2018 15" MacBook Pro + RTX 2080 Ti [email protected] (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 [jjexpat00]
2018 15" MacBook Pro - i7-8850H/HD Graphics 630 iGPU & Radeon Pro 560X dGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD
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.
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 @theitsage's guide on fitting a Vega 64 LC in, I knew I had to try.
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.
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.
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.
Let me know if I've missed anything, and thank you for reading!
Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts
@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.