Catalina not using my Blackmagic eGPU
 

Catalina not using my Blackmagic eGPU  

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Swisher Sweet
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Hi just bought the new MacBook Pro 16. I also own the Blackmagic eGPU Pro and an LG Ultrafine 5K. Before my 16" came in, I used a MacBook Pro 13" running Mojave on the same setup and my eGPU powered the 5k display. However, swapping out the 13" for the 16", I noticed that all of the GPU work is being handled by the MacBook Pro 16 dGPU (5500M). Even when I set an app, like Chrome, to prefer external GPU, it still uses the dGPU.

It's as if Catalina prefers not to use the eGPU for anything. I assumed since it has to go through the eGPU to get to the 5k display that it would use it, but I assume wrong.

I want to use the eGPU for everything while connected to reduce the thermal pressure on my laptop. How can I get Catalina to use my eGPU?

Thank you.

 

 

 2019 12 12 05 48 16

2018 13" MacBook Pro
Razer Core X Chroma (don't but this if you use a Mac)
AMD Radeon VEGA 64
Dell UltraSharp u3415w


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dre
 dre
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https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250714680?answerId=251776941022&page=6

I've posted here too already

I've same issue on 3 machines, background render works, just no playback or share/export rendering (Vega 64 eGpu) to sau i'm pi$$ed is an understatement, I should not have updated to catalina, hindsight and all that 😉 (obv's no choice on 16" MBP)

This post was modified 1 month ago

Vega 64 / Razer CORE X TB3 enclosure
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2018 intel Hades Canyon NUC
2018 Mac Mini
2019 Macbook Pro 16'


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mac_editor
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ikir
 ikir
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Send feedback to Apple, it will be fixed hopefully soon. This is a bug for sure.

How you connected it to display? Thunderbolt? Display port? HDMI?

This post was modified 1 month ago


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my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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Swisher Sweet
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@ikir

Everything is connected via Thunderbolt: Mac -> eGPU -> LG 5k.

This post was modified 1 month ago

2018 13" MacBook Pro
Razer Core X Chroma (don't but this if you use a Mac)
AMD Radeon VEGA 64
Dell UltraSharp u3415w


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(@massimo_franzese)
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I bought and returned a blackmagic GPU last year because it was not being used for real time tasks

I believe that the thunderbolt ports on the enclosure are pass through there is another post from me about the 5K ultrafine

At the end because it was too hardcore for me to do modding like those suggested I decided to get rid of the LG monitor and bought a Benq PD2720U, I wish I had done it sooner there is no comparison between the screen matt finish and the useless glossy of the ultrafine 5K, in addition the fact you can't set the LG to Rec709 or Adobe RGB or sRGB for what matters is a serious limitation that I was not aware until I got this monitor that can deal with this properly

I suggest going on the same path and buying an enclosure that can take a Vega 56 or 64 and then use another screen using HDMI or Displayport and abandon thunderbolt altogether

I also have to add the Radeon 580 cards are ancient and the performance is better than a mini or a macbook without GPU but absolutely rubbish compared to a proper card like the Vega

 

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joevt
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Posted by: @massimo_franzese

I believe that the thunderbolt ports on the enclosure are pass through there is another post from me about the 5K ultrafine

Pass through? I don't think so. Look at "About this Mac" -> "System Report..." -> "Graphics/Displays". The LG UltraFine 5K will be listed under the GPU of the Blackmagic eGPU instead of the GPU of the computer.

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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(@massimo_franzese)
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@joevt

I had a mac mini with a single display connected to the eGPU so there was no chance it was going anywhere else 

I do not recall doing this test but it was definitely not accelerating playback

In the op case he has both an internal gpu a discrete GPU and an eGPU and in this scenario I think the eGPU is being use for background tasks only 

Mac Mini 2018 3.2 Ghz 6 cores
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(@massimo_franzese)
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Posted by: @swisher-sweet

Hi just bought the new MacBook Pro 16. I also own the Blackmagic eGPU Pro and an LG Ultrafine 5K. Before my 16" came in, I used a MacBook Pro 13" running Mojave on the same setup and my eGPU powered the 5k display. However, swapping out the 13" for the 16", I noticed that all of the GPU work is being handled by the MacBook Pro 16 dGPU (5500M). Even when I set an app, like Chrome, to prefer external GPU, it still uses the dGPU.

