External GPU? Why not!

by | Oct 12, 2017 | Rendering, Thoughts

I’m more than a little obsessed with Octane rendering and GPU acceleration. Last week I bought an Aorus Gaming Box with a Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card. I did a lot of R&D to find out if it would work on my MacBook Pro circa 2012 and thanks to the excellent eGPU.io forum I found that it does! It took about a half hour to set up on the OS X end with a simple Unix script finding and installing the correct Nvidia driver. I ran the Octane Bench and achieved 114 without any overclocking. Considering its Thunderbolt 3 to 1 and 120 is the standard benchmark it’s pretty decent. Unfortunately, OTOY doesn’t offer a student discount on Octane but their $20 US/month subscription is reasonable and gives a Mac & PC license.

One of the best things about today is that Unity 2017.2 has been released and the latest Octane release incorporates lightmap baking! Full GPU acceleration and it lays the base for more Octane goodness as the engine matures. It should make my goal of realistic interactive renders in AR closer to reality but the demos I make will have to prove it.

I also placed a small bet on OTOY’s RNDR tokens. I learned about Ethereum and the blockchain as well as cryptocurrency markets and wallets. RNDR requires an ERC20 compatible wallet so I went with MetaMask. I had started with Jaxx but it lacked ERC20 and had no immediate plans for support. I plan on participating in the RNDR pool as well to try and earn tokens by farming out my eGPU down cycles.