2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + W...
 
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2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 1903 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Similar to the RX 5700/XT graphics cards, RTX GPUs don't have drivers in macOS so this build is in Windows 10 Boot Camp only. Running Windows 10 1903 the 2019 13" MacBook Pro can use both Nvidia and AMD eGPU through hot-plug without any workarounds. For loopback testing, I connected a USB-C monitor to the opposing side port to the eGPU so that they use separate PCIe connection.

 

System specs:

Mid 2019 13" MacBook Pro – i7-8569U/Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Mantiz Venus + RTX 2070 Super + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

While there's no need for any workarounds in Boot Camp, it's important to make sure Windows fully loads prior to hot-plugging the eGPU. As soon as the RTX 2070 Super eGPU was connected, Windows would freeze for about two minutes while it detected new components and configured drivers. Audio and Network icons in the Taskbar notification area shown as disabled during this process. Trackpad and keyboard were non-functional also. Once the Thunderbolt 3 connection was established, everything resumed as normal. There was no existing drivers so RTX 2070 Super showed up as "Microsoft Basic Display adapter" in Device Manager. I proceeded to download and install the latest DCH drivers from Nvidia website.

Once completed, the installer would prompt to restart the system. Don't click "Restart Now" button because with the eGPU connected, restarting the system into Windows would render the Intel iGPU disabled which causes a stuck Windows logo on the internal display. Close the Nvidia Installer and shut the Mac down manually then disconnect the eGPU. Boot into Windows partition without the eGPU connected to make sure iGPU and internal display are working first.

 

Benchmarks:

Besides testing internal display mode, I ran loopback mode by connecting an ASUS USB-C portable monitor. This same monitor was also used in external mode through the RTX2070 Super USB-C port. Here are the synthetic numbers in Luxmark, Unigine, and 3DMark.

 

Internal Display Loopback External Monitor

 

Comments:

The RTX 2070 Super performed better than RX 5700 XT, especially through internal display and loopback mode. $100 or 25% higher cost may not be worth it though. Another observation that surprised me was how loud it runs at full load. While the temps were fairly nice, the GPU fans were too loud. They consistently emitted mid 60s dB on the sound meter.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Shocked my the loop back performance and the noise! Expected loopback to be much worse and noise much better. 
Would be nice to see an eGPU shot out of Navi vs the new super cards...

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet So was I. The good news with Navi is drivers will improve internal display and loopback performance. Also the AIB cards should perform better than reference design.

 

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

I feel you’ve proved my 2 year worry (and subsequent quest) of how to directly drive my Ultrafine was a bit of a waste of time! Nice to be able to put that one to bed. 

I hope Navi card loop back does improve, I’m still a bit worried about when/if we’ll see macOS support. 

I should prob do the shootout testing I suggested myself ey? Maybe next driver drop...

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet My guess is the macOS team won't include Navi drivers until after 10.15 Public release in Late September. Hopefully there are new Macs announced too.

The firmware update in Catalina also improves the 2018 Mac mini in terms of eGPU use. I tested and got confirmation of Boot Screen support through eGPU on RX 480, RX Vega, Radeon VII. I will test RX 5700 XT and R9 Fury next. Maybe Sonnet will build an enclosure that not only hosts the eGPU but also space for Mac mini and other expansion drives.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@itsage mayyybbbeeeee? That almost sounds like an educated guess 😉 
I'm not so hopeful for Navi drivers - feels like Apple has double downed on Vega architecture since the MacPro comes with Vega cards (as I understand it) so they may just keep rebranding Vega chips to keep them "new". 
iMac Pro is due a refresh though so lets see what Sept/Oct brings, would be great to see refreshes across the board as well as the 16inch MacBook Pro (which I will prob pass on for a desktop).

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet There are a lot of Mac Pro tower owners who need to upgrade but the 2019 Mac Pro is cost prohibitive. A Mac mini at $1,000 combines with a Thunderbolt 3 expansion tower at $500 sounds a lot more reasonable. RAM can be upgraded internally while the other PCIe components can go in the expansion tower. With two Thunderbolt 3 controllers, the expansion board can have two dedicated Thunderbolt 3 cables to the Mac mini. One x4 PCIe connection for eGPU and the other for NVMe, sound card, USB, etc. Perhaps you can draw something up and we'll do an eGPU.io kickstarter project. 😀 

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Ha, I'm almost tempted! That would actually be insane and quite wild... the Mantiz Venus is close to that... oh god, you've got me started.. firing up photoshop!

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

My vision is a tempered glass front piece to look like the G4 Cube. The Mac mini will be mounted vertically to show Apple logo up right. Some paddings on top for cable routing. The compartment behind contains expansion components. The base is large enough for a 200mm intake fan that draws air into both Mac mini and expansion compartments. The top will have a vent/grille pattern to accommodate Mac mini vents and the expansion tower airflow.

Dimensions would be 360 x 210 x 210mm. Front compartment for Mac mini is 60mm deep. A metal divider separates the Mac mini and expansion compartment. This divider would have mounting hooks that match the three screws on Mac mini bottom shield. In a way you hang the Mac mini like a picture frame on the wall. Expansion compartment has about 330 x 145 x 200mm of space to accommodate different components.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Ohh thats intertesting! 
I've just checked some references and done some sketches (could not resist).
I'm thinking vertical tower, Mini on top, bolt down fan/fin combo that makes contact with the top of the mini to take away more heat. Rear vents would need to be clear but plug the mini into a docking port. Remove cover from bottom and with another fan below you create an airflow container type set up.
In the bottom 2/3rds there would be a vertically mounted GPU with built in 90 degree port cables and room for 4 or maybe 6 HDDs as well as bottom mounted fans pulling air in then again fans at the top to push it out.
Size would be Mac mini footprint + 10mm ish but a vertical height of prob close on 50cm.

I'm almost thinking this is a good idea...

oh there ya go...

concept

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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