2018 15" MacBook Pro RP560X + GTX1080 (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10 [nanoBit]  

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nanoBit
(@nanobit)
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August 15, 2018 4:20 pm  

Hey guys!
I just got a new toy, a 2018 15" MBP and wanted to share my experience setting up my eGPU.

Devices
mid-2018 15" MacBook Pro, 2.6 GHz, Radeon Pro 560X, 16GB RAM
macOS 10.14 (more about the "why?" down below) + Windows 10 Bootcamp
Zotac GTX 1080 amp! Edition in a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350
Note: I connected the eGPU to the upper right Thunderbolt port and a Belkin USB-C dock to the port below. Connected to the dock are a mouse, power cable, displayport cable to use the display in macOS and a headset. So not much thoughput reduction expeced.

Setup
macOS: No setup yet, waiting for Mojave-ready nVidia drivers.

Bootcamp: Setting up Bootcamp was a bit trickier than I thought it would be. Normally it's just downloading windows, start Bootcamp-App on the mac and wait until it's finished. But everytime I tried to install Windows, it showed me the error "Windows could not update the computer's boot configuration. Installation cannot proceed." during the last step of the installation. I tried many things.
First I tried to delete the windows boot files in the EFI partition and the Bootcamp partition and restarted the whole process. No success. 
Then I read of someone who fixed it downloading another windows disk image. Tried the same, no success. 
After that I was really desperate, because I need Windows on my Mac. So I tried the last thing which came to my mind: Installing the Mojave beta. I thought maybe High Sierra isn't really ready for the 2018 Macs, so maybe Mojave is. And... it worked! That's why I have to stick to Mojave at the moment. 
Setting up the eGPU in Windows was easy as f***. Plug in, let Windows install some drivers, restart, done. But there are some downsides of the nVidia+AMD-Mix:

  • The internal display stays black. But using the GPU power of the RP560X is possible if the programm you're running does support multi-GPU (it does not get deactivated).
  • No hotplugging. Disconnecting the eGPU while windows is up leads to a bluescreen. Plugging it in while booting or when Windows is up does so, too.

 

Benchmarks
I'm using 3 benchmarks: Geekbench, Cinebench and BruceX 

First the least surprising one: BruceX. Due to missing drivers for Mojave I could just test the RP560X. It took 38 Seconds.

Geekbench
CPU

Both results are on High Sierra.
I found the CPU results pretty surprising, because Windows does perform better than macOS. The difference between Windows and High Sierra is up to 10%!

GPU

The eGPU score seems to be normal for a GTX1080 in Windows. Nevertheless it performs much, much better than in macOS. My previous setup was a late-2016 MBP and the same eGPU where it was possible to use the eGPU in macOS. The maximum score I got with that setup in macOS was 143219.
For the interested ones: The scores of the RP560X:

Cinebench

Windows

The CPU score varied depending on the RPM of the fans. I ran Cinebench CPU 3 times, those screenshots are the last (left) and the first result (right). Small, but noticable difference. The GPU performs pretty well, scoring about 120 FPS +/- 5 FPS every time I made the test.

macOS
Unfortunately I'm unable to test the eGPU in macOS yet. I'll post the tests when nVidia releases compatible drivers. The CPU results were more or less the same.

That's it. If I missed something I'll add it. Hope you liked my first build guide :)#

Edit: Important information for those people who want to play games
I just played a game in Windows and I observed an alarming issue: The power supply is not capable to deliver enough power for gaming using the dGPU.
The CPU was at about 10% usage and the dGPU at 100%. The power supply was hot as f*** but the Mac still drained the battery. The battery drain is not that much (about 5% per hour) but it shouldn't be like that.

Edit 2: Tested the same with Fortnite on macOS. macOS seems to prevent draining the battery while connected to the power supply. But the only way it can do so is to limit the GPU and/or CPU. The experiment in Windows proves that there is enough space regarding the cooling system to offer more power. Conclusion: the power supply seems to be too weak.

Edit 2: The power supply issues seem to be fixed now. I didn't have that issue again for couple of weeks now.  But it's still proving that there's some space left to max out the MBP.

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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theitsage
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August 15, 2018 4:28 pm  

Can you check whether your 2018 15" MacBook Pro retains Large Memory following the Mojave install? Open Device Manager and change to View by Resource Type.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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nanoBit
(@nanobit)
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August 15, 2018 4:38 pm  

That's whyt my device manager shows. If I recall the Error 12 fix correctly it should show up somewhere on the second level of the list, right? That would mean no large memory.

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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theitsage
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August 15, 2018 4:43 pm  

Thank you for the screen capture. Mojave's firmware update removed Large Memory on 2018 MacBook Pro. The 13" model have a tougher time resolving error 12 due to PCH Thunderbolt 3 routing. The 15" model as you demonstrate can resolve error 12 at the expense of another PCI Express Controller. From your build guide description, it seems like PCIe Controller #1 to dGPU is yellow-banged when Nvidia eGPU connected which results in no output on the internal display but functional eGPU. Did you disable any PCIe controller manually?

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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nanoBit
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August 15, 2018 4:51 pm  

No, I did nothing else than explained above.

This is the "devices by connection" (maybe not the exact translation :D) view. Seems like some devices are marked with the yellow badges.

Edit: forgot to unfold the dGPU PCI section 😀 here it is:

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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nanoBit
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August 16, 2018 8:25 am  

Additional Benchmarks for anyone who's interested in the performance of Mojave:

Geekbench

Now that's a boost! About 7% higher multicore score compared to the Windows score.

The GPU scores are about the same.

Cinebench
Now the results of Cinebench trying to verify the results (3 tests, left one is the last run, right one the first):

Scores are slightly higher than in Windows, but nothing noticeable. 
Here's a benchmark of the RP560X in Cinebench:

Looks like a really good score to me, especially compared to my GTX1080 eGPU, which scores just 20 FPS higher in Windows. Looking forward to a comparison of eGPU and dGPU in Mojave one Nvidia releases new drivers.

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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karm
 karm
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August 21, 2018 9:11 pm  

Reading the edit about gaming and wow, so they didn't provide enough power to support everything onboard (instead, leveraging throttling to keep it under a preferred level)? That's a bit alarming.

Just one question, the notes on internal display were bootcamp Windows specific or true across the board (OSX and Windows)? I could live without it with Windows and I guess push come to shove could live without it on OSX, but would like to leverage screen + external display for web and application development if possible. I primarily use Windows currently for it (Visual Studio/Code), but was keen on using Code in OSX in the future.

Thanks for the great writeup.

2018 13 in. MacBook Pro (16GB RAM/2.7Ghz i7) / ASUS XG Station Pro / Gigabyte GTX 1080 FTW


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electricpig
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August 22, 2018 1:40 pm  

Hi to all and may I drag my separate pieces to this limited Nvidia/Mojave build.

I am a NukeX Compositor with a 2018 15" i9 MacBookPro, Mojave build 18A371a, TitanXP (MacReady) and a Razor Core V2.
I'm familiar with the whole Nvidia/Apple Driver/responsibility since the days of hoping to get my Quadro4000 running to anything like the money I'd paid for it on a 2010 MacPro.

The lights on my Core V2 now come on with this latest Mojave build, which is very pretty, but nothing else, CUDA Driver Version: 396.148 reports :No GPU Connected.

This appears to be the only build touching the Nvidia/Mojave setup, so I'm wee stuck in places to go to ask the questions.

If all you are waiting on is new Nvidia drivers, is there any idea when this is happening?
Could/should I run this build in the meantime and hope?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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nanoBit
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August 22, 2018 3:46 pm  
Posted by: karm

Reading the edit about gaming and wow, so they didn't provide enough power to support everything onboard (instead, leveraging throttling to keep it under a preferred level)? That's a bit alarming.

Just one question, the notes on internal display were bootcamp Windows specific or true across the board (OSX and Windows)? I could live without it with Windows and I guess push come to shove could live without it on OSX, but would like to leverage screen + external display for web and application development if possible. I primarily use Windows currently for it (Visual Studio/Code), but was keen on using Code in OSX in the future.

Thanks for the great writeup.

The battery drain definitely occurs just in Windows. Never experienced that in macOS. But it just happens if the dGPU is at 100% usage and the CPU is used, too. I think they maybe set a false power consumption limit or so in Windows which is slightly over 87 Watts. If you connect an eGPU, everything's fine (because the dGPU is not used so much then).

@electricpig As far as I know there's now way to run Nvidia eGPUs in macOS Mojave. The Nvidia drivers prevent theirselves from installing (or if you installed them before the Mojave update they prevent theirselves from running) because they're checking the OS version... and if it's not compatible they do nothing. Normally Nvidia releases updates shortly after Apple, usually up to 48 hours later. But it could take longer now, because Mojave is an major update.

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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electricpig
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August 22, 2018 4:16 pm  

Thanks for the heads up nanoBit.
I’m happy to test stuff - doing production work in beta OS’s is always fun, so I’ll keep my ear to the ground - reminds me of the original OSX public beta on a G4 PowerBook using Shake in SGI networks.

I’m wanting to get Octane render working in NukeX, and it is only for CUDA.

.ep

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Panthros
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October 8, 2018 5:45 am  

What version of Windows are you running?  I could not get anything after 1709 working.  Its actually really frustrating.

Thanks.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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nanoBit
(@nanobit)
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October 8, 2018 6:51 am  

Right now I'm running 1809 without any issues (except the black internal screen). What's the issue in your case? Can you describe it with more details?

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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orginfallssd
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October 12, 2018 11:05 am  

Thanks for your sharing.
But I still have some problems with windows 10(1803). I wonder whether I can use the egpu by just plugging it in when the windows 10 is loading and waiting it to download some drivers by itself or I have to do something to prepare for the egpu with my 18 MacBook Pro 15" . And can I just use the internal screen with egpu and windows 10.
Thank you so much! Looking forward to your reply!

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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nanoBit
(@nanobit)
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October 12, 2018 11:12 am  

If you use a Nvidia eGPU there's nothing you can do to prepare your Mac, because the Nvidia drivers will deny an installation when no Nvidia hardware is detected. 
I have to plug in the eGPU before the boot sequence. If I hot plug it, Windows crashes with a BSOD. 

As far as I know internal screen acceleration is not supported in Windows yet. Especially not with a AMD dGPU and a Nvidia eGPU. Maybe it works using the Microsoft Basic Display driver. @itsage please correct me if I'm wrong 😅

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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orginfallssd
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October 13, 2018 7:53 am  

Thank you for your reply in time. 
So what should I do if I want to use the egpu with an external screen, windows10 and 2018 macbookpro 15".
Can I just plug it in when the windows10 is loading or before the boot sequence or I should do something to let it works for the macbookpro.
Thanks again for your generous help.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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nanoBit
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October 13, 2018 8:03 am  

As I said I have to plug in the eGPU before the boot sequence, else nothing works. Just try that. There's nothing you can damage if it does not work. Just try it out

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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