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Could eGPU performance be improved with software updates, or are cards already r...
 

Could eGPU performance be improved with software updates, or are cards already running at full speed?  

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volinator
(@volinator)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I'm tossing up building a Hackintosh (cheaper, much faster, but tied to a desktop and potentially broken by Apple's OS updates) with buying a new Macbook Pro and an eGPU. I want to run something fast, like a GTX 1080TI, on an ultrawide external display. I've noticed from benchmarks on this site that eGPU performance, in terms of FPS in games / game benchmarks, seems to be 15% - 20% slower (is that right?) versus when the card is installed in a desktop.

So my question is whether there's any chance that eGPU performance on OSX could get better with software or hardware updates. Is it possible that official support on High Sierra would help?

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


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rushvora
(@rushvora)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: volinator

I'm tossing up building a Hackintosh (cheaper, much faster, but tied to a desktop and potentially broken by Apple's OS updates) with buying a new Macbook Pro and an eGPU. I want to run something fast, like a GTX 1080TI, on an ultrawide external display. I've noticed from benchmarks on this site that eGPU performance, in terms of FPS in games / game benchmarks, seems to be 15% - 20% slower (is that right?) versus when the card is installed in a desktop.

So my question is whether there's any chance that eGPU performance on OSX could get better with software or hardware updates. Is it possible that official support on High Sierra would help?

I think at higher resolutions the difference in performance is less. Also, I don't think the eGPU performance will improve with software updates. And hardware updates would mean Thunderbolt 4, which obviously won't be backward compatible.

Official support on High Sierra hasn't improved performance AFAIK, it has just made it easier to use eGPUs, without running scripts. The improvements to Metal API which can result in better GPU performance is separate from eGPU performance, as Metal API improvements would affect all GPUs connected in any manner.

MBP + eGPU is definitely WAY more expensive than Hackintosh (I had one till end 2016) but you don't have to deal with the hassle of two machines in case you get a cheaper laptop for mobility, and you don't have to deal with worrying about whether OS X will work or not when the next update comes! Although I have to say, hackintoshes deal with incremental updates pretty well nowadays, just need to worry about the major OS updates.

late-2016 15" MacBook Pro RP455 + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // external SSD


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volinator
(@volinator)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

What caused you to stop using a Hackintosh? I have found that, while there's a wealth of information, even as a software engineer who's built computers I'm confused about exactly what combination of components and hacks gets things to work. I like to imagine that, with the failure of the Mac Pro, Apple is turning a blind (or maybe even quietly favourable) eye on the Hackintosh community, because they know that there are serious power users who depend on it, but I fear that this could change any time.

Also, the speed of the newest 15" Macbook Pros has me thinking that I might not need a Hackintosh at all - they seem to benchmark as very fast, and I'm not doing video editing, which seems like the really heavy use case.

Anyway, back to eGPUs - a quick Google turns up scant information about Thunderbolt 4 (it's not announced, and seems to be barely rumoured) so presumably Thunderbolt 3 won't be superceded for a few years at least. Since I also want to game on the eGPU I hope that High Sierra brings better Bootcamp compatibility - that seems like a lottery with Sierra. If I couldn't get the eGPU to Just Work in Windows I probably wouldn't buy one in the first place. Surely Apple would see that people who fork out a tonne of money for the eGPU enclosure won't be okay with second-rate AMD cards and second-rate OSX gaming?

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


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rushvora
(@rushvora)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I needed mobility. I had built an mITX Hackintosh, but when I traveled (for a month), I never ended up utilising it like I intended/planned to. So I decided to sell it and get a MBP. At that time, I didn't even plan to get an eGPU, it just worked out that way, and I'm quite happy.

eGPU in Bootcamp is tricky, but doable. And once you get it working, it won't crap out on you. It's worth the trouble IMO, if you want to game. Yes, the performance is lesser compared to a desktop/Hackintosh, but that's to be expected. Worthwhile trade off for me.

late-2016 15" MacBook Pro RP455 + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // external SSD


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: volinator

I'm tossing up building a Hackintosh (cheaper, much faster, but tied to a desktop and potentially broken by Apple's OS updates) with buying a new Macbook Pro and an eGPU. I want to run something fast, like a GTX 1080TI, on an ultrawide external display. I've noticed from benchmarks on this site that eGPU performance, in terms of FPS in games / game benchmarks, seems to be 15% - 20% slower (is that right?) versus when the card is installed in a desktop.

So my question is whether there's any chance that eGPU performance on OSX could get better with software or hardware updates. Is it possible that official support on High Sierra would help?

They are better every release imho and metal 2 will give a big boost


MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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volinator
(@volinator)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

But Metal 2 is an API change, right? So that's great if apps are written to actually use it, but it's not just going to improve things across the board like (for example) a firmware or OS-level update might?

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


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I've built a Hackintosh before, as an HTPC, never put a PC together before so had to learn as I went, had to watch youtube videos to learn that you put the thermal paste on the top of the CPU not the bottom! Found it pretty easy in the end and there is a great community that helps out. About to get an eGPU going too, will let you know which turns out to be more trouble!

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


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