Fast macOS Blender rendering by connecting to a Windows/Linux PC


I finally managed to get smooth 4K / 60FPS streaming from PC (windoze at the moment) to Mac M1 – with very low latency (practicaly imperceptible for the first tests) and excellent quality.
I found Moonlight Open Source project:
and now I have realtime Blender Cycles multi-GPU RTX setup inside MacBook Air M1!
Native M1 Moonlight version is available.
No more monitor, mouse and keyboard switching. Beauty of Mac and power of Cycles in one.

My initial Moonlight settings:

Moonlight requires GeForce Experience on PC, so no multi NVLink – windoze works as a server at the moment. I am not sure if there is GF Experience for Linux.

You can stream Blender or entire windoze desktop (needs to add C:\windows\system32\mstsc.exe as a game). You can use Blender fullscreen or in a window.

What a happy Sunday Moonlight :grinning:


Sunshine – Linux Host for Moonlight Streaming Client:

That is very nice to see! After yesterday I tested the Apple Screensharing and was shocked by the speed I wished I had the same with windows. This is super welcome!

OMG that is a game streaming system hahaha I would never have googled this when looking for a VPN desktop sharing access.

Thank you for sharing

You can also use Steam to stream the desktop. Before I moved to using Moonlight I used to use Steam. Moonlight is a bit better though and easier to use. In Steam you have to setup like notepad.exe as an app then that will take you to the desktop with some trickery.

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Yup, before some of my favorite games were ported to Mac I used to use steam link to connect to my radeon PC and stream it over.

FYI you can just have it autoshare the desktop, Thats how I always had it. Shouldn’t be an issue for blender though, since its also a steam game


Lots of great info popping up in this thread. I’m glad it’s still alive and active. :metal:t2:

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Back when I was working with macOS, I also used WINE every now and then to fire up a specific Windows tool. WineBottler made working with WINE easier. I don’t know if that’s still actively developed though.

Developers can also distribute PC applications in a WINE wrapper for macOS. I used to work with MoI 3D that way for a few years, before a dedicated macOS version was released. It worked quite well.

A “bit better”? I tried i.e. Steam for Linux and Windoze when looking for streaming solution. The Steam has terrible 4K quality. It is not comparable to the Moonlight.

With m1 Macs you would need to use crossover, which is 1. paid and 2. still emulated. The other alternative would be running a windows vm and using x64 windows emulation. Either way, its a terrible experience most of the time

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What a happy Saturday Moonlight evening.

Thank you again for the tip. Streaming the desktop works great.

No not great this is ridiculously great!

Now I can setup my dual display system again with the MacMini and run Windows through an app on one screen and only have one and not two keyboards and mice there.

The MacPro went into a storage room.

All I need to figure out is how to log in remote when the macPro was put into sleep mode.
Does that work?

Super amazing that Moonlight is already ported for M1.

This is a fantastic combo because I love the small form factor and ZERO noise of the mac on my work place but have a powerful renderPC still accessible just not heating up my studio room.

Just audio that can sometimes seem to have some choppyness.


Yes, that sweet silence is louder than bombs right after moving rendering machine to a different room and work only on a Mac M1.

I use:

ipconfig /all for windoze network adapter parameters
Turned of sign-in after sleep:

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Ah sweet ! I have to test it today

My last challenge is to access the PC via ethernet.

I needed to move to a new room and the router is in the first floor.
macs you can just connect via an ethernet cable directly but it seems not to work with macOS and Windows.

Any tip?
Win10 runs on a macPro 2012.
Otherwise I might need to move the router drill some holes through the ceiling and floor and put down a new ethernet cable

I use a 10Gb Ethernet connection between a Mac and PC (no router/switch, just 10Gb CAT6A cable through the wall).

I manually set a fixed IPv4 address and Subnet Mask on both computers. I enabled also SMB in Mac sharing settings.

I have one problem I can’t fix: Blender running on PC saving projects to Mac over network very sloooowly, e.g 400 MB project in about 7-8 sec. (I keep all my projects on my Mac and work over the network).

I have no real clue about Networks.

But I also often tried a second network between Mac Pro, at LAN or WLAN,
by a direct 1Gb cable to PC, by using a second network with fixed IP addresses.
It worked reasonbly for internet and (SMB) file sharing.
but was doing much harder for distributed rendering, screen sharing and other
I am happy now that I awoke my old Airport Extreme again as a 4 port Switch
and have just all machines back in a single LAN by DHCP from Router.
BTW, the extra WLAN from Airport is also much more reliable than from my
Fritz!box Router.

And my (cross platform!) network rendering attempts were so disappointing
that I don’t even think 10 Gb Lan Setup would help.
If Rendering is important, I should simply open my files on the Win10 PC,
which I avoid whenever possible though …

Me on my knees: how do you do this?

Sounds like something you’d do with your internet doohickey thing.

well I googled it but what I can find does not work for me.
I have the WIFI turned off so macPRO win10 should only be accessible via ethernet to see if the speed is better than wifi for streaming. In theory it should because it worked better when the mac was connected to the router.

when I open windows and read out the ipconfig default gateway for example is empty

Try this:

I never understood the subnetmask thingy.

But it was clear that the same Ip range does not work if
you want to connect anything to your Macs second Lan port !

So if your standard LAN works manually or by DHCP at
192.168.178.xx or such (which I think is a standard for local LAN iPs)
your second LAN needs anything else, like 192.168.168.xx.

I never really got the Mask thing.

And it will work.
But if you will run your PC directly connected to Main Mac only
and share the internet it will not really help tos set both to any
other IP range, you need to allow the internet sharing Mac to
configure LAN automatically. PC will follow.

Still not sure if the main providing DHCP is in charge of all
network traffic and IP congtrol …

I wasn’t sure if this would work or route the pc through the M1 WiFi to the router back to the WiFi M1 and through Ethernet to the pc

But it seems while the M1 uses WiFi to the router

The M1 macpro win 10 connection talks directly through the Ethernet

I do not get the same lag . Bandwidth warnings with moonlight now compared to when the macpro was connected via Ethernet to the router and the M1 was using WiFi