I am giving up on eGPU's...by now, maybe I'll try again in 1 or 2 years. My conclussions.  

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(@zambrigo)
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Joined: 7 months ago
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July 18, 2018 12:00 am  

Hi guys,

after 2 weeks of intensive research and testing, I am giving up on eGPU's by now. I have tested:

And after all my tests, all of them repeated 3 times on each card, including my dGPU, with a chronometer in my hands the whole time, taking notes every and each result, I can say this technology has still a lot to improve if they want me to buy it.

I can imagine the veterans from this forum must be thinking "you should have seen this 2 years ago" lol and I agree it has improved a lot and I am sure from now on that it is officially supported and even Apple released their own eGPU, it will improve faster, but unless you have a quite old machine, this thing won't be a big improvement for the price.

Although FCPX, Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere used the eGPU, I didn't feel such an improvement that could give a reason to the 700€ I invested (900 if I had kept the Vega 56). Software still has to implement eGPU's, and even GPU's in a more optimized way. I can't believe Premiere still uses CPU for it's Warp Stabilizer...it's just crazy. And then we have FCPX which officially only uses the eGPU for rendering, not for exporting O_O weird.

I don't use my Mac for gaming nor bootcamp, but today I tried Fortnite and dude...I'd rather use my PS4, better graphics, cheaper and easier to use. Also if this is useful for anyone, Vega's 56 performance does not worth the price difference respect the RX 580, and also it will make the whole system crash when you try to stabilize any clip on FCPX lol

So I'm sending all my stuff back to Amazon looking forward to see big improvements on the next months. Maybe when AMD release some new GPU and Apple supports it officially I will try again...or maybe if they implement NVidia, which I don't think will happen anytime soon as they have an agreement with AMD. If Apple would allow NVidia eGPU's officially, that would mean they would start installing them on their machines.

Thanks for your help and keep up the good work you do here, I'll stay tuned to see what's new.

EDIT - I forgot to talk about the system crashes when using both eGPU and dGPU. I did this to try if I could take any advantage of a total of 12Gb RAM for GPU in total, so I connected the eGPU to my main display and the secondary straight to the computer via thunderbolt, so each screen was using a different GPU (e for man and d for secondary. Well, although this sounded great to me, EVERY single app I tested, fails miserably with low level activities. This includes FCPX, Premiere and Resolve. All of them crashed. I don't want an eGPU to replace my actual GPU, I need them to work together and have more power.

Best regards,
Miguel.

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


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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July 18, 2018 3:03 pm  

Thanks for sharing those experiences; the conclusions you find are valid for anything beyond general computing and gaming. My experiences with professional apps using both RX 580 and RX Vega 56 are similar. I see some good FPS gains in simple video-watching and gaming scenarios, so for those people this can be a good solution if they're willing to pay the extra money (still cheaper than a good PC).

Boils down to, we're not at a point yet (with Apple's officially supported stuff or with the hacks here) where we can say "all apps that have GPU-aware functionality also are eGPU-aware," and those that are aware do not always shown much improvement over a typical 600-series AMD dGPU for example (or over opting to process something with CPUs, as in the case of some 3D renderers). Example: DaVinci Resolve (which is probably the best app now for eGPU usage / offers the most functions and preferences for eGPU).

Add to eGPU the mix of hacks and scripts from this place to try to get NVIDIA stuff to work and it becomes a frustrating experience sometimes. This is still a young technology so people are justified in waiting a year or two and seeing how much better it gets given that it's not cheap.

This forum wouldn't be out of line to post a notice right on the top of the front page that says (in more eloquent way) "this is all still early adopter stuff and may not provide the boost you expect. Help us find the weak spots and maybe we can make things better than what Apple provides."

My advice for today for professionals who need GPU power: if your important apps don't work good with built-in Mac GPUs, get a PC or wait till next Mac Pro and hope GPU doesn't suck. eGPU is not something to be relied on for today. Maybe a year from now yes, but not today. A year from now Adobe and others should have more eGPU-aware apps too.

