Enscape is a powerful 3D real time rendering and virtual reality software that isn’t available for macOS but there is a way to run Enscape on a Mac.
If you’re an architect or retail designer working in an office full of Macs or a student of architecture and design that uses Macs, then running Enscape on a Mac is much more convenient than having to use a Windows PC.
Although there’s now a lot of CAD software that works on Mac such as Sketchup, ArchiCAD, Vectorworks and Twin Motion, many CAD designers are forced to switch to PC for rendering in packages such as Enscape, Revit and Lumin.
This is particularly frustrating for ArchiCAD and Rhino users on Mac as both ArchiCAD and Rhino now support integration with Enscape but Macs still can’t run it.
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Does Enscape Work on a Mac?
Unfortunately Enscape does not officially work on Macs at the moment. The main reason for this is that the Enscape system requirements do not support the Intel graphic card chips used in Macs.
This is because Enscape performs its renders using an internal graphics card (GPU) but it has to have dedicated VRAM not shared VRAM as is the case with Intel Integrated Graphics chips.
Demian Gutberlet of the Enscape team stated the following on the Enscape forum:
Generally, I’m afraid, there are no concrete plans to implement Mac support any time soon to be completely honest. Right now there are better and better machines being released by Apples, machines which could also run Enscape just fine – but the demand is still not high enough (among other reasons) to justify the development effort. Developing Enscape for Mac natively would require a huge amount of resources, which are currently being used to simply add or improve new functionalities, further CAD solution support, etc. etc.
Will Enscape Work With M1 Macs?
At the moment, Enscape is not compatible with the Apple Silicon M1 chip so it won’t work on M1 Macs.
In theory, M1 Macs will make it easier for Enscape to develop a Mac version because it’s a powerful fixed chipset that’s more than enough to run Enscape.
However it seems unlikely that Enscape will embrace the latest M1 Macs as the small market share doesn’t make Apple devices an attractive market for Enscape.
Demian Gutberlet of the Enscape team stated the following on the Enscape forum about Apple Silicon M1 Macs:
Given that Apple is switching to their own CPU’s instead of relying on Intel chips, that will only make things even more complicated and a separate whole development department would have to be created just for that – there is a lot of demand to have Enscape on Mac OS, but overall still simply not enough yet to justify spending all these resources, when we can use them instead to better our product further and further, even perhaps adding support for other CAD solutions soon for example.
So basically, don’t hold your breath for an M1 compatible version of Enscape on Mac anytime soon.
Does Enscape Work with an eGPU on Mac?
An eGPU is an external graphics unit that super charges the graphics processing power of your Mac.
Since macOS Mojave, there are now Mac compatible eGPUs that you can use to enhance your Mac’s graphic capabilities.
In theory, connecting an eGPU to a Windows installation in Boot Camp would be enough to run Enscape on a Mac. The problem however is that most eGPUs available for Mac simply aren’t powerful enough to run Enscape.
Enscape requires ultra powerful NVIDIA cards like the NVIDIA 2070 RTX but Macs are currently incompatible with NVIDIA graphics cards.
Although you can use graphics cards like the AMD Radeon Pros with Mac compatible eGPUs, they still don’t come close to the power of cards like the NVIDIA 2070 RTX.
The other problem is that even an eGPU is around 30% less powerful and effective as an internal chip so nothing beats an on board chip for using GPU intensive apps like Enscape.
Note that M1 Macs do not work with eGPUs and are unlikely to support them in the future.
Will Enscape Work with the Mac Pro?
Even the basic version of the Mac Pro which currently costs over $5000 doesn’t have the real-time GPU performance to run Enscape on a Mac natively.
It does however have the option to fit a Radeon Pro Vega 2 which can out perform even the Titan RTX which works with Enscape.
If you were to get a Mac Pro, install a Radeon Pro Vega 2 and then install Windows via Boot Camp on your Mac, you’d have no problems running Enscape but it’s a pretty expensive setup and you won’t be running Enscape natively.
Our advice however is, if you’ve got that kind of money to spend, you’d probably be better off spending this on the Razor Blade which costs half as much as a Mac Pro and use it specifically for apps like Enscape, Revit, SketchUp, Lumin etc.
- More Power, More Cores: The 8-Core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor provides the ultimate level of performance with up to 5. 1GHz Max Turbo.
- Studio Ready: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super with Max-Q Design (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) graphics is up to 25% faster than the original RTX 20 Series with more cores and higher clocks.
- Vivid Visuals: The 4K OLED touch display delivers blazing fast 1ms response time and a wide color range covering 100% of the DCI-P3 space, while the HDR 400 True Black ensures deep blacks and vibrant colors.
- Thin and Compact: The CNC aluminum unibody frame houses incredible performance in the most compact footprint possible, while remaining remarkably durable and just 0. 7" thin.
- Innovative Cooling: A unique vacuum sealed, liquid filled, copper vapor chamber spans the heat generating components and is the key to getting maximum performance and user comfort in a compact, thin design.
Can I Use Enscape With The Oculus Rift on Mac?
Unfortunately the Oculus Rift does not work with Macs.
Note that you will need to install SteamVR in Windows on your Mac in order to use the HTC Vive Pro with Enscape.
Alternatives To Running Enscape on a Mac
If none of the above works for you, then your last option is to consider accessing Enscape on a PC remotely from your Mac.
There’s a lot of remote desktop software for Mac that will allow you to do this but it’s not recommended to use something like Enscape.
Not least, there’s often a lot of lag connecting to a PC remotely from a Mac and it’s much harder to use Enscape remotely than installed via Windows on your Mac.
How To Run Enscape on a Mac
The more powerful the Mac you have, the better when it comes to 3D rendering and VR software like Enscape. The best Mac to run Enscape in Windows on a Mac is undoubtedly the Mac Pro followed by the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini.
Although there are various ways of running Windows on a Mac, the only method that will work for Enscape is using Boot Camp on an Intel Mac.
Boot Camp is a free application in macOS which allows you to install Windows for free on Mac in a separate partition on your hard drive.
Note that this does not work on M1 Macs because the latest Apple Silicon M1 Macs do not support Boot Camp anymore.
Normally we would recommend using a virtual environment like Parallels to install Windows on a Mac but in the case of Enscape, the graphics driver in virtual environment software like Parallels simply isn’t powerful enough for 3D rendering VR software like Enscape.
The Boot Camp graphics driver is far more powerful to leverage the graphics card in your Mac to work with Enscape.
There are also unofficial enhanced drivers for Boot Camp which will get more out of your graphics card for demanding tools like Enscape.
You can find instructions here on how to install Windows for free on a Mac using Boot Camp.
As you can see below, the results aren’t bad running Enscape on a Mac using Boot Camp and it also works for Revit and Lumion.
Enscape works very smoothly using a Boot Camp Windows installation although you will notice your Macs fans will start whirring as it’s very demanding on your Mac’s GPU.
Rotating and rendering in Enscape perform just as smoothly and quickly as on a Windows PC and as you can see, the results are pretty impressive.