Setup & Software Discussions
2016 15" MacBook Pro (RP450) [6th,4C,H] + RX Vega 64 LC @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core...
 

2016 15" MacBook Pro (RP450) [6th,4C,H] + RX Vega 64 LC @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + macOS 10.14.5 & Win10 1809 [itsage]  

  RSS

itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

One of the new components in the Razer Core X Chroma is a 700W power supply. To test its capabilities I installed an RX Vega 64 LC graphics card then paired it to a 15" MacBook Pro. Razer made changes to the cooling fan mounting bracket so that a 120mm radiator from this AIO liquid cooling GPU can fit without modifications. I rerouted the power cables to provide clearance in front of the cooling fan.

 

System specs:

2016 15" MacBook Pro - i7-6920HQ/HD Graphics 530 iGPU & Radeon Pro 460 dGPU/16GB RAM/1TB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Razer Core X Chroma + RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooling + .7m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

I attempted setting this eGPU up with Ubuntu 18.10 on my 2016 15" MacBook Pro. Due to many driver issues and the Mac firmware disabling crucial components during boot, I abandoned that plan for now. In macOS 10.14.5 there was no drama. Both the RX Vega 64 Liquid Cooling GPU and Razer Core X Chroma have native support.

In Windows 10 @goalque's automate-eGPU EFI provides iGPU activation for internal display acceleration. This boot loader also integrates Clover so that I could allocate Large Memory through a modified DSDT (thanks to @nando4). Here's my setup procedure:

  • Install Windows 10 ISO through Bootcamp Assistant [in macOS]
  • Install DDU to remove all default graphics drivers and disable Windows automated driver installation [in Windows]
  • Create a 24MB FAT partition in Disk Utility and copy @goalque's automate-eGPU EFI onto it [in macOS]
  • Copy the 2016 15" MacBook Pro dsdt-modified.aml file as /EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/WINDOWS/dsdt.aml inside the EFI partition [in macOS]
  • Hold OPTION at boot to select EFI drive and hit Q to access automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection]
  • Install Intel iGPU drivers for the integrated graphics card then restart [in Windows]
  • Download and run gpu-switch integrated.bat as Admin to attach the iGPU to internal display - install 2013 Visual C++ if needed [in Windows]
  • Select "View by Connection" in Device Manager then locate and disable PCIe Controller x16 - 1901 [in Windows]
  • Shut MacBook Pro down then connect eGPU to any Thunderbolt 3 port [system OFF]
  • Boot into Windows via automate-eGPU EFI [boot selection]
  • Confirm a new Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in Device Manager then install Radeon drivers [in Windows]

Once the steps above were completed, my 2016 15" MacBook Pro works just like an Intel iGPU-only laptop in Windows. This has multiple advantages. First is the ability to use AMD XConnect for internal display acceleration with an Radeon eGPU (or Nvidia Optimus with a GeForce eGPU). Second is better battery life on the go. The Radeon Pro 460 dGPU can be re-enabled if needed. The modified graphics drivers from Bootcampdrivers.com would allow one set of drivers to work for both dGPU and AMD eGPU.

The RX Vega 64 LC has a lot of headroom for overclocking. The 700W PSU in this Razer Core X Chroma made it the perfect enclosure to experiment. During the past two days I encountered no power issue with this eGPU setup. It currently operates at 1782 MHz GPU clock @ 1170 mV and 1100 MHz Memory clock @ 950 mV. I also made a setting change to Intel HD Graphics Control Panel to prevent flickering when the laptop is not plugged into a power source [Panel Refresh - Disabled].

 

Benchmarks:

OC Internal Display OC External Display

 

Comments:

For a Mac user, it doesn't get much better than a liquid cooled RX Vega 64 eGPU. The Razer Core X Chroma has more than enough juice to supply this power-hungry card. The cooling system can get loud but the temps did not exceed high 60s Celsius. Through a single Thunderbolt 3 cable, I could charge the 15" MacBook Pro and connect to external drives, keyboard, mouse, Ethernet, and multiple high resolution monitors. It truly is a one cable solution.

This topic was modified 4 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


goalque and nando4 liked
ReplyQuote
nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: itsage

Once the steps above were completed, my 2016 15" MacBook Pro works just like an Intel iGPU-only laptop in Windows. This has multiple advantages. First is the ability to use AMD XConnect for internal display acceleration with an Radeon eGPU (or Nvidia Optimus with a GeForce eGPU). Second is better battery life on the go. The Radeon Pro 460 dGPU can be re-enabled if needed. The modified graphics drivers from Bootcampdrivers.com would allow one set of drivers to work for both dGPU and AMD eGPU.

Lovely post yet again. Thank you. A minor point which may help some users looking to use these steps to extend battery life.

During PC notebook battery discharge monitoring using batterybar, disabling a dGPU's hosting port in Device Manager as your describe resulted often in a substantial increase in idle discharge power. It seems that then the AMD/Nvidia driver no longer had access to the dGPU to put it in sleep mode.

Maybe worth double-checking if it's best to enable the dGPU hosting PCIe port when mobile?

This post was modified 4 months ago

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
(@gareth_rees)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

Your firestrike GPU/graphics score is amazing, for reference a good Vega 64 air scores around 26.5K on a desktop

Also the HBM voltage acting as a voltage floor for vCore is actually 951mV IIRC. Not a big deal anyway since your P6/7 are well above that.

This post was modified 4 months ago

Dell Latitude 5491 14" BIOS 1.8.1 | Core i7 8850H + liquid metal - | 32GB DDR4 2400 | Samsung 512GB PM981 AS SSD 4600 score | | MX130 + liquid metal | Logitech Z-2300 | Razer Death Adder Chroma | Corsair K70 Rapdifire | HP Omen Accelerator 700W PSU + STRIX Vega 56 8GB HBM2


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

For a Mac user, it doesn't get much better than a liquid cooled RX Vega 64 eGPU.

