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2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core ...
 

2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 [jjexpat00]  

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jjexpat00
(@jjexpat00)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

System specs

2018 15" MacBook Pro - i7-8850H/HD Graphics 630 iGPU & Radeon Pro 560X dGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware

Razer Core X Chroma + EVGA RTX 2080 Ti XC Gaming (11G-P4-2382-BR) + EVGA HYBRID Kit + 0.7m Thunderbolt 3 cable + tape

 

Hardware pictures 

desk
case on

 

Installation steps

Note: In this build, I already had a pre-existing bootcamp partition set up on my SSD, so I figured I might as well try to see if it would work instead of taking the prudent measure to perform a clean installation of Windows with the various tools on this forum. Your mileage may vary, but this worked for me with Windows 10 Pro, Build 17763 using the hotplug method. Since this is a Turing card and I had updated my computer to Mojave, this build will not cover any MacOS installation steps since I did not intend to use it that way.

2080ti gpuz
windowsversion

 

Starting from a normal air-blown 2080 Ti, some assembly was required with the hybrid kit. The dimensions of the Core X enclosure were fairly generous, and after seeing @itsage's guide on fitting a Vega 64 LC in, I knew I had to try. 

other side
on
angle
top
side

 

After assembling the hybrid kit with the 2080 Ti, I unscrewed and removed the 3-pin enclosure fan to make way for the radiator and PWM EVGA fan that was included. 

Going with the default push to exhaust configuration, I decided to put the enclosure SUNON fan back in with some tape just for additional circulation (no airflow since the front cover is still in place) since it was a constant lower voltage, low noise fan. After sliding the assembly back into the enclosure, I plugged the TB3 cable into my laptop (power switch off), booted into Windows, opened Device Manager, and flipped the power switch.

A few moments later, the Core X was detected as well as the GPU, and I then installed Nvidia's driver programs and rebooted into Windows. At this point the laptop hung, with the keyboard and trackpad inoperable. I suspect this is from my approach of not using a recommended build/clean install/proper setup, so in order to fire up the eGPU I have to hotplug every time. To my knowledge, all I have left is to figure out the apple_set_os.efi on an external USB drive or rEFInd with spoof_os_version fixes. After successfully booting in, Razer Synapse 3 installed and I updated Nvidia drivers to their latest.

I tested several configurations with the radiator mounting using standard fan curves, all idling at 40C, and here are some crude observations:

Configuration GPU Die Temperature (under heavy load) Relative noise level (unmeasured, just by ear)
Push to exhaust 65C Similar to laptop fan
Pull to exhaust 66C Similar to laptop fan
Push/Pull to exhaust 65C Louder than laptop fan
Push to intake 60C Much louder than laptop fan

It turns out that I was able to squeeze in a push/pull configuration, except I was not able to screw in the push fan since it was impeded by the standard 24-pin power cable end. It not being secured and adding pressure to the various cables between it and the GPU seemed suboptimal in terms of component stress and choking of airflow. What was interesting was the noticeable temperature difference in the push to intake scenario since it exposed the radiator with fresh, cool air - however the influx of now warm air increased the power supply temperature. The included power supply does not have a typical top-side fan intake, so all the incoming hot air fed straight into the PSU, which did not seem like a wise idea. The net effect was a terribly loud PSU fan despite having a cooler GPU core temperature. More on this in the comments section.

Benchmarks 

I played around a bit with MSI Afterburner/EVGA Precision X1 to tweak voltages and clocks, but I just settled on a slight undervolt-focused OC with max boosts to around 1950MHz at 990mV. All said and done, the device pulls 250-350W during spikes, but idles around <15W, so I'll probably undervolt it more just to increase longevity.

timespy resize
superposition
aida64
heaven

 

Comments 

Overall, I'm satisfied with the setup, but am seriously considering just moving it all to a desktop at this price point. Gaming at 1080p, I get 350+ FPS in League of Legends and 130+ FPS in Assetto Corsa, both with max settings. Regarding noise levels, I am contemplating on getting an SF600/SF750 to mitigate the sound of the stock PSU, but that commitment might just be another reason to get a desktop outright.

psu

Let me know if I've missed anything, and thank you for reading!

