2019 16" MacBook Pro (RP5500M) [9th,8C,H] + RX 6800 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 1903V1
Hello guys and welcome to my guide. I'll keep it short and to the point and update once I find something new.
Note: I don't quite recommend this build. However, if you are okay with playing games in window mode then I am happy to report this setup works ok. My overall rating is 4/10. Be prepared to deal with a lot of bugs, restarts and frustrations. Looking ahead, I would rather have PC and Mac connected to 1 monitor rather then egpu. I blame for this both Apple and Microsoft. Both environments proved to be incompetent in handling external egpu and high-res monitor.
• MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019) with AMD 5500m
• VRM Cooling Mod using this guide:
• PowerColor Radeon RX 6800XT Red Devil
• Razer Core X Chroma 700W
- Razer specifies that Chroma's GPU L H W max is 12.99in / 330mm; 6.29in / 160mm; 2.36in / 60mm
- AMD Radeon RX 6800XT Red Devil L H W is ---- 12.60in / 320mm; 5.30in / 135mm; 2.40in / 62 mm
- Width wise it fits just, having the card actually slightly touching the outer wall when sliding into the casing, but the fans never touch anything and are free to spin. There is a mash that allows for the intake so this is exact max fit. There's no room for anything bigger. Make sure to zip tie power cables so they don't touch the exhaust fan.
• Eve Spectrum 4K
• Win10 Pro 1903V1 (Updated up until it stared downloading cumulative update then disabled automatic updates and driver updates by windows)
• Disconnect networking (or keep an eye on windows updates so that it doesn't fully download and start installing cumulative update. Before that update kicks in, you must disable automatic updates or it will throw Error code 12)
• Don't use peripherals with Chroma. This tanks bandwidth. Instead get a USB hub and use it instead. I have Mokin with 4 USB3 ports. Idk maybe someone will be able to get a bigger hub running - let me know in the comments and I'll upgrade mine. I also use Belkin USB-C to Ethernet adapter.
• You going to need Windows 10 Pro/Home 1903V1. There is no other way to get the system up and running without some advance tweaking.
• Update MacOS to the latest version to get the latest GPU support.
• Use bootcamp to install Windows. Google the above Windows version and download ISO from archives.
• You can leave your egpu plugged in
• Follow Bootcamp instructions
• To disabled Automatic Updates use Windows Search and type > Edit Group Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Updates > Configure Automatic Updates > Disable
• There are other things you might want to disable go through the list
• Get the internet back
• Install Bootcamp Drivers upon prompt
• Search Apple Update Software > Let it check for updates > Install latest Bootcamp updates
• Download latest Adrenaline Drivers (Red) from BootCampDrivers website > Unzip > Use DDUT and let it clean up any previous drivers > then run the main exe and install GPU drivers > let it do it's thing
• while all this is happing your egpu should be working
• (Optional, Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet) Install latest firmware for your Realtek network adopter. This will help better the ping.
• Create restore point you can rely on incase of any mishaps.
Stabilizing temps/performance on 16" MacBookPro + M5500:
I made an incredible discovery playing with Throttlestop today. I tested this playing CSGO just slightly below 4K at 3840x1620. I ran the game in window mode so I could have Throttlestop on top which then allowed me to monitor and test things in real time. Here is what I discovered: At first I tired my original settings 4 cores / 8 threads and 3.2Mhz, 3.4 and 3.6. TPL set to 34W (max limit). At 3.6Mhz the computer always reached 100C. In game you could see the dips in fps, you can feel microstuttering and just overall not like a desktop experience. at 3.4, things improved a lot which made me realize that MacBook throttles slightly below 100C at about 95sh or so. So at 3.4 I would hit 96sh and in game dips were much smaller, but you could feel it a bit and if you play FPS it's like ping jumping from 24 to 34 in span of a second. It feels exactly like it but for a very brief moment and would very much depend on the action. At 3.2 I enjoyed toasty temps but overall the performance was very stable. I was very happy with the result but for my own amusements I wanted to try some other configurations. So, I was like what the hell I am going to try msconfig with 6 cores and the same multipliers - to my surprise I was getting similar results and at 3.2MHz it was performing staller This gave me an idea that maybe it wasn't so much the core count as clock speed that was making things hot. So for last bit I was like ok let's go all cores no msconfig limits and I was amazed! At 3.2MHz 8 Core / 16 threads I am playing CSGO at 3840x1620 and getting anywhere from 160-300+fps! But it's a butter smooth experience! With almost 95% GPU utilization!!
