Need help deciding/planing custom eGPU(or render pc)-desk
Clear all

Need help deciding/planing custom eGPU(or render pc)-desk  


New Member
Joined: 4 years ago

Hi i am a motion designer, musician and content creator and im currently only using a 2017 MacBook Pro for everything.

Stepping up my performance is a must but i want to do it efficiently and suited to 3 needs:


1 - Performance (preferably on Mac OS but possibly even bootcamp or external windows render/streaming machine)

2 - Aesthetics/space saving (i just moved and plan to build an office/music/social media room that needs to be presentable)

3 - Budget friendly'ish (Corona times.. )


So for sake of saving space and to automatically create some content in the process, i plan to build it into a custom wall desk since i was gonna have to build a custom desk anyway. This would have the benefit of potentially giving me a really quiet and clean setup + added functionality in the end. And im smart when it comes to building things but i want to do it right.. and i think i wont have enough time to learn everything there is to know about the electronics part of the build.


Thats why id love some help.

So i guess my first questions would be:


1 - Is there (or will there be) a way to run an invidia card (im looking at the 3080/3090) in mac OS with some workarounds/tricks if the upcoming AMD cards are dissapointing? Or is the only feasible way to bootcamp?


2 - Will an eGPU even be worth it with something as predictably fast as the 3090 or will the thunderbolt connection bottleneck and keep it from reaching its potential?


3 - If there is a bottleneck (or even if there isnt) would an entire second machine (running windows) build into the desk make more sense?

Im looking at the benefits of handing off projects to render and being able to stream without affecting the main devices performance VS extra costs, setups, issues and probably no boost for my MacBook at all.


4 (IF a second machine) - Is there a way have my MacBook benefit from the GPU in the windows PC? Either by a mode to somehow use the mainboard as an eGPU for the MacBook when the second pc is turned off or by connecting the MacBook to the active PC and using/sharing its GPU that way?


Thanks so much for reading and your help!

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.


Mini i5
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago


What software are you planning to run / running now? 

The Big Navi cards will be compatible with both Mac OS and Windows. So they’ll give you the most flexibility. That’s assuming all your important Mac software runs fine on Big Sur. 

Nvidia 3070/3080 cards are Windows-only, but can provide CUDA acceleration if the software is written to take advantage of it. Either card will be fast enough for you.

The 3090 is intended more for 8k video editing, and game-design type of projects (when used by creative types). 




2018 Mac Mini + AMD RP W5500 (Sonnet Breakaway Box 650) Big Sur 11.6 + Windows 21H1

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RP W5500 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 11.6 & Win10 [build link]