2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + R9 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.14.2 & Win10 1803 [itsage]
I’ve been looking for an R9 Nano White Edition in the past year. Last week I found a brand new one on US eBay. The card arrived tonight as advertised, new and sealed in box. After unboxing I installed it in the AORUS Gaming Box. Here are some photos of the R9 Nano White Edition.
2018 13″ QC MacBook Pro – i5-8259U/Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU/8GB RAM/512GB SSD
Many Radeon R9 series graphics cards have drivers but no native eGPU support in macOS. I used @mac_editor‘s Purge-Wrangler to enable eGPU support for legacy AMD cards. I tested all four ports and they have monitor outputs. As seen in the setup photo, one HDMI went to the left LG 4K monitor, two DisplayPorts went to the HP 5K monitor, and one DisplayPort went to the right LG 4K monitor. AORUS Engine worked well to control the RGB light strip.
In Windows Boot Camp, I disabled the PCIe x1 Root Port #3 – 9DBA that connects to the Wireless card. Combined with @goalque‘s automate-eGPU EFI I could use the R9 Nano eGPU with XConnect for internal display acceleration. Below are the step by step process:
- Boot into Recovery mode to disable SIP through Terminal. Open Startup Security Utility to set Secure Boot to No Security and External Boot to Allow booting from external media [in Option Boot]
- Download Windows 10 ISO and install through Boot Camp Assistant [in macOS and Windows]
- Complete Boot Camp driver installation then open Device Manager to disable PCI Express Root Port #3 – 9DB4 (to wireless card) [in Windows]
- Download and copy automate-eGPU EFI onto an external USB FAT drive [in macOS]
- Connect eGPU to the left Thunderbolt 3 port closest to display hinge then hit POWER button [Computer off]
- Select to boot EFI volume then hit [q] and choose Windows [in Boot Selector]
- Wait for Windows to complete booting and open Device Manager to verify there’s a second Display Adapter. [in Windows]
- Proceed to download and install latest Radeon drivers then restart. [in Windows]
If all goes well, you should see AMD XConnect notification and icon. The AMD eGPU can actually work on either side Thunderbolt 3 ports. I found using the left TB3 port closest to the display hinge works most reliable. Here are screen captures of AIDA and HWiNFO.
This eGPU setup completed FCPX BruceX in 26 seconds. Here are OpenCL numbers through Luxmark 3.1.
The only inconvenience with this workaround is to disable the Wireless card Root Port before you shut down Windows then re-enable it once AMD XConnect detects and works with the AMD eGPU. All four TB3 ports remain enabled is a nice tradeoff. The R9 Nano is an amazing ITX graphics card.
Hello, aawesome setup!
I have a question about cores enabling ( https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/enable-all-cores-r9-fury-cards.209892/ )
Purge wrangler fix that issue?
Or you fix that separately for your setup?
@stanislavm The compute unit workaround was only needed in 10.12.x when drivers for these GPUs were not mature. As of macOS Mojave, there’s no need to modify the driver kext anymore. The system used all 64 CU on this R9 Nano as soon Purge-Wrangler enabled it as a functional eGPU.