2018 15" Razer Blade 15 + RTX [email protected] (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 1803 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
(@itsage)
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September 20, 2018 10:55 pm  

My pre-ordered RTX 2080 was ready at a local Best Buy this afternoon. This build is a work-in-progress but the quick recap is that it works in external graphics mode the same way as older Nvidia cards. The eGPU worked plug-and-play in Windows with the 2018 Razer Blade 15.

 

System specs:

2018 15" Razer Blade 15 - i7-8750H/GTX 1070 Max-Q dGPU/UHD Graphics 630 iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

ASUS XG Station Pro + Nvidia RTX 2080 FE + 1.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

Here are some unboxing pictures:

 

Installation steps:

All I needed to do in Windows 10 was to download the latest drivers from Nvidia website. You can see in one of the pictures I tried it with macOS by connecting the 2016 15" MacBook Pro. Using @goalque's EFI solution, the RTX 2080 eGPU showed up in Graphics/Displays tree. Due to no compatible drivers, it was recognized as a Display device only. Once Nvidia releases compatible web drivers for these RTX cards, it should work in macOS. The typical wait for newly released Nvidia cards is roughly 9 months.

To test the monitor outputs I used 2x DisplayPorts cables to power the HP 5K, 1x DisplayPort cable to power the LG 4K, 1x HDMI cable to power the second LG 4K, and 1x USB-C cable to power the AOC FHD portable monitor. All monitors except the LG 4K via HDMI had output.

 

Benchmarks:

Here are AIDA64 GPGPU screen captures for GTX 1070 Max-Q dGPU, GTX 1080 Ti eGPU, and RTX 2080 eGPU.

 

Here are synthetic benchmark results:

GTX 1070 Max-Q dGPU
Internal Display
GTX 1080 Ti eGPU
External monitor
RTX 2080 eGPU
Internal Display
RTX 2080 eGPU
External Monitor

Comments:

It's hard to determine whether the RTX 2080's performance is better than GTX 1080 Ti. I will be running more benchmarks and update this post.

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(@jimmy_chj)
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September 21, 2018 2:04 am  

I got my 2080 today but I cannot let it work with my Mantiz Venus + MBP 15 2016. When my MacBook Pro is connected to the egpu, it is stuck in the boot. I can’t see anything even when I hold “option” key while booting. Does anyone know why this happens?

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esatamacmodular
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September 21, 2018 2:21 am  
Posted by: jimmyaklj

I got my 2080 today but I cannot let it work with my Mantiz Venus + MBP 15 2016. When my MacBook Pro is connected to the egpu, it is stuck in the boot. I can’t see anything even when I hold “option” key while booting. Does anyone know why this happens?

I believe because the nvidia web drivers for MacOS have not been released yet for 20XX series.

iMac 2013 10.14.1, Macbook Air 2013 10.11, MBP 2016 13" 10.13.6 , HP 4530s 10.11, node lite, DA-2 PSU w/mod, PE4L 2.1b expresscard34, GTX460,1050Ti,1060,1070/Ti RX470,560,580


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(@jimmy_chj)
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September 21, 2018 3:11 am  

Thank you for your reply.
This is actually my first time trying to use an NVIDIA card with my Mac. I found the latest cuda drive on NVIDIA website that was released on Sep 19. I think that is the drive I'm looking for but actually it doesn't recognize my 2080 when I hot plugin my Mantiz. The problem I'm facing now is I can't boot my Mac into neither MacOS nor Windows 10 with egpu connected. I guess there might be a compatibility issue between RTX2080 and Mantiz Venus.

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quetzacoatl
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September 21, 2018 7:41 am  

Usually you need to wait 6 months to a year for the mac os support from nvidia. Hope this time it will come sooner.

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Eightarmedpet
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theitsage
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September 21, 2018 12:52 pm  

@jimmy_chj There's something in the RTX card's firmware that doesn't play well with 2016 15" MacBook Pro. I observed the same behavior you did. If the card was connected at any stage of boot or pre-boot, the system would hang. It can be hot-plugged once macOS full loads. Hot-plugging in Windows cause an immediate BSOD.

I tried it with the 2018 15" MacBook Pro and everything played well together. I was able to get the RTX 2080 going in Boot Camp. The RTX 2080 eGPU performs better with the 15" MacBook Pro vs Blade 15 due to a direct Thunderbolt 3 connection to the processor. Cooling is a major concern on the MBP though. Here are AIDA64, HWiNFO, and Unigine benchmarks [through external monitor].

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quetzacoatl
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September 21, 2018 1:43 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@jimmy_chj There's something in the RTX card's firmware that doesn't play well with 2016 15" MacBook Pro. I observed the same behavior you did. If the card was connected at any stage of boot or pre-boot, the system would hang. It can be hot-plugged once macOS full loads. Hot-plugging in Windows cause an immediate BSOD.

