2017 13" MacBook Pro TouchBar + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13 & Win10 [mzeb]^  

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mzeb
 mzeb
(@mzeb)
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October 1, 2017 4:25 pm  

My first implementation attempt was a 13” MBP 2015 with a Razer Core and an ASUS ROG 1070. I didn’t realize what a world of hurt I was asking for with that but I was in early and didn’t know better.

This one went much more smoothly. 13” Touch Bar MBP 2017 with a Mantiz Venus and a Sapphire Radeon RX 580 Nitro+. On the macOS side of thing it just works. No scripts, no tweaking, just works. Plug ’n play under 10.13. There’s a couple of minor gotchas but my baseline for a good experience is that system in the first line so I’m pretty much completely happy here :-).

Windows took a bit more hackery but not much. The hardest part was actually that the boot camp assistant refused to partition my disk because it couldn’t copy the windows installer to the temporary install partition for reasons I don’t know. I did it the old fashioned way and partitioned manually and installed windows directly followed by the boot camp drivers (External KB and Moue required for this).

I did run into the error 12. rEFInd and apple_set_os.efi were both necessary to get windows up and running. I tweaked a bunch of stuff in the device manger trying to avoid this but in the end it was necessary and it’s all that is necessary. You don’t need to muck with the device manager at all to get things to work as we now have the “Large Memory” resource allocated. No DSDT override was necessary either for this reason.
There are some more major functional issues on Windows after things are running. XConnect will allow you to disconnnect the eGPU gracefully but If you plug it back in without rebooting first you will hit a blue screen. Sleeping the laptop will also cause a blue screen. I’ve seen no such issue on OS X. While connected I have seen no crashes on either OS, so it’s stable in a running state.

 

OK, the good stuff. I took benchmarks across OSs and GPUs. Valley refused to run at 2560x1440 on the internal display under OS X but I’ll post what I got for extrapolation. I used the Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0.

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

FPS:
25.5
Score:
1066
Min FPS:
15.5
Max FPS:
45.3

System

Platform:
Darwin 17.0.0 x86_64
CPU model:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7567U CPU @ 3.50GHz (3503MHz) x4
GPU model:
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650/AMD R9 xxx (8192MB) x1

Settings

Render:
OpenGL
Mode:
2560x1440 8xAA fullscreen
Preset
Custom
Quality
Ultra

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

FPS:
32.5
Score:
1360
Min FPS:
15.2
Max FPS:
64.2

System

Platform:
Windows 8 (build 9200) 64bit
CPU model:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7567U CPU @ 3.50GHz (3503MHz) x2
GPU model:
Intel(R) Iris(TM) Plus Graphics 650 21.20.16.4664/Radeon RX 580 Series 22.19.677.1 (4095MB) x1

Settings

Render:
Direct3D11
Mode:
2560x1440 8xAA fullscreen
Preset
Custom
Quality
Ultra

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

FPS:
13.6
Score:
569
Min FPS:
8.2
Max FPS:
23.5

System

Platform:
Darwin 17.0.0 x86_64
CPU model:
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7567U CPU @ 3.50GHz (3503MHz) x4
GPU model:
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 (256MB) x1

Settings

Render:
OpenGL
Mode:
1280x800 8xAA fullscreen
Preset
Custom
Quality
Ultra

 

Powered by UNIGINE Engine

And finally some gaming benchmarks. My primary Mac game is Guildwars 2 and I get a solid 28fps  with all the shinies turned on at 2560x1440. It does drop in LA and WvW. Windows pulls another 15-20% above that. I also measured GLQuake 1 with timedemo demo.1 and saw a solid 60fps with 8x anti-aliasing at 2560x1440.

I'm working through Windows benchmarks but haven't made it far in beyond GW2 and the Valley stuff since I've been using the right to actually Play GW2 with the new expansion.

Thanks go theitsage for his work on the new TB3 MacBooks, couldn't done this without that research.

2017 13" MacBook Pro TouchBar + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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theitsage
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October 2, 2017 4:10 pm  

@mzeb, I'm glad to see this setup is working much better than your previous one. Things have changed very progressively in past 6 months for eGPU in general. I hope the next 6 will be as exciting!

