2016 15" MacBook Pro (RP460) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V2) + macOS 10.15.1 & Win10 1909 [itsage]
Like many members in our community, I have been anxiously waiting for Navi drivers in macOS. Today was the day! 10.15.1 [19B77a] contains drivers and eGPU support for RX 5700/XT graphics cards. My PowerColor RX 5700 is a reference card that I’ve used in the past month in Windows Boot Camp only. At the moment drivers for Navi in Windows is not well optimized for eGPU internal display/loopback mode. The performance loss is significant compared external monitor mode (relatively to Polaris and Vega cards). The Huawei VR-2 cable allows DisplayPort to USB-C monitor output by pairing one DisplayPort cable from eGPU and one USB-A cable from the host computer.
2016 15″ MacBook Pro – i7-6920HQ/HD Graphics 530 iGPU & Radeon Pro 460 dGPU/16GB RAM/1TB SSD
In macOS 10.15.1 Dev Beta 2 there was no setup involved with my 2016 15″ MacBook Pro. It was plug-and-play to get the eGPU going. Both the RX 5700 graphics card and Razer Core V2 Thunderbolt 3 enclosure have native support. The two output ends of the Huawei VR2 cable connected to a USB-C port on the MacBook Pro (for bus power) and a DisplayPort on the RX 5700 eGPU. One USB-C monitor output connected to the ASUS 15″ Portable USB-C FHD monitor.
Due to recent Win10 1903 versions causing error 12 on many Thunderbolt 3 laptops, I’ve been testing my TB3 computers with different versions. This 2016 15″ MacBook Pro is currently running Windows 10 1909 Fall Update (OS Build 18363.418). PCI Express Root Controller 1901 to the Radeon Pro 460 dGPU needs to be disabled in order to resolve error 12. Through the use of @goalque‘s automate-eGPU EFI, the iGPU stays activated for internal display eGPU acceleration (AMD XConnect). This boot loader also integrates Clover so that I could allocate Large Memory through a modified DSDT (thanks to @nando4). Here’s my setup procedure:
- 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]
- Shut MacBook Pro down then connect eGPU to any Thunderbolt 3 port [system OFF]
- Boot into Windows via automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection]
- Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install Radeon drivers [in Windows]
I tested the ASUS MB16AC in macOS through loopback and external monitor mode with Unigine benchmarks. In Windows it was internal display and external monitor mode.
|macOS Loopback||macOS External Monitor|
|Windows Internal Display||Windows External Monitor|
The performance of this reference cooler RX 5700 is comparable to RX Vega 64 while much consuming less power. In the US, this card is sub-$300 new so it’s an excellent value now that we have macOS support. I’m hoping with the Apple October at the end of the month we’ll see new Macs with Navi cards. That should help with driver optimization for eGPU users.
Great set up as ever! Love how the reference card looks in that V2...
Interesting about loopback still being so bad, I tested some games last night and I think GTA V and Wildlands were no better with my 5700XT than my Vega 56, PUBG gets me about 10-20 more fps though which I am happy about, plus better in 1440 (comparable to 1080 with the Vega 56).
Going to play around with my 2016 MacBook Pro and see if rEFInd still works and maybe even set up my eGPU with this machine. Once public release is out I'm going to see how daisy chaining my Node lite with TB3 Alpine Ridge card works with directly powering my Ultrafine 5K.
These Navi cards can perform better once AMD/Apple optimize drivers in Windows and macOS. Ideally we should be using them through an external monitor. 2016 15″ MacBook Pro is a very nice machine for eGPU use. Somehow you and I have both 2016 15″ and 2017 13″ MBP which don’t seem to suffer from the recent Windows 10 .329 build and newer. I have not tested rEFInd with Catalina but it should remains working. I like automate-eGPU EFI more because I can store the DSDT.aml file inside this partition. It doesn’t need maintenance after each system update like rEFInd does.
I upgraded my 2010 Mac Pro to 10.15.1 and it was able to use the RX 5700 right away. This Mac Pro is not qualified for Catalina upgrade so I used DosDude1 patch. The HP Z27q also worked in native 5K through two DisplayPort cables very smoothly. Here are some quick benchmarks in the 5,1 internal PCIe slot for reference.
I am on a 4core 2018 MBP and also planing on getting a 5700XT for my eGPU. According to your informations somehow OpenCL support is there, but I hear so much bad stuf about the windows driver being broken.
Can someone confirm, that OpenCl stuff actually runs on the 5700xt? I need it for BOINC.
Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts