macOS eGPU users, are you experiencing this performance issue?  

 

detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
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May 21, 2018 6:41 pm  

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?

Edited: 4 weeks  ago

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Jyin
 Jyin
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May 21, 2018 7:52 pm  

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


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detunedradios
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May 21, 2018 8:10 pm  
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.


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ikir
 ikir
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May 21, 2018 8:50 pm  

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

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MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
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May 21, 2018 9:08 pm  

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.


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ondert
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May 21, 2018 11:08 pm  

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.

Edited: 4 weeks  ago

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detunedradios
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May 21, 2018 11:32 pm  

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).

Edited: 4 weeks  ago

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ikir
 ikir
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May 23, 2018 5:36 am  

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

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detunedradios
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May 23, 2018 6:48 am  
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.

Edited: 4 weeks  ago

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dvogiatzis
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May 23, 2018 8:01 am  

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.


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mar_kelp
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May 23, 2018 10:57 am  

I just tested on my 13" TB MBP with Gaming Box RX 580. GeekBench4 did not show any drop in performance on the OpenGL benchmark after playing a YouTube video in Safari (~110,000 both before and after).

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

I believe this is only visible if you have a dGPU. It doesn't appear on my system and wasn't enabled when I connected my eGPU.

Edited: 4 weeks  ago

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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
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May 23, 2018 5:45 pm  

Thanks for the info all. Good to know it’s not everyone having this issue.

Is there anyone out there with a 2016 or 2017 (preferably 2016, since that’s my model) 15” Pro, specifically, who can weigh in?


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Maximus
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May 23, 2018 6:49 pm  
Posted by: detunedradios

Thanks for the info all. Good to know it’s not everyone having this issue.

Is there anyone out there with a 2016 or 2017 (preferably 2016, since that’s my model) 15” Pro, specifically, who can weigh in?

ill let you know friday, when i get my new rx580 (have the xg station pro)

2017 15" mbp full option


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detunedradios
(@detunedradios)
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May 24, 2018 2:39 am  

For what it's worth, I just set up a completely fresh 10.13.4 install on an external drive, and reproduced this issue right out of the box. Absolutely nothing installed except Geekbench.

I have been unable to reproduce this issue in Windows at all, which leads me to believe this may be a macOS bug. But if it is a macOS bug, surely I can't be the only one experiencing it?

(The specifics of my setup, for clarity: 2016 15" MBP, Radeon Pro 460, 2.7GHz i7 option, 1TB SSD. eGPU is a Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 Developer Edition with the included Sapphire Pulse RX 580 8GB card.)

I should also be clear: this primarily occurs when watching YouTube on an external monitor. Watching on my MBP's own display does not trigger this.

Edited: 4 weeks  ago

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mac_editor
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May 24, 2018 3:07 am  

High Sierra is a broken mess in general. There are graphics problems irrespective of eGPUs also. Youtube/HTML video flickering, coloration when GPU-switching during playback, and in a rare case AppKit user interface rendering failure across macOS to name a few on a friend's 2017 15" MBP w/ RP560. Basically, even the iGPU drivers have problems lol. Unsurprising to see such problems with eGPUs.

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Mid-2014 15" MacBook Pro GT750M + RX480@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS & Win10
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detunedradios
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May 26, 2018 12:43 am  
Posted by: Maximus
Posted by: detunedradios

Thanks for the info all. Good to know it’s not everyone having this issue.

Is there anyone out there with a 2016 or 2017 (preferably 2016, since that’s my model) 15” Pro, specifically, who can weigh in?

ill let you know friday, when i get my new rx580 (have the xg station pro)

2017 15" mbp full option

Hey there! Were you able to test this out?


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Maximus
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May 26, 2018 2:31 pm  

Nope, no issues . ran my benchmarks before and after, no drop at all.

very strange this....


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detunedradios
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May 26, 2018 4:04 pm  

Extremely odd, then. I have a Radar open with Apple on this, since I can’t reproduce it in Windows. Hopefully they can reproduce it, and I’ll just have to watch YouTube in Chrome (and play Life is Strange in Boot Camp) in the meantime.


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detunedradios
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May 31, 2018 9:36 pm  

Pleased to report this seems to be fixed in the 10.13.6 beta.


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