State of External GPU in macOS - High Sierra 10.13.4 Update
That’s my bad, I thought @itsage confirmed it – apologies… it seems that is not the case as you have correctly pointed out.
Sapphire has released new rx-550 which is based on Polaris 21 instead of Polaris 20 “Lexa”, which is basically RX 560.
Could that be source of confusion?
Same problem here with RX560 2GB version, but with Akitio Node (not Lite) and on MBP 13″ early 2015, connected through Apple’s TB2 to TB3 dongle & TB 2 cable. macOS can recognize the card and it work in benchmarks but the external display which I hooked up via the eGPU’s output didn’t show anything.
@itsage, I just got the new update, I have 2017 MBP 15″ so I’m good with TB3 (thanks for reporting about TB2), do you see any improvement or change so far?
My issues are still happening, can’t sleep and can’t eject GPU using Eject GPU menu. They added the name of the card in the eject menu, so now it says for me “Eject AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition”
I saw a little bit of improvement for geekbench 4 using Metal. OpenCL still performs slow.
2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition
hello, bad news!
this is the end of support thunderbolt 1 and 2??
all the mac mini are cut off..
@john_petrucci It’s not looking good for Thunderbolt 1 & 2 Macs. My guess is there are too many variables to ensure a smooth launch so keeping eGPU functionality to only Thunderbolt 3 Macs will take the pressure off tech support.
@juan_c_yunis The RX 580 works better during ejection in my experience. The Vega cards still need more work.
@itsage it could be unintentional too. Regardless of how we look at it, a computer should not crash on boot if any device is plugged in to any port. If Apple is indeed removing support completely, that should not happen. Only the next builds will tell haha.
Unfortunately, the handwriting has been on the wall with this change. I don’t believe it was accidental.
Apple has a strong business interest (and arguably a stability interest) in not supporting Macs with these older Thunderbolt ports. The more they do this the fewer people will upgrade their Macs, opting instead to spend money on GPUs (for which Apple gets no cut) and a $50 adapter (which probably nets them about $35 in profit).
There’s every reason to think this is an intentional design limitation. It’s a bummer for a lot of people (myself included as I have a TB2 Mac in addition to TB3 Mac), but also not unexpected or hard to understand when you look at it from a business perspective.
Also why not remove the support (TB1 and TB2) already at the first release of High Sierra, why remove it at the end of the final support of Egpu.
@chippy-mcchipset You make fair points, no doubt. It is the traditional Apple way to drop support on older devices. The reasoning behind my thinking that this is unintentional is as follows:
- If Apple wanted to disable older TB devices, it is not complicated to accomplish – a simple override/checks for the Thunderbolt interface would do it. There should not be a kernel panic regardless of the device plugged in to the any Mac. If it is completely disabled, then such panics would not occur.
- Logs clearly show that attempts to mount the GPU and load AMD drivers and its Framebuffer were made – again not a sign of purposefully disabling support.
- 10.13.4 B1 actually improved support on older TB Macs in a sense, and fixed a ton of issues relating to graphics management (my Mac is a prime example).
Point is – it is too unrefined or roundabout way of “disabling” stuff. That’s not how it should be done. This is of course only a beta, and perhaps they will works things out and properly disable eGPUs on TB2 or older – or fix it (lol).
Aaagghh, I just got a Mac Mini to use Thunderbolt 2, I couldn’t wait for a New Mac Mini, please let it be an oversight and they will put it back in!
“Logs clearly show that attempts to mount the GPU and load AMD drivers and its Framebuffer were made – again not a sign of purposefully disabling support.”
@mac_editor: True, hot plugging initiates accelerator successfully. However, then immediately writes “IS BEING DETACHED”.
Keep in mind that beta is beta. Let’s discuss more when the public build is available.
This is reported in the Release-Notes-DevKit! “PDF APPLE”
“The External Graphics Development Kit is designed for testing high-performance
Metal and VR applications on Mac computers running macOS High Sierra beta. It
can be connected to any Thunderbolt 3 enabled Mac with the included cable, such
as MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3 and iMac with Thunderbolt 3. The kit may
work with Thunderbolt 2-enabled Mac computers via a Thunderbolt 2 to
Thunderbolt 3 adapter, but this is an unsupported configuration.“
I understand that in the future it will be removed.
Very bad news!
It is very bad news, I suppose they want us to upgrade to Thunderbolt 3 Macs!
Really frustrating how support for some tech advances falls off so quickly. Long live usb 2.0!
eGPU is one of the very few selling features of Thunderbolt. Apple has committed to Thunderbolt since 2011. So have a lot of Mac users in the past 6 years. If macOS external GPU feature was to exclude Thunderbolt 1 & 2 Macs it would leave a very bad taste in loyal customers’ mouths.
It’s beta software, there’s nothing anywhere saying it’s depreciated/unsupported (I’ve read the release notes). I’m putting it down to “It’s beta software, things are broken”.
I don’t buy the “business reasons” either. Potential backlash from angry customers vs. selling a few upgrades? If they wanted to sell more upgrades they’d find a reason to drop support for more old macs rather than supporting stuff sold 8 years ago. There are a lot more 8 year old macs than TB1/2 Macs with an eGPU.
Guys, please keep in mind that supporting eGPU in any OS requires a lot of effort. It is the effort of implementing such support, and ongoing cost of supporting ALL the platforms a company declares as supported. We all expect companies to continue to innovate, but all companies have limited resources (even rich ones like Apple). If they to support everything under the moon, that will definitely slow down progress at best and in some cases is not even possible.
