2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + ...
 
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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 2004 // Clean & seamless 1-cable-solution with a 34" widescreen  

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Viktor G
(@viktor_g)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

Hello everyone,

It's time for me to present my eGPU setup. I've been lurking in this forum for a few months and seeking advice on which setup to go for, until I finally put everything together about a month ago. However, my main goal was building a visually appealing and seamless setup which is easy to use and doesn't waste any space. I order to achieve this, I built a small shelf for the Razer Core X below my desk. Now that everything is completed besides some minor cable management, I wanted to share the setup with you.

 

System specs & hardware

Hardware pictures

2020 08 03 12.39.46
2020 08 03 12.39.26
2020 08 03 12.39.31
2020 08 03 12.39.02
2020 08 03 12.39.39
2020 08 03 12.39.42
2020 08 03 12.39.35

 

Installation steps

The installation was really simple. The RTX 2060 Super is plug&play in Windows 10 2004. I still used DDU and NVslimmer in order to perform a clean driver installation to avoid further issues. Also you should make sure that power management in Nvidia control panel is set to maximum power. This will give you a significant performance boost.

Hot-plugging works without problems. However, I still encounter an issue where Bluetooth gets disabled when activating the eGPU and can't be brought back without restarting the MBP. Another annoyance is that Windows is often lagging until I disable and re-enable the iGPU in the device manager. I'm thinking about writing a script that disables BT and iGPU upon connecting the eGPU and turns them back on after 20 seconds. If anyone has already done this, please let me know.

Here I want to show you some of the accessories I used in order to make the build as versatile as possible.

Initially, I wanted to use a Razer Core X Chroma in order to achieve a true 1-cable-solution. However, after reading about the issues with peripherals connected to the I/O ports of the Chroma I decided to take a different route. I have a USB-C adapter sitting below my desk which offers an RJ45 network connection and 3x USB 3 Type-A ports. Those are used for the wireless mouse and keyboard dongles.

The third USB 3 port is occupied by the headphone stand from Satechi that can be seen in the pictures. It serves two main purposes. First of all, it has another 3x USB 3 ports for USB sticks and other peripherals that are easily accessible from the desk. Another very important port is the headphone/mic jack on the side of the headphone holder. As some of you may know, MacBooks have an issue with microphones in bootcamp which already persisted for several years. After 5-10 minutes of using the mic, the drivers start going rogue and distort your voice into infinity. So far this can only be fixed temporarily by replugging your headphones. This however only gives you another 5-10 minutes until the issue comes back. A permanent solution to this is to use an external sound card. The headphone stand you see here has an integrated sound card, which allows me to use my headphones without annoying others in discord.

This solution initially required me to connect 2 cables to my MBP which wasn't what I aimed for. That was until I discovered this little piece of tech:

The Afterplug Dual Type-C Short Extender. It allows me to run 2 TB3 devices with the convenience of a 1-cable-solution. And yes it does support TB3.

 

Benchmarks

AIDA64 GPGPU & CUDA-Z

AIDA64 Benchmark 2060S 2
CUDA1

 

Unigine Heaven loopback vs. external:

loopback
extern

 

 

Here are some FPS values from the games I'm playing. Everything is running at max settings in 3440x1440.

  • Rocket League: 230 FPS
  • Apex Legends: 70 FPS
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider: 55 FPS
  • Valorant (2560x1440 due to lack of widescreen support): 210 FPS at the shooting range
  • CSGO: 270 FPS
  • Trackmania 2020: 100 FPS (very CPU heavy)
20200806 121304
20200806 122035
20200806 120318

For some games it makes sense to cap the CPU performance at like 70% in power management because it improves the thermals and leads to overall much lower fan noise levels. In games like Trackmania, Valorant and CSGO however this will have a larger impact on performance. The CPU temperatures go up to 80°C with uncapped CPU performance and only up to 65°C with a 70% cap.

 

Comments

So far I'm really enjoying the eGPU experience. It gave me a way to manage everything I do on one device while maintaining the mobility of a laptop combined with substantial gaming power. There are some minor annoyances in the software which can hopefully be fixed by running some scripts. In the end, the eGPU was the right solution for me personally and I'm really impressed by the performance of the setup on a 3440x1440 screen.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

 

EDIT: Added more benchmark results

2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 2004 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@viktor_g, Thank you for sharing this nice build! How have your experience been with the separate connection for peripherals? We're still trying to learn more information on expansion ports while Thunderbolt 3 eGPU is in use. The Ice Lake CPU laptops may have another advantage in this regard too because TB3 connection go directly to the CPU.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I am very happy to see some set up pics, even happier to see it looks so damn awesome and clean. Nice work @viktor_g

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Viktor G
(@viktor_g)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@viktor_g, Thank you for sharing this nice build! How have your experience been with the separate connection for peripherals? We're still trying to learn more information on expansion ports while Thunderbolt 3 eGPU is in use. The Ice Lake CPU laptops may have another advantage in this regard too because TB3 connection go directly to the CPU.

 

You're welcome! I really had no issues with peripherals running this solution. I also couldn't notice a difference between separated ports. The eGPU performs the same, no matter which TB3 port I use. At the same time, the dock works flawlessly with any of the TB3 ports as well. I really think the Ice Lake TB3 controllers do a better job than the conventional titan ridge ones.

Posted by: @eightarmedpet

I am very happy to see some set up pics, even happier to see it looks so damn awesome and clean. Nice work @viktor_g

Thanks a lot! I really hoped to see more set up pictures from other users as well!

