2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Co...
 
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2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [Ajay]  

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Ahr0n
(@ahr0n)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

Thanks for your reply! Well my question is a bit technical - if I understand correctly the eGPU efficiency depends on how you want to use it and which applications you want to use for example:
 - for gaming the external display is a neccessity AND the bandwidth of TB is the crucial thing because the eGPU 'communicates' with CPU non-stop so the bandwidth is the only one bottleneck.

- for compute task such as rendering or code compilation you don't especially need the external display, you can use the headless HDMI adapter with your internal display AND there is not a huge difference between TB2 and TB3 usage because the eGPU 'communicates' with CPU only few times - at the start of compute task and at the end of it.

If you can correct me if I'm wrong I'd be happy. I just want to know if my thinking of eGPU usage is right or not. If I have a TB3 port on my Mac I'd not even bother about such things. But now I'm thinking about buying it for GPU rendering and just want to know it is the right thing to do in my case.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ahr0n
(@ahr0n)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

Btw. if you'd have few minutes for a quick benchmark of Octane X renderer - you can do a simple test here:

https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/octane-x-metal-render-engine/

I wrote a simple instruction on how do it. 

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Ajay
 Ajay
(@ajay)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@ahr0n

Your welcome! As far as I understand your statement about the egpu is correct, it depends what you will be using it for.

Remember that the one and only benefit of the egpu is when the output is to your external display and not to your MBP. That is because of the bandwith, which is limited with TB2 (20 to the egpu but 10 out>10 back to your MBP when you use it without an external display and try to speed up your internal gpu, this definitely slow things down way too much to be benefitting from an egpu. in this case it would be best to have a MBP or other with TB3)

 - for gaming the external display is a neccessity AND the bandwidth of TB is the crucial thing because the eGPU 'communicates' with CPU non-stop so the bandwidth is the only one bottleneck.

As far as I know this is true

- for compute task such as rendering or code compilation you don't especially need the external display, you can use the headless HDMI adapter with your internal display AND there is not a huge difference between TB2 and TB3 usage because the eGPU 'communicates' with CPU only few times - at the start of compute task and at the end of it.

I don't think this is true but i have no experience except for using my egpu for video editing and the rendering via Adobe Media Encoder. This uses the egpu for rendering and it is sooo much faster than just with the internal gpu!

What would be your primary goal for using an egpu?

 

MBP retina 15, late 2013, (I7-4850HQ),16GB, TB2, Razer Core X, Powercolor AMD RX 5700 XT Red Devil, BenQ SW320

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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Ahr0n
(@ahr0n)
Active Member
Joined: 5 months ago
 

@ajay, I'll be making a transition from open-source CPU Renderers such as as Cycles, LuxCore (they can use GPU but on Mac it is poorly supported or even not for Cycles) to Pro Metal GPU renderers such as Octane and Redshift which will be released soon. I tried only one Metal renderer which at the moment is Radeon Pro Render and the speed compared to CPU rendering is insane even on my internal GPU.

As you can see the GPU renderers are almost starting again on Macs due to the lack of CUDA support. I'm just curios how it'd work under eGPU setup and will I lose speed when connected via TB2 vs TB3. I'm expecting a 10 to 20x boost in speed compared to my actual engines. There are of course some optimization techniques for faster rendering but there's nothing worse than waiting few minutes to check if that little 'change' really changed sth or not. GPU renderers are a different league. Once you tried one you don't want to go back to the classic slow CPU engines.

No plans for gaming. Definitely, I don't even think about it, have some old PC games so I'm rarely and occasionally an old-school gamer : -

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Allen Baldwin
(@allen_baldwin)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

@ajay, Just wanted to thank you for writing this. I can't tell you how happy I was to find someone with my exact hardware with a successful build. I wanted to pay it forward and share what I have learned today building my system. I am also a video editor, but use FCPX rather than Premiere, and I have found little online for optimizing hacks or egpu builds for Final Cut, so I wanted to add my two cents.

MBP 2.8 quadcore i7

16gb RAM

Nvdia 750M

Razer Core Chroma box with XFX RX 5700 Xt Thicc III Ultra Graphics Card (Rx-57XT8TBD8)

Catalina 15.5.7

I followed your directions:

1.Turned off SIP (note: this takes a few hours to decrypt the HD - wish I had known this! - but left overnight it was done in the AM) 

2. Ran Purge Wrangler using manual setup and used settings like you did - but added support for Legacy as well (answered Y on question 3 of manual setup)

 

At this point, I wanted to see what would happen if I just fired up the computer and plugged in the eGPU, with no external monitor OR headless HDMI plug. I DID NOT run purge-nvidia. 

My fans on the MBP fired up immediately, and I almost shut it down, but left it on just for the heck of it. After a while, it seemed to calm, so I started up FCPX and  ran the Bruce5k test, which I know is pretty dated at this point, but it's what I've been measuring my renders in for a while, so it gives me a sense of where I am at on all my FCPX systems (I also have a Hackintosh and a few iMacs, so having one simple test lets me compare)

Bruce5k with INTERNAL gpu (Nvidia GT 750)  selected in FCPX preferences - 53 secs

Bruce5k with EXTERNAL Gpu (AMD 5700xt) selected in FCPX prefences - 14 secs

This is all without an external display or running purge-nvidia. 

