EGPU Set Up Advice

Hi all. I bit the bullet and picked up an NVIDIA graphics card to speed up my Iray renders.

I have a 2013 Mac Pro and its a shame the duel 6gig AMD Firepro700 video cards do nothing to help renders with Iray. 

Yes, I've tried Reality but prefer Iray for workflow and result.

So I picked up an Akito Node Thunderbolt 3 egpu (with TB3 to TB 2 Adaptor) and an EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN X 12G-P4-2990-KR.

I've been CPU rendering up to now, so this set up should make my renders much faster but just wondering if anyone has any experience with this type of setup and have any advice on optimizing it.

Thanks in advance for all your help,

MTM

Comments

  • OZ-84OZ-84 Posts: 111

    If the GPU box works everything is like if the card would be installed "the normal way" ...no issues. However .... you wont get the full speed out of it. Worst case you will loose about 20-30%. 

    It works faster if you plug an external Monitor to the EGPU box cause the image data has not to be transported over the same wire back to the Mac. 

     

    Thats all i can say on this topic :-D 

  • DrNewcensteinDrNewcenstein Posts: 684
    edited December 2017

    I was under the impression that a TB3 device won't work on TB2, even with the adapter, and that the adapter was to convert TB2 devices to TB3 interface.

    I'm using an Akitio Thunderbox on my Windows PC to run an external 1080ti over TB2, and was looking at the Node since they finally realized e-gpu was a thing and made one full-size. That's when I found the stuff that said TB3 devices won't work on TB2 systems even with the adapter.

    Post edited by DrNewcenstein on
  • EsemwyEsemwy Posts: 490

    You’ll need the Apple TB2 to TB3 adapter to make it work. I believe this should get you there. I have it working with an older MacBook Pro.

    https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/wip-nvidia-egpu-support-for-high-sierra/

  • Thanks everyone. All the pieces are arriving within the week from Amazon, the Node arrived today. Esemwy, I have the apple TB2 to TB3 adaptor so I hope it works.

    OZ-84, I plan to run the monitors from the built-in AMD cards so I can squeeze out all the bandwidth from the Node/ Titan X.

    DrNewcenstein thanks for the flag, hopefully, the Apple Adaptor will work. I'll keep y'all posted once this frankenbeast is finally built and running.

    MTM

  • tizatiza Posts: 6

    I would take any advice also on my side because I think I have a very good hardware (IE7 32GB + 2 NVIDIA cards 980 and 1080 GTX) and I am a bit disapointed at renderings time not specially less time consuming then the days I only had the 980 GTX card. And worst when testing dforce first time

    I had something like that "... kernel is not compiled for it do you want to to continue ?" Then it start to simulate. Slowly than I could expect 3 min for 1 piece. My card is up to date with last drivers. I have even check Simulate seeting I cannot use both cards, contrary to renders settings I can use my 2 cards.
    So...don't know.

  • dForce is still limited to using only one card.

    For a non-Mac/non-TB3 system, I've been using the Amfeltec GPU cluster, which can hold 4 GPUs, although it suspends them in open-air on a bare board, which some folks might shy away from.

    It has a PCI interface card that connects the cluster board to the PC.

    I've been using it for some months now, and heartily recommend it.

    However, I would advise against a Thermaltake power supply. Two of them have burned up on me for no reason, and at 1375w, they should be more than capable of running the Titan Z,780ti, 1080ti, and 980 I had on the cluster. First one burned up in a week, though at the time I thought maybe it was some initial connection error on my part. The 2nd one lasted a couple of months, then suddenly the power would shut off, even though it was running through a surge protector, and nothing else has been acting up.

    In the meantime, I've gone back to my Akitio Thunderbox for the 1080ti running on its own evga 550w power supply.

    My plan is to get the cluster running again, and eventually have 4 1080tis on it.

  • JamesJABJamesJAB Posts: 1,299

    dForce is still limited to using only one card.

    For a non-Mac/non-TB3 system, I've been using the Amfeltec GPU cluster, which can hold 4 GPUs, although it suspends them in open-air on a bare board, which some folks might shy away from.

    It has a PCI interface card that connects the cluster board to the PC.

    I've been using it for some months now, and heartily recommend it.

