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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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oldtimer
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Posted by: goalque

Late 2013 13" MBP -> Apple's TB cable -> Apple's TB2-to-TB3 adapter -> Akitio Node -> reference RX 480 8GB = some stripes but shows up the login screen and success.

By the way, RX 460 does not work - only RX 480/RX 580 are IOPCITunnelCompatible.

Avoid XFX brand.

I can't agree more, I had to replace heatsinks, etc.  ----> Avoid XFX brand.

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


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goalque
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Posted by: oldtimer
I can't agree more, I had to replace heatsinks, etc.  ----> Avoid XFX brand.

Actually I meant the vBIOS that might not be macOS compatible.

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goalque
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Posted by: Baldrake

Looking at that quote, I'm not giving up hope yet. It's not clear whether "Spring 2018" is referring to an eGPU from Apple, to the eGPU technology in general, or to VR support.

Given that people already have 3d party eGPU's up and running, I can't help but believe that eGPU support will be part of High Sierra as soon as it's out this fall.

https://developer.apple.com/metal/

VR and External GPUs 

On Mac, Metal 2 adds support for virtual reality (VR) rendering and external GPUs, and provides new APIs and optimizations to help developers embrace these emerging technologies within their apps.*

*Customer availability of external GPU support planned for Spring 2018

Developers have early access.

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Baldrake
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Posted by: goalque
Posted by: Baldrake

Looking at that quote, I'm not giving up hope yet. It's not clear whether "Spring 2018" is referring to an eGPU from Apple, to the eGPU technology in general, or to VR support.

Given that people already have 3d party eGPU's up and running, I can't help but believe that eGPU support will be part of High Sierra as soon as it's out this fall.

https://developer.apple.com/metal/

VR and External GPUs 

On Mac, Metal 2 adds support for virtual reality (VR) rendering and external GPUs, and provides new APIs and optimizations to help developers embrace these emerging technologies within their apps.*

*Customer availability of external GPU support planned for Spring 2018

Developers have early access.

Ugh. Thanks for pointing out that information.

Hard to know what that really means.  It seems to be working pretty well already. What's going to take so long? Making it fully plug-and-play? Getting full app compatibility?

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


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goalque
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Firstly, apps needs to be updated. Due to the nature of macOS Metal API, the OS itself can't make apps fully eGPU compatible.

Still lots of things missing: HDMI audio, closed-clamshell mode, sleep mode... 

The WWDC videos are a good starting point for developers.

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Xoono
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I have Nvidia GTX 1050, will it also work in High Sierra?

(or other GTX series)

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itsage
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I attempted connecting 4 eGPUs to the late 2016 15" MacBook Pro this evening. The good news is macOS can communicate with all four enclosures. The bad news is due to 2 Thunderbolt buses, it can only use upto 2 external graphics cards at once. I didn't take screen captures when four eGPU were plugged in; it was very awkward with 4 big boxes connecting through .5m cables. 😀

System Information shows AMD R9 XXX, but interestingly enough Luxmark could identify the GPUs with full names.

The question becomes, are you buying the iMac Pro with a Vega GPU or "settle" for the 15" MacBook Pro with a pair of RX 580 eGPUs?

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: Xoono

I have Nvidia GTX 1050, will it also work in High Sierra?

(or other GTX series)

No. Things do not look good from Nvidia's perspective, not even with a kext hack & native Kepler. They have not announced any support for external graphics.

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torncanvas
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Just to be super clear, you mean, hypothetically, upgrading to High Sierra would currently break an existing working Nvidia Sierra installation?

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goalque
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Definitely. Nvidia will have a hard time to catch up. I don't know if they can.

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torncanvas
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I'm assuming by "catch up" you mean in time for Spring 2018. And that's because they'd have to do significant driver development to support Metal 2, which you're assuming they didn't have advance notice of relative to AMD?

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Eason85
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Posted by: High Sir

Not sure I can link them but there are questions about this in the parallels forum...the short answer is no. (if you mean a complete passthrough at the PCI level) 

You can still use the eGPU in VMs in the same limited way you use a regular mac GPU. 

Dual booting actual Windows could be a solution...

I guess what I'm getting at is... with a powerful enough card, could you be able to just use parallels + eGPU in MacOS to run a Windows game?

eGPUs in Windows is of course preferable, but it sounds like a pain in the ass if you have a 15" model

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nombrescreeno
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Posted by: Eason85

eGPUs in Windows is of course preferable, but it sounds like a pain in the ass if you have a 15" model

What issues specifically with the 15" model? Like having to have a USB boot stick to get things like Optimus working properly?

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


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Flint Ironstag
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@itsage, had a chance to check 4 eGPU on nMP yet?

MP 6,1 | 4c | d700
MP 6,1 | 6c | d500


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skorik13
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Mac Pro 2013 D500 + Apple Thunderbolt Display 27' = Will work with Apple eGPU dev kit?

