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Not getting improved game performance, what am I missing?
 

Not getting improved game performance, what am I missing?  

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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Good morning.

I've been digging through these forums for a while and finally pulled the trigger on an eGPU box for my son's mid-2012 13" MBP (non-retina, no dGPU, TB1). Set everything up & things seem to work flawlessly, driving an external screen w/ the MBP in clamshell mode, but not seeing any real improvement in performance on the two games we've tried thus far - Fortnite & League of Legends.

Setup:
13" non-retina MBP - dual i7 + 8GB RAM (upgraded) + SSD (upgraded)
TB1 w/ Apple TB1/2->TB3 USB-C adapter
Akitio Node
MSI nVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1060 6GB (OC Edition)
2m TB1/2 cable
2m DisplayPort cable
Dell U2412MB (1920x1200)

Ran fr34k's macOS-eGPU.sh, had to run with -V param first to enable TB1/2 unlock, otherwise eGPU wasn't being detected, then ran w/o params and everything seemed to complete successfully. External display is plugged into the GTX 1060 via DisplayPort and appears to work fine. LoL is giving < 30fps and CPUs aren't maxed out, Fortnite is unplayable slow. No real improvement, seemingly, from the MBP's integrated Intel GPU, which just seems impossible.

If there's existing threads/docs/RTFM links to throw at me - please do so. I've been searching around since last night and haven't found anything, but that's probably my crappy search skills more than anything 😉

TIA for any pointers.
Cheers,
Brice

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Halbertus
(@halbertus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Have you tried setting the external display as your main screen by dragging the menu bar to your external monitor in display settings?
Also you might experience issues due to the low bandwidth of thunderbolt 1

MacBook Pro 15" Mid 2015 w/ AMD Radeon R9 M370X
Mac Pro 2013 D300 + ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS ROG VEGA 56
[email protected] Dell UP2715K


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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: Halbertus

Have you tried setting the external display as your main screen by dragging the menu bar to your external monitor in display settings?
Also you might experience issues due to the low bandwidth of thunderbolt 1

I have not explicitly, I can try that - but, I think I set the displays to mirror? Or that's the default when I clamshell it? Dunno, but I can definitely try to do that explicitly.

I also thought it might be the TB1 bandwidth, but in one of the posts/guides here on eGPU.io, I saw something about that really only impacting acceleration of the internal display, since you have to round-trip - otherwise it seemed like TB1/2/3 were all about 20% off of straight PCIe performance for a given card? Maybe I misunderstood what I was reading, though. I do have a mac mini w/ TB2 that I could try as well.

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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Alright, so we turned off display mirroring and made the external display primary. With Fortnite, in the lobby, I see 60fps, but as soon as you jump off the bus or move around in game, the fps goes to single digits or teens. What's interesting is that this seems to happen no matter what the quality settings are. Same with League of Legends - I get a consistent 23-25fps, no matter what the quality settings are. In my mind, this does seem to lend credence to the bus speed being a limiting factor. With Fortnite, there may be an issue with CPU utilization, too - it's got everything pretty well pegged while it's running. With LoL, though, the CPU is typically at 40%, so I don't see that being a factor there.

I'm going to try hooking the Node up to a TB2 system and see how things fare there. Maybe on TB1 the eGPU is only really useful w/ CUDA workloads, not for gaming? Dunno.

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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

OK, just tried with a newer, TB2, late-2013 15" retina MBP with quad-i7 + 16GB RAM and I think I actually got *worse* performance. Hard to say in Fortnite - there are times where it's saying 60fps, but every couple-3 seconds it's lagging hard - the whole screen just freezes up. League of Legends got measurably worse - from 23-25fps on the mid-2012 TB1 13" MBP to 15fps on this one.

External display was set to 'primary' and the display arrangement was set to 'mirrored'. Is this just a bad card? I don't really know what differentiates the various vendors' cards, should I just not have grabbed an MSI? Would an AMD card be better?

edit: mistyped the model-year of the MBP, late-2013, not late-2018 (wishful thinking!)

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

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

I think the challenge you are seeing is that with the current workarounds nVidia cards are not being registered as OpenGL renderers unless you manually install an older version of the nVidia driver. There is a thread somewhere here from 2-3 weeks ago that describes how to run the latest all-encompassing script from freak and make it work. 

if the game uses metal I unfortunately haven’t been able to get metal to work at all in 10.3.x (it worked well in 10.2.x) with an nVidia eGPU. 

