Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro + R9 [email protected] (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS10.13.5 [theitsage]
I haven't finished the review of this ASUS XG Station Pro but would like to share this build guide. Both this ASUS XG Station Pro and Strix R9 Fury have silent mode so at idle no fans were running. It's absolutely silent. The ASUS XG Station Pro is no doubt the most quiet eGPU enclosure to date. Besides 15W PD and LEDs on board, it's hard to find fault with this box.
2016 15" MacBook Pro - i7-6700HQ/Radeon Pro 450 dGPU/HD Graphics 530 iGPU/16GB RAM/256GB SSD
ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS Strix R9 Fury + 1.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable
I was also curious about the 15" USB-C portable monitor I saw at CES2018. It was plug-and-play with my MBP in macOS. It also worked when I tried with Windows 10 using the Toshiba X20. It's a really cool portable monitor for ultrabooks. A single USB-C cable carries data and power. Unfortunately the eGPU was not able to accelerate it.
There's no native eGPU support for the R9 Fury in macOS. @Goalque's automate-eGPU.kext enables this card and many more older AMD GPUs. I simply downloaded the kext, moved it to /Library/Extensions, ran permission repair (using Kext Utility), restarted the MacBook Pro, then the R9 Fury worked plug-and-play.
Here are some screen captures showing the ASUS MB16AC portable monitor. The Radeon Pro 450 was powering it. I set it as the primary display but the eGPU simply ignored it. Same thing happened in Windows 10 1803. I even went into the new Graphics Settings and manually set High-performance mode for the eGPU to take over. It didn't make a difference.
I ran these GPGPU benchmarks in macOS 10.13.5 released today.
@Nando4 and I have been inquiring ASUS about an alternate firmware that may provide higher power delivery. Unfortunately Intel only approved 15W. There's one very cool accessory ASUS is working on for the XG Station Pro. I will share more information as soon as I receive it.
Looking forward to the review @itsage though I just said screw it this morning and ordered one of these from NewEgg!
Can't wait to hear about the accessory as well as any news on PD adjustments via firmware, though I've internally justified having power separate already at this point 😉
Where did you buy the dual adaptor from?
Neat! I presume this means PD to charge a laptop over USBC is possible with the extra power adapter then?!
@locky28 Power Delivery remains at 15W unfortunately. It's a feature set by the firmware. I was hoping ASUS has an alternative firmware for the XG Station Pro with higher PD but Intel only certified this eGFX for the 15W PD firmware.
Damn that's a shame, perhaps it could be re-certified in the future with this accessory, we'll see in time.
@itsage, question: how does sleep work with the eGPU in both Windows and macOS? Any inconveniences? Any differences between Radeon and nVidia cards? (I assume at least for the latter in macOS due to the non-existent official support)
I found sleep to be an issue in Boot Camp. Most of the times wake from sleep does not work and Windows would crash. Things are better in macOS but there's odd behavior such as the GPU fan spins up during sleep. This may be related to macOS power nap feature rather than eGPU connection because I've observed my Mac Pro tower doing the same. No differences between AMD vs Nvidia and enclosures.
Thanks so much for your insight. I bet you're right on the money about the Power Nap feature in macOS waking the eGPU's fans. I've been having similar problems in Boot Camp with an Aorus Gaming Box 1080 and sleep. It seems to be a rather common issue…? I'm really thinking about getting this enclosure for its capabilities and fan-less operation when under light load.