Will Thunderbolt eGPU work on M1 Series Macs?
 
Notifications
Clear all

[Sticky] Will Thunderbolt eGPU work on M1 Series Macs?  

 of  4
  RSS

itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@mac_editor, 3x 4K@60Hz monitor outputs may get complicated for a dock. I never really had a need for one to investigate further. With new capabilities of the M1 Pro and M1 Max, we may see more specialized Thunderbolt docks for expansion.

 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 14" Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio [11th,4C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (WD_Black D50) + Win11 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
salt_b
(@salt_b)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

I read that in order to allow M1 silicon to run an eGPU we need drivers, and these drivers are labour intensive projects that mere enthusiasts would not be willing to devote their time to writing. What exactly is the deal with these drivers, could an accomplished expert outside of Apple write one? There are probably enough M1 owners who im sure could crowdfund the money to pay somone to write it, if it is indeed possible.  As an M1 owner with a 3080 eGPU, it would be more than handy to be abe to make use of it..but also, there would be some satisfaction in hacking a company that has such a monopoly over tech, a bit like what richrebuilds does with Tesla.

This post was modified 1 month ago

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

ReplyQuote
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@mac_editor, no Thunderbolt peripheral controller supports 3 DisplayPort outputs but that's not a problem - just chain another controller. The problem is, no Thunderbolt host controller supports more than 2 DisplayPort inputs. I suppose it may be possible to chain Thunderbolt controllers that have DisplayPort inputs (for example, the host controller of a Mac plus the peripheral controller of a Blackmagic eGPU or Sonnet Breakaway Puck RX 5550 XT or 5700) but I haven't seen anyone test that. I don't know that the new M1 MAX or PRO can't put 3 DisplayPort connections on the same port.

Three 4K 60Hz @ 24bpp displays (38 Gbps) would fit in Thunderbolt bandwidth (40 Gbps) but not @ 30bpp (50 Gbps) (required for HDR). If it were possible to have 3 DisplayPort connections on the same Thunderbolt wire, three 4K60 displays would not be possible even @ 24 bpp without having code to force three HBR2 connections like the code Apple uses to force two HBR3 connections for the XDR.

If Apple supported MST + DSC, then three 4K 60Hz displays could be supported from a single HBR3 x4 connection (≈20 Gbps assuming DSC @ 12bpp) but Apple has never supported MST for multiple displays - only for old 4K MST displays, and for mirroring, and for link rate/width conversion.

 

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Radeon Pro W5700, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
Kai the Film Geek
(@kai-the-film-geek)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I'm still using two Radeon VIIs...now with an i9 16" MacBook Pro...so am waiting for reliable testing especially using DaVinci Resolve before making any decision...most of what we've heard has been hyperbole but this GeekBench score is interesting...

Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 14.42.50
Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 14.43.11
Screenshot 2021 10 21 at 14.44.08

 I decided to run Geekbench for my setup....

Mac Mini 2018, 3.2 GHz 6-Core Core i7, 64 GB RAM

MacBook Pro 2019, 2.3 GHz 8-Core Core i7, 32 GB RAM, Radeon Pro 5500, 8 GB VRAM, Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K in Sonnet Echo Express SE-I TB3.

iPad Pro 2018 with Apple Pencil 2

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + Radeon VII x2 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.6 [build link]  


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@kai-the-film-geek, Thank you for sharing the early Metal GeekBench score. I think it doesn't tell a whole lot due to how short that test duration runs. Radeon VII is still very impressive compute cards. I have a pair myself, and they have more than paid for themselves (mining).

 

@salt_b, It's a possibility, but I think most people have a hard time devoting time to help multi-billion and trillion dollar companies. They don't deserve our business if their business plans don't have our best interests in mind.

 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 14" Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio [11th,4C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (WD_Black D50) + Win11 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
Kai the Film Geek
(@kai-the-film-geek)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Screenshot 2021 10 22 at 07.20.24

 

Need to see some real world feedback but this does look promising for me.. Grin

@itsage, If the Resolve update is anywhere accurate I may have two for sale lol...

 

Mac Mini 2018, 3.2 GHz 6-Core Core i7, 64 GB RAM

MacBook Pro 2019, 2.3 GHz 8-Core Core i7, 32 GB RAM, Radeon Pro 5500, 8 GB VRAM, Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K in Sonnet Echo Express SE-I TB3.

iPad Pro 2018 with Apple Pencil 2

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + Radeon VII x2 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.6 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@kai-the-film-geek, Did you get one on launch day? I picked up the base 14-in at Best Buy, but have not used it yet (until after work). The new design is reminiscent of the PowerBook G4. I still have a working 12-in PowerBook G4 from 2005. I learned a lot of things on that machine. Look at the many ports on the little G4!

A more modern and comparable laptop is the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio. The SLS is thicker and taller at the display due to touch panel and folding hinge mechanism. Otherwise they are similar in size. Using them side by side, Microsoft has gotten much better with the trackpad. The key caps on SLS feel firmer, but I prefer the curvature of the caps on new MBP.

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 14" Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio [11th,4C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (WD_Black D50) + Win11 [build link]  


Mini i5 liked
ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@kai-the-film-geek @itsage the Radeon VII is actually gimped on macOS due to SMU firmware not being loaded: https://github.com/acidanthera/bugtracker/issues/1213

According to that post, the memory bandwidth is halved for the Radeon VII on macOS. It would perform better if Apple supported it appropriately. They have done similar things on Vega (to fix the fan issues).

 

"Desultory reading is delightful, but to be beneficial, our reading must be carefully directed." — Seneca

Author: kryptonitepurge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
Launching Apps on Specific (e)GPUs on macOS

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

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I’m really looking forward to seeing how these new MBP displays look in person 👀   

I gotta say, I’ve been very impressed by Apple’s recent display panels.

The 120Hz M1 iPad Pro display is, for me, kinda perfect.

And even the 60Hz M1 24” iMac display looks really good in person.

I’m still holding out and waiting to see how a M1 Pro Mac Mini specs out, but this weekend I’ll def be all over the new MBP display models at the Apple store. 

 

 

2018 Mac Mini + AMD RX 6600 XT (Sonnet Breakaway Box 650) Monterey 12.1 pending + Windows 21H1

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.0 & Win10 21H1 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
Kai the Film Geek
(@kai-the-film-geek)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@itsage, Naw...was waiting to see some performance videos and reports with Resolve. That said what I have seen is impressive. My i9 2019 MacBook Pro is still a great machine...on it's own and with with eGpus so there is no rush. I'm also considering just building a PC that I can put my Radeon VIIs in so getting the max performance from them...and up the RAM to a minimum 128GB. I can also put my Blackmagic editing card in PCI slot clearing more external devices.

I also shoot in Blackmagic BRAW...on my Cinema Camera 4K...which can't use Apple Pro-Res RAW so I don't know how much gains in performance would be available as I don't want to use anything other than RAW of either flavour. These machines are optimised for a Pro-Res workflow so it seems as is the latest 17.4 update of DaVinci Resolve..but as I said I will wait and see. 

@mac_editor, Oh...I knew they didn't run at full speed due to TB limitations but not from hobbled drivers as well. I'm on MacOS Monterey now but will give it a go with those drivers you linked too...if it fecks up....that's what back ups are for 😀

 

Mac Mini 2018, 3.2 GHz 6-Core Core i7, 64 GB RAM

MacBook Pro 2019, 2.3 GHz 8-Core Core i7, 32 GB RAM, Radeon Pro 5500, 8 GB VRAM, Blackmagic Intensity Pro 4K in Sonnet Echo Express SE-I TB3.

iPad Pro 2018 with Apple Pencil 2

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + Radeon VII x2 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + macOS 10.15.6 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
 of  4