Can you share more with us about your process to solve error 12 with your 2017 13" Touch Bar MacBook Pro? This will definitely be helpful for members looking into using their AMD eGPU with Boot Camp.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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Eightarmedpet
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mzeb
 mzeb
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October 5, 2017 2:52 pm  

The process isn't too crazy and is largely a subset of what we have seen/done already.

 

Software used: apple_set_os.efi and rEFInd for booting.

 

Part 0: Pre Check

Step 1: Make sure everything is working in macOS. This hardware config should Just Work™ under macOS 10.13 minus the Venus' ethernet card which requires an additional driver.

       - Ethernet Driver: http://www.asix.com.tw/products.php?op=pItemdetail&PItemID=131;71;112

Step 2: Read all instructions below before proceeding :-).

 

Part 1: Windows Install - manual partition and install, I had bad luck with the Boot Camp app.

Step 1: Create an EFI bootable Windows 10 USB key with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool on a Windows machine.

Step 2: Download the Boot Camp drivers and copy them to the root of the MCT created installer USB key.

          - Gotcha #1: the drivers are required to get the trackpad and keyboard on new MBPs working. You can boot off the base installer and use an external keyboard and mouse as well if you prefer.

Step 3: Partition the hard disk using disk utility. Set up the second partition as an HFS+ volume.

          - Gotcha 2: If you set it to another format the disk will be set to a hybrid MBR disk which will cause Windows to attempt to boot MBR style instead of EFI style and fail. You can use gdisk to make sure that you have a "protected" MBR.

          -gdisk Utility: https://sourceforge.net/projects/gptfdisk/files/gptfdisk/

Step 4: Boot from the installer disk and install. This flows as usual except for requiring you to format your newly created HFS+ partition as NTFS.

 

Part 2: Configure Windows to use the eGPU

Step 1: Boot Windows normally and install the boot camp drivers (if you haven't already) and reboot.

Step 2: Update the iGPU drivers to the latest and reboot.

Step 3: Plug in the Venus + RX580 to the left side of the Mac (either port works). Download and install the latest AMD drivers for the 580 and reboot. The error 12 will persist and this is expected.

          - Side Note: The right side does work but at a 50-60% performance hit in my testing (which is unsurprising due to the lower port speeds).

          - Side Note: I did not have to use DDT to uninstall the built in drivers and disable Windows Auto Install

 

Part 3: Configuring the ESP boot to remove error 12.

Step 1: Boot into the macOS recovery mode

Step 2: Terminal time - pop open the terminal in recovery mode and disable SIP with "csrutil disable" and reboot into the macOS

          - Note/Disclaimer: If the above instruction doesn't make sense to you at first glance it would be unwise to proceed as you are about to modify the EFI partition. Screwing this up can render your operating system unbootable and make some serious headaches for you. This is check for your skill/sanity. Proceed at your own peril.

Step 3: Download rEFInd and apple_set_os.efi and unpack them both to your downloads.

Step 4: Open the terminal and navigate to the rEFInd folder

Step 5: mount the ESP: sudo ./mountesp

Step 6: perform the manual install of rEFIND on the mounted ESP - http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/installing.html#osx

Step 7: create a "custom" folder on the mounted ESP and copy apple_set_os.efi to the newly created "custom" folder.

Your folder structure should look like this:

Navi:refind-bin-0.11.0 user$ ls -l /Volumes/ESP/EFI/

total 48

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff  4096 Sep 22 14:08 APPLE

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff  4096 Sep 22 13:27 Boot

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff  4096 Sep 22 17:28 Microsoft

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff  4096 Sep 29 09:29 custom

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff  4096 Sep 29 09:07 refind

