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macOS Catalina - Tidbits & eGPU Updates
 

macOS Catalina - Tidbits & eGPU Updates  

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mac_editor
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Jun 5, 2019 5:17 am  

 

macOS Catalina (10.15)

With macOS Catalina, Apple moves macOS forward with complete removal of 32-bit app support, the start of deprecation of kernel extensions, improved security and permissions, and a lot more, which you can find here. So let's get down to business. The following is an initial assessment - more may follow.

 

Interesting Tidbits

  • Installing new kernel extensions now requires a reboot for them to function.
  • zsh is now the expected default shell.
  • Catalina OS components now reside in a separate partition, with user data on another. This is a transparent experience in Finder. You can confirm disk utility - you will find your "BootDriveNameHere" and "BootDriveNameHere - Data" in there, with all your data on the latter. I actually already encountered a little issue where I ran out of space and for some reason the system became read-only - so for the first time ever, while deleting a file, I got the message "cannot delete due to insufficient disk space" - ironic to say the least.
  • The first beta of Catalina may disable Secure Boot settings on T2 Macs. This will be resolved in the future.
  • Kernel extensions will deprecated in the future in favor of DriverKit, that enables user-level drivers for multiple use cases, such as virtualization.
  • Catalina includes support for game controllers such as DualShock 4 and Xbox One Controller.
  • Adds support for automatic light and dark mode.
  • Not sure if this is new, but Recovery mode now has account selection to login on T2-based Macs.

 

I'll add more relevant ones as I find them. Moving on.

 

GPU-Related Enhancements

Apple did not talk about eGPUs at all, but they did go all out with the new Mac Pro and PCIe expansion, and introduced an interesting selection of Vega II GPUs. However, there are some very interesting under-the-hood improvements in Metal this year:

  • All Metal: All of Apple's UI and rendering framework subsystem is now Metal-powered. They have gone ahead and convinced a lot of core developers to build on Metal, especially those who have previously excelled on CUDA. Safe to say Apple played the long-term card (no pun intended) in convincing developers to build different versions of the tools (Octane, Redshift, and more).
  • Metal Indirect Compute Encoding: No CPU involved at all. The build commands for applicable tasks to be run on the GPU can now also be done on the GPU itself, completely eliminating the CPU. Certainly beneficial in an eGPU setup where CPU-GPU communications are at a premium.
  • GPU Peer Group API: Better management of multiple GPUs connected via the AMD Infinity Fabric for maximum performance. 
  • Improvements to Metal Ray-Tracing: 1000x faster vs. CPU rendering - am guessing this much gain is only on the 56 TFLOP behemoth.
  • Maximum Number of eGPUs: The new Mac Pro supports "up to 4 GPUs" configured as MPX modules. In my opinion even standard GPUs should work, just like the older Mac Pro (or at least I don't understand the restriction enforced on a non-MPX but PCIe-standard GPU). However, the Mac Pro can have a lot more than 4 thunderbolt ports. Given that 4 eGPUs are already supported, we might infer then that theoretically we could run the Mac Pro with 8 GPUs (4 + 4), or if there is a hard limit of maximum supported GPUs/framebuffers - only 2 eGPUs would be allocated on a 4-GPU Mac Pro. I think the maximum active GPUs on macOS I've seen is 6 total - which would add up if looking at the rest of the Mac lineup. It would be an interesting experiment to test this on the Mac Pro (though, the need for an eGPU vanishes with a device like this).

 

Haven't deep-dived yet, but perhaps there aren't significant changes to eGPU initialization, as @itsage discovered that purge-wrangler AMD patches continue to function. NVIDIA patches might also still be functional, but I have not tested with a Kepler GPU on Catalina yet.

 

Will add more stuff as I come across it.

This topic was modified 2 weeks ago

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Jun 5, 2019 5:30 am  

@eightarmedpet Yes, it does not launch on Catalina. I do remember seeing news of Steam being updated to 64-bit on macOS, well what happened to that (I think the main binary is 64-bit, but has 32-bit dependencies).

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Jun 5, 2019 6:09 am  

@mac_editor I'm sure Steam will eventually move over but guess games will need to be updated too? And would guess most games will not be updated, so thats large Mac Steam libraries that will become obsolete, just in time for Apple Arcade (which I am actually looking forward to).

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Posts: 2086
Jun 5, 2019 7:04 am  

@eightarmedpet that’s right, games too. Most modern ones are already 64-bit I think so hopefully this shouldn’t be a big issue.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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emanuelediba
(@emanuelediba)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 18
Jun 18, 2019 9:59 am  

10.15 beta 2 has broke compatibility with my eGPU. purge-nvda causes kernel panic's when booting. purge-wrangler seems to work, but when installing it is needs some permissions to modify files.

Mid-2012 15" Retina MacBook Pro + Akitio Node + AMD RX 580


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Eightarmedpet
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