10.13.4 eGPU Update

State of External GPU in macOS – High Sierra 10.13.4 Update

eGPU Development 305 Comments

April 7th Update: Mac_editor wrote a script, PurgeWrangler to unblock TB1/2 Macs from using external GPU in 10.13.4. Goalque also updated his automate-eGPU.kext to enable external GPU mode for more AMD cards. Last but not least, a collaborative effort is under way to enable Nvidia eGPU in 10.13.4.


March 30th Update: The final build of 10.13.4 arrived yesterday and officially reserves external GPU capability for Thunderbolt 3 Macs only. If you’re using a non-TB3 Mac with an eGPU setup, make sure to stay on 10.13.3 until further notice. Read our review of macOS external GPU in 10.13.4.


February 6th Update: 10.13.4 Beta 2 came out today and it broke compatibility with Thunderbolt 1 & 2 Macs. External GPU functionality now only works with Thunderbolt 3 Macs. Please stay tuned for further development. In the meantime, don’t update to this beta 2 of 10.13.4 if you have a non-TB3 Mac.


With the release of High Sierra 10.13.4 beta today, we noticed significant improvements for external graphics use. The first visual change is the addition of a top menu icon, dedicated to ejecting an attached eGPU prior to physically disconnecting it. 

external GPU detected notification in 10.13.3external GPU safe eject icon in 10.13.4

Another welcome enhancement is true hot-plug functionality. Prior to 10.13.4, hot-plugging an external GPU would bring a notification message to log out then log back in to use eGPU. This is no longer necessary. In 10.13.4, the eGPU will be activated almost immediately if you use a macOS-compatible Thunderbolt 3 enclosure in conjunction with a natively supported Radeon card (listed in the tables below). Hot unplugging needs more work because I encountered system crashes when removing the eGPU.

macOS Compatible
eGPU Enclosures

AKiTiO HOT
Node
Sonnet Breakaway
350 | 550 | 350D
HP Omen
Accelerator
PowerColor
Devil Box
Asus XG
Station Pronew
Mantiz
Venus

Asus ROG
XG Station 2
Razer
Core V2new
Sonnet Breakaway
Puck
Appearance
Included GPU1    ✖  |   ✖  | RX580
RX570
Price US$
$245
$249 | $349 | $699
$300
$300
$329$399
$550
$500$599
Max PCIe bandwidth32Gbps32Gbps32Gbps32Gbps32Gbps 32Gbps32Gbps32Gbps32Gbps
PSU location-type2
internal-SFXinternal-SFXinternal-ATXinternal-fATXexternal-ACinternal-SFXinternal-fATXinternal-fATXexternal-AC
PSU max power400W350W | 550W | 350W
500W500W 330W550W680W500W220W
GPU max power3
375W300W | 375W | 225W
300W375W 300W 375W500W375W
Power delivery (PD)4
15W15W | 87W | 60W 60W60W 15W 87W100W65W45W
USB-C controller
TI83TI83TI83 TI83 TI83TI83TI83TI83TI83
TB3 USB-C ports5111111111
Ports max bandwidth55Gbps5Gbps 10Gbps5Gbps5Gbps5Gbps
USB3.0 ports (+C type)5
4+14+10
544
Ethernet port5
SATA port5
Other portsUSB-C 3.1
USB-B 3.03xDP,HDMI
Size (in/mm, LxWxH)
[ visual comparison ]

16.85 x 5.71 x 8.94
428 x 145 x 227
13.38 x 7.25 x 8.00
340 x 185 x 202
15.75 x 7.87 x 7.87
400 x 200 x 200
15.75 x 6.77 x 9.53
400 x 172 x 242
14.76 x 4..21 x 8.07
375 x 107 x 205
12.99 x 6.42 x 8.46
330 x 163 x 215
17.95 × 6.22 x 10.94
456 x 158 x 278
13.38 x 4.13 x 8.60
334 x 105 x 218
6.00 x 2.00 x 5.12
152 x 51 x 130
Max GPU len (in/cm)
12.60 / 32.012.20/31.011.42/29.012.20 / 31.012.24/31.1
13.00 / 33.0
12.20 / 31.011.81/30.0
Weight (kg/lb)4.90/10.783.20/7.105.50/12.10~3.60/7.92??
3.60/7.92
5.10/11.224.95/10.892.38/5.25
Updated firmware6B1-25+4.3.325.2 | 25.2 | 25.1 ✔25.2525.10125.1v2526.1 ✔ 25.1 ✔
TB3 cable length (cm)75050505015050505050
Vendor pagelinklinklinklinklink linklinklinklink
Reviewlinklinklinkuserpreviewlinklinklinklink
Implementations
link link linklink linklinklinklink

