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eGPU - Crashes when switching from wireframe to shaded view

Discussion in 'Technical Support' started by lampie, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. lampie

    lampie New Member

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    I have recently started using an eGPU. It works just fine, and I am able to start wysiwyg, draw in wireframe, but when I try to switch to the shaded view (or any other view), it crashes. I did not have this problem using the internal graphics card so I am aware that it has to do with the eGPU, just not sure how. I do not have this problem with any other program. My setup is:

    -Mac Mini (Late 2014 i5)
    -Bootcamp Windows 10
    -Akitio Node
    -MSI Radeon RX 580
     
  2. Jason Gardash

    Jason Gardash Member

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    New toy (Akitio Node) on the market I see.
    From some reading I did today on it. my guess is the Akitio goes into a overload protection and shuts the power off when accessing the shaded view.

    What happens if you load a new file and just click on the shaded view does it still crash or does it work fine (way to test if it jumps into a heavy load or not) There may be a up to point the shaded view works before the load becomes to great.

    Akitio website also notes that the Akitio Node is for PC's running Windows 10 and not for Mac.
    https://www.akitio.com/faq/312-node-can-i-use-the-node-on-my-mac-with-macos-or-boot-camp
    Akitio Node.jpg

    Based on that I think it be more a question for Akitio to respond to than the guys at Cast.
    Maybe write Akitio directly and ask for drivers for Mac computers from them. never hurts to ask.
    I always thought of Thunderbolt as a Mac thing, so would seem wise to make a Mac driver for the unit.

    Jay.
     
  3. lampie

    lampie New Member

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    It does crash even in a new file and clicking on shaded view (or any other view) in a blank document. It's not just going from wireframe to shaded view, but even if I try to switch from CAD to Design, it also crashes.

    I do appreciate the insight and I will write Akitio.
     
  4. Jason Gardash

    Jason Gardash Member

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    Sounds like talking to Akitio is the way to go.
    The eGPU does sound interesting. if anything you did bring a new work tool to the table.
    you may be ahead of the game with it.

    Could be handy for traveling LD's and video server laptops. or portable Wyg setups on site.

    Best of luck.
    Jay.
     
  5. lampie

    lampie New Member

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    As a traveling LD/programmer and media server op and being new to wysiwyg, that is the idea. Just trying to get the right setup. I have been tinkering with varying results. I think I have found the right fit. I am just trying to get it to work correctly.

    Thanks for your time!

    -Jon
     
  6. lampie

    lampie New Member

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    To anyone reading this, I got my eGPU to work just fine. The difference in performance in the shaded view is astronomical. There is absolutely no lag what so ever. If anyone is interested on how to do this, please let me know.
     
    Firebrand likes this.
  7. Dany

    Dany Super Moderator

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    Hi lampie,

    Thank you for the post and also for the follow-up to letting everyone know that everything is working now--that's great news! :)

    You say that the difference in performance is "astronomical".. could you perhaps quantify that for us, by describing what you observed? In addition, if possible, please also provide a general description of the file(s) you used for your tests along with a screenshot or two—or the files themselves.

    I ask because you mentioned that you're using a three-year-old MacMini; this computer features an integrated GPU, which we do not recommend for WYSIWYG (as per our System Requirements, which you can find on our FAQ page, http://cast-soft.com/faq/). As such, if you were running WYSIWYG using the integrated GPU, both performance and visual quality would have been poor (or very poor, depending on the complexity of the file(s) you were using), and it goes without saying that after switching up to a dedicated GPU both would have increased significantly. (That is no different than using the integrated GPU in a desktop computer (by setting this up in the BIOS and plugging your monitor into a video output port on the motherboard) and then switching to a dedicated video card/GPU (by changing the BIOS setting and plugging the monitor into one of the video card's outputs).)


