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Apple is supporting external GPUs with High Sierra // US$599 Apple Dev Kit
 

Apple is supporting external GPUs with High Sierra // US$599 Apple Dev Kit  

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jonwatso
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FAQ

1. What is the difference between a Sonnet Breakaway Box 350 and the Sonnet 350W enclosure included with the Apple Dev kit?

Posted by: itsage

The Sonnet Breakaway in Apple Dev Kit has a different Thunderbolt firmware (25.1) than the one in regular 350W unit (25.2). It has 60W PD (as opposed to 15W) and only one 8-pin PCIe power cable (the 6-pin cable is in there but shrink-wrapped).

 

2. What is a safe third-party video card to get to maximize compatibility with High Sierra when it's released?

Posted by: Baldrake

I'm kind of thinking the safe approach is to get a third party eGPU with an RX580 and run it under Sierra, with the thought that I know it will run when eGPU support goes official in roughly one year. Would that make any sense?

Posted by: goalque

The safe bet is a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/apple-metal-2-external-graphics-development-kit/paged/3/#post-12784

 

 


Exciting times guys!

 

Just announced at WWDC! looks like sonnet will be supplying the first officially support eGPU along with an RX580

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Daelin
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Woohoo it's comming!!!! 😊

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Hector66
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Crap, you beat me to it.

 

Looks like Sonnet enclosure and it's interesting that their kit is AMD-based.

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silvioalessi
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Awesome Apple at right direction !!!

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Mike
 Mike
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iMacs are AMD based so makes sense.  They didn't renew their nvidia license last year.

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Rycco
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ll

Exciting times guys!

 

Just announced at WWDC! looks like sonnet will be supplying the first officially support eGPU along with an RX580

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YXebsQme
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This is REALLY great news!!!!!

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goalque
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Sky11
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AMD rocks 🙂

Apple developer kits consists of Sonnet Breakaway Box and AMD RX580 🙂

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Rycco
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But currently the Sonnet Breakaway Box doesnt have USB hub right?

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nombrescreeno
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Wow that's huge news! Makes using a 13" model and getting good graphics much more affordable now

 

This *should* make other implementations much easier too

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itsage
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This is incredible news and timing for our eGPU community! My recent review of the RX 580 used the Sonnet Breakaway Box which is now part of Apple Metal 2 Developer Kit.

The refreshed iMac can be specced with an RX 580 which means once macOS 10.13 arrives, I won't have to update my RX 480 guide for Mac anymore. Thank you listening, Apple!

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Rycco
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So, that means that we won't need to run the eGPU script anymore, plus it will be hot pluggable/unpluggable, right?

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nombrescreeno
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Posted by: Rycco

So, that means that we won't need to run the eGPU script anymore, plus it will be hot pluggable/unpluggable, right?

Nothing official yet - but most likely. If they're going to support eGPU, they're likely to support it all the way

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Username
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Posted by: Rycco

So, that means that we won't need to run the eGPU script anymore, plus it will be hot pluggable/unpluggable, right?

Thats up to Apple. If they decide they want to make some kind of certification process then they might lock DIY solutions out as now. 

We will have to wait some and see what they publish about the new system and dev package.

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goalque
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Apple and AMD are in sync 🙂 This is what we've been waiting for. Official programming interfaces. Thank you Apple.

All info will be available through the developer's account which says "we'll be back soon".

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Glaporte
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No. This is a USB hub that connects separately.  USB hubs built into eGPU boxes are problematic over Thunderbolt when connecting a mouse. Jittering and jumping of cursor makes for poor game-play.  

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itsage
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Thank you for the clarification @Greg LaPorte. Is the USB-C hub a Sonnet product? Is it USB-C only or it has Thunderbolt support as well?

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goalque
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"macOS High Sierra brings support for external graphics processors to the Mac for the first time. The External Graphics Development Kit enables you to develop and test demanding graphics-intensive apps, including VR content creation, on any Mac with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity."

