2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS 10.13.5 [Locky28] // doesn't work well, don't do this)
Finally getting around to posting this. We've had builders in the house so I took a while to get it all set up!
I've been excited about the prospect of getting an eGPU since I bought my first Ultrabook and saw some of the interesting hack jobs being implemented. While I consider myself pretty techy, I no longer have the time/patience for the level of tinkering involved, but found it extremely interesting coming up. When USBC3/TB3 started hitting the market I felt it was time to get on board.
I was due for an upgrade when the 2016 MBP came out and while I was a little put off by the new port arrangement I decided to go right ahead and be an early adopter.
Regarding the eGPU choice, I wanted to wait until MacOS officially supported eGPU's, for an enclosure I was happy with to hit the market and for the supported graphics cards to become available. I'd been doing my research for a couple of months on eGPU.io and eventually decided to jump on in. I ordered the XG Station Pro for it's sleek look, smaller footprint and upgradability. I had to order it from the US as they're not available in Australia yet.
I tossed up between getting the XG and the Aorus Gaming box, while having a single cable solution was alluring, in the end the XG's build quality and the prospect of easy future upgrades won me over.
Late 2016 Macbook Pro Non Touchbar (2x TB3 Ports)
2.0Ghz Core i5 Dual Core
8Gb 1333mhz LPDDR3
The third photo is of the FanConnect header on the Strix RX580. The ASUS EdgeUP blog post on the XG Station 2 said you can connect the case fans in the enclosure to these headers to allow the graphics card to manage the case fans rather than the enclosures logic board. While this is clearly doable, you'll need an extension for the 4 Pin cables in order to reach. I may do this in the future as although the enclosures fans rarely come on, they are delayed after the GPU fans start to spin up and it would be cool for them to be more in sync.
I did the eGPU experience on easy mode with this one. Literally plug and play (then wait maybe 5 seconds). I'll try Dual Booting boot camp in the future, however from what I've read on here the Macbook Pro 13 nTB is one of the easier models to implement it with. Apple officially supporting eGPU Bootcamp would tempt me a lot sooner, along with better Boot Camp support on APFS volumes.
The eGPU has worked just as I expected, it's fantastic. I am finding, as I expected I would, that the 2.0Ghz 15w TDP Dual Core CPU means a bit of stuttering here and there, guess I'll just have to get a laptop upgrade with a quad core eventually 😉 I'm still playing mostly CSGO, DOTA2 and TF2, but they're much smoother and prettier at 2560x1440 now. I've also been able to buy some games in the recent steam sale which I would never have been able to play without the eGPU! When I have some extra time (or after a new laptop) I'm going to look at dual booting Win10 so I can get some PUBG going (fortnite is not for me and runs awfully on MacOS anyway, though it could be that weak CPU again).
I did get burnt ordering the graphics card off of Ebay too, as it has some extremely annoying coil whine, which kind of defeats the purpose of getting this super quiet setup. I've requested a return and will update this thread but I'm not sure about my chances.
Requests from ASUS? Give us some MacOS software to control the enclosure and switch off the wanky lights!
Big thanks to everyone in the eGPU community, you've all been a great help and it has been extremely useful reading about your implementations!
Nice set up and great to see some pics... always feel folks put up loads of benchmark pics but rarely pics of the actual hardware, which is just as important IMO!
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
After this setup has served me well for nearly two years it's time to sell it off since I'm moving interstate.[AUS] Shameless plug for my sale: $600 reserve for eGPU/GPU!
I mostly played CS:GO and TF2 on my external 27" (2560x1440) screen using this eGPU, along with getting to experience some games I wouldn't have without it (CIV6, Tomb Raider, Metro 2033, War Thunder). I had a period where my TB3 cable was busted where I switched back to gaming on integrated graphics and I couldn't wait to go back. My CPU was significantly cooler with graphics operations offloaded to the eGPU and I can only imagine this is even more significant with the increased die size of modern Intel iGPU's and the sweet multithreaded relief of quad core U-class CPU's in post Skylake processors.
Update on Windows 10 Dual booting, didn't work too well, the T2 chip seemed too inhibiting (it's been a year since I tried last though). I understand the next MacOS update addresses this but I won't be able to attest to it unfortunately. Take this with a grain of salt.
I think the only real complaint I had (complaint, not problem) was that my MacBook would require a hard reset if I unplugged the eGPU without disconnecting it in MacOS first. I'm techy enough to understand the difficulties of making this happen seamlessly, but as a user this would make it truly 'Plug and Play'.
Also MacOS Catalina not supporting 32-Bit apps (my shitty old Steam games) is definitely something that is pushing me towards getting a Windows SFF PC in the future. I'm still rocking Mojave until this bad bay sells.
It's been a wild ride and I'm grateful for the advice and community eGPU.io has given me, even if I (as I imagine many) tend to go radio silent once they're set up.
Keep on keeping on eGPU.io I will be checking back here once USB4 is a thing to hear about the fuss!