It's as if Catalina prefers not to use the eGPU for anything. I assumed since it has to go through the eGPU to get to the 5k display that it would use it, but I assume wrong.

I want to use the eGPU for everything while connected to reduce the thermal pressure on my laptop. How can I get Catalina to use my eGPU?

Thank you.

 

 

2019 12 12 05 48 16

Have you completely closed the lid and you are 100% driving the external display from the eGPU?

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joevt
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Posted by: @massimo_franzese

I had a mac mini with a single display connected to the eGPU so there was no chance it was going anywhere else 

I do not recall doing this test but it was definitely not accelerating playback

In the op case he has both an internal gpu a discrete GPU and an eGPU and in this scenario I think the eGPU is being use for background tasks only 

I think we are confusing two things.

First thing, which GPU is controlling the display? The Blackmagic eGPU controls an LG UltraFine 5K when the LG is connected to the Thunderbolt port of the Blackmagic. If the LG is connected to the Mac mini, then the Mac mini's iGPU is controlling the display.

Second thing is acceleration which might not depend on what display is connected to what GPU.

Does any of the following improve the situation?

Given the following three hardware eGPU options:
1) Blackmagic eGPU
2) different eGPU with a similar Vega 56
3) different eGPU with a different GPU

For each of the above 3 eGPU options, connect the display one of 3 different ways:
a) LG connected to eGPU (only works for #1)
b) different display connected to eGPU
c) LG is connected to the Mac mini
d) different display connected to Mac mini

I believe 1 and 2 should behave the same since they are the same GPU.

I believe a and b should behave the same since the LG is just like any other display.
Same for c and d.

Is the Thunderbolt controller in the Blackmagic eGPU so dumb that it can't send DisplayPort to the LG without dropping PCIe bandwidth? Don't know if I've seen that benchmark before. I don't think that would happen but can't be sure because of other dumb stuff with Thunderbolt (can't do USB and PCIe at the same time so some eGPUs add a second Thunderbolt controller - like not being able to rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time).

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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(@massimo_franzese)
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@joevt

The mac mini was connected to the eGPU and the LG connected to the egpu and the playback in final cut was not accelerated in fact it was behaving exactly the same as if the monitor was connected to the mini

i opened a case with Apple and returned the blackmagic 

I then bought a Razer X and Vega 64 only to find out it didn’t have two thunderbolt ports. Recently I have sold the LG and bought a monitor that has display port hdmi and thunderbolt

With the screen connected to the dp or HDMI everything that displays video is accelerated. Programs like handbrake that do encoding are still using the CPU but that never changed

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Benq PD2720U


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joevt
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@massimo_franzese

So you had no acceleration with 1a and 1c.

Acceleration works with 3b.

Did you test any of the 7 other options (out of 10 options total)? It's hard to find the problem when you change multiple variables at once.

This post was modified 1 month ago

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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(@massimo_franzese)
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@joevt

I only had the LG display in both 1 a and 1 c GPU would only accelerate background task never the live display

With razer vega same behaviour of 1 c with LG monitor

with razer x and monitor attached to mini only background tasks accelerated

monitor connected to egpu w display port or hdmi background and live display acceleration 

conclusion avoid lg ultra fine altogether with those two egpu for complete acceleration 

Mac Mini 2018 3.2 Ghz 6 cores
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Benq PD2720U


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joevt
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@massimo_franzese

I've summarized your results (I have no way to confirm these):

Given:
1=Blackmagic+Vega 56
3=Razer+Vega 64

Results:
1a,
1c,
3c,
3d: Background task acceleration but no Live display acceleration.

