2010 Mac Pro Nvidia RTX 2070 + Radeon Pro WX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 1803 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
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October 21, 2018 1:07 am  

This build is a proof of concept that the GC-Titan-Ridge AIC is the golden ticket to Thunderbolt 3 for almost every computer. The timing was perfect in that Nvidia's latest RTX graphics cards provide boot screen to the Mac Pro tower. I tested both RTX 2070 and 2080 and can confirm they let me hold OPTION at boot to access the boot selector. They even worked in 4K resolution natively. Thunderbolt 3 functionality on non-certified systems requires two boots, the first to get detection and the second to work. In order for macOS 10.14 in this Mac Pro tower to use Thunderbolt 3 connected devices, I needed to boot into Windows partition first then restart into macOS.

 

System specs:

Dual Intel Xeon X5677/Nvidia RTX 2070 dGPU/8GB RAM/250GB SSD/GC-Titan-Ridge AIC

 

eGPU hardware:

Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 + 2m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

I installed the RTX 2070 in PCIe slot 1 and the GC-Titan-Ridge AIC in slot 2. Both are x16 PCIe 2.0.

 

Installation steps:

The only prerequisite for the GC-Titan-Ridge card to work in Windows 10 was Intel Thunderbolt Software version [17.4.77.400] from Gigabyte support website. I tested first with the Mantiz Titan TB3 dock then the Mantiz Venus + Radeon Pro WX 9100.

AIDA64 GPGPU showed the WX 9100 eGPU is capped at x4 PCIe 2.0 speed.

 

Benchmarks:

Here are synthetic benchmark results in Unigine. I ran the WX 9100 through internal display mode using Windows 10 1803 Graphics Options.

RTX 2070 dGPU WX 9100 eGPU Internal Display WX 9100 External Monitor

 

Comments:

Curious about TB3 eGPU with this Mac Pro tower in macOS, I warm-booted into Mojave partition. The eGPU caused the system to hang. I tried using @goalque's automate-eGPU EFI. The app could detect both RTX 2070 dGPU and WX 9100 eGPU as seen in the picture below. Unfortunately it did not work either.

The Mantiz Titan Thunderbolt 3 dock was working well in macOS 10.14. There's nothing showed up in Thunderbolt tree but USB and Ethernet was working through the Mantiz Titan. Due to no drivers, the RTX 2070 could only provide monitor output without acceleration. I will be doing more testings in the coming weeks.

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goalque
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October 21, 2018 7:31 am  

I know that a 2011 Mac mini can understand my EFI app but never thought that you can actually run it on a 2010 Mac Pro. Did you try to tick on "Launch on startup" setting and then boot with a single GPU only (eGPU disconnected)? Does it show the custom EFI boot screen and can you continue booting into macOS/Windows? (don't hold down the Option key on the second startup).

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + [email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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theitsage
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October 21, 2018 2:53 pm  

@goalque I will try "Launch on startup" next and report back. I think this USB drive with your automate-eGPU EFI app may contain some settings specific to the 2016 15" MacBook Pro. I will use the clean settings with your most recent released version.

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biglittlefrank
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October 21, 2018 4:17 pm  

This is amazing.

Does the Titan Ridge accepts other Thunderbolt devices such as Ultrafine monitors? 

Do we know what’s happening in Windows that makes it possible for the controller to work in Mojave?

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theitsage
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October 21, 2018 7:02 pm  

@biglittlefrank Yes the GC-Titan-Ridge AIC enables the Mac Pro tower to power the LG 5K UltraFine display. A recent report from @rawweb confirmed this. The discussion on Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controller has valuable inputs from other members explaining why Windows bootup is needed.

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rawweb
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October 22, 2018 11:23 am  

@littlebigfrank, pretty sweet right? Great year so far for the 5,1 enthusaist. Mojave is required for titan ridge support. Must first boot to Windows to assign resources. The UltraFine 5k works full resolution (5120x288O), with all features. I originally had it working with my GTX 1080 in Windows. Patiently waiting for Mojave web drivers...

