State of External GPU in macOS - High Sierra 10.13.4 Update  

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Tico
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March 16, 2018 3:50 pm  

There was a developer beta 2 that worked until it was refreshed within a day or 2. I forget what the release # was. It was installed over my working first beta . The second beta 2 install crashed my machine as soon as it was plugged in. The original beta 2 may be a better one to use for a comparison. I don't have a copy.

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artik
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March 16, 2018 3:56 pm  

AFAIK the latest TB2 working beta was 10.13.4 Beta (17E139j).

Mac Pro 2013, 10 core, Sonnet eGFX 550, Vega 64


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ikir
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March 19, 2018 11:08 pm  

Sixth beta is out, it includes full change log, probably the release is very near

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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theitsage
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March 19, 2018 11:10 pm  

Apple event on March 27th will likely be when the final release of 10.13.4 comes out.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

60 external GPU build guides


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(@kelvin_tan)
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March 20, 2018 6:34 am  

After upgrading to Beta 6, my laptop screen is flickering very badly. Dell 2713H connected to egpu works fine. Anybody else have the same issue?

Up till Beta 5, allowing my mac to sleep will randomly cause crashes and restarts, resulting in a restarted mac when I try to wake it up. Not too sure about Beta 6.


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theitsage
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March 20, 2018 2:14 pm  

MacGeneration reported a mishap in the French App Store. Instead of releasing Beta 6 of 10.13.4 through the beta catalog, it was shown as final release with detailed information of 10.13.4 update. We can see eGPU listed as one of the official features. Today is the first day of spring in the US. Apple will hold a media event on March 27th so the timing aligns perfectly.

macgpic 10 13 4 change log french app store

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

60 external GPU build guides


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Chippy McChipset
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March 20, 2018 7:30 pm  

Makes sense. We're in the home stretch for AMD cards at least. Probably we'll have to wait for WWDC announcement of NVIDIA support, coming with 10.14. We hope. Maybe starting as beta this summer if we're lucky, officially released next spring, same pattern as AMD.


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ikir
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March 20, 2018 11:29 pm  

@theitsage
yes I have seen Italian changelog and reported it on eGPU.it too the second Apple released it, eGPU support is clearly a feature of 10.13.4

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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theitsage
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March 21, 2018 1:01 pm  

Another reminder to those with Thudnerbolt 1 & Thunderbolt 2 Mac to download macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 from the App Store and create an installer for archiving purpose. In a week time, you may not be able to do so very easily. Plan to stay on 10.13.3 until a workaround is found.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

60 external GPU build guides


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dream3
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March 21, 2018 2:11 pm  

Folks, with 10.13.3, is there any advantages of having an egpu with an AMD card vs nvidia?
I have a TB2 mac and wont be updating to 10.13.4 given the current status.


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Chippy McChipset
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March 21, 2018 3:37 pm  

Depends on the software you're using as to whether there's a benefit of AMD over NVIDIA or vice-versa. It's important to note however that Apple is very unlikely to include NVIDIA support in this first official version with eGPU support. That will probably show up several months down the line.


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clarketus
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March 21, 2018 4:22 pm  

Regarding Thunderbolt 1 & 2 support, the current Mac Pro, the current Mac Mini and the Retina Macbook Pro that Apple is still selling all have Thunderbolt 2 ports. 

My guess is that the Apple developers working on eGPU support are trying to hit a launch milestone for a stable release, and explicitly excluding Thunderbolt 1 & 2 will allow them to hit this deadline for Thunderbolt 3. Given that Thunderbolt 1 & 2 has worked in the past, and that they are still selling Thunderbolt 2 devices, it would make sense that they bring back support for this when they have the time to work on it.

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Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + RX580@10Gbps-TB1 (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


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ikir
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March 22, 2018 4:06 pm  

@clarketus
i had the same idea, I really hope you’re right on this. Thunderbolt 2 support should be implemented.

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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dream3
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March 22, 2018 4:15 pm  

Well worst case we stay in 10.13.3, yeah? Thats not bad IMO. 10.13.4 is not bringing anything we dont have right now, right?


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theitsage
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March 22, 2018 4:25 pm  

There are many refinements in 10.13.4. The first one is true hot-plug functionality. Once you connect the eGPU, it'll start working within a couple seconds. In 10.13.3 and older, you would need to log out then log back in to use the eGPU. The second improvement is proper identification of supported Radeon cards. Right now they show up as "R9 XXX".