I honestly wasn't expecting the computer to even run when I first plugged in the eGPU, and when it started humming like a dishwasher I almost shut it down. But after having run the tests I am ecstatic with the results. I've only been playing with it this morning, and I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but for today I am very very happy. I know that final cut uses different processors differently than the Adobe family of products, so I am hoping this is not a fluke. 

 

my question: Do you forsee any issues moving forward, particularly with respect to FCPX and leaving the internal 750M active?

Once again, thank you for your post. I felt obligated to share my experience because of the aid that your post gave me in my adventures!

 

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Georgios Lachanas
(@georgios_lachanas)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I have a similar setup ,but using 1070ti and "stuck" to high Sierra...thinking of buying a 5500xt in order to be able to update to Catalina and Big Sur , to use latest versions of resolve and premiere pro..

MBP 15" with Nvidia 750m (mid2014) + Razer Core X +Apple TB3 adapter+Apple TB2 cable+Nvidia 1070Ti 8gb+LG Ultrawide Monitor via HDMI ,MACOS 10.13.6 (17G4015),Web drivers 387.10.10.10.40.113, Cuda version 410.130


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Ajay
 Ajay
(@ajay)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@allen_baldwin

Thank you very much for your message Allen, it's great to hear my post had some value for you. First of all, my apologies not answering sooner, there's no excuse because your words were too kind. I'm in the middle of a video project, yes, still on the old MBP 😉

It's very interesting to read that you are running well without purge wrangler, but I'm wondering: you said you installed it? Then it will always start with the powering on your MBP. So you don't have to start the wrangler itself, this goes automatically. I guess if you didn't install, your MBP would either not recognize the eGPU or it would just crash.

Glad your FCPX works so much faster, I have the same with Premiere Pro but I'm ditching that horrible NLE. This is my last project with it, I swear. Just over an hour ago, my system kind of froze completely when rendering some clips in Media Encoder and editing at the same time in premiere pro. Adobe's NLE is so unstable...

I will hop on the Davinci Resolve 17 wagon from next week and will share my findings about the performance here. First impression with the free version is good. Although still quite happy with what I can do with my old trusted MBP, I am getting used to the idea that a new investment in a newer MBP or Mac mini will be necessary. But first, I'm going to replace the thermal paste of this MBP's i7 and the internal gpu's, and give the inside a thorough cleaning. maybe this helps and maybe this way I can save me some money. 

I also, when all is green lights compatibility-wise , am going to upgrade to Big Sur.

Thanks again for sharing your story and good luck!

Ajay

 

MBP retina 15, late 2013, (I7-4850HQ),16GB, TB2, Razer Core X, Powercolor AMD RX 5700 XT Red Devil, BenQ SW320

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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Ajay
 Ajay
(@ajay)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@georgios_lachanas

Thanks for sharing Georgios! I hear you my friend, Apple ditching NVidia is quite 😡 but hey, that's Apple. I've survived over 30 years of working with it, with so much pleasure. Wondering what will happen when they will not support Intel machines anymore... they probably will in a couple of years. But until then, we can enjoy our little machines. And with the eGPU with TB3, you're pretty much set for years to come. I'd suggest the RX5700XT, it's a bit beefier and you can enjoy it for a couple of years, to get a return on your investment. There are several brands producing good cards and cheaper versions, I just chose this brand because they had the best test results for cooling.

Good luck with choosing one and enjoy your eGPU!

Ajay

 

MBP retina 15, late 2013, (I7-4850HQ),16GB, TB2, Razer Core X, Powercolor AMD RX 5700 XT Red Devil, BenQ SW320

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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Allen Baldwin
(@allen_baldwin)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

@ajay, great to hear from you. I’m in fact having some issues now. Accidentally updated to the latest Catalina upgrade> I should know better, I know.

So I’ve been fighting with this thing all day, with two deadlines. That’s how it goes, I suppose.

I have only edited one project on Davinci, but that was a while ago and I think they’ve upgraded their software significantly. I have been FCPX for as long as it’s been out, and its pretty solid. I never liked Premiere, except for the way it worked with AE, and always found it pretty buggy.

Curious to hear how Davinci goes. I have a free copy of it from a Blackmagic Camera purchase, so if you find its good with the eGPU, lemme know. 

Given my current situation, I am considering installing nvidia-purge. I have a few questions about what that does to the system.

1) will I be able to use the laptop without an external monitor once I install nvidia-purge? I mostly use it to edit in my home office and it will generally be attached to an external monitor. But I do occasionally take it on location, or to a coffee shop, etc. 

2) can I get around the issues nvidia-purge introduces with a headless hdmi plug? I have one, so I am wondering what that will do for me.

Thanks again for your thorough help, and your exploration into the black void on behalf of the rest of us!

 

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Ajay
 Ajay
(@ajay)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@allen_baldwin

When using purge_nvdia you can use your laptop with the internal lcd. beware though that the Sleep function and brightness will be disabled and can only be used when you uninstall purge-nvdia. Also, the hdmi port will be disabled, i believe it is connected to the NVDIA internal gpu. So, for on the go-use, just quickly uninstall purge_nvdia and install again when at your home connecting to the egpu. the program will remain on your laptop while uninstalling, so that's easy.

I read the purgge wrangler script is already optimized for Big Sur, so your problem with Catalina latest should also have been resolved.

good luck, will update when i've been using DR16 or 17.

Ajay

 

 

 

MBP retina 15, late 2013, (I7-4850HQ),16GB, TB2, Razer Core X, Powercolor AMD RX 5700 XT Red Devil, BenQ SW320

 
2013 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  


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