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State of eGPU for Macs – Mojave 10.14 Update  

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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Posts: 1197
January 30, 2019 1:18 am  
Posted by: mac_editor

@oliverb I'll send you a kext to try once I have some time. I have to scour into my old backups for a High Sierra install to examine some things. If you're up for some testing and have a High Sierra installation handy, that is.

Of course, I have both High Sierra (on my 15" MPB 2018) and Mojave (on my wife's 13" MPB 2015) and happy to try some things. I don't have the R9 290 (Hawaii) anymore, but all other vintage AMD chips and will get some more.

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


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Taikuh
(@taikuh)
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Posts: 10
January 30, 2019 10:13 am  

Hi all, I'm posting a reply here instead of starting a new thread because I think the answers would vary depending on the current State of eGPU for Macs.

I'm in the research and planning phase of buying a GPU and eGPU enclosure for my 2017 13" MacBook Pro w/ TouchBar. I've read most of the main resources and tutorials along with several well-written build guides (shoutout to @itsage and @eightarmedpet). My question is what would be the ideal GPU and eGPU enclosure for my needs?

Current system specs:

  • 2017 13" MacBook Pro w/ Touchbar
  • 3.5 GHz i7-7567U
  • Intel Iris Plus 650
  • macOS Mojave (10.14.2)
  • currently no bootcamp/Windows

What I'd like:

  • One cable to rule them all: an enclosure that can Power Delivery for a 13" MBP (60W) at the very least. Ideally, the enclosure also has a couple USB ports and an ethernet port, maybe audio out and even SATA.
  • Can boot up in Bootcamp and macOS while eGPU is plugged in
  • Can unplug the eGPU while OS is running
  • Can use both the MBP internal display with a 1080 external monitor
  • Plays well with sleep mode on both OSes
  • Initial setting up can be complicated, but it shouldn't be necessary to keep fiddling around with the setup during normal use. Just simple plug-unplug and any necessary ejecting operations.

I'm currently leaning towards the Vega 56 paired with a Mantiz Venus. I currently have a Mantiz Titan and it works pretty well. I appreciate all feedback, advice, and suggestions. I know what I'd like might not be 100% possible, so I'd also like to hear about where you would compromise if you were in my shoes. Once I've decided and bought everything, I'll be sure to write my own build guide and provide benchmarks. Thanks for reading!

13" MacBook Pro 2017 + RX580 Gigabyte Gaming Box + macOS 10.14 & Win10 (1809)


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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January 30, 2019 10:37 am  

Glad my waffling pseudo guides are of some help!

There are maybe a couple of considerations you've missed off - size and noise. Do either matter to you?

I love the looks and size of my Razer Core but it makes an awful din, same with my Ref Vega card.

Enclosure wise the ASUS could be a good solution as it is quiet, smallish in size, plus has an extra USB C port you could plug a dock into (I believe that would work - haven't done so myself so can't be certain).

I've only ever been able to keep my eGPU plugged in at all times with an Nvidia card, but then it never worked in macOS due to no drivers (but I am very tired of hit plugging which I have to currently do which takes about 15mins to get right).

My problems are compounded by my TB3 display.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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Taikuh
(@taikuh)
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Posts: 10
January 30, 2019 5:05 pm  

@eightarmedpet, when I first started looking into eGPUs, size and noise did matter to me. I initially wanted to try cobbling something together to fit in a Mac Mini case, but have since shelved that idea. I'm surrendered to the fact that I'll need to work with larger enclosures for worthwhile performance gains. The Razer Core V2 does look like a good choice. Significantly smaller than the Mantiz Venus but without a SATA port and having a noisier fATX PSU. But a Vega 56 + Razer Core V2 would run me about $1000 USD here. I may end up getting the Mantiz Venus anyway to save some money at the expense of a larger footprint. Thanks for the advice!

To clarify, you've only been able to get Nvidia cards to work plugged in all the time regarding Bootcamp, but for macOS, you need to hot plug it? Hot plugging meaning to plug it in at the right time when booting up the OS?

I know AMD cards should be perfectly plug-n-play with macOS. And @leoben made it sound like he's able to leave his Vega 64 eGPU plugged in while booting into Bootcamp (Step 7 in this post). Can leoben or anybody else confirm that? eightarmedpet, why do you think you kept getting Error 12 with your Vega 56 while leoben doesn't with his Vega 64? Do you think it's because of your Ultrafine? I'm assuming you have the Windows 10 Fall Creator Update?

13" MacBook Pro 2017 + RX580 Gigabyte Gaming Box + macOS 10.14 & Win10 (1809)


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Eightarmedpet
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January 31, 2019 7:45 am  

@taikuh just did some testing after I had a thought.... and yes, it may be due to my TB3 display.
I tried the EFI boot loader (which I usually use, but built a new USB using @maceditors automated terminal command) and with the TB 3 display UNPLUGGED I could keep the eGPU plugged in while switching OS and no error 12 or need to disable right side thunderbolt ports.
Will try and stress test it and update you.