3b: Background task and live display acceleration.

Comments:
1a should behave like 3b but doesn't.

There's a lot of missing tests:
1a: a screenshot to show that the LG display is controlled by the Blackmagic and not the Mac mini. If it's not controlled by the Blackmagic then you have the 1c situation.
1b: a different display connected to the Blackmagic eGPU to prove that the problem is not with the Blackmagic (or at least to prove that it can work).
1d: probably unnecessary - similar to 3d
2*: probably unnecessary - similar to 3*
3a: this requires a Thunderbolt 3-add in card - if it worked then the problem is the Thunderbolt connection with the Blackmagic. Alternative, if a dual cable display (Dell UP2715K) caused the acceleration problem with the Razer, then it would mean that the problem is with the type dual link SST connection and maybe not with the Thunderbolt connection (LG uses dual link SST through Thunderbolt).

This post was modified 1 month ago

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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dre
 dre
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@massimo_franzese

That didn't matter prior to catalina, neither did you need the monitor connected to the egpu. I would get FULL egpu rendering, no matter what, as long as use ext gpu was turned on in the fcpx app settings, I get nothing now on any of my machines from my VEGA64

I have the exact same issue with my 16"/13" and mac mini. display connected to egpu or not. 

This post was modified 1 month ago

Vega 64 / Razer CORE X TB3 enclosure
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(@massimo_franzese)
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@dre

Is the display connected to the eGPU using displayport or HDMI? I had a read of this

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/metal/gpu_selection_in_macos/understanding_gpu_bandwidth?language=objc

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/metal/gpu_selection_in_macos/understanding_multi-gpu_and_multi-display_setups?language=objc

Basically if you have a display connected to an eGPU and this is the only display active (macbook or mini with display connected to egpu using DP or HDMI) there is full acceleration

If you have a macbook with the lid open this will always use the integrated or discrete internal GPU

In terms of rendering the option in final cut pro is in the preferences. FCPX will always do what you have set there, prior to that it was an application setting in the finder

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dre
 dre
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@massimo_franzese

Those links are not relevant. 

Your statements are wrong. As I have already stated, Mac mini does not have internal display and I’ve tried plugging in 1 x monitor to Mac mini AND/OR THE GPU IT STILL DOES  OT WORK.

THERE ARE NO PREFERENCES IN FINDER ANYMORE. Do you honestly think I (or others) have overlooked the settings in fcpx though?

i appreciate your valiant attempts to make suggestions but this is a HUGE bug in OSX/FCPX and your suggestions are not going to resolve it. 


 

 

Vega 64 / Razer CORE X TB3 enclosure
2016 MacBook Pro 13’
2018 intel Hades Canyon NUC
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2019 Macbook Pro 16'


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(@massimo_franzese)
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@dre

My Final Cut Pro X works perfectly fine in 10.15.2 so there is obviously something wrong in your set up

 

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guide/final-cut-pro/verb8e60ab7/mac

Render/Share GPU

  • Render/Share GPU: Use this pop-up menu to choose which graphics processing unit (GPU) to use in Final Cut Pro when rendering or sharing. This choice affects only rendering and sharing; real-time effects use the default GPU.

If you use the internal display or a display connected to the mac mini directly the behaviour will be as described. If you close the lid of the macbook pro or connect the display to the egpu on the mac mini everything will use the egpu graphic card

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT208544

When you use multiple displays in final cut the secondary displays only shows one of timeline, viewer or browser and generally the internal or discrete gpu are used for the rest

I may not be happy with the way it handles it however except boot options I have no issued with final cut and never did always worked as expected

This post was modified 1 month ago

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dre
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@massimo_franzese

OH! I never thought of that, it must be the same fault with all of our setup's and we must have all been dreaming that it worked perfectly before the update......Thanks for clearing that up for us all. Good to know you've got the only working system though.....Enjoy 🙂

