2020 MBP 16" vs 2016 MBP 13" with 5700 XT
 
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2020 MBP 16" vs 2016 MBP 13" with 5700 XT  

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karant
(@karant)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hello,

I've had an 2016 MBP 13" + 5700 XT build for a while that has been working well:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2016-13-macbook-pro-6th2cu-rx-5700-xt-32gbps-tb3-razer-core-x-chroma-macos-10-15-1/

I've now purchased a 2020 MBP 16" which on paper has significantly better specs than my previous MBP:

  • 2.4GHz 8‑core 9th‑generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of GDDR6 memory
  • 64GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • 4TB SSD storage

macOS (plug-n-play) benchmarking with Unigine Valley moved the score from 2678 to 3407, which is a pretty good ~27% increase.

I was not able to find an existing build on egpu.io with 2020 MBP 16" so I tried following guide with 2019 MBP 16" and 2020 MBA.

First I attempted the following 2 methods, without success:

Latest Windows 10 20H2 build with red bootcampdrivers from @alejandro_torres.  Resulted in error 12 for me.

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2019-16-macbook-pro-late-2019-amd-radeon-pro-5500m-intel-core-i9-9th-8c-2-3ghz-amd-radeon-rx-5600-xt-32gbps-tb3-razer-core-x-macos-10-15-windows-10-pro-super-fast-setup-almost/#post-90494

Latest Windows 10 20H2 build with PCI.SYS replacement and AMD official drivers from @josh_bennett.  Resulted in BSD for me.

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2019-macbook-pro-16-5500m-4gb-9th8ch-5700-xt-32gbps-tb3-razer-core-x-chroma-macos-10-15-6-win10-2004-working-josh_bennett/ 

Finally, I was able to get Windows working generally following @andygev35 2020 MBA guide with minor modifications:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2020-macbook-air-10th4cng-amd-rx-vega-56-32gbps-tb3-razer-core-x-macos-10-15-4-win10-andygev35/

Summary of my steps:

  • Windows 10 1903 V1 install
  • Disabled the FaceTime Camera and 5500M dGPU in Device Manager in Safe Mode.  Did not disable PCI Express Root Ports because I was not able to locate any in Device Manager.
  • Ran DDU for Nvidia and AMD and rebooted
  • Hot plugged eGPU after reboot, and installed latest Nov 2020 red gaming drivers from bootcampdrivers.com in Factory Reset mode

Was pleasantly surprised that everything worked in a cold plug scenario without error 12 and without need for DSDT override with EFI boot loader (solution in my previous MBP 13" build).

However, the big surprise is the poor Unigine Valley benchmarks in Windows.  The highest I was able to get was 3417, which is basically the same as macOS and significantly less than I get on my old 2016 MBP 13" (which is ~3900).

I am running Big Sur on both MBPs and I reran the MBP 13" benchmarks with same results as before.  I also tried different TB3 ports on MBP 16" but basically got the same results.  From my reading it appears that 2020 MBP 16" has the same bandwidth in all 4 TB3 ports.

Does anyone have any ideas on why my Windows performance with 2020 MBP 16" is not up to par?  Is there a way to run a different benchmark/analysis tool to help identify the bottleneck?  Any help would be much appreciated.

 

2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 6900 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + macOS 11.6.0 & Win10 1903 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@karant, What version of Radeon drivers are you using? I've found anything newer than 20.4.2 to be very inconsistent in terms of eGPU performance.

 

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karant
(@karant)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage, you are a life saver.  I ran DDU and installed the red April 2020 (20.4.1) drivers from bootstrapdrivers.com and got 4236 Unigine Valley score.  Not a huge improvement over the 2016 MBP 13" setup, but overall macOS performance (work related) is much better so that makes it worth it for me.  I will write up the full build details in the near future.

Hopefully 6800 XT support is coming and cards will be available sometime in 2021 at which point I can upgrade the GPU.

Having the Radeon drivers impact the performance so much in Windows makes me wonder if I should try other versions as well.  What are your thoughts?  Or is ~4250 score about as good as I could expect with my hardware?

 

2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 6900 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + macOS 11.6.0 & Win10 1903 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@karant, That's good to hear. I've learnt to stop chasing numbers. If the overall performance is consistent and reliable, I would be happy. You can compare with other builds with the 16-in MBP and RX 5700 XT. Looking at one of my builds with similar components [build link], I think yours is doing well.

 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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