2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + m...
 
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2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [mar_kelp] // non-iGPU system with eGPU accelerated internal LCD  

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mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

System specs
2017 13" TouchBar MacBook Pro - i7-3.5Ghz
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 iGPU
16GB RAM
1TB SSD
 
High Sierra 10.13.4
Windows 10

 eGPU hardware 
Gigabyte RX580 Gaming Box + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable 

Installation steps
1) Created new Bootcamp partition on my boot SSD and installed with Windows 10 ISO. Downloaded rEFInd and apple_set_os.efi into MacOS for step #3.
2) Boot into Windows 10, run various updates and download the free Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) tool along with the AMD Driver Installer for step #7.
2) Removed iGPU drivers using the DDU tool in Windows 10. Reboot into MacOS Recovery (hold Command+R on boot)
3) Installed rEFInd in Mac OS Recovery Mode using Terminal (to overcome SIP) and the refind-install script. Moved apple_set_os.efi into the EFI volume and custom directory.
4) IMPORTANT: On reboot DO NOT hold Option key. rEFInd will automatically display itself with no keys held down. If you do hold the Option key, you will see the regular Mac Bootloader. 
5) ALSO IMPORTANT: In rEFInd, select the apple_set_os.efi icon in the bootloader, the screen will flash and display the boot loader again. This is normal. Simply left arrow to the Windows icon and start the Windows boot.
6) I disabled the right side Thunderbolt 3 ports AND the iSight Camera in the Windows 10 Device Manager to avoid Error 12. I also disabled the internal display in the   I may test various combinations of this as some seem to have success with just disabling the iSight camera. Rebooted Windows again for good measure.
7) Plugged in Thunderbolt 3 cable to the left TB3 port closest to the TAB key on the keyboard. Windows recognized the new device. I then installed the latest AMD drivers and Gigabyte software. Reboot and all worked as expected. 

Benchmarks 

AIDA64
3840x2160
2560x1440

GeekBench 4. The iGPU (Intel Iris 650) achieved 34254 on the OpenCL test while the AMD 580 achieved 127610. So 3.7x increase. More benchmarks to come. Fortnite, Civ V and Assassin's Creed all run much faster with the eGPU attached.

Comments
Overall, it was a pretty easy process thanks to all the great resources on this site. It took me about 4 hours for the entire install including dealing with the Boot Camp installer assistant. The biggest hurdles were understanding the install guide instructions for my computer (for example, the dGPU instructions were not necessary) and dealing with MacOS SIP. Additionally, I spent about a half hour figuring out that the apple_set_os.efi has no real visual showing success other than a brief flash of the screen. 

With regards to the Gaming Box itself, once it is configured it works very well. It seems to lock up if you shutdown the computer and requires a power cycle. Power is still delivered to the PC, but the GPU is not recognized. Unfortunately Gigabyte doed not provide a power switch so I have pull the AC cord, pull the TB3, wait a minute, plug power and then plug TB3. I have not used the built-in USB ports yet. I've attempted to update the firmware and BIOS with the latest Gigabyte releases, but the firmware updaters and instructions are not very user friendly. I'll update this post if I can successfully update.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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Mark Schmidt
(@addwittynamehere)
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Wow, this is a great setup, thanks for the great guide!

When you remove the Intel drivers on Windows, does that mean you can really only use the Windows installation with the eGPU plugged in?

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I should clarify a couple of things and give an update now that I've been using the Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 with my tbMBP 13" for about 2 weeks:

General:
Performance in both Mac and Windows is great.

The compact footprint, high performance GPU, Power Delivery and multiple USB ports were the things that attracted me to the Gaming Box. Additionally, since I am primarily a Mac user and given Apple's compatibility preference for AMD, the RX580 (vs the Aorus NVidia Gaming Box options) were a huge plus. Performance and Power Delivery is great. I love having a powerful graphic engine when I want it for Windows gaming and Mac photo editing, but can disconnect it all and go portable with just the MBP when needed. I also enjoy having a the single TB3 charge my Mac. That's one less cable snaking around the desk.

However, I stopped trying to use the USB ports after a few days. I had trouble with my external keyboard and gaming mouse dropping off or not being recognized. Generally, I find the Gaming Box USB ports are less reliable than a separate USB hub. There is no way I would trust them to reliably transfer data to external storage. So, I put my Thunderbolt 3 multi-port hub back in service (connected to the left rear TB3 power - closest to the Touch bar) and it has been rock solid in both Mac and Windows.

