I posted this somewhere else, hope more Mac users find this...
I’m using a 2011 MacBook Pro 17” w/ quad core i7 2.2 GHz and 512 SSD. I have a GTX 980 ti plugged into a GDC Beast w/ ExpressCard34 connector into the MBP. It runs Octane like a beast, and everything just worked after I toggled one of the boot timing switches on the Beast pciex4 adapter; no special drivers needed, just install CUDA as usual.
The sleek and sturdy unibody 2011 MBP 17” 1,920x1,200 can be picked up refurb w/ warranty for way under $500, and the GDC Beast is about $40. Depending on the power requirements of the graphics card, an Aux PSU will run from $8 to $80, and virtually every GTX or Quadro just works! (I’ve tested GTX 560x2GB, 570x2.5GB, 580x3GB, 590x1.5GBx2, MARS 580x1.5GBx2, 680x4GB, 750tix2GB, MARS 760x2GBx2, 780x3GB, 970x4GB, 980x4GB, 980tix6GB, and 1070x8GB)
Expect about a 10% rendering performance hit compared to a dedicated Pro or Gamer pcie x8 or x16 motherboard, which is practically irrelevant when Octane is now rendering perfect frames in a few seconds. Run something you can afford now, upgrade to faster GTX cards as needed.
Not as fast as my multi-GPU Mac Pro and CUBIX rigs, but it comes with me in a re-purposed metal box I made. It looks a little Geeky, but I could not be happier! Simple and reliable!
MacBook Pro 17” 2011 i7 2720QM 2.2 GHz: 10.12.6, 16GB, 512GB SSD, GDC Beast ExpressCard 34 w/ NVIDIA GTX 980ti 6GB (or a ROG MARS GTX 760x2 2GBx2, or an EVGA GTX 750ti 2GB), Corsair SF450 Aux PSU, and MacsFanControl (Portable, Reliable, Octane!). No mods.
Last edited by archiblender
on Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.