2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 2004 [build link]  

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Erik Regalado
(@erik_regalado)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

How do you go about capping the CPU?

 

My rtx 2070 comes in tomorrow and I wanna make sure everything goes as smoothly as can be 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Viktor G
(@viktor_g)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 
Posted by: @erik_regalado

How do you go about capping the CPU?

 

My rtx 2070 comes in tomorrow and I wanna make sure everything goes as smoothly as can be 

You right-click on the battery icon in your tray and open power otions, then you press "change power plan" and then "advanced options". This window should show up.

Make sure that PCI-E power saving is turned off and then go into CPU power management and set maximum processor state to a value you prefer. I made a couple of different profiles like Full power where the min and max CPU are set to 100% (and the laptop gets quite hot), then a daily driver one with min 5% max 70% and a normal gaming one with min 20% max 90% cap.)

2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 2004 [build link]  

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YesiLikeJazz
(@yesilikejazz)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

Thanks for posting your build, @viktor_g !. I'm looking to do something really similar with my 2020 13" MBP, and had a few questions (if you don't mind). I'm assuming you went through the standard EFI boot loader, etc. setup @itsage describes in his detailed eGPU bootcamp setup guide?

1. Are you using your laptop in OSX when you're on-the-go? My use-case would be that I need OSX functionality when I'm out and about (I'm used to having my workflow all in OSX), but want to play games on Windows at home. Have you noticed any peculiarities on the OSX side of things as a result of the setup?

2. Have you noticed any issues with TB3 bandwidth limitations as far as using peripherals/external drives hooked up to them? I've read that previous generations of MBP's have issues with the Titan Ridge controllers not playing nice with eGPUs.

3. What does switching between OS's look like in your workflow? I'm curious as to how seamless/not seamless it is.

 

Thanks in advance! Congrats and well done again on putting together such a clean build.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Viktor G
(@viktor_g)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 
Posted by: @yesilikejazz

Thanks for posting your build, @viktor_g !. I'm looking to do something really similar with my 2020 13" MBP, and had a few questions (if you don't mind). I'm assuming you went through the standard EFI boot loader, etc. setup @itsage describes in his detailed eGPU bootcamp setup guide?

1. Are you using your laptop in OSX when you're on-the-go? My use-case would be that I need OSX functionality when I'm out and about (I'm used to having my workflow all in OSX), but want to play games on Windows at home. Have you noticed any peculiarities on the OSX side of things as a result of the setup?

2. Have you noticed any issues with TB3 bandwidth limitations as far as using peripherals/external drives hooked up to them? I've read that previous generations of MBP's have issues with the Titan Ridge controllers not playing nice with eGPUs.

3. What does switching between OS's look like in your workflow? I'm curious as to how seamless/not seamless it is.

 

Thanks in advance! Congrats and well done again on putting together such a clean build.

Hi and sorry for the late reply!

I actually didn't follow any guide and basically treated it like a regular Windows laptop. I didn't play around with EFI boot loader. I can hotplug the eGPU after bootup easily, however, booting up with the eGPU already plugged in doesn't work for me.

1. Yes I use MacOS on the go because the battery life is superior and I kinda like the touch bar. I haven't noticed any differences regarding MacOS after setting up the eGPU. The systems are completely separated. However, be careful with partitioning software in Windows. Some tool casually deleted my MacOS partition because it didn't know how to handle it.

2. Not at all so far. I didn't stretch it though. I only have one external SSD drive (Samsung T5) which works perfectly fine with the eGPU plugged in at the same time.

3. I created an ExFAT partition for my data which can be accessed from both OS. There I store everything I need. The Windows partition only has Windows itself, games and software on it. Same with MacOS. In order to switch between systems you have to restart every time. It's not an issue though since I really only use Windows when the laptop is docked to the eGPU. There is also the option to use Parallels and access your bootcamp partition through the virtual machine. It's a cool trick and works quite well but in the end I didn't use it enough in order to justify buying the software.

Thank you and let me know if you have any further questions Smile

2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 2004 [build link]  

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kyleford
(@kyleford)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

My setup is very similar to yours. Razer Core X, 1650 Super and 13 inch 2018 Macbook Pro (4 TB ports).

Running the latest version of Windows 10. I had the same issue with Bluetooth disconnecting, and connecting to a TB port whilst the egpu was on caused my laptop to crash.

I ended up disabling the sight camera and right side TB ports (either should be fine) which fixed my Bluetooth and crashing issues. The only time I have an issue connecting is if I connect the egpu when the laptop is under heavy load. I can only now use one side of TB ports, but a USB hub is ample for my usage.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Viktor G
(@viktor_g)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 
Posted by: @kyleford

My setup is very similar to yours. Razer Core X, 1650 Super and 13 inch 2018 Macbook Pro (4 TB ports).

Running the latest version of Windows 10. I had the same issue with Bluetooth disconnecting, and connecting to a TB port whilst the egpu was on caused my laptop to crash.

I ended up disabling the sight camera and right side TB ports (either should be fine) which fixed my Bluetooth and crashing issues. The only time I have an issue connecting is if I connect the egpu when the laptop is under heavy load. I can only now use one side of TB ports, but a USB hub is ample for my usage.

That was solid advice, thanks! I disabled the webcam and had no issues with Bluetooth so far. 

2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 2004 [build link]  

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