2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) ...
 
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2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [DANgerous25]  

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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Update 13th Feb: for iMac Pro users with nVidia eGPUs I strongly recommend remaining on MacOS High Sierra 10.13.2. 10.13.3 suffers from performance problems, and 10.14.4 beta doesn't work at all. 

 
System specs  

2017 iMac Pro 27" 5K , 3GHz Intel Xeon W 10-Core, 64GB 2666 MHz DDR4, AMD Radeon Pro 64 16GB, MacOS High Sierra 10.13.2 build 17C2120m, Dell P2715Q 27" 4K monitor.

 

eGPU hardware  

Akitio Node (replaced PSU withCorsair SF600 PSU), MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Belkin Thunderbolt 3 cable, Thermaltake RGB Silent Fan, DisplayPort cable to external monitor

 

Hardware pictures (day and night mode :))

Capto Capture 2017 08 05 12 31 58 PM
IMG 9406 mod2
IMG 7410 mod

 

Installation steps (for eGPU output on the external screen, I haven't tried anything else. Only for High Sierra)

 

a) If the NVIDIA web drivers are available for your MacOS build. If you don't know, try this anyway as it will fail when you try to install if your build is wrong:

  • Follow the steps in the first post of this thread (Credit to @yifanlu and @devild), ensuring that you pick the correct webdriver/eGPU combo for your OS version. Follow all the required reboots.

 

b) If the NVIDIA web drivers are not available for your MacOS build:

  • See this post. @devild was very kind to give a custom installer that worked with my build. He/She also suggested some manual methods to fool the installer, but I couldn't get that to work.

 

c) If you've managed to run the NVIDIA webdriver and the eGPU installer from either a or b above:

If you rebooted after the installs with the eGPU connected you will find that the iMac Pro will not boot past the Apple logo, you'll just get a black screen. The workaround is this: you must unplug the eGPU's TB3 cable, reboot, log in, plug in the eGPU, check that the eGPU has been detected in System Report -> Thunderbolt, then lot out (not reboot), then log in. Your external screen should now come on.

 

Optional steps

  • Replace the Node's PSU with a Corsair SF450 or Corsair SF600 (I tried both, both work, both virtually silent). Link here for steps.
  • Replace the Node's front fan with something quieter. I went with a Thermaltake fan. I tried a couple of others recommended in the thread here, but the fans were either too dull or too noisy (even if they were far superior to the Node's stock fan in terms of air flow). 

  

Benchmarks 

Whoosh!

Capto Capture 2017 12 22 11 26 44 PM
Capto Capture 2017 12 22 11 26 14 PM
Capto Capture 2017 12 23 10 32 09 AM

 

Comments 

Big thanks to the eGPU community for all their help and support. Particular shout outs (in no particular order) to those have have helped me most: nando4, devild, goalque, rastafabi, devild, yifanlu, itsage.

If I can help anyone then please reply on the thread or PM me. I have managed to get the Late 2014 iMac 5K and 2017 iMac Pro working so can give some advice on either.

2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

Stormbreaker, goalque, nando4 and 1 people liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

This is the best of both worlds. We love to see some photos of the setup.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Pretty please, could we have a screengrab of a CUDA-Z benchmark run on the eGPU? I'd like to see if Apple are enabling full TB3 bandwidth on their newest powerhouse system.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: nando4

Pretty please, could we have a screengrab of a CUDA-Z benchmark run on the eGPU? I'd like to see if Apple are enabling full TB3 bandwidth on their newest powerhouse system.

I don't have Cuda installed Nando, what do I need to install/run?

2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

You'd need the Mac CUDA package installed, and then download and run CUDA-Z. All the instructions are on:

http://cuda-z.sourceforge.net/

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 4 years ago

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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Pics and Cuda benchmark added (no idea if it is good or not!).

(N.B. yes, I know I am no photographer...)

2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@DANgerous25 , your CUDA-Z host-to-device (H2D) of 848MiB/s is underperforming. We see 22xxMiB/s in Windows and 15xxMiB/s in macOS on a 32Gbps-TB3 interface on Macbooks.  The device-to-host looks like 16Gbps-TB3 numbers. Possible culprits are listed at the following URL and I'm leaning towards the host PCIe port is running at x2 3.0 instead of x4 3.0.  Try a couple of other TB3 ports to see if can bump up the H2D number given than non-TB 13" MBPs have some x2 3.0 ports, maybe your iMac has too?

https://egpu.io/external-gpu-implementations-table/#perf

Great photo of your desktop and your fueling source (caffeine) Smile

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Weird, I ran it again and got a very different result. Maybe it's because I opened it from inside the package, whereas in this run I copied to Applications and ran from there. In any case, I'll try different TB3 ports as well to see if there is any difference. It's a bit of a pain though, as unplugging will cause the Mac to crash, and then I have to log in, plug in, log out, log in. All in the name of science though...

Capto Capture 2017 12 23 10 32 09 AM
2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

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Baris Oktem
(@baris-oktem)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hello,

I would like to try similar setup but i have some concerns...

As far as i understand all of this when i try to open imac it's impossible with egpu. I have to unplug egpu thunderbolt cable and when i'm login the system plug it again? Is that correct?

And when i try to imac build in screen also impossible to see egpu? I need to use second screen for that or is it working without it? I am asking this because my earlier 2014 imac i can use 980ti with build in screen. My only problem with that i need to be power off egpu box and open again. It's big issue for me just because of that i sell my egpu box :)) is there any workaround that?

Your setup looks perfect for me how much did you pay imacpro with 10core model?

 

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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