2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus...
 
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2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.1 & Win10  

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

System Specifications

  • MacBook Pro 15" (2018)
  • CPU: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 (i7-8850H)
  • GPU(s): Intel UHD 630, Radeon Pro 560X
  • macOS 10.15.1 [19B77a] Windows 10 [18362.295]

 

eGPU Specifications

 

Installation

The installation process is usually straightforward for this Mac.

For macOS

Native compatibility: This eGPU setup has official support since macOS 10.15.1 Beta 2 [19B77a] on TB3 Macs and does not require any additional software-work to get working. It is also easy to connect multiple such eGPUs.

Not all applications take advantage of external GPUs. For that, one can use set-eGPU.sh or Prefer External GPU option in Mojave or later.

 

For Windows 10

If you are using Windows 18362.329 or newer, downgrade Windows to 18362.295. I recommend using the 295 build. Please refer to this thread for more information.

The setup process is simple:

  1. Download a copy of AMD drivers from bootcampdrivers.com (my build was with: September Edition drivers).
  2. Use DDU to uninstall Apple-provided drivers. It is recommended to do so in Windows Safe Mode.
  3. Boot back into Windows normally and install the downloaded drivers.
  4. Once the Radeon Pro 560X is up and running, hot-plug eGPU.
  5. eGPU may already start functioning as is. Your setup is complete. In other cases, it should default to Error 12.
  6. If you see error 12, uninstall the Display Adapter from Device Manager > Displays.
  7. Reboot with the eGPU plugged in. All displays should be active.

 

Benchmarks

Let me preface by apologizing for the shoddy screenshot dimensions. Messed 'em up.

LuxMark 3.1:

macOS Windows

Unigine Heaven at Extreme HD (same as 1080p 8xAA Ultra):

macOS Internal Display macOS External Display Windows Internal Display Windows External Display

Interestingly, OpenGL on Windows performed poorly vs. macOS (OpenGL default). Also note that on Windows, the GPU was overclocked, so the difference is greater:

Additionally, I was unable to test the OpenGL benchmark on the internal display. I experienced some other interesting symptoms:

  • With all displays active, eGPU performance suffered on the internal display and the benchmark lagged. I had to disable the displays connected to the eGPU.
  • After running my benches, I re-enabled my eGPU-connected monitor and tried a game. The game stuttered. Only a restart fixed the issue.

Finally, looking at just Valley benches, we see approximately 20% eGPU performance loss by rendering on the internal display. For some other loads and games, this might be higher or lower.

Comments

Compared to my Vega 64, I see a slight regression in OpenCL compute performance on macOS. However, OpenGL and Metal performance exceeds that of Vega 64, plus we are likely to see some driver optimization over the next few macOS releases.

On Windows, I was able to overclock the GPU via MSI Afterburner. Power +50, 2150 MHz Core, & 920 MHz Mem. GPU-only power consumption never exceeded 220W in preliminary testing. Performance in the worst case similar to Vega 64, but in most cases, higher.

The Powercolor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is one of the best air-cooled XTs in my opinion because of it's understated design, 2 x 100mm fans (better than 3 x 80mm fans area-wise), true 2-slot design, and silence. The dual BIOS allows for some experimentation as well. I run it on the OC BIOS. Combined with the Corsair SF600 PSU and Noctua case fan for the Mantiz Venus, this is probably the most powerful and quietest eGPU setup I've ever had, running virtually silent in all scenarios, while being well-supported in both OSes.

Update: Two Red Dragon's have already failed on me. For the time being, I do not recommend this model for eGPU use.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


ikir, BeardedBro, Eightarmedpet and 3 people liked
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siyuanchu
(@siyuanchu)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi I am using Windows To Go (1809), external storage, external monitor, do I have to go through the driver uninstall and install process above as well? Thank you! 

MacBook Pro 15 inch 2017 RX560
Mantiz Venus
AMD Radeon 5700XT
macOS 10.15.1
Windows To Go 1809
Sandisk Ultra SSD 480GB


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@siyuanchu

Same steps should apply as above [do it if you see error 12]. I have not tested.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Quite amusingly, at least for the Valley benchmark, the 5700 XT performs within margin of error (slightly better) vs. Windows OpenGL. This is very different vs. the Polaris and Vega GPUs, where Windows OpenGL significantly exceeded macOS. Although Apple has deprecated OpenCL, the drivers seem to be well-made.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mac_editor Can you re-run in Windows. I've observed Unigine benchmarks have a hard time with internal display scaling in the MacBook Pro. Maybe manually set the resolution in Windows to 1920 x 1080 first then set it to Extreme HD? Are both results internal display mode? 

 

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage

The ones I've posted were on external display. I'll test on internal in both macOS and Windows and add those results too.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mac_editor Does your RX 5700 XT has a vBIOS switch? The performance seems low and possibly due to quiet mode. Here's my build with 2019 13" MacBook Pro + reference RX 5700 XT and external monitor performance in Windows was much higher.

 

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage

I believe it’s on OC mode. Not sure what you mean in terms of lower performance because from what I see my Valley benches are higher vs. your build. The Extreme HD preset runs DX11 1080p 8x Ultra config (same as my custom except I can choose windowed or OpenGL). They are closer to matching your desktop benches. I also ran LuxMark and scored 31K+. Will be adding pics soon.

Could you confirm position of BIOS switch for OC mode? I’ve always assumed OC mode is towards power cables. 

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mac_editor Sorry I missed the important settings "OpenGL" to compare with macOS. I saw "Windowed" mode and wondered it was due to resolution scaling. 

 

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage

Ah ok, I usually run the bench in windowed mode to easily monitor eGPU therm/clocks (I only use 1 display on Win).

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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