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2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T-Plus) +...
 

2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T-Plus) + Win10 1903 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

The RX 5700/XT graphics cards don't currently have drivers in macOS so this build is in Windows 10 Boot Camp only. With the 2019 13" MacBook Pro running 1903, I can hot-plug both Nvidia and AMD eGPU without any workarounds. All four Thunderbolt 3 ports are working well. I installed Thunderbolt Control Center to monitor device detection just in case there's issues. It's not neccessary on a Mac in Boot Camp.

 

System specs:

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

 

eGPU hardware:

Netstor HL23T-Plus + RX 5700 XT + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

I recently learned it's possible to hot-plug AMD eGPU in Boot Camp using Windows 10 1903 version. As soon as the RX 5700 XT eGPU was connected, the MacBook Pro 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 are non-functional also. Once the Thunderbolt 3 connection was established, everything resumed as normal. I tried Radeon drivers version 19.7.1 first then the latest 19.7.3. There's a slight improvement in compute performance.

Version 19.7.1 Version 19.7.3 eGPU & 5K Same Controller

Besides testing internal display mode, I wanted to run loopback mode by connecting a 5K monitor through a Thunderbolt 3 port. First run was through the same controller as the eGPU then second run had it through a separate controller. Last run is through the external monitor directly through the RX 5700 XT eGPU.

 

Benchmarks:

 

Internal Display Loopback Same Controller Loopback Separate Controller External Monitor

 

Comments:

It seems the Radeon drivers for RX 5700/XT are not well optimized for eGPU use just yet. Unlike Polaris and Vega cards, the performance loss for Navi cards is much greater through internal display vs external monitor. Loopback mode showed some interesting result as well. I reran 3DMark several times to make the results were consistent. At the moment it's best to use RX 5700 XT through an external monitor directly.

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

Ahhhhhhh rats, maybe I should cancel my order then. 
Cracking write up as ever, thanks for testing out loop back too! It’s crazy how far eGPU implementation has come when you compare this to the earlier 2016 MacBook builds.

Comparing the benchmarks to yourVega 56 ones it looks like the 5700xt actually performs a little worse in loopback! Argh.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

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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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet Yes the drivers need more work imo. I tested the RX 5700 XT in discrete mode using the Threadripper desktop and it runs very well. I also did some quick eGPU testing with this X399 desktop.

Thunderbolt 3 monitor output was straight-forward with the Gigabyte GC-Titan-Ridge AIC too - feed 2x DisplayPort cables into the AIC then run a Thunderbolt 3 connection to 5K monitor. In my test I needed a Thunderbolt 3 to dual DisplayPort adapter to use the HP Z27q.

The compute performance through Luxmark and Blender Benchmark saw no loss. The eGPU performance was a bit better in Luxmark because it didn't have to drive the 5K monitor simultaneously.

RX 5700 XT eGPU RX 5700 XT dGPU

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

Wow, another bunch of interesting test results... looks like Navi isnt quite ready for eGPU usage. Wondering if a Gigabyte Vega 64 would be a better option...

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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precision01
(@precision01)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage

Do you have any idea why RX 5700 XT comparison on desktop and eGPU vary so much?
If I'm not wrong, eGPU performance loss on Superposition is less than 10%, where in tests like Firestrike and Timespy eGPU loss is 30~40%.
In Unigine Heaven you have an eGPU loss of around 15%.
From my personal experience with AORUS Gaming Box with MacBook Pro 15 on Windows, eGPU performance loss is around 15-20% on 1080p resolutions and 10 - 15% on 1440p or 4k resolution. Do you have this 10-15% results also?
I'm wondering how it performs in real modern games, like Shadow of Tomb Raider or Assasin's Creed Odyssey built-in benchmarks.

Assuming Apple will support Navi cards in macOS Catalina sooner than latter, Radeon 5700 XT is a good option for people who need to choose 1 single GPU that works perfect both on Mac and windows. But only if eGPU loss follow GeForce GTX patterns (10-15% on average on 1440p and 4k resolutions)

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)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@precision01 To clarify I was running the RX 5700 XT eGPU through loopback mode on X399 Desktop. It's one of the worst case possible so the performance difference between eGPU vs dGPU is huge. If the eGPU was through external monitor directly it would perform much better. You can see MacBook Pro + RX 5700 XT eGPU in external monitor mode is fairly good.

At this point in time, it's likely driver optimization or lack thereof for the Navi cards. Polaris was the generation that launched with XConnect/eGPU support so the drivers for them in both Windows and macOS are very good. You can see a clear difference in 3DMark tests between the internal display vs. loopback mode in MBP results. There are other factors with the host computers as well. Thunderbolt 3 connection routing also makes a difference.

 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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precision01
(@precision01)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@itsage

I see. Thanks for clarification.
So, we must compare, your first post (MacBook Pro results) with your next benchmark post (Desktop results).

So, results would be:

Superposition Macbook: 14357 (-9%)
Superposition Desktop: 15733

Valley Macbook: 4230 (-5%)
Valley Desktop: 4444

Heaven Macbook: 2307 (-9%)

Heaven Desktop: 2632

Timespy Macbook: 6702 (-32%)
Timespy Desktop: 8860

Firestrike Macbook: 15435 (-40%)
Firestrike Desktop: 21676

If my interpretation of the results are right, 5700 XT eGPU is performing very well on Unigine benchmarks, but horribly on 3Dmark.

Am I looking at something wrong here?

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

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


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