Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro + GTX 1080Ti@32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS10.13.5 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 2802
June 21, 2018 2:25 pm  

I'm testing @Goalque's EFI-boot loader to enable Nvidia eGPU in 10.13.5 and newer. The newest beta version is an pkg installer that's easy to use.

 

System specs:

2016 15" MacBook Pro - i7-6700HQ/Radeon Pro 450 dGPU/HD Graphics 530 iGPU/16GB RAM/256GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS Strix GTX 1080 Ti + 1.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

First step was to install the Nvidia web driver for 10.13.5 [17F77]. If there's no matching drivers for macOS version (beta builds) I typically use Benjamin Dobell's script. Once I rebooted and confirmed Nvidia web drivers can load and set as default, it's time to install the EFI boot loader for Nvidia eGPU. The latest beta version from @goalque allows for installation to either an external media (USB stick) or an internal volume such as EFI partition. I opted for an external USB stick to keep my rEFInd setup intact.

Macs with AMD dGPU have framebuffer conflicts so the internal display may go black under certain scenarios. One example is when I ran Unigine benchmarks on an external monitor, the internal display went black. Once I quit out of Unigine, the internal display came back.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Geekbench 4.1 without an external monitor attached. The Unigine benchmarks were through an external monitor.

 

 

Comments:

This STRIX GTX 1080 Ti pairs very well with the ASUS XG Station Pro. During idle and light work load, no fans were running on either the graphics card or enclosure. During heavy load, it's barely audible. The RGB can be controlled/synced in Windows with AURA Light Utility. Last but not least, the 330W AC adapter can definitely power GTX 1080 Ti without issues.

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
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June 22, 2018 4:07 pm  

Looking forward to the public release of this workaround.  My setup is similar enough (MBPro 15 2016, GTX1080, Razer Core v2) that I am hoping this is a viable method to get my egpu working in MacOS again.  With Fre4k's script I could get CUDA working but no OpenGl/OpenCL/Metal and no external Monitor Display.


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fireNice
(@firenice)
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Joined: 1 year  ago
Posts: 8
August 19, 2018 11:19 pm  

@itsage has this workaround been released yet? I'm thinking about using a 2016 mbp-touchbar with Station Pro+Founders 1070.

thanks for your hardwork.


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Posts: 1279
August 19, 2018 11:42 pm  

@firenice Yes, EFI workaround is available. purge-wrangler should do the trick as well.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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fireNice
(@firenice)
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August 20, 2018 11:29 pm  
Posted by: mac_editor

@firenice Yes, EFI workaround is available. purge-wrangler should do the trick as well.

I noticed on the purge-wrangler page it states this-
"PurgeWrangler enables the following: eGPUs on Thunderbolt 1 & 2 Macs". 

This should not be a problem for TB3 on late 2016 as well? Or should I consider EFI workaround instead?  Which would be a safe bet to go through?

thanks again @mac_editor


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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August 20, 2018 11:31 pm  

@firenice No worries. The article is just listing what the script is adding as capability. Both use the same patches. EFI solution recommends booting with pen drive, while purge-wrangler directly modifies system files. It’s your call. 

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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fireNice
(@firenice)
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Joined: 1 year  ago
Posts: 8
August 21, 2018 12:28 am  
Posted by: mac_editor

@firenice No worries. The article is just listing what the script is adding as capability. Both use the same patches. EFI solution recommends booting with pen drive, while purge-wrangler directly modifies system files. It’s your call. 

Sometimes I'd like to edit on the go without an external monitor. How much of a performance boost can I expect from egpu(founders 1070) vs internal 460(amd)?

thanks @mac_editor


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