You can power cycle the display cold booting to MacOS and it will work with the cards DisplayPort passthrough but you won't have brightness, audio or facetime camera without the thunderbolt resources.

Right now, this has broken sleep/wake.

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theitsage
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October 22, 2018 1:54 pm  

@rawweb The Mac Pro tower has gotten a lot of improvements via firmware updates. This is no coincident. My guess is the new 2019 Mac Pro has a couple of PCIe slots. It's amazing this 8 year old Mac Pro can run the following components through its four slots:

  • Slot 1 x16 2.0: Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU [native boot screen, awaiting 10.14 web drivers]
  • Slot 2 x16 2.0: Samsung NVMe SSD + adapter [native boot support w/ firmware in 10.14.1]
  • Slot 3 x4 2.0: Aquantia AQtion 10G Pro NIC [native support since 10.13.2]
  • Slot 4 x4 2.0: Gigabyte GC-TITAN-RIDGE AIC [Thunderbolt 3 via Windows warm-boot]

For iMac Pro money, you can build a very competent Mac Pro tower. Keep a spare PSU though. 😀 

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biglittlefrank
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October 24, 2018 4:08 pm  

Still can't use the Aquantia chip on our Mac Pros. Have no idea what I am doing wrong 🙂 

 

It's discovered but doesn't connect.

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theitsage
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October 24, 2018 4:39 pm  

@biglittlefrank Which specific model of 10GbE have you tried? I read there are issues with the first production of Sonnet Solo 10G cards.

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biglittlefrank
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October 24, 2018 4:44 pm  

This model:  https://www.amazon.com/XG-C100C-Network-Adapter-Single-RJ-45/dp/B072N84DG6/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_147_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=YGEKVJ9WMD9628B9XPMR

 

At the moment, we use modified Intel X540-t2

 

Also, how can the Titan Ridge output video to a 5K Ultrafine? Does it need to be fed Display Port signals from the GPU?

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joevt
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October 24, 2018 5:28 pm  
Posted by: biglittlefrank

Also, how can the Titan Ridge output video to a 5K Ultrafine? Does it need to be fed Display Port signals from the GPU?

Yes, two DisplayPort inputs to the Thunderbolt 3 controller must be used for the LG UltraFine 5K to achieve 5K60Hz resolution, no matter what Thunderbolt 3 controller is used.

For macOS, you need an AMD card. For Nvidia, there's a patch to make it support the LG 5K instead of the Dell 5K. Maybe Nvidia will add proper 5K dual link SST support one day to its macOS driver.

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startergo
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October 26, 2018 12:33 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@rawweb The Mac Pro tower has gotten a lot of improvements via firmware updates. This is no coincident. My guess is the new 2019 Mac Pro has a couple of PCIe slots. It's amazing this 8 year old Mac Pro can run the following components through its four slots:

  • Slot 1 x16 2.0: Nvidia RTX 2070 GPU [native boot screen, awaiting 10.14 web drivers]
  • Slot 2 x16 2.0: Samsung NVMe SSD + adapter [native boot support w/ firmware in 10.14.1]
  • Slot 3 x4 2.0: Aquantia AQtion 10G Pro NIC [native support since 10.13.2]
  • Slot 4 x4 2.0: Gigabyte GC-TITAN-RIDGE AIC [Thunderbolt 3 via Windows warm-boot]

For iMac Pro money, you can build a very competent Mac Pro tower. Keep a spare PSU though. 😀 

I am extremely curious what speeds you can achieve with the Gigabyte GC-TITAN-RIDGE AIC thunderbolt ?

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theitsage
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October 26, 2018 1:16 pm  

@startergo The 2010 Mac Pro tower only has PCIe 2.0 so its max bandwidth is capped at roughly 1,5XX MB/s for the Thunderbolt connection. A certified Thunderbolt 3 system would have a max bandwidth of 2,7XX MB/s.