How would iMac Pro's Vega64X compare to it? I would guess about the same.

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@nando4 As always, thank you for your insight on technical assesment. I will use it off the charger in the coming weeks with and without dGPU disabled to observe battery life. One feature that does not work when the internal display attaches to iGPU is brightness adjustment.

@gareth_rees I'm very happy with the performance of this setup. Would you care to elaborate on further fine-tuning through Wattman? I'd like to squeeze more performance out of it if I can.

@oliverb While the Vega 64 options in iMac Pro have twice the amount of VRAM, they are certainly down-clocked. The cooling system is not comparable either. At the current OC state, the RX Vega 64 LC eGPU posted over 14 teraflops single precision vs 12 in the iMac Pro's Vega 64X. It's likely clocked to 1475 MHz (1475*2*4096 = 12083 GFLOPS). I'd say it's more closely matched to the Radeon Pro WX 9100 as seen in AIDA64.

This post was modified 4 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
(@gareth_rees)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

It's really up to you but you can right click where it says p7 state max, disable it and use p6 @ 1782 1170mV. Also set hbm to 951mV.

You also have more headroom as that card goes to 1250mV. It's your court and that vega 64 is actually within 8% of a stock R VII. Just need to be careful as upping the voltage also ups the clocks without changing the clock value. That means start by increasing the voltage and if its stable increase the clocks. Also vega has a vdroop of 50mV so 1200 is really 1150.

This post was modified 4 months ago

Dell Latitude 5491 14" BIOS 1.8.1 | Core i7 8850H + liquid metal - | 32GB DDR4 2400 | Samsung 512GB PM981 AS SSD 4600 score | | MX130 + liquid metal | Logitech Z-2300 | Razer Death Adder Chroma | Corsair K70 Rapdifire | HP Omen Accelerator 700W PSU + STRIX Vega 56 8GB HBM2


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

@itsage
of course, I see. Pro Vega 64X is just an approvement over iMac Pro's Pro Vega 64. Both cards are down-clocked because of "weaker" cooling system (albeit very quiet and very stable with lower clocks).

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

I have purchased an RX Vega 64 LC and have installed it in the Razer Core X Chroma.

I'm in the processor testing it. Luxmark tests are solid, Geekbench is crap but that appears to be normal as the app is becoming worse on macOS. Unigine tests have crashed so far. I think the GPU might have excessive power draw for the Chroma. I can't figure out any other reason.

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@craftsman Check the vBIOS switch position. Mine came with it in the safe/back position and it wasn't running stable. I switched to the front position and the card runs much more stable.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

@itsage

This is the settings I received. 

This post was modified 3 months ago

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Those switches are lighting controls of the load meter (by the PCIe power cable plugs). The vBIOS switch is located on top of the card by the hoses. You can see it in this photo. When I took this photo the switch was in the safe/back position. I've since moved it to the front.

This post was modified 3 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

I added an extra image above. My VBIOS switch was on the left position towards the bracket, which appears to be default. Should it be left or right?

This post was modified 3 months ago

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

That looks right to me. You can switch it to the other position and see whether the crashing stops. If the GPU wasn't new, I'd recommend flashing the original firmware to it just to make sure. You can only do firmware flashing when this vBIOS switch is in the front position (as your photo shows).

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

I should do that. The previous owner may have changed the defaults.

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

Everything solid with the VBIOS in energy saving mode and there's no real performance loss. Valley benchmark completely stable. Previous owner must have changed the default BIOS.

I've finished my tests and will publish the build now.

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

This Razer Core X Chroma + RX Vega 64 LC setup has been running great. One improvement I wanted to make was cool air intake.

I took off the front fascia (mounted by 5 T10 hex screws). To my surprise the four mounting holes lined up perfectly to a 140mm cooling fan.

The stock mounting screws and nuts from the Core X Chroma were barely long enough to install a spare cooling fan I had. Rubber pins would be the best option imo. Here it is in action.

 

This post was modified 3 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

@itsage That's awesome. If we could find a base stand or 3D print one then this could still work in vertical position with air flowing upwards.

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

@itsage I Put a 140mm intake fan on the front too. It's running 1-2C cooler in tests but performance is the same.

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@craftsman That's good to hear. I think airflow from the front mounted fan helps the PSU more than the GPU.

This post was modified 3 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
wongtseng
(@wongtseng)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

Core X Chroma did'not work fine on my Macbook pro
The eGPU work fine,the lighting  is on, but the USB ports and NIC of Core X Chroma not working properly on my MacBook Pro 15 2017 later, i don't konw why.

MacBook Pro 2017, Razer Core Chroma, Power RADeon RX Vega 56+macOS 10.15 Beta


ReplyQuote
swchoo6087
(@swchoo6087)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

Question. Are all functionalities of Razer Core X Chroma (Ethernet, USB Ports) working perfectly?

For my setup, I'm using Razer Core X (non-Chroma) at the right TB3 port and another USB 3.1 dongle for Ethernet. But the thing is when I switch to macOS from bootcamp by rebooting macbook, my Ethernet dongle shows state of 'self-assigned ip' inside macOS. It works fine after I re-insert dongle, but it is not ideal. It seems most of users using Ethernet dongle with bootcamp are having the same issue.
I wonder if it happens same to eGPU encloser with ethernet port.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

Macbook Pro 2018 15" (i7 8850H, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, RP560X)
Razer Core X + SAPPHIRE Vega64 Reference


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@swchoo6087 Try the USB LAN drivers from Razer Support website for macOS and see if it works better.

 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote