Mid 2018 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar+ RTX [email protected] (Razer Core) + W10 1803 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
(@itsage)
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September 30, 2018 8:56 pm  

Unlike AMD eGPU which can be a lot of work to resolve error 12 in Boot Camp, Nvidia eGPU can be plug-and-play. I found the RTX 2080 eGPU works best with the 2018 13" MacBook Pro through hot-plugging once Windows fully loads. If the eGPU was connected at boot, the iGPU would be deactivated and resulted in stuck/black internal display.

 

System specs:

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

 

eGPU hardware:

Razer Core + GeForce RTX 2080 + 1.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

There's no special procedure with Nvidia eGPU for the 2018 13" MacBook Pro. I connected the RTX 2080 eGPU to the left Thunderbolt 3 port closest to the display hinges. You can either let Windows automatically install the drivers or perform a manual driver installation with the latest Nvidia drivers. Here are AIDA and HWiNFO screen captures.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Unigine benchmarks with the iGPU then eGPU in internal display and external monitor:

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

 

Comments:

eGPU in Boot Camp is easiest when you pair an iGPU-only Mac to an Nvidia card. The quad-core 8th gen CPU makes this 2018 13" MacBook Pro a nice host. 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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(@flipperkoala)
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October 1, 2018 4:43 am  

I hot-plug my eGPU to my 2018 15” MacBook Pro. Mostly my eGPU is not connected to my Mac at the time of boot and I just plug it once a Windows is fully loaded.

2018 15" MacBook Pro 2018 i9 32GB 1TB-SSD
Razor Core X + GTX 1080 Ti


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Eightarmedpet
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Joikansai
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October 1, 2018 9:09 am  

In Germany Razer Core v2 is often -€70 sale like now on Amazon. Though it’s still expensive compared to other enclosure, you pay here Razer tax  :mrgreen:

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Eightarmedpet
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pracolas
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October 1, 2018 11:27 am  

Hi, I have two question regarding this build:
1- why RAZER CORE and not RAZER CORE X?
2- on a MBP 13 TB 2018, are you seeing reel diff between a 1080T or Ti and the 2080 as a eGPU? I'm thinking about TB3 bottleneck...

Thank you for your work

Nico

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Joikansai
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October 1, 2018 12:51 pm  

@Eightarmedpet, here’s the link. It’s from Amazon its self not 3rd party so for their service, it’s not bad.

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Eightarmedpet
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theitsage
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October 1, 2018 1:08 pm  

@eightarmedpet The Razer Core V1 is a very good option still. It's quieter than the V2 in my observation. The downside is only one Thunderbolt 3 controller so expansion ports may not be stable as V2 dual controller setup. There's also TI82 block in macOS. The good news is we got workaround for it. @mac_editor has already incorporated this TI82 patch into his latest Purge-Wrangler script.

@pracolas I like the footprint of the Razer Core more than the Core X. Can't lie I enjoy RGB on this enclosure more than most PC peripherals. Regarding performance of RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti, I'd say there's no clear difference. The GTX 1080 Ti is a great value if you can find one for ≤US$600.

I connected this setup to the HP 5K monitor last night and ran a few higher resolution benchmarks. Unigine Superposition was able to run in 5K while Valley and Heaven cap at 4028 wide. Therefore I couldn't complete 5K runs. I added 1440 and 4K results to the OP.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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Eightarmedpet
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October 1, 2018 1:37 pm  

@itsage, cheers for validating my purchase, I was a bit worried, I'll prob get stung loads of import duty and could have got a V2 for the same locally but missed out and now I am impatient... as said, not too fussed about macOS and I think the TB3 patches effected my 5K (story of my life, if I sold that thing I'd prob fix alllll my problems inc error 12, but I like it too much and my macOS is non GPU intensive).

Interesting to hear about the 1080ti vs 2080, I'm aiming for a 2070 to see if the VR port will drive my 5k (it claims it can do 8k but will the protocol work?).

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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Joikansai
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October 1, 2018 2:17 pm  

That’s great price for Razer Core, I got also same price before Christmas second unopened from wrong Santa gifts that the receiver didn’t want, only the v2 :mrgreen: though had to drive 300km to Hannover to make sure it was not Christmas fools 😉 Yes as @theitsage said v1 PSU fans is quiter.

