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Mac Pro 6.1 with 2x Dell2715k 5k Displays - how to use an eGPU properly?
 

Mac Pro 6.1 with 2x Dell2715k 5k Displays - how to use an eGPU properly?  

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Chfilm2
(@chfilm2)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

Hey,

I‘m a bloody noob but tried to do as much reading here as possible, still couldnt figure out my specific use case, so please bear with me:

I have the aforementioned setup: A 6.1 Mac Pro with two Dell 5k Displays attached, each via dual mini Display Port cables. So right now, four of my 6TB ports are occupied by the displays, and the other two by external HDD raids.

I‘m considering prolonging the life of my machine with an eGPU for Adobe Premiere and Media encoder work and also hoping to enhance the overall system wide rendering of UI because sometimes it can get quite sluggish and slow in apps like After Effects or Lightroom because of the insane resolution of the two displays.

So my question would be, do you guys think that my goal of enhancing the system wide UI rendering performance and rendering in Premiere can be achieved with an eGPU, and if so, how would you think the displays would have to be connected? One to the Mac Pro and one to the eGPU? So that the internal D700 has to render only one display and then the eGPU could take over rendering the other 5k display? Or how does it usually work? 
I‘d need a GPU with dual display port connectors in any case.

Just wondering if that setup might be worth it or if I should just save my money for the new Mac Pro because overall the solution would be more powerful and just more clean.. Thank you so much,

nMP 8 core D700, 64GB, 2x DELL 2715k Display


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@chfilm2 I would recommend getting an eGPU that would handle both Dell 2715k monitors. That means the Radeon WX 8200 (4x mini DisplayPorts) or WX 9100 (6x mini DisplayPorts). Not using the D700 (graphics card B) to power a monitor would help cooling inside the 2013 Mac Pro. It also makes sure apps are using the eGPU as long as the software is optimized for external graphics processing. 

You can likely get away with a non-Power Delivery enclosure such as Asus XG Station Pro when paired with WX 8200. It would make for a very nice and quiet setup. I’m currently using a similar nMP + Radeon VII which can power one HP Z27q 5K monitor (2x DisplayPort) and one Samsung 49″ superwide monitor (1x DisplayPort).

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Chfilm2
(@chfilm2)
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Joined: 1 month ago
 

@itsage

Thanks so much, very insightful!

how does it work- you said this would make sure that apps would utilize the egpu.. wouldn’t this in fact lead more to the apps actually using the full power of the internal gpus if they are free from having to display anything?
or do apps get forced to take better advantage of the egpu if it supplies the monitor directly with data?

Oh and I should add that I also have an HD projector attached via hdmi- could I leave that one straight at the Mac? It’s usually turned off.

This post was modified 1 month ago

nMP 8 core D700, 64GB, 2x DELL 2715k Display


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

By default, apps running off the primary monitor connected to the eGPU will be accelerated. There are exceptions due to no eGPU optimizations so it’s best to run set-eGPU.sh so that all apps are set to use the eGPU. You can keep the HDMI port connected to the projector.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Chfilm2
(@chfilm2)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@itsage

Thank you so much! This was exactly the advice that I needed.
will there be any additional work needed on installing the gpu in the enclosure?

nMP 8 core D700, 64GB, 2x DELL 2715k Display


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@chfilm2 It’s very straight forward. You’d need an Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter in order to use a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with the nMP. Also worth noting is the bottom two Thunderbolt 2 ports (#5 and #6) are the best to use. Unlike the other four ports, they don’t prevent the nMP from booting up when eGPU is connected.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Chfilm2
(@chfilm2)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@chfilm2 It's very straight forward. You'd need an Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter in order to use a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with the nMP. Also worth noting is the bottom two Thunderbolt 2 ports (#5 and #6) are the best to use. Unlike the other four ports, they don't prevent the nMP from booting up when eGPU is connected.

Great, thanks so much for the extremely helpful advice. Do you think the performance boost in Premiere and in general UI rendering will be worth the 1,5k € over saving this money towards a new new Mac Pro 😉 ? I saw some videos of the advantages of an eGPU in premiere, cutting render times in half etc... is that your experience as well?

Oh and do you think the WX 7100 is significantly weaker so that this makes no sense because I wouldn’t feel it as much?

This post was modified 1 month ago

nMP 8 core D700, 64GB, 2x DELL 2715k Display


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

The WX 7100 is not a significant upgrade from the D700 dGPUs to be worth it. WX 8200+ would provide at least 4x DisplayPorts and performance upgrade over the dGPUs.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

For a 6 DisplayPort solution, the WX 9100 is more expensive than the WX 8200 but has twice as much VRAM. Both cards are described at 3.1 Workstation

WX 8200 is newer (but same generation) with slightly faster clocks and maybe 2.7% faster in benchmarks than the WX 9100.

Edit: oops, itsage already mentioned the 9100 earlier.

This post was modified 1 month ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Chfilm2
(@chfilm2)
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Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

The WX 7100 is not a significant upgrade from the D700 dGPUs to be worth it. WX 8200+ would provide at least 4x DisplayPorts and performance upgrade over the dGPUs.

And what do you guys think about a Razer Core X with a Sapphire AMD Radeon VII? It should also work and be a bit cheaper, or?

nMP 8 core D700, 64GB, 2x DELL 2715k Display


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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@chfilm2

Yes, Radeon VII is cheaper, but it doesn't have four DisplayPort ports for two dual-cable 5K displays. You could only connect one of the displays to the Radeon VII. You can make Premiere use the eGPU anyway. I have no experience with it. If it doesn't have an eGPU setting then use the set-eGPU.sh script.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Chfilm2
(@chfilm2)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@joevt

Ahhh damn it looked like it was four DPs. Hmmm. Yea in that case premiere would utilize the egpu for effects I guess still. It would really be interesting if it would even be helpful to spread the load for the 5k displays between the egpu and the internal one.

nMP 8 core D700, 64GB, 2x DELL 2715k Display


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