Perhaps related to the above, I still have not been able to update the firmware on the Gigabyte Gaming Box with the drivers on the Gigabyte support site. There are three BIOS update files and three firmware update files that are difficult to figure out (which memory do I have?). One of the firmware updates refers to the USB ports, but the instructions and process to update the firmware are... let's just say difficult for me to understand. I continue to be unable to install any of these updates.

Outside the Gaming Box, I have had to reinstall rEFInd twice now. I am not sure what happened, perhaps it became 'unblessed'. But I simply booted into Mac OS Recovery Mode (to avoid SIP), used Terminal to mount my EFI partition and run refind-install to get it back up and running. An annoyance, but not a big deal.

Windows/Boot Camp:
To answer @addwittynamehere question above, I don't use Windows away from my desk nor do I use the internal display at my desk. My Windows use is almost exclusively for gaming on my 27" external display connected via DisplayPort to the RX580. In fact, under the Windows "Display->Multiple display" settings I have selected "Show only on 2". So the internal display is always dark after boot (it does show the windows logo and spinning dots until the external display takes over).

At some point, I put the iGPU drivers back in service. I can't remember when I did that, but I do know that I removed them with DDU during my initial setup process. I see the Iris Plus Graphics 650 drivers enabled in the Device Manager. I haven't tried removing them again and haven't had problems running this config. I still have the FaceTime camera and the Port #9 - 9D18 (right TB3 ports) disabled in Windows to avoid Error 12. Maybe overkill, but I've been reluctant to mess with a setup that is working well for me and I don't use the camera.

I have had problems getting the eGPU to be recognized in Windows when the system comes out of Sleep after idle. Rather than mess with the configuration, I simply extended the Sleep time to 1 hour in Power & Sleep settings to avoid idle sleep.

Mac OS:
I have had trouble several times getting the Gaming Box to recognize the eGPU when starting from a cold boot. For example, I shut down my system last night with the Gaming Box attached via TB3 and powered. When I booted this morning into Mac OS (10.13.4), I only got video on my internal MBP display. The small Gaming Box power supply fans were spinning, but the louder GPU fan was not. I was getting power from the Gaming Box to the MacBook Pro via TB3, but no video to my external display. 

I tried to hot unplug and plug the TB3 cable, but no change. I had to pull the TB3 cable, pull the Gaming Box power cable for about 2 minutes, plug the power and plug the TB3 cable. The eGPU was then recognized and the main display switched over to my external 27" display (connected to the eGPU).

I'm not sure if this is specific to my setup, a Gaming Box problem or more general GPU problem. I usually just put my Mac to sleep at night and wake it in the morning. Sleep/Wake and Restart works fine. Only cold boot has problems. Does anyone else see this?

Future:
I hope to get the Gaming Box USB ports stable enough to trust again. Perhaps the firmware situation will improve.

I am considering swapping out the four Gaming Box fans for quieter models like some others have done on this forum. If I do, I will document the process.

I love the idea that, someday, I can drop in a faster GPU if more powerful and compatible cards become available. I understand the Vega chips are not available for mini-ITX. The RX580 is plenty fast for me, but there will almost certainly be something better in a few years.

Overall, I'm very happy with my setup.  The performance boost has been great and I enjoy tinkering with various devices and settings. It takes me back to my early PC building days (though I don't miss juggling IRQ and DMA). I realize it is still early days for the eGPU ecosystem. Over time my experience will grow, OS/software support will improve and many of the above issues will be resolved. Until then, I'll continue to tinker and enjoy the performance boost.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago

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mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I am coming up on two months with the Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 and still quite happy, especially under MacOS 10.13.4 where the AMD eGPU is plug and play. I may not get the ultimate performance one might see with nVidia, but ease of use is more important to me than a few more FPS or benchmark points.

I've held off installing a Mojave beta (dev or public) because my system is stable and I don't want to risk that. But I am looking forward to Metal improvements and hopefully, additional application support with the Mojave release (or perhaps the inevitable point releases). I've taken to leaving the GPU Activity panel up in MacOS to see how the eGPU is utilized. It is helpful tool to see what's happening across the graphic subsystem.

On the Windows side, I have upgraded to Windows 10 Home version 1803. It seems to have no significant impact on overall performance or the eGPU. I am using AMD Drivers 18.4.1. There are newer 'Recommended' and 'Optional AMD drivers, but stability and performance is still great so I don't see a need to update those at this time. I still have the iSight and right side Thunderbolt ports disabled.

