2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) +...
 
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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [itsage]  

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

I had previously paired this 2020 13-inch Ice Lake MacBook Pro with an AMD RX 5700 XT eGPU [build link]. The setup procedure for that graphics card (and most Radeon GPUs) requires Windows 10 1903 V1 ISO with multiple PCIe component disablement. Unlike most Thunderbolt 3 Macs, this particular model was not plug-and-play with an Nvidia eGPU in Boot Camp. That is until I installed the latest Windows 10 2004 ISO (OS Build 19041.264).  

 

System specs:

2020 13" MacBook Pro - i5-1038NG7/Iris Plus Graphics iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box + RTX 2080 Ti + .8m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

Reports from members indicate it's best to to perform a clean Windows install rather than upgrade from a previous Win10 version. Once Boot Camp drivers complete installation, Win10 2004 can detect and install drivers for the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box through hot-plug. RTX graphics cards have firmware compatibility issues with many systems so it may cause boot hang through cold-plug.

I manually downloaded and installed the latest Nvidia drivers. GeForce Experience showed proper resolution and refresh rate of the external monitor (Samsung C34J79X 34" Ultrawide). G-Sync compatible was also working well with this monitor.  

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Unigine and 3DMark in Windows to compare RTX 2080 Ti eGPU performance through loopback and external monitor.

RTX 2080 Ti eGPU Loopback RTX 2080 Ti eGPU External

 

Comments:

This was an easy Boot Camp setup once I chose the right version of Windows 10. My guess is the on-die Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controllers don't have very good support with older Windows 10 versions. With Win10 2004, I simply boot into Windows Desktop then hot-plug the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box. I was also able to hot-plug an external SSD (Samsung T5 500GB) through USB-C port without encountering BSOD. This drive contains my game libraries and all was working well.

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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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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage, I don't think we can call the on-die Thunderbolt 3 controllers "Titan Ridge" because the controller in the Ice Like CPU is totally different from all Thunderbolt controllers that came before. Even the methods for accessing the controllers is different (different PCIe layout and PCIe registers).

For example, Intel's EFI driver examples differentiate between DTBT discrete Thunderbolt (Titan Ridge, Alpine Ridge, Falcon Ridge, etc.) and ITBT integrated Thunderbolt (Ice Lake).
https://github.com/tianocore/edk2-platforms/search?q=ITBT&unscoped_q=ITBT

Another example, Apple's driver is called AppleThunderboltNHIType4 for Ice Lake where it was Type3 for Thunderbolt 3 controllers (Titan Ridge and Alpine Ridge) and Type2 for Thunderbolt 2 controllers (Falcon Ridge).
           #21,318          

I wonder if Ice Lake will be able to do USB4 (the block diagrams show a USB controller being input to the CIO Router instead of going only directly to the output).
https://www.anandtech.com/show/14514/examining-intels-ice-lake-microarchitecture-and-sunny-cove/8

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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

That’s one hell of a set up. Can you feel much noticeable difference between your previous 13inch and this new 10th gen cpu one? As ever would love to see some gaming benchmarks. 

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

---

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

@joevt, Thank you for the correction and those links! It would be nice if they are USB4 ready.

@eightarmedpet I personally couldn't tell much of a difference when using the 2019 13-in MBP vs this 2020 Ice Lake MBP.

 

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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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage, the Ice Lake Thunderbolt controller may have better shared bandwidth between different ports. Try raiding two Thunderbolt 3 ports together. When I did that with Titan Ridge and two separate Thunderbolt 3 NVMe drives, I could only get about 23 Gbps (only slightly better than the 22 Gbps for a single port). I get the expected bandwidth when the two Thunderbolt 3 devices were connected to two different Titan Ridge Thunderbolt controllers.

Ice Lake has two Thunderbolt controller devices and four Thunderbolt 3 port devices and one Thunderbolt XHC controller in the macOS IO Registry. All as root ports (there's no upstream/downstream buses at this level which saves many bus numbers) so they might all get separate PCIe x4 bandwidth.

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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

@joevt, I have not thought of it but that's a great idea. Will try both same side and opposite side TB3 ports.

 

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

Hi itsage and thanks for the awesome insight. Currently I'm on the edge of buying a new ultrabook and I need help deciding between the MacBook Pro you've pictured here and a Dell XPS 13 9300. Which one of those gives me the better eGPU experience in games? is Bootcamp Windows 10 a viable solution for everyday use or are there significant drawbacks compared to pure Windows devices? What about compatibility in games - do they run fine or is it a hit or miss depending on the title?

Thank you!

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, If you don't need macOS, go XPS 9300 or another Ice Lake CPU laptop/ultrabook. The Windows experience for a Mac is not great and it's not good when you need to maintain an eGPU setup. The only advantage the 2020 13-in MacBook Pro has over XPS 9300 is the higher TDP CPU, 28W vs 25W 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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Viktor G
(@viktor_g)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@viktor_g, If you don't need macOS, go XPS 9300 or another Ice Lake CPU laptop/ultrabook. The Windows experience for a Mac is not great and it's not good when you need to maintain an eGPU setup. The only advantage the 2020 13-in MacBook Pro has over XPS 9300 is the higher TDP CPU, 28W vs 25W CPU.

 

Thank you for the quick response. I have no experience using Mac OS at all but I'm interested in giving it a try (iPad Pro 10.5 is my only Apple device right now). Having access to Finalcut Pro is a plus for me and the CPU seems to be performing slightly better than the Dells. Also I'd have to buy the 4K version of the XPS since I'm very much used to having a high resolution screen, which affects the battery life. I can see myself using Mac OS for web browsing and productivity, as well as video editing. However, I want to make sure there is a fallback solution for me in case Mac OS just isn't my cup of tea and in order to run specific professional software that isn't available on Mac (+ solid gaming with an Nvidia eGPU). Do you think a Mac is suitable for my use-case? Or is it not worth the hassle?

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

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iffy
 iffy
(@iffy)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

I believe the XPS 9300 (and 7390 2 in 1) uses the 15W i7-1065G7 CPU. I'm new to all this so forgive me if I am mistaken. I purchased the XPS 13 7390 2 in 1 recently and am very interested in this eGPU. I'm trying to figure out if the lower wattage CPU will be a significant bottleneck.

Source:
https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/xps-13-9300-laptop_reference-guide_en-us.pdf

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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