State of software support for eGPU acceleration
 
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State of software support for eGPU acceleration  

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Halbertus
(@halbertus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

To all the other tech enthusiasts of the eGPU community,

I am curious in which real world applications actually gain any performance by adding an eGPU to our setups.
So far my journey running macOS has been quite disappointing:

My list of software that as of now does not benefit from eGPU in my experience:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Final Cut

I was hoping to improve my video playback performance when editing 4K Multicam projects. So far by lack of any real software support my eGPU setup feels kind of useless.

Lets hope for updates on this matter soon!

What are your experiences?

Concerning games I was able to see some load on my external RX580 improving frame count when compared to stock GPU, nevertheless I am usually still getting double the fps when booting into bootcamp and using the internal D300s of my Mac Pro. Same for the usual gfx benchmarks: unigine valley and heaven

MacBook Pro 15" Mid 2015 w/ AMD Radeon R9 M370X
Mac Pro 2013 D300 + ASUS XG Station Pro + ASUS ROG VEGA 56
[email protected] Dell UP2715K

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.11 & Win10 [build link]  


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joysthokkins
(@joysthokkins)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

DaVinci Resolve🔥

rMBP 2014 750m 10.14.6
i9 9900k "Hac Pro" with Vega 56 and Sonnet Breakaway 650 with Sapphire Vega 64 –> iMac 2009 as display

DaVinci Resolve Studio 16.1b3 | FCPX 10.4.6


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Username
(@username)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

eGPU support:
PhaseOne: Capture One
Hasselblad: Phocus

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 + PowerColor Mini eGFX 180F via Apple TB3 to TB2 + macOS Catalina 10.15.4

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + GTX1070 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder3 via Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter) + macOS

 
2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 970 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.12.4 [build link]  


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Can confirm most of the above statements.

  • Adobe apps do nothing with eGPU currently even though you may see some sign of the eGPU being recognized in preferences in some apps.
  • Final Cut Pro X 10.4.1 or later *should* work, but I'm not positive that recent bug has been worked out. If it doesn't work now, it will soon; I can almost guarantee that. FCPX is Apple's "showcase" app for this technology (in theory).
  • DaVinci Resolve 14.x and 15.x work out of the box with single or multiple eGPUs. For Windows on a native PC, if you have an NVIDIA card, pretty much everything should be supported. On macOS, I think it's limited to non-RED workflows (i.e. doesn't help with debayer process or RED transcoding but helps with everything else — can verify it accelerates Timeline Fx and grading processes).
  • I don't think it works in R19, but Cinema 4D R20 (later this year) is being designed to use multiple eGPUs, based on a demonstration late last year for Digital Arts UK.  That demo was running a beta version that was originally slated for release in January but that never happened. So now it's wait for R20 based on best info available.

Thunderbolt 3 Macs, Sonnet and OWC eGPUs, 4K Displays, etc


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Alexosaurus
(@alexosaurus)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hey guys, just to confirm, adobe apps don't use egpu, even if they are on the screen connected to the egpu?

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

.

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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Alexosaurus

Hey guys, just to confirm, adobe apps don't use egpu, even if they are on the screen connected to the egpu?

Correct. Not a question of connectivity but of the apps not being optimized for the technology yet.

Thunderbolt 3 Macs, Sonnet and OWC eGPUs, 4K Displays, etc


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John_Hillier
(@john_hillier)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Besides the benefits of having more computational power to model, animate characters, partical, fluid and hair effects with an eGPU, theirs plugin software  https://pro.radeon.com/en/software/prorender/ that works with high end software. As well AMD Radeon Rays lightmapper is supported by Unity 3D  https://blogs.unity3d.com/2018/03/29/amd-radeon-rays-integrated-into-unitys-gpu-progressive-lightmapper/

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

.

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Twister
(@twister)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: joysthokkins

DaVinci Resolve🔥

Does your mbp run Resolve OK? Which Processor? I just bought a 2.5ghz 2014 mbp on Ebay and I'm hoping it can do better with Resolve than my 2012 mac mini which crashes the moment I try to import a file.

2012 Mac Mini 2.6/OSX 10.13.6/Sonnet Echo Express Pro TB1/Nvidia GTX 960 2GB
2014 MBP 750M/OSX10.13.6/Aorus Gaming 650ti w/TB2-TB3 adapter


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nanoBit
(@nanobit)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Can confirm that FCP 10.4.2 does not benefit at all. My measurements with the BruceX Benchmark:
(measurements are averages of 3 tests per configuration; hardware specs see signature)

D/C unplugged, without eGPU: 74,33 seconds
D/C plugged in without eGPU: 75,33 seconds
D/C plugged in with eGPU: 73 seconds

Results of the LuxMark OpenCL benchmark:
D/C unplugged, iGPU: 2603
D/C plugged in, iGPU: 2583
D/C plugged in, iGPU + eGPU: 17572
eGPU: 15165

This shows that OpenCL is possible to use with the eGPU (even though it is an nVidia GPU which still has some incompatibilities) but isn't used right now. 

In case anyone is interested in: I made the BruceX benchmark with Compressor 4.4.1 , too. The result is the same: no eGPU effects. Measurements:
(again every configuration tested 3 times. Used the Apple ProRes 442 Presetting to export the BurceX-File. Quit Compressor after every export to prevent caching effects. Final Cut was opened in the background, turned off background rendering.)

D/C unplugged, iGPU: 92,33 seconds
D/C plugged in, iGPU: 95 seconds
D/C plugged in, eGPU: 98,33 seconds

Setup: MacBook Pro 2018 15" 2.6GHz Radeon Pro 560X on macOS 10.14 & Windows 10 (Bootcamp); Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350 with a Zotac GTX1080 AMP! Edition

 
2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + GTX 1080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10 [build link]  


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mar_kelp
(@mar_kelp)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

FYI - the Activity Monitor in OS X now has the option to show GPU Activity. You need to display it from the menu item (View->GPU History). Once it is up it will graph the GPU usage for each of your active GPUs (mine shows separate graphs for my RX 580 eGPU and Intel Iris Plus 650 in my 13" MBP). This is an easy but not detailed method to see which Apps or plug-ins are taking advantage of the eGPU….

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + RX 580 Gaming Box + macOS 10.14.3 and Windows 10 (BootCamp with rEFInd)

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  


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