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MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar + ROG Asus XG 2 & EVGA GeForce Nvidia 1080Ti FTW...
 

MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar + ROG Asus XG 2 & EVGA GeForce Nvidia 1080Ti FTW3  

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THE AX
(@the-ax)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi there eGPU’ers!

 

My name is Axel (and this is Jackass).. okay, it’s not, but on a serious note I just wanted to strike up a conversation which hopefully helps me improve my eGPU experience if there is actually any room for improvement and also any others are welcome to benefit from this discussion as well.

 

Just wanted to describe my current setup and how it’s behaving and so on. 

 

So, I guess, first things first, the setup:

 

  • MacBook Pro 2016 with Touch Bar, 2.6GHz, i7, 16 GB 2133 MHz LPDDR3, Radeon Pro 450 2048 MB
  • MacOS Mojave 10.14.2
  • eGPU Enclosure: I actually switched from AKiTiO Node Pro to ROG XG Station 2 Thunderbolt™ 3 eGPU enclosure since the XG2 had all those extra ports at the back of it, in particular handy comes in the ethernet port.
  • The GPU inside the eGPU: I’ve actually tried various gpus both AMD (when I first tested the whole egpu thing in Mac OS environment) and NVIDIA, such as GTX 1080 Founders Edition, Zotac 1080 AMP Extreme Edition and the one that I am using now and have been for a time is the EVGA GeForce 1080TI FTW3. All have ran perfectly for the most part.

 

My eGPU adventure I began in like April, 2018 (?) I think and well, I’m happy I did. So, long story short, I was hoping I have overlooked something and there are ways to improve my eGPU environment.

 

So, I am running Windows 10, 64 bit, and the whole eGPU bit I got up & running following this guide https://egpu.io/bootcamp-setup-guide-tb3-macbook-pro/ . I think the guide has changed a bit text-wise as well as visually, but it appears to be the one. Thank you itsage for it.

 

So, now to how things are.

 

The one step I did skip in this guide was pretty much the very last one where you are supposed to disable the PCIe Controller x16 – 1901. However, this is where I suspect the guide has changed since I last used it, where this step was supposed to be done in every instance. So, to clarify - I have the 1905 disabled and the rest (including 1901) enabled.

Now, I switch from Mac OS to Bootcamp windows fairly frequently and these are the steps I take to do it:

  1. From Mac OS to Bootcamp Windows:

1.1. Shut Down from Mac OS

1.2. Power on & hold down the options key to boot via EFI (with the start-up disk being Windows)

1.3. Once I boot in I always do this step where I launch the gpu switch script “integrated.bat”, otherwise I don’t think the whole thing works for me

1.4. Now I shut down the Mac again and once it fully shuts down, first I plug in my peripherals (Keyboard, mouse, headset, speakers - all USB) into the Mac via USB-C adaptors. (Although recently I do not plug the speakers via usb, but I simply use their bluetooth connection). And only then I plug in the eGPU’s TB3 cable into the top right port and it automatically wakes the Mac up and I hold down the options key until prompted with the disk selection. Now I plug in the actual Mac’s TB3 charger and hit the EFI boot

1.5. A few seconds go and I am prompted with the pre-password-entry screen of “Please Wait” at which point I am already good to close the Mac’s lid and leave it be and I turn to the two monitors.

And that’s I think pretty much it.

If I were to now switch to Mac OS from Windows, I’d simply shut down from Windows OS, wait till it fully shuts down, unplug any peripherals I won’t need or all of them, and then I boot into Mac OS by holding down the options key and I am good to go in the Mac OS environment. And then at whichever point if I wanted to boot back into Windows with the eGPU I’d repeat from step 1.1.

 

At this point, I’d like to point out a few things (or it turns out just two) which behave not exactly as I’d like them to.

  1. For example, when I would boot into Mac OS like that from Windows, and now having been doing whatever work on there (timeframe does not matter) at some point I’d leave the Mac and the screen would go dark as per battery saving functions (or even when closing the lid). Now, what sometimes would happen when I try to wake up the Mac from this state is that the screen would simply become either black fully or all kinds of crazy pixels WHILE the Mac itself is operating all normal, for example, the keyboard works, even the touch bar works, so, for example, you can play music etc., but the screen would very rarely regain health from this state. So, what I do at this point is that I simply hold down the power button until the Mac shuts down and then I’d reboot into Mac OS again after which this glitch would never happen again. Until, of course, I’d go into Windows do the whole eGPU thing and then go into Mac OS - then it would happen again.

Just remembered - this only started happening since Mojave update. In High Sierra this never happened.

2. The other issue is with plugging in the peripherals into the eGPU enclosure. For example, the longer time passes with a device being plugged into the back of the eGPU enclosure, the glitchier it seems to become. For example, if it’s my wireless headphones, at some points there would appear some performance drop-outs and additionally the sound at that brief second becomes distorted or whatever the word is. The same would happen with my G903 (wireless) mouse with the PowerPlay wireless charging mat, where eventually the signal would have frequent drop-outs. Therefore, I no longer plug anything into the USB ports of the eGPU enclosure and instead use the USB-C adaptors and just plug them into the Mac at which point there would neither be performance issues for the GPU nor with the peripherals. Thought it might be some wireless thing, but I don’t think so as the same would happen with a wired Corsair keyboard, where the drop-out would translate into the lights becoming a bit glitchy if it was, for example, on some animation kind of lighting - plus overall system performance issues at this brief moment. So, I figured the keyboard lights consume some sort of power either way and have since switched just to a static light even when being plugged straight into the Mac.

I think that's that, and I hope I didn't forget anything.

So, coming to the end of this post here... I really just wanted to see if there was anything I could do to better the overall performance or any ideas for the two problems I have or well anything else.

Thank you for your attention.

This topic was modified 9 months ago

Main Chick: MacBook Pro 15” Touchbar 2016
Side Chick: MacBook Pro 13” 2017
eGPU Box: Asus ROG XG Station 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.0 External Graphics Card Dock
GPU (via the eGPU Box): EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB FTW3 iCX Technology
Back Up GPU: Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme
Mouse: Logitech G903
Mouse Mat: Logitech G Powerplay
Headphones: Razer Thresher 7.1 Ultimate XB1 Edition W/ Stand
Speakers: Logitech G560
Keyboard: Corsair K63 w/ FPS Keycaps
Monitor: Acer XF24 24" Gaming Monitor
2nd Monitor: BenQ GW2760S 27"


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omardesu
(@omardesu)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 months ago
 

So I'm experiencing the same type of issue on my new setup with ASUS XG Station Pro with EVGA 1070 Ti Gaming on my 2014 Mac mini (I actually have a 2016 MBP like yours also, but it's being repaired by Apple right now so I can't do any testing with that yet).

I believe at this point, nVidia and Mojave (10.14) do not mix.  I see you were previously ok until you updated with Mojave.  So once you went to Mojave, then your nVidia GPU's stopped working.  For my setup, Mac OS sees the eGPU and the 1070 Ti, but no acceleration actually happens through the 1070 Ti.  And if I connect my HDMI cable to the GPU, then the screen just remains black (Mac OS actually detects the display, but there is no signal out).  If you were run an AMD card with Mojave, I think you should be ok.  The problem is only Mojave with nVidia, but their older cards on older architecture can work without much fuss.  When I was using the Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 on Mojave, I only had to run the purge-wrangler script to provide the support for TB1/2 Macs.  That is able to boot with the eGPU plugged in and the little eGPU icon shows up in the Menu Bar.

As for Windows, which version/build are you running?  I'm on 1803, and my eGPU is working without any issue.  The only speed bump is hot-plugging the eGPU during the Windows booting process (the spinning dots).  Other than that, I have no issues.

And I haven't bothered with the extra I/O on the eGPU at this point.  I'm sure I can get it going, but it's not that big of a priority for me.

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
Mini ITX Build in Dan A4 Case


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

I am really surprised. Does anyone read? You can't be serious writing such a long text and not knowing that there are no nVidia Webdrivers for Mojave. Incredible.

So, no, you can't run any (non-Kepler) nVidia cards on Mojave.

This post was modified 9 months ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@the-ax The ASUS ROG XG Station 2 is very unique in its expansion I/O. Are you currently running a separate USB-B cable from the enclosure to your MacBook Pro? If not, I’d highly recommend doing so. All eGPU enclosures except for a few with dual TB3 controllers have expansion port stability issue. This is due to the USB hub on these enclosures. ASUS created a dedicated USB-B connection to let the host computer handle expansion I/O rather than the enclosure.

In order to use Nvidia 900 series and newer on macOS, you need to downgrade to 10.13 or older. There’s no web drivers atm for Mojave. Regarding Boot Camp, @goalque created a solution that helps with the 2016 15″ MacBook Pro tremendously. Give it a try following my build.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

...All eGPU enclosures except for a few with dual TB3 controllers have expansion port stability issue. This is due to the USB hub on these enclosures...