Here are the updated settings:
Search and run msconfig > boot > advance config > 4 cores / 8 threads. Don't change anything!
• Download Throttlestop > settings: TPL > Power limit control > checked only PL1 + clamp at 34W. Set Multiplier @32T. > save and turn it ON
- Setup basic task to have Throttlestop start on logging in (Google)
• Mac Fan Control > sensor based on CPU PECI at MIN 36C and MAX 72C for both CPU and GPU fans (you can change this as you like but this setting is to keep your computer from reaching 100C at which point it will throttle and if you play FPS you gonna hate your life).
• Disable 5500m in the device manger.
• Disable anything else you don't like when gaming
Power plan > Max processor state 99%. Don't change!
• [Major] Running games at fullscreen causes huge performance degradation and locks the frame rate slightly above your monitor's refresh rate. This only happens when running at fullscreen. If to run the game at that same res but in Windowed or Fullscreen Window modes, it works just fine and at full blast.
- Workaround: Is to run games in Window Mode. And for games like CSGO if you like 4:3, your option is to change Windows native resolution to 4:3 and then in game just do slightly smaller value so that it fits otherwise the application frame is going to extend beyond the screen container itself and you won't be able to see parts of the hud. It's very bad in terms that you can't utilize the whole screen but the fps is stable and the game runs fine. I made my desktop background all black and removed all the icons + made the taskbar small and very minimal to help create less distracting experience.
- This issue is related to Windows Full Screen Optimization it basically caps frames at slightly above screen's max refresh rate (144hz/~160fps). It also doesn't understand egpu + extremal monitor configuration.
• [Solved] Using HDMI 2.1 on MacOS side - you will have blurry text/image >
solution is to use USB-C 3.1 (8K) to display port 1.4 cable or switching to using internal gpu.
- Displayport (egpu out) to USB-C 3.1 (monitor in) doesn't work.
- Solved with Displayport 1.4 to 1.4
• [Acceptable] MacBookPro with lid closed and external monitor wont start when Windows is hibernating or completely off. This requires opening the lid and physically clicking the power button or hitting any key on the MacBook itself or external keyboard/mouse. I opted to just logging off and keeping the computer running for now.
• [Acceptable] Booting holding Option key is a mystery at the moment. I have it set to boot into Mac so when I want to load Windows, I basically have to guess when the menu shows up because all I see is black screen. You might be better off if the laptop stays open during boot. Mine is tucked behind the monitor so I basically try to guess or open it when things don't go right.
- The above is not related to HDMI 2.1 or displayport. Most likely eGPU switching is software/kext controlled rather than BIOS/hardware.
• [Misc] Strange behavior with Display Port 1.4 bugging out on Windows and only working correctly when HDMI 2.1 Cable is connected. Otherwise it goes into 1080p resolution and for some reason I can't understand why.
Curent performance (November 25th, 2021):
• Max recorded temperature spike 96C
• Semi-sustained temperature under heavy load 74-96C @ 8 cores/16 threads 3.2MHz
• Average sustained temperature when gaming 82C
• Idle temperature 48-52C
• Stable • Acceptable (0.1-0.3s occasional stutter) • Bad (Throttling, FPS drops)
I would like to thank @itsage for helping me out. I was about to give up, registered here on egpu forums and his help was godsent! 🤟
The slight dip in the picture is me Alt+Tabbing. There is the most minute microstutter just as it briefly hits 96C. I am going to test some more but the safe bet is 3.2-3.1MHz. Going to test this with other games! I will do this with Cyberpunk and let you all know!