2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 11.1 & Win10 2004 [JokerOnMBP]
Hey there :),
I have been studying some guides on eGPU.io that helped me in making a decision on whether or not to invest in an eGPU setup to boost my gaming and productivity. I found some useful information on possibly stable setups and possible solutions to issues. Now, I wanted to share my feedback on my setup with you.
I am using a 2018 13'' Macbook Pro with 4 TB ports, a Touchbar and an Intel i5 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Processor. It has 8GB of Ram, an integrated GPU (Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655) and runs macOS Big Sur.
Furthermore, I have it on an twelve south elevated stand to help with air circulation and to be on a similar height with my external monitor. My external monitor is an LG 27UL850-W. I mostly use this setup with a closed lid, so only using the LG monitor. I connect my MBP to the monitor directly via USB-C if I do not need the eGPU. Thus, an annoying task is to manually switch inputs from USB-C to HDMI if i switch to my eGPU and plug it to my MBP.
No issues with my bluetooth headphones, my wireless magic mouse and apple keyboard (both via bluetooth as well) on macOS and Windows.
On Windows to game, I use a hub which works fine with my wired gaming keyboard, external SSD holding my steam library and gaming mouse. I use a second Thunderbolt 3 port on my mac on windows for the eGPU, I do not have the eGPU plugged into the HUB. I use a cable to prevent latency with my headphones.
eGPU enclosure: Razer Core X (bought it used)
Video Card: Saphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 580 8GB VRAM (on the higher manufacturer OC around 1.4 GHz and also bought used)
HDMI cable was default for my monitor and the TB3 is an 0.5 meter default with the Razer Core X.
Can not post hardware pictures yet. I need some more posts first. Will post my macOS and Windows setup then.
macOS was plug and play. Hot-plugging and cold-plugging worked right away.
Windows is a different story. Still, nearly plug and play. My installation process was basically:
1. Started into Windows after the default Bootcamp installation on an 50GB partition on my internal SSD.
2. Hot-pluged the eGPU to the lower left port closest to the "TAB" key (already installed my GPU to the enclosure and connected my external monitor via HDMI to the GPU). Windows automatically started downloading drivers, but not the most recent. After successful installation I received an error 12 in the device manager, but it was showing the RX 580.
3. Restarted my system with the eGPU plugged in. To prevent the Windows Logo I did the following: Start the system, press and hold "option" when the apple logo appeared, choose "Windows" in the default bootmenu and right after clicking enter, confirming my selection, close the lid of my MBP. This kept my monitor off for every boot since.
4. eGPU was running, iGPU disabled. I still had to go to device manager and click on the RX 580 and search for more recent updates. Installed the most recent drivers available. Restarted as described in step "3.".
5. Now, everything was finished, working fine when cold-plugging and I only did non mandatory setup procedures. Tried to fix error 12 when hot-plugging but had no luck. I do run all games from an external SSD as mentioned connected to a HUB. eGPU worked and performance was great (also compared to "bootcampdrivers.com" in for example "Counter Strike: Global Offensive" and "League of Legends" it was similar, so I did not use BCD.com).
None. If you are interested in specific ones and there is not monetary cost created for me using the benchmark software I can test it for you.
I did not do conventional benchmarks. I have high FPS in CS:GO on my competitive setting (1024 x 760 and most settings on low) with an average of 350 in an unofficial benchmark. Other games run way more fluent now, like Squad, AOE2:DE and LoL. I can use the eGPU on macOS for machine learning and movie rendering at a higher speed (especially matrix algebra and alike). Unfortunately, a big issue I have with this build is on Windows while trying to launch Battleye games. These do not work, but do if I run these games without Battleye (e.g. DayZ offline which is lame imho ;)). By do not work I mean a hard system failure, a BSOD usually featuring a KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_FAILURE and alike.
HELP (ME) I offer a little incentive to the person that can help me fix that Battleye/DayZ error. Already contacted their official support, but I have little hope. Might create a post about that topic in the forum here. I have tried a lot already, like not using the HUB, changing drivers, etc. If you are intersted I can also hand you out the minidump files.
Update: Was able to resolve the issue at last. It was created through driver conflicts. I completly reinstalled my windows setup. With this new and clean setup I also followed the steps above without major issues. (Minor weird though, like a hidden external ssd etc.)
Thanks for reading and have luck with your setup.
Felix alias JokerOnMBP
Okay, first of all a HUGE thanks, because you just solved my problem!
Secondly this works not only for Windows issues, but for MacOS problems as well.
Little bit of explonation:
I have a 2018 Macbook Pro 13" (4 TB with Touchbar). Bought a Razer Core X and an XFX RX580 4GB plus a BenQ PD2700U 4K monitor mainly for work (photo+video work sometimes). I play occasionally and only with Diablo 3 in bootcamp Windows.
So long story short I faced a problem with a sudden crash (screen freeze first, then blank screen - audio continues for a few sec, then full reboot) after heavy load using the external GPU, both MacOS and Windows. For some reason your solution to hold Option key during start then closing the lid solves all the problem in both OS, I have no idea why, but I guess it has to do soemthing with the internal GPU.
On MacOS it won't disable the internal GPU but it will rely more on the eGPU, hence heavy load is no longer an issue.
I hope this helps to other people who are frustrated and trying to find solution to their problem, just like me.
Make sure to use the left side ports (TAB key). It seems it also plays an important role...