Octane X with Metal support for macOS

OTOY tweeted about Octane X, which will support Metal on macOS, providing a new rendering alternative for macOS Blenderheads (next to AMD Radeon ProRender).


Let’s try not to let this discussion slip into an OS war once again, shall we? Let’s just rejoice the growing number of options for Blender users. :v::slightly_smiling_face:


More Octane X info:

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Thanks! I’ve left Facebook a few years ago, so I can’t read OTOY’s post(s) about it there.

Some conclusions:

  • Metal is mature enough to cover all Octane raytracing features
  • Metal is ‘much more robust and stable’ than Vulkan (which is more focused on games)
  • Apple works closely with Octane developers on Metal API and improving Metal drivers as well
  • Mr. Urbach avoid the clear answer the question regarding how fast Metal is when compared to CUDA. NVidia has advantage in terms of Denoising (Tensor cores) and hardware raytracing (RTX cores) at the moment
  • Octane X works just great on Intel GPUs which can add a bit more performance
  • Octane X works also on Apple’s Ax chips and it will be available for iPad ‘6GB video memory’ Pro
  • No word on Blender plug-in yet

Yes, I guess this is predominantly a matter of the hardware race between NVIDIA and AMD. Metal is just a bridge between 3D software and GPU hardware.

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To be perfectly honest, as a Mac user I don’t really care if Metal would be a bit slower than CUDA. As long as I can use the GPU to render and it’s significantly faster than rendering on the CPU.

Personally, I did not choose to work on Mac’s because they are faster, but because I much prefer the OS. I feel more comfortable with it and I am therefor more productive.

I think this gets a bit forgotten - In the current situation it’s important to bring back any reasonable GPU rendering to the Mac again.
All the wild benchmark-races can start later…for the ones really interested in it. :wink:

Well, obviously that’s only my personal point of view, which is based on my situation and needs, though.
So please don’t crucify me, if you see it differently. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You’re wrong. It is not only your personal point of view. It is the voice of reason and universal intergalactic truth.


:grin: If this doesn’t tickle angry Apple bashers we can be confident that this thread will remain safe from OS wars. :wink:

Ha, ha, ha…that’s why I was suuuuuper careful in my wording.

But hey…no one can question the universal intergalactic truth… :joy:

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That Apple helps companies getting their software ready for Metal can also be seen as something good. Apple is serious, and companies are serious too.

There is some logic to why Apple goes with Metal instead of Vulcan or openGL.

They tie with Metal all their hardware platforms together and unify it. Plus having control of it on their own can mean they can improve it faster than a consortium. Look at NVIDIA.
I assume Apple like NVIDA is better able to code their software closer to maximizing the hardware than in a group effort.

That Octane is really announced to run also on the iPad platform is also quite interesting.

I hardly think that they would do that step when they would have the feeling that the API would significantly loose against NVIDIA.

So I am quite optimistic.


Next step: Blender iOS! :grin:

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I am really curious what the heck they have under cover.

IPadPros and Octane ? Will we get 3D rendering on iPads ? And why? Is that more a sign for some ARM Mac coming ?

While I have surface products for sketching the iPadPro still kills all the windows tablets be used how good the apps are for mobile use and how good the pencil and display actually is

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Let’s not get crazy

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People have asked Apple several times if they would create a competitor for the Microsoft Surface Studio, an iPad-Mac hybrid, but Apple replied that they don’t consider it ergonomically viable.

To be honest I agree with Apple. I had a large-size Wacom Cintiq a few years ago, and I started developing RSI while using it: my arms ached, and I just could not find a proper place for my keyboard. I also disliked my hand obscuring a part of the screen at all times. :neutral_face:

After selling the Cintiq I returned to a trusty Wacom Intuos Pro, Medium size, and recovered convenience.

I only had a small one - I never can get used to normal Wagons.

Since Catalina students use the iPad as a digital Wacom when working with the iMacs or their own MacBooks.

For me while iOS lacks some desktop apps when you see it as a sketching tool is just better than the Surface. Too many apps are not adjusted for the screen and primarily I find the stylus just a lot weaker.

You don’t have a curser on the iPad but I found often for sketching and even photo editing it really does not matter. The pencil is pretty precise drawing where you touch the UI.

With sidecar I think a touch screen MacBook is for everything a dream. The speed with sidecar is also impressive .


I might also turn the second macPro into an AMD GPU machine and let it run either RX 580s or RX 5700 XT

I have the first graphic design app that is only metal and I am curious about how metal compares in davinci resolve vs the same card(s) under windows10.

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Are we having the metal vs opencl vs cuda speed debate again? Sigh.

There is really no such thing as the “speed” of a programming language. It’s like saying if gasoline or diesel is faster. Totally depends on the engine, or in this case the implementation of the software.

Certainly certain languages allow/encourage faster algorithm execution. However this is hard to quantify, and to test it you’d have to implement the same algorithm in a few languages and test in the same hardware. And this you can do in metal vs opencl on AMD, you can’t do metal vs cuda or opencl AMD vs cuda NV.

Oh and I almost forgot. opencl and cuda “speed” depends on the runtime execution on the vendor’s side itself. So how do you separate that from the language construct’s speed?

Anyway let’s quit the metal vs cuda vs opencl discussion. Please?
Octane on macOS looks cool. Looking forward to it coming out!

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True which is why I think as much as I hate their move Apples push for Metal makes sense.
Thats the same with NIVIDA - both are in control of their hardware and thus can code for it well.

I’m innocent! :slightly_smiling_face: I only wrote this.