2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.1 & Win10
- 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]
- Mantiz Venus 550W -> 600W Corsair SF600 Upgraded
- Powercolor Red Dragon AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT
- Apple TB3 Cable
The installation process is usually straightforward for this Mac.
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:
- Download a copy of AMD drivers from bootcampdrivers.com (my build was with: September Edition drivers).
- Use DDU to uninstall Apple-provided drivers. It is recommended to do so in Windows Safe Mode.
- Boot back into Windows normally and install the downloaded drivers.
- Once the Radeon Pro 560X is up and running, hot-plug eGPU.
- eGPU may already start functioning as is. Your setup is complete. In other cases, it should default to Error 12.
- If you see error 12, uninstall the Display Adapter from Device Manager > Displays.
- Reboot with the eGPU plugged in. All displays should be active.
Let me preface by apologizing for the shoddy screenshot dimensions. Messed 'em up.
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:
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.
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!
Same steps should apply as above [do it if you see error 12]. I have not tested.
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.
@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?
The ones I've posted were on external display. I'll test on internal in both macOS and Windows and add those results too.
@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.
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.
@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.
Ah ok, I usually run the bench in windowed mode to easily monitor eGPU therm/clocks (I only use 1 display on Win).