Author Topic: Whats the best GPU for Substance designer (and painter) for the OSX?  (Read 9120 times)

I currently have a Macbook Pro with NVIDIA GeForce GT750M and a 12 core (Aluminium) mac pro with ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB.

Substance Designer crashes on both machines when I try and use the GPU engine. This happens in versions 5.0.3 - 5.1.1. The interface grinds to a halt then crashes.

The Macbook pro runs quite well when I switch the engine to SSE2 but I would like to use OpenGL as Im told its faster?

The Mac pro tower runs really slow when I use the CPU (SSE2). I can upgrade the machine with a NVIDIA card but my options are limited and expensive (OSX drivers).

Is anyone successfully running Substance Designer and Substance Painter on a mac tower with NVIDIA card? If so, which card should I be looking at?

I am a new user and still evaluating the programs so there might be a setting somewhere that I am unaware of that will allow me to run the software smoothly on my current systems.

Regards Steve

Just to add, I have Mavericks installed on both machines but plan to upgrade to Yosemite at some point so any GPU recommendations would have to run on these operating systems.

Having asked the question before, it seems that Nvidia is the most recommended choice for Substance products

Hi Vincent, Do you know which NVIDIA card is best supported? it says in the tech specs that the Nvidia Quadro is not recommended. Would the Nvidia GTX Titan Black 6GB CUDA GPU be a good option (I know its supported by OSX).

Honestly, I don't exactly know, but for sure the more GPU RAM you have, the bettern and as you mentined, Quadro is to avoid.

What you can do, is offer me the  GTX Titan, and I well give you my feedback  ;D

Seriously, it should be a great choice, but someone may have a more concrete feedback to give.


A better graphics will definitely help, but i must tell you that i've used substance on iMac Late 2012 model with nVidia GeForce GT 650M 512MB Graphics memory and 16GB System Ram. I usually work on 1024 map and load about 3-4K tris model, i don't see much slow down or slowdown to a point that i can't work. Other system is windows which uses GTX 960 with 2GB which is much smoother than the iMac one. So i guess if your requirement is higher, then it would be better investing in higher graphics.
Hope this helps.

Hi Vincent, Do you know which NVIDIA card is best supported? it says in the tech specs that the Nvidia Quadro is not recommended. Would the Nvidia GTX Titan Black 6GB CUDA GPU be a good option (I know its supported by OSX).

Hi Steve,
Can you point me to where it says the Nvidia Quadro is not recommended? I don't see it mentioned in the tech specs at all. I'm working on building a system and the Quadro was on my list as a possibility at least until I get further info.

Did this question ever get answered? I'm facing a similar issue. Have already purchased 2 different higher end Nvidia GPUs 8 & 11GBs that worked great for all other apps but required Nvidia drivers to work on my Mac Pro 5,1 10.12.6. Opening Painter immediately crashes the system. So I want to know: What GPU options are there for Mac users? System Requirements (and experience) says must use Apple default drivers, at least 2GB VRAM (preferably 4+), CUDA necessary for IRay (implying NVIDIA). I can't figure out what card this could be that is Nvidia (CUDA), ≥4GBs VRAM, able to run on Apple default drivers. Anybody have ideas?

Mac Pro 5,1
2 x 3.33 GHz 6-Core
10.12.6
64GB RAM
currently GTX 760 2GB
Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:52:35 pm

Quote
CUDA necessary for IRay (implying NVIDIA)
That is not exactly true. CUDA is necessary for IRay to run on the GPU. Without an Nvidia card, you can still use IRay on the CPU.

Quote
I can't figure out what card this could be that is Nvidia (CUDA), ≥4GBs VRAM, able to run on Apple default drivers.
As far as I know, there is no current Apple model that ships with an NVidia card. So, since we currently only support Apple default drivers, in practice that means there is no way currently supported by Allegorithmic to run IRay on the GPU in our products on MacOS.
Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 12:37:05 pm

Thanks for the reply.

I know Iray can run CPU only but since the Recommended System Requirements says "Mac : Nvidia Iray renderer requires CUDA drivers to use the GPU" I took that to mean it was possible.

I am in need of a new GPU and would really like to keep using Substance Painter and start using Designer and want to buy accordingly and give the Substance apps as much VRAM as I can afford. Tech Specs page says Quadro K2000+ is supported but Vincent Gault/Staff above says "Quadro is to avoid" . - That was 3 years ago now so maybe that's no longer the case? -  Apple currently officially supports AMD but the highest VRAM AMD I can find that works with the Apple default drivers is the Sapphire 7950 at 3GB VRAM. These cards are hard to find so I want to know my options. Can I use a Quadro K5000, Sapphire 7950 or GTX 780 (6GB) (all Mac versions) with the Substance apps? Could you tell me what Macs/Mac compatible cards are used at Allegorithmic?

Thanks again
Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 07:25:04 am