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2018 15" MacBook Pro RP560X + Vega [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + macOS 10.14.x & Windows 10 [mac_editor]  

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mac_editor
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November 6, 2018 1:54 am  

System Specifications

  • MacBook Pro 15" (2018)
  • CPU: 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7 (i7-8850H)
  • GPU(s): Intel UHD 630, Radeon Pro 560X
  • macOS 10.14.x Windows 10

 

eGPU Specifications

 

Installation

The installation process is usually straightforward if you use one of the solutions on this forum.

For macOS

Native compatibility: This eGPU setup has official support 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.

 

For Windows 10

Drawback: Unable to use internal display, but performance gains worth it on external monitor(s). Thanks to @itsage and @chris_moran, we stumbled upon a way to keep the internal display active.

The setup process is simple:

  1. Download a copy of AMD drivers from bootcampdrivers.com  (my recommendation: 19.3.3).
  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. It should default to Error 12.
  5. Once you see error 12, uninstall the Vega device from Device Manager > Displays.
  6. Reboot with the eGPU plugged in. All displays should be active.
  7. Repeat Step 5-7 for every Windows boot to ensure the internal display works. If the internal display is not required, just boot with the eGPU plugged in.

 

Basically, to keep the internal display active, the eGPU needs to be uninstalled from the Device Manager in a prior boot. Then the eGPU + internal display should function as long as you boot with the AMD eGPU plugged in.

 

Undervolting Vega

For my reference Sapphire design, I had the following goals:

  • Efficiency: I am using a 600W supply, less than the recommended 650W.
  • Consistent Performance: Tying into efficiency, power throttling means inconsistent performance.
  • Overclocking Comes Free: If I can, overclock a little.

 

The results were positive, as can be seen in the following GPU-Z capture:

My settings:

  • Clocks: Core -> Untouched, Mem -> +145 MHz to 1050 MHz, and haven't tried to push even.
  • Voltages: Core -> -150 mV, could go lower too I think, Mem -> -240 mV, excessively lowering voltage may cause hard-lock at 500 MHzSee comments for more insight regarding memory voltage.

 

Benchmarks

Some interesting benchmarks on macOS (Valley: 1440x900 Ultra 8x):

Valley, Radeon Pro 560X

Valley, Vega 64

LuxMark, Radeon Pro 560X

LuxMark, Vega 64

 

Comments

My experience and benchmarks make the following clear:

  • Compute performance over 560X: ~6x.
  • Valley really does not do well on AMD cards, and both cards perform better on the bench in Windows.
  • Vega has tremendous potential when undervolted. On the reference cooler, I was able to manage about 70-75°C at 1600/1040 MHz with 200-220W GPU-only draw. I'm sure I could push clocks higher but not by much as loudness is a factor as well. I have steeply undervolted, at least ~-150mV. I am not a hardcore clocker, so as long as the GPU maintains it's advertised 1600+ frequency I'm ok. Note that as @kelvin_tan pointed in one of the posts below, Wattman memory voltage only represents floor voltage, and not peak voltage, which I thought I was changing. This means most of the above gains come from the undervolted cores.
  • I have looked into overclocking/undervolting on macOS and might build a little tool to achieve the same on macOS, but Mojave is generally great at handling the GPU. The other communities have developed solutions for this, such as VegaTAB. While the kext itself did not work, I essentially generated the PowerPlay Table and updated the original controller with the settings for a successful undervolt. Due to my use case on macOS, there was meagre difference so I decided to forego undervolting on macOS.

 

Windows benchmarks will be added soon.

This topic was modified 1 week ago

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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esatamacmodular
(@esatamacmodular)
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November 6, 2018 2:11 am  

very nice! wondering if win10 internal display limitation is for all 2018 15" MBP ?

For Windows 10 Drawback: Unable to use internal display, but performance gains worth it on external monitor(s).

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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mac_editor
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November 6, 2018 2:14 am  

@esatamacmodular Yes, when coupled with an AMD eGPU internal display doesn't function.

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theitsage
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November 6, 2018 3:36 pm  

Nice build! It's too bad about the internal display. I no longer have the 2018 15" MacBook Pro to test but here's an idea if you'd like to try. In my 2016 15" MacBook Pro + dual RX 580 eGPUs, I disabled the PCIe controller to the TB3 ports that's not in use. The PCIe controller 1901 to dGPU was disabled too. In your build though we need the dGPU to be enabled and working.