Among the changes are proper identification of Radeon Vega and RX Polaris graphics cards in the table below. We received confirmation from forum members that clamshell mode works in this macOS [17E139j] build. The Displays tab in About this Mac now shows the correct handling of displays; dGPU powers the internal display while eGPU powers the external monitor. One finer detail is the Type column in System Information » Graphics/Displays. An eGPU is categorized appropriately as “External GPU” in 10.13.4.

For Radeon Vega eGPU users, this macOS update also resolves the high fan speed issue. The loud fan noise due to high idle speed was introduced in 10.13.2 and remains an issue in 10.13.3 for Vega graphics cards. Overall, 10.13.4 is shaping up to be a great software update to High Sierra. Let us know your eGPU experience with 10.13.4 beta in the comment section.

The typical development period for a macOS High Sierra update is around two months from the first beta to final release. Given it’s almost the end of January, Apple will likely introduce external graphics card functionality to the public with 10.13.4 in early spring 2018. My guess is Apple will not have its own eGPU enclosure at launch. There will be macOS-certified eGPU enclosures from vendors. Unless you buy a macOS-certified external GPU solution, AppleCare will not be able to provide technical support.

Many eGPU.io members have contributed their knowledge and findings about external graphics over the past year. Our forums have served as a makeshift support group during the development of Thunderbolt external graphics in general and macOS in specific. We remain committed to seeing eGPU go mainstream. Here are some valuable resources for eGPU users with unsupported graphics cards in High Sierra:

 

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mac_editor
Editor

If the eGPU is not ejected properly, it typically logs out like on previous builds. The crashes you might be experiencing may be resolved in subsequent builds of 10.13.4. I have not tested the ejection mechanism myself, but in general it’s a great sign. 

ikir
Member

That’s great!

Eightarmedpet
Member

I just updated to 10.13.2 and noticed the way login is handled when connected to my LG 5K Ultrafine is changed. Previously the login would appear on the MacBook screen and the LG would remain blank until desktop but now the boot loading bar and the login appears on the LG display, I wonder if this has an effect on eGPU usage? Might switch my 1070 out for my 580 to see…
Also, the backend of this forum/site is playing up, when I authorise reddit login I get someone else account, and it’s defo not a mistake my side.

nanoBit
Member

Does anybody know if they also made some changes in bootcamp support of eGPUs yet?

marcjoe
Member

That would interest me very much also!

Morv
Member

I thought the RX 550 wasn’t supported on macOS? I was being told this in the thread over here https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/hp-omen-boot-from-ext-ssd/ and therefore bought an RX 560…

jefniro
Member

“a small step for a man a giant leap for mankind” someone from another planet said this if I remember well… :o))
 
My XFX RX480 Black edition now is official on my system, MacBookPro Late 2016 + Akitio Node!!!
 



 
Now it’s plug&play…almost..
EUREKA!!

ikir
Member

Newwwww beta.
Update: public beta too!

jim_survak
Member

@jefniro

My XFX RX480 Black edition now is official on my system, MacBookPro Late 2016 + Akitio Node!!!
Now it’s plug&play…almost..
EUREKA!!

I’ve got this GPU too, but I’ve never used it because I’ve been under the impression the Black Editions didn’t work due to their BIOS/firmware. Is your model the RX-480P8LFLR?

Thanks a ton!

mac_editor
Editor

Posted by: Morv
I thought the RX 550 wasn’t supported on macOS? I was being told this in the thread over here https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/hp-omen-boot-from-ext-ssd/ and therefore bought an RX 560…

It was not supported until macOS 10.13.4 B1 released yesterday. 