I tried it with the 2018 15" MacBook Pro and everything played well together. I was able to get the RTX 2080 going in Boot Camp. The RTX 2080 eGPU performs better with the 15" MacBook Pro vs Blade 15 due to a direct Thunderbolt 3 connection to the processor. Cooling is a major concern on the MBP though. Here are AIDA64, HWiNFO, and Unigine benchmarks [through external monitor].

What happened when you hot plug it under mac os?

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Joikansai
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September 21, 2018 2:35 pm  

@theitsage Did you  use gaming mode? Blade 15 cpu performance is locked on balanced mode to throttle to 35 watt, so you won’t gain good cpu boost which bring low physical score. Here’s my results, I’m OC my setting though (210/700 for 1070 maxq) and (175/650 for 2080).
Blade 15 1070
https://www.3dmark.com/fs/16153079
https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/27184677
Blade 15 2080 Core v2 external monitor 
https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/28718266
https://www.3dmark.com/spy/4453253

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theitsage
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September 21, 2018 2:48 pm  

@joi_kansai Yes I made sure Gaming mode was on. The two cooling fans are running much faster and louder in this mode. I did not OC the graphics cards though.

@quetzacoatl macOS could detect the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure only. The RTX 2080 eGPU can be detected as "Display" device when used with @goalque's EFI solution. We will have to wait for compatible web drivers from Nvidia.

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Joikansai
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September 21, 2018 2:52 pm  

Gaming mode is basically OC mode on gpu core 100/memory 300, I think it’ll also apply to core and memory  on gpu in external enclosure. That’s why Fans run louder. Maybe cpu thermal throttled? How about temperatures? I always set fans manually at 4800rpm to cool the cpu better under heavy usage like gaming, benchmarking or rendering works.

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(@jimmy_chj)
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September 22, 2018 4:13 am  

Thank you for your explanation. That is exactly what I experienced. I have already put my RTX 2080 into my desktop. So I think I will just wait until there's any solution.

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odin
 odin
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September 23, 2018 4:30 pm  

How is the fan noise on the Blade when running the eGPU instead of the dGPU? I am imagining it's probably much better than stressing both the CPU and dGPU together, but wondering how much better exactly. I am looking to move from my Tornado F5 with 7700K + 1080 for both portability and noise concerns. Noise first though. I am really liking the 1080Ti + eGPU performance vs the 1070 Max Q. The 1080ti and 2080 are scoring about even with my current setup in Superposition, but the added quietness and portability are attractive.

Looking at the MSI Gaming X Trio 2080 + Razer Core X, which should be near silent. Just wondering about the fans in the Blade when just stressing CPU. I really don't care if the CPU runs 80s to low 90s, as it's within spec, if the fan noise is under control. I would imagine that vapor chamber would have a much easier time just cooling the CPU, but that doesn't mean the fan isn't going to ramp up anyway, though I expect only the CPU fan would.

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theitsage
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September 23, 2018 7:13 pm  

@odin When set to Gaming mode, the Blade 15's cooling fans are running fast and loud. I will run in normal mode next and update with noise level during eGPU use.

@joi_kansai I will checked through the fan settings per your suggestion and see if it performs better.

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odin
 odin
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September 24, 2018 5:49 pm  

Thanks @theitsage much appreciated!

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Robert Evans
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September 25, 2018 3:06 pm  

@theitsage

If you have the time, could you try running your RTX 2080 as an m.2 eGPU?. I'm curious as to whether error 43 is a problem on Turing like it is on Pascal.

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theitsage
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September 25, 2018 3:10 pm  

@robert_evans I have not used any m.2 eGPU adapters so I would ask @nando4 for guidance.

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nando4
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September 25, 2018 3:21 pm  

@robert_evans , the error 43 occurred on a tested M.2 Pascal card.  Don't have a Turing card to say if helps matters.

The good news is a solution to the extensively problematic error 43 on Pascal cards with mPCIe/EC/M.2 interfaces may be forthcoming soon.  Keep an eye on eGPU.io for developments.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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Joikansai
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September 25, 2018 9:00 pm  

Just another update, on dx12 timespy there seems  no egpu 1080ti Setting surpasses my score on 8750HQ class but on Firestrike it performs worse, same as desktop benchmarks.
Timespy 8750H rank 
2080 8750H Firestrike 
1080ti 8750H Firestrike 
Note: the driver difference may result that difference but I’ve no more 1080ti to test, but on games performance it is quite similar at this point.

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Robert Evans
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September 27, 2018 2:43 pm  

@theitsage

Could you tell me the settings and resolution you used in your hitman and tomb raider benchmark?

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