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odin
 odin
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October 2, 2018 3:45 am  

There's no special procedure with Nvidia eGPU for the 2018 13" MacBook Pro. I connected the RTX 2080 eGPU to the left Thunderbolt 3 port closest to the display hinges. You can either let Windows automatically install the drivers or perform a manual driver installation with the latest Nvidia drivers. Here are AIDA and HWiNFO screen captures.

Would this be the same for a 2017 15" MacBook Pro w/ Radeon 555? I haven't upgraded it to Mojave yet.

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pracolas
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October 2, 2018 11:20 am  
Posted by: theitsage

@pracolas I like the footprint of the Razer Core more than the Core X. Can't lie I enjoy RGB on this enclosure more than most PC peripherals. Regarding performance of RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti, I'd say there's no clear difference. The GTX 1080 Ti is a great value if you can find one for ≤US$600.

Thank's, as no 1080 Ti nor Razer core V2 is available on amazon, I think I'll go on 2080 with Razer core X. But is this new gpu supported on MACOS as 1080?

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theitsage
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October 2, 2018 3:04 pm  

@pracolas New Nvidia cards typically take more than half a year for web drivers to be available in macOS. If you are intending on using Nvidia eGPU in macOS, I'd say either wait for RTX 2000 series compatible web drivers or get the GTX 1000 series.

@odin The 2017 15" MacBook Pro is different because it has a discrete GPU. You can try hot-pluggin the Nvidia eGPU once Windows fully loads and see if it works. My recommendation is to refer to our eGPU Boot Camp setup guide for the TB3 15" MBP.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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pokerzeus
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October 3, 2018 5:00 am  

My problem is, it works fine on my 18 13'' MacBook pro only when I plug the Razer Core X with 1080Ti to the right side upper TB3 port before boot to windows. But when I plug the enclosure to any another TB3 port, error 12 happens... Hot-plugging never works on my MacBook...So amazing!
I wonder if the problem is that I'm using win-to-go, not a bootcamp windows makes it using more resources? Have you ever tried to use eGPU in win-to-go mode? By the way, what's your MacOS version? Have you updated to Mojave? I'm not sure if everything goes fine in 10.14...
Thanks!

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nullptr
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October 3, 2018 4:29 pm  

I'm considering buying 13" MacBook Pro and want to ask you some questions.
1. Can you hot-plug / hot-unplug eGPU freely?
2. You mentioned "left Thunderbolt 3 port closest to the display hinges", is there any problems in other ports?
Thank you in advance!

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theitsage
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October 3, 2018 4:49 pm  

@nullptr Which model year 13" MacBook Pro are you considering? If it is the 2018 hot-plug and hot-unplug will work with an Nvidia eGPU in Boot Camp. I tried all four Thunderbolt 3 ports on the 2018 13" MBP and they all can work. The left port closest the display hinges is the one that works most consistently and reliably.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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nullptr
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October 3, 2018 5:57 pm  

@itsage Thank you for your reply!
Yes, I'm considering 2018 13" model and want to use it with my 1080ti in Boot Camp.
And now this model seems ideal for me😄

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Ningauble77
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October 3, 2018 8:38 pm  

Just to add another data point, on my MBPro 13 2018 with the i7, Razer Core v2 and ASUS GTX 1080 Turbo,  I've always been able to hot unplug, even without using the nvidia eject widget (my core v2 got powered off during a power outage and the worst that happened was any apps using the eGPU at the time crashed, but the system stayed up and running).  However, I cannot hot plug with the system fully booted. I have to either boot with the egpu attached (and lose internal display) or hotplug on the windows logo boot screen (what I usually do).  If I hot plug after waiting for the system to fully boot I get a ks.sys bsod.  

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intruder
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October 4, 2018 8:15 am  

I've been waiting to see some results with 2080! Thanks for sharing.

