2014 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 480 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node)...
 
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2014 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 480 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.4 & Win10 [mac_editor]  

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

If you have read my NVIDIA implementation on this model here you probably already know that setting up an NVIDIA eGPU on this MacBook model along with the Akitio Node is not possible on Windows. The procedure to boot is also finicky and does not guarantee success on macOS. There have only been speculations regarding an external AMD card + internal discrete NVIDIA combo; I am here to put those to bed. 

 


Requirements

 

The following equipment is required:

  • Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure
  • AMD RX 480/580 4GB
  • External Display
  • Thunderbolt 3 > Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
  • Thunderbolt 2 Cable

 


macOS Setup

 

For macOS High Sierra, you require:

 

Follow the steps detailed for purge-nvda.sh to enable native AMD eGPU acceleration. Then run purge-wrangler.sh according to the instructions. I recommend macOS Sierra for eGPU setups, however. It's simply a better experience without having to purge the dGPU that causes its own set of problems.

 

For macOS 10.12.6 (older versions not recommended), you require 2 scripts:

 

Please follow these steps:

 

Step 1

Disable System Integrity Protection (SIP) by booting into Recovery (⌘ + R on boot) and run the following commands in Terminal:

$ csrutil disable
$ reboot

 

You should be back into macOS without incident.

 

Step 2

  • Connect an external display to the eGPU
  • Plug in your eGPU through the thunderbolt interface

 

Step 3 

Finally, execute the following commands in Terminal:

$ sudo su
$ ./automate-eGPU.sh
$ ./enable-baffin-CUs.sh ellesmere 36
$ touch /System/Library/Extensions/
$ reboot

 

Your mac should restart once it acquires disk lock - and work flawlessly with your eGPU.

 


Issues on macOS Sierra

 

# Log Outs Not Supported

Logging out will crash your Mac. Restarts or shutdowns are the only option to switch users.

 

# Slow macOS UI Performance

Use of the eGPU-connected external display alongside the internal display may result in glitchy/slow UI performance.

Workaround: Disable Displays have separate spaces in Mission Control settings or disable the internal display entirely.

 

# macOS Updates

For any macOS system updates, script changes may be undone.

Workaround: Redo the setup process.

 


Windows Setup

 

This build is compatible with all recent versions of Windows.

 

There is not much to do here:

  • Ensure that your eGPU is connected to an external display
  • Power on Mac with eGPU plugged in
  • On boot, Windows will either automatically setup AMD XConnect or disconnect from the internet automatically to allow manual installation of already downloaded drivers
  • You can optionally manually update to the latest AMD drivers

 

Internal display acceleration is possible by:

  • Using apple_set_os.efi to enable iGPU on boot into Windows (see here)
  • Rebooting into Windows after switching to the iGPU with eGPU connected

 


Issues on Windows

 

No major problems to report.

 

# Hardware Change Notification

Windows may inform you that hardware changes have occurred and suggest a restart.

Workaround: The message is only temporary and will not hassle you in subsequent sessions.

 


AMD vs. NVIDIA

 

This setup has the following advantages over using an NVIDIA 9xx or newer eGPU with this model:

  • Works flawlessly on both macOS and Windows
  • No POST issue - boots with 100 % success rate
  • Much better Final Cut Pro performance over NVIDIA chips in macOS
  • Much easier to implement.

 

It is worth noting that Kepler cards work as well as the RX series on this mac model, including native support in macOS. 

 


macOS Benchmarks

 

The configuration employs 2x HP 24ea 1080P displays on the 750M, 980 Ti, and the RX 480.

 750M:

  • Unigine Heaven: 8.8 FPS with a score of 221
  • BruceX Final Cut Pro – Uncompressed ProRes Export: ~90s, H.264 Export: ~210s

 

GTX 980 Ti eGPU:

  • Unigine Heaven: 64.2 FPS with a score of 1617
  • BruceX Final Cut Pro – Uncompressed ProRes Export: ~56s, H.264 Export: ~120s

 

AMD RX 480 eGPU:

  • Unigine Heaven: 29.6~30 FPS, with a score of 745~750
  • BruceX Final Cut Pro - Uncompressed ProRes Export: ~36s, H.264 Export: ~90s

 

AMD MOCL

 

 


Windows Benchmarks

 

Before comparing results, note that in Windows my GPU is slightly overclocked at 1355 Mhz Core | 1825 Mhz Mem | Power +50% Aggressive cooling.

The results of Unigine Heaven on OpenCL and DirectX:

AMD OCL
AMD DX

 

There are many many posts on eGPU.io about gaming benchmarks so I'm not going to go into that. Instead, I recorded gameplay via Game DVR at what I feel are optimal settings for the RX 480. I also chose NFS games instead of the usual titles. These are just ~30s glimpses of the gameplay running consistently @60fps on the internal display.