Every rule has its exceptions. I haven't experienced any port instability with Asus XG Station Pro yet. Actually I often run a Gigabit Ethernet Adapter over the USB-C port and it's very stable.

This post was modified 9 months ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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THE AX
(@the-ax)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Thank you all for taking part in the discussion, I can see some learning points already! 🙂 

First, I gotta apologize I did not point one thing out correctly, I mentioned the whole Mac thing simply to see if it meant anything how things behave in Windows OS. So, in other words, I do not use the eGPU at all in Mac OS. That was dumb on my part mentioning it, but not explaining it. And, well, for all the reasons you've guys explained is why I don't use the eGPU there, and I do not even have the need for that. Sorry for the confusion there.

Or, well, to reiterate the glitched screen thing in Mac OS, that's basically when everything is plugged out, as well as the eGPU, and I would essentially use the Mac as normal in Mac OS. That's when this has a chance of happening as per the steps explained before (managed to find an older picture):

 

@omardesu Yep, I'm also on 1803 (Build 17134.523), and there really aren't any apparent issues. 

 

@itsage Once I made the post, I actually somehow wandered into reading more about the whole I/O thing and began to understand a little more. So, I’ll definitely give this USB-B thing a go in the next few days and see how the performance changes and let you know here afterwards! So, to clarify – this is a USB-B to USB-C cable that I’m looking for? Also, if I may ask please – is there a preferred length of the cable and is bandwidth of the cable something I should be looking out for? Or is this little guy here gonna do the magic (?): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUBRV9C/ref%3Dcm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_YDAtCbPY3XEFP&source=gmail&ust=1548682357029000&usg=AFQjCNHVO_nomEFSLpXEBZi_AR2cXWRnj g"> https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00UUBRV9C/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_YDAtCbPY3XEFP

The @goalque’s BootCamp’s solution – if I understand correctly that is something after which, essentially, I would no longer have to double-boot into Windows OS anymore? So, if I were to switch from Mac OS to Windows OS I would boot via this new way and be good to go on the first boot, where the eGPU would be hot-plugged once Windows has loaded in? And also, some improved performance due to memory alleviation? So, if I were to go ahead with this – would I need to delete my current EFI Boot Disk and is it okay to delete it?

 

Additionally, wanted to mention that in my current state of how things are when in Windows OS with the eGPU all up and running great and I could game for hours without problems really, however, is, for example, the yellow bang on the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter okay like that?

This post was modified 9 months ago

Main Chick: MacBook Pro 15” Touchbar 2016
Side Chick: MacBook Pro 13” 2017
eGPU Box: Asus ROG XG Station 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.0 External Graphics Card Dock
GPU (via the eGPU Box): EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB FTW3 iCX Technology
Back Up GPU: Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme
Mouse: Logitech G903
Mouse Mat: Logitech G Powerplay
Headphones: Razer Thresher 7.1 Ultimate XB1 Edition W/ Stand
Speakers: Logitech G560
Keyboard: Corsair K63 w/ FPS Keycaps
Monitor: Acer XF24 24" Gaming Monitor
2nd Monitor: BenQ GW2760S 27"


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THE AX
(@the-ax)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Update:

Just went through with the new update of Windows 10 (Version 1809, Build 17763.292), had some issues on the first boot after updating - both downstream and upstream PCI Express Switch Ports reported Error 12 and my eGPU was not recognized, but did a little disabling/enabling of devices, ran the integrated.bat, rebooted, logged in and after a few flickers it all works again. Will let know on this post if I find any apparent issues.

Main Chick: MacBook Pro 15” Touchbar 2016
Side Chick: MacBook Pro 13” 2017
eGPU Box: Asus ROG XG Station 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.0 External Graphics Card Dock
GPU (via the eGPU Box): EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB FTW3 iCX Technology
Back Up GPU: Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme
Mouse: Logitech G903
Mouse Mat: Logitech G Powerplay
Headphones: Razer Thresher 7.1 Ultimate XB1 Edition W/ Stand
Speakers: Logitech G560
Keyboard: Corsair K63 w/ FPS Keycaps
Monitor: Acer XF24 24" Gaming Monitor
2nd Monitor: BenQ GW2760S 27"


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THE AX
(@the-ax)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

So, long story short, I decided to go ahead with the new EFI boot method as suggested by @itsage following his build. Wanted to do it as clean as possible, so I started by fully getting rid of the Windows partition as well as the EFI Boot partition - so essentially by the end of the process, all I had was a single Mac OS partition and basically started fresh. I ran into a few errors along the way trying to get to this state, therefore, feel free to @ me here if you go down this same route and ran into any particular ones you cannot seem to get over. 