My suggestion is to boot into Windows with @goalque's EFI solution and no AMD eGPU connected. Make sure at least one PCIe controller is disabled and Large Memory allocation is present in Device Manager. Hot-plug the RX Vega 64 eGPU and see whether the system would detect and prompt you to reboot.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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mac_editor
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November 7, 2018 3:09 am  

Have added some data on undervolting/GPU performance in Windows after some tuning.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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Sam.mcbride
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November 14, 2018 4:12 am  

Great work! Do you think the set-egpu script will work with macOS 10.14 with an Nvidia card? (I have the 1080ti/Mantiz Venus/macbook pro 15 in 2017)

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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mac_editor
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November 14, 2018 4:13 am  

@sam-mcbride Mojave has the feature built in and for the time being set-eGPU does not work on Mojave.

Though for NVIDIA you need to wait for web drivers. 

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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OliverB
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November 22, 2018 10:17 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

Nice build! It's too bad about the internal display. I no longer have the 2018 15" MacBook Pro to test but here's an idea if you'd like to try. In my 2016 15" MacBook Pro + dual RX 580 eGPUs, I disabled the PCIe controller to the TB3 ports that's not in use. The PCIe controller 1901 to dGPU was disabled too. In your build though we need the dGPU to be enabled and working.

My suggestion is to boot into Windows with @goalque's EFI solution and no AMD eGPU connected. Make sure at least one PCIe controller is disabled and Large Memory allocation is present in Device Manager. Hot-plug the RX Vega 64 eGPU and see whether the system would detect and prompt you to reboot.

@itsage: I have this setup, of course, there is no internal display. Im willing to try things. Disabling 1905 unfortunaly didn't help. This Error 12 only comes when I hotplug the Vega eGPU:

Erro12ForVega

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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3mVideo
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November 26, 2018 6:33 pm  

Tell please after Upgraded power supply 350W up-dating-> 600W  you received charging for MacBook Pro 15"  in 87Вт?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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mac_editor
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November 26, 2018 6:34 pm  

@3mvideo No, power delivery does not change. That is dependent on the enclosure firmware.

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3mVideo
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November 26, 2018 7:54 pm  

thanks! you very much helped me!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@kelvin_tan)
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November 30, 2018 5:10 pm  

Curious as to how you managed to undervolt the memory in your Vega.

So far the general consensus is Vega's memory voltage are hard coded in the BIOS. The memory voltage in wattman etc does nothing but states the floor voltage.

Also another question for you - in your opinion would you go for a blower or fan style GPU for tb3 enclosures?

I've been mulling a _sidegrade_ from a blower style Vega 56 to a fan style 1080Ti for an eGPU build (Mantiz Venus), but am a little hesitant about it because generally fan GPUs tend to do worse(in terms of heat, hence performance) in a small enclosures. What are your thoughts?


X1 Yoga Gen3, X1 Tablet Gen 3, MacBook Pro 15" 2018
Razer Core X / Mantiz Venus
Asrock Radeon VII, Zotac Nvidia 1080Ti Amp Core Extreme, Powercolor Vega 56 reference (flashed to V64 bios)


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mac_editor
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November 30, 2018 5:29 pm  

@kelvin_tan I'm a novice at overclocking/undervolting and my goal was just to reduce power draw. I just looked at this for reference and used Wattman:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/6wzd7v/megathread_every_stable_underclockundervolt_of/

If the statement about HBM is true then likely it is only the core clock affecting my temps. then. Thanks for pointing that out.

I think blower-style cards are way too noisy and hotter. Just go for fan cards. They should cool just fine. Enclosures typically have some ventilation for the fans. I don't think one could go wrong either way (I'm satisfied with my blower-style card, but the other fan cards I have are significantly cooler and quieter).

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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(@kelvin_tan)
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November 30, 2018 6:05 pm  

Thanks for the reply. My reference Vega 56 is running wee toasty so yeah might try the blower 1080ti, since it's it's difficult to get ahold of a reference NVIDIA.

Appreciate all the help and work on egpus!

