2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Wi...
 
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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 20H2 // my 2nd RTX 3080 build  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Due to no Boot Camp and eGPU support, I bought the Ice Lake 13-in MacBook Pro rather than the M1 version in late 2020. Having integrated Thunderbolt controllers, this Mac laptop is a very capable eGPU host. It's not an easy setup process with AMD cards in Boot Camp but Nvidia cards such as this RTX 3080 Gaming Box is plug-and-play. The MacBook Pro is currently running Windows 10 20H2 (OS Build 19042.508). My goal with this build was to see if there's a significant difference in eGPU performance between 10th gen Ice Lake hosts vs 11th gen Tiger Lake ones [MSI Prestige 14 EVO + RTX 3080 Gaming Box build]. 

This corner of the living room is a WFH setup for my wife. Her work issued laptop is a Dell Latitude 5400 (8th gen i7) which has Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. I was tempted to do a TB3 eGPU build for her to have a single cable docking solution but realized I could achieve a similar setup through a USB-C monitor. The solution was an HP Z38C monitor. It has one USB-C port that provides 65W PD and a whole host of other I/O (1x DP, 1x HDMI, and 3x USB-A). The 38" 21:9 ultrawide with 3840 x 1600 resolution is probably my new favorite form factor of monitor. It seems just right. Too bad the refresh rate is only 60Hz.

The three USB-A ports in this monitor hosts mouse, keyboard, and a headset. I run one DisplayPort cable to my RTX 3080 Gaming Box. The other cable is USB-C going to the Dell Latitude 5400 during the weekdays. I also have my M1 Mac mini on this desk which uses that very same USB-C connection for all peripherals including monitor output.

 

System specs:

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

 

eGPU hardware:

Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box + RTX 3080 + 2m Thunderbolt 3 cable + HP Z38C monitor

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

I'm using a 2m Thunderbolt 3 cable due to not having much desk space in this setup. The RTX 3080 Gaming Box is not loud to begin with, so placing it further away makes things very quiet. During gaming I would connect the laptop to the speakers so noise was never a concern here. 😀 

I manually downloaded and installed the latest Nvidia drivers. GeForce Experience was not installed because it can sometimes mess with graphics settings for different games. HWiNFO64 and AIDA64 confirmed the Ice Lake i5 at 28W and Thunderbolt 3 connection at full bandwidth.

 

Benchmarks:

I had tested this pairing before when Cyberpunk 2077 first came out but never put together a full build. The synthetic benchmarks were through Unigine and 3DMark to see RTX 3080 eGPU performance through loopback and external monitor. 4K results are 3840 x 2160 in Fire Strike Ultra/Time Spy Extreme and 3840 x 1600 in Unigine.

RTX 3080 eGPU Loopback eGPU FHD External eGPU QHD External eGPU 4K External
 
   

 

Comments:

All games and benchmark software are on an external SSD (Samsung T5 500GB) connected to the laptop's USB-C port. The performance so far is very similar with the results I got from the MSI Prestige 14 EVO (Thunderbolt 4). Thunderbolt 4 is a more optimized implementation of Thunderbolt 3 imo. Unless you need PCIe 4.0 M.2 slot, I don't really see an advantage over TB3 laptops with a 28W Ice Lake CPU and good cooling.

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2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 5 years ago

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet, It's been a while since my last build. Lots going on at the day job and it's getting dark very early here during the winter time. My backyard slopes down to a trail. It's about -25 Celsius degrees this week. I like it better in the fall than now hahaha.

I'm anxiously waiting for RX 6800/6900 XT macOS drivers to do a build with the Mac mini. Finally managed to secure one from the local store. Would be great if that comes with M1 eGPU support too!

 

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external graphics card builds
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2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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Step
 Step
(@step)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Did you need to disable any devices in Device Management in Windows 10? Did you have to change anything at all? Or just install drivers. Still waiting for my Razer Core X and waiting for the RX 6700 (preferably if it has support in MacOS to also play games there).

Also having a Mac Mini 2018 i5 32GB 256GB.