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff  4096 Sep 29 15:56 tools

Navi:refind-bin-0.11.0 user$ ls -l /Volumes/ESP/EFI/refind/

total 544

[email protected] 1 user  staff    4096 Sep 29 09:01 drivers_x64

[email protected] 1 user  staff   12288 Sep 29 15:56 icons

drwxrwxrwx  1 user  staff    4096 Sep 29 15:56 keys

[email protected] 1 user  staff   29637 Sep 29 15:56 refind.conf

[email protected] 1 user  staff  221896 Sep 29 15:56 refind_x64.efi

Navi:refind-bin-0.11.0 user$ ls -l /Volumes/ESP/EFI/custom/

total 8

[email protected] 1 user  staff  4096 Sep 29 09:29 apple_set_os.efi
 

Part 4: Boot Windows to use the eGPU

Step 1: Reboot the machine. If Part 3 worked the rEFInd folder should be blessed and you'll boot into the rEFInd boot loader.

Step 2: Run apple_set_os.efi.

Step 3: Boot into Windows.

Your eGPU should now be functional.

 

Notes:

1. The eGPU is only sorta-kinda hot pluggable. You can remove it but if you hot plug it back in windows blue screens. So plan for a long gaming session 😉

2. The Apple boot selector under windows and OS X does not see rEFInd in the ESP. The "bless" command is the only way to select it. I currently use the option key at boot to get to OS X. I need to play with rEFInd a bit more to figure out how to get it to show OS X in it's boot screen but haven't put in the time yet.

 

2017 13" MacBook Pro TouchBar + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Eightarmedpet
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October 5, 2017 3:02 pm  

I was with ya until part 3... I don't even know what an ESP is...

I have however created a boot loader on an external HDD and installed (bit of an over glamorisation) apple_set_efi and it boots windows just fine from there... same day as I posted my 570 off.. le sigh...

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10
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LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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mzeb
 mzeb
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Posts: 13
October 5, 2017 3:20 pm  

The EFI System Partition is the partition on your hard disk that stores boot information for the OSs on the disk. It's really just an active FAT32 partition probably similar to the external HDD you were using. If you don't have rEFInd on there that might be the trick, though I don't have the specifics of why yet (more learning required for me here). I tried using just the apple_set_os.efi and did not have the luck I had with rEFInd along with it.

Without rEFInd you can still mount your EFI partition with "sudo diskutil mount EFI".

2017 13" MacBook Pro TouchBar + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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theitsage
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October 5, 2017 3:21 pm  

@mzeb, Thank you for sharing your steps to resolve error 12 and get an RX 580 eGPU going. The 2017 MacBook Pro has DSDT override baked into the firmware. This is not the case with 2016 MacBook Pro.

Regarding the right-side Thunderbolt 3 ports, I read that Apple has managed to attach them to a x4 PCIe Root Port the same way the left ones do. Can you run HWiNFO64 and post a screen capture? Here's the screen capture of a 2016 13" Touch Bar MacBook Pro (on the right). You can see the left ports are routed through x2 lanes and hence lower bandwidth.

 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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Eightarmedpet
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October 5, 2017 3:31 pm  

Ahh got ya... simple things for beginners are often over looked/assumed, thanks for clearing that up.

Yep my partition on my external is doing the same thing but without rEFInd installed, will look up how to instal on non internal EFI partition.

@itsage, I'm on my MacBook atm, is there a way to check lane speeds in macOS (currently in "work" mode)?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10
---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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mzeb
 mzeb
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theitsage
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October 5, 2017 4:01 pm  

@mzeb, thank you for clarifying that. I was wondering all this time where Apple attached the WiFi card to free up the PCIe lanes. Your observation of lower performance on the right-side ports makes sense.

@Eightarmedpet, I'm not sure if there's an equivalent app in macOS.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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mzeb
 mzeb
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Posts: 13
April 3, 2018 3:06 pm  

Half year update - this rig is still functioning beautifully. 10.13.4 has been nothing but wonderful despite the Mantiz Venus not making the supported list. Windows still functions as it did before. One hiccup: Apple's firmware updates (they come bundled with the OS updates) will reset the efi boot to OS X and re-enable SIP. This is fixed by disabling SIP and reblessing the rEFIt folder on the EFI partition.

2017 13" MacBook Pro TouchBar + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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