2017 15" MacBook Pro (RP560) [7th,4C,H] + RX 6900 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 20H2 // Minor Hardware mod
15" MacBook Pro (Mid-2017)
- Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7920HQ CPU
- Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB of GDDR5 memory (Discrete GPU)
- Intel HD Graphics 630 (Integrated GPU)
- 2TB PCIe-based onboard SSD (1.4TB Win10 / 600gb OSX)
Razer Core X (Standard Black)
XFX Speedster MERC 319 AMD Radeon™ RX 6900 XT Ultra Gaming Graphics Card with 16GB GDDR6, AMD RDNA™ 2
24" CFG70 Curved Full HD QLED Gaming Monitor (Model C24FG73FQU)
Installation steps (Hardware)
- Open Razer Core X Latch
- Remove Spacer/Previous Graphics Adapter
- Add the XFX Speedster MERC 319 6900 XT
- Modify the Razer Core X Case (to allow the XFX Card to fit) (see hardware pictures)
- Remove the 5x Torx-8 Screws
- Break off the latch holding the Razer Core X Front Cover on the side towards the video card.
- Put back 3x Torx-8 Screws
- Close the Razer Core X Case with the new Graphics Adapter
Installation steps (Software: Windows 10 Pro 20H2)
- Unplug all the USB-C Adapters from your MacBook
- Boot into Windows 10
- Uninstall All AMD & NVIDIA Drivers using DDU (and Reboot)
- Install Latest AMD Drivers from BootCampDrivers Site (I used the RedGamingEdition Ones) (And Reboot)
- Power off the System, connect the eGPU in the Bottom-Left USB-C Port (Closest to the Tab Key) and Boot into Windows 10
- Download the latest AMD Driver for the 6900 XT. (Attempt to install them, but they will most likely fail.) If the do fail, then:
- Using 7zip, unzip the whole drivers into the Download Folder
- The drivers will be in the Downloads\radeon-rx6900xt-rx6800xt-adrenalin-*\Packages\Drivers
- Open Device Manager, Right Click the eGPU (it will have a yellow !) and select update drivers. Point Windows to search on the previously mentioned folder.
- Check in Device Manager, there will be an additional device with Exclamation Point named "PCI Device". This is part of the video card and will result in "AMD UCM-UCSI Device" (The USB-C Controller for the Graphics Card.) To install this driver, follow the steps as before, right click, update drivers and tell windows to search on the previously mentioned folder.
- After the graphics adapter is completely configured, proceed to re-connect all the USB-C cables your MacBook had.
Without a small modification, the Core X can't close with the Merc 319 inside:
Best approach would be to remove the Core X's front cover and identify the latch that collides with the graphics card:
Yank the latch out, and then put the GPU in! 😎
Slide the card back in:
Note: Due to the fact that the card only needs around 1cm to fit, you can put back the cover and slide the card back slowly and carefully. The cover will be pushed slightly but it's not that noticeable:
3dMark (External 1080p LCD)
Once drives/kexts for the 6900 XT are released for OSX, will update as necessary.
@darkjz, Nice build with the RX 6900 XT! I'm hoping macOS driver support for these new Radeon cards will arrive right after the holidays. Do you have a USB-C monitor to test this output from the eGPU?
@itsage, Thanks! I'm actually hoping for the same! Unfortunately the Monitor is a run of the mill Samsung Curved one (added a pic to the Original Post) and its connected thru Display Port.
The Only test for the USB-C Adapter I could do was to plug-in an USB-C SD Card Adapter directly on the Graphics Card. This worked out fine and was able to copy files back and forth with no discernible slowdown (stable transfer at around 95 - 97mbps for a giant 7zip File).
As you can imagine though, it doesn't compare to the bandwidth necessary for running a display.
Hoping that I can get a VR Headset soon!
@darkjz, hi! I just purchased the Sapphire AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT + Razer Core X Chroma. I own a 2018 15“ MBP maxed out. I want to know how your performance is running, and how much performance loss you are getting. I have the 20.12.2 drivers, and bootcamp to Windows 10. I play simple games, and even SIMPLE things like MINECRAFT on LOWEST settings run at 20 FPS. I feel like I’m loosing around 95% of my GPUs power, do you have any experience or ideas to fix this?
@appleluis, Hi Appeluis!
Sad to hear you're having some troubles.
Main question: Are you using an external monitor plugged into your eGPU, or using the Internal Display?
My setup is using an external monitor (1080p) plugged into my eGPU and I've been playing cyberpunk 2077 in Ultra Settings. The average FPS are usually at the bare minimum on the high 80's (rarely if ever under 60, and staying stable in the low 110's).
I'm running radeon 20.12.1 at the moment (upgrading to 20.12.2 now that I read from you there's a higher driver release ).;-)
Important caveat, I'm asking about the display you're using because I've tried using the eGPU with the internal display of the MacBook and the FPS are garbage... As you just said, losing almost 95% of the power.
From what I read, the problem is that the Discrete AMD GPU of the MacBook needs to be disabled (be it via DSDT, or other hackery afoot) in order to get higher performance. That said, I was never successful doing that.
Looking forward to your reply!
@darkjz, Hi thanks for the reply. I now discovered that you can also add Games to the Radeon Software, which gives me somewhat better performance in most games, but only those that don't need a Launcher. I use 2 External Displays, and it runs fine, but i have crappy performance in games. In Minecraft for example, it says once you click f3 that it is indeed using the external Graphics Card, but the performance is terrible. From what you're telling me I can definately see that something is wrong, I just assumed since the GPU was showing ingame, it was already using it instead of the descrete one. If you have any solution to deactivating the iGPU please don't hesitate to reply.
Whilst it didn't improve greatly my performance, it did improve the quality of life results (can at least now use all the thunderbolt ports on the right side of my MacBook Pro, which before would yield into bluescreen) and also the installation of drivers.
The other recommendation is, maybe try using the drivers at bootcampdrivers dot com. They are the ones I continuously use for th dGPU and they seem to install in both devices, so maybe that helps.
Last but not least, can you download the free 3dMark install on steam? Maybe you can compare scores against mine and see what else is awry.