Mid 2018 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + GTX [email protected] (ASUS XG Station Pro) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
(@itsage)
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July 19, 2018 2:55 am  

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.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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solocamper
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July 19, 2018 6:41 am  

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.


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rvyne
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July 19, 2018 7:29 am  
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


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solocamper
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July 19, 2018 11:31 am  

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.


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rvyne
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July 19, 2018 1:00 pm  

😛 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


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theitsage
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July 19, 2018 3:56 pm  
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.

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DarkEchoes
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July 19, 2018 7:42 pm  

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.


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mac_editor
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July 19, 2018 7:55 pm  

@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).

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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theitsage
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July 19, 2018 8:10 pm  

@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.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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Ningauble77
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July 19, 2018 8:15 pm  

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.


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mac_editor
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July 19, 2018 8:47 pm  

@itsage Thank you for the warning. I was planning to do just that. I’ll be back mid-next month or so, and will likely purchase it around late-August if I feel it’s the right choice then.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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DarkEchoes
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July 19, 2018 9:12 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

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

Excellent, thanks! Looking forward to the results!


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theitsage
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July 20, 2018 1:14 am  

So much for temp-logging an hour of game play. This happened within the 20 minutes I had the computer on to set up Steam, download a game, and update Nvidia drivers.  😯 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

74 external GPU build guides


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SE12897
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July 20, 2018 1:55 am  

OMG what is up with those temp sways between the cores. That's just nasty


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cdk-
 cdk-
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July 20, 2018 3:35 pm  

Hmm... those are some awful temps, and although it doesn't seem to be throttling in the screenshot, I'm concerned to see the 700MHz minimum.

I've been trying to set up this 2018 15" MBP (dGPU: 560X) with a Razer Core X/1080Ti setup with no luck. Was wondering if you had any pointers.
I've followed the external Bootcamp guide with no success; in fact, using gpu-switch results in a pixelated pattern on my screen once Windows goes past the "spinning dots" stage, followed by a black screen. Up to that point, had no issues with rEFInd and spoof_osx_version.


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Notorious826
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July 20, 2018 5:07 pm  

I'm not sure if this helps, but I've heard people have been getting better results by lowering the Voltage on the new CPUs to control the temps and avoid throttling. Might be worth a try?


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kotlos
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July 20, 2018 8:31 pm  

I don't think you can lower the voltage in the mac as you can with a PC. 

My MBP 15" with the i9 runs significantly hotter than the previous generations. Even in idle the average temp is ~50C and the whole computer is always warm no matter what is running. 

The new chips are definitely harder to cool and the MBP cooling design is not great to say the least. 

In macos I have the macsfancontrol to keep the temps down. I guess you can find a similar program to run under Windows. The problem is that you will hear the fans all the time 🙂 Just booting up the computer brings CPU to 100C !


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kotlos
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July 21, 2018 1:40 am  

Here is an interesting test from notebookcheck in which they fixed the max wattage of the CPU and got massively better & more stable performance :

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Apple-MacBook-Pro-2018-Much-more-performance-with-a-few-clicks.317552.0.html

Intel XTU can be used under Windows.

This is the program that they say can be used under macOS (haven't tried it myself):
http://volta.garymathews.com/


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whiskey_1130
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July 21, 2018 2:17 am  

Here's Mojave with Volta and Macs Fan Control on a 2018 13" Macbook Pro TB w/ i5

Spent most of the time between 3.1 - 3.2 GHz

2018 13” MacBook Pro TB + RX 580 + Sonnet Breakaway 550


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kotlos
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July 21, 2018 2:42 am  

Just tried the Volta and the 45W limit with the 15". It gave me 10% improvement with cinebench and very stable clockspeeds:
No limit:

With 45W limit:


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solocamper
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July 21, 2018 2:56 am  

Is the 13 inch easy to boot camp egpu. 2018 13 inch I mean.


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mac_editor
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July 21, 2018 3:34 am  

@kotlos @whiskey_1130 Have you'll tried undervolting as well? Don't have the 2018 Macs to test, but on my 2014, I could undervolt the CPU (i7-4870HQ) up to -60-75mV - pretty great. Combined with Macs Fan Control, one could have some notable gains in general performance. Now if there was a way to undervolt discrete GPUs as easily...

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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kotlos
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July 21, 2018 4:07 am  

I tried to undervolt with the Volta app but I don't think it is actually undervolting since there is no difference in performance or W/Hz. I remember when undervolting the XPS 15 I could get few hundred MHz more for the same wattage but with the MBP it is the same. 
Undervolting by -55mV

Undervolting by -55mV + 45W limit


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mac_editor
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July 21, 2018 5:40 am  

@kotlos Seems like undervolting is likely not supported on the 8th gen chips in Volta. I was able to crash my system by going too negative -  so it's clearly working on older archs. Dev will likely add support soon (hopefully).