Laptop: Lenovo Y510P
eGPU: Gigabyte 1070 Mini OC
Current Build Link


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Saluck
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October 5, 2018 1:27 pm  

Hey I got a mid 2018 15" Mac Pro with the Razor Core X and the RTX 2080, but when I plug it into windows it isn't recognized in the Computer Management and cant seem to find the drives. Even when I try to install them separately. Any ideas? I'd greatly appreciate it

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theitsage
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October 5, 2018 1:40 pm  

@saluck The 2018 15" MacBook Pro is much different than the 13" model. It has the discrete graphics card that complicates eGPU setup. Take a look at my build guide for the 2018 15" MacBook Pro.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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enderq
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October 11, 2018 2:34 pm  

I have this working on mid2017 macbook pro 15" Only got it working with left upper usb-c port (thunderbolt). Inserting extra usb(-c) devices on the left site could make it crash. Sometimes hot plugging it works better. I have my w10 on single external ssd and hot plug it while/just after  using the option key for drive/os (checking if i can select with the arrow keys) selection.
I think this has something to do with the integrated usb-c port in the card which i use now only for ethernet usb-c adapter. Inserting a usb-c hub with keyboard/mouse makes it disconnects/interrupts those devices.

Edit: After an initial long cold boot wait for the core x warm boots/resets can keep the core plugged in without getting stuck. If at cold boot you get black screen you have to hold power off button to turn off macbook pro en boot again with the option key in my case for choosing windows on external efi ssd  (edit:nov 2018 only now i see this is core i have core X)

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Eightarmedpet
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zmyslony
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October 24, 2018 6:20 am  

Hey, @itsage I currently have similar setup, but I experience such issues: 

1. When turning on/off computer and plugging eGPU the graphics card fans turn on for like 2 seconds at full throttle.
It did not happen with GTX 1070. Also when I turn off the computer, it also starts the fans for few seconds, and PSU never stops working until I unplug USB-C.

2. I did similar tests and got similar results, but in games performance is very poor compared to standard PC build. Do you think CPU bottlenecks the RTX 2080 ? Is it too much for little 13" MacBook Pro? Also does it matter which Thunderbolt 3 Port I'm using? I currently plug into right upper port, while in all of the others I have peripherals.

13" MacBook Pro + MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Duke (Razer Core X)


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Joikansai
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October 24, 2018 8:34 am  
Posted by: zmyslony

Hey, @itsage I currently have similar setup, but I experience such issues: 

1. When turning on/off computer and plugging eGPU the graphics card fans turn on for like 2 seconds at full throttle.
It did not happen with GTX 1070. Also when I turn off the computer, it also starts the fans for few seconds, and PSU never stops working until I unplug USB-C.

2. I did similar tests and got similar results, but in games performance is very poor compared to standard PC build. Do you think CPU bottlenecks the RTX 2080 ? Is it too much for little 13" MacBook Pro? Also does it matter which Thunderbolt 3 Port I'm using? I currently plug into right upper port, while in all of the others I have peripherals.

1. Razer Core PSU especially v2, seems have bad sensor, it’ll keep running. With blower card it’s nightmare since the gpu fan keep running and sensor detect it no matter low temperature, dual fans fe is also similar but quiter, with stoppable fans like from evga it’s the quitest gpu loudness I experienced. Yes my 2080FE Card fans run at full speed at first plug or windows boot, i think it’s so before gpu is detected. Not on blower (asus 2080ti turbo) or evga (xc 2080) which run high first but not even for a second.
2. It depends on games, if it’s cpu demanding games  that rendering a lot of scenes like open world even 8750H is sometimes laggy compared to desktop you should not using ultra or maybe high setting. Ultrabook cpu can’t keep cpu frequency longer like gaming laptops cpu. For example with 2080, I play shadow of Tomb Raider on high 4K with AA off get 50~FPS, desktop can run it with similar or maybe better on highest, AC Odyssey run on 4K but habe to lower setting to medium in order to get 40~FPS, or 1440p high/very high on 45/50~fps, it’s with 8750H. For games like Vampyr I play 4K Max with dual core 7500U ultrabook since the game isn’t too demanding.

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daemonix
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November 1, 2018 9:16 pm  

hi all,

whats the current state of using the latest MacBookPros with NV egpus?
I read something about the T2 chip that makes things impossible in Wun10.