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6800 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 11.5.2 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@step, No device disablement in Device Manager when paired with an Nvidia graphics card. Using a Radeon graphics card with the 2020 Ice Lake 13-in MacBook Pro is a completely different story. You'd need to disable three out of four Thunderbolt 3 ports and in some cases, a few other components.

 

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external graphics card builds
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2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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Step
 Step
(@step)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Wow I didn't know that... might have to buy an Nvidia then, because I see no other option to have an extra dock next to the Razer Core X (not Chroma). Thanks for sharing, valuable information before buying...

Also having a Mac Mini 2018 i5 32GB 256GB.

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6800 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 11.5.2 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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Abner Yang
(@abner_yang)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Hi, your build looks great and well tested. I have also tested a RTX 3080 egpu with 2019 MBP 16 (9-gen i9) and I got slightly lower scores, about few hundreds in each similar tests with 3DMark.

My enclosure is RAZER CORE X btw.

I notice that we have almost same readings for MEM Read at around 2750MB/s, but lower MEM Write speed at 2250MB/s against to 2377MB/s in your case, what’s your idea for such difference?

After all, I think it’s hard to commit a good gaming experience with tb3 egpus even if maxing out the GPU choice, I still couldn’t get decent FPS (40~55) in cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p with all high settings, which is crazy.

2019 16” MacBook Pro [9th, 8C16T, H] + RTX 3080 @ TB3-32Gbps (RAZER Core X)


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espltd
(@espltd)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: @abner_yang

Hi, your build looks great and well tested. I have also tested a RTX 3080 egpu with 2019 MBP 16 (9-gen i9) and I got slightly lower scores, about few hundreds in each similar tests with 3DMark.

My enclosure is RAZER CORE X btw.

I notice that we have almost same readings for MEM Read at around 2750MB/s, but lower MEM Write speed at 2250MB/s against to 2377MB/s in your case, what’s your idea for such difference?

After all, I think it’s hard to commit a good gaming experience with tb3 egpus even if maxing out the GPU choice, I still couldn’t get decent FPS (40~55) in cyberpunk 2077 at 1080p with all high settings, which is crazy.

Hi,

I've got the base model i7 MBP16 with the 5300m and was also considering the 3080 Gaming Box, though a bit surprised you were getting sub 55fps at 1080p on Cyberpunk 2077.. is there much difference at 2K or 4K? I would of expected around 40+ fps at 4k based on other benchmarks I've seen with the 3080.

Appreciate if you could share any other gaming results based on your setup as well, particularly at 4k if possible, which would be my main reason for purchasing an eGPU.

Thanks!

 

 

This post was modified 8 months ago

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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Sean Lou
(@sean_lou)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Wow, it's so nice to see that Nvidia graphic card works well with 2020 Intel MacBook! With this card, you can have almost the latest version of Windows 10, and it seems that there's no need to worry about the Windows Update?

Unfortunately, I have to use AMD version of graphic card to accelerate some Apps in macOS... so if I want to play some games, I must use this card, too. I really hope that one day I can enjoy this experience of plug-and-play eGPU in BootCamp!

By the way, is there any other method to solve complicated configuration in BootCamp with AMD graphic card? If not, never mind, I'll keep an eye on the lastes guide.

Thanks for all the contributors and administrators for sharing their experience.

Well... I'd like to add one more thing. Actually, set up the complicated configuration is fine. But I really want that Windows Update can go back to normal so I can use the latest features of Windows 10.

I don't know why there's such a huge difference between using Nvidia and AMD graphic card...

2020 MacBook Pro 13" (4 Thunderbolts)
2.3 GHz Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM
Razer Core X, XFX 5700 XT 8GB


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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@abner_yang, Those numbers in AIDA64 can fluctuate in the range of 2,200-2,400MB/s for Write and 2,500-2,700MB/s with an Nvidia card. It falls between the good bandwidth range for Thunderbolt 3 eGPU. I wouldn't put much worries in that. Cyberpunk 2077 needs more optimization imo. I can get 40-50FPS with the RTX 3080 Gaming Box in 4K with RTX Ultra settings.

 

 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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