Public preview of Octane X graphics renderer now available on macOS Catalina

in General Discussion edited July 2020
The first public preview of the Octane X graphics rendering engine is now available to Mac users on macOS Catalina, with a wider rollout coming later in 2020.

Credit: Otoy
Credit: Otoy

Octane X is a new version of Otoy's OctaneRender that has been completely rewritten in Apple's Metal graphics API as part of a "long and deep collaboration with Apple's world-class engineering team." It was originally debuted at Apple's WWDC 2019 keynote alongside the Mac Pro.

Otoy on Monday announced that the public preview of Octane X has officially launched for macOS Catalina 10.15.6. It's fully optimized for both AMD Vega and Navi GPUs across Apple's Mac Pro, iMac, iMac Pro and MacBook Pro lineups.

The company's lineup of unbiased, GPU-accelerated rendering platforms are widely used in film, TV, games, motion graphics and AR/VR applications. Although optimized for a range of Apple Macs, Octane X was crafted with the Mac Pro in mind. In 2019, Otoy CEO Jules Urbach said that "Octane X will be leveraging this unprecedented performance to take interactive and production GPU rendering ... to a whole new level."

According to the company, Octane X features a completely rewritten mesh geometry engine and near perfect linear scaling of rendering speed with multiple GPU configurations -- including eGPUs plugged in via Thunderbolt 3. It ships with RNDR, a distributed rendering platform that lets graphic artists leverage networks of decentralized GPUs to power tasks. On a Mac Pro, it also supports up to 400 GPUs over network rendering and 56 Xeon CPU threads with up to 1.5TB of out-of-core memory.

Based on OctaneBench scores on a Mac Pro with a Radeon Pro Vega II Duo MPX Module, Octane X also delivers the fastest score ever for a single slot graphics card. The renderer clocked in with a score of 415 on the machine, surpassing the previous top score of 401.

Octane X will come bundled with a dozen baked-in plugins for various macOS 3D Content creation platforms, including Autodesk Maya, Maxon Cinema 4D and SideFX Houdini.

The public preview will be available on macOS Catalina starting Monday for current OctaneRender Studio and Enterprise subscribers. Otoy added that Octane X will also be available for free to all new users activating Octane X on 2019 or later models of Mac Pro, iMac and MacBook Pro running macOS Big Sur.


  • Reply 1 of 3
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,145member
    Lots of additional info not in the press release:

    This was interesting — it's also coming to iPadOS/iOS, I assume also offering network rendering on those devices? They've benched it on an A13 (not compatible with the A12Z though).
    What is Octane X - why isn't it called/bundled OctaneRender like the old Mac CUDA versions?
    While Octane X is a feature identical to OctaneRender (CUDA), and supports all the same plug-ins and standalone as of right now, things will begin to diverge once we hit macOS 11 and put Octane X on the app store (including iOS/ipadOS). The Octane X app will be built on top of standalone, but we can't treat it as a normal desktop exe - for one thing, being on the app store means it must always be the latest version. It also can't really work as a plug-in on iPad/iOS, and this means rethinking how we make it useful on those devices (basically bringing USD, Sculptron and EmberGenFX together is a good start). 

    OctaneBench scores:
    I just want to know the OB score of all the AMD/Intel GPUs on 10.15 now
    Just to be clear, these are still early numbers and have a +/- variance of 7% or so, but one thing that will likely hold is the relative performance in OB between these GPUs :
    Radeon Pro Vega II Duo - 412 OB*
    Radeon Pro Vega II - 206 OB
    Radeon VII - 200 OB
    5700 XT - 170 OB
    Vega FE - ~161 OB
    Vega 64 -~148 OB
    Vega 56 - ~117 OB
    Vega 48 - 108 OB
    5600M - 108 OB
    5500M - 77 OB
    Vega 20 - ~50 OB
    Intel iris 640 - ~17 OB
    Intel iris 630 - ~15 OB
    Apple A13 - ~15 OB

    This is exciting. I wonder when Redshift will release their Metal version, they are allegedly aiming for Q3 of this year. Can't wait to see what happens with Apple's GPUs. They've credited Apple with helping them quite a bit getting this renderer out, so I'm curious if they've had early access to Apple Silicon prototypes.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,919member
    This was interesting — it's also coming to iPadOS/iOS, I assume also offering network rendering on those devices? They've benched it on an A13 (not compatible with the A12Z though).
    The Octane X app will be built on top It also can't really work as a plug-in on iPad/iOS 

    The iOS/iPadOS/macOS Apps can’t offer ‘plugins’ as extensions?

    I’m sure an A14Z will be along shortly but it’ll be interesting to see if Octane X hands off Ray Tracing to Metal2 which, I think, is Apple Silicon’s ace up the sleeve.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,145member
    mcdave said:
    The iOS/iPadOS/macOS Apps can’t offer ‘plugins’ as extensions?
    I'm not quite sure what they meant. We'll find out soon enough.
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