2013 MacBook Pro + GTX 1080; Performance Issues
 
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comfycat
(@comfycat)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Greetings everyone!
Thanks to this wonderful community, I got my Aorus Gtx 1080 gaming box running in both macOS 10.13.3, and Windows 10 bootcamp, on my 2013 Macbook Pro Retina (i5 2.4Ghz 8Gb-RAM). I use the external display output via HDMI to a 43" 4k TV, and turn off the internal display. I've been having some issues with games freezing and crashing, and finally I've identified some limitations to my setup that would probably be obvious to anyone with any experience. Could you folks please weigh in on the culprit?

Lastly, I should mention that all my gaming is in Windows 10 bootcamp, and that my Aorus is connected to my Macbook via the Apple TB3 > TB2 adapter, with all it's thorough-put limitations and driver confusion.

I'm playing Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildlands currently, so that's my benchmark. The performance I'm seeing at a wide-range of higher graphical settings (from 2k - 4k, high to ultra, various AA & effects) is 28-32 FPS; there was only a marginal difference between 2k and 4k resolution, which makes me think that the GPU is not having any trouble at all. The CPU seems to hover around 70-100%, while the GPU rarely gets up to 70% power, I think it's called. The Macbook RAM is more than adequate size-wise, but I'm not sure how to monitor if it's speed is adequate (it's 1600Mhz DDR3). The game is being loaded off an SSD via USB 3.0.

No matter the settings the game will hang every few minutes for a solid one to two seconds, usually while autosaving. The terrain textures also seem to load slowly, giving some startlingly poor effects. And the worst, if I get the settings all really high, 4k, ultra, etc... The game will straight up crash. Event monitor said something about memory, but I forget the details.

So what's my weakest link? Is it obvious? The CPU? The SSD via USB?
I can get more system information if it's useful.
Any ideas or suggestions are welcome! Thank you.

You've been warned.
late-2013 13" MBP Retina + [email protected] (Aorus Gaming Box via TB3>TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.3 & Win10

 
2013 13" MacBook Pro [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13.3 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

The SSD via USB would be my first guess. Does your 2013 MBP a 13" or 15" and does it have a discrete GPU?

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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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comfycat
(@comfycat)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thanks for weighing in @itsage; 13" screen and it's got the "Intel Iris 1536 MB". Is there a way to improve the external SSD performance? The internal SSD is only 250GB, almost entirely on the macOS side of things.

You've been warned.
late-2013 13" MBP Retina + [email protected] (Aorus Gaming Box via TB3>TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.3 & Win10

 
2013 13" MacBook Pro [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13.3 & Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Which USB port do you connect the external SSD to? I would recommend using the left-side USB port because it's on the logic board. The right-side USB port is on the I/O board.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@comfycat How have you exactly have you connected your external SSD? Is the external SSD like Samsung's that comes with a USB and everything, or an internal SSD connected with an adapter?

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comfycat
(@comfycat)
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@itsage I always plug the USB into the left side; I thought it was faster, but I didn't know why. Thanks for this information!

@mac_editor I have an external enclosure, rated for USB 3.0, blue plug and everything. It's this one.

I tested my two separate SSDs via USB, and I saw ~100-150Mb/s read and write speeds. Is this what you would expect from USB 3.0? Is this not fast enough for gameplay?

You've been warned.
late-2013 13" MBP Retina + [email protected] (Aorus Gaming Box via TB3>TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.3 & Win10

 
2013 13" MacBook Pro [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13.3 & Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: comfycat

@itsage I always plug the USB into the left side; I thought it was faster, but I didn't know why. Thanks for this information!

@mac_editor I have an external enclosure, rated for USB 3.0, blue plug and everything. It's this one.

I tested my two separate SSDs via USB, and I saw ~100-150Mb/s read and write speeds. Is this what you would expect from USB 3.0? Is this not fast enough for gameplay?

I have an internal Samsung EVO 850 acting as external SSD for the same purpose as yours:

  • Using SATA > USB adapter, I got around ~100 MB/s
  • Using a nice enclosure ~ 400 MB/s

Not sure if it affects gaming though. Load times slower usually. Some others may provide better insight. I'd wage CPU/TB bottleneck combined maybe. I've noticed modern games don't run as well on TB2 eGPUs.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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comfycat
(@comfycat)
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Sorry @mac_editor and @itsage, I was remembering a test I did on macOS. I just ran a speed test on Windows 10 and these are the results:

SSDSpeeds

All over the place! The 20Mb/s worries me though. This is the exact same speed I saw when I tried to transfer files between these two SSDs in Windows (both USB 3.0 external enclosures). Is something wrong with my drivers? I've tried updating every USB driver, without success.

Also, @mac_editor what is an example of a "nice" enclosure for a 2.5" SSD?

You've been warned.
late-2013 13" MBP Retina + [email protected] (Aorus Gaming Box via TB3>TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.3 & Win10

 
2013 13" MacBook Pro [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13.3 & Win10 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: comfycat

 

Also, @mac_editor what is an example of a "nice" enclosure for a 2.5" SSD?

Looking at the Seq r/w, it seems you are good. Don't remember my other readings.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


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comfycat
(@comfycat)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Here is my setup, mid-day.

setup

So the verdict is, SSD performance is decent, must be a CPU/TB2 bandwidth problem? Any way I could test this?

You've been warned.
late-2013 13" MBP Retina + [email protected] (Aorus Gaming Box via TB3>TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.3 & Win10

 
2013 13" MacBook Pro [4th,2C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13.3 & Win10 [build link]  


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