Guest

Posted by: mac_editor

Posted by: Morv
I thought the RX 550 wasn’t supported on macOS? I was being told this in the thread over here https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/hp-omen-boot-from-ext-ssd/ and therefore bought an RX 560…

It was not supported until macOS 10.13.4 B1 released yesterday. 

How do you know?
I’ve installed 10.13.4 B1 and I don’t see any mention of 0x699F1002 in kexts

Morv
Member

Ah ok. Thanks.

Thiago Bolinho Laranjeira
Guest

do you guys think that by the end of this release Nvidia will be fully supported as the amds?

Rycco
Member

That would be a dream coming true. I believe going forward Apple will want to achieve this. Considering GPUs are being used on AR, deep learning, AI, crypto mining and gaming, Apple probably don’t want to limit their eGPU support to AMD only. Specially with Nvidia being ahead on GPUs architecture. Consider that they went from “we don’t recognize eGPUs” to “here we have a poor AMD eGPU support and it is getting better on spring 2018”. But this Nvidia support could take a while. If we’re getting AMD support this year, I would predict Nvidia support for next year.… Read more »

mac_editor
Editor

Posted by: Thiago Bolinho Laranjeira
do you guys think that by the end of this release Nvidia will be fully supported as the amds?

I personally don’t expect any official NVIDIA support with High Sierra. At the earliest, perhaps macOS 10.14 (with broken support as with 10.13 w/ AMD) I think. 10.13.4 is a relatively major release, and the next few builds should just be refinements if the past is any indication.

Thiago Bolinho Laranjeira
Guest

by the way its possible to accelerate both screens internal and external by using a headless hdmi dummy plugged in the egpu (aorus 1080) for accelerate the internal screen using the spetacle app trick and also with the DisplayPort cable connected both on egpu and external screen.

that way I could power and accelerate on both screens with the egpu? Mac 10.13.2

Guest

I’m on the new BETA with Sonnet Breakaway and RX 580. I see the icon but still not showing on the About Mac screen… Do I need to run any scripts? 2017 MBP 13″ Touch Bar

goalque
Admin
Posted by: theitsage

My guess is many apps don’t have support for eGPU in macOS yet. Run GeekBench 4 to confirm whether your RX 580 eGPU is functional.

True. Apps need to be updated too.

“Understand how external GPUs take macOS graphics to a whole new level and see how to prepare your apps to take advantage of their full potential.”

Start watching at 28:30

https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2017/603/

jonwatso
Member

Ahh! Finally! Such a superficial thing, but It will be nice to see my graphics card reporting correctly.

dvogiatzis
Member

How is the Aorus Gaming Box 1070/1080 performing under the update 10.13.4 beta?

Unkn0wnxUser
Member

There is a official WebDriver for 10.13.4 already, but it doesn’t work for now. So don’t update. Wait for the NVIDIASupport.kext to release a Version for 10.13.4

drwnsm
Member

I’m encountering black screen on the external display using an RX 560 and Akitio Node Lite on an MBP 2017 :/
But eject GPU, and device infos are working fine. Anyone else facing this issue?

derackHJ
Guest

Same problem here with RX560 2GB version, but with Akitio Node (not Lite) and on MBP 13″ early 2015, connected through Apple’s TB2 to TB3 dongle & TB 2 cable. macOS can recognize the card and it work in benchmarks but the external display which I hooked up via the eGPU’s output didn’t show anything.

ikir
Member

Try to reboot without unplugging it

jya
Member

Went to the beta as I couldn’t stand the noise fan with the Vega 64.
All working perfectly here. And no more noise.

rawweb
Member

@theitsage, any changes with internal acceleration? Those of us on thunderbolt type displays/imac’s etc…

Mymantiz_John
Member

I’ve tested the Vega 64, Vega 56, RX580, 570, 480, 470 with 2016, 2017 MBP 13 and 15″ w/o any issue.
Fan is not noisy and eject Bottom didn’t cause any system freeze.
even more, it had been solved the Vega 64 HDMI audio output issue. 
The only issue is the performance of the Vega 64. should be have further tuning in next release. 

