2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro...
 
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2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS 10.13.6 & Win10 [itsage]  

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

After a bit of a meltdown last night trying to use automate-eGPU EFI for Nvdia eGPU with this 2018 MBP, I got some confidence back tonight and tried Purge-Wrangler. This was a success and the i5-8259U quad-core MacBook Pro is quite capable at hosting an eGPU. I specifically connected the eGPU to the right Thunderbolt 3 ports to confirm they are now running through a x4 PCIe connection.

 

System specs:

2018 13" QC MacBook Pro - i5-8259U/Iris Plus Graphics 655 iGPU/8GB RAM/256GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS Strix GTX 1080 Ti + 1.5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

macOS:

First step was to completely disable Secure Boot in Recovery Mode. This is a security feature introduced in the iMac Pro which is the first Mac to have Apple T2 coprocessor. 2018 MacBook Pros use this same chip. The Apple T2 serves as the gatekeeper to the subsystem. By default, Apple sets it to Full Security and disallows booting from external media. It was a nightmare for me last night going in not knowing these details. I changed Secure Boot to No Security and External Boot to Allow booting from external media. Before quitting out of Recovery mode, I disabled SIP as well.

There's no matching Nvidia web driver for macOS 10.13.6 version on the 2018 MacBook Pro yet. I used Benjamin Dobell's script. Once I rebooted and confirmed Nvidia web drivers can load and set as default, it's time to install Purge-Wrangler for Nvidia eGPU. It was straight forward and the GTX 1080 Ti eGPU was functional upon rebooting.

Hearing about the thermal throttle issues on these 2018 MacBook Pro all day long, I thought I keep an eye on the temp while running benchmarks. I left Unigine Valley running through an external display for an hour straight. The keyboard area and bottom cover got warm. The temp gun registered 45˚C. 

 

Boot Camp Windows:

Apple released Boot Camp drivers for this 2018 MacBook Pros late tonight. Nvidia eGPU works on this QC 13" Touch Bar MacBook Pro in a similar fashion as 2016/2017 models. In order to keep the iGPU activated, I hotplugged the eGPU at the Windows logo spinning circle screen. I did no other modifications. Windows detected the GTX 1080 Ti eGPU then proceeded to install drivers. After restarting the system, it was good to go.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Geekbench 4.1 on the CPU, iGPU, and eGPU. The Unigine benchmarks were through an external monitor in macOS.

 

 

Here are Unigine results in Windows Boot Camp:

Internal Display External Monitor

 

Comments:

First thing I noticed is the GTX 1080 Ti eGPU performance is comparable to the 2016 15" MacBook Pro. On top of that, not having a dGPU on a Mac is a blessing. I will run more benchmarks in Windows with this setup.

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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

Not having the dgpu makes boot camp egpu easier??? Do you get much throttle on the 13 inch?  I got the 2016 15 inch MacBook Pro, I might just quit the whole 15 inch thing and go 13.  But how is the smaller screen feel? And also the much smaller trackpad, I love the big MacBook Pro 15 keyboard.

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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rvyne
(@rvyne)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: solocamper

Not having the dgpu makes boot camp egpu easier??? Do you get much throttle on the 13 inch?  I got the 2016 15 inch MacBook Pro, I might just quit the whole 15 inch thing and go 13.  But how is the smaller screen feel? And also the much smaller trackpad, I love the big MacBook Pro 15 keyboard.

not sure with 2017/2018 model but on 13" late 2016 with external monitor

My experience was bit straight forward as long as you read the whole thing here skip some you dont need:

https://egpu.io/bootcamp-setup-guide-tb3-macbook-pro/

1.   Disabling PCIE Express port #9
2.  Installing eGPU firmware
3.  Couple of restarts for the updates
4. Hot Plug whenever booting bootcamp  just need to wait for loading at windows logo and plug your thunderbolt 3 cable

** I can't confirmed yet but they seems says it should be straight forward for successive new model 2017/2018 coz disabling PCIE express might no longer necessary, I'm still waiting for my new MBP 15" too

btw bootcamp for new MBP 2018 already avail:
https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/901e4r/boot_camp_drivers_now_available_for_2018_macbook/

let me know your experience

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

I don’t own either 2018, but I am thinking of it if you find the 13 inch is easy as heck. The 13 inch though is so overpriced, it’s basicslly 2k with the obligatory 17gb ram and that just turns me off.

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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rvyne
(@rvyne)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

😛 my last 15" was like MBP 2012...  I always prefer portability but if I bump up to close to highest base model of current 15" its like few  100s bucks diff   not to mention 6 core and with dGPU.. with my current setup 43" 4k monitor + eGPU with GTX1080 i need all power  to max this setup hehe

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

I don’t own either 2018, but I am thinking of it if you find the 13 inch is easy as heck. The 13 inch though is so overpriced, it’s basicslly 2k with the obligatory 17gb ram and that just turns me off.

Keep your 2016 15" MacBook Pro. It's still a better machine unless you prefer the smaller footprint of 13" model.

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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DarkEchoes
(@darkechoes)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

How are the thermals on the CPU when gaming? Any throttling? I'm really looking at the 2018 13" but with the i7 instead of the i5.

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

@itsage it wasn't too long ago I saw your signature and it said 51 build guides. And now you're at 61. Lol. Great to see the first 2018 MBP build. And the results are awesome. I'm also excited to see performance on the base 15" i7 (would be my choice personally).

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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
 

@darkechoes I will test more in Windows soon. The plan is to use HWiNFO to log the temps while playing Witcher 3.

@mac_editor Definitely wait to buy until you're back in the US. There are some minor issues I observe with my two day old MacBook Pro. For example, the Thunderbolt 3 port receptacles on the left side was so tight that there's slight damage from plugging/unplugging. Then the episode with Internet Recovery loop. I ended up using Time Machine backup of an identical unit to restore.

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I noticed the tight ports too, but mine are tight on both sides.  It depends on the cable how much force needs to be applied to get them to "snap" in.

2019 16 Macbook Pro + Core v2 + Radeon VII MacOS 10.15.1
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Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3, Ryzen 5 3400G + Core v2 + Radeon VII Win10 1909

 
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