Not getting improved game performance, what am I missing?
 
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Not getting improved game performance, what am I missing?  

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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years 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

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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Halbertus
(@halbertus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 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

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.11 & Win10 [build link]  


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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years 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.

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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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years 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.

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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bdruth
(@bdruth)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years 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!)

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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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago

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ozzy
 ozzy
(@ozzy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 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) [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 1070 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  

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ozzy
 ozzy
(@ozzy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Here is the steps for the solution to get OpenGL acceleration on nVidia with latest OS and script:

https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/gt650m-gt750m-mbp-nvidia-egpu-378-10-10-10-25-106-not-387-xx-egpu-accelerated-macos-apps-opengl-metal/

2012 15" MacBook Pro Retina (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 1070 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  

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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.

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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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 4 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 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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