Guest

I have a mid-2017 iMac max spec with a Radeon 580 8GB GPU inside. I want to buy the Sonnet Breakaway Box and run an eGPU in tandem with my iMac. Ideally I would get the same Radeon 580 for my eGPU and theoretically get twice the power out of my GPU (running internal and external GPU’s in parallel). I confirmed this with customer Sonnet’s customer service but then I saw a YouTube video of someone who works at Sonnet saying something completely different. He says that when you plug in the Breakaway Box, the internal GPU shuts down and… Read more »

psonice
Member

@adrian_robison Both GPUs will work – generally, if you have an external monitor connected to the eGPU the internal GPU drives the internal display and the external GPU drives the external one. If not, the external GPU is just sitting there, available to software that can use it, but otherwise not doing much. For software, it’s possible to select one GPU or the other, or to use both. However, most software will just use the default GPU, support for multiple is rare. If Premiere and DaVinci support rendering on multiple GPUs then you should get a performance boost. It might not… Read more »

mac_editor
Editor

Posted by: Dmitry Matora

Posted by: mac_editor

Posted by: Morv
I thought the RX 550 wasn’t supported on macOS? I was being told this in the thread over here https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/hp-omen-boot-from-ext-ssd/ and therefore bought an RX 560…

It was not supported until macOS 10.13.4 B1 released yesterday. 

How do you know?
I’ve installed 10.13.4 B1 and I don’t see any mention of 0x699F1002 in kexts

That’s my bad, I thought @itsage confirmed it – apologies… it seems that is not the case as you have correctly pointed out.

Guest

Posted by: mac_editor
That’s my bad, I thought @itsage confirmed it – apologies… it seems that is not the case as you have correctly pointed out.

Sapphire has released new rx-550 which is based on Polaris 21 instead of Polaris 20 “Lexa”, which is basically RX 560.
Could that be source of confusion?

Juan C. Yunis
Guest

@itsage, I just got the new update, I have 2017 MBP 15″ so I’m good with TB3 (thanks for reporting about TB2), do you see any improvement or change so far?

UPDATE:

My issues are still happening, can’t sleep and can’t eject GPU using Eject GPU menu. They added the name of the card in the eject menu, so now it says for me “Eject AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition”

I saw a little bit of improvement for geekbench 4 using Metal. OpenCL still performs slow.

John_Petrucci
Member

hello, bad news!

this is the end of support thunderbolt 1 and 2??

all the mac mini are cut off..

insaneshred
Member

Hi @John_Petrucci! Good to see DT fans here haha

jefniro
Member

@John_Petrucci
@insaneshred

Amazing DT!!! I’m fan too of they!!! 🙂 
I will check my BIOS version…

Guest

Aaagghh, I just got a Mac Mini to use Thunderbolt 2, I couldn’t wait for a New Mac Mini, please let it be an oversight and they will put it back in!

mac_editor
Editor

@itsage it could be unintentional too. Regardless of how we look at it, a computer should not crash on boot if any device is plugged in to any port. If Apple is indeed removing support completely, that should not happen. Only the next builds will tell haha.

John_Petrucci
Member

Also why not remove the support (TB1 and TB2) already at the first release of High Sierra, why remove it at the end of the final support of Egpu.

Chippy McChipset
Member

Unfortunately, the handwriting has been on the wall with this change. I don’t believe it was accidental. Apple has a strong business interest (and arguably a stability interest) in not supporting Macs with these older Thunderbolt ports. The more they do this the fewer people will upgrade their Macs, opting instead to spend money on GPUs (for which Apple gets no cut) and a $50 adapter (which probably nets them about $35 in profit). There’s every reason to think this is an intentional design limitation. It’s a bummer for a lot of people (myself included as I have a TB2… Read more »

mac_editor
Editor

@chippy-mcchipset You make fair points, no doubt. It is the traditional Apple way to drop support on older devices. The reasoning behind my thinking that this is unintentional is as follows: If Apple wanted to disable older TB devices, it is not complicated to accomplish – a simple override/checks for the Thunderbolt interface would do it. There should not be a kernel panic regardless of the device plugged in to the any Mac. If it is completely disabled, then such panics would not occur. Logs clearly show that attempts to mount the GPU and load AMD drivers and its Framebuffer… Read more »

goalque
Admin

“Logs clearly show that attempts to mount the GPU and load AMD drivers and its Framebuffer were made – again not a sign of purposefully disabling support.”

