2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10 1903
I have successfully built my first egpu setup after following this forum for years. Thanks to everyone here, my build was really easy, overall took me only about 30mins to get everything up and running. So i'm hoping to post my build here for anyone that's looking to build a egpu setup but intimated by the overwhelming procedures.
System specs (model inc screen size, CPU, iGPU, dGPU, operating system which eGPU is being used)
2019 16" MBP Core i9 2.3ghz, 32gb RAM, radeon pro 5500m 8gb.
Windows 10 Pro v1903
eGPU hardware (eGPU enclosure, video card, any third-party TB3 cable, any custom mods)
Powercolour Red Dragon RX5700XT
Razer thunderbolt cable
Lazy to post.
Installation steps (what did you do to get it all going?)
Plug and Play, no further comments.
1)Download windows 10 v1903H1 iso and proceed to install via bootcamp assistant.
2)Let the MBP do it's things (restart and etc, the usual bootcamp procedures)
3)When Windows is done installing, you will see a setup screen for you to setup windows for the first time, i recommend going through the whole process without connecting to the internet(offline mode), once finish setting up, login to your desktop, bootcamp will continue to install all the drivers. Again, let it do it's things, it will restart a few times.
4)After everything is done, disable windows auto update via the group policy method(this is why installing the Pro version of windows is recommended, as home version isn't able to do this step).
5)Now, you can connect to the internet and head over to bootcampdriver.com to download the AMD driver. (I downloaded the April Red version).
6)After you have downloaded the zip file, extract everything. You will see DDU is included in the download.
7)Run DDU as admin, uninstall the AMD driver that is currently found on your system. (I didn't do this step in safe mode and it worked fine. I selected all 4 options under the AMD section, and also selected "Not allow windows auto install drivers") Select GPU and AMD option from the drop-down menu on the right, and then click on "clean and do not restart"(I ran this option 3 times in a row), finally, click on "clean and restart".
8) After restarting, install the AMD driver that you downloaded( I selected "factor reset" option in this step), and the system will restart. After restarting, it will continue the install process. After installation is done, i restarted the system again.
9)Final step, i have the egpu powered on, connected to external monitor, login to windows, wait for everything to finish loading and the system start to idle(I checked the AMD driver was loaded properly by right click on desktop and saw the "AMD Radeon Software"). Then I proceed to plug in the egpu, and the system will start to do it's things again(allocating resources for the egpu). My system became unresponsive at this point, mouse, trackpad and keyboard were not responding, but i know it's not frozen because there's the device-connected-sound. So i just let it sit for awhile and when to grab dinner...lol. *don't panic and force restart the system ;)*
When I'm back, i was presented with a login screen. So i logged into my desktop and the external display light up, and i got a popup saying "AMD XConnect is now connected"
Haven't done any serious benchmark, but Shadow of Tomb Raider benchmark was running fine. I undervolted the rx5700XT to 1050mV and it seems fine. Will update the post in future if i did benchmark.
Overall, the process is relatively pain free. I almost went with Nvidia due to how much issue i saw people were having with AMD cards. But in the end having one card for both OS is too big of a temptation to overcome, so I went with AMD.
Everything works fine, I can hot plug and and cold plug on both OS.
Lastly, I want to mention something about using Mac Fan Control in both windows and macOS. Previously MacFanControl is always the first app that i install in all my MBPs. Because it offers the ability to control fan noise. However, i have come to realised that when i try to manually control the fan, it creates more issues, specifically the thunderbolt chip. When connected to an external display or usb hub, the temperature of the thunderbolt chip increase significantly, and the thunderbolt chip temp is not read by MacFanControl. I used to think that the laptop always spinning up the fan for no reason when connected to external devices, therefore I always install MacFanControl to "optimize" the fans.. But after using istat 6 to monitor more temp readings, i found out that the fans do not randomly spin up, they spin up for a reason that previously wasn't known to me. So now I just have the fans on auto without using any third party fan profile apps, i believe this is the best for the longevity of the system, this is just my two cents.