Edit: Nope... screen didn't make a difference after all, tried subsequent boots from restart and shutdown and the eGPU wasn't recognised once windows loaded if plugged in from boot. God knows why.

This post was modified 4 months ago

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070 (debating 2070 upgrade) @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + Vega 56 @32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core V1) + Win10 & macOS 10.14+

---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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Taikuh
(@taikuh)
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Posts: 10
February 4, 2019 6:31 am  

Sorry for the absence. I couldn't log into the forums for some reason but everything is magically working again now. After some thought, I decided to just buy the Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box. Hopefully the little PSU fan won't bother me too much. I'll post a separate Build thread when I have everything up and running. I also got a AOC 24P1 monitor to go along with it.

13" MacBook Pro 2017 + RX580 Gigabyte Gaming Box + macOS 10.14 & Win10 (1809)


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luishhrap
(@luishhrap)
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Posts: 1
February 5, 2019 4:48 am  

I have a question related to this, I am thinking of buying an egpu tb 3 for my mac air 13 inch, 2017, i5 (1.8Ghz, turbo 2.9) and 8 ram but has tb2, I can still install widows and it is compatible with the adapter tb3-tb2?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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February 5, 2019 6:56 am  

Update: What does not work: Radeon HD 6950/6970 (Cayman)

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


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Balogh Ákos
(@balogh_akos)
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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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ggabriele3
(@ggabriele3)
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Posts: 11
February 13, 2019 3:29 am  

The last macOS 10.14.3 update seems to have caused big problems for me.

Running a 2018 Mini with a Mantiz Venus and Vega 64. Everything worked fine until a few days ago - I installed the update, restarted, and during boot the eGPU started loudly clicking on and off, the mac would restart a few times, then turn off. Sometimes I can get to a login screen, but it immediately crashes. Kernel panics.
When this happens, it also screws up the USB hard drives I have connected - Disk Utility shows them connected but unmountable. I have to use Disk Drill to get them working again. 
I was able to get it to boot after resetting PRAM and SMC, but the problem came back after the next boot.

I do not think it's the eGPU - in Boot Camp it works fine, even in VR.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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wondermike
(@wondermike)
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Posts: 8
February 23, 2019 4:51 pm  
Posted by: OliverB
Posted by: mac_editor

@wondermike The Radeon 5870 does not support Metal. It won't work on Mojave. Originally, the driver responsible for this GPU was the AMD5000Controller, which is absent in Mojave. You might be able get it going on High Sierra. I recommend testing on a separate installation first. You will require purge-wrangler or automate-eGPU EFI.

I wouldn't have too much expectation. I have tried several Vintage AMD chips on High Sierra and everything older than Tahiti (HD 7870, which works perfectly thanks to purge-wrangler on Mojave and HighSierra, using it right now) just doesn't work, e.g. HD 7770 (Cape Verde) doesn't work, nor does 5850, 5670 or 4850. I haven't tried the 5870 yet, so this maybe be interesting.

Edit: If 5870 chip is Cypress like 5850 or 5830, it won't work.

Okay, so what's my options with my 6 screens and a late 2014 Mac mini, which Graphics Adapter Card with which OS version would work? Those screens (DELL U2417H)  have HDMI (MHL), DisplayPort and Mini DisplayPort connectors.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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heng
 heng
(@heng)
Joined: 2 months ago
Posts: 1
March 15, 2019 2:26 pm  

sadly, my computer is the mbp 2016,and the box is the gamingbox 1080....


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Posts: 1197
March 15, 2019 3:26 pm  
Posted by: heng

sadly, my computer is the mbp 2016,and the box is the gamingbox 1080....

Works well, but not with Mojave. If you want to use it with Mojave you have to change your eGPU. I wouldn't expect an nVidia Webdriver soon.

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


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(@torstein_jakobsen)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 1
April 15, 2019 10:16 pm  

Hey. I tested my MacPro 6.1 8/16 core 32GB Ram and Bizon box2 TB2 with AMD RX 580 8GB in MacOS Mojave (10.14.4)  and it works just fine. I have been using MacOs high Sierra because I have heard that TB2 is no go in Mojave??. I have installed purge-wrangler after recovery-boot and  csrutil disable in terminal-rebooted and voila.... it works. I have to say that I did a upgrade from my working MacOS high Sierra, so this is not a clean install.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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philw
(@philw)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 75
April 16, 2019 7:24 pm  

TB2 is fine in Mojave with AMD - just a no go for Nvidia due to lack of drivers 🙁

Given up on all my Macs...but successfully running: Gigabyte Designare Z390, Core i9-9900K, 64GB RAM, 2x Internal GTX 1080TI, 2x GTX 1070 eGPU (Sonnet eGFX)


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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April 16, 2019 8:08 pm  
Posted by: philw

TB2 is fine in Mojave with AMD - just a no go for Nvidia due to lack of drivers 🙁

Not entirely correct: nVidia card for Mojave

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


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Thomas Cordon
(@thomas_cordon)
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April 17, 2019 6:57 pm  

Anyone know if 2015 MacBook Pro (with TB3 <-> TB2 adapter) + Razer Core X (eGPU) + 1660 ti can work? Namely, on windows bootcamp? I’ve been searching everywhere and can’t seem to find anything solid.

