2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS...
 
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2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10  

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

System Specifications

 

eGPU Specifications

 

Preface

This is my first formal eGPU build with a 13-inch MacBook Pro. This machine is from work and has been a solid companion since I got it. Due to COVID-19, work-from-home has become the norm for many. So when time came to swap my personal laptop on the desk with this, it was rather pleasing to see everything on my desk come to life after plugging in just one cable from the eGPU to this laptop. The primary reason for sharing this build is to add another data point, plus highlight what it took to set it up (spoiler: not much).

Before moving forward, a few things of note. As this is a work system, the following were key requirements for me:

  1. System integrity protection must remain enabled.
  2. T2 chip boot security must be maximum.
  3. EFI patching prohibited.

So this setup will be of interest to those looking to create a 'clean' setup.

 

Installation

The installation process is usually straightforward for this Mac.

For macOS

macOS Mojave is currently the latest internal supported version at work, so I'm restricted to that. Anyhow, the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro natively supports AMD GPUs such as the Vega 64. For a full list of GPUs, see Apple's support document: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544.

 

For Windows 10

This was rather simple as well - you just need the correct Windows version. I have described the procedure in detail, yet succinctly:

  1. Download a copy of Windows 1903 [18362.30] using TechBench.
  2. Set up Windows via Boot Camp Assistant.
  3. Disable Windows Software Update via Group Policy:
    • Press Win + R, and type in gpedit.msc to launch the Group Policy Editor.
    • Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Updates.
    • Select Configure Automatic Updates and disable the service completely.
  4. Upgrade Windows to 1903 [18362.295] from the Microsoft Update Catalog. Select the 64-bit non-server version.
  5. Post-upgrade and reboot into Windows:
    • Hot-plug your eGPU.
    • On first-time connection, Windows will auto-download drivers for your eGPU.
    • Once Windows installs drivers, your eGPU will be functional.
  6. Download the latest drivers from AMD.
  7. Install the latest drivers while the eGPU is connected.
  8. All Done.

Note that if you wish to use the internal display for rendering, you MUST plug in the eGPU AFTER Windows boot completes. I recommend this regardless. Keeping the eGPU plugged in will result in a disabled/stuck internal display. There are workarounds for this, but they breach my requirements (specifically #3).

I am not adding any benchmarks as there are plenty for the Vega 64. You can refer to other builds for that.

 

Comments

Swapping computers on my desk with such ease is a comfort I never imagined I'd appreciate so much. While in recent times, there have been issues with eGPU support, the big-picture scenario is that we have come a very long way in a very short time. It is great to see the community progressively tackle eGPU problems and pave the way forward.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


Igor Kilimnik, beslemma, Sam Hanson and 2 people liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mac_editor, This is such a nice a clean build! I never realized the full benefit of an eGPU setup until I used it daily at work. Similar to your concluding comment, the instant switch from an ultrabook to a full desk computer with a single computer is the best selling point.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 5600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (VisionTek mini eGFX) + macOS 11 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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E Wong
(@e_wong)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

@mac_editor, glad to know you have such great set up. I have similar equipment as yours, a vega 56 with 13 macbook pro 2020. Have you encounter any error 12? As I have been working for hours to make my EGPU operatable in windows.

 

2020 MacBook Pro, i5-1038NG7, 16 GB RAM, 1TB
Akitio Node, MSI RX Vega 56


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@e_wong, No I haven't. Seems the 2020 13" MBP is not straightforward to set up on Windows: https://egpu.io/forums/postid/79411/

 

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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Sam Hanson
(@sam_hanson)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hi and thank you for this.

I have a very similar setup (2018 13" MBP i5, Mantiz, VEGA 56) and I'm currently running the bootcamp installer. I will let you know the outcome.

In step 5 when you say 'Hot-Plug the eGPU' do you mean simply plug in the eGPU after booted into Windows Desktop?

2018 13" i5 MBP || Mantiz Venus || VEGA 56


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Sam Hanson
(@sam_hanson)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@e_wong, Just followed these steps and can confirm I'm up and running perfectly. No more hit or miss start ups. Thank you so much for sharing the knowledge.

 

2018 13" i5 MBP || Mantiz Venus || VEGA 56


E Wong liked
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jinthagerman
(@jinthagerman)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

I have the same MBP and same work requirements. Really like the sound of this setup. I'm thinking a RX 5700XT in a Razer Core X Chroma on Catalina.

I was wondering does it need to be a Vega card or should this solution work with any supported AMD card with this MacBook Pro? Thanks

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@jinthagerman, should apply to any other AMD card as well.

 

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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beslemma
(@beslemma)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

@mac_editor, Hi,

Many thanks for this clean post and very consize solution.

This weekend after a huge amount of fiddling I finally manage to get my eGPU displaying Windows desktop on an external display.

After hours of tries and with changing nearly nothing to get rid of error 12 or manage to boot with eGPU plugged in it suddenly worked.

However I am running last fast ring of Windows 10 and I am not sure how long I can keep it that way.

I am really bounding between restarting from 1903 as you describe and staying like this.

My configuration is a 2018 13" MacBookPro TouchBar 4x TB3 port with 16Gb RAM associated to a Razer Core X with a Radeon RX5700XT running most of the time under MacOS Catalina.

I particularly like the fact that you did not fiddle with the boot loader and kept all security systems activated.

I can see you have done already a certain number of build therefore I was wondering if you would you have any thought / advice on my configuration?

Many thanks and best regards,

Manu

 

MBP 13" 2018 4x TB3 - Razer Core X - RX5700XT - MacOS Catalina / BootCamp


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beslemma
(@beslemma)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

@, All,

Success this morning with my 2018 13" MacBookPro TouchBar 4x TB3 port with 16Gb RAM associated to a Razer Core X with a Radeon RX5700XT running most of the time under MacOS Catalina.

It was not as straightforward as described above but it worked in the end under Windows 10 family. 1903 [18362.295] is ok from a cold boot. RX5700XT was not recognised after bootcamp installation. Official latest drivers (June) from AMD never worked and ended in black screen crash. January drivers from bootcampdrivers.com after 3x DDU in fail safe mode worked. I had to reboot 2x before getting somewhere. For the 2nd time as soon as you see fugitive image of the desktop appearing on your external display it finally works in the subsequent cold reboot.

Now have blue logo jittering on the inside screen and desktop on the external display. Latest graphic drivers from intel are ok and don't break the build. Latest version of bootcamp also worked. However any cumulative update of Windows 10 is killing it and I had to restore from my latest backup point.

Now trick will be to prevent Windows 10 to avoid autoupdating gpedit.msc does not seem to prevent it.

Best regards,

Manu

 

MBP 13" 2018 4x TB3 - Razer Core X - RX5700XT - MacOS Catalina / BootCamp


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