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

60 external GPU build guides


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Chippy McChipset
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March 22, 2018 8:25 pm  

That would be nice but while they still sell some TB2 devices, I think it's fair to say they're not likely to introduce another new TB2 device. Everything will be TB3 or USB-C (possibly 3.1 Gen 2) going forward. Save for MacBook Air and Mac mini they're pretty much already there. That said I hope you're right. For sure they should enable eGPU on the most recent TB2 Air and mini models and the 2013 Mac Pro, if you're going on principle.

Still seems very unlikely to me that it will come back though. Too many reasons not to do it (complexity / stability, support, lost revenues) only one reason to do (not tick off Mac users were never promised support but expect it).


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ikir
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March 23, 2018 9:15 am  

@dream3
And also clamshell mode, better stability and performance, display port audio passthrough and go on... the best think is Apple to enable support or just a simple hack which enable it at users risk since Apple can't guarantee stability

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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Chippy McChipset
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March 26, 2018 10:02 pm  

Beta 7 is out. Had hoped they'd releas 10.13.4 tomorrow but not likely if they released a beta build today (not enough time for feedback?). Should still get it this week though.


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Juan C. Yunis
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March 26, 2018 10:05 pm  

@chippy-mcchipset i just downloaded it. Gonna test. By the way I feel that bootcamp has become more unstable, I'm not sure if it is related to the betas or maybe a driver for my AMD Vega FE Air, but sometimes my windows cannot boot, and i have to try like 3-5 times to boot with the eGPU.

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


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Chippy McChipset
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March 26, 2018 10:47 pm  
Posted by: Juan C. Yunis

@chippy-mcchipset i just downloaded it. Gonna test. By the way I feel that bootcamp has become more unstable, I'm not sure if it is related to the betas or maybe a driver for my AMD Vega FE Air, but sometimes my windows cannot boot, and i have to try like 3-5 times to boot with the eGPU.

Not surprising about Boot Camp. Everything I've seen suggests it's going away, similar to TB / TB2 Mac support. Not that they couldn't support it at some future date but I won't be surprised to see that removed from 10.13.4. 

We'll find out at WWDC but I anticipate 10.14 will introduce beta support for NVIDIA GPUs and multiple eGPUs if we're lucky (one per controller), perhaps with some other features to round out the functionality (maybe a new preference panel that AMD and NVIDIA can hook into). And like this beta period we're in it now, the next one will end next spring.

Re: Vega FE — even without Boot camp, the peak power requirements of that card may exceed the eGPUs peak power. The reason Sonnet came out with their latest 650W box, is to support cards like the FE.


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Juan C. Yunis
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March 26, 2018 10:52 pm  

@chippy-mcchipset but they shouldn't remove it, for example a Macbook Pro 13" with TB3 has close-to-native support for eGPU, without many complications like the 15" (because of the dGPU), i think they can make a panel in windows to disable the dGPU and use the iGPU all the time, then AMD Xconnect and Nvidia Optimus could work properly.

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


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Chippy McChipset
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March 26, 2018 11:07 pm  
Posted by: Juan C. Yunis

@chippy-mcchipset but they shouldn't remove it, for example a Macbook Pro 13" with TB3 has close-to-native support for eGPU, without many complications like the 15" (because of the dGPU), i think they can make a panel in windows to disable the dGPU and use the iGPU all the time, then AMD Xconnect and Nvidia Optimus could work properly.

I think (like TB2 / TB2 Macs) it's a stability thing; it's tough for them to get working properly across a wide range of configs probably, so they are not improving support along the way (through all the betas). At least early in the game. Later who knows.

Obviously it's better for users if they have a choice to use Boot Camp (choice is better than no choice), and better if trashcan owners can use eGPU too. But their priority this beta period has been to get the core functions working — mount with no logout / restart, eject with no crash, proper recognition of card, make available to apps using standard APIs, and support as many AMD cards as possible. Boot Camp is more of a "nice to have" if they can make it work.

