eGPU + AMD Radeon Vega Frontier  

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danfalconar
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February 10, 2018 10:38 am  

I have a Sonnet Breakaway 350 and Enermax PSU on order anyway, so once they arrive if it still doesn't work then I guess I have a faulty card... 

In the meantime, really hoping some of the bright folks in this forum might know what's going on or how to hack in a solution. I had another project for the Breakaway so would prefer that it isn't my solution (although it will be better than nothing for sure!

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Jyin
 Jyin
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February 11, 2018 12:25 am  

Well, I had bit of time tonight, so got around installing the 10.13.4 beta (17E150g).

My Sonnet BB550 and Vega FE LC worked without any issues.
I do not see the "Eject Menu" however.

beta small


Update: After the hot-plugging test, the menu showed up.
I turned off the BB while it was attached to the iMac (and driving all 3 external displays), the iMac went on without hitch with internal display only.
When I turned the BB back on, external displays came back on, and now I have "Eject Menu"

menu


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danfalconar
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February 11, 2018 1:55 am  

Thanks @jyin, I'm glad yours is working. I'm now pretty much convinced that this is an Akitio Node and/or PSU problem for me.

I've tried the Vega FE LC + Corsair SF600 in the Akitio Node in the following configurations, the Vega isn't detected in any even though the Akitio Node is detected. The Node works fine with my nVidia 1080TI:

iMac Pro: 10.13.2, 10.13.4 beta 1, 10.13.4 beta 2 (all four TB3 ports)
MacBook Pro TouchBar 13": 10.13.3, 10.13.4 beta 2 (all four TB3 ports)

I'm hoping to put this mystery to bed when my Sonnet Breakaway arrives (hopefully Monday).

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Jyin
 Jyin
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February 11, 2018 2:01 am  

I just though of one thing I never mentioned on my setup that ‘might’ have impact.
I am using the 2m Belkin active tb3 cable. My iMac is on an arm, so short cable wasn’t an option for me.


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danfalconar
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Antoine
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February 11, 2018 8:37 am  

Thanks @Jyin. The main suspect seems to be the Node. I've also a Sonnet Breakaway coming next week and we'll see it.

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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(@dennis_wander)
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February 11, 2018 2:49 pm  

I've also got a Node, running an RX480 on macos build 17e150g and it is no longer working (same symptoms, OS does see the Node but does not 'see' the card'). Seems like the fault is on the Node's side for sure.


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danfalconar
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February 12, 2018 9:44 am  

I've just received my Sonnet Breakaway 350 and Enermax Evolution 650W PSU, I've installed the Vega Frontier Edition (Liquid Cooled)... here's the very initial feedback:

  • I like the size and shape of the BB, but it seems even more cheaply made than the Akitio Node. The poor printing on the front of it gives it a very cheap-looking facade.
  • Dismantling the stock BB and installing the Vega FE and PSU was relatively painless, there's plenty of room for this card and the large radiator/fan combo.
  • The Enermax PSU doesn't have an on/off switch. For me that's a bit of a downside. If it's plugged in then it's juicing. The cables that come with it are functional but don't have the same quality or length as comes with Corsair PSUs. However their shortness does play in their favour in the BB (or any other eGPU I'd guess) because it makes the cable routing much neater.
  • I downgraded my iMac Pro to 10.13.2, so while it was up I connected the BB to see what happens... and behold, MacOS HS detected the BB but didn't detect the Vega FE. I felt some tears coming on, thinking I had wasted even more money (Vega FE LC + Sonnet BB + Enermax = expensive).
  • One small positive here is that the fan on the Vega FE was idle, but the card lit up. This is a stark contrast to the same situation with Akitio Node where the fan is trying to take off... a positive sign nonetheless.
  • I tried logging out/logging in. No change. The tears welling up grew in magnitude.
  • I rebooted. Rebooting took a very, very long time. Like in the order of minutes. Really. Usually it's seconds. The Apple logo and progress bar came up, shot up to about 80% then took minutes to slowly creep up to 100%. Very unusual.
  • Then, without any fanfare, my external screen connected to the GPU showed my login screen. Partial success!
  • The bad news is that my iMac Pro screen is still (even now) showing the black screen with Apple logo and progress bar at 100%.
  • I haven't tried playing with any settings or doing anything to restore the iMac Pro screen. Although frankly I'm not sure what would fix it. I will try sleep/wake.
  • System report is showing both video cards, but reports the Vega FE as Vega RX xxx 16GB (as is well documented on this forum for this version of HS).
  • It's super quiet. I can't hear the fan from the Vega FE (although I haven't tried anything to stress it yet) or from the Enermax PSU.
  • Unigine Heaven benchmark for the Vega FE LC on external screen (while internal iMac Pro screen still black with Apple logo) = 1587 (63 FPS). For comparison the iMac Pro's internal Pro Vega 64 16GB scored 1926 (76.5 FPS).
  • [updated] After upgrading to 10.13.4 beta 2, it all works seemingly great so far. It's detected correctly, both screens (internal iMac and external) come on at boot and the boot happens quickly. Benchmarks: regardless of which screen I set to primary when the Unigene Heaven benchmarks are 1602 / 63.6 FPS when running on the external screen, and 955 / 37.5 FPS when running on the internal iMac screen. Looking at my iStats Menus to see what the GPUs are doing, it doesn't look like the Pro Vega 64 gets a look-in no matter what I'm doing, and using the internal screen causes an even greater bottleneck.

