Apple Silicon Bootcamp eGPU future sticky thread
 
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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I noticed there's no thread to discuss Apple Silicon future bootcamp support or sentiment so I thought I'd start one here. Post any news or sentiments you have on the topic. Curious to hear from the admins and some of the other bootcamp eGPU vets who might have any commentary.

This topic was modified 1 month ago

2020 16" MBP w/ dGPU
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Big Sur, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 // PERST# delay use may apply to other MacBooks [build link]  


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nu_ninja
(@nu_ninja)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Not windows bootcamp, but I know there has been a TON of work to get Linux booting on the M1 Macs. In fact, it seems like they've got most things working except the iGPU: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-Apple-M1-Boots-GNOME

It's still in heavy development, but seems like they're progressing towards a release normal people will actually be able to use see: https://asahilinux.org/about/

And once we get Linux fully working there is the potential to a run windows virtual machine through QEMU with PCI passthrough for nearly native performance in the windows VM.

Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (MacBookPro9,2) TB1 -> RX 460/560 (AKiTiO Node/Thunder2)
+ macOS 10.15+Win10 + Linux Mint 19.1

 
2012 13" MacBook Pro [3rd,2C,M] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.14.4 [build link]  


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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: @nu_ninja

Not windows bootcamp, but I know there has been a TON of work to get Linux booting on the M1 Macs. In fact, it seems like they've got most things working except the iGPU: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Linux-Apple-M1-Boots-GNOME

It's still in heavy development, but seems like they're progressing towards a release normal people will actually be able to use see: https://asahilinux.org/about/

And once we get Linux fully working there is the potential to a run windows virtual machine through QEMU with PCI passthrough for nearly native performance in the windows VM.

Thank you for your contribution!

 

Bumping

2020 16" MBP w/ dGPU
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Big Sur, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 // PERST# delay use may apply to other MacBooks [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@tsh3721, there is no inherent hard limitation to run eGPUs on Apple Silicon macs and the only problem on macOS is the lack of arm64 GPU drivers for AMD. It may be possible for an experienced reverse engineer to adapt Linux drivers to macOS and as @nu_ninja says, work on Asahi Linux involves loads of reversing, especially for proprietary stuff like the Apple G-cores (if they can do that, then they can certainly adapt for other GPUs on macOS).

Also wise to note that from a long-term perspective users should let Apple Silicon on Mac mature a bit. The M1 macs feel like a beta product even a year later (based on personal experience - fast, but not stable). It is possible that we may see sweeping changes in the future and there is the matter of how the Mac Pro will be approached.

Finally, with Microsoft embracing Thunderbolt with their recent Surface lineup, things look positive on Windows, and Linux is great anyhow. So I’m just interested to see how it all plays out in the next couple of years. x86 isn’t bad, but ARM is the future, even at large scale (ex. Amazon Graviton).

 

"Desultory reading is delightful, but to be beneficial, our reading must be carefully directed." — Seneca

Author: kryptonitepurge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
Launching Apps on Specific (e)GPUs on macOS

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Any thoughts on the arguments presented here?

He claims only Macbooks drove the eGPU market and that Apple will never allow eGPUs on Apple silicon because they don't want eGPUs slowing down the native performance of the SOC.

2020 16" MBP w/ dGPU
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Big Sur, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 // PERST# delay use may apply to other MacBooks [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@tsh3721, "Apple will never allow eGPUs on Apple Silicon" - yes, they can play the same card (no pun intended) they did with NVIDIA and this may be the likely scenario. The only reason to have some hope is Mac Pro.

"They don't want eGPUs slowing down native performance of the SOC" - nah. There is clear guidance for developers on the fact that eGPUs are bandwidth constrained/limited, so it doesn't imply slowing down anything if it is taken advantage of appropriately. Apps can always (and usually do) decide what GPU to use for what and good programs know how to leverage multiple GPUs (additive performance). Good graphics APIs, including Metal, aim to reduce CPU-GPU transactions which is why existing Metal apps (especially games) see notable performance gains with eGPU even today.

All that being said, I believe Apple wants to offload things more and more to Neural Engine and custom controllers rather than rely on GPUs (like they do on iOS devices). The M1 GPU is not that great purely from performance perspective (perf per watt is excellent). Maybe Apple will sell us their own eGPU haha.

I'd very reluctantly, partially agree on the fact that Apple is driving (some of) the eGPU market. I think it's always big news when Apple does things but Mac marketshare is peanuts compared to Windows. It's the coverage and press that Apple gets that's mammoth. Our forum may be more Mac-oriented (I certainly am; it's in the username, but I haven't crunched any numbers to make this claim) which may also skew our perspective. Although in recent times, I've seen way more Windows builds and progress on Linux side with is cool! With Surface lineup introducing Thunderbolt, Microsoft could be the next big driver of this technology.

Fun time to be alive.

 

"Desultory reading is delightful, but to be beneficial, our reading must be carefully directed." — Seneca

Author: kryptonitepurge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
Launching Apps on Specific (e)GPUs on macOS

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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