2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG St...
 
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2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station 2) + Win10 1903 [itsage]  

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

While waiting for a set of modified Radeon drivers from bootcampdrivers.com that can work with both RP 5500M dGPU and a Radeon eGPU, I tested an Nvidia eGPU on the 2019 16-in MacBook Pro. It worked immediately without any workarounds.

 

System specs:

2019 16″ MacBook Pro – i9-9880H/HD Graphics 630 iGPU & Radeon Pro 5500M dGPU/16GB RAM/1TB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

ASUS ROG XG Station 2 + GTX 1080 Ti + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable + LG 4K FreeSync Monitor

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

I’m running Windows 10 1903 version 18362.295 so that it can work with AMD eGPU. Nvidia eGPU can work with the latest versions even 1909. Depending on the Nvidia graphics card, cold plug may cause a boot hang. This usually happens on RTX series cards. This GTX 1080 Ti can work with the 2019 16″ MBP through both cold-plug and hot-plug. I simply downloaded and installed the latest drivers from Nvidia website.

In order to accelerate the MacBook Pro‘s internal display with the GTX 1080 Ti eGPU, I manually set each app to use the “High Performance” graphics preference. As seen in the hardware pictures, the resolution scaling wasn’t perfect with the internal display. It’s best to change the Desktop resolution to a specific setting that matches your game first to make sure it uses the entire screen.

External monitor usage with the eGPU was straight forward. This LG 4K FreeSync monitor works great through G-Sync compatible with a GeForce 10-series and newer graphics card.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Unigine and 3DMark benchmarks through the external monitor at FHD and 4K (G-Sync was on). Internal display testing was at FHD.

Internal Display External Monitor FHD External Monitor 4K

 

Comments:

The ASUS XG Station 2 is an overkill eGFX in many aspects. The one unique feature that no other eGPU enclosure has is the separate USB-B connector that can host the expansion ports. This helps reserving all 22Gbps Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth to the eGPU.

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