BlackMagic alternative EGPU
BlackMagic alternative EGPU
I've seen a lot of different responses on getting the LG 5k Ultrafine to work with Egpu. I've listed below all options and their requirements to help anyone who has shared my confusion.
The first and easiest method is to use a bidirectional DisplayPort to USB-C cable. This will work but only if you have the most recent generation of 5k Ultrafine that allows for connecting USB-C devices like an Ipad. Unfortunately as stated on the product page USB-C connectivity only allows for 4k. So if you go this route make sure you have the latest model of LG 5K and are okay with sacrificing resolution.
Here is an example of a DisplayPort to USB-C bidirectional cable that you would need. I'm sure there are cheaper options available.
Simply connect the DisplayPort side of the cable to the GPU and the USB-C to the monitor.
If you have been graced with the first model of LG's Ultrafine 5K or are unwilling to sacrifice resolution. This method is your next best option. While it requires a few extra parts it's extremely easy to set up.
Here are the extra parts you will need:
Gigabyte GC-Titan Ridge card. You can get this for around $100 USD and is the biggest investment for this setup. I have seen Gigabyte Alpine Ridge work for some but in my tests the Titan Ridge was the only AIC that worked.
You will also need a PCI riser card. These are fairly cheap around $10 USD. Ive heard people who have had mixed results on the riser cards they chose. To play it safe use this model PCE164P-N08 VER009S PCI-E 1X TO 16X.
last part needed depending on the Egpu case used is a PCI splitter cable. Also pretty cheap only around $12 USD. I recommend this one
The only other cables needed are the TB3 cable that came with the LG monitor. the Egpu TB3 cable and two DisplayPort to mini DisplayPort cables, these should already be provided with the Titan Ridge card or Alpine Ridge card.
This is how I set it up, it may be different depending on what Egpu enclosure you're using, Im using Razer Core X.
First connect the PCI splitter cable to one of the PCI cables attached to your GPU. Attach one back to the GPU and attach the other to the PCI riser card.
Next plug the Titan Ridge in the PCIE Lane of the riser card. There are a few other cabled that the Titan Ridge comes with, you should not need any of them besides the DisplayPort cables, nor do you need to access the BIOS. Any TB3 capable mac should already have the firmware and work out of the box. Please be aware the connection can be finicky. Make sure the AIC is entirely connected to the riser card. This gave me the most trouble.
Connect both DisplayPort cables from the GPU to the mini DisplayPort slots on the Titan Ridge.
@wjames111, Hey sir - great information, thanks. One question - are you aware of an enclosure that will allow all of the needed components to be housed nicely within one box? Just looking for a nice clean solution for the desktop. Thanks!
@alanwicker555_1, I have been looking into the sonnet echo express SE I to enclose the Titan Ridge, mainly because I already have the Razer Core X for my GPU. Its pretty pricey though, around $200USD. I'm hopeful this would add support for LG's camera/brightness/audio because the Titan Ridge would be powered by tb3 from the echo express rather than just the riser card. I could be wrong though, I'll update when I find out.
If you're starting fresh, I would suggest enclosure that houses two PCIe slots, the only one that I know of is Akito Node Duo. Although it only offers support for two Half-Length cards with only 150W of power (upgradable to 230W). So you would probably be pretty limited in graphics card choices. If you find another eGPU enclosure that supports 2 PCIe cards, let me know.
@wjames111, the Titan Ridge inside a Thunderbolt enclosure would require some software to enable Thunderbolt connection to LG UltraFine 5K for camera, brightness, audio. The software doesn't exist yet but I don't think it would be impossible to create. If you do try it out and it doesn't work, one thing I would try is have another Thunderbolt device connected to the Sonnet, and hot plug that - then maybe macOS would re-enumerate devices on the Titan Ridge branch.
It probably won't work - on a classic Mac Pro, Windows is used to enable the GC-TITAN RIDGE card and connections to Thunderbolt devices, then a warm boot into macOS will enumerate the PCIe devices of all the connected Thunderbolt devices. I guess that would be the second thing to try - boot into Windows, see if it can detect the Titan Ridge card and connected Thunderbolt devices. If so, then warm boot into macOS to see if the devices can be enumerated.