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2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 480 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (VisionTek Mini eGFX) + ma...
 

2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 480 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (VisionTek Mini eGFX) + macOS 10.14.5 & Win10 1903 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I recently joined a distribution and custom manufacturing company. The IT department is PC/Windows-only environment. Some of my responsibilities involve agency collaboration so I kindly requested a Mac. IT Manager agreed under the condition I would provive tech support to myself. We had a deal.

My new work laptop is a 2019 13" MacBook Pro. Within the first hour of unboxing, it was running Windows 10 1903. In the office I pair the MBP to a dual 24" monitor setup, Ethernet, Logitech mouse and keyboard through a Toshiba Thunderbolt 3 Dock. The Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU can power the internal display alongside two external monitors with ease. Power Delivery through the Toshiba TB3 dock is 45W which is plenty because the laptop is mostly docked while at work.

When more graphics performance is needed, I'd use the VisionTek mini eGFX. Paired with a mini-ITX RX 480 4GB, it makes a nice and quiet eGPU with remarkably small footprint. This enclosure also provides 45W charging as well as one Ethernet, and two USB ports. Therefore the Toshiba Thunderbolt 3 Dock and VisionTek mini eGFX can be used interchangeably with dual monitors, Ethernet, keyboard, and mouse via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable in both macOS and Windows.

 

System specs:

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

 

eGPU hardware:

VisionTek mini eGFX + RX 480 4GB ITX + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

It was plug-and-play in macOS Mojave. I recently learned it's possible to hot-plug AMD eGPU in Boot Camp using Windows 10 1903 version (tested on 2016 15" MacBook Pro and 2018 Mac mini). I'm glad to find this 2019 13" MacBook Pro works the same way! As soon as Windows and Apple Boot Camp software/drivers completed installation, I hot-plugged the VisionTek mini eGFX + RX 480 eGPU. The system froze 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 are non-functional also. Once the Thunderbolt 3 connection was established, everything resumed as normal. Win10 1903 was actually able to install the graphics drivers automatically for the RX 480 eGPU. It's a much older version though, 17.1.1. I manually downloaded and upgraded to 19.7.1 without issues.

I also installed Thunderbolt Control Center to monitor Thunderbolt 3 detection in case the setup acts up. During boot up the Apple firmware doesn't wake the Thunderbolt 3 controller/port up unless there's connected devices. I think Win10 1903 has improved hot detection and handling of PCIe components.

Besides testing this VisionTek mini eGFX + RX 480, I also tested Gigabyte Gaming Box + RX Vega Nano, and Razer Core + RX 5700. They all worked plug-and-play in Boot Camp. As a matter of fact I can hot-plug and hot-unplug between these setups using any ports without BSOD. I left the MacBook Pro asleep overnight while connected to the eGPU and it resumed working fine in the morning.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran all synthetic benchmarks through internal display mode. The VisionTek mini eGFX + RX 480 is quietest. The MacBook Pro fan was actually louder. Fire Strike would crash the RX Vega Nano Gaming Box. I had to change Wattman mode to Auto Undervolt to make it run successfully. Razer Core + RX 5700 achieved the best gaming performance overall but less computing power than RX Vega 56.

Luxmark and GeekBench in macOS:

Iris Plus Graphics 655 VisionTek eGFX RX 480 Vega Nano Gaming Box

Unigine and 3DMark in Windows:

VisionTek eGFX RX 480 Vega Nano Gaming Box Razer Core RX 5700

 

Comments:

The CPU and RAM performance of this 2019 iteration is much better than the 2017 13" MacBook Pro I have. The 4th generation butterfly keyboard has better tactile feedback and the caps don't feel as loose. One thing did not improve is cooling. This design needs to change before system cooling can be more effective. Nevertheless this 2019 13" MacBook Pro is the most eGPU-friendly Mac I have used.

 

This topic was modified 1 month ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

It’s great to see how many improvements have been made in a relatively short period of time with little fanfare. 
The hoops that had to be jumped through in 2016 look like they don’t even exist anymore. 
Not sure if you saw my latest build post but going from a ti82 to ti83 chipped enclosure has made a massive difference to my boot process - I’m currently 100% success rate booting using rEFInd, with my core I was closer to 60%.

