Late-2013 Mac Pro D500s + GTX [email protected] (Razer Core X via TB3-to-TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.4 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
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May 25, 2018 2:43 am  

Due to limited time to write and ran benchmarks for the Razer Core X review, I didn't get a chance to test with older Macs until now. I have good news. The Razer Core X was detected immediately by my nMP via the Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter. 

 

System specs:

Late 2013 Mac Pro – Xeon E5-1650 v2/2x Radeon FirePro D500 dGPU/32GB RAM/1TB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Razer Core X + GTX 980 Ti + Apple TB3 to TB Adapter + Apple 2m Thunderbolt 2 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

In order to use eGPU in macOS 10.3.4 with TB1/2 Macs, we need to unblock Apple's restriction [Mac_editor's script]. I installed the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid in this Razer Core X so I needed the eGPU enabler workaround as well. Fr34k's script worked great. I could not boot with the eGPU plugged in. Hot-plug at the login screen worked and the eGPU icon showed the correct name. The Eject function didn't work. If I hot-unplug the system would crash.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Luxmark 3.1 and Geekbench 4.1. The video output on this GTX 980 Ti wasn't working well so I was not able to run any OpenGL tests.

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Eightarmedpet
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jasonsone
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May 25, 2018 4:18 pm  

Thanks for providing a little hope that this will work. I also have a late 2013 MP and just got the Razer Core X. I followed your instructions and installed purge-wrangler and fr34k's script, but no dice. I do see the icon for the NVIDIA web driver and when I do a Patch Status Check in purge-wrangler, it says Thunderbolt 1/2 detected and NVIDIA Universal detected. The only difference in my setup is:

  1. I have AMD FirePro D700 cards
  2. My NVIDIA card is a Titan Black
  3. I'm not using the Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter...instead I'm using a USB-C to Thunderbolt 2 cable I bought off Amazon

Any ideas where I'm missing the mark?

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theitsage
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May 25, 2018 5:15 pm  

@jasonsone Can you link the specific adapter you're using? The connection has to be Thunderbolt all the way through. In my observation the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter is the best choice. You also need a Thunderbolt 2 cable to connect the Apple adapter to the Thunderbolt 1/2 Mac.

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jasonsone
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May 25, 2018 5:48 pm  
Posted by: jasonsone
Posted by: jasonsone
Posted by: theitsage

@jasonsone Can you link the specific adapter you're using? The connection has to be Thunderbolt all the way through. In my observation the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter is the best choice. You also need a Thunderbolt 2 cable to connect the Apple adapter to the Thunderbolt 1/2 Mac.

Here's the cable I bought:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076CFDF2R

I'm wondering if the problem is with my Core X. When I plug it in and turn it on, none of the fans spin up. I don't even know if the box is working. I've tried several outlets. I'm currently chatting with Razer support right now, but in the meantime, can you confirm what the Core X would look/sound like when it's powered on...stupid question, but this could be the root of all my problems.  😕

No need for a rush response. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with Razer technical support and turns out I have a defective Core X and have to send it back. I'll check back if I have any problems when I get the new one.

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theitsage
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May 25, 2018 6:35 pm  

The cable you have is USB-C to miniDisplayPort. It cannot carry Thunderbolt signal and therefore no response from the Razer Core X. You need two separate pieces: one Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter and one Thunderbolt 2 cable.

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evilishhh
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June 7, 2018 12:28 am  

Hi,
Can you confirm that powering the macbook through the thunderbolt adapter(without using the magsafe) is enough?
Like most magsafe2 chargers out there, mine is not working properly and i would prefer to get rid of this issue.
I'm planing to do a coreX+1080+macbook 2015-15" next week and trying to get as much info as possible...
Hopefully, I can post a successful build here.
Thanks in advance

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jasonsone
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June 11, 2018 7:19 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

The cable you have is USB-C to miniDisplayPort. It cannot carry Thunderbolt signal and therefore no response from the Razer Core X. You need two separate pieces: one Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter and one Thunderbolt 2 cable.

Hi. I got my replacement Razer today and was able to get it to work with my Mac Pro. One odd thing, though, the eGPU icon says "null". Everything works fine, but I didn't know if that was a bug or something I did wrong. Thanks for your help!

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Strip_Steve
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June 17, 2018 3:24 pm  

Hey man !

I plan on getting the Razer Core X but I have to choose between a 3x8pin gpu and a 2x8pin one.

can I use the 4+4EPS to fuel the potential third 8pin of the gpu ?
or is the psu semi modular ? Meaning that I could hook up another 8pin cable on it ?

many thanks !

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joevt
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June 18, 2018 2:30 am  
Posted by: evilishhh

Can you confirm that powering the macbook through the thunderbolt adapter(without using the magsafe) is enough?

A Thunderbolt 2 port cannot be used to charge or power a computer. Thunderbolt 2 can only provide 10W to connected Thunderbolt devices.

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theitsage
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June 18, 2018 12:29 pm  
Posted by: Strip_Steve

Hey man !

I plan on getting the Razer Core X but I have to choose between a 3x8pin gpu and a 2x8pin one.

can I use the 4+4EPS to fuel the potential third 8pin of the gpu ?
or is the psu semi modular ? Meaning that I could hook up another 8pin cable on it ?

many thanks !

