Struggling, need some advice. (2018 MacBook Pro 13")
 
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Struggling, need some advice. (2018 MacBook Pro 13")  

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

Hello eGPU community, I've spent a bunch of time researching here and tried a few different setups with minimal success. I'm going to skip right to my current setup.

2018 Macbook Pro 13"
Intel Core i7
16GB RAM
ASUS  XG Station Pro
ASUS AREZ Radeon RX Vega 56
Dell U2718Q 4K Monitor
Dell WD15 (For Charging and USB Hub)

I just purchased an Asus XG Station Pro and an ASUS AREZ Radeon RX Vega 56. Now, this could be as simple as this card doesn't work in this box, but from all my research, even though it is not listed on the supported cards, the card fits within the power requirements. Putting the card in a desktop and monitoring power consumption supports this as it never passed 260W according to GPU-Z in Windows.

So here is what happened... I unboxed everything, tried the GPU in a desktop and confirmed it worked. Put the GPU in the enclosure and hooked it up to my laptop. Everything worked to start, image was displayed on my monitor perfectly. However, as soon as I launched a 3D application in MacOS I heard a loud buzzing or whining sound coming from the box, this sound was like really loud and deep coil whine. I still don't know if this sound is coming from the GPU or the enclosure. After about a minute of this sound the whole enclosure suddenly cut off. Unplugging the TB3 cable and the power cable from the box wouldn't get it back. I unplugged the power brick from the wall and plugged it back in and all the LEDs lit up on the enclosure. But I could no longer get the GPU to show up in MacOS. I restarted and the issue was still there. I pulled the GPU out and swapped it with an R9 270 that I have and still no go in MacOS. Funny enough, this worked in Bootcamp though. So the enclosure is working in Bootcamp with a different GPU. Now I think I killed my GPU so I put it back in my desktop and it works fine. I simply can't figure out what part of this setup is failing. I know this is a bunch of text so I'll list all the configurations and their outcome below. Does anyone have any idea what's going on?

ASUS XG Station Pro + RX Vega 56 + MacOS = Doesn't Detect GPU
ASUS XG Station Pro + RX Vega 56 + Bootcamp = Doesn't Detect GPU
ASUS XG Station Pro + R9 270 + MacOS = Doesn't Detect GPU
ASUS XG Station Pro + R9 270 + Bootcamp = Works perfectly
Desktop + RX Vega 56 = Works Perfectly

Additionally, the strange buzzing sound only occurs when the Asus XG Station Pro is paired with the RX Vega. The sound does not exist in the enclosure with the R9 270 OR on the desktop with the RX Vega 56.

2018 13" Macbook Pro (i7 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD) + ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS AREZ Vega 56 + 2x Dell U2718Q 4K


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: brick
ASUS XG Station Pro + R9 270 + MacOS = Doesn't Detect GPU

Additionally, the strange buzzing sound only occurs when the Asus XG Station Pro is paired with the RX Vega. The sound does not exist in the enclosure with the R9 270 OR on the desktop with the RX Vega 56.

macOS doesn't support the R9 270 eGPU by default. Try purge-wrangler.

I think my PSU buzzes a little when the Vega (I have a 64) is cranking to the max. Also noticed the GPU make some conundrum when the memory controller is pegged.

Consider PRAM and SMC reset on your Mac. You have done great debugging already by testing the enclosure with a different GPU and the GPU with a different system. Finally, IIRC @itsage has used a V56 with the XG Station Pro and it was fine. Now what exact card it was I don't remember. But maybe the system is power-constrained in your case.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + RX 5700 XT (Mantiz Venus)

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro


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

Okay, performing a PRAM and SMC reset got the Vega 56 to show back up in MacOS. However, I was able to get it to crash and stop showing up again by running Unigine Valley for a few minutes. I took a video of the buzzing sound, which might be some severe coil whine, but it's deeper than I've ever heard. I can't tell if this is coming from the GPU or the enclosure. The sound is loudest towards the bottom of the GPU or directly under it at the end closest to the video ports. Any thoughts?

2018 13" Macbook Pro (i7 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD) + ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS AREZ Vega 56 + 2x Dell U2718Q 4K


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@brick I'm not much of a hardware guy, so I wouldn't know much, but it seems bit too much. If you can get it set up on Windows, try undervolting and benchmarking.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + RX 5700 XT (Mantiz Venus)

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@brick Something is not right with your ASUS RX Vega 56. I tested a similar eGPU build using XG Station Pro + Asus STRIX RC Vega 56. It worked fine for me in both Windows and macOS. The graphics card itself was very quiet.

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


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

It sounds like a fan rubbing imo, much like when I tried to cram a Vega 56 pulse into my Razer Core (too narrow), could there be any physical damage?

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

@mac_editor I got it going in Windows, made a few changes and it seems to change the "tone" of the buzzing and doesn't crash, but it is still pretty obnoxious.

@itsage Thank you, I figured as much. Your setup is actually something that inspired this build, so I'm looking forward to getting it working.

@eightarmedpet This sound starts as soon as the GPU has a load put on it, and before any of the fans spin up. So it happens without any fans moving. And when you stop the load on the GPU the buzzing stops immediately and the fans keep spinning.

Anyways, all that to say I ordered a new enclosure and a new GPU and they'll be here in a couple days. I'll try everything in different configurations to figure out which item is bad and update you all here.

Thanks for the tips!

This post was modified 1 year ago

2018 13" Macbook Pro (i7 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD) + ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS AREZ Vega 56 + 2x Dell U2718Q 4K


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

Happy to report that the new system is working great. It looks like there was a combination of issues here. The ASUS XG Station Pro was defective and had power delivery issues. When peak power was hit the system would shut off. Also, the loud buzzing noise was from the GPU. This noise was present with the card in both the XG Station Pro and my desktop, but far worse in the XG Station Pro. I think the poor power delivery made it worse.

Anyways, new GPU and Enclosure hooked up a couple days ago and everything is perfect!

2018 13" Macbook Pro (i7 | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD) + ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS AREZ Vega 56 + 2x Dell U2718Q 4K


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I paired the Asus XG Station Pro with Vega 56 and there is not much space for experiments. With some overclocking the power shuts down quickly. So be aware that there may be some issues with the power.

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


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