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


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kakahara
(@kakahara)
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Joined: 2 months ago
 

Just got in to try the Blackmagic out - at first it had the Microsoft generic drivers then I (re)installed the previously downloaded drivers on top of that and it worked fine hotswapping either upper or lower TB3 port - switching sides showed Microsoft generic drivers again. 

After a few reboots I'm confident the Blackmagic (on one side) is as robust as on MacOS. Trying to hotplug the Core X 5700XT 50AE still gives me error 12.
No amount of hotplugging/port disabling-reenabling in device manager works. Currently reinstalling Windows after 1st nuke of this evening.
What I did notice though was display brightness and power and presumably ports was being detected on the Blackmagic but never with the Core 5700XT50.

@itsage: Should I be installing Windows with the eGPU plugged in, or should I wait til Windows and Bootcamp assistant finishes everything?

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

When an eGPU starts throwing error codes in Windows, it's best to run DDU so that you can cleanly remove graphics drivers as well as display association. The system does remember an already installed eGPU so you likely encounter the same error until DDU cleans things up.

It's best not to connect any peripherals during Windows installation. You can hot-plug the AMD eGPU once both Windows and Boot Camp drivers finish installation. I recall it took about three minutes from when I hot-plugged the RX 480 eGPU until the system installed drivers.

This post was modified 1 month ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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kakahara
(@kakahara)
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Joined: 2 months ago
 

@itsage

Did you DDU during the above process?

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

No. The RX 480 eGPU worked first try. I proceeded to manually download and installed latest Radeon driver 19.7.1. If an eGPU encounters error 12/43 with this system in the future I will run DDU then redo driver installation.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

For the life of me I can't get past error 12. Only difference from you is I'm starting off with a 5700 instead of a 480. - Which means it can't auto install drivers.
Gonna nuke 1 more time tonight, wait until all the Windows drivers and auto updates do it's thing then install with the Radeon drivers tomorrow.

edit: gonna download May 2019 (1903) Windows 10 again first

This post was modified 1 month ago

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

As I mentioned many times before, Error 12 is best avoided with a fresh installation of Windows/Bootcamp. The older the installation, the more you have to handle with it.

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


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

Aye, I thought so too. Nuked Bootcamp/Windows once when I got the 5700XT 50AE last week and several times yesterday. I think I've nuked Windows 6 times now.
One thing that is odd is I have an Unknown Device still after all the Windows Updates.

Sometimes when I plug during Windows spinning dots or even just before it will not make the USB plugged in noise.

Hotplugging once Windows is fully loaded makes no difference either. One thing I haven't changed is I keep running it with Windows 10 Pro. Maybe I should try home?

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@kakahara I'm using Win10 Pro. I don't think they make a difference. If you continue experiencing error 12, you can always use @goalque's automate-eGPU EFI and boot into Windows with the RX 5700 XT connected.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

Hmmm... So I'm now running automate-eGPU EFI v1.0.5 (c) 2018 by Goalque and on the bit where it says System info - it says eGPU not detected

Swapped TB3 cables and still the same... 

Thinking it was normal I pressed on, sure enough, no flickering Windows logo, however, still getting error 12 in Windows.

After dinner I'm going to see if the Blackmagic is detected by the script and then I'm not sure... nuke again?

Edit 1:
So last nuke I installed the AMD drivers while Windows is in offline mode - the system had not had a chance to do Windows Update - (didn't put my wifi password in and chose offline mode during setup).

As I type this up, check Windows Update (giving it an internet connection) and eat, I'm seeing quite a few updates including: Apple - System and MEDIA, Intel Display and System

I'll probably going to run Windows Update after setting it up on offline mode on next nuke, unless the Blackmagic proves my Razer Core is faulty.

Edit 2:
also this Unknown device is still present/fails to be recognised.

So with the Blackmagic in  automate-eGPU EFI v1.0.5 (c) 2018 by Goalque, I get:
GPU(s): [0x8086 0x3EA5] [0x1002 0x67DF] Detected eGPU: [0x1002 0x67DF]

with the Razer Core X & 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition in  automate-eGPU EFI v1.0.5 (c) 2018 by Goalque. I get:
GPU(s): [0x8086 0x3EA5] [0x1002 0x731F] eGPU not detected

Is this the same behaviour with a standard 5700/5700XT?