What’s Included

Apps that use Metal, OpenCL, and OpenGL can now take advantage of the increased performance that external graphics processors can bring. The External Graphics Development Kit includes everything you need to start optimizing advanced VR and 3D apps on external graphics processors with macOS High Sierra.*

  • Sonnet external GPU chassis with Thunderbolt 3 and 350W power supply
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card
  • Belkin USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub
  • Promo code for $100 towards the purchase of HTC Vive VR headset**

599 USD or in local currency

https://developer.apple.com/development-kit/external-graphics/

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Mark
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https://www.apple.com/macos/high-sierra-preview/#footnote-3

 

Don't get too excited. Planned for Spring 2018. We'll still need the DIY stuff for a long time!

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nombrescreeno
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Posted by: Mark

 

Don't get too excited. Planned for Spring 2018. We'll still need the DIY stuff for a long time!

Well the good news is, developer stuff will be in the works, and at the very least we know that macOS will have official eGPU support.

So even if DIY stuff isn't officially supported, it should be a lot easier to work with!

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itsage
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The release notes is janky on Apple's site. Here's what I got from it:

External Graphics Development Kit Release Notes v1.0

The External Graphics Development Kit includes everything you need to start optimizing advanced VR and 3D applications for external graphics processors with macOS High Sierra.

Sonnet external GPU chassis with Thunderbolt 3 and 350W power supply

AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card

Belkin USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub

Promo code for $100 towards the purchase of HTC Vive VR headset* 

*Limited availability. Distribution is on a first-come, first-served basis.


Supported Configurations

The External Graphics Development Kit is designed for testing high-performance Metal and VR applications on Mac computers running macOS High Sierra beta. It can be connected to any Thunderbolt 3 enabled Mac with the included cable, such as MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 and iMac with Thunderbolt 3. The kit may work with Thunderbolt 2-enabled Mac computers via a Thunderbolt 2 to Thunderbolt 3 adapter, but this is an unsupported configuration. Boot Camp is not supported by the External Graphics Development Kit.

The External Graphics Development Kit supports the AMD Radeon RX 580 8GB graphics card that is supplied with the kit. Other graphics cards are unsupported  in the External Graphics Development Kit. The Sonnet external GPU chassis is designed to work with graphics cards up to 250W with a single 8-pin power connector.

In order to charge your MacBook Pro while using the External Graphics Development Kit, the kit supports 60W USB-PD charging. It does not support charging at 87W, so 15-inch MacBook Pro computers may not charge at full speed in all situations. Please use the included Thunderbolt 3 cable with the External Graphics Development Kit, or another Thunderbolt 3 cable capable of 40Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 cables are not supported.

The External Graphics Development Kit is designed to support one VR headset and/or one external monitor. The VR headset supported by the kit is the HTC Vive. External monitors with HDMI or DisplayPort are supported. Thunderbolt or USB-C displays are not supported at this time.

macOS High Sierra Developer Beta

When using the External Graphics Development Kit with High Sierra Developer Beta 1, the following additional restrictions apply:

Mirroring to a display attached the the External Graphics Developer Kit is not yet supported; please use extended display mode.

Closed-Clamshell mode is not yet supported.

HDMI audio is not yet supported on the External Graphics Development Kit HDMI ports

AutoLogin will not work if the External Graphics Development Kit is attached at the time the system is booted restarted.

Hot-plug and un-plug of the External Graphics Development Kit require returning to the Login screen.

The External Graphics Development Kit does not accelerate the internal display on iMac or MacBook Pro.

The External Graphics Development Kit prevents the Mac from entering sleep mode. Display sleep is still available.


Setup Instructions

The External Graphics Development Kit requires some assembly. Inside the box you'll find a Quick Start Guide that walks you through the steps to install the Radeon RX 580 graphics card into the Sonnet external GPU chassis.

The included Belkin USB-C to 4-port USB-A hub has been tested with VR headsets. It is designed to plug directly into a Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port on your Mac computer.

Plug your VR headset directly into the HDMI port on back of external Development Graphics Kit

In order to use the External Graphics Development Kit, you'll need the latest beta version of macOS High Sierra installed.

In order to use a HTC Vive VR headset, you'll need to download the latest beta of SteamVR for the Mac.

If you need to ship the External Graphics Development Kit, you must remove the GPU card from the enclosure first, as the original packing materials are not designed to protect the enclosure with a card installed.