My advice for Mac gamers or those with a little extra money and who have alternative hardware for their work: try out eGPU and maybe help here with data points if you can. Let mac_editor, goalque, others know what's working and what isn't.

2016-2018 Macs, Sonnet eGPUs, RX, WX, Vega AMD cards, GTX 1070 and RTX 2080, various 4K displays


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kotlos
(@kotlos)
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July 18, 2018 4:07 pm  

My advice for today for professionals who need GPU power: if your important apps don't work good with built-in Mac GPUs, get a PC or wait till next Mac Pro and hope GPU doesn't suck. eGPU is not something to be relied on for today. Maybe a year from now yes, but not today. A year from now Adobe and others should have more eGPU-aware apps too.

Thats was my conclusion as well with a mac. There are few exceptions though like Davinci Resolve that can really benefit from a strong NVIDIA eGPU despite Apple's effort to block it. Fortunately there are a lot of people in this forum that can provide invaluable feedback in order to make that possible.

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


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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JLSMedia
(@jlsmedia)
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July 24, 2018 1:11 am  

Interesting to hear about the Vega 56 not being worth the purchase over the 580 with respect to price difference. Was definitely thinking about going the Vega route but if it's not worth it I'll definitely be eyeballing the Blackmagic unit. I do want something quiet that can take the load off my laptop when gaming (only League of Legends/Blizzard stuff nothing too heavy duty) and a bit of extra power added to FCPX. Hopefully they fix the issue in FCPX that doesn't allow the eGPU to be used tho, pretty bummed they had it and then it went away, not sure if they just wanted to perfect it more or what. Hoping OBS allows it to be used as a rendering option for streaming at some point too, would be cool if I could ditch my Windows PC and have all the functionality I need under one roof.

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


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
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July 24, 2018 1:31 am  

2018 13" Macbook Pro + Breakaway Box 650 + Vega FE is working great for me!  I don't use FCPX or any other "pro" apps, or have a 580 to compare, but for my use (experimental mac gaming and general home office computing) this setup is pretty solid.  From the gaming and compute eGPU benchmarks I have seen, Vega kicks the 580's ass.

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


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JLSMedia
(@jlsmedia)
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July 24, 2018 2:16 am  
Posted by: MarkieG84

2018 13" Macbook Pro + Breakaway Box 650 + Vega FE is working great for me!  I don't use FCPX or any other "pro" apps, or have a 580 to compare, but for my use (experimental mac gaming and general home office computing) this setup is pretty solid.  From the gaming and compute eGPU benchmarks I have seen, Vega kicks the 580's ass.

Does the eGPU show up as a rendering option in OBS on MacOS? It's one thing that's been holding me back from buying one, been trying to confirm but can't get an answer from anyone. My dGPU shows up in Windows Bootcamp but it doesn't show as an option under MacOS, curious if an eGPU would tho.

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


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
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July 24, 2018 2:48 am  

@jlsmedia In an attempt to fulfill your request, I downloaded and installed "OBS".  I don't see any "rendering option".  I'd be glad to help if you instruct me where this option is.

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


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JLSMedia
(@jlsmedia)
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July 24, 2018 3:18 am  
Posted by: MarkieG84

@jlsmedia In an attempt to fulfill your request, I downloaded and installed "OBS".  I don't see any "rendering option".  I'd be glad to help if you instruct me where this option is.

In preferences, on the left it'll say "Output" and under there will be options for streaming and recording on the right. Under "Encoder" it should have an option for "x264" and AMD or maybe Nvidia if it's eGPU. Under MacOS for streaming I only get an x264 option, and for recording I get 2 x264 options, but no AMD or other GPU option for encoding sadly. Thanks for helping:) 

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


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NostromoUK
(@nostromouk)
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July 24, 2018 6:28 am  

Well I found a HUGE difference between the RX580 and the Vega 56 in Resolve and After Effects, so it seems individual experiences vary.

