eGPU for MacBook Pro & Mac Pro (Late 2013) - dual use
I've been interested in the whole eGPU community for many months and considered building a TB2 based version prior to joining this forum. Having recently read of Intel's 'relaxing' of TB licensing I was keen to see where this might lead. I am delighted to have therefore found this board/forum and it appears that due to the excellent work of 'itsage' and others it is gathering significant members. Well done so far.
I am based in the UK and have used Macs for some 25+ yrs (yes, I'm probably the oldest guy here!). I own a Mac reseller business and as the Tech Director I'm always tinkering with tech but had been put off by the lack of eGPU licensing on TB. Now this barrier has been removed I'm up for diving in.
My requirements are perhaps somewhat different to most however;
• I would like to run 3x 28" displays (I currently use the Iiyama G-Master Gold 28").
• To run this amount of pixels I believe I need a high-end card - I've been looking at the EV3A Hybrid 980TI.
• I use BootCamp on both hosts but would like the flexibility of a eGPU that is supported from both OS's.
I would love some advice from forum members from anyone who uses their eGPU on Laptops & Desktops and anyone who runs multiple monitor setups. I use a range of audio and graphics apps and would like to dive in to some gaming too (Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen, etc) so high frame rates would be great.
I was anticipating using the new AkiTio 'Node' unit but as I want to use a Henge dock with my MacBook Pro (and will likely be upgrading this to the 2016 model (TB3) soon) I guess the new Mantiz Venus may be more suitable given the additional I/O it presents. Does anyone have anything to add?
However, I am also aware that the Venus probably doesn't have room for a water cooler so would I be better off with a std unit and will this actually make any difference - except for background noise (which may be an issue as I do use my Macs for audio recording). Any advice gratefully received.
Anyway, I look forward to learning a great deal and sharing that knowledge with anyone who requires it in the future.
Welcome aboard, Hypernurd! Thank you for joining and the kind words. eGPU.io is 4 months old to the date. We're very excited about building the most resourceful community for eGPU enthusiasts.
My interest in eGPU started when I received daily inquiries on repairing failed graphics cards in iMac and MacBook Pros. Hopefully eGPU will be a viable solution soon and dGPU casualties on these Macs will go down. 😀
For your intended use, the Mantiz Venus doesn't have enough room for the EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid. Another water cooled GPU is the Fury X which fits inside the Venus enclosure. You'll need to modify the left-side panel to direct exhaust airflow better. The Fury X also requires a more powerful PSU.
The next enclosure from Mantiz has custom water cooling setup and will be paired with an RX 580. We don't know whether this new GPU has drivers in macOS though.
Take a look at our Implementations table. You'll find existing eGPU setups that may help with planning your eGPU build.
P.S. Mantiz is looking for distributors in Europe and North America. If you're interested, I can definitely put you in touch with Mantiz.
Many thanks for your prompt and courteous reply. I would appear I am in good company!
Thank you for confirming the size restriction of the Mantiz Venus. I figured this might be an issue given the internal 'shelf' and the lack of front end vents. Shame, as its by far the best case aesthetically for Mac users (being round cornered in brushed ally). I have seen the 'Saturn' unit but don't favour its design - at least not for a Mac set-up. It's clearly aimed a the 'gamer' fraternity.
I would consider the Fury X and have no issue 'moding' the case. However, is the PSU upgrade a challenge and can it still fit inside the case? I would favour the AMD chipset however as my monitors support FreeSync - which is AMDs version of G-Sync I believe.
I will take a close look at the implementations table. I'm not after the 'best perfomance at any cost' but do want a neat solution that will give me flexibility for Mac OS / Bootcamp and across multiple hosts (Mac Pro / MBP) whilst supporting a large desktop (i.e. 3x displays).
In terms of distribution, this is certainly something I'd consider. We do a lot of work in the UK Education scene with Drones and other 'cool tech' - I can see eGPU being a useful addition particularly since Apple's approach to VR is still somewhat lacklustre to say the least!
This is going to be fun.....
Its been a few months since our last comms. I ordered one of the Mantiz Venus boxes and kinda decided to keep my head down until it arrived. Well, a couple of weeks ago it did! I now want to get my set-up going but on checking back on the forums I realise a lot has moved on and I'm struggling a bit if I'm honest to figure out what to do next. I'm hoping you might spare me 5 mins to point me in the right direction?
• I have purchased an MSI Geforce GTX 1080TI (Gaming X) to go in the Venus
• I have a MacBook Pro (Mid 2015), 2.8Ghz i7, 16GB RAM. It has 10.12 installed and a BootCamp partition with W10. I am hoping to use the eGPU on both environments
• I also have a MacPro (TrashCan) that I would want to test on.
• I would like to accelerate the internal display on the MacBook Pro as well as run my 3x external G-Master 28" units (though not necessarily at the same time!)
I appreciate both hosts are only TB2, but that's OK for now. At some point I'll probably upgrade both; MacBook Pro first to the 2017 (Touch Bar) - accepting that the architecture isn't as ideal as the Late 2016 on the PCI lanes but there you go.
My questions are;
1) Is all the advice posted at https://egpu.io/setup-guide-external-graphics-card-mac/ still current? If so, I guess that's all I need.
2) If not, what else should I need to do.
3) When it comes to harnessing the power of the GPU, am I correct in saying that software vendors (i.e. Autodesk) will recognise the presence of the GPU on the Mac side (assuming I am using the Mac version of their s/ware - i.e. Maya)
Sorry for the luddite questions. I can see how busy you are on this excellent site and I promise to post my build to help others in the coming days. I've had a look and can't see a Mantiz/1080ti/Mid-2105 setup posted so hopefully by build will help someone.
Thanks in advance.
Oh yea, I forgot to mention....my MBP also has the R9 discrete video as well as the built-in (on CPU) Iris graphics.
@hypernurd The Mac setup procedure remains the same for 10.12.6 with the Nvidia eGPU like your Mantiz Venus + GTX 1080 Ti. I'd say to take it one step at a time and make sure the eGPU is working well in macOS first prior to Windows via Bootcamp. Do it both on your MacBook Pro then Mac Pro so that you'll get comfortable with the process and understand how it works.
Once you have the eGPU working well and reliable in macOS we can proceed to discuss about making it work in Windows.
I've spent most of this afternoon attempting to get my Mantiz Venus and MSI 1080Ti setup as per the instructions on at "The Beginner's eGPU Setup Guide for Mac'.
• Card is correctly installed in Venus box
• SanDisk II 480GB SSD is also installed and mounts correctly on Mac desktop (so TB connection is good)
• SIP mode disabled (via Recovery Boot).
• I successfully downloaded Goalque's 1.0.1 script and run it from Terminal as well as simply using the combined terminal command. Both recognise the existence of the enclosure and the GPU once hot plugged. The script does what it needs to and downloads the nVidia Web Drivers (which install correctly and are accessible from the Menu bar and System Prefs).
So far, so good.
However, upon reboot of the MBP all I see is an energised but black internal display (no Apple during boot and no login screen) and no video on the external HDMI monitor. Hmm. I have tried disconnecting the external display but still get the same issue on the internal. I am forced to disconnect the enclosure and reboot, whereupon the internal display then works.
I thought this may be something to do with some software I use for boot loader options (Boot Runner) and also another utility I use for Screen resolution adjustment (Display Menu). So, I removed (i.e. properly uninstalled according to vendors suggestions) both software packages. Still no change.
I then though it was the OS version. I incorrectly advised I was running 10.12.6 - in fact it was 10.12.5. So, I upgraded. Immediately the Nvidia software alerted me that the previous drivers had been disabled. It suggested I download updated versions. I ignored this and instead re-ran the Goaleque script just to be sure (having once more disabled SIP as the OS update re-enabled it). Still no dice!
• I note that the AMD card is recognised in System Profiler, but is not in System Prefs any longer (see attached). It has no displays attached.
• The 1080TI is seen in System Profiler too (as "Nvidia Chip Model" with a 0x10de class)
• The Thunderbolt bus also sees the enclosure (see attached).
I have tried to continue configuration to accelerate the internal display using Spectacle and DisableMonitor but got no further as I am unable to boot with the enclosure attached and have the internal display work.
What am I doing wrong? and, is there anyway to determine what is causing the issue easily?
I have not tried using my MacPro with the enclosure yet as I only have one external display.
Any advice you, or anyone else, can impart would be greatly appreciated.
Looks like I fixed it!
I found a post by @mac_editor when searching for posts on 'black screen on boot' that described their experienced of a similar set-up (albeit with an Akitio Node and a 1080Ti). Looks like I have to be careful as to when to plug the eGPU into the MacBook Host - at least my Mid-2015 Retina one.
Now I have working external graphics on my 28" Iiyama courtesy of the 1080ti and internally via the AMD 370x. Happy days.
The Mac also recognises the eGPU correctly now in 'About this Mac' and 'System Profiler';
I've been able to run the std benchmarks (Valley & Heaven) and both seem to do an awesome job (well better than the 370X or Iris at any rate!).
Regrettably, I destroyed (on purpose) my Bootcamp partition to enable me to clean install a new Mac OS X Sierra build during my testing, but I can put that back easy enough.
Thanks for you and the team's work. I look forward to High Sierra and hopefully having all the fiddly bits resolved
hey @hypernurd I'v been searching for post you're referring to, and can't find it.
What were the steps? I'm facing the exact same issues.