Enscape on a Mac with VR headset: it works

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  • Hi, I just want to make this information available since it is hard to find. The following configuration works out of the box:

    - Apple Mac Pro 2019 with the Radeon W6800X MPX GPU;

    - Windows 10 Pro running on Boot Camp, standard Apple Boot Camp Assistant installation;

    - On the Mac side, MacOS Ventura, although this probably doesn't make a difference;

    - Revit 2020;

    - Enscape 3.4 for Revit;

    - HP Reverb G2 VR headset;

    - Plug the headset into a Tomtoc L2021G adapter (Displayport 1.4 to Thunderbolt), itself plugged directly into the GPU (not the other Thunderbolt ports on the Mac Pro);

    - Plug the headset's USB and power cables as well of course;

    - Windows 10 pre-installed Mixed Reality Portal, plus Steam and Steam VR following the standard Enscape instructions.

    It's an expensive set-up but it works! Enscape on a Mac with a VR headset! No special drivers or hardware! Windows detects the headset at full resolution of 4320 x 2160 and 90 Hz refresh rate.

    Performance is good. Enscape hardware ray-tracing is enabled (both tick boxes), reflections and shadows look great.

    Set the "Application-specific video resolution" to 50% in the Steam VR settings, as recommended in the Enscape knowledge page, and you'll get 60 to 90 FPS with Enscape set to Ultimate in a large scene with several trees. Otherwise at 100% resolution, the Reverb G2's 4K resolution brings the GPU to its knees (30 FPS, nauseating) with Enscape set to Ultimate. For absolutely perfect 90 Hz smooth motion in Ultimate, it can be necessary to bring the resolution down to 20% in the Steam VR settings, when the scene is heavy.

    I haven't tried games but I've tried a Half-Life "VR meeting room" at 100% resolution and it's smooth, 80 to 100 FPS. This shows that Enscape requires much more power than a video game, presumably since it recalculates the light all the time, whereas the video game's light is pre-calculated.

    It would be helpful to have an FPS readout in Enscape.

    I'm an architect, I run my office on Apple, and I'm sticking with Intel Macs since I need a solution right now. My entire workflow is based on Revit + Enscape + Vray with occasional use of 3ds Max. I don't see this happening on Apple Silicon soon.

    I'm sure 2023 will bring a new Mac Pro and Apple VR headset, but as things are in 2022, the Mac Studio M1's best GPU is half as powerful as a Radeon 6900 (see Geekbench) and doesn't even support hardware ray-tracing. And Parallels supports Revit but not Enscape.