[Sticky] Two new eGPU solutions on macOS 10.13.4: pure EFI and hybrid  

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theitsage
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September 12, 2018 3:40 pm  

@iculikemac There's little to no success for Boot Camp eGPU with the nMP trashcan. The only reports of such setup is through firmware modifications done through Netkas/MacVidCards. Unfortunately I don't have good news with EFI solution on the trashcan either. I tried booting up with different configurations (advised by @goalque). Some caused boot hangs and others crashed the system. The few times it managed to fully boot there was no sign of the eGPU. For now the trashcan can use eGPUs with macOS only via our solutions.

I have good news with the 2018 15" MacBook Pro. EFI solution works great once you disable Secure Boot and allow external booting source. I could use both Nvidia eGPUs and older unsupported AMD eGPUs. In one configuration, I got an R9 Fury X running alongside, GTX 1080 and RX 480 eGPUs.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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mac_editor
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September 12, 2018 4:31 pm  

@itsage That's awesome! Maybe round it off with yet another eGPU plugged in, making 6 GPUs on the system. I tried with the existing patches in the script and it works w/ hot-plug as far as I can tell (displays and all).

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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imcalledandy
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September 12, 2018 7:49 pm  

@itsage Great testing! I'm hopeful now and thinking maybe I can finally get 3 x eGPUs working on the 2013 Mac Pro...

2013 MacPro 2xD700 [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.13.3
2017 TB MBP 2xGTX1080Ti-TB3 (Akitio Node) + macOS 10.13.4


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(@fernando_cuello)
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September 13, 2018 6:00 pm  

@goalque Seeing the possible good results with the new version (particularly, and in a hopeful manner for the 2018" 15 MBP on Bootcamp), is there a release date for the latest version @itsage tested?


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n9yty
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September 13, 2018 6:05 pm  
Posted by: Fernando Cuello

@goalque Seeing the possible good results with the new version (particularly, and in a hopeful manner for the 2018" 15 MBP on Bootcamp), is there a release date for the latest version @itsage tested?

I believe he said after Mojave and the associated NVIDIA drivers are released. That just avoids a lot of extra pain for all the issues that might be encountered. There may not be any surprises, but you never know, so I think he's got the right idea to wait until it is out and tested since it is so close.


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Chippy McChipset
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September 14, 2018 4:00 pm  

Yep. Waiting for 10.14 public release and "official beta" drivers from NVIDIA that follow. I agree it makes good sense.


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ICULikeMac
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September 15, 2018 7:28 am  

@itsage - thanks very much for that info, appreciate it. Such a pity!

Late 2017 15" MBP w/R560
Late 2013 Mac Pro + AGB1070 - MacOS
Late 2012 Mac Mini + AGB1070 - MacOS + Win10


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benek
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September 19, 2018 1:24 pm  

… just wanted to ask whether anyone's tried this yet on an iMac 5k or iMac Pro? I could be willing to try it, but I'm a little unclear about how this script works and what it does to the system… Once I've loaded the script, would I need to boot from an external hard drive every time I start up? Would I be able to put the Mac into sleep mode with my egpu attached? or does it crash the system like the macOS-eGPU.sh script?

I'll probably wait until after the official Mojave release on Sept 24th before testing, but I'm keen to get my 1080TI going for Redshift render on my iMac Pro…


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Chippy McChipset
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September 19, 2018 3:54 pm  

1.0.5 version and NVIDIA drivers won't be available until after official 9/24 release (as I understand it). I might've missed something though; there might be a GitHub link to download the 1.0.5 beta. Either way the NVIDIA Mojave drivers don't exist yet in the wild.


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goalque
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September 19, 2018 5:25 pm  

@benek

I haven't seen sleep issues with my HL23T. The light of the GTX 980 powers off and the TB3 controller card shows 3V3 stand-by power. When I click enter on the external keyboard (lid closed), the eGPU wakes up and brings up the login screen.

Better to wait for official Mojave release and EFI v1.0.5.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + [email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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benek
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September 19, 2018 8:29 pm  

@goalque

Yes, I'll wait for the official Mojave release and EFI 1.0.5…


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theitsage
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September 20, 2018 12:36 am  

@mac_editor I was able to get 4 eGPUs going tonight. Due to a mix of different graphics cards, it wasn't as straight forward as anticipated. All equipment need to be connected prior to booting. More than two Nvidia eGPUs attached directly to the TB3 ports crashed the system. What I ended up doing was to daisy-chain the Nvidia eGPUs to AMD eGPU. Here's the list of components involved:

  • AKiTiO Node Duo + RX 480
  • ASUS XG Station Pro + GTX 1080 Ti
  • AKiTiO Node Pro + R9 Fury
  • AORUS GTX 1080 Gaming Box

As seen in the picture below, Nvidia cards can be detected but there's no monitor output. As soon as the web drivers are out, @goalque's EFI solution will enable Nvidia and older AMD GPUs to work in external mode. I got greedy and pushed for a 5-eGPUs setup. The system was able to boot but the fifth eGPU did not work. It showed up as "Display" only.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

74 external GPU build guides


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mac_editor
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September 20, 2018 2:13 am  

@itsage that desk tho haha! Awesome. Maybe we could find a way to remove the 4 eGPU limitation :p

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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Charly4
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September 20, 2018 8:13 am  

@itsage OMG!!

Macbook PRO Retina 2012 15" (Intel HD 4000 + Nvidia Geforce GT 650M)
Akitio Thunder 2 + Nvidia 970 GTX


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esatamacmodular
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September 20, 2018 2:39 pm  

@itsage love your posts and work! id appreciate more info how you configured setup to determine "More than two Nvidia eGPUs attached directly to the TB3 ports crashed the system" ... Did you try the daisy chain configuration that you describe with Nvidia to AMD to TB3 but instead with Nvidia to Nvidia to TB3? You say that Nvidia cards were detected but there was no monitor output... but were they helping system resources at all- render in pro apps or FPS in games? When you said you tried a 5th eGPU and got "display only" what type of card was it and how did you connect it (spare TB3 port or additional daisy chain)?

iMac 2013 10.9, Macbook Air 2013 10.11, MBP 2016 13" 10.12 , HP 4530s 10.11, node lite, DA-2 PSU w/mod, PE4L 2.1b expresscard34, GTX460,1060,1070/Ti RX470,560,580


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theitsage
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September 20, 2018 3:03 pm  

@esatamacmodular This daisy-chained arrangement was done after the system failed to initialize the eGPUs when more than one Nvidia eGPU was front of the chain or directly connected to the MacBook Pro's TB3 ports. The functional quad eGPU setup was as followed:

GTX 1080 Gaming Box «» R9 Fury + Node Pro «» TB3 15" MBP «» RX 480 + Node Duo «» GTX 1080 Ti + XG Station Pro

The Nvidia web drivers and a patched 10.13.6 version so that I could run it in 10.14. Untill Nvidia releases compatible web drivers for 10.14, the GTX cards are not functional. Even though they show the right name and can detect connected monitors, there are neither monitor output nor available as computing cards in macOS.

The fifth eGPU was WX 9100 + Mantiz Venus. It was a direct connection to an open TB3 port. I tried with RX Vege 56 + Core X too and got the same "Display" device result in System Information » Graphics/Displays.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

74 external GPU build guides


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(@ben_roberts)
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September 21, 2018 4:30 pm  

@goalque Thanks for all your hard work on this.

I just spent a couple of hours trying to get this working with a 2018 MBP Radeon 560X / Mantiz connected over DP to Dell U3818DW / 1070Ti. Everything works as expected after install - logging in then attaching eGPU triggers a logout ... but after logging in the eGPU isn't sending any signal to the monitor. Tried re-running the installer in all the hybrid modes, same result.

So I then read through the (many) posts in this thread only to find you mention that 2018 MBP's aren't supported by 1.0.4 and we'll have to wait for 1.0.5 ... is that true? If so please mention it in the first post to save others wasting hours of their time!


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goalque
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Charly4
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September 23, 2018 4:16 pm  

Mojave release will be tomorrow!!! I wish nvidia has the drivers already and release them as soon as possible...

@goalque Do you have the launch button ready? jausjasuajsuajsasjaus

Cant wait to try 1.0.5...

Macbook PRO Retina 2012 15" (Intel HD 4000 + Nvidia Geforce GT 650M)
Akitio Thunder 2 + Nvidia 970 GTX


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goalque
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hou.mon
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September 24, 2018 8:50 pm  

Thank you for your work! I've been using your solutions for over a year. Having a 1080 ti has made editing on my (2017) MacBook Pro a delight 🙂


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Eightarmedpet
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Chippy McChipset
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September 25, 2018 10:00 pm  

I would bet yes.


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Charly4
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September 27, 2018 7:28 pm  

Come on Nvidia!!!

Macbook PRO Retina 2012 15" (Intel HD 4000 + Nvidia Geforce GT 650M)
Akitio Thunder 2 + Nvidia 970 GTX


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goalque
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September 27, 2018 8:33 pm  

Nvidia still has two "Senior Systems Software Engineers" job positions open.

"to join the NVIDIA Mac graphics driver team and help produce the next revolutionary Apple products"

"Drive and Develop MAC/OS Display Drivers"

Posted 30+ days ago. No engineers, no joy.

https://nvidia.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/NVIDIAExternalCareerSite/job/US-CA-Santa-Clara/Senior-Systems-Software-Engineer_JR1913855

It's interesting that OpenGL is mentioned in some of these, even though Apple has deprecated OpenGL:

"The APIs in the OpenGL and OpenCL frameworks are deprecated and remain present for compatibility purposes. Transition to Metal if your app is using OpenGL or OpenCL."

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/macos_release_notes/macos_mojave_10_14_release_notes

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + [email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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ricc
 ricc
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September 27, 2018 9:51 pm  

Interesting! This could be everything, but I like to think Apple made up his mind on building really great products again. They probably noticed that without a Nvidia GPU they will loose the Machine Learning train, hence a growing portion of pro users.

2014 Macbook Pro 15" Iris Pro /w Aorus Gaming Box GTX 1070


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nakronne
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September 28, 2018 8:54 am  

Thanks guys for your work !

can't wait for the v1.0.5  🙂 

MacBook Pro Retina(mid 2012, Nvidia Geforce GT 650M) + Akitio Node + Nvidia GTX980TI , MacOs+Win10.

MacBook Pro (mid 2018, i9, 32gb, Radeon Pro 560X) + Akitio Node + waiting for Nvidia solution


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goalque
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theitsage
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September 28, 2018 12:45 pm  

That's good news to hear Turing GPU drivers for macOS are coming. The bad news is no time frame as always.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

74 external GPU build guides


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DidierC41
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October 1, 2018 1:05 pm  
Posted by: goalque
Posted by: kingbri

@goalque, when booting, is there a way to force the efi boot entry instead of holding down alt and using it? refind doesn't work, gets stuck at booting os.

No, not at the moment. Maybe in the future. The default boot volume is always the one defined in config.plist's "DefaultVolume" key and the default disk image on Apple's boot manager is always what you have defined in "Startup Disk" (nvram variable). Clover's nvram setting didn't work well.

@chippy-mcchipset if you're not using "Pure EFI", you should always reinstall on each machine. automate-eGPU.kext needs to be created anyway in "Hybrid" mode. If both machines have AMD dGPU, the same config.plist might work.

Posted by: khoster1

Version 1.0.4 Hybrid AMD works fine on my 2017 15-inch TB RP560 MacBook Pro/Sonnet 550/GTX 1080 Ti, great work, thanks. What is exactly the difference between Hybrid AMD and Clamshell? I'm asking because I usually close the MBP screen. Do I have to uninstall/reinstall or is it just an entry in some .plist to be edited?

Nice! 10.13.4, 10.13.5 or 10.13.6? With Hybrid AMD/iGPU mode you can use both the internal and eGPU screens, the clamshell mode disables your internal screen. Switching between Clamshell mode and AMD dGPU/iGPU on-the-fly isn't yet supported, you can only use one at a time, and if want to change mode, uninstall/reinstall.

About that switching between Clamshell and hybrid AMD dGPU:
I have now a 1.0.4 hybrid AMD dGPU working solution (thanks again to goalque advise for reinstalling MacOS with the recovery mode). But somewhere you say that clamshell mode should provide maximum eGPU performance,  so I have some questions:

1) your HowTo for the clamshell says that we have first to disable features, with the command
sudo pmset -a sleep 0; sudo pmset -a hibernatemode 0; sudo pmset -a disablesleep 1;
If I understand it well, the MBP then will not go to sleep when we close the lid; will it be the case also after a normal reboot (normal configuration, no eGPU) ? in which case it means that we have to manually select "sleep" in the Apple menu before closing the lid? if true then is this revertible by command like (guess) sleep 1;  hibernatemode 1; disablesleep 0  ?

2) to change mode, does the uninstall/reinstall process means we need to (i) run the installer first with the uninstall option, then (ii) run another time with the clamshell option, or can we only run the installer on a new clean USB stick, so that we can change mode on the fly just by changing USB stick on EFI boot?
in other words, does the uninstall option remove/change something on the system (the automate-eGPU.kext dir probably)? so that both mode are not compatible.

MacBookPro 15" 2016, MacOS 10.13.6 (17G65), dGPU RP460, Sonnet eGFX BB550W, NVIDIA GTX 1080


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DidierC41
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October 1, 2018 1:08 pm  

Oh well, about my question (2), I got confused on that but re-reading I realize that you already answered "no switch on the fly". So only (1) remains.

MacBookPro 15" 2016, MacOS 10.13.6 (17G65), dGPU RP460, Sonnet eGFX BB550W, NVIDIA GTX 1080


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Tico
 Tico
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October 1, 2018 2:40 pm  

Well its been almost a year & no official Titan V drivers for even High Sierra. The Nvidia web driver
-WebDriver-387.10.10.15.15.108 released & then pulled did contain Volta (Titan V) driver- NVDAGV100HalWeb.kext.
I got it working on my Titan V & 2018 MacBook Pro & Sonnet eGFX 650.  I posted benchmarks earlier in this forum.
Hopefully the Mojava drivers will be out much quicker along with a re-released HS driver.

☀️θ∆ics🌎
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014),2.8 GHz Intel Core i7 16 GB VIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB, Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, 2018) I9, 2.9 GHZ 16gb Radeon Pro 560x 4 gb
Sonnet BA 650w (upgraded), Titan V
Mantiz Venus RX VEGA 8 gb


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goalque
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October 2, 2018 3:53 pm  

@didierc41

1) You don't have to run pmset commands in clamshell mode. The maximum performance is based on presumption that there is a performance loss in the middle ground of two active physical displays and their framebuffers. The "clamshell mode" in this context means just disabled internal screen.

The queue of pmset commands from GitHub is to prevent Mac going to sleep. pmset commands should be used with caution because it may result in greyed out sleep menu item that cannot be reverted back easily.

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/307151/significance-of-iodisplaywrangler-in-power-management-assertions

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
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Chippy McChipset
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October 2, 2018 4:42 pm  
Posted by: goalque

Nvidia still has two "Senior Systems Software Engineers" job positions open.

"to join the NVIDIA Mac graphics driver team and help produce the next revolutionary Apple products"

"Drive and Develop MAC/OS Display Drivers"

Posted 30+ days ago. No engineers, no joy.

https://nvidia.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/NVIDIAExternalCareerSite/job/US-CA-Santa-Clara/Senior-Systems-Software-Engineer_JR1913855

It's interesting that OpenGL is mentioned in some of these, even though Apple has deprecated OpenGL:

"The APIs in the OpenGL and OpenCL frameworks are deprecated and remain present for compatibility purposes. Transition to Metal if your app is using OpenGL or OpenCL."

https://developer.apple.com/documentation/macos_release_notes/macos_mojave_10_14_release_notes

Interesting. Good in the long-term, potentially bad in the short. Although it's not uncommon for a large company like NVIDIA to hire someone and leave the posting up for a while. Also would seem likely they could still turn out drivers without these two positions, as they presumably already have a Mac driver team. Not sure how large it would be though. Maybe not very.


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DidierC41
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October 3, 2018 9:05 pm  
Posted by: goalque

@didierc41

1) You don't have to run pmset commands in clamshell mode. The maximum performance is based on presumption that there is a performance loss in the middle ground of two active physical displays and their framebuffers. The "clamshell mode" in this context means just disabled internal screen.

The queue of pmset commands from GitHub is to prevent Mac going to sleep. pmset commands should be used with caution because it may result in greyed out sleep menu item that cannot be reverted back easily.

https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/307151/significance-of-iodisplaywrangler-in-power-management-assertions

@goalque
Thanks for the answer; I think I will cautiously stay with your hybrid dAMD solution for now.

I tried another thing, which I report in case it helps other: I have a Apple 27" Thunderbolt 2 display, which I would like to use with the eGPU, but  it only has TB2 input port, incompatible with GPU's. There have been several comments/questions in this forum about how to use it with an eGPU setting using a headless adaptor.

I tried with your hybrid EFI solution, to apply the workaround suggested in the fr34k's solution, ie using a headless HDMI adaptor. I set up mirror display, plug the Apple27 in one TB3 port (using the TB3 -> TB2 adaptor), EFI boot lid open, login, plug eGPU with headless HDMI connected: got black screen with fancy colors. Then I remove the Apple27, got the login screen, login. The headless HDMI was recognized and driven bu the eGPU.
Plug the Apple27, close the lid.
From the "about this mac" display the eGPU was driving the headless HDMI (in 1080p), and the Apple27 was driven by the dAMD (also in 1080p, mirror).
BUT I ran Heaven and Valley bench: the Apple27 display was obviously driven by the eGPU, from the FPS achieved (~4 times what I get with the RP460, comparable to the bench I did with a simple external monitor connected to the GPU).

I was happy because I hoped to have a solution for using the Apple27 with the eGPU. But then I tried "actual" apps, Shadow of Mordor for the game side, and X-Plane11 for a more serious program for which I initially needed the eGPU. Both start (splash screen), but quickly the session quit and I am back to the login screen. No crash or kernel panic. If I login again Heaven and Valley work fine on the external Apple27, driven by the eGPU.

So there is some hope, but I don't see why it works for "some" apps only. Maybe it can help if nobody reported this before.

MacBookPro 15" 2016, MacOS 10.13.6 (17G65), dGPU RP460, Sonnet eGFX BB550W, NVIDIA GTX 1080


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DidierC41
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October 7, 2018 3:47 pm  

Some more trials about that question of getting the eGPU accelerating an Apple 27" Thunderbolt 2 display plugged on another port of the MBP.
I believe I am not the only one owning this nice but Apple-only display with only TB2 input, and wanting to avoid buying a new monitor for eGPU.

I have the EFI hybrid dAMD 1.0.4 working ok with a DVI external monitor (but 20" only & poor quality). Thank's again @goalque 🙂  

I then tried the following steps (as in previous post):
- eGPU with a headless HDMI only plugged in
- EFI boot,  hot plug eGPU (left TB3 port) after login -> logout automatically
- login, set Mirror display, plug the Apple27TB2 using the TB3 -> TB2 adaptor (2nd left port or right port doesn't matter)
- close the lid

I confirm the eGPU drives the Apple27TB2 with 1080p HDMI resolution, and works in "some cases":
- with similar performances than  with the external DVI monitor for Valley and Heaven, windowed or full screen modes
- same for 2 games I tried in window mode (TombRaider and Shadow of Mordor)
- automatic logout at startup for these games and X-Plane11 in full screen mode. No crash nor KP. I can login and repeat the test without reboot.

So the bottom line is that
- "real" apps are accelerated on the external Apple27TB2 plugged in the MBP  in window mode, and not in full screen.
- sending the video signal back to the MBP and through the Apple27TB2 does not seem to hit performance a lot!
- Unigine benchs are the only one working in both situations, among the ones I tried.

It puzzles me that switching from window to full screen seems impossible; if someone experiment and have a solution for that I would be happy to learn.

MacBookPro 15" 2016, MacOS 10.13.6 (17G65), dGPU RP460, Sonnet eGFX BB550W, NVIDIA GTX 1080


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