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


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
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July 24, 2018 12:44 pm  
Posted by: JLSMedia
Posted by: MarkieG84

@jlsmedia In an attempt to fulfill your request, I downloaded and installed "OBS".  I don't see any "rendering option".  I'd be glad to help if you instruct me where this option is.

In preferences, on the left it'll say "Output" and under there will be options for streaming and recording on the right. Under "Encoder" it should have an option for "x264" and AMD or maybe Nvidia if it's eGPU. Under MacOS for streaming I only get an x264 option, and for recording I get 2 x264 options, but no AMD or other GPU option for encoding sadly. Thanks for helping:) 

Yes it looks like hardware encoding is not supported at all with either iGPU or eGPU.  I don't have a dGPU handy at the moment, my 2012 15" is collecting dust right now and needs to have the OS reinstalled.  I'm disgusted with it right now for it's lack of eGPU support.

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


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whatsarobinson
(@whatsarobinson)
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July 24, 2018 7:00 pm  
Posted by: MarkieG84

2018 13" Macbook Pro + Breakaway Box 650 + Vega FE is working great for me!  I don't use FCPX or any other "pro" apps, or have a 580 to compare, but for my use (experimental mac gaming and general home office computing) this setup is pretty solid.  From the gaming and compute eGPU benchmarks I have seen, Vega kicks the 580's ass.

That's the frustrating part. Benchmarks show incredible gains but apps like Premiere and Photoshop take a dive in performance

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


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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July 24, 2018 9:45 pm  
Posted by: NostromoUK

Well I found a HUGE difference between the RX580 and the Vega 56 in Resolve and After Effects, so it seems individual experiences vary.

This is a good thing but most people are not able to get AE to work consistently with an eGPU to begin with. What does your setup look like?

Model ID
macOS version
Which eGPU?
Which eGPU.io scripts, if any?
Display model
Display connection type (HDMI vs. DP)
What changes to AE prefs, if any?
Which features in AE did you verify got a big boost from the Vega 56?

2016-2018 Macs, Sonnet eGPUs, RX, WX, Vega AMD cards, GTX 1070 and RTX 2080, various 4K displays


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Cigmatic
(@cigmatic)
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January 3, 2019 5:35 am  
Posted by: MarkieG84
Posted by: JLSMedia
Posted by: MarkieG84

@jlsmedia In an attempt to fulfill your request, I downloaded and installed "OBS".  I don't see any "rendering option".  I'd be glad to help if you instruct me where this option is.

In preferences, on the left it'll say "Output" and under there will be options for streaming and recording on the right. Under "Encoder" it should have an option for "x264" and AMD or maybe Nvidia if it's eGPU. Under MacOS for streaming I only get an x264 option, and for recording I get 2 x264 options, but no AMD or other GPU option for encoding sadly. Thanks for helping:) 

Yes it looks like hardware encoding is not supported at all with either iGPU or eGPU.  I don't have a dGPU handy at the moment, my 2012 15" is collecting dust right now and needs to have the OS reinstalled.  I'm disgusted with it right now for it's lack of eGPU support.

Hello, I'm new to the forums, but thought I could add value here since I use this OBS to stream games in Mac OS.  I have a 2017 13" MBP and use the Vega 64 as my eGPU.

In OBX you can select the Apple H264 encoder which puts load on your graphics card, and in the case of streaming eGPU enabled blizzard games appears to utilize the eGPU.  The performance is not as good as using the AMD "Relive" software or the Nvidia "Shadowplay" software, as those utilize a dedicated streaming processor on the GPU.  These are not currently available in Mac OS.

However, the H264 encoder does take load off the CPU put it on the GPU, which is good for the temperature of your laptop.

I've been able to stream at 60 fps without issue, I scaled the output resolution down a bit to help with performance.  OBS for Mac does require some workarounds (not too difficult) to get the sound recording - there are a number of guides out there to help with this.

Hope this helps, cheers.

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


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