This post was modified 1 month ago

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 
[0x1002 0x731F] is the RX 5700/XT eGPU. The initial screen doesn't always say there's eGPU detected but it shouldn't effect Windows detection of Thunderbolt enclosure and eGPU. You can boot the MacBook Pro up through automate-eGPU EFI without a connected eGPU. Once Windows fully loads you can try hot-plugging the eGPU.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

So I've tried several ways to try get it running now and continue to fail. Where my first 4 attempts I got it working 2/4 times, it's now closer 2/30 🙁
Today I have been tried:

  1. 1st nuke/install as suggested, booting the MacBook Pro up through automate-eGPU EFI without a connected eGPU. Once Windows fully loads I hot-plugging the eGPU. This first attempt of the day was with WiFi password put in at the start but not remembered, so it would only install stuff on the first time it was booted. Hot-plugging once Boot Camp assistant finished and after it wanted to reboot meant Windows only detected it as Microsoft Basic Adapter. No amount of waiting would allow the drivers to install (I'm not starting off with a pre-recognised GPU) - but then it was not allowed to use the internet. 
    I tried to install the 7/7 drivers and this gave me error 12. Toggling disable/enable on the ports wouldn't cause it to reallocate resources so gave up.
  2. Next attempt nuke/reinstall was without entering WiFi details during install. Rebooted once Bootcamp Assistant completed, used EFI on USB and had eGPU plugged in at the start - somehow it doesn't recognise in Windows. Had to unplug/replug to detect it before I could install drivers - still error 12 and no tweaking helped.
  3. Next was same as (2) with WiFi details during install, still no dice
  4. Downloaded a new ISO before nuke/install, did a few more attempts with the EFI usb method and eGPU in at start/in at Windows but nada. 
  5. Also tried the above with the 16/7 drivers from AMD.
  6. The next few attempts I can't even remember anymore but I did use DDU on some attempts.

I did make some observations though:

  • Sometimes during hot plug @ Windows logo you would get a different hot plug sound. Not the same as the one in Windows.
  • During re-hot plug in Windows with I would get the disconnect sound then connect sound, then disconnect.
  • I did capture this
{45AB8903 335C 432F A64A 4D78B4F34A10}.png
{8F50B0F7 DD90 488A 9EC9 FBABFB6168FE}.png

What really gets me is that I was playing on the thing just a few days ago!
This was the benchmarks from then:

Heaven Native 8xAA FS 5700XTAE

I've ordered a Nitro Vega64 to help me troubleshoot further but can anyone see where I'm going wrong? I'm completely stumped.
FYI the Blackmagic 580 works with little fuss but scores are like half that of the 5700XT50AE

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Not sure if using the RX 5700 XT 50AE for initial setup is the culprit or not. As detailed in my OP, Windows was able to install Radeon drivers for RX 480 albeit nearly two years old drivers. I will have an RX 5700 XT tomorrow and play with eGPU Boot Camp setup over the weekend. I'll observe what happens during initial setup on a fresh Windows 10 1903 using this card.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Juan Monterrosa
(@juan_monterrosa)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@itsage

Would love to hear your results, I'm running Windows 10 1803 and my RX 5700XT still isn't recognized and installing the drivers manually from AMD's website has been a no go. I'm using the latest version of bootcampdrivers.com for my 2018 15inch Macbook Pro 560X Dgpu. Still no luck, i'm hoping that once bootcampdrivers.com updates to July's drivers I may have more luck. For now I'm completely stumped. 

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


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kakahara
(@kakahara)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

 

I also installed Thunderbolt Control Center to monitor Thunderbolt 3 detection in case the setup acts up. During boot up the Apple firmware doesn't wake the Thunderbolt 3 controller/port up unless there's connected devices. I think Win10 1903 has improved hot detection and handling of PCIe components.

I think this bit is part of the key, as well as @vaepgu's suggestion: "It should work after that. If you ever get Error 12 in the Device Manager for the 5700, just reboot to Mac and then reboot to Windows."

I also remember getting more success with getting the Radeon connect pop-up when the keyboard/trackpad froze. Sometimes I wouldn't wait and would reboot.

I guess tonight I will try with the Blackmagic first, to try and replicate @itsage's steps. (and maybe go straight to 19.7.2)
The automate-eGPU EFI step can't help with initial bootcamp assistant so will have to wait for that initial install before running the automate-eGPU EFI usb stick.
Come to think of it, I recall on one of my successful attempts, I did have it plugged it at the start - noticed it would cause the Windows logo to flicker - unplugged it, then replugged all before Windows loaded up.