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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esatamacmodular
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July 21, 2018 2:25 pm  

Wow I had no idea this was an option on apple devices... I always thought you could only mess with CPU clock/ voltage on pc/hackintosh. For the above examples are people raising or lowering total watt draw/ TDP?

iMac 2013 10.9, Macbook Air 2013 10.11, MBP 2016 13" 10.12 , HP 4530s 10.11, node lite, DA-2 PSU w/mod, PE4L 2.1b expresscard34, GTX460,1060,1070/Ti RX470,560,580


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Rycco
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July 22, 2018 8:45 am  

I just used a software called Throllingstop and I could indeed mess with voltage and locking a frequency. Tried locking 3.5ghz on a 3.1ghz 2017 mpb while gaming, worked for a while but temps were hitting 100 degrees so it froze. Back to factory settings, I tried undervolting .90 but I couldn't eyeball any FPS improviment. Will do further testing though.

mid-2017 15" Macbook Pro RP555 + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS & Win10


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MarkieG84
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July 22, 2018 5:02 pm  

Do the tb controllers connect to the cpu or dmi?


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Darthjr
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July 23, 2018 12:09 am  

kotlos - How did you setup up the MBP 2018 with BootCamp and the 1080 TI. I keep running into issues and can't get it to work correctly in Windows or Mac without errors. 

Thanks


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kotlos
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July 23, 2018 5:01 pm  
Posted by: Darthjr

kotlos - How did you setup up the MBP 2018 with BootCamp and the 1080 TI. I keep running into issues and can't get it to work correctly in Windows or Mac without errors. 

Thanks

I did not 🙂


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theitsage
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July 23, 2018 5:09 pm  
Posted by: MarkieG84

Do the tb controllers connect to the cpu or dmi?

It's an ULV processor so the TB3 controllers go through the PCH.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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solocamper
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July 23, 2018 5:26 pm  

What’s a PCH? You better answer me quick if you know what’s good for you.


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Ningauble77
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July 23, 2018 6:31 pm  

Itsage, any chance you could download sisoftware Sandra 2018 and run the processor arithmetic test?  My i7 model consistently BSOD's during this test unless I use XTU to cap Turbo TDP and I'm curious to see if the i5 has the same problem.  I had it crash in one of the AIDA64 FPU benchmarks too but I forget if it was the FP32 or FP64 one.  At any rate it looks like at least on the i7 the default power settings aren't enough to keep the CPU stable under certain (avx2 or fm3 possibly) loads.


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nanoBit
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July 23, 2018 6:31 pm  
Posted by: solocamper

What’s a PCH? You better answer me quick if you know what’s good for you.

PCH is the Pacific Coast Highway in California 😉
Here it's more likely that they mean the Platform Controller Hub. Easy explanation: most devices in the MBP are connected to the PCH (all PCI lanes for instance) and this thing connects all the stuff to the CPU. In the past years this was one of the bottlenecks of the 13" MBP.

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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solocamper
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July 23, 2018 6:44 pm  

so the new 2018 13 inch MacBook Pro has the same exact shortcomings I assume?????  what is my choice.  Apple stated that this 13 inch notebook now has all 4 ports with full pcie lanes. What does that mean in relation to the PCH????? please tell me if we are still forced to get the 15 inch notebook. PLEASE I NEED ANSWERS, I am going crazy here. I can't choose, I need a note book by November. PLEASE HELP ME.


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nanoBit
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July 23, 2018 6:54 pm  

Wow, come down.

Apple told the truth. It has all ports connected with 4 PCI lanes. But based on the information of the guys here it seems like the PCI is not connected to the CPU but rather to the PCH which again connects all the PCI lanes to the CPU. So it depends on the Bus speed of the connection between the PCH and the CPU. It's called DMI if I recall correctly. Somewhere in this forum was a nice picture which explains the structure inside a MacBook and compares 13 inch vs 15 inch.

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition


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theitsage
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July 23, 2018 7:17 pm  

The Thunderbolt 3 15" MacBook Pro has not changed as far as TB3 routing is concerned. The 2018 13" Touch Bar was improved in that the right Thunderbolt ports now have access to 4 PCIe lanes rather than 2 in 2016 and 2017 models. Here's a table to summarize Thunderbolt 3 over PCI Express routing of the current MacBook Pro lineup:

Thunderbolt 3 MacBook Pro Left Thunderbolt 3 Ports Right Thunderbolt 3 Ports
     
2016-2018 15" TB3 Controller «» x4 PCIe «» CPU CPU «» x4 PCIe «» TB3 Controller
2018 13" Touch Bar TB3 Controller «» x4 PCIe «» PCH «» CPU CPU «» PCH «» x4 PCIe «» TB3 Controller
2016-2017 13" Touch Bar TB3 Controller «» x4 PCIe «» PCH «» CPU CPU «» PCH «» x2 PCIe «» TB3 Controller
2016-2017 13" non Touch Bar TB3 Controller «» x4 PCIe «» PCH «» CPU None
     

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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