This is a plug-and-play configuration in Boot Camp with the 2018 13" MacBook Pro. One issue I encountered is that the RTX 2080 Ti eGPU would cause boot hang if it was connected prior to powering on the MBP. I experienced this same behavior of RTX series GPUs on several different systems (both Mac and PC). It's possible there's a firmware conflict between the Mac laptop RTX card. The 2018 MacBook Pro can interact with Nvidia eGPU in Windows 10 through hot-plug and hot-unplug without BSOD.
2018 13" QC MacBook Pro - i5-8259U/Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU/8GB RAM/512GB SSD
I also really enjoy these 90-degree angled USB-C adapters. The horizontal adapter makes Thunderbolt 3 cable sits parallel to the laptop. The vertical adapter has less applications but it worked a treat for the ASUS portable monitor.
This pairing has no workaround involved. Simply download the latest drivers from Nvidia website, hot-plug the RTX 2080 ti eGPU then install the drivers. There's a 3-minute delay from when I hot-plugged the RTX 2080 Ti eGPU until Windows fully initialized and Nvidia Optimus icon showed up. I used the left Thunderbolt 3 ports interchangeably and both worked. ASUS portable 15" FHD monitor worked through the USB-C/VirtualLink port from RTX 2080 Ti eGPU. Samsung 49" FreeSync monitor ran through DisplayPort.
Here are Unigine benchmarks to compare iGPU performance vs eGPU rendered through internal display as well as external monitor. I also ran 3DMark.
|eGPU Internal Display||eGPU Monitor FHD||eGPU Monitor QHD||eGPU Monitor 4K||eGPU Monitor 5K|
I did not test timed hot-plug at Windows booting screen yet to see whether that would help with slow initiation. As we know eGPU performs best through an external monitor. What I have also noticed is that disabling the laptop's internal display would squeeze a bit more performance. The RTX 2080 Ti FE is louder than its less powerful brethren. Regarding the performance/dollar of this eGPU, I don't think it's worth it. In my opinion the RTX 2070 is currently the best value GPU for Thunderbolt 3 external graphics.
Great work as usual @itsage! Would you say that the 2080 Ti is capped or limited by the TB3 bandwidth?
Also, I'm wondering if the forum could benefit from a community spreadsheet that has the system setup specs and corresponding benchmarks. Does something like this already exist? Or would it be too cumbersome to maintain?
Our build guide table was meant to achieve this same goal. It's not realistic to expect everyone to post the same set of benchmarks with same settings. Then there's differences in the host computers and other variables.
@itsage, I had a question about the ASUS portable monitor used in this build. I'm thinking of buying one of these, but have heard mixed reports on wether they work with the Virtual Link USB-C port on the RTX GPUs.
You listed the model of the monitor to be MB169C, but the monitor in the photo looks more like a MB16AC, or MB16AP. Could you confirm the model of the portable monitor that you used? And did you notice any issue when using it with the USB-C port in the RTX 2080 Ti?
Also, if the model is the MB16AP version, the one with the battery, did you notice any issues with charging it and having it run on the USB-C power from the GPU? Thanks!
Thanks so much for all this helpful build info!
First off, even after running DDU and reinstalling video drivers, I have not been able to get past the Apple logo (or Windows). The boot freezes so I can't even get to an OPTION boot to use my EFI boot loader and get past that.
So I had been able to get Windows to recognize the eGPU, and installed latest drivers and even get the card working after hot-plug. However, I am now consistently getting Error 43 even after performing a clean driver install for the RTX 2060.
@andrewl, The RTX series GPUs have firmware issues with certain computers (Macs as well as Windows). That means the eGPU cannot be connected at boot. It has to be hot-plugged in the Desktop. The Windows version with the best hot-plug eGPU support is Win10 1903 V1 ISO (18362.30-.295).