2016 15" MacBook Pro (RP460) [6th,4C,H] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 1903 [itsage]
I have not tested Nvidia eGPU build lately due to the lack of drivers in macOS. For gaming in Windows, Nvidia cards are still desirable. They are easier to set up in Boot Camp compared to AMD cards. My 2016 15″ MacBook Pro is an odd host system in that it doesn’t have Large Memory allocation. Through the use of @goalque‘s automate-eGPU EFI and @nando4‘s pre-compiled DSDT I can allocate Large Memory for this system as well as enable Intel iGPU in Boot Camp. This solution works so well that it survives the recent Windows 10 1903 security updates that causes error 12 on many systems.
2016 15″ MacBook Pro – i7-6920HQ/HD Graphics 530 iGPU & Radeon Pro 460 dGPU/16GB RAM/1TB SSD
Here’s the step-by-step procedure to set up RTX 2070 eGPU in Boot Camp:
- Install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant [in macOS]
- Install DDU to remove all default graphics drivers and disable Windows automated driver installation [in Windows]
- Create a 24MB FAT partition in Disk Utility and copy @goalque‘s automate-eGPU EFI onto it [in macOS]
- Copy the 2016 15″ MacBook Pro RP460 dsdt-modified.aml file as /EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/WINDOWS/dsdt.aml inside the EFI partition [in macOS]
- Hold OPTION at boot to select EFI drive and hit Q to access automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection]
- Install Intel iGPU drivers for the integrated graphics card then restart [in Windows]
- Download and run gpu-switch integrated.bat as Admin to attach the iGPU to internal display – install 2013 Visual C++ if needed [in Windows]
- Select “View by Connection” in Device Manager then locate and disable PCIe Controller x16 – 1901 to RP460 dGPU [in Windows]
- Boot into Windows via automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection]
- Hot-plug RTX eGPU to any Thunderbolt 3 port [in Windows]
- Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install Nvidia drivers [in Windows]
Once the steps above were completed, my 2016 15″ MacBook Pro works just like an Intel iGPU-only laptop in Windows. I can use Nvidia Optimus for internal display acceleration with an GeForce eGPU (or AMD XConnect with a Radeon eGPU). The Radeon Pro 460 dGPU can be re-enabled if needed. In case you switch between macOS and Windows often, you need to re-enable the dGPU prior to booting in macOS. Otherwise next Windows boot will hang because the dGPU is not shown as working. Another solution is to change “Mux settings” in the configuration file of automate-eGPU EFI to “1”. This communicates to Windows during boot it should use the Intel iGPU instead.
There are firmware compatibility issues between RTX graphics cards and Mac computers. Therefore I hot-plug the RTX 2070 Gaming Box once Windows fully loads. In case hot-plugging causes BSOD, I would resort to timed hot-plug (connect eGPU at circle dots boot screen).
Here are some benchmark numbers through internal display mode for now. I used the ASUS MB16AC USB-C monitor for external monitor mode testings.
|Internal Display||External Monitor|
I have not done a full review of this AORUS RTX 2070 Gaming Box because it doesn’t have much to offer over the GTX 1080 version. All components are the same except for the GPU which performs similar to the GTX 1080. USB-C monitor output/VirtualLink port is the nicest feature of this eGFX. Running the latest firmware update also reduces idle noise significantly.
updated! and yeah, it works around 1/10 times when i try to plug during boot, but never works hotplugged (always BSOD). I've installed and uninstalled quite a few times now 🙁
FWIW I tend to connect as early as possible. I get the cable ready at the disk boot selection screen, and as soon as I press enter, the cable goes in. Like within 1 second. You know you've been successful because booting Windows takes longer. For whatever reason it's more reliable for me that way.
Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts