Testing the AMD Vega 64 in a Razer Core V2  

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damonhayhow
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July 30, 2018 2:28 pm  

I could find no definitive information regarding whether an AMD Radeon Vega 64 would work inside a Razer Core V2? So, for anyone interested, I got a Vega 64 and can now definitively answer that question.

The answer is: ????

UPDATE: after writing all of this, I discovered I had a faulty Vega 64. I will write an update once I have a replacement.

Background: I've been running a Razer Core V2 with an RX580. Because I don't game, and the latest FCPX doesn't use eGPU's, it was basically useless until @mac_editor released the Set-eGPU script here:  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/potentially-accelerate-all-applications-on-egpu-macos-10-13-4/

Now the eGPU accelerates FCPX so it is worthwhile for me. And, of course, I want more of that goodness. 

The Vega 64 is as good as it gets for Mac. So I read up on the Vega64 power requirements and, though ridiculously high, they were still technically below the Core V2 supply. The V2 supplies 375W to the card alone, and the Vega64 needs a nominal 295, with surges into the mid 300's. Only the TomsHardware analysis found rare, brief, transient spikes exceeding the 375W of the Core V2; but those were only 10W over, and only on the most massive 3D efforts, which I would not be providing.

Barefeats.com also noted that they were successfully able to use the Akitio Node with a smaller power supply, also providing 375W to a Vega 64. So I could not see why the V2 wouldn't work for my needs?

Setup: I'm currently running 2x LG UltraFine 4K displays. One connects directly to my MacBook Pro. The other connects to the RX580 in the Core V2 via the Sunnix UPD2018 DisplayPort to USB-C adapter (which is powered by a $5 PCIE Riser card, which is powered by an external molex power adapter).

Vega 64 in a Core V2: I first tested the Vega 64 at the supplier without an external display. The system profiler showed the card was correctly recognised. So I ran the GeekBench OpenCL compute test and it scored 138000-ish. That was barely more than the RX580's typical 125000-ish score... but it worked, so I took the card. Since then, 143000 is the highest I've achieved. Its nowhere near the 160-170000 I've read others get.

I then put the Core V2 + Vega 64 into my dual-monitor setup. After some strange glitches and a few restarts due to temperamental on-off behaviour, the system seemingly was working as it had with the RX580.

I ran the Novabench benchmark to see how it was running and... it scored worse than the RX580. Much worse. The 580 was pushing 60fps whereas the Vega 64 pushed 30. Strange? Turns out, whenever I connect a display to the Vega, it will only display 4K30. I tried it on another 4K display via HDMI (18Gbps) and still could only get 4K30. The RX580 with the same DisplayPort cable runs 4K60. And it seems like the 3D test on Nova is unable to exceed the display refresh rate? So I ignored Novabench.

Then I tried running the Heaven benchmark and after barely a second or 2 of seeing DOUBLE the frame rate of the RX580, the screen flicked off, then on, then off, and eventually the mac dropped the eGPU display altogether and moved Heaven to the display connected directly to the MacBook.

Strangely, even though the Vega64 had dropped its display, it was somehow still drawing the graphics of the Heaven benchmark on the other display. I had used Set-eGPU to make the Heaven benchmark use the eGPU preferentially. But, while that explains Heaven using the eGPU, it doesn't explain why the Vega64 would crash the display connected to it, yet still be able to function perfectly with the display NOT connected to it!

I then tested out the Core V2+Vega on a 4K HDMI display. It worked fine until I fired up Heaven. It worked for a while before completely crashing so bad it reset the MacBook, somehow? It literally sent the MacBook back to the login screen, all apps closed, full restart. 

The most success I've had with the Vega+Core is with FCPX. Using the Bruce X benchmark I've gotten 20 seconds. The RX580 gets about 30s and the discrete internal 560X gets about 40s. So the Vega is substantially better there. I haven't had time to test it rendering a big movie though.

But there's more weirdness. The Core V2 is not quiet. With the RX580 the PSU fan runs audibly most of the time; even at idle. And when the graphics are pushed the fans really spin up and the unit makes itself known.

With the Vega 64 there is silence. The fans barely spin up. Even after multiple benchmarks and an eventual crash, the fans barely spin. Occasionally they do. So they are not disabled or broken. But mostly they don't.

So the logical conclusion is that the Core V2 cannot supply sufficient power to the Vega64. But if this is the case, and we already know the Vega sucks power even on light tasks, why do the power supply fans not behave the same as with the RX580?

Solution: The simplest answer is: the Vega 64 does not work in a Core V2, even though it does work fine if no displays are connected to it. (Yes, I realize how stupid that sounds).

Longterm it appears that I either need to swap the Core V2 for a new Core X, or I need to sell the Vega64? Unless somebody has another suggestion? I'd much prefer to stick to the Core V2.

I would like to test the Vega 64 in its low power mode. But, unless somebody knows a way to do it on Mac, I believe that requires Windows and Im not sure if the setting would 'stick' when moving back to Mac?

For right now, I've disconnected the main display from the Vega64 and reconnected it directly to the MacBook. The eGPU is still being used for processing video, benchmarks and 3D data. But, because video images have to be sent back to the MacBook before being redrawn and displayed, the performance is basically the same as the RX580. Though I have no idea why straight compute tasks are barely better than the 580?

Hopefully this helps somebody else out there. And hopefully somebody else has a suggestion that makes this work successfully?

2018 15" Macbook Pro I7 2.6 Ghz / 16Gb / 512 Gb / 560X. 2x LG Ultrafine 4K displays. Razer Core V2 eGPU, Radeon RX580, Sunnix UPD2018 Displayport adapter.


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theitsage
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July 30, 2018 2:36 pm  

Thank you for the detailed report and sorry to hear about the struggles. My recommendation is to swap the Vega 64 for a Vega 56. I've been using a Vega 56 that was flashed to Vega 64 VBIOS and it runs great. We'd love to see your USB-C to DisplayPort adapter setup to power the Ultrafine 4K displays.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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cvk14
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July 30, 2018 3:09 pm  

I've used the Vega 64 in a Core X.. worked fine, but I haven't tested it versus any other card. No crashes thus far.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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ikir
 ikir
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July 30, 2018 10:07 pm  

Din’t think Razer Core v2 PSU can drive a Vega 64. Also the heat can be an issue.
for that eGPU I suggest to get a Vega 56.
if you are interested I needed to upgrade my PSU and Airflow to drive an extreme Vega 64 card.

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2018-macbook-pro-13-quad-core-i7-touch-bar-mantiz-venus-extreme-mod-with-sapphire-nitro-rx-vega-64-macos-high-sierra-mojave/#post-40618

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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damonhayhow
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July 31, 2018 2:25 pm  

Thats really interesting about the Vega56, @theitsage. I wish I'd known that trick before I picked up the 64. I got a sweet deal on the 64 but I cannot return it. So I either sell it on eBay, or sell both the Core V2 and the RX580 and pick up a core X. I just didn't want such a big box on my desk.

2018 15" Macbook Pro I7 2.6 Ghz / 16Gb / 512 Gb / 560X. 2x LG Ultrafine 4K displays. Razer Core V2 eGPU, Radeon RX580, Sunnix UPD2018 Displayport adapter.


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theitsage
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July 31, 2018 2:33 pm  

Another option to consider is getting a beefy PSU to use externally. That way you can reduce noise and power the Vega 64 at the same time. @lefuturdelavenir did it and showed the details in this post.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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ikir
 ikir
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July 31, 2018 2:44 pm  

I think it is PSU as we said, so change it and have fun  🙂

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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Armanato
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August 7, 2018 12:51 am  

Long time lurker, but seeing as this post is relevant to my current setup, thought I might chime in with my experience.

I want to start off by saying with my current Razer Core, I've had no stability issues using a Vega 64.

My Current Setup:

  • MacBook Pro 15 2017
  • Razer Core V2
  • Vega 64 LE
  • 3 x LG 24UD58-B Monitors
    • Connected via Display Port

I purchased a Razer Core V2 back in January and was originally running it with a 1080 TI. When MacOS was updated with support for Vega, I started looking into replacing my 1080 TI with a vega card. Like damonhayhow, I could not find a definitive answer about using a Vega 64 card in the Razer Core. I came to the same conclusion about the power draw was under the Core's limits except for the occasional 10ms spike and purchased a 64.

Initially everything worked fine for a couple weeks, then I experience several crashes that culminated with my laptop failing to detect the Vega 64. The GPU would light but the fan would not spin. Testing with a RX 560 that only drew power from the PCIe slot & using an external PSU to power the vega 64, I was able to confirm the issue was with the Core.  After a tortuous RMA process where FedEx lost my original core, Razer sent me a replacement.

I've been using the new replacement core since early June and have not experience any stability issues. Gaming & Benchmarks run fine. The Core definitely gets noisy (not unexpected), but I have not stability issues that can be attributed to the use of a Vega 64.

I'm curious if its MacOS optimizations, possible Razer Core hardware revisions, or luck that my current setup is stable. It seems like the general consensus in this thread is that a Core V2 + Vega 64 should not work.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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ikir
 ikir
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August 9, 2018 12:27 pm  
Posted by: Armanato

Long time lurker, but seeing as this post is relevant to my current setup, thought I might chime in with my experience.

I want to start off by saying with my current Razer Core, I've had no stability issues using a Vega 64.

My Current Setup:

  • MacBook Pro 15 2017
  • Razer Core V2
  • Vega 64 LE
  • 3 x LG 24UD58-B Monitors
    • Connected via Display Port

I purchased a Razer Core V2 back in January and was originally running it with a 1080 TI. When MacOS was updated with support for Vega, I started looking into replacing my 1080 TI with a vega card. Like damonhayhow, I could not find a definitive answer about using a Vega 64 card in the Razer Core. I came to the same conclusion about the power draw was under the Core's limits except for the occasional 10ms spike and purchased a 64.

Initially everything worked fine for a couple weeks, then I experience several crashes that culminated with my laptop failing to detect the Vega 64. The GPU would light but the fan would not spin. Testing with a RX 560 that only drew power from the PCIe slot & using an external PSU to power the vega 64, I was able to confirm the issue was with the Core.  After a tortuous RMA process where FedEx lost my original core, Razer sent me a replacement.

I've been using the new replacement core since early June and have not experience any stability issues. Gaming & Benchmarks run fine. The Core definitely gets noisy (not unexpected), but I have not stability issues that can be attributed to the use of a Vega 64.

I'm curious if its MacOS optimizations, possible Razer Core hardware revisions, or luck that my current setup is stable. It seems like the general consensus in this thread is that a Core V2 + Vega 64 should not work.

It should not work under heavy loads, also you risk to see it happens when MacBook Pro is drawing much power too for example during CPU intensive task + GPU.
vega 64 needs a more powerful PSU, you risk to get crazy next time it start to happen. A Loren powerful psu also lives longer than a stressed PSU

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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damonhayhow
(@damonhayhow)
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August 20, 2018 1:00 pm  

Having written all of the above, it turns out the problem was a faulty Vega 64 all along. The card itself cuts out after less than a minute of being run hard. I will be making a warrantee claim and then updating the original post when I can.

2018 15" Macbook Pro I7 2.6 Ghz / 16Gb / 512 Gb / 560X. 2x LG Ultrafine 4K displays. Razer Core V2 eGPU, Radeon RX580, Sunnix UPD2018 Displayport adapter.


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Mcc
 Mcc
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September 20, 2018 3:59 am  

I just got my vega 64 and razer core x. I ran benchmarks and everything works fine in mac osx. I tried plugging thr egou in bootcamp and now all I get is a black screen.... I just found these forums, from just taking a quick look their is some additional steps I need to take to enable egpu in bootcamp correct? Were should I begin, any suggestions and help would be appreciated.

*Update* I made my EFI USB, was able to get past the black screen, installed the amd drivers (not the ones from radeon) I got the gpu up and running. Ran benchmark everything seems great. Now I just gotta figure out the undervolting and maybe the EFI solution that does not require a usb.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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TheJizel
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September 20, 2018 4:52 pm  
Posted by: Mcc

I just got my vega 64 and razer core x. I ran benchmarks and everything works fine in mac osx. I tried plugging thr egou in bootcamp and now all I get is a black screen.... I just found these forums, from just taking a quick look their is some additional steps I need to take to enable egpu in bootcamp correct? Were should I begin, any suggestions and help would be appreciated.

*Update* I made my EFI USB, was able to get past the black screen, installed the amd drivers (not the ones from radeon) I got the gpu up and running. Ran benchmark everything seems great. Now I just gotta figure out the undervolting and maybe the EFI solution that does not require a usb.

@mcc Check out this thread. These steps worked for me.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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Mcc
 Mcc
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September 20, 2018 5:19 pm  

Thanks, 

So after installing the drivers and being able to run benchmarks in bootcamp I ran into a little issue.  My external usb hard drive is not recognized. Now I remember while skimming the forums I migbt have seen that the usb c connection next to the one you use for the egpu becomes some what obsolete or unusable, not sure if that has any truth.  I want to update windows since I did a fresh install and see if that will fix it. I'll update later today. Ran 3 full benchmarks with heaven benchmark and every was amazing.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Mcc
 Mcc
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September 22, 2018 4:10 pm  

So I updated to the latest windows build in bootcamp, the GPU stopped working but I uninstalled the drivers and installed them again and everything is working, I ran benchmarks again, been playing over watch highest setting buhahaha. Now their is only one other thing that I would like to fix. My integrated graphics radeon pro 560 are not working properly. Is this just the way it is at the moment or can I actually get them working as well???

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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TheJizel
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September 22, 2018 10:20 pm  
Posted by: Mcc

Now their is only one other thing that I would like to fix. My integrated graphics radeon pro 560 are not working properly. Is this just the way it is at the moment or can I actually get them working as well???

Seems to be the way it is. I actually disabled the 560 and was able to get my internal display to work with the basic display driver. I haven't seen anybody reporting success with getting both GPUs to run in Windows.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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Mcc
 Mcc
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September 22, 2018 10:29 pm  

Ya that's how mine is working with the integrated Intel chipset . Now I'm not sure if this has to do anything with that but the laptops screen won't sleep when I close it, If I am usually using the external display I just like to close it so it is not being used and just have the laptop on the side closed. Not sure if you know anything about that.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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TheJizel
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September 22, 2018 11:08 pm  
Posted by: Mcc

Ya that's how mine is working with the integrated Intel chipset . Now I'm not sure if this has to do anything with that but the laptops screen won't sleep when I close it, If I am usually using the external display I just like to close it so it is not being used and just have the laptop on the side closed. Not sure if you know anything about that.

It's the exact same way for me. Haven't seen a way around it. I've just been keeping mine closed as well. Hasn't caused any problems thus far.

2018 15" MacBook Pro Touchbar RP560X + [email protected] (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.13.6 & W10 1803


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BadAss_Bender
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November 6, 2018 4:00 pm  

Hi

I have a similar issue. So I have an Geforce RTX 2080 TI on Razer blade pro with a Core v2. I just want to know if the real issue was the vega 64 card?. 

Because a guy told me that maybe is the power requirements. The 2080 TI RTX uses around 260 PW while the Vega 64 300W. 

Regards

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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