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2015 13" MacBook Pro [5th,2C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + m...
 

2015 13" MacBook Pro [5th,2C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.14 & Win10 [vegan]  

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vegan
(@vegan)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

A short guide for setting up a Vega 64 GPU on 13'' MacBook Pro (Early 2015) with a Razer Core X case.

 

System Specifications

  • MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015) - MacBookPro12,1
  • CPU: 3.1 GHz Intel Core i7 (i7-5557U)
  • GPU: Intel Iris Graphics 6100
  • macOS 10.14 Mojave

eGPU Specifications

 

Installation

For macOS 10.14

  • Disconnect eGPU (otherwise macOS will crash)
  • Create a Time Machine backup (not kidding, it actually saved me a reinstallation of the system. See comments section)
  • Use purge-wrangler.sh (follow the track for AMD GPUs).
  • Connect eGPU
  • Done 🙂
  • Note: My mac started to hang during boot up process after few restarts (I believe it happened after I started meddling with disabling ePCI lanes in Windows [which was not needed after all - see below]). The system loading progress bar would reach 90% and just stop there for several hours. When I enabled verbose mode (CMD+V) it would wait indefinitely showing one of the following messages:

IOConsoleUsers: gIOScreenLockState 3, hs 0, bs 0 now 0 sm 0x0

or

Failed to get apfs volume keybag, err = 2
Failed to initialize volume keybag, err = 2

 

    • I tried several methods to fix it (PRAM+SMC reset, safe boot [also stuck]) but to no avail. Restoring from backup (CMD+R) took 2 minutes and fixed the issue immediately.

For Windows 10

  • Disconnect eGPU
  • Install Windows 10 using bootcamp (no special steps needed here, just do a regular installation)
  • Shut down
  • Connect eGPU
  • Boot up into Windows - it will detect the card but complain about insufficient resources (error 12)
  • Fix error 12 using the following steps
    • Follow the DSDT override guide (takes 5 minutes). Use the Intel method followed by Option 1 .  I tried every other method from this doc but none of them worked. Apparently Vega 64 uses a lot of resources so don't waste your time and do the override.
  • Reboot again with eGPU connected
  • Done 🙂
  • Note: hot-plugging will not work (error 12). Simply reboot Windows with the eGPU connected to fix it.
  • Note: You can upgrade the AMD drivers (no DDU needed) anytime you want. Simply reboot windows to fix error 12 that will occur after installation.

 

Comments

Vega 64 is extremely performant. Heaven and 3dmark benchmarks showed over 10x improvement in FPS. I can play most games in 2560x1440 at high or ultra settings or 4k at low to medium (seems that TB2 interface is the bottleneck here. Switching to a newer mac with TB3 should allow for 4k gameplay at higher settings I believe).

This topic was modified 1 year ago

My build: early-2015 13'' MacBook Pro + [email protected] (Razer Core X via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.14&Win10


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(@pioneer)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Is the dual core a bottleneck for 1080p AAA title gaming?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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evenft
(@evenft)
New Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Hi Vegan. I read the your article. I have the same system.( Macbook Pro 2015 Early, 16 gb ram, 256 gb ssd, 2 gb intel graphic card, 2,7 ghz i5 cpu). I want to do upgrade to my computer like yours. First of all, does this work precisely? Is it enough to get the equipment you mentioned above? Do I need to buy an extra power unit for egpu? So does the video card only get attached to the egp-u?

Can you help me through this process? @vegan

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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vegan
(@vegan)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I don't play AAA games so not sure.

@evenft: It's pretty much plug'n'play if you follow the instructions from my post. You don't need any other hardware than what I listed above (other than a display and a cable to connect it to the gpu). You put the card in the Razer case (it has a very powerful power unit built-in - you don't need another one. It will even be able to charge your future Macbook at the same time if you ever decide to upgrade it to latest model [usb-c powered]), connect it to the monitor and your Mac (using Thunderbolt 2 cable and dongle that are listed above), follow the instructions and you're all set.