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(@massimo_franzese)
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Posted by: @dre

@massimo_franzese

OH! I never thought of that, it must be the same fault with all of our setup's and we must have all been dreaming that it worked perfectly before the update......Thanks for clearing that up for us all. Good to know you've got the only working system though.....Enjoy 🙂

It works exactly the same before and after the update there have been no changes of any sort except the eGPU set up is now in the preferences not in the finder

Final Cut Pro never accelerated the live tasks on the macbook internal display nor the monitor connected to the mini. I am well sure of that as I have been using this for the last 12 months and I have tickets open with apple because live playback stutters as it uses the internal GPU

With regards to the LG ultrafine and blackmagic pro eGPU it never accelerated live playback either only rendering this is according to apple to normal behaviour that led me to return the blackmagic eGPU as I had stuttering playback due to the interal gpu this has been like that since fall 2018 when I got my mini and never changed

@dre if I understand correctly you have a Vega 64 in a Sonnet Breakway box 550 - > this is not supported see \ https://www.sonnettech.com/support/downloads/manuals/Compatibility_Graphics_Cards.pdf

and

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544

You cannot run a Vega 64 with your enclosure as it does not have enough power. You can run at most a Vega 56 so you are running an unsupported configuration so presumably the eGPU is not able to pick up enough power to run any task in any configuration

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

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rnb2
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@massimo_franzese

The power requirements are higher than necessary for the GPU to allow for charging a laptop on top of powering the GPU. With a Mac mini, of course, this isn't necessary - you don't need a 650 watt power supply to power a Vega 64, so a lack of sufficient power is not part of this issue. Manufacturers don't specify this, possibly to keep things simpler, or because the vast majority of users have laptops, or because they just want to sell the more expensive enclosure. I don't use FCPX enough to have anything useful to contribute - @dre and many others believe that something has changed in realtime performance, you don't agree, but you're not helping your argument in going down this particular path.

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(@massimo_franzese)
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@rnb2

I use final cut pro X daily since I migrated to it and I can ensure you nothing has changed except the flag from finder that now is in the FCPX preferences. There is another post here   https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/final-cut-pro-finally-gets-new-metal-engine-and-gpu-selection/ that describes what 10.4.7 did and it remains the same in 10.4.8 it has been the same from Mojave to Catalina. 

If you run a configuration that is not supported and in this case neither the enclosure manufacturer nor Apple support that specific combination you are on your own.

With regards to the original op post this is a different situation as it has a mac with an integrated gpu one with a discrete gpu and an eGPU that is somehow apple official one so it should work as expected however as I said I ran into issues when I bought it and after few hours with apple final cut pro group the conclusion was that with the LG ultrafine there was no acceleration of live tasks even with the screen connected to the eGPU which was the reason why I returned it days after purchase. I have no idea why it did not work (and this was mojave in November 2018) but it didn't.

What has changed with Catalina is that now I can't boot with the eGPU on I need to reset the NVRAM every time or reboot with the eGPU off and then switch it. This is unrelated to FCPX that behaved as expected all along

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dre
 dre
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@massimo_franzese

You’re not helping, I’m not running a 550w power supply, STOP trying to diagnose a non existent issue with ALL of my (separate) machines and just get on and enjoy your working system. You don’t have the answer or a solution. 

This is a bug, I’m not the only user to experience this. As I have repeatedly stated, the last version of OS X and fcpx worked. I was the idiot who didn’t check before updating. 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

Vega 64 / Razer CORE X TB3 enclosure
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(@massimo_franzese)
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@dre

What is your configuration exactly then? On another post here you say you have a sonnet 550 now you say you don't there is no signature of your set up and this thread was not about final cut pro

I go an enjoy my working system which is the same software of your non working system hence the issue must be somewhere else...have fun

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mac_editor
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@massimo_franzese @dre