As a side: Does anyone know how I can get in safe mode in bootcamp?

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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kakahara
(@kakahara)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 
Posted by: @kakahara
Posted by: @itsage

 

I also installed Thunderbolt Control Center to monitor Thunderbolt 3 detection in case the setup acts up. During boot up the Apple firmware doesn't wake the Thunderbolt 3 controller/port up unless there's connected devices. I think Win10 1903 has improved hot detection and handling of PCIe components.

I think this bit is part of the key, as well as @vaepgu's suggestion: "It should work after that. If you ever get Error 12 in the Device Manager for the 5700, just reboot to Mac and then reboot to Windows."

I also remember getting more success with getting the Radeon connect pop-up when the keyboard/trackpad froze. Sometimes I wouldn't wait and would reboot.

I guess tonight I will try with the Blackmagic first, to try and replicate @itsage's steps. (and maybe go straight to 19.7.2)
The automate-eGPU EFI step can't help with initial bootcamp assistant so will have to wait for that initial install before running the automate-eGPU EFI usb stick.
Come to think of it, I recall on one of my successful attempts, I did have it plugged it at the start - noticed it would cause the Windows logo to flicker - unplugged it, then replugged all before Windows loaded up.

As a side: Does anyone know how I can get in safe mode in bootcamp?

 

So did Windows completely offline. Can't use normal 19.7.2 drivers as they don't include the Pro 580 drivers, only RX 580, 580X and others so used official BootCamp drivers from AMD dated 5/1/19. Didn't wait for any auto installing as my Windows as still offline.

While I got the Blackmagic to work again, I want the 5700XTAE to work. BootCampAssistant (henceforth known as BCA) reset into MacOS. Once at the login screen hit reset, disconnect Blackmagic and hold the option key for Windows.
I'm waiting until I get into Windows fully before hotplugging the Razer Core X + 5700XTAE and still getting met with error 12. It seems to initialize and then deinitialize.
Errors are same as above screenies.

Time to nuke again.
This time I will try an online setup, allowing Windows to install the Blackmagic first.

p.s. Given up on the EFI boot stick as the Blackmagic has shown hotplug should be easy.

Macbook Pro 13" i7 2019, Razer Core X, 5700XT 50th Anniversary Edition


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Not sure why the RX 5700 XT is giving you such a hard time. My RX 5700 XT just arrived this afternoon and it was working great with both my 2016 15" MacBook Pro and 2019 13" MacBook Pro (both run Win10 1903). The 15" MBP was a clean install of latest 19.7.2 drivers while the 13" MBP was existing graphics drivers 19.7.1.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Acronychal
(@acronychal)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

Great writeup and good to hear the 2019 MBP is easy to get working with eGPUs. 

I have a 2016 nTB MBP and no amount of effort would get my RX580 eGPU working in Windows 10 on this Mac. I spent so much time I eventually gave up as it wasn't worth it. I now game in macOS mostly. For the few games that I want to play and aren't on Mac, I've actually been using Parallels to pretty good success. Sure, it isn't as good as bootcamp, but as I could never get past error 12 with my eGPU/2016 MBP/RX 580 combination, it's my only real option.

I don't have much time to game anyway. Maybe someday I'll have more time and by then an easier Mac to work with.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@acronychal The 2016 MacBook Pro doesn't have Large Memory so it's tricky to resolve error 12 with an AMD eGPU. Give these steps a try when you want to run Windows again:

  • Install Windows 10 through Boot Camp Assistant then finish Apple driver installation [in macOS & Windows]
  • Create a 24MB FAT partition in Disk Utility and copy @goalque's automate-eGPU EFI onto it [in macOS]
  • Copy matching pre-compiled DSDT.aml to EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/WINDOWS folder inside EFI partition [in macOS]
  • Connect the RX 580 eGPU prior to powering on the MacBook Pro [MBP OFF]
  • Hold OPTION at boot to select EFI drive and hit Q to access automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection]
  • Download and install latest AMD graphics drivers for Radeon eGPU then restart [in Windows]
  • Boot into Windows via automate-eGPU EFI with RX 580 connected [boot selection]
This post was modified 3 weeks ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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