Setup & Software Discussions
macOS Catalina - Tidbits & eGPU Updates
 

macOS Catalina - Tidbits & eGPU Updates  

  RSS

mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 

 

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.

 

Updates

June 23, 2019: As Apple mentioned in this WWDC session, it should be possible to enable read-write system volume after disabling SIP. For those wondering how, this is as easy as:

sudo mount -uw /

Simply re-disabling SIP when it is already disabled will not result in a read-write system volume - this was something I mistakenly inferred after watching the session. Since I never keep SIP enabled, I also did not try enabling SIP, booting normally, then disabling SIP, rebooting, and checking if the volume was writable.

I recently updated purge-wrangler (v5.1.3) to handle read-only system volumes on macOS Catalina. I think that the patches may likely last across this release, which is good news for users holding on to older Macs.

This topic was modified 2 months ago

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 [Sonnet Breakaway 350 -> 600W]


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago

ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@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
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 [Sonnet Breakaway 350 -> 600W]


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@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 Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@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
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 [Sonnet Breakaway 350 -> 600W]


ReplyQuote
emanuelediba
(@emanuelediba)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

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


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago

itsage liked
ReplyQuote
jefniro
(@jefniro)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi, I installed the beta 2 right now. Everything seems work well. I don't see any issue at the moment. We have (finally) a change log and I hope that it will be here always!

https://mrmacintosh.com/apple-releases-second-beta-of-macos-catalina-10-15-19a487l-beta-2/

Sidecar feature works well too with my iPad 5th...

This post was modified 2 months ago

late-2016 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node) + macOS & Win10


ReplyQuote
Ray
 Ray
(@ray)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

So, still no return of Pascal compatibility?

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


ReplyQuote
DrEGPU
(@dregpu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

@Ray See this thread where I asked something similar. Doesn't seem like nVidia support is coming back to Mac's anytime soon...

https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/nvidia-drivers-coming-to-macos-after-all/

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
2011 13-inch MacBook Pro + Razer Core X@10Gbps-TB1 (Zotac RTX 2080 Ti Amp) + Ubuntu 18.04


ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Have added an Updates section which I shall update as I dive into macOS Catalina bit by bit. There may be some respite for patches yet.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 [Sonnet Breakaway 350 -> 600W]


ReplyQuote
mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Has anyone found any changes to Bootcamp support in Catalina? Perhaps updated drivers at least?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)


ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@mar_kelp Improved wifi performance in Bootcamp for some newer Macs - only thing that Apple confirmed. eGPU support remains unchanged at this time.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + Vega 64 [Sonnet Breakaway 350 -> 600W]


ReplyQuote
Travid
(@travid)
New Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

I have a Razer Core X Chroma with a Radeon VII works perfectly in Mojave but in Catalina, the USB ports on the egpu stop working on bootup.  What I mean is they have power and work up until the login finishes then they stop working.  No lights on the keyboard or mouse.

MacBook Pro 2.9 GHz Intel Core i9 / Razer Core X Chroma w/ Radeon VII 16 GB
macOS 10.14.5


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
ruslan
(@ruslan)
Active Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

In Activity Monitor, tasks can now be viewed by graphics card in a new tab. 

As of a few versions of MacOS ago, GPU activity can be viewed in a graph (per card) using CMD + 4.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago
Pending to give context to my posts: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature

ReplyQuote
(@andy_thomas)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

@travid

I get the exact same issue.  Did you find a solution yet?

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


ReplyQuote
OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: @mac_editor

@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).

As I understood, a lot of Steam games are using Wine-wrappers and this is going to be a real issue when 32-Bit support is revoked. I have a lot of experience with Wine and there is one rule that applies very often:
32 bit Games will work mostly.
64 bit Games will never work.*

There is an information that tells this is because 64bit applications in Windows use Intel registers that can't be used on MacOSX, so this is and will be impossible.

*Actually I tried to Wine-wrap dozens of 64bit games and I got only one single one to work.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@oliverb are you sure about that? I have no idea, but that seams a little crazy. I keep meaning to try wine actually, hoe does it cope with eGPUs? What notable games have you played via Wine?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


ReplyQuote
OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: @eightarmedpet

@oliverb are you sure about that? I have no idea, but that seams a little crazy. I keep meaning to try wine actually, hoe does it cope with eGPUs? What notable games have you played via Wine?

I cannot say exactly how many  games are using a Wine-wrapper nowadays, but it has been quite a lot before. I only used Wine and never had to boot my MacOSX, which was running for months.
For example. Tomb Raider 2013, L.A. Noire 2012 or Wolfenstein 2009 work very well with Wine. Of course, those games are 32bit and use DirectX9 and it works quite well with eGPUs.
Since 2013 the Wine-compatible games have been declining a lot.