    However, I would advise against a Thermaltake power supply. Two of them have burned up on me for no reason, and at 1375w, they should be more than capable of running the Titan Z,780ti, 1080ti, and 980 I had on the cluster. First one burned up in a week, though at the time I thought maybe it was some initial connection error on my part. The 2nd one lasted a couple of months, then suddenly the power would shut off, even though it was running through a surge protector, and nothing else has been acting up.

    In the meantime, I've gone back to my Akitio Thunderbox for the 1080ti running on its own evga 550w power supply.

    My plan is to get the cluster running again, and eventually have 4 1080tis on it.


    Im going to assume that this is your failed PSU "Thermaltake Toughpower XT Gold 1375W"
                                                 Rated Clock        Reviewer Estimates 100% load
    Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan Z = 375w                    479w
    Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 ti =   250w                    262w (264w EVGA SC ACX)
    Nvidia Geforce GTX 980 =      165w                    171w (198w MSI Gaming OC)
    Nvidia Geforce GTX 1080 ti = 250w                    279w (315w Zotac AMP Edition)

    Total =                                    1040w                   1191w (1256w using factory OC cards)

    Real world power estimates are from GPU reviews at guru3d.com.

    Now the important part here isn't the total output of the PSU.  It is how many watts can it push over the 12v line(s).

    +12V1 = 45a 600w Maximum
    +12V2 = 65a 840w Maximum
    Your problem may have come from the +12V1 if that was the line your Titan was plugged into, because adding any one of your other cards a the second two connectors for that rail would send you past the 600w max based on real world power usage estimates.  When shopping for multi-GPU Power supplies, those 12v rails will make or break your setup.

  • Thanks. I was trying to find that kind of info when I was shopping around for a PSU, and anyone I asked either pointed me to a trig formula or asked "why do you need that many video cards? Just get a VCA" or some other stupidity rather than just give me a simple number.

    Amfeltec provide exactly 0 technical specs on the cluster board, like which 2 of the 4 slots are on which rail. I'm assuming that they display in Device Manager according to that. If so, then I was certainly hitting 740, because the Titan Z was at the top of the Display Adapter list, and the 780ti was right under it, even though one was on the bottom of the board and the other was on top across from that (they link in an X pattern, apparently).

    None of the cards are over-clocked, and in fact I used Afterburner to down-clock them for stability during heavy render loads. Howe'er, I also had the fans at 100%.

    And that is the exact PSU. I picked it based on the total ratings from Nvidia's spec sheets. Their "recommended" PSU sizes for each card cover a basic CPU and single HDD setup (store-bought Dell or HP office-drone rigs doing Excel and email), so I knew I didn't need a 3000w PSU (rough estimate of all their recommendations on each spec sheet). I estimated roughly 1200w minimum (same 1190w you came up with) and went for the 175w extra hoping it would cover the extra draw for rendering.

    Looks like I'll be going for 2 PSUs, and sticking a paperclip in one to make it turn on. Like I need another fire hazard.

  • Hi all, I ended up going with an EVGA Geforce GTX 1080 Ti inside an Akito Node Thunderbolt 3 connected to my MacPro via Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adaptor.

    It took a bit of research to get this puppy running properly but the forum on EGPU.IO was super helpful.

    The results are fantastic, over 10 times faster Iray rendering.

    My AMD Firepro700 run my monitors and the EGPU runs Iray. Bliss.

    Here are some attachments, hope you find it helpful,

    MTM

     

     

    MTM_MacPro6.1.png
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    GraphicsPane.png
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    Cuda.png
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    ThunderboltPane.png
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    Metal.png
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    OpenCL.png
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    ThunderboltPane.png
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  • theWebstertheWebster Posts: 9

    Ah!! I finally got my Mac mini 2012 6,2 i7 (Sierra 10.12.6) rendering with a Aorus GTX 1080 gaming box eGPU after following the guides at egpu.io and an agonizing 48 hrs later finding a mention here that CUDA drivers had to be installed as well. My first 1000x1300 render completed in 38 minutes instead of not being done yet after 24hrs. My problem now is that the texture shaded preview is anything but!! The other preview modes I have tried so far look OK, and why the textures look fine when including the wireframe is frankly mind boggling. I suppose I can set up my scenes without the eGPU and save them to batch render, or perhaps a DAZ update may fix this -- or need I update to High Sierra? I have the installer downloaded for 10.13.2 but due to lots of issues, like with the eGPU and Thunderbolt 1, I hesitate to do that. Anybody have an idea why the preview looks wonky through the GTX1080 and not thru the native Intel HD Graphics 4000?

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