While the guide is pretty much short and sweet, be sure to follow every word as is written in the guide. My addition to this guide:

Step 1 - This actually is quite an important step - be sure to allocate enough storage for what you will be doing in Windows accordingly. For example, I play pretty much only one game and with having allocated 105 GB to Windows it works perfectly like that for me. The game is about 25 GB, I've got all the peripherals related software installed etc. and I still got left over 30GB of storage for the smooth running of the Windows OS. Be sure not to leave too little space available after all the installations since you will eventually end up scraping for space where there is none and ultimately experience degraded performance and the last thing you want is to redo the whole installation all over again. I have a quite fast internet connection, therefore, if the need arises for another game for a brief moment "with the bois", I simply uninstall the current one and install the other one.
Step 2 - All default graphics drivers - meaning AMD and Intel. Bother with uninstalling Nvidia only if you tried doing any magic yourself prior to these guides. 
Step 3 - Remember that the USB Drive must be formatted to MS-DOS (FAT) before you put the folder in the thumb drive - as per @goalque instructions.
Step 4 - There are a few in the list which might make you a little bit confused as to which one to choose since you expected everything to be served for you on a silver platter, but here's the one from the list I downloaded for my Late 2016 MBP 15" Touch Bar - Download.
And so, from that download, the only file that you need is the dsdt-modified.aml which you need to copy in the folder as per the guide.
Step 5 - After pressing "Q" - choose Windows OS
Step 6 - 👍🏼
Step 7 - install 2013 Visual C++ if needed or in other words if once you run the integrated.bat and got an error - you must install it. You will be led to choose the language - presumably, that's English - and then you will be prompted with three download options. Skip the first file, but for me, I had to download and run/install both the x64 as well as the x86 versions. So, if you had the error before, after installing the two files - you will be good to proceed. This part threw me off personally as when I first did the eGPU installation back a year ago I did not run into this error and did not need to do the extra Visual C++ installation bit, therefore, do not panic if you find yourself in this same situation - it's all good.
Step 8 - if you cannot find it at first, just keep looking, it's hidden under a few "arrows".
Step 9 - 👍🏼
Step 10 - 👍🏼
Step 11 - In this guide @itsage says to install the Radeon drivers as per the configuration he tries to fulfil in the post, but if you have an Nvidia card, you, of course, do not need to install the Radeon drivers and instead should simply install the latest Nvidia drivers.
Extra Step - you might question yourself whether it's okay to plug out the USB drive via which you did the EFI boot into Windows with your eGPU up and running - the answer is yes. However, if you were to do a reboot or went into Mac and now wanted to go again into Windows OS - you'll need to plug it in again, of course.

So, everything seems to be in top-notch order so far and if I'm being frank I really do sense some better stability/performance when gaming having re-done the whole eGPU thing via this new way, but maybe that's just in my head as I have not run any benchmarks yet. Anyway, it was actually very fun & exciting to do it all over again - though be sure to reserve a few hours for this! 

@itsage Thank you for the guidance!!

This post was modified 9 months ago

Main Chick: MacBook Pro 15” Touchbar 2016
Side Chick: MacBook Pro 13” 2017
eGPU Box: Asus ROG XG Station 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.0 External Graphics Card Dock
GPU (via the eGPU Box): EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB FTW3 iCX Technology
Back Up GPU: Zotac Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Extreme
Mouse: Logitech G903
Mouse Mat: Logitech G Powerplay
Headphones: Razer Thresher 7.1 Ultimate XB1 Edition W/ Stand
Speakers: Logitech G560
Keyboard: Corsair K63 w/ FPS Keycaps
Monitor: Acer XF24 24" Gaming Monitor
2nd Monitor: BenQ GW2760S 27"


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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@the-ax I’m glad to hear you were able to implement @goalque‘s automate-eGPU EFI for your 2016 15″ MacBook Pro. It’s the cleanest and most reliable solution for Boot Camp with the 2016 15″ MacBook Pro. Once you feel comfortable with this solution, you can use Disk Utility and partition a small space in the internal drive for the EFI boot loader (32MB should be plenty). That way you don’t need an external USB drive anymore.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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