If you look at both graphics vendors, at some point the remove older GPUs from the current drivers and provide only legacy drivers (fairly static)
With that said, you guys can certainly appreciate that AMD XConnect (Windows 10 only) will work on TBT1/TBT2 even though it is not officially supported (assuming that you can get Bootcamp to work) 🙂
I understand people’s thinking in the sense of if we asked ourselves, “when would be the purely logical time to disable TB and TB2 host support,” the answer would be, “in the 10.13.0 public launch release of High Sierra.” However the cycles are not synchronized here, the “1.0” version of Apple’s eGPU support hasn’t happened yet. I think of eGPU as being a “product within a product,” like APFS was when it was first introduced. Looking at it that way, disabling this feature now isn’t any more or less logical than any other time prior to official release.
itsage: IMO the speed of Thunderbolt storage devices and the ability to carry video signals natively at the same time (vs. other connector types) is easily the #1 selling point and the main “purpose” of TB existing in general. eGPU is certainly an important one going forward but Apple has never had a problem doing stuff that makes customers angry. They do it all the time and without apology, because they can. If we were talking about an iPhone feature I would say you have more of a point, since that’s where most of the money flows from.
But whether you’re talking about Final Cut Pro, the trashcan Mac, the Finder, or any number of other things, the phrase “Apple knows best,” sticks around for a reason. When it comes to niche stuff like this, they simply don’t care if a bunch of people get ticked off. The reason the replacement for the 2013 Mac Pro might not show up until 2019 (!!) exemplifies that perfectly. And we STILL don’t know that it will actually be what all those angry people wanted from the 2013 model; would anyone be that surprised if Apple built a solution that still limited people’s hardware choices somewhat? 🙂
To bring this back around to my original point, it’s that 2013 Mac Pro that probably drives some of this decision to support (or not) TB2 Macs… because if they give trashcans users eGPU, they take away the #1 incentive to buy the next Mac Pro. They effectively solve the biggest problem for customers and at a much lower cost. And they definitely wouldn’t disable TB2 on only one Mac, but leave it active for all the others (talk about creating a backlash). So at best I think they might allow TB2 support for 1 release cycle and then take it away when the new Mac Pro arrives (IOW offer it as an interim solution).
I should be clear that I have no inside info, this is just one man’s opinion. And it may happen that next beta build some people with TB2 Macs might be able to use it again, but eventually I think this is going to be a wholly TB3 solution. If I’m proven wrong by Apple, that would be great news.
Public beta 2 and updated Developer Beta 2 is out. TB2 or older users on eGPU should avoid it. No changes with this new build on those configurations.
updated on beta 2 and Vega FE Liquid still not recognised.
late-2013 15" MacBook Pro GT750M + RX580@16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.12.6
2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.3
2017 15" MBP 3.1 MHz RP560 + AMD Vega FE LC@32Gbps-TB3 (Breakaway/SF600) + macOS 10.13.3
Reporting in here, TB2 enclosure via TB3 adapter on a 2016 MBP still works great, as far as hot-plugging is concerned.
Unchanged from beta 1 where attempting to “properly” eject the eGPU causes a kernel panic. I’ve had more luck simply closing apps that are known to be running on the eGPU and then hot-unplugging the thing.
Annoyingly, plugging the eGPU to the laptop with its lid already closed and asleep causes the internal display to initialize as well. It requires opening the lid and then closing it again to disable the internal display.
Filed bug reports for all of these already as well.
2016 15" MacBook Pro RP460 + RX Vega64 @16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13.2
VG248QE 1080p 144hz // Logitech G602 / SteelSeries QcK+ & Drevo Gramr TKL, Blues // Scarlett 2i4 + JBL Linear Spatial Reference 305's
There’s an update to 10.13.4 Beta 2 yesterday. The first one on Feb 6th has build number 17E150f. The one came out yesterday is 17E150g. Anyone has time to try it out with a non-TB3 Mac and report back?
@p-mac Thank you for letting us know TB2 enclosure «» TB3 Mac still works. The compatibility issue in this build then lies with the non-TB3 Macs.
Good find with the TB2 enclosure. In my case I’m experiencing the same issues with this update, can’t sleep and can’t eject.
2017 MBP 15″ RP560 + Mantiz Venus + AMD Radeon Pro VEGA Frontier Edition
Can’t say much about the changes from 17E150f to 17E150g – could be a critical non-eGPU related fix or whatnot. Haven’t digged too deep though honestly..
It seems some improvements for egpu. Version of Apple Graphics Device Control has been changed.
Does 10.13.4 update also make TB2 Macs not compatible with nVidia cards using webdrivers?
MBP 15' mid 2015
I went and bought an LG 5k screen and love it but recently found out how limiting it is… Started editing stuff in 4k and my laptop (15″ 2017 MacBook Pro) is just not cutting it anymore. I have a nice Ryzen PC I was intending to turn into a hackintosh and have done some tests in Windows where it just chews through 4k but it’s killing me that there is no way to connect it to this monitor (yet?). My interim solution was to get an eGPU for the MacBook Pro but it seems like the Thunderbolt 3 5k screen involves compromise there too. Have you found having the 580 GPU + the LG screen is worth it? Does it create a giant bottleneck like I think it would?
Kernel panic with TB2/TB3 adapter-attached RX580 using 17E150g on MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014.1, GT750M). Did not really work on 10.13.4.1 either, but at least not screen of death.
As @sky11 pointed out – no problems at all with Windows 10 in Bootcamp (running on an external SSD).
Come on, Apple. Think different for once.
Jyin: can you tell me if the cooler on the FE LC edition is 120mm? Can’t find a spec on that anywhere.
Hello, is updatet Beta 2 (17E150g) tested with TB2 Models ? I will try a Mac Mini 2014 and wait for HP Omen Box.