My build: early-2015 13'' MacBook Pro + [email protected] (Razer Core X via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.14&Win10


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evenft
(@evenft)
New Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

thanks @Vegan. I will follow these instructions from your post when i buy them. Thank you again. But If I have any problems, I will write to you for help... 🙂

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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vegan
(@vegan)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@pioneer : I did some benchmarking with Assassin's Creed Odyssey (benchmark mode + playing for a few minutes [the inital battle]). You can comfortably play at 4k (3840 x 2160) at low details with avg. 28-30 fps which is pretty impressive for a 4 year old laptop imho 🙂 . The CPU and thunderbolt 2 are bottlenecks for this game. CPU is working at 100% pretty much all the time regardless of quality or resolution settings. I tried going down to 1280x960 and low quality settings with little change to fps. Even after cranking up the details to maximum values (4k @ ultra high settings) the framerate hovered around avg. 21 fps.

This post was modified 10 months ago

My build: early-2015 13'' MacBook Pro + [email protected] (Razer Core X via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.14&Win10


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pasiamoon
(@pasiamoon)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Hey @Vegan,

I also bought the Razer core x and got a Macbook pro 2015 15" with Windows 10.
The weird thing is that I don't get any error codes. My problem is that Im not able to use my GTX 1070. It is detected but doesn't want to work...
Do I have to do then same things like in the guide too?
Or do you maybe know any other fixes?

This post was modified 10 months ago

Macbook pro 2015 15" - Razer core X + ASUS GeForce GTX 1070 ROG Strix 8GB


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MikeK
(@mikek)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi @vegan! Thank you for sharing your build and instructions.

I'm building the same solution right now. But I've seen some people on the web saying they have their egpu's randomly disconnecting or going to black screen.

Have you experienced any of this after you set everything properly?

MBPr 2015 i7, 16GB, 256GB
Getting soon: Razer Core X + Sapphire Nitro+ Vega 64


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vegan
(@vegan)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@mikek - Can't speak about others but my setup works perfectly fine.I've been running it for 3 months now, playing games on Win 10 and doing work on macOS daily and it's been 100% stable for me. Not a single disconnect or black screen.

I made no modifications to my system other than described above. I also use high quality cables (from Cable Matters) and original Apple adapter.

My build: early-2015 13'' MacBook Pro + [email protected] (Razer Core X via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.14&Win10


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MikeK
(@mikek)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

@vegan, thanks for responding. Glad to hear everything is well with your setup!
Hopefully, my experience is hurdle-free too🤞

MBPr 2015 i7, 16GB, 256GB
Getting soon: Razer Core X + Sapphire Nitro+ Vega 64


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: vegan
    •  

For Windows 10

  • Disconnect eGPU
  • Install Windows 10 using bootcamp (no special steps needed here, just do a regular installation)
  • Shut down
  • Connect eGPU
  • Boot up into Windows - it will detect the card but complain about insufficient resources (error 12)
  • Fix error 12 using the following steps
    • Follow the DSDT override guide (takes 5 minutes). Use the Intel method followed by Option 1 .  I tried every other method from this doc but none of them worked. Apparently Vega 64 uses a lot of resources so don't waste your time and do the override.
  • Reboot again with eGPU connected
  • Done 🙂
  • Note: hot-plugging will not work (error 12). Simply reboot Windows with the eGPU connected to fix it.
  • Note: You can upgrade the AMD drivers (no DDU needed) anytime you want. Simply reboot windows to fix error 12 that will occur after installation.

 

@vegan, you have exactly the same MBP model like me and I never had Error 12. Not once. Do you have any idea what's different? You can see some of my builds in my signature are with 13-inch 2015 MBP.

This post was modified 8 months ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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otto_chili
(@otto_chili)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

@vegan Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us!

I’m going to have the exact same setup and would like to ask you two questions:

- Did you connect the 3-pin plug of the Razer Core X’s 120 mm fan with one of the two 4-pin jacks provided by the graphics card? (according to Sapphire’s instruction manual, this should enable your graphics card to control (an) external case fan(s) depending on the heat level)

- does the noise level produced by the two fans of the Razer Core X disturb you?

Thank you very much in advance!

Kind regards,
Philipp

This post was modified 8 months ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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