Im thinking about going down the route of a i9 MacBook Pro and a 2080ti. (I need to go Mac for other reasons.. I know it costs 4k++)

Thanks

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Ningauble77
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November 1, 2018 9:25 pm  

2018 MacBook Pros work fine with RTX cards (in windows).  15" model should be plug and play, 13" model has some quirks but worst case you need to hotplug the egpu at either the windows logo or the desktop, or boot using an automate-egpu efi on a usb stick.

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OliverB
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OliverB
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November 1, 2018 11:24 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

Regarding performance of RTX 2080 vs GTX 1080 Ti, I'd say there's no clear difference. The GTX 1080 Ti is a great value if you can find one for ≤US$600.

If you take a look at my post before it would even looks like the GTX 1080 Ti is slightly better.
US$600?? You are very funny, I have just paid 800 EUR (900$) for my EVGA GTX 1080 Ti and there was nothing I could do except for buying one second hand, which is no option for me.

Now, at amazon.de, you have to pay 999EUR for it! I looks like the GTX 1080 Ti got a new hype since people noticed that the RTX 2080 are no way better with current software.

macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-asus-xg-station-pro-evga-gtx-1080-ti
2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-rtx2080ti32gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-gtx1080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-rtx2080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-vega5632gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro
macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-razer-core-x-evga-gtx-1080-ti-2
macbook-pro-15inch-2018-aorus-gaming-box-gtx1080


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Ningauble77
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November 2, 2018 12:05 am  

Depends on the game/app.  RTX 2080 is generally stronger in compute and much stronger in dx12/vulkan games.  1080 ti sometimes beats it in dx11, all of this is somewhat dependent on factory overclocks etc also.

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OliverB
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November 2, 2018 12:37 am  
Posted by: Ningauble77

Depends on the game/app.  RTX 2080 is generally stronger in compute and much stronger in dx12/vulkan games.  1080 ti sometimes beats it in dx11, all of this is somewhat dependent on factory overclocks etc also.

Nope, of course we do not use overclocking for comparison. RTX 2080 should be better naturally, but there is no current software, (games) which supports it completely. So why bother with the 2080 until then, if you can have a 1080 Ti?

macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-asus-xg-station-pro-evga-gtx-1080-ti
2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-rtx2080ti32gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-gtx1080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-rtx2080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-vega5632gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro
macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-razer-core-x-evga-gtx-1080-ti-2
macbook-pro-15inch-2018-aorus-gaming-box-gtx1080


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Ningauble77
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November 2, 2018 6:17 pm  

I meant the performance in dx11 games is so close between the two that whether the card is "factory overclocked" like the Founder's Edition 2080 models are can make the difference in which card wins which benchmark.  The 2080 FE beats a stock 1080ti in almost every dx11 test, and in dx12 and vulkan games  it wins by a decent margin.  The oem stock 2080 cards less so.  If you want guaranteed better than 1080 ti performance you want to buy a 2080 ti.

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Alec
 Alec
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November 10, 2018 6:46 am  

I think I'm going to return my 15" for the 13". Does everything work fine on the internal display with the 13"?

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Enky_bubu
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November 20, 2018 8:15 pm  

Thanks for a great guide, 

 

This has helped me setup my Macbook Pro late 2017 15", to an RTX 2080 (MSI gaming X trio) in a Razer core X (top right TB port closest to display). 

For me:

Windows setup: Plugin after windows logo is visible, install drivers from nvidia site. 

Troubleshooting:
Sound doesn't work automatically, at boot I have to open device manager and disable/reenable the sound device (sometimes requiring boot).

Also: Disable HD audio in the Geforce experience panel frees up some TB bandwidth and improves fps by about 10%

Do not: 
-Unplug eGPU while windows running (crash)
-have eGPU plugged in before selecting operating system (no boot selection)

Uningine heaven gets me around a 3k score at 1080p, waiting for next month on a nice 1440p 120fps IPS gsync monitor to do some testing and post my data. 

 

Thanks to OP for great setup and help for something that was quite intimidating. 

 

(Edit, added port details)

-Macbook Pro mid 2017 15"
-Razer Core X
-RTX 2080 (MSI Gaming X Trio)
-ROG PG279Q


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