 

Need For Speed (2015) @1440x900 High w/ Vehicle Geometry Ultra

 

Need For Speed Rivals (2013) @1440x900 Ultra

1440x900 looks sufficiently nice for most racing games on the internal display, and is a good mid-point between performance and quality - for the RX 480. Disabling Game DVR would of course yield slightly better results no doubt, although it is worth noting that both games can play as smooth or more on an external display setup @1080p without Game DVR. For high-FPS games such as Rocket League, using the internal display is abysmal thanks to bandwidth constraints: I only managed to touch 140 fps in training, while on the external display I managed 240 fps in the same mode.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


honkono, Sungjoon Park, SheldonTung and 4 people liked
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zhutson24
(@zhutson24)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Were you able to get the 10.12.4 OS to work with RX 480 without updating through the Terminal?  or did you have to use the Terminal method to update to 10.12.4?

Thank you for This! Will try tonight.

Late 2013 15" MBPr w/ GT 750m - RX 460 4GB - Akitio Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure - Windows 10 - Mac OS 10.12.4
Node 202 Skylake Hackintosh - i5 6600k - RX 480 8GB - 16GB DDR4 - Dual Boot - Mac OS 10.12.3 - Windows 10


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zhutson24
(@zhutson24)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Additionally, the Terminal method to update would only be required for the RX 480.  Since I am trying an eGPU setup with a RX 460, I should be fine to run the modified automate-eGPU.sh in Mac OS 10.12.4?

Late 2013 15" MBPr w/ GT 750m - RX 460 4GB - Akitio Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure - Windows 10 - Mac OS 10.12.4
Node 202 Skylake Hackintosh - i5 6600k - RX 480 8GB - 16GB DDR4 - Dual Boot - Mac OS 10.12.3 - Windows 10


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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Happy for you that you could finally make your setup 😉

I assuming, to make the AMD card powering the internal display would be (far?) more complicated, wouldn't be?

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)

 
2014 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1060 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Thanks @Antharsious! I'll try and look into it for you once I have the time. Although I can say with confidence that if you use the external display, its going to be a piece of cake to setup.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: zhutson24

 

Were you able to get the 10.12.4 OS to work with RX 480 without updating through the Terminal?  or did you have to use the Terminal method to update to 10.12.4?

Thank you for This! Will try tonight.

   

I was already upgraded to 10.12.4.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: zhutson24

 

Additionally, the Terminal method to update would only be required for the RX 480.  Since I am trying an eGPU setup with a RX 460, I should be fine to run the modified automate-eGPU.sh in Mac OS 10.12.4?

   

I think you will be fine with the RX 460 since you do not need kext mods.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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Caltobin
(@caltobin)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I have this setup with the mid 2015 15" m370x but in Windows 10 I had to do the DSDT Iverride to get rid of code 12.

Everything was recognized and working but after launching a game and playing after 2 min it would give me a Wattmans System Failre error message and crash my whole rig and need to reset. 

By browsing forums I found out to uninstall MSI Afterburner and Riva Tuner. So I did and now my games run for about 2 hours before the system fail.

any idea as to whether this is egpu related or maybe faulty card? I have some threads on here but no solutions or ideas.

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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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Caltobin

 

I have this setup with the mid 2015 15" m370x but in Windows 10 I had to do the DSDT Iverride to get rid of code 12.

Everything was recognized and working but after launching a game and playing after 2 min it would give me a Wattmans System Failre error message and crash my whole rig and need to reset. 

By browsing forums I found out to uninstall MSI Afterburner and Riva Tuner. So I did and now my games run for about 2 hours before the system fail.

any idea as to whether this is egpu related or maybe faulty card? I have some threads on here but no solutions or ideas.

   

Perhaps I would try a clean install of AMD drivers from their website. Also, I would try disabling the M370X in the Device Manager. Finally, do you have the RX 480 4GB or 8GB?

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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zhutson24
(@zhutson24)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: mac_editor 

I think you will be fine with the RX 460 since you do not need kext mods.

I can verify with my current setup, that the RX 460 works with Windows 10 on an external screen as smoothly as my GTX 1060 3GB and GTX 750ti 2GB.  However, I am unable to get the RX 460 to work with my current Mac OS 10.12.4 build.  I've tried all your steps and uninstalled/reinstalled the modified automate-eGPU.sh multiple times.  As you can see by the attached images, one shows that my external screen comes up in the System Information under Displays/Graphics.  However, under About this Mac or on the external screen itself, the RX 460 is yet to be present.  The automate-eGPU.sh doesn't return any errors and I've ran it multiple times with reboots.  I've included an image of the my GFX Card Status app and what apps are causing it to switch to the dGPU (GT 750m).  Any advice? Should I uninstall the GFX Card Status app?  Should I uninstall the apps that are causing the GFX to force dGPU?  I'm at a loss for what I can/should do.  Your help is much appreciated.

 

Late 2013 15" MBPr w/ GT 750m - RX 460 eGPU in Akitio Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure - Enclosure is plugged into external display

Mac OS 10.12.4

Late 2013 15" MBPr w/ GT 750m - RX 460 4GB - Akitio Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure - Windows 10 - Mac OS 10.12.4
Node 202 Skylake Hackintosh - i5 6600k - RX 480 8GB - 16GB DDR4 - Dual Boot - Mac OS 10.12.3 - Windows 10


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