@mac_editor: True, hot plugging initiates accelerator successfully. However, then immediately writes “IS BEING DETACHED”.

Keep in mind that beta is beta. Let’s discuss more when the public build is available.

John_Petrucci
Member

This is reported in the Release-Notes-DevKit! “PDF APPLE”
Release-Notes-ECDK_v1.pdf

“The External Graphics Development Kit is designed for testing high-performance
Metal and VR applications on Mac computers running macOS High Sierra beta. It
can be connected to any Thunderbolt 3 enabled Mac with the included cable, such
as MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 and iMac with Thunderbolt 3. The kit may
work with Thunderbolt 2-enabled Mac computers via a Thunderbolt 2 to
Thunderbolt 3 adapter, but this is an unsupported configuration.

I understand that in the future it will be removed.
Very bad news!

Guest

It is very bad news, I suppose they want us to upgrade to Thunderbolt 3 Macs!

esatamacmodular
Member

Really frustrating how support for some tech advances falls off so quickly. Long live usb 2.0!

psonice
Member

It’s beta software, there’s nothing anywhere saying it’s depreciated/unsupported (I’ve read the release notes). I’m putting it down to “It’s beta software, things are broken”.

Sky11
Member

Guys, please keep in mind that supporting eGPU in any OS requires a lot of effort. It is the effort of implementing such support, and ongoing cost of supporting ALL the platforms a company declares as supported. We all expect companies to continue to innovate, but all companies have limited resources (even rich ones like Apple). If they to support everything under the moon, that will definitely slow down progress at best and in some cases is not even possible. If you look at both graphics vendors, at some point the remove older GPUs from the current drivers and provide… Read more »

Chippy McChipset
Member

I understand people’s thinking in the sense of if we asked ourselves, “when would be the purely logical time to disable TB and TB2 host support,” the answer would be, “in the 10.13.0 public launch release of High Sierra.” However the cycles are not synchronized here, the “1.0” version of Apple’s eGPU support hasn’t happened yet. I think of eGPU as being a “product within a product,” like APFS was when it was first introduced. Looking at it that way, disabling this feature now isn’t any more or less logical than any other time prior to official release. itsage: IMO… Read more »

mac_editor
Editor

Public beta 2 and updated Developer Beta 2 is out. TB2 or older users on eGPU should avoid it. No changes with this new build on those configurations.

ikir
Member

Updated to public beta 2, I will test this weekend but no new issue so far

Antoine
Member

updated on beta 2 and Vega FE Liquid still not recognised.

P-Mac
Member

Reporting in here, TB2 enclosure via TB3 adapter on a 2016 MBP still works great, as far as hot-plugging is concerned. Unchanged from beta 1 where attempting to “properly” eject the eGPU causes a kernel panic. I’ve had more luck simply closing apps that are known to be running on the eGPU and then hot-unplugging the thing. Annoyingly, plugging the eGPU to the laptop with its lid already closed and asleep causes the internal display to initialize as well. It requires opening the lid and then closing it again to disable the internal display. Filed bug reports for all of… Read more »

Guest

Posted by: P-Mac Reporting in here, TB2 enclosure via TB3 adapter on a 2016 MBP still works great, as far as hot-plugging is concerned. Unchanged from beta 1 where attempting to “properly” eject the eGPU causes a kernel panic. I’ve had more luck simply closing apps that are known to be running on the eGPU and then hot-unplugging the thing.  Annoyingly, plugging the eGPU to the laptop with its lid already closed and asleep causes the internal display to initialize as well. It requires opening the lid and then closing it again to disable the internal display.  Filed bug reports… Read more »

Juan C. Yunis
Guest

Good find with the TB2 enclosure. In my case I’m experiencing the same issues with this update, can’t sleep and can’t eject.

mac_editor
Editor

Can’t say much about the changes from 17E150f to 17E150g – could be a critical non-eGPU related fix or whatnot. Haven’t digged too deep though honestly..

jefniro
Member

It seems some improvements for egpu. Version of Apple Graphics Device Control has been changed.

