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.
2018 13" QC MacBook Pro - i5-8259U/Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU/8GB RAM/512GB SSD
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 [220.127.116.110] to test. This version doesn't complain about Boot Camp mode not needing the software like previous versions.
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|
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.
@vinhdiesel There's no drivers for the RTX series in macOS unfortunately.
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
@itsage if you could include a PC with similar specs that would be awesome in that shootout as well.
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.
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? 🙁
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
MacOS 10.14.1 (18B75)
Windows 10 (Bootcamp)
SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon™ RX 580 8GD5
Razer Tartarus V2
Razer Lancehead Tournament Edition
Magic Mouse 2
HyperDrive USB-C hub.
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.
2018 13" macbook pro touchbar, i7, 16 gb ram, 500 gb harddrive running bootcamp
egpu-akitio node pro
-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.