2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RP W5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + macOS 10.15.4 // connected to USB-C only LG 5K Monitor
Overview - eGPU driving a USB-C only monitor
The eGPU is used to accelerate video production workflow (Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid, DaVinci Resolve). The main challenge for this setup was to be able to drive a monitor that ONLY has a USB-C input (the LG 5k). The BlackMagic PRO eGPU had supported this but was discontinued. As an alternative, I got the Radeon Pro W5700, which was the only card with USB-C output that I could find (as of April 2020). The Akitio Node Titan is well designed and is one of the few using the latest Intel Titan Ridge chipset.
2019 13" Macbook Pro (Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB)
2019 Mac Mini
Mac OS Catalina 10.15.4
27-inch LG UltraFine 5K - Using USB-C input at 4K
2nd HDMI monitor to get LG to power on
Installation - Node Titan EGPU Enclosure
Very easy install. Just the right amount of space in the enclosure for the 2 slot Radeon Pro card. Build quality and design of the enclosure is excellent.
Unscrew the two case bolts on back. Slide off case top. Unscrew the two long PCI screws and remove the face plate since this is a 2 slot card. The Titan has two bundles of 6+2 power cables and the Radeon Pro needs a 6 pin power and an 8 pin power. Plug in one of the 6 pin bundles into the back of the Radeon Pro. Take the other power bundle and push the 6 pin next to the 2 pin. They are keyed so there is only one orientation where the 2 pin and 6 pin fit together. Once together, push them into the 8 pin power slot on the Radeon. Now carefully line up the card with the PCI slot and slowly press the card into the slots. Tighten the two long PCI screws. Put case top back on and tighten the two case bolts.
The short Thunderbolt cable goes from the Thunderbolt port on the back left of the Titan (not the Video card ports) and connects to the Mac.
Nothing is needed if you have Catalina and are not using Windows. When you connect the eGPU, you should see an eGPU (square circuit) icon in the OSX menu bar.
Right click on apps and select "info" - then set "Prefer External EGPU" for each app you use
Installation LG 5K Monitor
The USB-C port on the Radeon card is connected with a USB-C cable to the 5K monitor USB-C port. Originally, one of the Displayport ports was used to connect the second HDMI monitor, however because of the Catalina sleep problem, the second monitor was moved directly to the mini so that the eGpu could be disabled and then the mini could be put to sleep.
The LG 5K has no power switch and only has USB-C (or Thunderbolt) input. The only card I could find with USB-C display output is the Radeon PRO W5700. The only way I could get the LG display to power on was to attach a second monitor (any HDMI or DisplayPort monitor) to the Node Titan. Once there is a second monitor on the Titan, it will power up the LG 5K. I don't think this is an issue with the Radeon card or the Node Titan. Note that I believe USB-C in this setup only displays 4K but it looked great.
Official benchmarks to come, but this is a game changer for me. I can now preview Premiere Pro effects at full resolution with no issues. Previously I was unable to use the internal GPU at all for many tasks and had to use software due to internal GPU memory limits. I can now use the eGPU with Davinci Resolve, Premiere Pro, and Avid with substantial performance improvements.
- A second HDMI monitor was needed to be attached to the EGPU to force it to power on the LG 5K.
- Mojave did not see the eGPU and Catalina was required.
- Adobe Premiere Pro 14.1 has known problems using any GPU with legacy titles - down-revving Premiere to 14.0.4 resolved this.
- The system hangs if it goes to sleep with the eGPU attached. Apparently this is a known issue with 10.15.4
- Webcam/Audio on monitor (LG 5k) attached to eGPU stutters if there are any GPU apps active. The webcam works if there are no heavy GPU apps running.
related the open issue
1.The system hangs if it goes to sleep with the eGPU attached. Apparently this is a known issue with 10.15.4
Do you know if this is specific to this eGPU or it can happen also with a different one, for example, a Razer Core X?
I'm asking this because I see some posts from 2017 with an eGPU from the same manufacturer with the same/similar problem.
@pop_gheorghe, I've seen reports of this problem with people using Akitio, Sonnet, Razer core X, Mantiz Venus, and HP eGPU enclosures: eGPU sleep problems. It doesn't seem related to the enclosure type and apparently worked at some point before 10.15.4