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


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Xoono
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Does eGPU on High Sierra natively support internal display?

Or do we still need ghost adapter or tweaks to make it work

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Baldrake
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Posted by: Xoono

Does eGPU on High Sierra natively support internal display?

Or do we still need ghost adapter or tweaks to make it work

Not in the current beta release. Maybe later.

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itsage
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Posted by: skorik13

Mac Pro 2013 D500 + Apple Thunderbolt Display 27' = Will work with Apple eGPU dev kit?

Apple's External Graphics Release Note states eGPU does not work with Thunderbolt and USB-C display at the moment.

 

 

Posted by: Eason85
Posted by: High Sir

Not sure I can link them but there are questions about this in the parallels forum...the short answer is no. (if you mean a complete passthrough at the PCI level) 

You can still use the eGPU in VMs in the same limited way you use a regular mac GPU. 

Dual booting actual Windows could be a solution...

I guess what I'm getting at is... with a powerful enough card, could you be able to just use parallels + eGPU in MacOS to run a Windows game?

eGPUs in Windows is of course preferable, but it sounds like a pain in the ass if you have a 15" model

This is a very intriguing idea. I believe it's possible once VMware and Parallels optimize their software to make use of external graphics. Ideally, you can set the iGPU/dGPU for macOS and fully reserve the eGPU for Windows in VM.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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Axam
 Axam
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Posted by: itsage
Posted by: skorik13

Mac Pro 2013 D500 + Apple Thunderbolt Display 27' = Will work with Apple eGPU dev kit?

Apple's External Graphics Release Note states eGPU does not work with Thunderbolt and USB-C display at the moment.

 

Posted by: Eason85

I guess what I'm getting at is... with a powerful enough card, could you be able to just use parallels + eGPU in MacOS to run a Windows game?

eGPUs in Windows is of course preferable, but it sounds like a pain in the ass if you have a 15" model

This is a very intriguing idea. I believe it's possible once VMware and Parallels optimize their software to make use of external graphics. Ideally, you can set the iGPU/dGPU for macOS and fully reserve the eGPU for Windows in VM.

At this moment not possible to use Thunderbolt devices for PCI Passthrough. At best case you can redirect Thunderbolt controller to VM. First of all we need VT-d support in CPU and support IOMMU, VT-d, PCI-PT in UEFI - this is Apple part. Second, we need PCI Passthrough implementation in VMware Fusion/Parallels Desktop. This topic has been discussed from 2012 year. No progress at all 🙁

Personally, I have very low expectations that Apple will implement PCI Passthrough in nearest future.

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Eason85
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Posted by: nombrescreeno
Posted by: Eason85

eGPUs in Windows is of course preferable, but it sounds like a pain in the ass if you have a 15" model

What issues specifically with the 15" model? Like having to have a USB boot stick to get things like Optimus working properly?

Yeah mostly I'm concerned about running out of battery/having a hot laptop when I run windows on it. I don't mind if the solution is complicated to setup as long as once I set it up I don't have to do all kinds of crap to use the iGPU or an eGPU.

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


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itsage
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It would be great to have a 15" MacBook Pro with a quad-core i7, no touchbar iGPU only for under $2,000.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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phatalbert1000
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Does anyone have an opinion on the likelihood of being able to plug and unplug the eGPU on High Sierra similarly to how one would "safely" remove an external hard-drive now? I know that currently one must log out and back in, but didn't know if it was assumed this would always be the case. 

Thanks! 

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


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itsage
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I think there will be a "Unmount" functionality. In Windows, AMD XConnect and Nvidia Optimus have "Eject" and "Disconnect" button.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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phatalbert1000
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Posted by: itsage

I think there will be a "Unmount" functionality. In Windows, AMD XConnect and Nvidia Optimus have "Eject" and "Disconnect" button.

Gotcha. So it would seem it is definitely within the realm of possibility for future versions of macOS High Sierra? I figure that the internal graphics card can already enable and disable on the fly, so it makes sense that a thunderbolt connected one could. 

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


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goalque
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Metal 2 provides three notifications (attach/removal) for external GPUs and it's programmer's responsibility to handle unexpected GPU removal.

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gtosi
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Posted by: itsage

It would be great to have a 15" MacBook Pro with a quad-core i7, no touchbar iGPU only for under $2,000.

Yes! I have been wishing for that as well. Even if with a touchbar, it would be great to have an iGPU only version. This would save battery life, and honestly, the included dGPU on the MacBook Pro are too weak to be really useful.

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


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goalque
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Posted by: torncanvas

I'm assuming by "catch up" you mean in time for Spring 2018. And that's because they'd have to do significant driver development to support Metal 2, which you're assuming they didn't have advance notice of relative to AMD?

