Blackmagic eGPU on Big Sur much slower than 5500M?
 
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Blackmagic eGPU on Big Sur much slower than 5500M?  

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phoenixinter
(@phoenixinter)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

I have a Macbook Pro (16-inch, 2019) w/ Radeon Pro 5500M. My eGPU setup is dual Blackmagic + Ultrafine 5K (sadly I chose Ultrafine 5K first and then found I'm stuck with Blackmagic...)

Recently I've noticed my eGPU performance actually seems pretty bad even compared to 5500M. So I guess maybe this is some configuration issue or bug?

Here's my Heaven Benchmark result w/ 5500M.

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And here's my Heaven Benchmark result w/ Pro 580.

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I'm also using Apple TB3 Pro cables so I'm guessing it's not an issue related to active / passive cables. Hope someone can give some advice. Smile

 

And here's the comparison between 580 and 5500M under the same Heaven Benchmark settings:

580 has an average FPS of 36.2:

image

5500M has an average FPS of 51.1:

image

Verified H2D bandwidth looks good in CL!ng:

image

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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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@phoenixinter, Unfortunately this is the downside of the Blackmagic eGPU. The Radeon Pro 580 can't be upgraded and the latest Radeon Pro dGPUs are matching its performance. Through Thunderbolt loss, the 5000M series dGPU can perform better than 580 eGPU.

 

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2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 // my 3rd RTX 3080 build [build link]  


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phoenixinter
(@phoenixinter)
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Joined: 3 months ago
 

@itsage thanks for the reply! Do you know right now if there's any alternative hacks that could drive two Ultrafine 5ks w/ non-Blackmagic eGPUs or am I still pretty much stuck to Pro 580? :p

Also later I Googled a bit more and seems there are Reddit posts suggesting that RX580 performs especially bad on macOS (as opposed to Windows) - I might try Bootcamp one day and see how it goes.

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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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@phoenixinter, There are workarounds to power the LG UltraFine 5K display with non-Blackmagic eGPU. They are not always reliable. If you have a pair of UltraFine 5K, I'd recommend getting an AKiTiO Node Duo to host two GC-TITAN-RIDGE Thunderbolt 3 AIC. The eGPU needs to have at least 4 DisplayPort outputs. At this time that limits you to the Radeon Pro lineup. WX 8200 would be an upgrade from Radeon Pro 580. You'd need an eGPU enclosure for it. Then connect a pair of DPs to each GC-TITAN-RIDGE in the Node Duo. The Thunderbolt 3 monitor output from each AIC will power a single UltraFine 5K display.

 

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

 
2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 // my 3rd RTX 3080 build [build link]  


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Matt Russell
(@matt_russell)
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Joined: 2 months ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@phoenixinter, There are workarounds to power the LG UltraFine 5K display with non-Blackmagic eGPU. They are not always reliable. If you have a pair of UltraFine 5K, I'd recommend getting an AKiTiO Node Duo to host two GC-TITAN-RIDGE Thunderbolt 3 AIC. The eGPU needs to have at least 4 DisplayPort outputs. At this time that limits you to the Radeon Pro lineup. WX 8200 would be an upgrade from Radeon Pro 580. You'd need an eGPU enclosure for it. Then connect a pair of DPs to each GC-TITAN-RIDGE in the Node Duo. The Thunderbolt 3 monitor output from each AIC will power a single UltraFine 5K display.

 

Did you end up going ahead with this build?

I too run Dual LG Ultrafine 5K displays. I looked last year at eGPU options and was frustrated by little choice. My 16" rMBP (with upgraded AMD graphics) is very temperemental about running the two screens and I _enjoy_ a lot of reboots, some of the banding issues near the camera, sometimes only 1 screen intialising etc.

I am half torn to go the eGPU route if it will definitely improve things. But if it's going to cost almost as much as a desktop Mac Pro...

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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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@matt_russell, I think you meant to ask @phoenixinter whether he proceed with the suggestion I provided. I don't have the LG UltraFine 5K and won't buy them because of the Thunderbolt 3 limitation.

 

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

 
2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 // my 3rd RTX 3080 build [build link]  


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Matt Russell
(@matt_russell)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

Replied with too much haste but yes, I did.

Unrelated but I do love the UltraFine 5K and the best monitors I won - by far. I've always ran dual high-end setups and using these for the first time was like the first time I made the switch from single display to dual. My PC setup is dual Dell UltraSharp 2716D. Ignoring the resolution difference, the LG's are superior in every aspect.

 

If only there were fewer limitations...

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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corb555
(@corb555)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

There may be some alternatives for the 5k other than the BM eGPU: 

1) Use an eGPU with a Radeon 5700 with USB-C port.  I have a single LG 5k and a BenQ 4k monitor, so slightly different configuration.   I have the LG connected to a Radeon Pro  W5700 which has a USB-C port.  This works, although interestingly I can't tell if its driving the monitor at 4k or 5k.  This also requires a workaround that I need to also have an HDMI monitor connected to the Mac or the LG won't power on.

2) Use a bi-directional USB-C / Displayport cable such as Moshi.  I haven't tested this but theoretically would allow you to use a GPU with Displayport to connect to the LG 5k if the LG 5k supports "DisplayPort signal over USB-C (UFP_D pin assignment E)"

My Radeon 5700 eGPU setup is below:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2019-13-macbook-pro-radeon-pro-w5700-40gbps-tb3-akitio-node-titan-macos-10-15-4-connected-to-usb-c-only-lg-5k-monitor/

2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RP W5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + macOS 10.15.4 // connected to USB-C only LG 5K Monitor [build link]  

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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@corb555, Sonnet has two new eGPUs that can do 5K on the LG UltraFine 5K. The eGPU Breakaway Puck RX 5500 XT and eGPU Breakaway Puck 5700.
https://www.sonnettech.com/product/egpu-breakaway-puck/overview.html

Use SwitchResX in macOS to see what timing is being output to the display. If you are not connecting using Thunderbolt, then the LG UltraFine 5K is limited to 4K because it does not have a single cable 5K mode like the Apple Pro Display XDR and some other displays have.

Use the AGDCDiagnose command on Intel Macs in macOS to view the connection type. A proper Thunderbolt 3 connection will show two DisplayPort 1.2 connections. 

Only the second model LG UltraFine 5K (27MD5KL-B) supports USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode for 4K input. The first model LG UltraFine 5K (27MD5KA-B) only supports Thunderbolt input.

 

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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