Late-2013 Mac Pro + RX Vega 64 @ 16Gbps - TB2 (Razer Core X via TB3 -> TB2 Adapter) + Mac OS 10.14.1 {@Jinoish}  

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Jinoish
(@jinoish)
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Joined: 2 weeks ago
Posts: 2
December 5, 2018 5:18 pm  

Topic:

Late-2013 Mac Pro + RX Vega 64 @ 16Gbps - TB2 (Razer Core X via TB3 -> TB2 Adapter) + Mac OS 10.14.1 {@Jinoish}

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System Specs:

Late 2013 Mac Pro - Xeon E5 6-Core 3.5 GHZ / Radeon Fire Pro 500 dGpu / 64GB Ram / 1TB SSD

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eGpu Hardware:

Razer Core X + RX Vega 64 (Sapphire) + Apple TB3 to TB2 Adapter + 1M Thunderbolt 2 Cable

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Installation Steps:

1. Assemble eGpu.
2. Time Machine backup on nMp.
3. Eject/unplug all drives and unnecessary devices from nMp.
4. Meet PreRequisites from the Purge Wrangler Script.  Including disabling System Integrity with restart in Recovery.  
5. Ensure System Integrity is Disabled.
6. Install Purge Wrangler Script.
7. Follow Option for AMD cards.
8. Do not enable Ti82.
9. Restart.
10. Connect eGpu to nMp via TB2 Adapter. And ensure it is recognized.
11. Plug display cable into separate monitor input and into eGpu.  
12. Unplug display cable from nMp.
13. Switch inputs on monitor to eGpu display port.
14. Everything works.

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Benchmarks:

ue4:   D500 28fps. Vega 64 90fps. 

After Effects: Export render time reduced a small amount, however the render speed within the program is increased.

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Comments:

Overall, I am pleased with this setup. My primary use for the eGpu is development in ue4.  An added benefit is the increased speed in After Effects.

The performance in ue4 is considerably better than with the d500.  I have been developing projects in ue4 since 2015, unfortunately some of the projects required higher power which led me to build a GTX 1080 Windows computer in 2016.  This was highly inconvenient as my ecosystem is completely Mac based.  I have continued to use the nMp for less intense projects in ue4 as well as 3d modeling and everything else; as it is in the ecosystem.  
Finally, this past summer I discovered the official support for eGpu's and decided to build one this Winter - which is this post.  I can now develop more demanding ue4 projects on the nMp.

This project has worked out very well for my applications and I am pleased with prolonging the life of the nMp.  The iMac Pro is unattractive to me as I like my ultra wide monitor and innumerable peripherals.  I also thought about the new Mac Mini before purchasing this eGpu setup, unfortunately it did not seem economical from various perspectives.  I will continue to wait and see if Apple releases a New Mac Pro.  Thankfully this new setup is working out great and should give me at least one more year.  Truly outstanding for a computer from 2013.  

Additional Notes:

I also have: 2017 MacBook Pro - I7 2.9Ghz / Radeon Pro 560 / 16Gb Ram / 512 Gb SSD / macOS 10.14.1

The eGpu setup is plug and play.  Unfortunately I was not able to get ue4 to use the eGpu on the internal display.  
Everything else I tried seemed to work fine and the speed was very acceptable.
When connected to an external monitor the eGpu accelerated ue4 just fine with FPS around 120 for the same project tested on the nMp.  Not sure if I will use the MacBook Pro with the eGpu for development because:
a. It moves around a lot with me.
b. There is a tremendous quantity of peripherals that must always be running and accessible to my desk. 
c. The nMp has a CPU that builds lighting data in ue4 faster. (Additionally, the nMp builds lighting faster than my Windows PC that was specifically built for ue4 development.
d. I wish to prolong the heavy use of the nMp as long as possible.

Closing:

Thank you to everyone on the egpu.io website.  
I have been researching this topic for several years now, but wasn't truly serious until this past Summer when discovering egpu.io. This site has been tremendously helpful.  Excellent information for me to piece together my needs.  

If possible after more posts I will be able to post photographs of the build. 

2013 nMp Xeon E5 6-Core / 64GB Ram / 1TB SSD / iGpu: d500 / eGpu: Razer Core X Vega 64 Sapphire
2017 MacBook Pro i7 2.9 Ghz / 16GB Ram / 512GB SSD / iGpu: Radeon Pro 560


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3232
December 5, 2018 9:31 pm  

@jinoish Welcome aboard and thank you for sharing this nice build. I'm glad to hear the addition of eGPU enables the nMP to be a viable option for your workflow again. I have an almost identical Mac Pro. I have monitor connected via two inputs, one from the Mac Pro directly and the other from the eGPU.

I don't understand Apple's mistreatment of the Mac Pro 6,1. Of all Thunderbolt-equipped Macs Apple currently sells, the trashcan is the only one that does not have eGPU support. They publicly admitted they screwed up on the trashcan and their actions show they have continued screwing over the 6,1 owners.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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Jinoish
(@jinoish)
New Member
Joined: 2 weeks ago
Posts: 2
December 6, 2018 4:58 pm  

@theitsage Thank you for the welcome.

Yes I agree regarding the nMp.  It's highly unappreciated by Apple, while still being the most viable option for some users.  It must be the user base of the nMp being too small that is contributing to the neglect from Apple.  Who knows what will happen with the next Mac Pro...

My eGpu setup has been working beautifully.  Awaking from sleep is perfect, as well as restarts and shut downs.

I am curious, about leaving the other display cable connected directly to the nMp while having the eGpu connected.  I had a bit of trouble getting the computer to switch displays onto the eGpu, that seemed to only have to do with the order of things - now that it is working I don't want to adjust things too much for fear of the system being too precarious.  It would however, be nice to leave the other cable with the direct connection to the computer connected in case I need to use the eGpu elsewhere.

2013 nMp Xeon E5 6-Core / 64GB Ram / 1TB SSD / iGpu: d500 / eGpu: Razer Core X Vega 64 Sapphire
2017 MacBook Pro i7 2.9 Ghz / 16GB Ram / 512GB SSD / iGpu: Radeon Pro 560


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3232
December 6, 2018 5:13 pm  

In System Preferences » Displays » Arrangement, I placed the nMP-connected display on top of the eGPU-connected display. I set the Menu bar to eGPU-connected display so that it's primary.

I have an idea Apple Marketing can do to make nMP owners feel appreciated again. When the 2019 Mac Pro is launched next year, offer these owners full MSRP value for their trade-in. The user base is so small it would hardly effect their bottom-line. 😛

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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