On the bright side, it's more likely they will add Boot Camp support down the line than TB / TB2 Mac support. IMO. 🙂


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rmvz3
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March 29, 2018 1:22 am  

What? Do you mean that current 10.13.4 Beta 7 breaks eGPU compatibility (via DIYeGPU, not native) on TB1 Macs using Bootcamp or only in macOS? I can live perfectly without macOS eGPU support (Nvidia drivers suck, anyway) but gaming/VR on bootcamp is THE reason for me to have an eGPU.

Will it still working if I update to 10.13.4? I'm not expecting native support, just the way I do it now.


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theitsage
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March 29, 2018 5:17 pm  

iOS 11.3 came out today but there's no sign of 10.13.4. The beta releases had these two coincide. I'm guessing Apple is contemplating 10.13.4 release with Thunderbolt 3 Mac only or partial TB2 support, mainly for the Mac Pro trashcan. We'll see soon enough.

@rmvz3 Bootcamp is not effected by 10.13.4. I've tested with my 2016 15" MacBook Pro in W10 and it worked like before.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

60 external GPU build guides


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rmvz3
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March 29, 2018 5:52 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@rmvz3 Bootcamp is not effected by 10.13.4. I've tested with my 2016 15" MacBook Pro in W10 and it worked like before.

Thank you very much, theitsage. Good news. ^_^U


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Juan C. Yunis
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March 29, 2018 6:23 pm  

@itsage so that means the latest driver for my vega fe air crates the issue with booting, sometimes I have to reboot like 5 times to make it work. 

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


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mac_editor
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March 29, 2018 6:49 pm  

@itsage as far as I remember, macOS updates typically release a few hours after iOS updates. iOS updates typically launch at 1pm EST, while macOS at around 4pm EST, or a day later. Of course take this with a grain of salt as anything can happen. We might see it later too. This is just the trend I have observed sometimes.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
2014 MBP GT750M + RX480 TB3>TB2
2014 MBP GT750M + GTX980Ti TB3>TB2


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Jyin
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March 29, 2018 6:54 pm  

My FE LC’s been rock solid, except that after few hours of gaming the BB550 shuts down.
I suspect heat, since it always take a while.

My Seasonic died on me, so I am waiting on replacement. It should be here on Monday, and since it runs much cooler (and it is external to the box) I am hoping I can go back to gaming in peace.

J


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laimis17
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March 29, 2018 7:03 pm  

Tested Beta 7, it didn't change anything regarding TB1.

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rmvz3
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March 29, 2018 7:07 pm  
Posted by: laimis17

Tested Beta 7, it didn't change anything regarding TB1.

Thank you @laimis17


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psonice
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March 29, 2018 9:33 pm  

Has anyone dug into what's causing the issues on TB 1/2 macs yet? Checked what's shown in the console etc.?


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mac_editor
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March 29, 2018 9:50 pm  

I have, and will discuss the details once 10.13.4 is public. Can't see a fix yet.

EDIT: Quick note to macOS/iOS developers - the just released Xcode 9.3 requires macOS 10.13.2 or later. The last version supported on 10.12.6 is Xcode 9.2. So if you are like me and were using Sierra for development and video editing/gaming and have an eGPU that works well only in Sierra - that's a bummer.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
2014 MBP GT750M + RX480 TB3>TB2
2014 MBP GT750M + GTX980Ti TB3>TB2


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9935c101ab17a66
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March 29, 2018 10:33 pm  
Posted by: rhenriques11

It was sell with the argument that was going to be a HUB for external devices, such as eGPU's (said in several interviews by Phil Schiller for instance). 

It was positioned as a GPU-centered hub for sure, but you're going to need to provide evidence Apple / Phil Schiller ever mentioned anything about eGPUs. I highly doubt he did, and when referring to it as a hub, they meant as a hub for storage / IO devices, monitors, etc.


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9935c101ab17a66
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March 29, 2018 10:45 pm  

Has anyone had any luck with clamshell mode in 10.13.4 with an Nvidia GPU? I have a 2016 MBP 15", HP Omen Accelerator, and a GTX970. Internal display does not go to sleep when I close it, wondering if this will work if I upgrade to 10.13.4? I'm also still running the Nvidia 106 web drivers since higher versions caused wonky issues.


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detunedradios
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March 29, 2018 11:33 pm  

10.13.4 is officially out.

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350 with Radeon RX 580 8GB


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demariners
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March 30, 2018 5:40 am  

Yep....

No picture anymore on my Mac Mini....Thunderbolt 2 does not work at all.

Any work-arounds?


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