customer Portal and you can also get the Free 30-day demo.

STEP 2: Beware of the risks

We will share how we managed to make use of an external Nvidia GPU on a Mac for rendering with our render engine.

This is an in-house experiment, and we cannot guarantee it will work for everybody. Neither Next Limit, nor Apple officially support this procedure, and it could possibly make you lose the warranty of your machine or make it unusable.

In addition, in the procedure we use a script that has not been coded by us. If you don’t feel confident or comfortable with this procedure or don’t know exactly what you are doing, we advise you not to try it. If you decide to proceed, you do this at your own risk. We are not responsible for any harm or problem it may cause to your hardware or data.

STEP 3: Follow the instructions

Follow the step-by-step instructions available here.

We hope this helps and the trick works for you! Please share your experience in the comments below.