AMD raytracing is on its way


According to rumour (from a usually very accurate source) AMD will introduce its next-gen rDNA Navi 7nm+ cards at CES 2020 in January with onboard raytracing. This sounds like great news for potential Mac Pro/eGPU users (me included). It might also explain why we’ve heard very little about Redshift and Octane on Metal. It would make sense for both of these to support the new cards out of the gate. Exciting times ahead.

(Please - no pointless Mac bashing. Let’s keep it positive for a change. eh?)


CUDA 10.2 (Toolkit and NVIDIA driver) is the last release to support macOS for developing and running CUDA applications. Support for macOS will not be available starting with the next release of CUDA.

Say bye bye to CUDA.

The Mac Pro has got 7nm Vega GPUs which AMD themselves have end of lifed and not RDNA cards. The Mac Pro appears out of date before it even ships so there’s no link to the radio silence from Redshift and Otoy and no link to new RNDA 2.0. Apple won’t have any of the new RDNA 2.0 cards in Macs for many months, we know the Mac Pro won’t have them, if there’s an iMac refresh ready for release it at best will have a RDNA 1.0 GPU.

I suspect the reason you’ve heard nothing from Redshift and Octane is due to them having great difficulty in getting their renderers to work under Metal. One of the Redshift developers even admitted that Apple were doing a lot of the development. Metal and Prorender didn’t make any difference, Prorender in C4D on Mac was as dire as it ever was.

The more informed tech youtubers think AMD’s ray tracing may not feature dedicated hardware and be done with DXR and brute force. Many in the industry think fixed function hardware like RT cores is the wrong direction as it has no use other than ray tracing and programmers would much rather have masses more general compute to play with. RTX has been a complete failure in gaming and to make it work at frame rates gamers expect would require many more RT cores on the next GPU.


My gut feeling is that Octane and Redshift (at the very least, Octane) will announce something in conjunction with the Mac Pro release date in December. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the announcement is that one or both of them are delayed.

I’ve been seeing metal demos from the Otoy team for some time now.


The OTOY CEO posted to an Octane/C4D Facebook group on 20th November saying Octane will be ready “soon” on Metal/AMD. Look for posts by Jules Urbach in this thread:

“development is good, we will have some updates soon”

“latest AMD GPUs will be needed for first release, but working backwards from there to support older ones too once Metal Driver support is solid”

Asked about using eGPUs with Octane X " yes already working fine with R7 on iMac with eGPU"


Please keep this thread MAC vs PC free!


There’a well-informed discussion on GPU rendering over on Mac Rumors:


Be aware that 95% of what you read on that forum is rubbish, generally it’s not well informed at all. Take everything with a huge grain of salt, especially assumptions made by people who can not provide any link/fact to confirm their stories.


Well it’s hard to decipher fact from fiction on most of these forums – it just seemed that some of the respondents knew what they were on about. But the subject is so complex (and AMD’s GPU production so complicated), who knows who knows what?


“AMD raytracing is on its way”
Yeah, they do it on CPU with threadripper 3 :wink:

First impressive reviews of the new 32cores cpu are out, and in 2020 a 64cores vesion is confirmed by AMD.

So if you need raw computing power that is affordable somehow, get yourself a threadripper workstation, get comfy with windows and keep your Mac for anything else but 3D, it’s no problem having two computers on 1 display.

This is not Mac vs PC, this is rationality.


There are several tech analysts that think that’s exactly what AMD will do.

Watch for developments and optimisations around DXR, this could be an early indication what AMD are up to.

When you consider the price of multi core CPUs in AMDs product stack, tech like PCIe4.0 combined with their small GPU die strategy we might find AMD have a heterogeneous approach to Ray Tracing. that is both pragmatic and cost effective.

I hope there’s a 48 core coming next year with the clock frequency of the 24 core core for about $3000. That would have my name written all over it.


The cost of GPU rendering on the Mac Pro…

The Mac Pro GPUs are $2400 for Vega level cards. $5200 for DUO version. $10800 for 2xDUO Yep they’ve got 32GB and 64GB VRAM respectively but they are just Vega level GPUs…

Oh and $7k for a 28 core.