Okay, to address the Final Cut issue first: The newer versions of Final Cut Pro have inferior eGPU utilization vs. older versions. As I am in the middle of moving, I don’t have access to my eGPU(s). I will have some concrete tests out next month (link in signature/currently private) but from what I’ve seen so far the older versions are better for eGPUs. The lack of performance seems to be due to a massive underutilization of eGPU in many scenarios - this is also codec dependent, and things have changed between 10.4.7 and 10.4.8 as well. Also worth noting that on older versions of FCP, the eGPU was also never utilized to full capacity, but more so than the Metal engine. In my tests, I will be comparing across Mojave vs. Catalina as well, to eliminate the OS variable (sneak peak: the issue is with mostly FCP and not OS, though Mojave is still faster). Here’s a set of results worth seeing: https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/testing-project2-is-external-gpu-faster-than-internal-gpu-while-exporting-video-in-fcp-x/#post-70645

Regarding this thread: As I don’t use Chrome and can’t test now anyway, I can’t say what exactly the problem is with OP. The inferred assumption of this post is that with the 13” (and Catalina?) Chrome was working fine(?). All I can say is that while testing games on Catalina using eGPU on internal monitor, setting the preference box worked as expected. In my experience, such issues typically lie with how apps handle GPUs, and there are situations (according to Apple’s own support document) where apps can ignore the prefer eGPU checkbox (and may also govern it’s presence). 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
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(@massimo_franzese)
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Posted by: @mac_editor

@massimo_franzese @dre

Okay, to address the Final Cut issue first: The newer versions of Final Cut Pro have inferior eGPU utilization vs. older versions. As I am in the middle of moving, I don’t have access to my eGPU(s). I will have some concrete tests out next month (link in signature/currently private) but from what I’ve seen so far the older versions are better for eGPUs. The lack of performance seems to be due to a massive underutilization of eGPU in many scenarios - this is also codec dependent, and things have changed between 10.4.7 and 10.4.8 as well. Also worth noting that on older versions of FCP, the eGPU was also never utilized to full capacity, but more so than the Metal engine. In my tests, I will be comparing across Mojave vs. Catalina as well, to eliminate the OS variable (sneak peak: the issue is with mostly FCP and not OS, though Mojave is still faster). Here’s a set of results worth seeing: https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/testing-project2-is-external-gpu-faster-than-internal-gpu-while-exporting-video-in-fcp-x/#post-70645

Regarding this thread: As I don’t use Chrome and can’t test now anyway, I can’t say what exactly the problem is with OP. The inferred assumption of this post is that with the 13” (and Catalina?) Chrome was working fine(?). All I can say is that while testing games on Catalina using eGPU on internal monitor, setting the preference box worked as expected. In my experience, such issues typically lie with how apps handle GPUs, and there are situations (according to Apple’s own support document) where apps can ignore the prefer eGPU checkbox (and may also govern it’s presence). 

I read that testing thread with great interest and posted a reply. I think you need to appreciate that a final cut pro user is mostly applying a certain workflow to get the best quality results for the job and not just doing some time measurements or stress test. 

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mac_editor
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@massimo_franzese

I never implied I don't appreciate user's FCP workflows (I use it) and simply wanted to point out objective differences in performance. The goal of testing is to bring these differences to light so that people considering eGPUs can get a rough idea as to how effectively eGPU is being used in FCP. People obviously decide on their own whether such things will affect their workflow. I am testing because I am curious. If FCP updates are reducing value of eGPUs/not using them effectively - then I care and in the least, it needs to be highlighted and a bug report filed (both my primary goals of testing).

purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
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mac_editor
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Posted by: @massimo_franzese

Final Cut Pro never accelerated the live tasks on the macbook internal display nor the monitor connected to the mini. I am well sure of that as I have been using this for the last 12 months and I have tickets open with apple because live playback stutters as it uses the internal GPU

Nope. On pre-Metal FCP, setting the Prefer eGPU checkbox will actually use the eGPU to render the view contents, but copy this back to the framebuffer of the GPU connected to the display (for internal monitors, iGPU/dGPU). The reason for performance issues is thunderbolt latency which would affect high resolution video playback. A good sign of eGPU being used for rendering content and it being displayed on a different GPU's monitor is activity on both GPUs as shown: https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/potentially-accelerate-all-applications-on-egpu-macos-10-13-4/#post-38951

The activity on the internal GPU is due to it displaying the contents of its framebuffer.

