Late-2016 13" Macbook Pro Non-TouchBar + RX580 [email protected] (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS 10.13.5 [Locky28]  

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Locky28
(@locky28)
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Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 25
July 4, 2018 10:39 am  

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.

 

System specs 

Late 2016 Macbook Pro Non Touchbar (2x TB3 Ports)
2.0Ghz Core i5 Dual Core
8Gb 1333mhz LPDDR3
256Gb SSD
MacOS 10.13.5

 

eGPU hardware

ASUS XG Station Pro
Included Active 1m TB3 Cable
ASUS ROG Strix OC Rx580 8GB (Bought off e-bay second hand, more on this later)

 

Hardware pictures 

 

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.

 

Installation steps

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. 

 

Comments 

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!

late-2016 13" Macbook Pro Non-TouchBar + RX580 [email protected] (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS 10.13.5
Dell U2715H - Samsung T5 External SSD 500GB


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Eightarmedpet
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