Blender 2.8 Eevee on iMac Pro - Performance issues

Last year I bought an iMac Pro when they were first available in the UK, to be using primarily with Blender the spec of the system is as follows;

3 GHz Intel Xeon 10 core/20 threads
64 GB of 2666 MHz DDR4
Radeon Pro Vega 64 16GB GPU

And currently Blender 2.8 seems to run slow on the system, especially eevee, would this be due to it still being in beta and it not being optimised for mac currently?

A scene that I have been testing with a new substance designer material I created and substance painter material on the tutorial object takes about 1min to render each frame. A 1200x1200px resolution with 150 samples. not sure if I’m missing the understanding of realtime in some way? (I know this is still way faster than cycles would be)

But I’m seeing a lot of Eevee videos people have been adding to youtube etc. And when they are in Eevee viewport render, They seem to be really snappy and smooth, But when I’m viewing the viewport in render mode, the scene is laggy and can take a good minute or two when I click from shaded view to rendered. and also blender can come very unresponsive at times.

Im also worried when I see lots of news and talk about apple deprecating opengl/opencl in favour of pushing for metal instead. due to me paying hefty amount on this machine for using with blender.

scared that the blender dev on mac may stop? looking for some reassurance from core dev team if possible that blender will continued to be fully supported on mac and in the future. plus my question relating to the poor performance on my system? Is there any eevee bench marks I could run at all etc

Hopefully there will be some optimisations for macOS EEVEE but it’s not looking great this is because Apple has depreciated OpenGL. That means it will remain at the same OpenGL for the next few revisions of macOS until Apple then turns it off. That won’t happen for a couple of years. Software will be updated by then I’m sure. Things like Vulkan and MoltenVK will help. Interesting times though.

The VEGA 64 is a very powerful GPU so there’s no issue there.

There have been massive developments with ProRender from AMD on the Mac though with Blender 2.8 but at the moment Blender itself is changing so many things and there are obviously bugs in the ProRender plug-in as well. There will be an update out in a couple of weeks.

That is looking really promising though. Full Metal 2 support with Blender BSDF native node trees. (Not everything supported but enough hopefully).

The latest nightly Blender 2.8s are not working very well with it though. You need a build no newer than April 19th to have the most stable Blender 2.8 / ProRender v2.052 at the moment.

Check it out… and look out for an update soon. It has amazing potential.

Thanks for your reply, I have actually tried the prorender before, but I was more interested in the using the EEVEE on my imac pro, recently also noticed in the 2.8 preferences now says no compatible GPUs found for cycles path tracing (which is concerning when it is in 2.79) hope this will be added as compatible for the actual official release. So I would assume that is why eevee is also not working to good either at the moment.

The compatible GPU part is for OpenCL compute GPUs. This is only for Cycles. And no… it’s not coming back to Blender 2.79 either. Unless you stay with 2.79b official. If you use a nightly then Cycles is CPU only on macOS and it will stay that way.

It is not what EEVEE relies on. EEVEE is OpenGL which is always on the GPU. I do hope we get some performance optimisations on macOS for this engine as well but I severely doubt we will. I have found though that the default settings Blender uses for EEVEE are not optimal on macOS and you can get very acceptable performance with it by tweaking the settings.

If you’re looking for path tracing on Blender 2.8 on macOS using a GPU as a compute unit you are going to have to use ProRender until something else comes along. There will be a new build out in the next week.

Interested to hear what your tweaks you made to eevees blender settings? But! And I find this hard to say but I think blender from 2.8 is dead for the Mac users, with all the feature being cut/disabled on Mac, which I am gutted as I invested in a iMac pro purely for blender use.

I think I will have to remain using 2.79b from now on(which is a big shame) and I also work for an 3d digital marketing agency and we all use iMac for our day to day use of blender for modelling/rigging animating and material and lighting, and have some pcs purely for render-nodes on the network for doing the grunt work.

Which from my research is that OS X is the 2nd in the market share for blender users with of course windows first but that’s no surprise that’s the same with most software. And Linux in last place, but there currently seems to be more effort going into Linux versions than OS X.:confused:

And when it comes to people saying Mac isn’t a used in the 3d industry I strongly disagree with every digital 3d marketing agency I’m aware of and I know a lot of them, been in the industry for a long time now all use iMacs, except for departments that don’t need it like finance HR etc but all the creatives use macs.

1 Like

Believe in AMD’s Pro Render for 2.80… it’ll fill the void. There’s nothing wrong with Blender 2.80 on macOS other than no Cycles.

Blender 2.80 isn’t even out yet! You’re being a bit premature judging performance on a wonky beta that has gotten worse on all platforms recently and all Plug-in Developers are struggling with the API changes. I’m using a 2.80 build from early April because it’s stable!

AMD have promised that Pro Render will be ready from Blender 2.80’s launch date.

They may even have some surprises coming up given the timeline. There’s a possibility of their own Real Time RayTrace EEVEE style viewport that will be Metal. They have AI Denoise in the pipeline as well.

It’s a transition on macOS to Metal 2 which is painful. It’s going to take time. Other Rendering engines are coming to Metal 2 as well. Redshift and Octane for two.

Yes, maybe I am being a little hasty with my thoughts. guess it will be a waiting game for a while, cycles on Mac will still be available in 2.8 for Mac but just CPU I guess? Also what was the tweaks you made for eevee on your Mac? plus I surpose there is the option of running bootcamp if needs must, as a last resort that would be interesting how it would handle the GPU on Windows.

Hello good people.

I have also an iMac system and thinking of AMD VEGA + thunderbolt to be used for EEVEE (I want to see my materials colours before I make final renders in Cycles)

I wish to know If for you on your iMac Pro, EEVEE now works fine on big scenes or not?
AMD Render is very bad… very.

I wrote on many forums for months now, that there was a viewport Display in real material colors in 2.79 and all was perfect. Since EEVEE people without Nvidia cannot really use Blender only with RANDOM viewport and CYCLES (and you cannot work in Cycles on models, color animations etc.)

man , install windows or linux if you want to have a little justice here.
I know it sounds like a blasphemy, but the advantages are big here.