macOS eGPU users, are you experiencing this performance issue?
 
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macOS eGPU users, are you experiencing this performance issue?  

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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I'd like to see if this is an issue with my particular setup, or is reproducible across your systems as well.

The long and short of it is, watching a YouTube video in Safari on an external eGPU display causes my eGPU performance to tank, and continue to tank until the eGPU is disconnected and reconnected. Please try the following steps and let me know what happens for you, if you can:

1. Close down all your applications.
2. Connect an external GPU with an external monitor attached.
3. Run the Geekbench OpenCL compute test on your external GPU (geekbench.com if you need it)
4. Open Safari and watch any YouTube video on the external display.
5. Run the OpenCL test in Geekbench again and compare your scores.

On my Radeon RX 580 in a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway 350, my OpenCL score plummets to a third of what it was before watching a YouTube video, and this can only be reverted by disconnected the GPU and reconnecting it. Other OpenGL-accelerated apps experience major performance drops as well. Is this just me?

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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Jyin
 Jyin
(@jyin)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I do not have any performance drop by the YouTube.

My setup is iMac 2017 + BB550 + Vega FE/LC.

Did you close the Safari after watching YouTube?

J

2017 27" iMac 5K (RP580) [7th,4C,K] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + Win10 [build link]  

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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Jyin

I do not have any performance drop by the YouTube.

My setup is iMac 2017 + BB550 + Vega FE/LC.

Did you close the Safari after watching YouTube?

J

Yes, I closed Safari again after starting the YouTube video. My setup is a 2016 15" MacBook Pro.

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Do you have flash player installed, the worst software ever created in this solar system?


MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar M1 8-core CPU 8-core GPU - 16GB unified memory - 512GB PCIe SSD
MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.3Ghz - 16GB RAM - 1TB PCIe SSD

my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15 [build link]  


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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Nope, it's not a Flash issue.

It's also not only YouTube that causes it - I first noticed this issue because the game "Life is Strange" causes exactly the same slowdown on my eGPU. YouTube just ended up being a more common and reproducible case. YouTube also works fine in Chrome, but not Safari.

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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ondert
(@ondert)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

wow... do you really think it's related to youtube video? I had Sonnet Breakaway 550w with Sapphire Pulse Rx 580 8gb in it and exactly -%300 performance drop used to happen to me after 10.13.4 update. It didn't pass even after a clean macOS re-install. Then Gigabyte released its mini gaming box with rx580 and I sold my unit. Are you sure youtube video was the cause? I also leave open youtube at background.
Anyway, I reached Sonnet support before and they told me that some customers are also suffering from this same performance drop and for most of them changing the thunderbolt 3 cable solved the issue.
For my case, if I start playing a game immediately after boot, it was fine. However, generally, when I return to desktop (cmd tab) performance drop used to occur.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I strongly don't think it's a hardware issue in my case, because I've found a workaround - if I run a game or app that uses the full performance of my GPU (I've been using Rocket League), and then play a YouTube video or start Life is Strange with Rocket League still running, then the performance drop does not occur. This says to me it's entirely a software issue, that something is causing the GPU performance to get throttled (and perhaps running a title that works correctly and pushes the GPU to full performance like Rocket League prevents said throttling).

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Are you saying that the Geekbench scores are lower after you closed all the other apps again?


MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar M1 8-core CPU 8-core GPU - 16GB unified memory - 512GB PCIe SSD
MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.3Ghz - 16GB RAM - 1TB PCIe SSD

my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15 [build link]  


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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: ikir

Are you saying that the Geekbench scores are lower after you closed all the other apps again?

Yes, tremendously so. My Geekbench score immediately after plugging in my eGPU was around 120000, with no other apps running. Then, I literally just opened Safari, went to youtube.com, opened and played a video, then closed Safari and ran Geekbench again, and it dropped to 44000. And this persists (and results in very noticeable slowdown in applications) until the GPU is ejected and reconnected.

As I mentioned before, if I do the exact same test except running Steam and Rocket League (windowed, to keep it visible), the performance drop does not occur, so it's difficult for me to imagine this is a hardware issue when there is a clear software workaround that prevents it.

2016 15" MacBook Pro - 2.7GHz Core i7, Radeon Pro 460 4GB, 1TB SSD
Sonnet Breakaway Box 350, modded with 650W PSU, with Radeon RX Vega 64


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dvogiatzis
(@dvogiatzis)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

In system preferences - energy Saver there is an option for Automatic graphics switching.

Be sure to disable this. It kind of helped my system perform better.

MacBook Pro 15" (Mid 2017), Aorus Gaming Box GTX 1070


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