Getting Support

If you encounter an issue with your External Graphics Development Kit, please use  http://bugreport.apple.com  to report the issue to Apple. 

You can ask questions and discuss issues with other developers using the External Graphics Development Kit on the Developer Forums at  http://forums.developer.apple.com/  .

For issues related to the hardware in the External Graphics Development Kit, please contact Sonnet Technologies ( http://www.sonnettech.com). 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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109 external GPU build guides


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goalque
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Posted by: Mark

https://www.apple.com/macos/high-sierra-preview/#footnote-3

 

Don't get too excited. Planned for Spring 2018. We'll still need the DIY stuff for a long time!

Developers don't have to wait. Already downloading. 

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nombrescreeno
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Posted by: itsage
The External Graphics Development Kit does not accelerate the internal display on iMac or MacBook Pro.
 
Huge bummer. Looks like we'll still have to hack things to make it work internally... for now at least. May well be something they'll implement down the line of course

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itsage
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A quick glance through the release note seems Apple is right around the same stage as we are. The good news is Apple now has a team working on external graphics support for macOS.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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motoic
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Posted by: nombrescreeno
Posted by: itsage
The External Graphics Development Kit does not accelerate the internal display on iMac or MacBook Pro.
 
Huge bummer. Looks like we'll still have to hack things to make it work internally... for now at least. May well be something they'll implement down the line of course

but why would you be using your macbook pro's display for gaming? it's tiny and if you're shelling out for an egpu you should probably be using an external monitor.

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derFunkenstein
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I wonder which RX 580 is in that enclosure. I've got an Akitio Node with a GTX 1070, but if using a 580 comes with less headaches, I could be convinced to switch.

High Sierra developer preview is already on the Developer portal, too. My personal Mac can run it while my work machine can stay on Sierra (so I can keep submitting to the App Store - can't use beta software for production builds). 

Gonna have to figure out how to get the Nvidia web drivers running on it, though. Or let someone else figure out if it has Pascal support built in. 

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motoic
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If I'm buying an eGPU now and I was planning on going with the Akitio Node + GTX 1070 should I switch to the Sonnet + RX580? I don't plan on using it much in macOS anyways, I was just going to mostly use it in Bootcamp Windows 10 for gaming.

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motoic
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Also wondering if I should pick up the RX 580. I hear it works better with Windows 10 too than Nvidia's software? 

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itsage
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Posted by: motoic

If I'm buying an eGPU now and I was planning on going with the Akitio Node + GTX 1070 should I switch to the Sonnet + RX580? I don't plan on using it much in macOS anyways, I was just going to mostly use it in Bootcamp Windows 10 for gaming.

An enclosure with TI83 USB-C controller and DSL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controller should works the same way the Sonnet Breakaway Box does. The AMD Radeon RX 580 and RX 570 as well as RX 480 and RX 470 are recommended due to macOS native drivers.

Take a look at our eGPU buyer's guide for further details.

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drax392
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Apple needs to fix the crippled TB drivers in Win 10 for the nMP, allow eGPUs to work in Boot Camp.  It's great that they're going to officially support some eGPUs in macOS, but blocking them in Win 10 sucks.

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P-Mac
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Posted by: motoic

I was just going to mostly use it in Bootcamp Windows 10 for gaming.

Stick with the Node / 1070 then. 

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nombrescreeno
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Posted by: motoic

but why would you be using your macbook pro's display for gaming? it's tiny and if you're shelling out for an egpu you should probably be using an external monitor.

For me, it's nice to have that option since my job takes me on extended trips where I won't have room for an external monitor

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TPNxl
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I have a 480 and a 1070 at home in addition to a Razer Core so we'll see how that goes.

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mac_editor
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Posted by: itsage

A quick glance through the release note seems Apple is right around the same stage as we are. The good news is Apple now has a team working on external graphics support for macOS.

The release notes that indicate the lack of certain features is indeed a positive indication that they are being worked on (or were/are under consideration) - so it seems that as support improves, we might have clamshell mode (no need for DisableMonitor - yay!), Hot-connect/disconnect, and some other features that we could only hope for haha. Nice job Apple.

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itsage
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RX 580 has PCI ID 67DF. Therefore RX 470, RX 480, and RX 570 will have native support in macOS 10.13.

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