I have been seeing a few instances of rEFInd the victim of a boot 'coup'. To resolve, I simply boot into Mac Recovery Mode and reinstall rEFInd. I haven't been able to get the 're-bless' instructions to work, so reinstall works fine. I wish it the 'coup' didn't happen as often as it does, but I have learned to deal with it.

I edited the refind config file to use the Spoof OS method to avoid using the apple_set_OS.efi process. This removes a step from the boot sequence and I can now use the rEFInd shortcut key "W" to boot right into Windows rather than selecting the apple_set_OS.efi icon and then the Windows icon. It removes a couple of key presses and speeds up the process a little.

Lastly, I removed all my active USB cables/devices from the Gigabyte Gaming Box. I do still have one cable plugged into the green Power Delivery USB port for an Apple Watch charger which does not transfer any data. I still have not had success using *any* of the Gigabyte provided BIOS or firmware update tools on the Support site under Bootcamp. I believe there are improvements to the Gaming Box USB system and they might improve stability but the limited update instructions are inscrutable and the tools don't function as I expect. Instead, I use a OWC Thunderbolt 3 hub plugged into the second, left side TB3 port (closest to the ~ key) and it works just fine for my additional port needs. It would be nice to use the Gigabyte ports instead.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mar_kelp could you please explain more about your config file edit? I cant use apple_set_os as it limits bandwidth to the extent my LG 5K doesn't work - wondering if your method may be a work around for that and the dreaded error 12....

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

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet I read about it at the top of this thread:
https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/how-to-keep-mbps-irisiris-pro-activated-when-booting-into-windows-boot-camp/

The comment states that it uses the same process as apple_set_os.efi. So, it might not solve your problem with bandwidth. 

Basically, once you have rEFInd installed, locate and open refind.conf and search for the "spoof_osx_version" entry, which will be commented out. Remove the # and save. This will use the default value, which worked for me, but it can be changed to other OS versions. The next time you run rEFInd, just select the Windows icon rather than the apple_set_os icon. The process is documented in this video from @matthieuv, starting at about minute 3:19:

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mar_kelp thanks a lot for that info! sounds pretty simple so will give it a bash.

@itsage ding ding, round 9? Maybe this time I'll get past error 12...

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

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Notorious826
(@notorious826)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@mar_kelp thanks a lot for this guide! Looks really simple and user-friendly when you break it down like that.

I'm planning on picking one of these RX580 Gaming Boxes up with the new 2018 13" MBP i7 16gb Ram 512gb SSD. Hopefully setup is just as easy (if not easier) on the new model laptops  🙂

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I'm coming up on 6 months with the Gaming Box RX580 and still very happy.

I just upgraded to Mojave 10.14.1 from High Sierra and it has been very smooth. I usually wait for the first major point release to update my OS. I've had no problems on the MacOS side with the upgrade or running day to day tasks so far. It is as solid as it was under High Sierra. My setup seems more stable coming out of sleep (see above). And with the firmware update from Gigabyte, the fans stop spinning when in Sleep or Shutdown. I do see a slight stutter in the screen saver on the external display that I didn't notice before and don't see on the internal display. It appears to be a minor issue, but I'll keep an eye on it.

On the Bootcamp side, I had another "Boot Coup" with rEFInd when I installed Mojave. I just had to reinstall/bless rEFInd. By now the instructions for this process are pretty familiar, so I can fix that in a few minutes via Recovery mode. Windows 10 continues to work great. To avoid Error 12 I disabled the iSight and the right side TB ports. It seems to work well.

I also took this opportunity to finally update the Gaming Box firmware and followed the instructions from this thread:
https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/guide-update-thunderbolt-3-egpu-enclosure-firmware-in-boot-camp/

I started by installing the 16.x version (as recommended by Gigabyte). I then removed the graphics card from the Gaming Box enclosure, which was surprisingly easy. Despite the recommendation that the 16.x software would solve Hurdle #1, it didn't for me. I found that I could get past the "No active Thunderbolt..." message by unplugging the TB3 cable (waiting for the Windows 'ding' sound that it was removed), hot plugging the enclosure (again waiting for the 'ding' that it was recognized) and then pressing "OK" to have the firmware update software rescan the ports. The install software launched and showed me my eGPU in the Port list. I installed the H2D firmware which reduces the throughput to the USB ports. Since I don't use them anyway, I'd rather have the max throughput to the graphics card.

Overall, I am still very happy with the Gaming Box RX580. Performance continues to very good for my uses. I am extremely happy I went with the AMD GPU. Until Apple and nVidia cooperate a little more, I am happy to give up some nVidia performance for AMD/Apple compatibility.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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