2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803 [TheJizel]  

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TheJizel
(@thejizel)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 27
October 23, 2018 5:58 am  

Sorry for the long overdue build guide. I've been meaning to write this up for a while now, but experienced some issues that delayed the process (which I'll get into a little bit below).

System specs
MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
Processor: 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9
Memory: 32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Graphics: Radeon Pro 560X (4 GB GDDR5) and Intel UHD Graphics 630
OS: macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) & Windows 10 Home (version 1803)

eGPU hardware
Enclosure: Razer Core X
GPU: MSI Radeon RX Vega 64 Air Boost 8G OC
Cable: Apple 0.8m Thunderbolt 3 cable (MQ4H2AM/A)

Miscellaneous hardware
Sonnet Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 dock with Blu-ray Drive + Storage Bay (ECHO-DK-BD-0TB)
Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter (MMEL2AM/A)
Samsung 860 Pro 2 TB 2.5 Inch SATA III Internal SSD (MZ-76P2T0BW)

Hardware pictures
To be added.

Installation steps
macOS
Plug and play. It really is as simple as that.

Windows
Long story short, followed the steps here. To be more precise, did the following:
1. In macOS, used Boot Camp Assistant to install Windows 10 version 1803.
2. Followed the typical installation process. Configured with Windows 10 Home.
3. In Windows, installed all Windows updates. Restarted computer multiple times to allow all updates to fully process.
4. Installed Apple's Windows Support Software for Boot Camp (D:\BootCamp\setup.exe). You may be able to do this before the Windows updates, but I was having issues with this (see below). I believe this requires another restart upon completion.
5. Navigated to BootCampDrivers.com and downloaded the Adrenalin 18.9.3 package (under Downloads > Windows 10... > Adrenalin 18.9.3).
6. Extracted the zip file, ran DDU v18.0.0.1.exe to extract the DDU tool, and ran the DDU tool from the extraction folder.
7. Selected to uninstall the AMD GPU from within the DDU tool. Opted for the clean and restart option, which I believe is recommended. The tool might warn you about not running it in safe mode, but it should be fine.
8. Upon restart, ran Setup.exe from the extracted zip path. Completed the installation process for the AMD drivers using the custom install flow. Did not install the optional ReLive software (not sure if it matters or not).
9. When prompted to restart, declined the option. At this point, I simply shut down the computer from the Windows menu.
10. After ensuring that the computer has completely shut down, plugged in the eGPU on the right side of the laptop (not sure how much it matters, but this had been advised in previous conversations with others). Note that the eGPU is currently off at this point.
11. Turned the eGPU on and booted up the computer in Windows. This should take place automatically (i.e., no need to hold the Option key).
12. Waited for the external display(s) to be enabled. Initially, the internal display will still be active. However, the external display(s) should be enabled after a few seconds and the eGPU should be active.

Benchmarks
To be added.

Generally speaking, I was able to run Fortnite in 1440p on high settings hovering between 90-100 fps on average. Similar framerate performance with Overwatch on Ultra settings.

Comments
- Using the steps above, the eGPU will drive external displays but not the internal display. In fact, the internal display will be disabled by default. By going into Device Manager and disabling the 560X, however, I was able to get the internal display working again (although it was running off the iGPU at that point). This is irrelevant for me personally because I keep the lid closed when using with the eGPU. But figured I would point it out for others.
- As I mentioned, I had a problem when trying to install Apple's support software after initial login. For whatever reason, Windows would crash during that process and would become unbootable from that point forward. Perhaps this was more due to my haste in trying to complete that step immediately after booting into the OS, but I just did the Windows updates instead and that solved the problem.
- There are multiple steps in the process where it may seems like the computer isn't restarting or shutting down. The screen may be black for several seconds or possibly even a couple minutes. I recommend just being patient and waiting for the process to finish at these points.
- I had originally done all these steps in High Sierra and then upgraded to Mojave. For whatever reason, this seems to have broken my eGPU configuration in Windows. I plan to investigate more at a later time to see if I can rectify this going forward. Seeing as though it was a painful process to restore back to High Sierra, however, I am going to defer that step for the time being.
- I mention my Sonnet dock because I had some issues with code 12 errors at various points with this setup (for the dock, not the eGPU). As of now, I have everything working well. The dock is connected via the Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter and plugged into the left side of the laptop. When plugging it into the same side as the eGPU, it simply won't work.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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Alec
 Alec
(@alec)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 41
October 25, 2018 4:10 am  

Is it possible to easily enable the iGPU and use an internal display only?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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TheJizel
(@thejizel)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 27
October 25, 2018 5:58 am  
Posted by: Alec

Is it possible to easily enable the iGPU and use an internal display only?

@Alec I believe so, but I will double check to confirm. Basically, the eGPU needs to be on and connected before powering the laptop on if you want to use the external display(s) if I recall correctly. Otherwise, you would be restricted to the iGPU on the internal display.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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TheJizel
(@thejizel)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 27
October 26, 2018 12:14 am  

@Alec I can confirm that using the iGPU alone is pretty straightforward. Basically, it is the opposite of what I mentioned in my previous reply. If you power the laptop on and boot into Windows without the eGPU connected, the iGPU will drive the internal display and that's it. Personally, I don't think I'll need to ever use the Windows partition while away from my desk. However, it's nice to know the option exists should I need it.

Please note that this assumes you've previously gone into Device Manager and disabled the 560X.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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Alec
 Alec
(@alec)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 41
October 26, 2018 12:22 am  
Posted by: TheJizel

@Alec I can confirm that using the iGPU alone is pretty straightforward. Basically, it is the opposite of what I mentioned in my previous reply. If you power the laptop on and boot into Windows without the eGPU connected, the iGPU will drive the internal display and that's it. Personally, I don't think I'll need to ever use the Windows partition while away from my desk. However, it's nice to know the option exists should I need it.

Please note that this assumes you've previously gone into Device Manager and disabled the 560X.

It doesn't work with the eGPU though?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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TheJizel
(@thejizel)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 27
October 26, 2018 12:38 am  
Posted by: Alec
Posted by: TheJizel

@Alec I can confirm that using the iGPU alone is pretty straightforward. Basically, it is the opposite of what I mentioned in my previous reply. If you power the laptop on and boot into Windows without the eGPU connected, the iGPU will drive the internal display and that's it. Personally, I don't think I'll need to ever use the Windows partition while away from my desk. However, it's nice to know the option exists should I need it.

Please note that this assumes you've previously gone into Device Manager and disabled the 560X.

It doesn't work with the eGPU though?

@Alec Yes it does. I described that in my original post. If the eGPU is connected and the 560X is disabled, the internal display will be driven by the iGPU as well. There is no way to drive it via the eGPU in Windows with this configuration as far as I know (at least not using the steps I described). But it will be usable using the iGPU if you so desire.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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TheJizel
(@thejizel)
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Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 27
November 5, 2018 2:55 am  

Update to the original post:

I recently added a Razer Naga Trinity to my configuration as I wanted a proper mouse for gaming. For whatever reason, this caused some problems with my setup. My eGPU won't work in Windows from a cold boot anymore. The solution thus far has been to unplug the Sonnet dock from the MacBook during boot, start up, log in, and then plug it in. For whatever reason, I can no longer boot with the eGPU and the Sonnet dock plugged in at the same time. But everything works as expected when following those revised steps. A minor annoyance, but one I can live with.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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