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joevt
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October 26, 2018 1:28 pm  
Posted by: startergo

I am extremely curious what speeds you can achieve with the Gigabyte GC-TITAN-RIDGE AIC thunderbolt ?

The speed will be determined by the slot you put the GC-TITAN RIDGE in. PCIe 1.0 (MacPro3,1 or older), PCIe 2.0 (MacPro3,1 or newer), PCIe 3.0 (connecting the AIC to a M.2 slot of a card with a PLX chip that has two or more M.2 slots such as the amfeltec or Highpoint cards).

I did some speed tests with a GC-TITAN RIDGE using a MacPro3,1 with a single Samsung 960 Pro at https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/testing-tb3-aic-with-mp-5-1.2143042/page-2#post-26629339

The write speed seems low. I should maybe test a RAID of NVMe devices to determine if it's the NVMe devices or AIC/thunderbolt connection that is causing the problem. And I should include tests with the NVMe directly connected to the slot (without Thunderbolt).

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joevt
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October 26, 2018 2:04 pm  
Posted by: joevt

PCIe 3.0 (connecting the AIC to a M.2 slot of a card with a PLX chip that has two or more M.2 slots such as the amfeltec or Highpoint cards).

I mentioned the M.2 cards because they are probably the cheapest way to get PCIe 3.0 in your old PCIe 2.0 computer. The ultimate full speed Thunderbolt setup (if you want something tidier and easier than using riser cables and M.2 adapters) would be to use something like this:
Dynapower USA Netstor NA255A 4-Slot External Performance Desktop PCIe Expansion Chassis
The extra PCIe slot openings will let you connect USB 2.0 devices to the GC-TITAN RIDGE via USB 2.0 9-pin to USB-A female connectors and USB-A male to USB-A male cables.

All those options are very expensive - maybe PCIe 2.0 is good enough until you buy a new computer. It also seems weird to use PCIe expansion to add Thunderbolt expansion.

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theitsage
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October 26, 2018 2:11 pm  

@joevt3 That visual of a Thunderbolt expansion card riding piggy-back on a PCIe expansion card inside the Mac Pro is weirdly funny.

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startergo
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October 26, 2018 4:06 pm  

 @itsage That seems slow. I ran speed tests on RAM disk in single, dual  raid 0 and quadruple raid 0 and I got almost 4000 MB/s in the quadruple setup for reading speed, the write speed was consistent at 2200-2300 MB/s

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joevt
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October 26, 2018 5:14 pm  
Posted by: startergo

 @itsage That seems slow. I ran speed tests on RAM disk in single, dual  raid 0 and quadruple raid 0 and I got almost 4000 MB/s in the quadruple setup for reading speed, the write speed was consistent at 2200-2300 MB/s

But this is Thunderbolt. Not RAM. What's your point? Also, your RAM tests seem slow, since people can get 6000 MB/s from NVMe RAID.

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startergo
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October 26, 2018 5:49 pm  
Posted by: joevt
Posted by: startergo

 @itsage That seems slow. I ran speed tests on RAM disk in single, dual  raid 0 and quadruple raid 0 and I got almost 4000 MB/s in the quadruple setup for reading speed, the write speed was consistent at 2200-2300 MB/s

But this is Thunderbolt. Not RAM. What's your point? Also, your RAM tests seem slow, since people can get 6000 MB/s from NVMe RAID.

I guess that is the limitation in the RAM, I was expecting higher speeds too. My point was it is not worth it using thunderbolt 3 in cMP for nvme with those speeds.

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joevt
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October 26, 2018 8:48 pm  
Posted by: startergo

I guess that is the limitation in the RAM, I was expecting higher speeds too. My point was it is not worth it using thunderbolt 3 in cMP for nvme with those speeds.

1500 MB/s is not so bad. It's faster than Thunderbolt 2, faster than USB 3.1 gen 2, faster than a RAID of 2 or 3 SSDs. Maybe less expensive NVMe drives are a better choice at this speed (they don't all allow 3000+ MB/s). But Thunderbolt is not all about storage. You can use USB-C and Thunderbolt displays and docks, Thunderbolt PCIe expansion boxes, Thunderbolt and USB peripherals, etc.

