2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core) + Win10 18...
 
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2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core) + Win10 1803 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

The RTX 2070 is the best value in Nvidia new RTX lineup. Compared to 2080 and 2080 Ti, the RTX 2070 is missing NVLink. For eGPU use though, that's hardly a consideration because we can't use NVLink inside an enclosure. The Founder Edition 2070 swapped a DisplayPort for DVI output. The card is both lighter and shorter than RTX 2080.

From previous builds, I knew this was a plug-and-play configuration in Boot Camp with my 2018 13" MacBook Pro. What I was most interested in testing was whether @goalque's new eGPU EFI boot loader helps with hot-plug and eGPU connected at boot. Using the eGPU EFI boot loader, this MacBook Pro can now interact with Nvidia eGPU like a true Windows Thunderbolt 3 laptop.

 

System specs:

2018 13" QC MacBook Pro - i5-8259U/Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU/8GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Razer Core + GeForce RTX 2070 + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

Prior to connecting the RTX 2070 + Razer Core to the laptop, I made preparation in macOS for the eGPU EFI boot loader. I created a new FAT partition (256MB) so that EFI files can be stored and no need for external USB drive. After that I simply followed usage instructions by @goalque. The configuration file in this boot loader instructs Windows to keep the iGPU activated even when there's other GPUs found at boot.

Once Windows got to the Desktop and detected the new eGPU, I proceeded with a manual driver installation using the latest Nvidia drivers. I did not disable any PCI ports. I also installed Intel Thunderbolt Software [17.4.76.300] to test. This version doesn't complain about Boot Camp mode not needing the software like previous versions.

 

 

Benchmarks:

Here are Unigine benchmarks to compare iGPU performance vs eGPU rendered through internal display as well as external monitor at FHD, QHD, and 4K.

iGPU Internal Display eGPU Internal Display eGPU Monitor FHD eGPU Monitor QHD  eGPU Monitor 4K 

 

Comments:

The 2018 13" MacBook Pro is currently my most favorite Mac for eGPU use. It behaves almost identical to Windows laptops with regards to eGPU handling. While AMD cards require some work to get around error 12, Nvidia cards are straightforward. I can connect the Nvidia eGPU prior to boot, timed hot-plug at Windows logo, or hot-plug once Windows fully loads. All scenarios and all Thunderbolt 3 ports work.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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vinhdiesel
(@vinhdiesel)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

how is your experience in MacOS?

2014 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 580 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core V2) + macOS 10.14 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@vinhdiesel There's no drivers for the RTX series in macOS unfortunately.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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vinhdiesel
(@vinhdiesel)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Does only the FE fit into the core? Would there be a big difference in performance between 2070, 2070ti and 1080 ti you think?

2014 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + RX 580 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Razer Core V2) + macOS 10.14 [build link]  

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I wanna see a GPU shootout @itsage ! You have so many, I'd love to see how they all compare (performance wise) when paired with the 13inch MacBooks...

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 560 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@vinhdiesel@eightarmedpet This is a fun idea. I will find time to do a GPU shootout using the 2018 13" MBP.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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

@itsage if you could include a PC with similar specs that would be awesome in that shootout as well.

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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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I updated the original post with benchmark numbers. The RTX 2070 eGPU provides at least 10x the performance increase over iGPU. Look at the RTX 2080 eGPU performance with this same pairing, there's not much difference to warrant a $200 (33%) in extra cost.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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jaredleo
(@jaredleo)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I do need some help with my eGPU. It doesn't seem to be working properly/setting up well. I am very noob in such things and getting more confused as I read it.

 

Setting up with the eGPU with Razer Core X and the SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon™ RX 580 8GD5 was an ease. It worked well with MacOS on the external display. The problem is it doesn't recognise the HyperDrive USB-C hub and the wired peripherals (problem #1)

 

And when I startup on my Windows 10 (Bootcamp):

  • Problem #2 - It doesn't allow to split screen. I had to uninstall the iGPU and its drivers under device manager for it to work on either the Mac display or the external display. It can't work both together.

  • Problem #3 - My HyperDrive USB-C hub and the wired peripherals are not recognised and cant be "powered".

 

What am I doing wrong? 🙁

 

Mac Specifications

MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 Ports)

2.3 GHz Intel Core i5

16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3

Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 1536 MB

 

OS

MacOS 10.14.1 (18B75)

Windows 10 (Bootcamp)

 

eGPU

Razer Core X

SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon™ RX 580 8GD5

 

Peripherals

Razer Tartarus V2

Razer Lancehead Tournament Edition

Magic Mouse 2

Magic Keyboard

HyperDrive USB-C hub.

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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jlevin860
(@jlevin860)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

itsage- this build is literally what i'm going for, except i'm using the akitio node pro. i really need your help though, you seem to be the expert using the 2018 MBP w/ bootcamp and nvidia gpu which is what i'm running.

i have-
2018 13" macbook pro touchbar, i7, 16 gb ram, 500 gb harddrive running bootcamp

egpu-akitio node pro

i'm currently running a gtx 970 from my old rig to test everything, but i'm planning on ordering a rtx 2070 or 2080 (was going for 2080 before reading your build here)

my issue-
-i can only hotplug on bootup, i cannot get plug and play after bootup.
-after it boots up, it works for about 5-10 minutes then the monitor shuts off like it isn't getting a feed, but my macbook still charges and my mouse and keyboard that are going through the egpu still work. its driving me crazy and i can't find any info involving the 2018 macbook doing this.

thank you for any and all recommendations, this can be incredibly frustrating.

2018 MBP- i7, 16GB ram, 500gb hdd- RTX MSI 2080 gaming trio - Akitio node pro


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