1) The main problem is that Metal 2 does not support Nvidia eGPUs at present. 

2) I can't see anywhere that Apple would like to partnership with Nvidia. Apple's strategy has been always to be selective, and optimize for the specific hardware. Now it is AMD.

3) Nvidia's web drivers are dependent on the underlying macOS drivers.

4) Therefore, Nvidia has to make new drivers after each macOS build.

5) If Apple doesn't give a hand, we will never see Nvidia cards as removable property according to Metal 2 API.

6) You can start developing VR apps with the RX 580 today. Metal 2 bypasses the window server and provides direct access to the HMD.

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Atty
 Atty
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Ok so if Mac OS 10.13 isn't going to natively support nVidia GPUs externally, as we are theorizing, will Windows 10 not be able to support them either? 

My only goal is to use my 2017 15'' MBP to run games on Windows. I'm not too concerned with Mac OS functionality. 

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igerard
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@Goalque

I remember the job posting from NVidia last fall where they write that the candidate would work in collaboration with Apple 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-23/nvidia-job-postings-suggest-an-nvidia-chip-return-to-apple-macs

Nvidia, in a job ad for a software engineer, said a successful applicant will “help produce the next revolutionary Apple products.” The role would require “working in partnership with Apple” and writing code that will “define and shape the future”’ of graphics-related software on Macs.

And how did they succeed to support Metal with the present webdriver ?

I guess that something is in the work 

 

MBP 2018, Touch Bar, i7 2.6 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 1T SSD, Radeon 560X... very nice!
eGPU : Akitio Node + RX 580 + GTX 980 Ti + Vega64


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chocomonsters
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Wonder if this means Apple will modify UEFI / resource to allow eGPU on Windows 10 without error 12.....

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goalque
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@igerard:

Any recent? Metal technology doesn't rule out Nvidia. Apple products still support the old Kepler, and Nvidia developed new beta drivers for the "Mac community". However, no word about external GPU support.

Look for AMD job listings and you will find more. For example, these positions have been filled this spring and summer:

https://jobs.amd.com/job/Markham-Software-Compiler-and-Driver-Developer-Compute-%28macOS%29-IL-60426/389627000/
https://jobs.amd.com/job/Markham-Sr_-Software-Compiler-Developer-ON/366509900/
https://jobs.amd.com/job/Boxborough-SMTS-Software-Dvpmt-Eng_-OpenGL-MA/384737700/
https://jobs.amd.com/job/Markham-Sr_-Software-Compiler-Developer-ON/366509900/

"enhance the OpenCL driver for macOS"

"The AMD Mac 3D driver group is looking for a Senior Software Engineer to join a successful team delivering OpenGL/Metal driver support for existing and upcoming AMD products."

"Candidates should expect to collaborate closely with other team members and with Apple engineers to maintain and debug and optimize drivers for currently shipping AMD graphics accelerators, help write drivers for next generation AMD graphics accelerators, implement support for new Metal features..."

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torncanvas
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Thanks for the detailed response, that's exactly the info I'm looking for. I'm trying to decide what to do since I currently have a Node + 1080 and want to be switching from Windows to Mac VR dev in the fall if possible, but while still allowing for 1080-level performance by next week when my 2017 MBP arrives.

I'm able to still return both my Node and 1080, so I've been wondering if I should do that or not. I'm not sure what my non-Vega AMD alternative would be, though.

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igerard
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@Goalque

I agree that AMD is hugely involved but how there is Metal Support in the webdriver? 

They use the underlying support found in the Apple driver for the few supported NVidia cards ? Magic ! 🙂

Maybe there is no metal support for the last cards, the Pascal architecture ?

MBP 2018, Touch Bar, i7 2.6 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 1T SSD, Radeon 560X... very nice!
eGPU : Akitio Node + RX 580 + GTX 980 Ti + Vega64


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goalque
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@igerard: I did not fully understand your questions.

The problem is that there is no Metal 2 external graphics support in the Nvidia web drivers at the moment. I do hope that there will be. I don't know how they can implement it.

Metal 2 brought support for VR app development with the RX 580 only, how to detect the eGPU in multiple GPU enviroment, and also for general external graphics development so that, for example, Adobe software can make use of it.

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ikir
 ikir
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Also Pascal drivers are very bad, still freeze and crash especially with FinalCut. I will switch to Radeon soon.

eGPU.it
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my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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igerard
(@igerard)
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@Goalque

Sorry, my english is not always good enough 🙂

My  question is mainly ... how NVIdia webdriver implement Metal support ?

 

@Ikir

Yes I think that I will do the same, I have the time to wait the next Vega serie 🙂

MBP 2018, Touch Bar, i7 2.6 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 1T SSD, Radeon 560X... very nice!
eGPU : Akitio Node + RX 580 + GTX 980 Ti + Vega64


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