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startergo
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October 26, 2018 10:35 pm  
Posted by: joevt
Posted by: startergo

I guess that is the limitation in the RAM, I was expecting higher speeds too. My point was it is not worth it using thunderbolt 3 in cMP for nvme with those speeds.

1500 MB/s is not so bad. It's faster than Thunderbolt 2, faster than USB 3.1 gen 2, faster than a RAID of 2 or 3 SSDs. Maybe less expensive NVMe drives are a better choice at this speed (they don't all allow 3000+ MB/s). But Thunderbolt is not all about storage. You can use USB-C and Thunderbolt displays and docks, Thunderbolt PCIe expansion boxes, Thunderbolt and USB peripherals, etc.

Yeah that makes sense. It is probably wiser to use this card instead of PCIe USB 3.1 card at least. Plus Thunderbolt displays. Now there was another version on Amazon GIGABYTE GC-Titan Ridge. Wouldn't that be a better option?

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turluttu
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October 27, 2018 8:48 am  
Posted by: theitsage

@biglittlefrank Which specific model of 10GbE have you tried? I read there are issues with the first production of Sonnet Solo 10G cards.

Can you send a link to a post where it says that there are problems with Sonnet cards? Thanks!

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Mandril420
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November 1, 2018 4:32 pm  

Hi @theitsage. Did you need to power your TitanRidge card? I 've seen that you did not connect the power cables. I am using an AlpineRidge card and everything works good (no thunderbolt of course) but I get an image on my LG 5K and Led Cinema 27 booting from a shutdown. If I use the TitanRidge card instead then both monitors stay black and do not power on. 

I am using both the AlpineRidge and TitanRidge card (not at the same time) without the cable and the jumper. I am gonna try that next on the TitanRidge. Just wanted to know from you if it was necessary to power the TitanRidge card with the 2 6pin connectors for it to work on the MacPro. I will keep 1 of the cards and return the other one to Amazon. Thank you!!

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theitsage
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November 1, 2018 4:49 pm  

@mandril420 I did not connect the PCIe power cables in the 2010 Mac Pro at all. They are for Power Delivery feature which I had no need.

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biglittlefrank
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November 7, 2018 3:20 pm  

Got an NVMe blade to work via a HighPoint TB3 enclosure. 

Full speed.

@itsage why did you short pin 3 and 5?

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joevt
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November 7, 2018 6:58 pm  
Posted by: biglittlefrank

Got an NVMe blade to work via a HighPoint TB3 enclosure. 

Full speed.

@itsage why did you short pin 3 and 5?

Full speed is not possible using a classic Mac Pro because the classic Mac Pro has PCIe 2.0 slots. Either you're not using a Classic Mac Pro, or you are using low speed NVMe, or you are defining "Full speed" as the max allowed by the PCIe 2.0 slots.

Shorting pin 3 and pin 5 makes the GC-TITAN RIDGE controller power on it's pci devices from a cold boot with nothing connected so you can at least use its USB controller. A warm boot into macOS from Windows is required to see Thunderbolt devices connected to the Thunderbolt 3 ports.
https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/list-of-intel-titan-ridge-thunderbolt-3-devices/paged/3/#post-44262
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/testing-tb3-aic-with-mp-5-1.2143042/page-3#post-26680055

Maybe Shorting pin 3 and pin 5 is not useful on computers with some Thunderbolt support.

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November 8, 2018 10:31 pm  

@itsage So this RTX 2070 is not a flashed card, is it? Did you already know that the Mac Pro would start up with it or did you just give it a wild try?

I currently have a flashed GeForce GTX 980 Ti in my Mac Pro 5,1 but the problem is that the 6 GB VRAM are most likely not enough to fluently drive my 4k screen (BenQ SW320). Any window that uses most or all of the screen runs jaggy.

