2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + Radeon VII @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Razer Co...
 
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2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + Radeon VII @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10 [Adrian L] // LG 27UK850 @ 3840x2160/60Hz + Windows Mixed Reality Headset @ 90Hz  

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Adrian L
(@adrian_l)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

System specs

Macbook Pro (15-inch Retina Early 2013), Intel HD Graphics 4000 iGPU, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650m dGPU, macOS Catalina 10.15.7

 

eGPU hardware

Razer Core X, ASUS AMD Radeon VII, TB2 Cable + Apple TB3 to TB2 Adapter

 

Hardware pictures

Installation steps (macOS only)

  1. Reboot your Mac into recovery mode
  2. Hold down Command-R and press the Power button. Keep holding Command-R until the Apple logo appears.
  3. Wait for OS X to boot into the OS X Utilities window.
  4. Choose Utilities > Terminal.
  5. Enter csrutil disable.
  6. Enter reboot.
  7. Install both purge-wrangler and purge-nvda
  8. Connect the eGPU to the any Thunderbolt 1 port with the TB3 to TB2 adaptor with a thunderbolt 2 cable that is closer to the tab key
  9. Restart your super powered mac

 

Benchmarks (Connected to LG 27UK850 and running @ 3840x2160/60Hz)

Shadows of the Tomb Raider @ 4k settings 44-50fps

Geekbench 5.0.4 OpenCL Score

Geekbench 5.0.4 Metal Score

 

Comments

For production software, if you use Sketch to open a file with hundreds of screens and use FCPX to render 4k/8k from raw footage (The built-in 650m can handle compressed 4k footage very well) then you will notice different with the eGPU

For gaming, playing AAA title in any resolution on such an old MBP with macOS was not possible but I did not want to spend ridiculous amount of money to purchase a new MBP with such a low spec. The new 2019 16 inches MBP based model has the same amount of ram and smaller SSD compare to my early 2013 15 inches MBP... the only difference is the new GPU which still can't play AAA title in 4k but only 1080p in 2019! So I decided to get an eGPU instead. The Radeon VII (ASUS) seems a better choice compare to the 5700XT because it's not only better support in macOS driver but AMD ROCm supports Radeon VII for machine learnings (not 5700XT)! 

The only issue that I have encountered is the TB1 port needs to be unplugged and plug a few times in order to get the external monitor working every time I restart my mac. 

It is working fine now with the latest purge-wrangler and purge-nvda drivers, it's very stable on both macOS and Windows

 

Installation steps (macOS and Windows 10)

  1. Prepare a macOS Catalina or Big Sur bootable USB drive
  2. Format the entire drive to GDT in order to enable UEFI BIOS mode with Windows 10
  3. Install macOS
  4. Reboot your Mac into recovery mode by holding down Command+R buttons until the Apple logo appear
  5. Wait for macOS to boot into the OS X Utilities window.
  6. Choose Utilities > Terminal.
  7. Enter csrutil disable.
  8. Enter reboot.
  9. Install both purge-wrangler and purge-nvda
  10. Connect the eGPU to the thunderbolt 1 port with the TB3 to TB2 adaptor with a thunderbolt 2 cable that is closer to the tab key
  11. Restart your Mac to ensure the eGPU is working with an external monitor
  12. Download the Windows 10 1903 v1
  13. Create two Windows 10 bootable usb with UNetbootin and Bootcamp assistant
  14. Create a new FAT or exFAT partition on macOS with disk utility tool
  15. Install Windows 10 with the usb that created with UNetbootin (the bootcamp usb is for the drivers only)
  16. Delete the new partition during windows 10 installation and install the windows on the unallocated space
  17. Disable Windows 10 auto updates
  18. Apply the DSDT patch
  19. Download and install DDU
  20. Reboot Windows into safe mode
  21. Use DDU to uninstall (clean without restart) all graphics drivers including intel, nvidia with these settings
  22. Reboot back to Windows 10 and install the latest Radeon driver

Changing startup OS:

  1. The default starting OS is now Windows, if you want to change that reboot the system and hold down option key to select macOS and change startup disk
  2. You can always change it back to start with Windows, right click the bootcamp on the system tray icon and select the bootcamp control panel, select basic data partition windows and apply the settings

Windows Mixed Reality Headset:

  1. If you use Windows Mixed Reality Headset or any other VR headset, make sure the external monitor is connected to the eGPU through the DP port and leave the HDMI port of the eGPU for the headset in order to to avoid the infamous wrong video card error
  2. Download the Windows Mixed reality headset driver
  3. Update the driver for HoloLens in device manager
  4. Install both Mixed Relity Check and Mixed Reality Portal apps
  5. Change the settings of the headset to 90hz and Very high quality (beta) under the portal app
  6. Install Steam and Steam VR plus Half Life: Alyx or any other VR games
  7. Have fun during covid-19 lockdown

 

Geekbench 5 OpenCL with Windows 10

 

Geekbench 5 Vlukan with Windows 10

 

Half-Life: Alyx at Ultra Fidelity settings

 

 

 

 

This topic was modified 2 months ago

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) + Razer Core X w/ ASUS AMD Radeon VII

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + Radeon VII @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10 [build link]  


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larami1oo
(@larami1oo)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
 

@adrian_l

Hi Adrian.

