Radeon VII not in Apple's list of officially supported eGPUs?
 
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[Solved] Radeon VII not in Apple's list of officially supported eGPUs?  

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User Name
(@user_name)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hello, new member here,

I am planning to get an eGPU for my MacBook Pro 15" mid 2015 and wanted to buy a Radeon VII as it fits to my needs.

When I looked at Apple's supported eGPU list however it does not appear on the list.

What does it mean?

My assumption is that the eGPU is still supported (as I saw a lot of people with similar builds here on this forum) but maybe the driver is not as optimized as for the other cards... or am I wrong?

I just wanted to be sure before buying a rather expensive GPU.

 

Edit: Here is Apple's official list:

Supported eGPU configurations

This topic was modified 9 months ago

Soon: 2015 15" MacBook Pro i7 16GB + Razer Core X + AMD Radeon VII


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@user_name The Radeon VII has a flaw firmware that causes the cooling fans to run full speed when the connected host computer is in sleep/off mode. There's only one eGPU enclosure, NetStor HL23T-Plus [review link] that was built to remedy this issue.

 

external graphics card builds
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2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 11 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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User Name
(@user_name)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi @itsage,

thank you for the fast reply and for the disclaimer. I will keep that in my mind.

However, my question whether the Radeon VII is "fully" supported on MacOs still remains unanswered. Do you know if I might have some problems with the drivers?

Soon: 2015 15" MacBook Pro i7 16GB + Razer Core X + AMD Radeon VII


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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@user_name

The drivers are there, in MacOS Catalina, and the cheese grater <=2012 Mac Pros are no longer officially supported, and the 2019 Mac Pro documentation states the cards supported in it are on the egpu list, in which the Radeon VII is absent, so its a little ambiguous why the Radeon VII drivers are there at all if they aren't supported.  You could try contacting Apple and asking, my guess their answer is that it's not officially recommended/supported but not that it won't work.  

My personal experience has been that the drivers have been more stable with 10.15.3, prior to that I would have occasional system freezes, and I don't push my card much in MacOS other than occasional macOS native gaming.  Sayonara Wild Hearts still hitches in some levels on the Radeon VII, so the drivers aren't perfect.

2019 16 Macbook Pro + Core v2 + Radeon VII MacOS 10.15.1
Core X Chroma + RTX 2080 Windows 10 1909
Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3, Ryzen 5 3400G + Core v2 + Radeon VII Win10 1909

 
2019 ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 [R3K,4C,G] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V2) + Win10 1909 [build link]  


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User Name
(@user_name)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Thanks @ningauble77,

that answers my question. I find it strange that the drivers exist and are not listed and even stranger that you experienced improvements after the update to 10.15.3, which means that a team is still working on them.

I hope that they will not end support for/improving the drivers (like they did for Nvidia).

Maybe a last question to you @ningauble77:

I plan to do some deep learning on my Mac on the Razer VII using PlaidML (here is their GitHub). I know it is not perfect for the reasons that a) MacOs Radeon VII drivers may not be fully optimized, b) PlaidML is still in development and c) Nvidia is way better at that (sadly not supported in Catalina anymore).

Do you think the Radeon VII will be still up to the task?

Soon: 2015 15" MacBook Pro i7 16GB + Razer Core X + AMD Radeon VII


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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@user_name

I can only speak to benchmarks, since I don't have any experience doing ML work.  Graphics performance in MacOS is very close to the 5700 XT and a bit better than Vega64.  Some compute benches (such as luxmark)  perform extremely well compared to every available MacOS egpu card, but others (like geekbench, which for various reasons isn't a particularly good reference point on MacOS due to wildly varied results , perform poorly compared to Vega64 and 5700XT.)  Video work seems hit and miss too depending on what application is being used and what specific codecs are involved.  I would research if anyone with hackintoshes or Mac Pros are using Radeon VII's with PlaidML and what their experiences have been, and hope that the egpu penalty for that particular app is minimal.  

This post was modified 9 months ago

2019 16 Macbook Pro + Core v2 + Radeon VII MacOS 10.15.1
Core X Chroma + RTX 2080 Windows 10 1909
Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3, Ryzen 5 3400G + Core v2 + Radeon VII Win10 1909

 
2019 ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 [R3K,4C,G] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V2) + Win10 1909 [build link]  


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

My experience with Radeon VII was very good,  Final Cut, gaming and general usage. 


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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User Name
(@user_name)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Thanks @ikir and @ningauble77,

I have decided to go with this build and have bought a Radeon VII. And @ikir: Ho visto il tuo review della Radeon VII. Molto informativo, mi ha rassicurato che ho fatto la scelta giusta 😉 .

By the way, I saw @itsage's post to use Mac-amd-info in order to see which graphic cards are supported. Here is the results to reassure everyone that the Radeon VII is indeed supported even if not listed on the official Mac list:

### AMDRadeonX5000.kext

[...]

* pci device: 66a7 - Vega 20 [Radeon Pro Vega 20]

* pci device: 66af - Vega 20 [Radeon VII]

* pci device: 6860 - Vega 10 [Radeon Instinct MI25]

[...]

This post was modified 9 months ago

Soon: 2015 15" MacBook Pro i7 16GB + Razer Core X + AMD Radeon VII


ikir liked
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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: @user_name

Thanks @ikir and @ningauble77,

I have decided to go with this build and have bought a Radeon VII. And @ikir: Ho visto il tuo review della Radeon VII. Molto informativo, mi ha rassicurato che ho fatto la scelta giusta 😉 .

Wow thanks 🙂 


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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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Apple uses Vega II cards in the 2019 Mac Pro so the drivers are good in macOS. Those cards share the same chip as Radeon VII. Apple doesn't list Radeon VII in their eGPU support article due to a flaw on the GPU's firmware. Unless AMD decides to provide a firmware update to remedy the full speed fan issue in suspended mode, it won't be officially supported for eGPU use.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,4C,B] + RX Vega 56 Nano @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 11 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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