Jyin
Member

Just tired out the beta. Worked flawlessly on my 2017 iMac 27’, BB550, and Vega FE LC.
If you want to see the detail, head over to the other thread.

Member

Does 10.13.4 update also make TB2 Macs not compatible with nVidia cards using webdrivers?

Tico
Member

The 10.13.4 Beta (17E150g) crashes my mid 2014 rMBPr (TB2) (sonnet breakaway 650PS) and Sapphire RXVega 64. If course NVIDIA doesn’t typically provide web drivers for beta version, but when I plug in my Venus and a GTX680  it doesn’t see the card but it sees the device and it doesn’t crash the machine like the VEGA does.
TBX-550CA: Vendor Name: TUL Device Name: TBX-550CA
   Status: Device connected
  Link Status: 0x2
  Speed: Up to 20 Gb/s x1
  Current Link Width: 0x2
  Cable Firmware Version: 1.1.0
  Link Controller Firmware Version: 0.36.0

HowlinFantods
Member

I went and bought an LG 5k screen and love it but recently found out how limiting it is… Started editing stuff in 4k and my laptop (15″ 2017 MacBook Pro) is just not cutting it anymore. I have a nice Ryzen PC I was intending to turn into a hackintosh and have done some tests in Windows where it just chews through 4k but it’s killing me that there is no way to connect it to this monitor (yet?). My interim solution was to get an eGPU for the MacBook Pro but it seems like the Thunderbolt 3 5k… Read more »

graukatze
Member

Kernel panic with TB2/TB3 adapter-attached RX580 using 17E150g on MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014.1, GT750M). Did not really work on 10.13.4.1 either, but at least not screen of death.

As @sky11 pointed out – no problems at all with Windows 10 in Bootcamp (running on an external SSD).

Come on, Apple. Think different for once.

mac_editor
Editor

@graukatze a workaround can be used to get your system running on macOS 10.13.4 B1. See here.

graukatze
Member

purge_nvda.sh and purge-wrangler.sh worked like a charm on 10.13.4 🙂 Awesome work!

Chippy McChipset
Member

Jyin: can you tell me if the cooler on the FE LC edition is 120mm? Can’t find a spec on that anywhere.

Juan C. Yunis
Guest

@chippy-mcchipset it is 120mm and 38mm thick according to Gamers Nexus review

steinmics
Member

Hello, is updatet Beta 2 (17E150g) tested with TB2 Models ? I will try a Mac Mini 2014 and wait for HP Omen Box. 

Thanks

MrUNIMOG
Member

Bummer that Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 2 compatibility has been broken. Hope it will be added again eventually!

Was really looking forward to using one eGPU enclosure with both my 2016 MBP (Thunderbolt 3) and 2012 iMac (Thunderbolt) without any tinkering. Hope it works out when 10.13.4 is ready.

sprober
Member

I just installed the 10.13.4 beta a few days ago and have had a number of crashes and system reboots due to problem usually in clamshell mode after it has sat a while and gone to sleep. Has anyone else been experiencing this? Was very stable under the previous build. When you look at the details it looks like something happening trying to reload kext.

Juan C. Yunis
Guest

@sprober yeah that is exactly what is happening to me, clamshell mode if i leave my computer alone for a long time i discover that it crahed and rebooted. I was thinking that it had to be something related to sleep but i found the same issue after disabling sleep while connected to a power source and disable hard disk sleep. So it’s something else.

sprober
Member

Do you have any other Thunderbolt devices? The Feb 6 edit to this post says this build has broken support for Thunderbolt 2 eGPU. My EGPu is Thunderbolt 3 but I have a Thunderbolt 2 audio interface connected using Apple’s Thunderbolt 2 adapter. Wondering if that’s the problem, going to have to try running with it unplugged for a while and see.