This topic was modified 5 months ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@jjexpat00 Welcome aboard thank you for sharing an excellent build! I find your different radiator cooling testings very interesting. The Razer Core X Chroma is one of the few enclosure that accommodate an AIO GPU. While it can dissipate GPU heat effectively through a standard push exhaust, enclosure airflow could be improved. Some members have modified the front fascia into a mounting surface for additional cooling. I think intake from the front would be a nice improvement to the Razer Core X.

I hear you about about the relatively poor value of an eGPU setup. Particularly in your scenario when Windows gaming is the primary use. Building a dedicated desktop with the RTX 2080 Ti would be the best performance option. What I found very appealing (for me at least), is the sense of taking the road less traveled with an eGPU build.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Djsisnsk
(@djsisnsk)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Any benchmarks with popular games like Fortnite, Apex, etc? Considering this, but you looking at desktops also makes me hesitate. thanks!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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noudaniel
(@noudaniel)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

@jjexpat00

What kind of CPU clock speeds do you get running games?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@jjexpat00 Welcome aboard thank you for sharing an excellent build! I find your different radiator cooling testings very interesting. The Razer Core X Chroma is one of the few enclosure that accommodate an AIO GPU. While it can dissipate GPU heat effectively through a standard push exhaust, enclosure airflow could be improved. Some members have modified the front fascia into a mounting surface for additional cooling. I think intake from the front would be a nice improvement to the Razer Core X.

I hear you about about the relatively poor value of an eGPU setup. Particularly in your scenario when Windows gaming is the primary use. Building a dedicated desktop with the RTX 2080 Ti would be the best performance option. What I found very appealing (for me at least), is the sense of taking the road less traveled with an eGPU build.

I have a different view on the value proposition of eGPU's than maybe most.
When people add up all the costs they tend to come up around 25% - 50% more expensive (total finger in air) for less performance.
I feel the cost of the host laptop should not be considered in set up costs. Why? Well there are two main reasons.

  1. In a lot (mine for sure) cases users would own the laptop regardless, so the options would be... Laptop + eGPU or Laptop + Gaming PC.
  2. The capabilities of Laptop + eGPU vs Desktop build are different. Put both set ups on the same desk and benchmark them the desktop PC will outperform the Laptop + eGPU while coming in cheaper. Try running a 4K export or editing a multi layer PSD on both in a field though and you will get very different performance results (spoiler alert, the desktop won't even switch on due to no power).

People need to understand their use cases and what hardware aligns with them.

It's also worth noting that a person who is happy to spend 2k on a laptop isn't going to go for a cheap PC, so while you can build a desktop for below 1K I personally would prob end up spending a lot more.

Thats just my opinion of course, each to their own, and great build OP.

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


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jjexpat00
(@jjexpat00)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

@djsisnsk @noudaniel

The CPU definitely thermally throttled under any significant load as Windows Bootcamp installations do not have the same clock/voltage strategies compared to booting into MacOS. Even at full manual fan speed, I peak around 3.3-3.5 GHz, far below sustained and peak Turbo Boost frequencies.

Gaming-wise, I primarily played CPU-laden Assetto Corsa and Starcraft II, running around 120 FPS each. I did dabble into League of Legends (130 FPS) and Destiny 2 (95 FPS).

@Eightarmedpet definitely brings up several valid points. With respect to my profession, a portable MacOS device is necessary - having the convenience of (almost) plugging and playing into an eGPU for some extra horse power is an extra boon. If eGPU's were as prevalent in my college years as they are now, I would be 100% on board with them. However, now that I have the luxury of space and no longer require the need to plug in and disconnect freely, a desktop solution seemed to min/max my expectations for compute power. I'd say if I had a 2070 or lesser GPU, I would have kept the eGPU setup. 

My takeaway from eGPU exploration - it's a financially reasonable commitment that fits the bill for most users that already own a solid laptop. I required extra resources and sought for more, specifically with native OS driver support for Nvidia (for deep learning). While I no longer use the eGPU enclosure, I have been influenced deeply about space efficiency - SFF computing has taken up my current interest.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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