Recommendation needed for the right hardware decision

Started by mercury, August 05, 2022, 10:41:29 AM

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Hi there,

I hope someone here has experience with both, using keyshots latest version with native support for Apples M1 Chip (which afaik is in beta), and as well using keyshot with e.g. a Macbook and an external RTX graphic card.

I want to improve the performance of my machine. A few weeks ago my MacBook Pros (16", 2019) logic board has been burned while rendering with keyshot. I could not imagine that something like this could happen, but it did.

As a consequence I am now quite afraid with using Keyshot with the same MacBook. Replacing the logic board wasn't a cheap thing. :)

While my MacBook was out for logic board replacement, I bought an Windows Notebook (Legion 5 Pro) with an RTX 3070 graphics card as a substitute. That was the moment, when I experienced the huge difference between gpu and cpu rendering. While the results were quite similiar, the Legion rendered about 60x faster than my MacBook.

But to be honest, I sent back the windows machine because I couldn't get warm with windows os as my daily working tool. Rendering with keyshot is only a small part of my overall workload.

But now, I am thinking of buying one of the latest MacBooks with M1 chip, which is recommended as absolutely efficient and nearly never coming into the fan blasting mode, whatever you are working on.

On the other hand, I like the idea buying an eGpu and using that with my MacBook only when I use Keyshot. From youtube and other sources I know, that this is a setup that seems not to be contemporary, but still this could be an efficient and economic way to use my MacBook and avoid overheating same while gaining a huge improvement in rendering performance.

Sorry, this has become a quite long text. :)

I would like to know, how is the performance of the native M1 support from the latest ks version in comparison to a middle range eGpu / Macbook combination?

I have seen a promo video from keyshot, where they say they see 15-30% performance improvement with M1 support, but what does that mean? 15-30% improvement in comparison to the performance with the same machine but with that  x86-64 translation software that is used?

What does that mean in comparison to the performance of a windows machine with an rtx 3080 for example?

Is there anybody out there, who could give an answer to that question? I would be glad, if anyone could help me a bit in this decision.

Thanks a lot in advance.


I think you will run into a few fundamental issues trying to use an eGPU with a Mac.

First, KeyShot does not support AMD GPU rendering, which would be your only option when rendering on an Intel based Mac. (I'm assuming that you're referencing an Intel based Mac when you say "Macbook" below).

Second, NVidia eGPUs only work with Intel based Macs using Boot Camp, not the Mac OS. So even if you wanted to use the eGPU, you'd have to boot into Windows in order to use KeyShot + GPU.

I can't speak to KeyShot M1/M2 performance/benchmarks (Luxion, any input?), but at the moment a Mac + eGPU isn't a viable option if you're trying to avoid using Windows.


I think your best idea would be to get the macbook you want to use for your every day stuff, and then either get a Ryzen desktop for a render machine or utilize a render farm for your finals.

I get the ick factor of moving from mac to windows, as a long time mac user I have to use windows for work, and could not imagine using keyshot on any mac past or present, as my productivity would drop significantly. I spend 80% of my day in KS though, so that's a lot more than you. I love macOS, and I wish they were on par performance wise, but when it comes to making a dollar to support my family, right now PC is the way to go.


We could set up a ranking to serve as a comparison (if it doesn't already exist), informing the hardware used and always using the same file. I recently built my second Ryzen just for use with KS.


Quote from: TCP on August 14, 2022, 04:42:28 PM
We could set up a ranking to serve as a comparison (if it doesn't already exist), informing the hardware used and always using the same file. I recently built my second Ryzen just for use with KS.

There's a subforum with benchmarks: