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

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

@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]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@mac_editor, Thank you for sharing that insight. I didn't use the Radeon VII in macOS much after learning the firmware was not fully compatible (fans running full speed in suspended mode). I don't see how Apple is fostering relationships with any partners when they constantly moving goal posts and do silly things to make themselves look better at the expense of others.

I was carefully examining the new keyboard last night. I like the black anodized treatment of the keyboard deck a lot. It gives the keyboard area a more distinct and uniform look. The full sized function keys are nice too. It must not be very fun for the many developers who bought into the TouchBar. Apple should have done the right thing and offered a trade-in program for consumers who got the TouchBar MBP. Give them an extra $300 in credit. It helps the transition to Apple Silicon happen quicker too!

@mini-i5 Instead of showing the 120 Hz refresh rate as 120 Hz, Apple called it ProMotion in System Preferences > Displays. I looked in System Information > Graphics/Displays tree and could not find a reference to 120 Hz refresh rate either. The 14-in panel on my base model is good. The notch cutout doesn't bother me. It's better to have more screen and less bezel. 

@kai-the-film-geek I'd personally hang onto the last production year of a model, cars and electronics are particularly prevalent. The desktop PC idea is nice too. You can mine those VIIs when not working. 

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

Apple called it ProMotion in System Preferences > Displays. I looked in System Information > Graphics/Displays tree and could not find a reference to 120 Hz refresh rate either.

Makes sense to me. The display only ramps up to 120Hz when needed (animations, gaming, etc.).

"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
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erutan
(@erutan)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@kai

Every app is different, but the affinity suite benchmarks for the M1 Max are pretty amazing: https://twitter.com/andysomerfield/status/1451859111843356676

down in the thread a bit "The #M1Max is the fastest GPU we have ever measured in the@affinitybyserif Photo benchmark. It outperforms the W6900X - a $6000, 300W desktop part - because it has immense compute performance, immense on-chip bandwidth and immediate transfer of data on and off the GPU (UMA)."

late 2016 15" MBP (MacBookPro13,3), desire SFF 6800(XT)


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@mac_editor, So this is Apple's way of doing adaptive sync. In normal office use so far, the 14-in display seems smoother than typical 60 Hz monitors/displays to me. Cursor movements feel very similar to the Samsung C34J79x 100 Hz monitor that I'm using with the 2020 M1 Mac mini. One thing I observed during Monterey beta builds is that the refresh rate would drop to 60 Hz once in a while waking up from sleep. The Mac mini connects to the Samsung monitor through Apple .8m Thunderbolt 3 cable and that's unlikely to be the issue.

 

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Posted by: @itsage

So this is Apple's way of doing adaptive sync.

Pretty much. My experience has been generally positive - compared to my previous 2018 MBP, this one feels smoother. Still exploring when I get time.

I did a quick LuxBall bench on the M1 Max and it scored ~36k, which is somewhat close to the Radeon VII's ~40k+ (eGPU) and higher than the Vega 64 (eGPU) at ~28k, the AMD GPUs being full-fledged desktop cards.

It should outperform most laptops in productivity. It will be difficult to compete with NVIDIA and AMD in gaming though. Both make significant optimizations to their drivers on a game-by-game basis to eek out as much of an edge as possible (ironically, very much like the 'software optimizations' we praise Apple for). Perhaps games specifically tuned for the M1 Max might compete.

Funny to see Apple drop eGPU support while Microsoft embraces it with Thunderbolt 4 on Surface, especially given the fact that the MacBooks are all migrated to Apple Silicon. Typically it was these portable devices and Mac mini that gained significant advantages with eGPUs.

My hope is that these new chips spur Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA forward to focus on efficiency. This is just going to make other offerings better.

"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]  


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@erutan, I’ve always found Affinity Photo very responsive on my Intel + eGPU setup.

It’ll be interesting to hear how M1 Pro/Max users harness the added compute power and bandwidth in their pro workflows. 

 

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]  


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

From what I've seen in person at the store, the new 14" and 16" display panels better align with the "Pro" moniker.

14 vs 13 MBP

Last year’s 13" MBP display (on the right) is grayer, and lacks the dynamic range (bright whites and deep blacks) of the new 14" MBP (on the left).

16 MBP bowl

The display on the new 16" model (which feels super thicc and heavy btw) is impressive. Warm colors, cool colors, dynamic range, everything. 

For comparison, I spent several minutes editing photos on a 32" Pro Display XDR. Then made the same edits on the 16" MBP.

I didn't miss the 32" Pro Display XDR. 

 

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]  


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Waldo Schaeffer
(@waldo_schaeffer)
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Since Apple Silicon models no longer support eGPU, my thunderbolt to PCIe hardware seems useless. Does anybody know if other PCIe expansion cards are compatible with Apple Silicon models? Like USB/RJ45 ethernet cards or discrete sound cards. PnP is preferred.

MacBook Pro 13' Mid 2017 (No Touch Bar), MacBook Pro 14' (M1 Pro), LT-LINK Node


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@waldo_schaeffer, There's no ARM64 drivers for third-party graphics cards and that's why eGPU doesn't work on M1-series Macs. As long as other PCIe devices have drivers, they will work with M1-series Macs. NVMe drives for example have worked fine for me.

 

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