EDIT (For MacOSX it's declining a lot, for Linux there is actually Vulkan and 64Bit support, which is not for Mac).

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


ReplyQuote
Matt0987654321
(@matt0987654321)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

They should consider bringing back native eGPU support for Thunderbolt 2 Macs in Catalina. Bootcamp works flawlessly to me (plug-and-play) and the performance increase is more than significant. Do you think there are any valid reasons (expect for planned obsolesce :P) not to include it?

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


ReplyQuote
(@andy_thomas)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

The USB ports no longer work using Catalina.  Anybody else experience the same issue.  Everything else seems ok.  Don't understand what it wont see it as a USB hub anymore.  I'm using a Radeon RX Vega 64.

I have 2 of the eGPUs, exact same configuration and exact same problem (1 at work and 1 at home so I can plug my MacBook Pro in)

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

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


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@travid and @andy_thomas I'm experiencing the same issue with expansion USB ports through the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. I'm using the VisionTek mini eGFX which has an Ethernet port. The interesting thing is that port remains working in Catalina Beta 5. USB devices are no where to be seen in macOS environment however. When tested through Windows the USB expansion ports work fine. They even work in pre-boot environment and Boot Option screen.

As you both mentioned, they were working perfect in Mojave. This is a beta software bug and I'm hoping the upcoming Beta 6 may have a fix for it. In the meantime I use an adapter for USB connection. Another bug I'm facing with Catalina is Firefox crashing. Apple acknowledged they're fixing it soon.

Boot ROM Version: 1037.0.39.151.1 (iBridge: 17.16.10521.5.4,0)

This post was modified 5 days ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
(@andy_thomas)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@travid and @andy_thomas I'm experiencing the same issue with expansion USB ports through the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. I'm using the VisionTek mini eGFX which has an Ethernet port. The interesting thing is that port remains working in Catalina Beta 5. USB devices are no where to be seen in macOS environment however. When tested through Windows the USB expansion ports work fine. They even work in pre-boot environment and Boot Option screen.

As you both mentioned, they were working perfect in Mojave. This is a beta software bug and I'm hoping the upcoming Beta 6 may have a fix for it. In the meantime I use an adapter for USB connection. Another bug I'm facing with Catalina is Firefox crashing. Apple acknowledged they're fixing it soon.

Boot ROM Version: 1037.0.39.151.1 (iBridge: 17.16.10521.5.4,0)

Thanks for this.  Yes, let's hope we get a beta fix soon.  I'm using a Caldigit hub in the interim.  The consequences of early adoption 🙂

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


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Catalina Dev Beta 6 [19A536g] is out. Here's hoping it fixes expansion USB and maybe Navi drivers. 😀

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
trollied
(@trollied)
New Member
Joined: 4 days ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

Catalina Dev Beta 6 [19A536g] is out. Here's hoping it fixes expansion USB and maybe Navi drivers. 😀

Is the Chroma USB fixed?

Razer Core X Chroma. MacBook Pro (2017/13”/i5/16Gb). VEGA 64


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@trollied Yes USB ports through the VisionTek mini eGFX work again in Beta 6. Firefox no longer crashes.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
craftsman
(@craftsman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

USB ports are working on the Chroma.

MacBook Pro 2018, Razer Core Chroma, Power Color Radeon VII


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
steve4332
(@steve4332)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

Beta 6 still has the white screen of death eGPU problem after bootup on my config. 🙁

Apple Mac Mini 2018 + Zotac AMP Box Mini + Sapphire RX 570 ITX


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@steve4332 Can you describe to us this white screen of death issue? I updated my 2018 Mac mini to Dev Beta 6 yesterday and it worked well. Boot screen eGPU support remained functional and even worked when I set my HP Z27q to 5K with dual DisplayPort cables plugged in.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
steve4332
(@steve4332)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

After booting up instead of the login screen a blank white screen appears and the eGPU seems to be under heavy load (warms up rapidly). The system appears to be frozen. However if I briefly power off the eGPU and turn it on again, the login screen appears (so in a strict sense it's a "white screen of semi-death" :)).

This might be an eGPU specific issue, I experience this problem with my 2018 Mac Mini + Zotac Box Mini + RX 570 setup. You might want to try to reproduce the problem yourself since you have a similar hardware. It would be nice to know if you can confirm the existence of the problem.

Others at macrumors.com have experienced the same issue.

(off: the user builds link from the eGPU ranking table for the "Zotac Box Mini" seems to be broken, probably because the builds are tagged sa s"Zotac AMP Box Mini" - UPDATE: nvm, it seems to work now)

This post was modified 6 hours ago

Apple Mac Mini 2018 + Zotac AMP Box Mini + Sapphire RX 570 ITX


ReplyQuote