That being said, I have yet to test the eGPU with internal monitor on newer versions of FCP.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + RX 5700 XT (Mantiz Venus)

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


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Swisher Sweet
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Seems like my question has been answered here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250714680?answerId=251853647022#251853647022

According to this post one could conclude that if you are using the LG Ultrafine Display only (lid closed on the beautiful 16" screen) the eGPU works. If you open the lid, then the dGPU takes over rendering for all displays, no longer leveraging the eGPU.

Sadness.

 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

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dre
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Posted by: @swisher-sweet

Seems like my question has been answered here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250714680?answerId=251853647022#251853647022

According to this post one could conclude that if you are using the LG Ultrafine Display only (lid closed on the beautiful 16" screen) the eGPU works. If you open the lid, then the dGPU takes over rendering for all displays, no longer leveraging the eGPU.

Sadness.

 

not true as the mac mini doesn't have a monitor to close the lid on and the egpu doesn't work on either my 16/13 or mini after the updates I've posted on that thread too......

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@mac_editor

My playback issues were with Panasonic AVC Ultra files at 400 mbps those did not go through the eGPU as I had a thunderbolt monitor connected to the mini and stutter the internal GPU. My problem was that I do the colour correction after I have already built my timeline so the background rendering of the GPU was no use to me as at cutting stage there are no effect and the internal GPU was not able to digest the AVC intra files (that are heavier than prores). The external GPU was never used for playback in any instance in the viewer but only for rendering tasks

To fix my issue I needed something to drive the display which I have accomplished connecting a display directly to the eGPU recently. Once my timeline is completed I move to grading at that stage the eGPU would render the whole lot in ProRes 422 at the end of this process the playback would work even in the previous case (display connected to the mini) because prores 422 is not difficult to play the bandwidth is around 480 mbps no problems there.

In terms of transferring data to the eGPU for processing and then transfer back to the internal GPU for display that is a deprecated development practice in the metal documentation so for sure it will not happen. At the end you need to look at the total performance not to keep a GPU busy even if you can accomplish better results with the on board one. But this is another topic I have posted on the testing thread and besides I am not surprised at all by the outcomes. I would not get a GPU if I had an iMac or a 16" MBP I would spend money to get a good graphic card on board and avoid extra boxes as much as possible however that is not my case as I have a mini and a 13" mbp that suits me just fine

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mac_editor
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@swisher-sweet

It’s a little bit more complex than that. In a situation where you have an internal display active along with an external one that is connected to the eGPU, which display is the main display generally affects which GPU an app will use (before all the GPU preferences shenanigans) by virtue of the application being launched on the display. The GPU preferences were introduced to segregate rendering and display of content (done via framebuffer copy as explained above) to take advantage of eGPU performance - for instance, games will see a healthy increase even with latency limitations over thunderbolt up to some resolutions. I actually have information directly from Apple themselves regarding eGPU preferences which they shared with me via the developer portal regarding eGPU preferences. I had enquired about a single global eGPU preference setting and they said the following:

Engineering has provided the following feedback regarding this issue: A global setting was considered and rejected because most apps (think basic AppKit apps) get no benefit from being on the eGPU but gain some fragility since they may have to restart when the eGPU is ejected and might crash if it is hot-unplugged. Also, some apps/workloads actually perform worse on an eGPU because of the decreased memory bandwidth between the CPU & GPU.

Which implies that if we set a preference for eGPU, then it is indeed being used to render content, just displayed on the iGPU. If the eGPU was not involved, apps would not have to be relaunched. 

purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
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Posted by: @massimo_franzese

To fix my issue I needed something to drive the display which I have accomplished connecting a display directly to the eGPU recently.