NVIDIA's RTX 2080 cards have 8 GB VRAM - I wonder if that's enough. EVGA have a RTX 2080 card with 11 GB VRAM, but then there's the question whether that one will need flashing or not.

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Yukikaze
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November 8, 2018 10:33 pm  

@thomas_geist - Considering I've been driving a 5K monitor plus a 4K one with a GTX980Ti without issues, I highly doubt that is your problem. Granted, I am on Windows, but I doubt the OS X graphical environment is more demanding than entire games. @itsage also has a 5K monitor he has been driving with various eGPUs in OS X, so I am pretty sure he'd say the same thing with regards to your problem.

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November 8, 2018 10:39 pm  

@yukikaze Well, I'm not running games, I am running photo software (Lightroom and Phase One Capture One to be specific) and both these applications run absolutely fluid if I scale down their windows. If I have their windows using the whole screen then scrolling through thumbnails or actions like rotating get jaggy.

I recently talked to a guy at Puget Systems (www.pugetsystems.com) who customize computers specifically to apps that clients are using and he came up with the idea that 6 GB VRAM might be the problem ...

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Yukikaze
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November 8, 2018 10:40 pm  

Ah, okay. If there is professional software involved, you may well be right. I just read your post to imply that the whole desktop environment was laggy.

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November 14, 2018 5:20 pm  

Hey @itsage sorry to bother you! I was hoping you could post a quick reply to my questions further up. Would be SUPER helpful for me.

Thank you so much!
Thomas

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theitsage
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November 14, 2018 5:44 pm  
Posted by: Thomas Geist

@itsage So this RTX 2070 is not a flashed card, is it? Did you already know that the Mac Pro would start up with it or did you just give it a wild try?

I currently have a flashed GeForce GTX 980 Ti in my Mac Pro 5,1 but the problem is that the 6 GB VRAM are most likely not enough to fluently drive my 4k screen (BenQ SW320). Any window that uses most or all of the screen runs jaggy.

NVIDIA's RTX 2080 cards have 8 GB VRAM - I wonder if that's enough. EVGA have a RTX 2080 card with 11 GB VRAM, but then there's the question whether that one will need flashing or not.

The Founder Edition RTX series GPUs have UGA support that enables boot screen in the Mac Pro tower. I read a report on Create.Pro and decided to try for myself. There's no modification or flashing at all. It worked on both RTX 2070 and 2080. I can't comment on whether these new RTX cards will help with your current issue. On top of that, there's an indefinite delay on Nvidia web drivers for macOS Mojave.

Unless you need to access the boot selector on a daily basis, I don't see the needs for UGA support. My recommendation is to go with an RX Vega 56. If you need CUDA, GTX 1080 is a nice choice for 10.13.6 or older.

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November 14, 2018 6:53 pm  

Thank you!!

Not really in a hurry to upgrade to Mojave - High Sierra is working fine for me.

I am running an image editing software, Capture One by Phase One and up until now they use OpenCL for acceleration if I'm not mistaken. I need to check with them how their stance is on Metal 2 in Mojave.

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November 27, 2018 9:14 pm  

So I've set up a Mac Pro 5,1 with the Titan Ridge card (also the 3+5 pin short mod). After warm-booting through Windows, I'm actually able to boot with an Asus XG Station pro (outfitted with a Vega 56 MSI) connected!. It does not give me any devices in Thunderbolt, nor am I able to connect monitors to it. However, I do see the card in the Graphics/Displays tab. If there are any things you'd like tested in this setup I'd be happy to help.

2014 15 inch Macbook Pro (750M, 2.8 GHz, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
2009 Mac Pro (12 core 3.46 GHz, 128GB RAM, HyperX AHCI SSD, GC Titan Ridge TB3/USBC card
Asus XG Station Pro w/ Vega 56 eGPU


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theitsage
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November 27, 2018 9:32 pm  

@dennis_wander Good to hear you have success with the Titan Ridge AIC in the 5,1. Does the eGPU work when you run something like Luxmark?

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