2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RTX 2070 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 2004
- MacBook Pro 16" (i9, 5500m, 1TB SSD, 16GB Ram)
- MSI GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER VENTUS OC
- Win 10 2004 (19041.450)
- ASUS TUF 24" FHD 144Hz 1ms GTG IPS LED FreeSync Gaming Monitor
1) Disable automatic driver installations in Windows
2) Connect my external monitor to the eGPU.
3) Plug in my eGPU box with the Razer Core PSU power switch turned off
4) Turn the Razer Core PSU power switch on.
5) Download and install the latest Nvidia Studio Drivers (Version 452.06) for my RTX 2070 Super
Everything worked pretty smoothly after that. I played Total War: Troy, Civ 6, League of Legends, Dolphin (Wii Emulation), and PCSX2 (PS 2 Emulation) and they all ran very well. Of course, there was probably some performance loss due to using an eGPU but I don't mind. I also used my Oculus Quest using Quest Link and it ran very well. I played Half Life: Alyx on High Fidelity and the game ran at a smooth 72fps with no stutters. I connected the Oculus Quest directly to the Thunderbolt 3 port on my MacBook Pro. It might be possible to get better performance by connecting the Quest to the eGPU box directly, but I'm not sure.
Benchmarks (Time Spy V1.2):
Graphics Score: 8894
CPU Score: 6119 (This could probably be higher if I let the CPU turbo boost, but I don't want to let my MacBook get too hot)
After overclocking the GPU a bit, I got
Graphics Score: 9311
CPU Score: 6127
These were run with the MacBook in Clamshell mode with the external monitor. Also, I had 3 USB devices attached to the Razer Core (2 mice, 1 keyboard).
Things to note:
One important thing to note is that I was not able to get cold-plugging to work. If the eGPU is powered on while the MacBook is booting up, the MacBook gets stuck with an Apple logo on the screen and doesn't boot up. Once the system is booted up, you can turn the eGPU PSU power switch on in both MacOS and Windows. Of course, in MacOS, the eGPU doesn't work. However, the 4 USB ports still work on my Razer Core X Chroma still work so I basically use my Razer Core as a USB Hub in MacOS.
Also, when turning off the MacBook, you have to be careful. In Windows, you can turn off the MacBook while is the eGPU is powered on and there's no issues at all. However, in MacOS, if the eGPU is powered on while the system is shutting down, the GPU fans kick in full throttle and don't stop until I power off the eGPU.
For gaming, I set the Maximum Processor State setting on Windows to 99% so that the CPU doesn't turbo boost. I also use MacsFanControl on max fan speed. With these changes, my CPU never goes above 65C while gaming.
I noticed that some other builds out there uninstall the AMD dedicated GPU drivers completely. I decided not to do this because I still want to use my MacBook in Windows without an eGPU. However, the 5500m does use some power, even when it's not doing anything. Using GPU-Z, I found out that the dedicated GPU still uses 3 watts of power in clamshell mode even when it's idling. With the MacBook display turned on, the dedicated GPU uses 4 watts of power when idling. This probably affects gaming performance a bit, though not very much. Just something to keep in mind.
@lazyplanter, I also have a similar setup (MBP 16 2019 + RTX 2070) and faced the same issue as you where you get stuck on the Apple Logo during boot when egpu is plugged in. Apple fixed it in the firmware shipped with the upcoming Big Sur release, so you can either wait for the final version or update now to the public beta and then you can rollback if you want to you current macos version since firmware will still be updated.
I didn't know that, thanks. I'm surprised the firmware sticks even after rolling back the update.
Does it also solve the issue related to turning off the MacBook with the eGPU on in MacOS? For me, it turns off successfully but the GPU fans go crazy even after the MacBook is shut down.
I just updated the GPU to a 2080 TI (EVGA FTW3 Ultra). My graphics score in Timespy is ~13k now, which is a 44% boost from the 2070 Super. I was expecting a larger bottleneck with the 2080 TI and I was surprised with the performance improvements. My frametimes in VR seem to indicate roughly the same performance increase as well.