X1 Yoga Gen3, X1 Tablet Gen 3, MacBook Pro 15" 2018
Razer Core X / Mantiz Venus
Asrock Radeon VII, Zotac Nvidia 1080Ti Amp Core Extreme, Powercolor Vega 56 reference (flashed to V64 bios)


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donluca
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December 6, 2018 12:04 am  

  • I have looked into overclocking/undervolting on macOS and might build a little tool to achieve the same on macOS, but Mojave is generally great at handling the GPU. I am on a 600W supply, which is below the recommendation, but undervolting does make a world of difference.

Any news on this tool for undervolting/overclocking on macOS? 😀

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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mac_editor
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December 6, 2018 12:14 am  

@donluca Haven't had time to investigate it, and it seemingly relies on retrieving a soft power play table from the Windows registry first (which I'd want to remove as a dependency). Details:  https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/325120-vega-frontier-edition-on-high-sierra/?page=6

In the above link, I'm not sure if modifying the controller is needed (could override with codeless kext). Anyway, patience is all I can offer at this time ;p

Meanwhile you can try the method mentioned at that link.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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donluca
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December 6, 2018 12:17 am  
Posted by: mac_editor

@donluca Haven't had time to investigate it, and it seemingly relies on retrieving a soft power play table from the Windows registry first (which I'd want to remove as a dependency). Details:  https://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/325120-vega-frontier-edition-on-high-sierra/?page=6

In the above link, I'm not sure if modifying the controller is needed (could override with codeless kext). Anyway, patience is all I can offer at this time ;p

Meanwhile you can try the method mentioned at that link.

Thank you so much  for the reply. I'm close to making the move to a new Mac Mini + eGPU and I'm planning on a Sonnet 350W + Vega 56 and wanted to make sure I get the most out of this combination!  No hurry however, I'm still saving up enough cash 😛

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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hornedfrog
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December 26, 2018 3:52 am  

To control Vega GPU settings in Mac OSX has anyone tried this extension?  It looks like it has all of the features of AMD Wattman in Windows.  Aimed at Hackintosh.

https://morgonaut.cloud/hackintosh-tutorials/how-to-fix-amd-rx-vega-gpu-in-macos-mojave-hackintosh/

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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tsakal
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January 9, 2019 1:54 pm  

@mac_editor
Compared to vega 56 what are the main advantages of a Vega 64 apart from higher fps 
Are they justified for the time needed to mod the 64 compared to stock 56? 
Which one would you recommend ? 

A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb

B. 3.1 GHz I7, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2015 TB2 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb


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mac_editor
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January 9, 2019 5:39 pm  

@tsakal For a GPU that needs no config./management and better compatibility (power-wise), the Vega 56 is a better choice. Vega 64 is only slightly better (in games the difference is ever so slightly greater). Vega 64 is good if you're willing to give time to undervolt it or if you have a 650+W PSU. Vega 56 performance can be improved with better voltage too, but it's not required for smooth sailing.

@hornedfrog It didn't seem to work for me - perhaps the kext alone isn't enough on macOS. I'll look into it once I have the time.

This post was modified 3 months ago

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hornedfrog
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January 9, 2019 6:18 pm  
Posted by: mac_editor

@tsakal For a GPU that needs no config./management and better compatibility (power-wise), the Vega 56 is a better choice. Vega 64 is only slightly better (in games the difference is ever so slightly greater). Vega 64 is good if you're willing to give time to undervolt it or if you have a 650+W PSU. Vega 56 performance can be improved with better voltage too, but it's not required for smooth sailing.

@hornedfrog It didn't seem to work for me - perhaps the kext alone isn't enough on macOS. I'll look into it once I have the time.

Thank you for the info.   I would love to be able to use this to undervolt and adjust the fans.

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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mac_editor
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January 9, 2019 6:21 pm  

@hornedfrog I believe it should be doable if you follow the instructions on the insanelymac link posted previously in this thread. I was essentially trying to build the app you linked to, so at least I won't have to do that. What you can do is configure everything using the app, extract the keys from aty_properties in the generated kext, and manually add them to AMD10000Controller to create your own config. Ensure kext permissions are fixed once you make changes. See command line swiss knife in my sig for quick tips.