 

Conclusion at this early stage: Akitio Node does not work with Vega FE LC and macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, 10.13.3, 10.13.4 beta 1 and 10.13.4 beta 2. However there is also the remote possibility that the Node is fine, but the same system does not work with the Corsair SF600. I haven't tested that combination and probably won't owing to the servere PITA that it will be to swap out the PSUs. @Antoine, maybe this is one for you to try when you get your new kit? Although @dennis_wander also reported that his MacOS became blind to his RX Vega card in the Node using the latest macOS beta.

[updated] 10.13.4 seems to play pretty nicely with the BB350 + Vega FE LC + Enermax Evolution 650. One question I'd like to resolve is if I can somehow have the internal Vega Pro 64 drive the internal iMac Pro screen and the eGPU with Vega FE drive the external screen. I'm not sure if that's possible.

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Antoine
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February 12, 2018 10:12 am  

Thanks @DANgerous25 for the feedback. My Breakaway 350 is coming tomorrow and I will try the FE LC with the SF600. In the meantime I look forward to hear from you soon how the FE LC behave in 10.13.4 beta 2. Would be even better if anyone could test the Node+Enermax 650W with the FE LC just to exclude another combination.

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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danfalconar
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February 12, 2018 1:24 pm  

Hey @antoine, I have good news. Looks like you will be in business. See my updated post above.

@theitsage: It might be worth updating the various posts/threads that some AMD cards are not working in the Akitio Node in 10.13.2 onwards. (see @dennis_wander post above, plus @antoine and me re the Vega FE LC)

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Antoine
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February 12, 2018 1:56 pm  

@DANgerous25 Thanks for the update. I'll post my findings with my 2017 MPB and the Corsair SF600.
For the moment it seems only the FE LC is not supported by the Node as my RX580 work well in 10.13.2 onwards (till 10.13.4 beta 2).
I don't know if the problem reported by @dennis_wander with the RX480 is due to the TB2 drop in 10.13.4 beta 2.

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Antoine
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February 13, 2018 5:55 pm  

So, Breakaway 350 arrived and swapped original PSU with the Corsair SF600, installed the card (radiator and fan fit nicely) and connected to MBP.
It work straight at login in 10.13.3 and hot-plug after log-off. In 10.13.4 beta 2 works hot-plugged as expected. No black screen on boot in 10.13.3. Performance seems better with 10.13.3
Indeed it seems that Akitio Node do not work with FE LC and also the Breakaway box has sufficient space for cables, tubes, fan/radiator and internal airflow.
Thanks @Jyin and  @DANgerous25 for the information!

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 13, 2018 8:29 pm  

@antoine nice man. I'm glad you got it working. Could you also test if sleep (meaning it shutdowns the GPU LEDS and stops the fan) and eject works for you?

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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danfalconar
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February 14, 2018 6:25 am  

@antoine: Great news buddy! It's a shame about the Node... I wonder if this is an Apple clampdown on this Akitio product to sway people into Sonnet... if so, it worked for me!

@juan_c_yunis:

  • Sleep/wake works, no crashes.
  • It didn't do anything to the LEDs or fan.
  • To be honest the fan is either not running or very idle (and hence quiet) for the most part unless in a demanding graphics application. I reckon that it would return to idle if it was running hot and then the Mac put to sleep. It doesn't completely power off.
  • "ejecting" the GPU causes my system to crash/reboot. Luckily I don't really need this function!

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 14, 2018 6:58 am  

@dangerous25 if you don’t see the GPU led/fan off it means the eGPU is not properly sleeping. In Windows 10, when you put the computer to sleep the eGPU goes to sleep too, meaning no fan/led on. Also, sleeping for Mac works partially, meaning that i can have the Mac sleeping and the eGPU awake but if i leave the Mac long time without waking up it becomes unresponsive and it reboots itself.

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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danfalconar
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February 14, 2018 9:52 am  

Indeed @juan_c_yunis, it doesn't "sleep properly" in the way that you describe using MacOS. It's always on. Only removing the TB3 cable does what you describe.

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 2:13 pm  

@Juan C. Yunis, same behaviour of @DANgerous25 putting in sleep and ejecting the card.
I'll share the HW setup.

bb3
bb2
bb1

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 14, 2018 2:21 pm  

@antoine It looks very nice. I'm gonna mod my Mantiz Venus so I can fit a EK-MLC Phoenix FC for VEGA FE with this EK-MLC Phoenix Radiator Core Module 120mm

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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danfalconar
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February 14, 2018 3:09 pm  

@juan_c_yunis, can I ask what you are looking to get out of that EK-MLC setup? Are you using the air-cooled FE and want to convert to water? Or is this setup quieter or run cooler than the stock FE LC?

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 14, 2018 3:12 pm  

@dangerous25 I have the Air Cooled version, I bought it for $700 from Newegg. I want lower temperatures and less noise. When I'm gaming i need to run the fans at 3500-4000 rpm which is a lot of noise to keep the temps under 80C. My city is very humid and the weather is very hot too, about 32-35C and in summer it reaches 38-39C.

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 3:18 pm  

maybe I should swap up side down the PSU in order to have better airflow circulation (there is no hole in the shell in front of the psu fan)

bb1

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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danfalconar
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February 14, 2018 3:22 pm  

I see @juan_c_yunis. Good luck! Hopefully the fan on the ELK will be quieter than your air-cooled FE. JFYI, the fan on the LC FE isn't particularly quiet under load. When I compare to the onboard fans in the MSI 1080TI, they are barely audible. The LC FE much louder.

Btw. just looking at the ELK sites, I noticed this in the warnings, hopefully the Mantiz gives you a means to handle this as if not I suspect it running at 100% all the time won't achieve your goals of being quieter. Anyway I', sure you know what you're doing. It will make a cool custom build!

If PWM cable is not connected to the motherboard, pump and fans will work at maximum speed. 

Source

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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danfalconar
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February 14, 2018 3:25 pm  

@antoine: if you turn the PSU upside down then you'd be blowing warm/hot air onto your FE, probably not a great idea (although I haven't seen this fan doing anything yet in my testing).

In my setup I've just gone without putting the case on for optimal air flow.

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 14, 2018 3:26 pm  

@dangerous25 Thanks for that warning, however the Mantiz has 2 PWM fan headers, take a look here one of them is very loud the other is quieter.

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 4:54 pm  

@DANgerous25, the SF600 actually acts as the other way around, pulling air from the fan side and pushing outside (where there are switch and power connector). In this way the psu&radiator fans pull the air coming from the grid at the opposite side of the case. Also did not tested the original psu fan that comes with the Breakaway but it was mounted with the fan in front of the card.

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 5:09 pm  

Vega FE driver in macOS 10.13.4 (Build 17E150g) seems worst than the one in 10.13.3 has I'm getting Geekbench CL score of 134526 vs. 166212

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 14, 2018 5:18 pm  

@antoine yes, more stability but worse performance.

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 6:24 pm  

Sonnet has just changed the support for Vega FE LC
http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=524&expand=_b914_b915_b913_b917_b907_a2&action=b914#b914

Before was that
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:4Sy0VAAXgv4J:www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php%3Fcat%3D524%26expand%3D_a2_b930_b931_b925_a13_b913_b932%26action%3Db914+&cd=3&hl=it&ct=clnk&gl=it

Don't know why.

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 14, 2018 6:30 pm  

@antoine it looks like they are going to release a new 650W version of their box.

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 6:33 pm  

ok, it's only politics!

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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Antoine
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February 14, 2018 6:50 pm  

@DANgerous25, I'm getting this in Unigine Heaven. It's any good?

Screen Shot 2018 02 14 at 19.47.41

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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theone29
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February 14, 2018 8:32 pm  

Hi, 
Anyone having an issue with the HDMI port working? I am running a dual 27" 4K via the DP but when I go to plug in my 49" TV via the HDMI port nothing would show up on all 3 displays. I'm running the Vega FE in a Node T3 with a 600 watts PSU. I am on a 15" MBP 2016 running OSX 10.13.4 beta 2.


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Chippy McChipset
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February 14, 2018 11:01 pm  

Juan: correct. But not shown on their product page yet for some reason. Given that people are trying to customize their boxes with 600W+ supplies I think it's pretty cool they're going to offer a version of the Breakaway Box that addresses this for very high-end cards. Will be curious if they make it slightly larger to accommodate liquid coolers as well.


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danfalconar
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February 15, 2018 12:15 am  

@antoine: Score looks good, but looks like you're running in a window and without the highest levels of detail so I can't really compare to mine. Try the settings like mine below and see what you get. Mine was done using the beta 2, which OS version are you using for yours?

(first screen = 10.13.2 with 1080TI) 

benchmark

(second screen = 10.13.3 b2 with Vega FE LC)

Capto Capture 2018 02 16 10 15 30 AM

@theone29: I haven't tried HDMI so I can't help you there my friend.

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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Juan C. Yunis
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February 15, 2018 5:16 pm  

@dangerous25 damm, that is a high score, you are using an iMac Pro right? Xeon processor + Vega 64 + Thunderbolt 3 in beta 2 with a GTX 1080 Ti. My score is:

Monosnap 2018 02 15 12 16 12

2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition


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Antoine
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February 15, 2018 7:48 pm  

this in mine in beta 2

Screen Shot 2018 02 15 at 20.45.26

2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway 350 + SF600) + macOS 10.13.4


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