So Close Yet So Far: 2020 MacBook Air with Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 on a Razer Core X
- 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
- 16 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics 1536 MB
- 1 TB SSD
On my 2019 MBA I had managed to game on Windows 10 via Bootcamp using a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 inside a Razer Core X enclosure. I had spent a considerable amount of time on this forum in order to get this setup to work, and finally I succeeded in doing so using the hot-plug on Windows spinning circles method thanks to itsage.
With the 2020 MacBook Air I had known from reading this forum that the spinning-circles method no longer works, and I decided to follow andygev35's build guide to get my machine to work. This mostly worked for me except for the AMD Driver installation step which resulted in a 1603 error. I cleared out these drivers using DDU and installed the drivers which came included in a CD with the graphics card. With the eGPU plugged into my MBA I then restarted my computer and booted into Windows. I was now able to see both the Intel Iris Plus internal GPU as well as the Radeon RX 580 graphics card in Device Manager, both apparently working fine without any error 12 or anything like that. I then connected an external monitor to the eGPU using an HDMI cable. The external monitor was blank. I then disabled the Intel Iris Plus internal GPU in Device Manager and the MBA's display went haywire while the external monitor turned on. I then turned on the Unigine Heaven benchmark and the FPS was consistently above 100 at high settings, with both fans on the Radeon RX 580 spinning. I was so happy that I had finally gotten my eGPU to work with my new MBA!
Unfortunately my happiness would be short-lived as I was never again able to get the RX 580 to work again in Bootcamp. As before, both the Intel Iris Plus internal GPU as well as the Radeon RX 580 graphics card appeared under Device Manager without any error 12s on them, and yet whenever I disabled the iGPU the FPS in the Unigine Heaven benchmark were now in the teens or in the single digits. The fans on the RX 580 did not turn on, and task manager showed only ~30% utilization of the RX 580 during the benchmark, whereas normally it would be closer to 90%. Clearly the problem is that the Intel Iris Plus internal GPU is not really disabled and prevents the RX 580 from doing its job properly.
Any advice on how to resolve this issue would be greatly appreciated! I feel like I am so close to getting this setup to work (no error 12 ffs!) and yet so far because I honestly haven't the faintest as to what to do now.
@itsage I got it to work without disabling the iGPU simply by putting the MBA in clamshell mode. This still means no graphics acceleration on the MBA itself though as the MBA's lid has to be closed for my setup to work. Disabling the iGPU causes the MBA's display to go haywire (although it still mirrors what is shown on the external display, although in an extremely distorted and unreadable fashion) and the performance on the external display becomes very glitchy and slow. This approach only worked for me one time and never again after that. I am using the 1903 V1 version of Windows 10 Pro as well as the Adrenalin August 2020 Red Gaming edition drivers from BootCampDrivers.
@olivier_glowacz, Your MacBook Air has no dGPU so no need to use the modified drivers from bootcampdrivers.com. I'd recommend running DDU to clean the Radeon drivers then download Adrenalin 20.4.2 directly from AMD website.
@itsage. Thanks for the advice. I might do that in the future however right now I don't want to change anything as my setup works and changing something might make it break again. Do you know if Windows versions newer than 1903 V1 create issues for Bootcamp eGPU setups?