Render engine options with the new Mac Pro

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  12 December 2013
Render engine options with the new Mac Pro

Hi Everyone,

I’m planning on purchasing one of the new Mac Pros tomorrow and that got me thinking about what render engine would be best for Cinema 4D. I thought that I was clear on the debate between OpenCl vs Cuda, but then I saw that on the page for the AMD FirePro W9000 (Apple’s equivalent to the AMD D700) was that it supports both OpenCL and OpenGL!
Maybe someone could shed some light on this for me. But, it brings me to the real question of this post: I’m very interested in GPU renders, but am I limited to OpenCL or will CUDA work?

So, what are all of your favorite, fastest renders for C4D? What do you think produces the best image quality?
Maxwell? Indigo? Octane? iray? V-ray (although no GPU, right?)?

Apologies for the long message! Thanks in advance for replying!
  12 December 2013
CUDA is a product from Nvidia. There was some talk about porting it to AMD cards and others, butr afaik this never got real. As a result an AMD GPU limits you to Open CL renderengines.
Open GL has nothing to do with rendering, it's for display only and supported by all GPU manufacturers for decades now.
Personally i think you have it the wrong way around. You should pick the tool that works best for you first (the renderengine) then you pick the hardware that is best to make us of it.

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The views expressed on this post are my personal opinions and do not represent the views of my employer.
  12 December 2013
It looks like there's going to be a push for open cl but so far not a lot of renderers seem to use it.

Indigo uses open cl but I haven't tested it at all so I have no clue what kind of results you can get and how good it performs.

With Mac Pro you're a bit limited on the graphics front but it might work to your advantage in the future. Just be prepared that you might have to wait for a solution that suits you a little bit longer.
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  12 December 2013
At the moment OpenCL options are limited to Indigo Render, LuxRender & V-Ray.

Indigo Render is the only option with functioning C4D IO options. LuxRender is a bit more effort to use as you'll need to export your scenes first before import into the LuxRender standalone (but LuxRender is free so if you want to experiment may be worth the effort) and V-Ray's OpenCL options don't work with VRayForC4D as yet and to be frank are pretty flakey on other platforms as it stands anyway.

My own personal view on GPU renderers is that they're a fantastic tool as long as you understand the compromises (we mainly make use of GPU rendering for pre-vis stuff) but nVidia's Cuda provides far more options at this current time.

I'm sure somebody will release something that can take advantage of the Mac Pro's pair of AMD GPU's at some point but at the moment unless you make extensive use of FCP & Motion those expensive GPU units will be sitting idle the vast majority of the time.

  12 December 2013
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