Yes, it has been clear that for timeline performance, having a more powerful GPU + display is generally better. However, a much more powerful eGPU + internal display can also be better. As shown above, it was great to have this option (for my use case). In my example, the GT750M is far inferior to a 1070, so a 1080p timeline with lots of effects can play back faster on the 1070 even with framebuffer copy to 750M vs. just on 750M.

Posted by: @massimo_franzese

In terms of transferring data to the eGPU for processing and then transfer back to the internal GPU for display that is a deprecated development practice in the metal documentation so for sure it will not happen.

Link? As far as I remember, using any configuration where there is copy is not recommended and has always been the case - there is nothing about it being deprecated: https://developer.apple.com/documentation/metal/gpu_selection_in_macos/understanding_gpu_bandwidth

Ultimately Apple created the Prefer eGPU feature to force eGPU acceleration and this was clearly because the additional raw horsepower can up to a point completely negate any memory copy disadvantages - and this holds true for many games on macOS - even the recent Metal titles - this is because one of the primary goals of Metal is also to reduce CPU time and offload more tasks to GPU. If there was never any scope for such a scenario, Apple being Apple would never have created such an option. In fact, even Microsoft has this option with its Hybrid Graphics settings. Clearly there are benefits. 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
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Swisher Sweet
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@mac_editor

Thanks for the info. This makes sense.

So I guess I really don't need the BlackMagic eGPU Pro (Vega 56) anymore since it will rarely get used in macOS if at all. I had originally bought it for my 13" MBP, but with the 16" the 5500M is probably just as fast or faster in some situations. I hoped it could help relieve some thermal pressure from my 16" MBP by offloading some app rendering (Chrome, Parallels VMs, and simply driving massive number of pixels on the 5K Ulrafine Display) to the eGPU.

But from what I am gathering is, in Catalina, I won't be able to offload rendering (for at least these apps) to my eGPU. Is my understanding correct?

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

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mac_editor
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@swisher-sweet

The eGPU will drive content that is displayed to any display connected to it. However, in their support document: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544

They say this about preferring eGPU:

You won't see this option if an eGPU isn't connected, if your Mac isn't running macOS Mojave, or if the app self-manages its GPU selection. Some apps directly choose which graphics processors are used and will ignore the Prefer External GPU checkbox.

Which means that if Chrome and Parallels self-manage their GPU selection, you will have to check settings in those apps. I think it would be a good idea to investigate this further before making a decision. I would check some other threads on here about Chrome not using the eGPU as I believe this has happened in the past. As I don’t have an eGPU at the moment, I can’t test to corroborate results and draw conclusions so can’t make a suggestion - so I can only say vague things like I’m not sure etc. Sorry for being unable to help.

Edit: Parallels has a support document - https://kb.parallels.com/124266

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + RX 5700 XT (Mantiz Venus)

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
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(@massimo_franzese)
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Posted by: @swisher-sweet

Seems like my question has been answered here:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250714680?answerId=251853647022#251853647022

According to this post one could conclude that if you are using the LG Ultrafine Display only (lid closed on the beautiful 16" screen) the eGPU works. If you open the lid, then the dGPU takes over rendering for all displays, no longer leveraging the eGPU.

Sadness.

 

I am interceptor121 on Apple FCPX forum what I said is not that you have to close the lid but that the secondary monitor can only play one of viewer, timeline and browser and if this monitor is connected to the eGPU the discrete GPU will control the rest

In the case of browsing with chrome there is no management of the app of multiple displays so to have the egpu controlling the external monitor and your internal display is not possible therefore the discrete gpu will control everything. If you want to use the external display with the egpu you need to close the lid.

To be frank with the firepower of the mbp 16 it makes more sense to connect all monitors to the computer and leave the eGPU to background tasks in this way you can at least color match the displays

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