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Optimus and GPGPU

Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
6
Mac
MacBook Pro
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iOS
Dear Communauts,

I want to have this community feedback on a pair of questions.
I am perfectly aware of the incompatibility between Mac OS X and the optimus technology a lot of recent laptops are (unfortunately) packing.
My questions come driven by:
  1. My work needs (CUDA+OpenCL on the go);
  2. Current macbook pros not being pro enough for me;
  3. Personal philosophy;
The questions are: is the Nvidia GPU present in a optimus equipped laptop presented as a computing node to Mac OS X, despite not being able to be used as a graphics accelerator? Are GPU acceleration capable softwares (Photoshop and similar) detecting such GPU as a valid computing node?

I am looking at the just-announced Zenbook Pro 15 (a beefy i9 exa core ultrabook) and if I can run Mac OS X off the Intel 630, while having the possibility to use the 1050 for computing tasks, it would be the perfect choice for me.

Thank you in advance

Slid
 
Last edited:

Feartech

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Dear Communauts,

I want to have this community feedback on a pair of questions.
I am perfectly aware of the incompatibility between Mac OS X and the optimus technology a lot of recent laptops are (unfortunately) packing.
My questions come driven by:
  1. My work needs (CUDA+OpenCL on the go);
  2. Current macbook pros not being pro enough for me;
  3. Personal philosophy;
The questions are: is the Nvidia GPU present in a optimus equipped laptop presented as a computing node to Mac OS X, despite not being able to be used as a graphics accelerator? Are GPU acceleration capable softwares (Photoshop and similar) detecting such GPU as a valid computing node?

I am looking at the just-announced Zenbook Pro 15 (a beefy i9 exa core ultrabook) and if I can run Mac OS X off the Intel 630, while having the possibility to use the 1050 for computing tasks, it would be the perfect choice for me.

Thank you in advance

Slid
gaming laptops have dedicated nvidia cards (without intel graphics) may be worth looking into those
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
6
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
gaming laptops have dedicated nvidia cards (without intel graphics) may be worth looking into those
I think you are missing my point.
I am asking two precise questions and you answer is generic and In my opinion off topic.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Messages
152
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Dear Communauts,

I want to have this community feedback on a pair of questions.
I am perfectly aware of the incompatibility between Mac OS X and the optimus technology a lot of recent laptops are (unfortunately) packing.
My questions come driven by:
  1. My work needs (CUDA+OpenCL on the go);
  2. Current macbook pros not being pro enough for me;
  3. Personal philosophy;
The questions are: is the Nvidia GPU present in a optimus equipped laptop presented as a computing node to Mac OS X, despite not being able to be used as a graphics accelerator? Are GPU acceleration capable softwares (Photoshop and similar) detecting such GPU as a valid computing node?

I am looking at the just-announced Zenbook Pro 15 (a beefy i9 exa core ultrabook) and if I can run Mac OS X off the Intel 630, while having the possibility to use the 1050 for computing tasks, it would be the perfect choice for me.

Thank you in advance

Slid
In theory this is possible and I've tried hacking the NVidia web drivers together to get this kind of thing working. I was unable to get the NVidia drivers to load against the mobile GPUs though. After some fairly in depth engineering I eventually came to the conclusion that the web drivers cannot be hacked to support cards that are not connected directly to the display.

It is possible that this situation will have changed with Apple's introduced support for eGPUs but I haven't found the time myself to investigate it (nor do I have the right version of macOS on my hack regardless).

That being said, there is a blog post floating around somewhere on the internet of someone having accomplished this with an AMD graphics card. They wrote some kind of userland hook into Apple's implementation of OpenGL which rerouted all OpenGL processing to the discrete graphics card. In this way they were able to have Chrome using the discrete graphics card for all hardware rendering. I can't for the life of me find this blog post anymore though.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
6
Mac
MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
In theory this is possible and I've tried hacking the NVidia web drivers together to get this kind of thing working. I was unable to get the NVidia drivers to load against the mobile GPUs though. After some fairly in depth engineering I eventually came to the conclusion that the web drivers cannot be hacked to support cards that are not connected directly to the display.

It is possible that this situation will have changed with Apple's introduced support for eGPUs but I haven't found the time myself to investigate it (nor do I have the right version of macOS on my hack regardless).

That being said, there is a blog post floating around somewhere on the internet of someone having accomplished this with an AMD graphics card. They wrote some kind of userland hook into Apple's implementation of OpenGL which rerouted all OpenGL processing to the discrete graphics card. In this way they were able to have Chrome using the discrete graphics card for all hardware rendering. I can't for the life of me find this blog post anymore though.
Hey Alex!

Thank you for your feedback.
I have to verify if the laptop I am thinking about buying is either muxless or not. In the second case, even if I won't be able to use the Nvidia GPU poor display purposes, the Nvidia web drivers should be able to install.
In addition I would add that I have an Nvidia egpu that works perfectly without any display connected. If the issue is only at installation time a workaround might be installing the Nvidia web drivers booted on igpu with an Nvidia egpu connected.
I have to think more about that, but thank you for your inputs!
Cheers

Slid
 
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