2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5300M) [9th,6C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 1903 [itsage]
Moving amidst a pandemic is a messy task. Fortunately the move was in town (20 minute drive) and my little hatchback has a decent amount of cargo space. For the past four weeks, I hauled a few things everyday after work. There's no real computer desk until at least May 4th so I'm using the dinning table for my work-from-home eGPU setup.
2019 16" MacBook Pro - i7-9750H/HD Graphics 630 iGPU & Radeon Pro 5300M dGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD
The Gaming Box has a nice carrying case which makes moving it around very easy. There's no support for Nvidia graphics card in macOS but the other features work. I have the wireless mouse connected through the expansion USB port. The Gaming Box provides 100W Power Delivery so that I can work all day. The Ethernet controller over USB actually has native support in macOS [10.15.4].
In Windows 10, it's straight forward using an Nvidia eGPU. This RTX 2080 Ti was no different. My 2019 16-in MacBook Pro is currently running Windows 10 1903 V1 for best eGPU hot-plug support [1903 18362.30-.295 discussion]. I simply downloaded the latest graphics drivers from Nvidia website then the AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box was good to go. Cold-plug as well as hot-plug was working with all ports.
Unique to the 2018-2019 MacBook Pros (both 15" & 16") is the non-functional Intel UHD Graphics iGPU. Even though apple_set_os.efi or rEFInd spoof can activate the iGPU in Boot Camp, the internal display cannot function when it attaches to the iGPU. Doing so would cause flashing white dots then black screen in Windows. Currently we don't have any workarounds for these MacBook Pros. For internal display acceleration with the eGPU, we can use Windows 10 Hybrid Graphics feature. This is most consistent setup and boot-up procedure:
- Install Windows 10 1903 V1 ISO (version 19362.30) through Bootcamp Assistant [in macOS]
- Disable automatic Windows Updates through either Group Policy or Services [in Windows]
- Download and install graphics drivers from Nvidia website [in Windows]
If all goes well the Radeon dGPU and Nvidia eGPU should work concurrently without issues. I have had the most consistent success with hot-plug. I have not experienced error 12 or error 43 with the 2019 16-in MacBook Pro so far. Unlike Radeon eGPU, there's no need for an EFI boot loader.
To get an idea for gaming performance with this setup, I hooked up an external monitor. The only one accessible atm is an AORUS FI27Q-P QHD 165Hz FreeSync 2. It's fully G-Sync Compatible and worked great. Here are some synthetic numbers through Unigine and 3DMark
|RP 5300M dGPU||RTX 2080 Ti INT||RTX 2080 Ti FHD||RTX 2080 Ti QHD|
The second generation Gaming Box with liquid cooling is the best eGPU atm. Too bad the dispute between Apple and Nvidia prevents users from enjoying this powerful eGPU in macOS. The encouraging news is most components of this eGPU enclosure are macOS compatible. I'm hoping we'll see the exact same AORUS Gaming Box with a Radeon card soon.
@itsage, great build, thanks for sharing. Im really new to all the egpu topic. Just curious why you mention this:
I'm hoping we'll see the exact same AORUS Gaming Box with a Radeon card soon.
Whats the benefit of having an AMD card? The fact that the acceleration in Windows mode will take place on the „internal“ MBP Display?
@consoletuner, This 2nd generation Gaming Box enclosure with its liquid cooling system is very nice and compact. Expansion ports work natively in macOS and Windows. The RTX 2080 Ti graphics card however only works on Windows. Let's say if there's an RX 5700 XT Gaming Box with this exact same enclosure, it will work in both macOS and Windows.
@consoletuner, Yes. Nvidia eGPU is easy in Boot Camp but no-go in macOS since 10.14. AMD can work in both OS environments but takes more effort to set up in Boot Camp.
@itsage Do I correctly understand, to have it working with the external display you didn't have to install DDU, nor do anything else? Just plug and go?
Looks like any recent version of Win 10 would be fine too?
I am thinking about investing in the Nvidia 2080 (or maybe wait for 3080?) and Razer Core X. I have Macbook Pro 2018 15'' and I would like to avoid losing money for something not working... Would it work the same way with Razer?
Is the performance loss around 20% with an external display?
Does the TB3 port you connected the eGPU matter?
I also understand everything can collapse with any Mac or Win update, correct?
LOVE this set up... love the pics... and at the risk of going too off topic love the look of your new place! Lovely looking mid century bannisters and it apertures.
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@leszek, Yes if you have not paired with any eGPU before, you can simply connect the Nvidia eGPU and either let Windows sort out the drivers or manually download and install the latest GeForce drivers. Performance loss depends on many factors. High resolution external monitor use produces the least loss. I would say it's a single digit performance loss if you do 4K gaming on an external monitor.
@eightarmedpet Thank you! This house is older and needs some updates but I love the architecture. The loft space is where the main computer desk will go. I will definitely post a build once everything comes together.
if you do 4K gaming on an external monitor.
That's what I want it for.
Does the closed-clamshell mode work?
How the OS decides which graphic card to use?
@leszek, I don't use clamshell mode but it should work from the reports I've seen. If you connect the eGPU directly to external monitor and set it as primary screen, all games launched should use the eGPU.