early-2015 13'' MacBook Pro + [email protected] (Razer Core X via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.14&Win10 [vegan]
A short guide for setting up a Vega 64 GPU on 13'' MacBook Pro (Early 2015) with a Razer Core X case.
- 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
- Razer Core X
- Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to 2 Adapter
- Thunderbolt 2 cable
- SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX Vega 64 DirectX 12 100410NT+SR 8GB 2048-Bit HBM2
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
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
- 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.
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).
Is the dual core a bottleneck for 1080p AAA title gaming?
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
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.