2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [itsage]
I upgraded my 2013 Mac Pro from a 6-core Xeon E5-1650 v2 to a 12-core E5-2697 V2 last spring. It has been running well with an eGPU since. The dual D500 dGPUs are primarily in idle mode because the eGPU handles the monitor as well as most compute tasks. Therefore the shared heat core can easily cool the CPU. I don't hear the cooling system at all during use.
The Mantiz Saturn Pro is also quiet. I swapped the three-fan cooler of PowerColor RX 5700 XT Red Devil to ID-COOLING FROSTFLOW 120 Graphic Card Cooler AIO [link]. Everything fits snuggly inside the enclosure and eGPU running nice and cool (mid 60s C during heavy load). There's a trade-off in terms of noise. The water pump from this AIO is not loud but it's audible at all time.
Late 2013 Mac Pro – Xeon E5-2697 V2/2x Radeon FirePro D500 dGPU/32GB RAM/1TB SSD
Purge-wrangler was the essential tool to enable eGPU on the 2013 Mac Pro. There are major changes in macOS 11 Big Sur [link]. Thunderbolt 1/2 Mac owners can rest assured @mac_editor is on top of things. Hot-plug, sleep, and hot-unplug have been working well in my setup. The only inconvenience is display output swap when I run macOS system updates (eGPU disconnected). It's the safest way to do it after learning the hard way. Every macOS update seems to contain a firmware update which can potentially cause software/firmware corruption.
The newer firmware also makes it possible to use this Mac Pro 6,1 with eGPU in Boot Camp. I have no need for that with this computer so I have removed the Windows partition. You can read more about setup/troubleshooting with the 2013 Mac Pro + eGPU in Boot Camp [link].
I ran CL!ng to check eGPU bandwidth through Thunderbolt 2 connection. Oddly enough it reported a lower number than I expected, hovering around 800 MiB/s rather than ~1,400 MiB/s. System Information > Thunderbolt tree showed a 0x2 link width instead of 0x4. I will check the 2m Thunderbolt 2 cable later and see if one of those components is failing. If you have a Thunderbolt 2 Mac running Big Sur and eGPU, please check this number in CL!ng.
This Mac Pro 6,1 needs an eGPU not only to stay modern in 2020 but also to extend its life. The majority of issues in the 6,1 is due to discrete graphics card failure. One of the D500s in this Mac Pro experienced glitches so I did a reflow. They are now mostly retired except for the occasional system updates.
Besides eGPU testing, I use the trashcan for photo editing in Lightroom. Adobe CC 2020 can make use of an external graphics card. It's somewhat confusing if you have multiple monitors or an internal display. Here are the screen captures for preferences that show eGPU are being recognized in Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Premiere Pro does not have anything for graphics card but Activity Monitor indicates Premiere Pro uses the eGPU.
Lovely looking set up and thanks for sharing all those links, I'm going to read up on why the trash cans don't work in W10 with egpus.
I plan on setting up my MBP with macOS 11 and W10 (latest build) with an RX580 I have in the post, hopefully I'll be doing it early next week, lets see if there have been firmware changes that effect the MBP too...
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10
@eightarmedpet, For several years the firmware on the trashcan didn't expose the eGPU in Windows at all. Netkas had a workaround to rollback the firmware but nothing was solid. Sometime last year an 10.14.x update came with an eGPU friendly firmware. The eGPU was visible in Windows but we still need component disablement to resolve error 12.
I don't think you have much to worry about. Since 2017 the MacBook Pro lineup has Large Memory allocation in the firmware. Ice Lake is a bit difference with the on-die Thunderbolt controllers but we got setup procedure for them. Looking forward to seeing your new build with the RX 580!
@bitnaut, Thank you for sharing those CL!ng screen captures. The Mantiz Saturn Pro has full Thunderbolt 3 speed when I tested with other TB3 hosts. It must be the 2m Thunderbolt 2 cable and/or Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. Can you check your Thunderbolt tree in System Information and see if it's running at 0x4 link width?
@itsage, Thunderbolt only has two lanes. Maybe you are confusing this with PCIe? Check the PCIe links for 5 GT/s x4. The PCI section of System Information.app only shows link rate and width for PCIe end points, you also need to check the upstream bridges. My pcitree.sh script can do that (now with install instructions at the end of the web page - maybe need to reopen terminal after updating /etc/path ?).
@itsage, Are you running your monitor off the eGPU with the RX5700 XT or the Mac Pro? I just setup a Razer Core X with the RX 5700 XT on a 2013 Mac Pro but can only get 30hz refresh on the RX 5700 XT so very choppy graphics. If I run monitor off the mac Pro all is fine but I have to tell each app to run on eGPU. Is this normal?
UPDATE: Switched to DisplayPort cable after reading some trouble shooting articles on HDMI issues. Now getting 60hz on the eGPU with the RX 5700 XT and all is good now.
My 2013 Mac Pro has the six core 3.5 GHz processor with 32 gigs of memory. It has the AMD FirePro D500 3 GB. At some point I will upgrade the processor to the eight or the 12 core. I would like to use the razer X along with the RX 5700 XT card. Everything I read people are using windows however I want to stay in the macOS environment, as I run a lot of web based programs in Safari and Google Chrome that run very slow because they are graphic intensive. Is this possible or is there eGPU only possible in the windows environment? Also is it better to use the HDMI port or use one of the thunderbolt two ports? Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide.
@mylaguna, You need to install Purge-Wrangler script in order to use eGPU with the 2013 Mac Pro in macOS. It's best to connect the monitor through DisplayPort rather than HDMI. Also make sure to connect the eGPU to your nMP in either one of the bottom Thunderbolt 2 ports.