    Thank you,

    Dany
     
  8. Dany

    Dany Super Moderator

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    Thinking about this a bit more, an eGPU is a good solution for WYSIWYG, but (I personallybelieve) only in situations where the user does not want to carry a gaming laptop around, because its graphics power is only really required for WYSIWYG work and/or other CAD/modelling/animation work. Such a user could indeed purchase a "regular" laptop--which does not feature a dedicated GPU--to use for everyday tasks--and, in addition, purchase an eGPU & the video card of choice to install within, and connect it to the laptop as needed. The question, of course, is whether or not this makes financial versus practical sense... here is what I'm thinking:
    • a "regular" laptop may feature a relatively-weak CPU compared to a gaming laptop (not always, but this is common even in mid-range models, across all manufacturers); in addition, the memory (RAM) configuration may be inadequate (in many cases, if not in most, such laptops feature single-channel memory out-of-the box; also, many manufacturers nowadays, in order to save costs, will not even add a second RAM socket on the motherboard, making dual-channel memory operation impossible
    • lower-end laptops (and perhaps even mid-range ones) may not feature the Thunderbolt 3 connection required by eGPU units (and, according to https://gpunerd.com/external-gpu-buyers-guide-egpu, at least at the time of this posting, Thunderbolt 3 is the only technology which enables the proper operation of an eGPU)
    • if the prices listed on the same page are accurate, the "regular" laptop + eGPU solution may end up costing more than a good gaming laptop or about the same as a very good one (when considering that the video card has to be purchased separately); and opting for a higher-end "regular" laptop will only drive the cost higher
    • a gaming laptop will indeed be heavier (and perhaps bulkier) than most "regular" laptops, but it has the power to run WYSIWYG out-of-the-box, meaning it can be (easily) taken to clients' sites for presentations; in order to do the same with a “regular” laptop, the eGPU would have to travel along with it
    • most gaming laptops feature the ‘mobile’ version of their “desktop counterpart” GPU, which is typically a bit weaker, at least in some areas, than the desktop GPU; by comparison, an eGPU works with the desktop cards, so performance is not affected (except, perhaps, by limitations imposed by the Thunderbolt 3 connection to the laptop)
    I guess in the end it comes down to personal preferences and/or needs.. If the laptop is only used for WYSIWYG(-type) work in the office and “easy mobility“ is essential, the eGPU solution could be the one to opt for (provided that the price is agreeable). However, if such work is essential both in the office and on the road, a gaming laptop is likely the only way to go. (This is even more true if this kind of work is (often-)performed while mobile, since an adequate power source for an eGPUs—I haven’t done the calculations, but probably 200W or more—may simply not be available on a plane or a bus.) Of course the ULTIMATE solution would be a gaming laptop AND an eGPU... :D (That way, when the discreet GPU that the laptop comes with is not quite up to the task of handling very complex show files, just connect the eGPU and continue.. :)


    Cheers,

    Dany
     
  9. lampie

    lampie New Member

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    I would like to add some context to the situation I created for myself.

    1. I am aware that the Mac Mini is not the ideal machine for WYSIWYG. I just wanted to try some alternative solutions before buying a new computer.(I did read the system requirements before purchasing Wyg).

    2. I do travel quite a bit, and a mac mini is pleasant to travel with and then I just source a monitor, etc.. from whichever vendor I am using.

    3. I like the idea that this graphics card is not just dedicated to a single machine. I can use it on anything and still have it after I have replaced any of my computers.

    4. Since Apple isn't keen on users changing out their hardware, it's nice to know I can have a powerful after market GPU without breaking into my Mac (which they now support eGPUs).

    5. I stick with Mac because there are some programs I use that only operate on OSX, and some that only operate on Windows.

    6. I'm sometimes a sucker for new technology. :D

    So the difference is, when using the Intel Iris Graphics, obviously shaded view was slow. I expected that, it's not Wyg, it's me. With the eGPU, the shaded view works flawlessly. I can send the benchmarks I did on each card, but I think it's obvious that the RX580 blew the Intel Iris out of the water. I am more curious about different solutions to approach situations with. I find that in most cases, yes, purchase the correct computer for your needs (I'm switching over from Vectorworks to Wyg, so my old set-up worked just fine). But I do like the idea that anyone can use my graphics card. So, someone who is very comfortable with their set-up but just needs a little boost, it is kind of nice.

    I am also fond of being able to throw a graphics card and node into my carry-on and not a whole desktop. When it's all said and done, this was more of something for me to tinker with. After using it for awhile I am sure I will find it's most useful purpose. I have only just begun to use it and to be quite honest, once I got through all of the troubleshooting, it's actually quite easy to use. I wasn't out to try to avoid buying a new computer, but this Mac mini is handling Wyg like a pro now. I can always document my travels with the eGPU on this thread too. Maybe other people can offer input as this experiment goes on.

    -Jon Garbarz
     
  10. Dany

    Dany Super Moderator

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    Thanks for your reply Jon! Much appreciated.

    This all makes sense--at least to me! :) As Jason mentioned, an eGPU is yet another great tool that's now at our disposal to make use of. It would indeed be great if you would like to continue posting your experiences on here from time to time... I am certain that everyone will appreciate it, and, as you said too, hopefully others will pipe in with additional ideas for "creative" ways to take advantage of this technology.


    Cheers,

    Dany
     

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