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hornedfrog
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January 9, 2019 6:23 pm  
Posted by: mac_editor

@hornedfrog I believe it should be doable if you follow the instructions on the insanelymac link posted previously in this thread. I was essentially trying to build the app you linked to, so at least I won't have to do that. What you can do is configure everything using the app, extract the keys from aty_properties in the generated kext, and manually add them to AMD10000Controller to create your own config. Ensure kext permissions are fixed once you make changes. See command line swiss knife in my sig for quick tips.

Thank you, I will give it a go.

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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mac_editor
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January 9, 2019 6:25 pm  

@hornedfrog Let us know how it works for you. You can see some GPU stats using:

ioreg -l | grep \"PerformanceStatistics\" | cut -d '{' -f 2 | tr '|' ',' | tr -d '}' | tr ',' '\n'|grep 'Temp\|Fan\|%\|(W)\|Hz'

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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hornedfrog
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January 9, 2019 6:26 pm  
Posted by: mac_editor

@hornedfrog Let us know how it works for you. You can see some GPU stats using:

ioreg -l | grep \"PerformanceStatistics\" | cut -d '{' -f 2 | tr '|' ',' | tr -d '}' | tr ',' '\n'|grep 'Temp\|Fan\|%\|(W)\|Hz'

Will do, thank you.

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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tsakal
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January 9, 2019 7:16 pm  

@mac_editor

Thank you very much

A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb

B. 3.1 GHz I7, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2015 TB2 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb


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hou.mon
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February 5, 2019 1:59 am  

@mac_editor

Did you need to do anything else to the Sonnet 350 other than swapping the power unit? I recently swapped out the power unit on mine with a 750watt EVGA unit and can't seem to get my MSI Vega 64 to work properly in Mojave. Wasn't sure if I needed to flash it with new Firmware...if that's even possible.

Thanks!

This post was modified 2 months ago

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hornedfrog
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February 22, 2019 12:06 am  
Posted by: mac_editor

@hornedfrog Let us know how it works for you. You can see some GPU stats using:

ioreg -l | grep \"PerformanceStatistics\" | cut -d '{' -f 2 | tr '|' ',' | tr -d '}' | tr ',' '\n'|grep 'Temp\|Fan\|%\|(W)\|Hz'

Here is my terminal output with the card at idle after a 10.14.3 fresh boot:

Screen Shot 2019 02 21 at 6.04.22 PM

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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mac_editor
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February 22, 2019 7:41 am  

@hornedfrog I was able to undervolt the Vega 64, but personally did not find significant gains in performance. It's also a pain every time an update is out (using a codeless kext didn't work for some reason).

@hou-mon Sorry for the super-late response. No I don't think you need anything else. I'm not sure since I haven't used an EVGA PSU with this enclosure, but assuming proper assembly it should work plug-n-play. What symptoms do you see?

This post was modified 2 months ago

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hornedfrog
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February 22, 2019 3:05 pm  

@mac_editor Thank you. I just found that the card seems to run well and not loudly left at stock settings in my new exclosure (Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card). 

The model in my new Breakaway Box 650 is a High Power HP1-J650GD-F12S - 650W, I cannot find the model on their website. Purchased February 2019.
It has a PSU switch and is fairly quiet in comparison to the Enermax ERV650SWT SFX 80 because it has a much larger fan.

From Sonnet FAQ:  Sonnet uses the Enermax ERV650SWT SFX 80 Plus Gold in the Breakaway Box 650. Sonnet uses the higher-performance Akasa AK-FN059 fan in Breakaway Box 650.

Screen Shot 2019 02 21 at 6.04.22 PM

SonneteGPU650WnewPSUlargefan
This post was modified 2 months ago

Mac mini 2018/i7/1TB/32GB RAM
Sonnet Breakaway Box 650W. Sapphire Vega 64 - (21275-03-20G card)
OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 port hub
AKiTiO Node Duo, 1 x Patriot Scorch M.2 512G SSD PCI-E 3.0 x 2 drive.


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mac_editor
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April 11, 2019 4:28 pm  

@hornedfrog Apologies for the late response. With my current configuration and my use case, I also concluded that there was no significant advantage to undervolting in macOS. I don't always stress the eGPU as much, and for most compute tasks, the GPU stays quiet since it whizzes through them rather quickly.

This post was modified 1 week ago

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
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