2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (CM MasterCase EG200)...
 
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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (CM MasterCase EG200) + Win10 1903 [itsage]  

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

My only eGPU build with the 2020 13-in Ice Lake CPU MacBook Pro was with a prototype eGPU enclosure from last spring [build link]. Cooler Master has finally launched their MasterCase EG200 so it's time to officially publish a build. This time with a RX 6700 XT graphics card. At the moment, macOS does not have drivers for RNDA2 GPUs so the RX 6700 XT eGPU only works in Windows.

This particular MacBook Pro is more challenging than most Macs to set up an eGPU in Boot Camp due to the integrated Thunderbolt controller. When I tried this laptop last year, the only way it would work with an AMD eGPU was with Windows 10 1903 V1 and three out of four Thunderbolt Root Ports disabled. That situation has not changed a year later. I initially tried this build with the latest Win10 20H2 without success. More information can be found in this Boot Camp setup & troubleshooting discussion.

 

System specs:

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

 

eGPU hardware:

Cooler Master MasterCase EG200 + ASRock RX 6700 XT + IDCooling Frostflow LC + .8m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

The MasterCase EG200 can be used plug-and-play as a USB hub in macOS through a separate USB-A 3.0 to USB micro-B cable (3x USB ports and 1x SATA drive). Thunderbolt 3 connection provides 60W Power Delivery. The eGPU functionality would depend on the limited number of cards Apple currently supports. Radeon RX 6700 XT is not one of them. My guess is there will be support in macOS Big Sur 11.4.

In Boot Camp, besides choosing the right version of Windows 10 [1903 18362.30-.295 discussion], I needed to disable three Thunderbolt Root Ports in Device Manager to free up resources for the Radeon eGPU. From past experience, I opted for the first TB3 port (closest to the TAB key) which connects to PCI Express #0. Another eGPU setup gotcha is the version of Radeon drivers. For almost a year, Radeon drivers newer than 20.4.2 would produce very inconsistent performance through Thunderbolt eGPU mode. Fortunately this issue was resolved as of late March 2021. I'm using Adrenalin drivers version 21.3.1 and the performance is much more stable.

Windows 10 1903 18362.30 has very good hot-plug detection of Thunderbolt devices so there was no BSOD or error 12. Windows would freeze for a couple minutes to allocate resources for the eGPU. I could tell not only by the notification sound but also the disabled WiFi and Audio icon on the taskbar. Mouse and Keyboard were not functional during this initiation process either.

Below is the most consistent setup and boot-up procedure for me. If you encounter error 12, redo the procedure from step 5.

  1. Disable Secure Boot and allow Boot of External Devices [in Recovery Mode]
  2. Install Windows 10 1903 V1 ISO (version 19362.30) through Bootcamp Assistant [in macOS]
  3. Disable automatic Windows Updates through either Group Policy or Services [in Windows]
  4. Disable bottom three PCI Express Root Ports in Device Manager [in Windows]
  5. Run DDU to disable Windows automated driver installation and remove graphics drivers [in Windows]
  6. Hot-plug Radeon eGPU then install drivers from AMD website [in Windows]
  7. Shut computer down instead of Restart prompt through Radeon Installer [in Windows]
  8. Boot the computer into Windows without the eGPU connected and hot-plug once Windows fully loads

This MasterCase EG200 eGPU enclosure has a Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller, JHL7440. Paired with the Ice Lake iTBT of the MacBook Pro, Memory Read (Host to Device) in AIDA64 GPGPU yields the highest throughput I've seen at 2,9XX MB/s. It's likely something Apple did with the Mac firmware because the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 (Tiger Lake iTBT) can't reach this level. This may explain the challenge we face in setting up an eGPU in Windows Boot Camp with these Ice Laptop 13" MacBook Pros.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Unigine and 3DMark in Windows to compare the RX 6700 XT eGPU through loopback and external monitor. The liquid cooler allows some breathing room for overclocking. I managed to run the eGPU very reliably with the settings below. The 550W power supply handled everything with ease and remained very cool and quiet. At no point during the several hour testing did I see the GPU temp reached above mid 50 Celsius degrees.

RX 6700 XT eGPU Loopback RX 6700 XT eGPU External

 

Comments:

The higher H2D bandwidth in this pairing is a welcome surprise and perhaps Thunderbolt 4 enclosures will improve that number even further. Using an eGPU with an external monitor is still the best way to extract the most from the graphics card. Unfortunately it's a terrible time to buy graphics cards. Unless you need one, I would say to wait until the rush is over.

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2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 12.0 & Win11 [build link]  


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

Cracking build as ever... looks like loop back performance on these nee gen cards is better than the 5000 series. 
Regarding AMD hot plugging, I assume it’s windows version dependant (and prob 100 over things), it doesn’t work on my Mac mini on the latest window build but have you had any success previously with hot plugging AMD cards on Mac mini’s?

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

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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

@eightarmedpet, I haven't tested Radeon eGPU loopback mode in so long I completely forgot about its terrible performance. Thank you for reminding me of that. It's not a 20% or higher loss like we've seen before. This is encouraging news with Adrenalin drivers version 21.3.1 and newer.

I was able to hot-plug AMD cards with the 2018 Mac mini only through Windows 10 1903 V1 (18362.30 to .295). One other difference I've noticed in this build is Intel iGPU remains activated when cold-plug. I'm not using an EFI boot loader at all. Not sure if this is firmware related or Thunderbolt controller related.

 

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external graphics card builds
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 12.0 & Win11 [build link]  


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

@itsage cheers for the reply! I thought I'd give a few things a go with my build expecting a world of hurt and a long path ahead, but turns out pretty much the first thing I tried worked. I'm using the latest W10, Hackflags and apple_set_os for T2 Macs, blind booting into W10 then hot-plugging my MONITOR.

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

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


itsage liked
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Step
 Step
(@step)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

The graphics card I'm looking for (with a reasonable price around 500,- euro on amd.com)! Not the right time to buy indeed, nice setup... would it be any different with a Razer Core X, should work the same right? Smile

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6800 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 11.5.1 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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

@step, The Razer Core X should work the same way as long as you follow the setup procedure on this 2020 13-in MacBook Pro with Ice Lake CPU.

 

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

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 12.0 & Win11 [build link]  


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xx x
 xx x
(@xx_x_1)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

@itsage, Can we undervolt CPU on Macbook Pro 2020 in Windows/Mac?

 

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

@xx_x_1, I haven't tried undervolting my Macs, but you can look into Intel Extreme Tuning Utility.

 

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

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 12.0 & Win11 [build link]  


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yurgon
(@yurgon)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@itsage, I've seen a couple fo EG200 build reviews with Ice Lake and Tige Lake G processors reaching 2,9xx MB/s H2D.

Do you know if it's related to the EG200's implementation of the JHL7440, or the implementation of 10th/11th gen G-series processors by certain manufacturers?

 

System: Asus Tuf Dash F15, i7 11370h,16GB, RTX3060 dGPU
eGPU1: Aorus Gaming Box, GTX 1070 Mini ITX OC 8G
eGPU2: Mantiz Saturn Pro v2, RX5500 XT 4GB

 
2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 (RTX3060) [11th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Mantiz Saturn Pro V2) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@yurgon, H2D is memory write and this build's 2551MB/s memory write is in line with previous 32Gbps-TB3 measured bandwidth as seen at https://egpu.io/builds#perf

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M.2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 // compares M.2 vs TB3 performance inc unoptimized H-CPU BIOS [build link]  


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