Apple Silicon ARM Macs and Thunderbolt 3 / USB4 eGPU
 
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Apple Silicon ARM Macs and Thunderbolt 3 / USB4 eGPU  

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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@itsage do you mind if I edit the main post to add a section about some security features after switching to ARM Macs? There are SIGNIFICANT changes to the boot process, recovery, and pre-boot environment.

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Nothing feels too certain atm imo... I don’t see eGPU support going anywhere in the next 5 years, but also unsure if apple sees them as part of their future. 
I don’t imagine Apple ever making GPUs to match the strongest AMD cards so drivers will be kept on for Mac Pro’s at least. 
if Apple wants to keep any hope of gaming alive they need to do some serious work, either buy or bribe a studio, or have a porting team they lease for free. 

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
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Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

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LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
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Leovinus
(@leovinus)
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It's an interesting future ahead, that's for sure. As for Thunderbolt, I think Apple has embraced the modularity it provides to such an extent that it'll stay. Possibly to a degree where the Thunderbolt name might stay for marketing purposes despite the underlying tech being USB4.

As for their future hardware I think people in general might be a little confused on what it takes to design silicon. To start with, efficiency comes at the cost of performance. It's more or less a law of nature. Which makes Apple's efficiency focused silicon outperforming performance focused silicon all the more impressive. And all the more unlikely to scale without changes. For that reason I'm sure Apple will branch their current silicon off (to one degree or another) in order to tailor desktop class silicon for higher power envelopes. Why? Higher power/performance means redesigning gates, memory, interconnects, etc, etc. Design changes snowball quickly.

For this same reason I remain sceptical that Apple want to adapt their iGPU's for niche HPC clients or high-end gamers to compete with AMD, nVidia, or future Intel. To reach those levels of performance you simply can't reuse the same silicon and expect clean-slate efficiency. It'd be like asking a cheetah to outrun an ostrich. Sure, they're both built to be fast, but one is a sprinter and the other is a long distance runner. The only way they'd pull it off would be to make a "jack of all trades, master of none" design. Which would be the antithesis of what Apple is striving for.

What helps here is that GPU's, to a larger extent than CPU's, need to be compatible with API's in order to foster cross-compatibility. Apple is behooved to keep their own iGPU's somewhat cross compatible anyway for it to be easier to convert games to Metal. So I figure they won't discard AMD any time soon. Why make a more or less clean-slate niche high performance GPU for a very small subset of your user base when you can let AMD do it for you.

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.5 [build link]  

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Watched Daring Fireball’s talk with Craig Federighi - bootcamp is dead. There is no plan to boot 3rd party OSes on Apple Silicon and virtualization is the way to go.

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Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
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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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andygev35
(@andygev35)
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Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: @mac_editor

virtualization is the way to go

If they could allow VM access to hardware (dGPU or eGPU), that wouldn't be all bad...

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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@andygev35, I so HOPE that is the case. PCIe passthrough puh-lease. They did introduce PCIDriverKit in macOS 10.15.4 so I hope something can be done somehow.

 

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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John Keates
(@oneplane)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @mac_editor

Watched Daring Fireball’s talk with Craig Federighi - bootcamp is dead. There is no plan to boot 3rd party OSes on Apple Silicon and virtualization is the way to go.

Sad, but understandable. I imagine at this point they just weigh the current users, possible future users, and their effort and it just isn't worth it. With Hyperkit and a more driver-in-userspace approach they seem to be taking it might even end up being a sane choice not to open up the platform to security and misconfiguration possibilities for the general user.

rMBP 2015 13", AkiTiO Node, RX 570 4GB, 10.14 + Win10, Apple TB2-TB3


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Di Wang
(@di_wang)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

I guess it will be fine eventually although things could be tricky at the beginning of the release of arm based mac due to lack of support. I'd already seen people making Nvidia/AMD GPUs working with arm based CPU, so technically it's possible. I assume AMD card would have the first support from apple since apple is not shifting away from AMD GPUs yet.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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John Keates
(@oneplane)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @di_wang

I guess it will be fine eventually although things could be tricky at the beginning of the release of arm based mac due to lack of support. I'd already seen people making Nvidia/AMD GPUs working with arm based CPU, so technically it's possible. I assume AMD card would have the first support from apple since apple is not shifting away from AMD GPUs yet.

I think it's important to also see the longer term, we'll still have Intel Macs for a long time (say, at least 5 years after the last release, combined with the ~2 years for ARM availability and transition) so let's take 10 years: that's a lot of time for end-user and general computing to change. It has changed more than we remember (macOS, Windows and Linux on the desktop included).

Take a seemingly 'generic' change: all desktops suddenly had to add HiDPI support to their rendering, hardware (GPU has to work harder), dynamic scaling options etc. If we wanted to do that all 10 years ago most users would have a bad time due to crappy displays, weak GPUs and poor software support (well, it worked on Apple machines but that was about it -- even external displays was a hassle).

This post was modified 10 months ago

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mac_editor, I’d take pcie pass through. EGPU bootcamp gamers are such a niche I do fear we may be forgotten. 

 

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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