Your problem definitely isnt TB1 bandwidth though. I got a 10x+ improvement from my 1070 vs 650m on my mid-2012 TB1 MBP.

2012 15" Macbook Pro Retina GT650M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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ozzy
 ozzy
(@ozzy)
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Joined: 3 years ago

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OCaptain12
(@ocaptain12)
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Instal Windows... Nvidia drivers are crap in macOS. Games run a lot better in W10.

That's a less than helpful answer.

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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Don’t use Nvidia, macOS drivers are not good. Also Fortnite is not a good benchmark it is quite unoptimizable yet, try Rise  the Tomb Raider.


MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: OCaptain12
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Instal Windows... Nvidia drivers are crap in macOS. Games run a lot better in W10.

That's a less than helpful answer.

Why is that "less than helpful"? The OP wants better gaming performance, games run far better in Windows. By installing Windows you can get the best of both worlds - a macOS environment for everyday usage and when you want to game switch to Windows for better eGPU support (Windows manages all GPUs at a system level)?

Despirte "official support" for eGPUs in macOS in far more use cases Windows and eGPUS's "just work".

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


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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I'm going to give Windows a shot, following the directions on getting Windows to work on a non-MBR bootcamp partition. Will post back findings.

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odyhunter
(@odyhunter)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Maybe try with close the lid? I think the other folks were testing with mac mini. What is your OSX version?

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Effloretron
(@effloretron)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

OMG! I've finally found someone who had/has the same problem I do.

I know this is an old thread but OP, did you ever figure out what the issue was?

I'm running a thunderbolt 2 equipped MacBook Pro with an RX580 eGPU.
Gaming performance is horrible.  I have the same problem that you described where it also doesn't seem to matter how much you lower the settings, the games still encounter massive frame drops and other undesirable performance problems.  I'm in a position where I can't dual boot windows just to play games so I would like to get this to work in Mac OS.

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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: OCaptain12
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Instal Windows... Nvidia drivers are crap in macOS. Games run a lot better in W10.

That's a less than helpful answer.

@ocaptain12 This is not true. He is right- Newer games are hardly playable in MacOSX.

You playing Fortnite and League of Legends in MacOsx?! Is it a native Mac game or some Wine-wrapped game? Steam?

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


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

fortnite will have poor performance with Nvidia eGPU can confirm, it's not a hardware issue

MBP 2013 750M + Akitio [email protected]RX570 (OSX) & GTX1080 (Bootcamp)


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bart
 bart
(@bart)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

Has anyone ever figured out what the issue was? I'm seeing the same performance hiccups as OP and @Effloretron but with a Radeon VII. The full setup is:

MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
2.9 GHz Intel Core i9
32 GB 2400 MHz DDR4
Intel UHD Graphics 630 1536 MB

Razer Core X Chroma + AMD Radeon VII
LG 27ud88-W

Everything connected with stock Razer TB and LG DisplayPort cables.

The same setup works butter smooth with a 2016 Dell Precision M5510 but if plug it into the Macbook Pro (on macOS), I'm getting the same behavior as others: games seem to run at perfect FPS for a couple seconds, and then get very choppy for 2-3 secs (I would say it drops to 5-15 FPS).

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bart
 bart
(@bart)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

It gets a little better if I change to the monitor resolution to Default for Display. Which is surprising given that the game is run in real fullscreen/nonwindowed mode. But the frame rates are still unplayably choppy. A better way to explain it is that the FPS is generally very good, but every 2-5 seconds it drops several frames.

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bart
 bart
(@bart)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

So I just got it under control, although I don't know for how long. What did the trick for me (again, we're talking macOS only):
0. I have previously switched the monitor resolution to Default for Display. But it did not solve the problems on its own.
1. Installed Rise of the Tomb Raider (if that makes any sense...).
2. Disabled USB Overdrive.
3. Disabled Automatic graphics switching in Energy Saver.

I tried to pinpoint which one of those helped but at this point everything is running smoothly even if I reenable USB Overdrive and Automatic graphics switching and restart. I understand that it makes little sense, but those steps are what solved the problem, at least temporarily, after three days of trying.

This post was modified 3 months ago

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bart
 bart
(@bart)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

After some further testing I can confirm that the problem was cased by using a scaled resolution. This is surprising because exclusive fullscreen mode did not solve the problem in any of the games that I tested.

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