I’ve gotten windows to recognize the eGPU by plugging in at windows logo boot screen, but after logging in and trying any game windows is not stable and freezes. 

This post was modified 1 month ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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April 18, 2019 2:59 pm  
Posted by: OliverB

Perhaps this may be interestaing: I have a table here of what is working and what is not working from personal experiences:

  Chip Native Mojave  High Sierra OpenCL
Radeon Vega 56 gfx900 ****      
Radeon RX 580 Ellesmere ****      
Radeon R9 Nano Fiji   ***    
Radeon HD 7870 Tahiti   ***    
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GP102     **  
GeForce GTX 1080 GP104     **  
GeForce GTX 1050 GP107     **  
GeForce GTX 980 Ti GM200     **  
GeForce GTX 780 GK110   ***    
GeForce GTX 770 GK104   ***    
GeForce GTX 680 GK104   ***    
GeForce GTX 660 GK104   ***    
GeForce GT 740 GK107   ***    
GeForce GTX 570 GF110       *
GeForce GTX 465 GF100       *
Quadro 4000 GF100       *
           
Does not work:          
GeForce RTX 2080 Ti TU102       ?
GeForce GT 640 Fermi GF116       ?
GeForce GTS 450 GF106       ?
GeForce GT 430 GF108       ?
GeForce GTX 285 GT200        
GeForce GTS 250 G92        
GeForce GT 240 GT215        
GeForce 310/Ion GT218        
GeForce 9500 GT G96        
GeForce 8500 GT G86        
Radeon R9 290 Hawaii        
Radeon HD 7770 Cape Verde      
Radeon HD 6950/6970 Cayman        
Radeon HD 5830/5850 Cypress        
Radeon HD 5670 Redwood        
FirePro 3800 Redwood        
Radeon HD 4850 RV770        

I have added some more cards to this list, but before overfilling it: Any Kepler card, including GTX Titan (Black), Quadro Kxxxx and Tesla work in mojave. It's just a matter of the chip.

Beware that there a some models of the 600er and 700er series that don't have a Kepler chip (all GT 610/620, some of GT630/640/730, all of GTX745/750/750Ti, Quadro K620,1200,2200). They won't work in Mojave.

Further: Most of the Kepler chips are "MacEFI-friendly", they won't have problems like the "POST Issue" on some models. This is again with exception, GK107 is not MacEFI-friendly for unknown reason. A 13-inch MBP 2015 will not boot with this eGPU attached. (Anyway it's the worst Kepler chip, GK208 is much better in terms of efficiency, all others (GK106, GK104, GK110) are much more powerful)

Posted by: Thomas Cordon

Anyone know if 2015 MacBook Pro (with TB3 <-> TB2 adapter) + Razer Core X (eGPU) + 1660 ti can work? Namely, on windows bootcamp? I’ve been searching everywhere and can’t seem to find anything solid.

I’ve gotten windows to recognize the eGPU by plugging in at windows logo boot screen, but after logging in and trying any game windows is not stable and freezes. 

@thomas_cordon
I had this macbook working with an GTX1080Ti, but it's not a good combination. It's difficult to hot-plug the eGPU at the correct time, sleep won't work, you can't simply reboot and more issues.
Better use an AMD eGPU with this particular macbook, as it works directly out-of-the-box without any problems with AMD in Bootcamp.

I have create an "nVidia for Mojave"-Matrix which explains which nVidia card work with Mojave.
Any nVidia card that is not in this Matrix, won't work!

KeplerChip Mojave Mac-EFI   GT(X) Quadro Tesla Grid Other
                 
GK110 yes yes   780(Ti), Titan, Titan Black, Titan Z K5200, K6000 K20, K20X, K40    
GK104 yes yes   660(Ti), 670, 680, 690, 760(Ti), 770 K4200, K5000 K10 K2, K520  
GK106 yes yes   645, 650 Ti, 650 Ti Boost, 660 K4000      
GK107 yes no   630, 640, 650, 740 410, K420, K600, K2000(D)   K1, K340 Quadro NVS 510
GK208 yes yes   630, 640, 710, 720, 730        
GK210 ? ?       K80    
                 
This post was modified 1 month ago

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


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