I have a similar configuration like yours. I connected a RX 5700 graphics card inside a Razer Core X to use it with a MacBook Pro 15-inch Late 2013 NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M dGPU which has macOS Catalina 10.15.2 installed.

I only just connected the eGPU to my Thunderbolt 2 port but only the Razer Core X fan is spinning, not the ones from the graphics card. Also the eGPU is not detected by macOS Catalina. Could you please tell me if that is normal?
I haven't installed any script (purge-wrangler, set-egpu or purge-nvda)
I tried also with my Boot Camp partition on Windows and the eGPU behavior is the same (the eGPU is not detected on Windows and graphics card fans don't spin).

Also, could you please tell me if you have any issues with macOS after installing the eGPU like lose screen brightness control or not be able to put it in sleep mode?
What could you suggest me to setup the eGPU for Windows?

Thanks for your time!

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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Adrian L
(@adrian_l)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hi @larami1oo,

Thanks for reaching out. First of all, you might want to check if you have connected the eGPU to your TB port through the Apple Tb3 to TB2 adapter which should be plugged into the Razer Core X TB3 connector, and then connect the adapter to your mac with an Apple TB2 to TB2 cable.

Perhaps you could try to install those 3 scripts on your mac first by disabling the SIP (System Integrity Protection) first and then reboot your system back to Catalina before installing'em to see if your eGPU enclosure and the card are working or if it's a hardware issue:

  1. Turn off your Mac (Apple > Shut Down).
  2. Hold down Command-R and press the Power button. Keep holding Command-R until the Apple logo appears.
  3. Wait for OS X to boot into the OS X Utilities window.
  4. Choose Utilities > Terminal.
  5. Enter csrutil disable.
  6. Enter reboot.

Hopefully, these steps would be helpful to you. 

This post was modified 11 months ago

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) + Razer Core X w/ ASUS AMD Radeon VII

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + Radeon VII @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10 [build link]  


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Adrian L
(@adrian_l)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hi @larami1oo,

I have updated the guide with Windows 10 + macOS dual boot, I hope that helps.

A

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) + Razer Core X w/ ASUS AMD Radeon VII

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + Radeon VII @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10 [build link]  


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

Hey Adrien,

Is there any reason you have to use the 'lower' of the two TB ports?

I've got a TB dock which I use to keep things neat while maintaining compatibility with some legacy hardware (a firewire DAI, optical audio inputs, an e-Sata port multiplier) that I'd quite like to use in the other port.  If the mac is sharing bandwidth between the 2 then I'd be concerned.

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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Adrian L
(@adrian_l)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hi @atjb, I just tested it this morning both ports are working fine now. When I started this build last year, the first TB1 port was not working with the old scripts. 

 

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) + Razer Core X w/ ASUS AMD Radeon VII

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + Radeon VII @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 & Win10 [build link]  


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

Thanks @adrien_l. 

Do you know whether the thunderbolt controller is shared between the 2 ports, or whether each port has its own controller?

i.e., is there 10mbps available to the e-GPU, & 10mbps available to the other port?  Or is there 10mbps, shared between the 2 TB ports?

I really like the idea of the Core X - it seems to work OK with my current laptop (same as yours), and then should offer a plug-and-play upgrade when I move to a 16" model.

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

@atjb, it's probably 10 Gbps per port of the Thunderbolt 1 controller. You would need a RAID0 of two Thunderbolt connected NVMe drives to be sure.

This has been tested with a discrete Thunderbolt 3 controller (~22 Gbps max for each port, ~23 Gbps total for the controller) and Ice Lake integrated controller (~22 Gbps per port, ~38 Gbps total for four ports).
https://egpu.io/forums/laptop-computing/ice-lake-cpu-on-die-thunderbolt-3-controller-bandwidth/

I could test this for a Thunderbolt 2 controller. I don't have access to a Thunderbolt 1 controller.

 

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

@joevt - makes sense.  The printout of my TB setup (early 2013 15" rMBP) suggests that each port could handle 10Gb/s.

So to conclude, it's a reasonable idea to add a Razer Core X to my setup, enjoy some gains and take the stress off my laptop's 650 GT which is currently running a lot of monitors, and have a plug and play upgrade when I move to a 16" model in the future.

In the meantime, I wouldn't need to be worried about anything going wrong while say recording with a microphone on an audio interface attached to the dock on the other TB port at the same time.

@adrian_l - how do you find the purge-wrangler scripts?  Are they simple to disable so that if I want to go out and about with my laptop I can regain the ability to control the brightness and use clamshell mode?

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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