Lastly, huge thanks to @itsage again for posting so many help guides that made my first egpu build such a breeze.
@deliciousalbatross7, I have the exact same specs, with everything you have except I'm using an XFX Thicc III and my 16in MacBook only has 16gb of Ram. I've spent the last days trying to set this thing up to no avail- I just keep encountering error 12. I've been scouring the internet to find a fix for this. And I felt like your guide would be the easiest one to follow. I just do not know where I'm going wrong and genuinely think I might go insane at this point. I've heard some people are plugging in the eGPU for the first time while the drivers are installing? Or which port are you plugging in the eGPU into? Thanks again
@irish, i personally didn't encounter any error 12, but there are a few things maybe could be worth taking note.
1) Make sure all the installing and uninstalling drivers are successful. This includes the DDU uninstalling Apple's bootcamp drivers for the dGPU, and the installing of drivers that's downloaded from bootcampdriver.com. Initially, i tried using the Jan 2020 red drivers because i saw other members on this forum are having error 12 with the April version. However for some unknown reason, the Jan version I wasn't able to get the Jan version to install successfully(it wouldn't restart even though i chose "factory reset" option while installing the driver, and after manual restart, the driver won't continue installing). For this reason, i chose the April version and it worked fine, everything worked as it should have. So i recommend that if you had any kind of abnormally during any of the steps, start over again. I also recommend start with a fresh installed windows. I made sure every step of the process worked as it should, no failing to restart or failing to resume etc.
2) after you have prepped everything (the drivers), do not attach any USB devices to the MBP or the Razer Core X USB ports. The only connections are Monitor->eGPU, Core X->MBP. And on the first time you connect the Core X to MBP, the system will become unresponsive. Trackpad and keyboard will not respond, but there will be sound, the sound that windows 10 makes when there's USB devices connected. At this point, just leave the system alone, go grab some snack or coffee.. I literally let the system do it's thing while i went and grab my dinner. When i got back to the system about 30mins later, the system's internal display was showing windows login screen(i assumed it restarted itself, cannot confirm as i wasn't there to see it).
Then i unplug the thunderbolt cable from the MBP, login to windows, wait for everything to finish starting up, plug in the cable again. Now the system will not freeze anymore, the external display lights up and there's a popup at the right bottom corner saying AMD "XConnect external GPU is connected". At this point, the built-in trackpad and keyboards are working fine, and everything else are working correctly, then i proceed to plugging in all the usb mouse and keyboard to the back of the Core X's usb ports.
3) I'm using the thunderbolt port on the left, the one that is nearer to the hinge. If the laptop's screen is facing you, then it is the one that is further away from you.
Hope these helps, wish you a success.
@irish, I'm in the same boat as you. Same computer but with 16GB of RAM, though I have a Sonnet enclosure and a Vega 64. Have followed this twice now, from clean install, and get Error 12 every time. Killing me.
@DeliciousAlbatross7 I have the same MBP with 16GB RAM like SeanHoess. A Razer Core X and a AMD RX580. Ill get always error 12. I'm using an external USB to boo except Bootcamp internal. The only chance to get it run is with apple_set_os.efi. Bu it isn't stable then. Which graphics card did windows show in the device manager ? 3 ? AMD, Intel , AMD (iGPU)
This is puzzling. For me, the setup is extremely straightforward as I mentioned in my build guide.
I did not encounter any error 12 with my build. I can use any of the four ports to connect the eGPU and they all work fine.
the only difference I have observed so for is that the right side ports can do both cold and hot plug. The left side ones will fail cold plug sometimes. That is the only thing I observed. Otherwise everything works. Even sleep and hibernate works flawlessly.
in device manager, both eGPU and dGPU shows up. I didn’t activate the iGPU as I don’t see a point in that. All displays works, both internal and external ones.
so I don’t know why some of you guys are having error 12.