The PSU is not modular at all. If you plan on using a graphics card that needs 3x 8-pin PCIe power cables, I'd suggest replacing the PSU with a single-rail 12V one. The 4+4EPS has to connect directly to the Core X's main board.

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__icey__
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October 10, 2018 8:20 am  

From what i know, mini display is not the same thing with thundebolt 2. So you are saying that with no other adaptors you can link the core x tb3 with a mac tb2 using only usb-c to mini display port cable? if you did this, isn't the performance of the graphic card affected by the lower transfer data from mini display to usb-c cable?
Thanks.

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joevt
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October 10, 2018 2:33 pm  
Posted by: __icey__

From what i know, mini display is not the same thing with thundebolt 2.

Yes, that is correct. The connectors are the same, but DisplayPort signals are different than Thunderbolt signals.

Posted by: __icey__

So you are saying that with no other adaptors you can link the core x tb3 with a mac tb2 using only usb-c to mini display port cable?

No, Mini DisplayPort is not Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 1 use the Mini DisplayPort connector but Thunderbolt signals are different than DisplayPort signals. USB-C can be used for any signals (USB, DisplayPort, USB+DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, etc.). Thunderbolt 3 uses the USB-C connector but Thunderbolt signals are different than DisplayPort or other signals.

The required adapter is an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. It does not pass DisplayPort signals. It only passes Thunderbolt signals (which may encapsulate DisplayPort and PCIe data).  You must use the Apple adapter because other Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapters do not allow connecting Thunderbolt 3 peripherals to Thunderbolt 2 hosts.

Posted by: __icey__

if you did this, isn't the performance of the graphic card affected by the lower transfer data from mini display to usb-c cable?
Thanks.

The performance is decreased because the transfer are limited to Thunderbolt 2 speeds, but it's not a great problem unless you are trying to accelerate a display that is not directly connected to the eGPU. You can find posts in this forum that compare performance using differing transfer speeds (due to different Thunderbolt speeds, or different PCIe link widths/speeds).

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__icey__
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October 10, 2018 4:46 pm  

OK, then all that I need to connect my late 2012 IMac to razer core x is a tb3 to tb2 apple adapter and a tb2 to tb2 apple cable. After that. Is there needed another cable between my RX580 nitro+ and IMac, like display port to tb2?
Thanks so much for you reply.

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joevt
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October 10, 2018 8:14 pm  
Posted by: __icey__

OK, then all that I need to connect my late 2012 IMac to razer core x is a tb3 to tb2 apple adapter and a tb2 to tb2 apple cable. After that. Is there needed another cable between my RX580 nitro+ and IMac, like display port to tb2?
Thanks so much for you reply.

Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 use the same cable. Doesn't matter who makes the Thunderbolt cable. If you have an external display, then connect it to the RX580.

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__icey__
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October 10, 2018 8:29 pm  

I have a late 2012 iMac which I want to boost up a little bit so that my soon can also play some games. Like word of tanks or farming simulator. So for this I found razer core x, and all I want to know if is compatible with a my late 2012 IMac and what connectors do I need, and of corse if I can benefit of all the power of the RX580 or only half of that.
Thanks

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__icey__
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October 10, 2018 8:29 pm  

I have a late 2012 iMac which I want to boost up a little bit so that my soon can also play some games. Like word of tanks or farming simulator. So for this I found razer core x, and all I want to know if is compatible with a my late 2012 IMac and what connectors do I need, and of corse if I can benefit of all the power of the RX580 or only half of that.
Thanks

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joevt
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October 10, 2018 8:58 pm  

You want to accelerate the internal display. There are forum posts about that, with links to other forum posts.
https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/how-to-egpu-accelerated-internal-display-macos/paged/2/
https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/turn-your-macbook-pro-to-a-gaming-laptop-with-akitio-thunder2/#post-1667
https://egpu.io/performance-internal-vs-external-display/

The 2012 iMac has Thunderbolt 1 ports. The chart in the last link shows that a iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) or a iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) at 1920x1080 can expect less than 71% performance. The performance would be less with a iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) at 2560x1440.

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__icey__
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October 11, 2018 8:46 am  

Then this is almost for nothing.
300 euro razer core x
400 euro Rx580 8 gb spphire nitro+ SE
58 euro apple tb 3 to tb 2 adapter
42 euro  apple 2 m cable
-----------------------------
800 euro totaly. I don't think is worth to have only 70% or less of the graphic card performances.

I will just move my old 2012 iMac to my son room for him to learn how to use it and buy another one 2017  for me.

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joevt
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October 11, 2018 9:35 am  
Posted by: __icey__

800 euro totaly. I don't think is worth to have only 70% or less of the graphic card performances.

I think the point is that the eGPU will be much better than what the 2012 iMac has even with the performance penalty. The graphics card just needs to get near 60 fps. For example, if the performance is usually 100 fps, and the penalty gives you 60% performance, then you still get 60 fps.

Search the forum for any builds using a Thunderbolt 1 Mac to get an idea of the issues involved and the performance you can expect. Here's one for the iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012).

The Beginner’s External Graphics Card Setup Guide for Mac has a list of Thunderbolt 1 Macs. Include those in your search to see how they compare.

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