egpu to run 2 x LG 5k with USB-C conections  

 

ioapps
(@ioapps)
New Member
Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 1
August 16, 2017 1:37 pm  

Hi, I have a Macbook Pro (15-inch, 2016) with touchbar. and the Radeon Pro 460 4096 MB graphic card.
I Also run 2x 27" LG 5k monitors. And it does run. How ever, if i try to do any intensive graphics on screen, they can not deliver.

Does any one know a setup that will help my current setup? Does an egpu box help me, or does it has to be graphic cards with USB-C connections? 


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Posts: 2698
August 16, 2017 3:23 pm  

An eGPU will unfortunately not be compatible with the Ultrafine 5K monitors. When I saw the announcement and Apple showed the 15" MBP paired with 2x 5K displays, my first question was how in the world people actually get any work done with such setup? I would contact Apple and ask them take the monitors back. Then use the refund to buy monitors with standard DisplayPort input which can be used with eGPU.

011

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

66 external GPU build guides


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goalque
(@goalque)
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Posts: 1135
August 16, 2017 4:53 pm  

A low-end Intel Iris 540 can run an external 5K display, should be possible to connect it to the second TB3 port of the HL23T, to take advantage of the full 40Gbps bandwidth, leaving 22Gbps<->18Gbps pipe for the PCIe data.

Just tried out RX 580 on High Sierra and the second TB3 port of the HL23T can drive my UHD display with an USB-C to DP adapter.

However, there is ~25% OpenGL performance loss in Valley bench, if the app is accelerated by the eGPU, pixels pushed onto the UHD screen via HL23T’s TB3->DP interface. It’s therefore preferable to connect the display directly to the eGPU if your purpose is gaming, or any vector graphics that needs to be displayed.

The screen where the content is displayed doesn’t have to be accelerated by the eGPU, especially in GPGPU tasks. An app developer can divide the workload between the high-bandwidth internal GPU and the low-bandwidth eGPU.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Posts: 813
May 18, 2018 4:59 pm  
Posted by: goalque

A low-end Intel Iris 540 can run an external 5K display, should be possible to connect it to the second TB3 port of the HL23T, to take advantage of the full 40Gbps bandwidth, leaving 22Gbps<->18Gbps pipe for the PCIe data.

Just tried out RX 580 on High Sierra and the second TB3 port of the HL23T can drive my UHD display with an USB-C to DP adapter.

However, there is ~25% OpenGL performance loss in Valley bench, if the app is accelerated by the eGPU, pixels pushed onto the UHD screen via HL23T’s TB3->DP interface. It’s therefore preferable to connect the display directly to the eGPU if your purpose is gaming, or any vector graphics that needs to be displayed.

The screen where the content is displayed doesn’t have to be accelerated by the eGPU, especially in GPGPU tasks. An app developer can divide the workload between the high-bandwidth internal GPU and the low-bandwidth eGPU.

I’ve been wondering about this. Would it work with other twin thunderbolt enclosures? Ie Node lite.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + GTX1060@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070@32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10
---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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 chx
(@chx)
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May 27, 2018 4:27 am  

There is a little known, madman solution: the Gigabyte GC Alpine Ridge PCIe card can be stuck in a cheap mining riser for power, be fed two DisplayPort signals and have a Thunderbolt signal come out of it! No PCIe signals connected, no problems. Just search eBay for gigabyte alpine ridge, you need two.  Next up is a beefy but cheap AMD card (nVidia + MST + Mac OS X is a nope) with four DisplayPorts. There are not many candidates, the best is the 295x2 for about 600 USD on eBay, it's essentially two RX580 equivalent cards in one monstrous video card.

In  https://egpu.io/razer-core-x-review-thick-juicy/ you can see a 980 Ti Hybrid fitting in the Razer Core X, the 295x2 will very likely fit, too. The enclosure is long enough (with about an inch to spare), only concern is whether you can bundle up the tubing enough to fit in there but the 980 Ti Hybrid has the same 15" tubing as the 295x2 so hopefully it'll work. This comes to 900-950 USD while the only other viable solution, two Gigabyte RX 580 boxes would be ~1100 USD and then you need to deal with two eGPU enclosures and quite a few 40mm fans.

Your biggest challenge will be mounting the two Alpine Ridge cards + risers somewhere not too expensive. Perhaps this? Another possibility is just laying them on top of the PSU inside the Core X, the Alpine Ridge cards are neatly packaged on one side so no short risk  -- the review says it accepts three slot wide cards so you have an empty slot, you could run four mini DP cables in and two USB C cables out.  Depends on how the riser is oriented...


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3RYL
 3RYL
(@3ryl)
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May 27, 2018 2:23 pm  

Will the thunderbolt add in cards even work without the extra motherboard thunderbolt connector or did something change and I didn't know about?

Chimera ~ 2011 15" Dell Vostro 3550 HD6630M + GTX980Ti@4Gbps-EC2 (PE4C 3.0) +Win7


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 chx
(@chx)
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May 27, 2018 4:39 pm  

Yes they will. The extra MB connector is only needed if you want the PCIe half to work.


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eAlchemist
(@ealchemist)
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Posts: 16
June 1, 2018 11:52 am  

Interesting topic! 

Is anyone practicly using such a setup already?

Thinking about the same. Stuck with the same. As I cant get FCP X timeline accelerated on my LG 5k connected to a MBP 15 2017 using a sonnet breakaway box (7970 currently).

Any way of getting usb-c and monitor controls running with a gc alpine card and a MBP?

The day this will work will be a lucky day x)..


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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June 15, 2018 2:40 pm  
Posted by: chx

Your biggest challenge will be mounting the two Alpine Ridge cards + risers somewhere not too expensive.

I've used the IT-GO "ADP-099-31" dual slot riser+enclosure to power two GC-ALPINE RIDGE add-in cards. I've used it with a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter to test the Thunderbolt functionality since I don't have an LG 5K display.

#73

Posted by: 3RYL

Will the thunderbolt add in cards even work without the extra motherboard thunderbolt connector or did something change and I didn't know about?

The DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 3 conversion capability of Thunderbolt 3 add-in cards works without PCIe or Thunderbolt header connections. There may be issues with hotplug/sleep though. The GC-ALPINE RIDGE might not start DisplayPort conversion when used with some risers if the riser isn't connected to a computer. Other addin cards may behave differently. I didn't have that problem with the IT-GO dual slot riser.

Posted by: eAlchemist

Is anyone practicly using such a setup already?

There are examples of people using the LG 5K display with a GC-ALPINE RIDGE installed in a computer that doesn't have full support of the add-in card (no functions of the display that require PCIe communication can work in that case).

Posted by: eAlchemist

Any way of getting usb-c and monitor controls running with a gc alpine card and a MBP?

The day this will work will be a lucky day x)..

This would require some code to enable the add-in card's PCIe tunneling over Thunderbolt capability while in a Thunderbolt 3 PCIe expansion box (if that's even possible). Examining Linux Thunderbolt drivers and the BIOS of motherboards that support Thunderbolt add-in cards might give a clue.


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