Want to do EGPU for DaVinci Resolve - Want help picking parts
 
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Want to do EGPU for DaVinci Resolve - Want help picking parts  

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(@elliots11)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hi all,

I'm happy to see that there's been a lot of advancement in the EGPU area and I'd like to dive in.  You have a great community here, so hopefully you can help me out.  I've read the Beginner's eGPU Setup Guide and have some questions.

I'm a colorist and my primary software currently is DaVinci Resolve.  I also want to use some other software, more on that later.

What I have - 

2012 Macbook Pro non-retina, Quad Core, 16GB RAM upgrade, with a NVidia GeForce GT650 M discrete GPU with 1GB VRAM, has TB 1 port.  Currently on El Capitan.

2012 Mac Mini - Quad Core, integrated graphics, 8 GB RAM, has TB 1 port.  Currently on El Capitan.

2009 Mac Pro 8 Core, 32 GB Ram, Nvidia GTX 980Ti, Black Magic Mini Monitor PCI card, other upgrades, no TB.  Currently on El Capitan.

Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter - bought it for another project, it's doing nothing right now but looks like it's going to be useful after all.

Goal

What I want to do is be able to color in DaVinci Resolve while traveling with my laptop, and then also use the EGPU on my Mac Mini when at home so I effectively have a second and third color grading computer.  

- Bonus points if I can use a Black Magic Mini Monitor or something similar to drive a larger calibrated display.  

- Eventually I'll get a laptop with TB3, probably a new Macbook Pro that has the proper TB3 to processor mobo design, then I can connect my EGPU dock to that new one.  So I want a TB3 EGPU enclosure.

Developing a plan

I'd like to find an EGPU enclosure that can hold 2 PCI cards, rather than one double width card.  That way I could put in an EGPU and my Black Magic Mini Monitor pci card.  Does such an enclosure exist?  I haven't been able to find one, most appear to hold one card no matter how big they are.

Alternatively I could use a Thunderbolt version of the Black Magic Mini Monitor, like this one - so it would go - MBP->TB Cable -> TB2 to 3 Adapter ->EGPU Box (with extra TB port) -> Black Magic Mini Recorder TB to HDMI .  Is this likely to work or have problems?  Basically I wonder if Resolve would even be able to see it.  It's only driving a 1080p monitor if it can, so bandwidth shouldn't be too bad.

It could be that I'm asking too much and I should thank my lucky stars that an EGPU even exists for my setup and work with that.  If that's the case let me know.

Video Cards - I'd probably use my Nvidia GTX 980 Ti first to test out the enclosure and then get something along the lines of an AMD Radeon 580 with 8GB VRAM.  VRAM is pretty important in Resolve.  I can then swap cards in the EGPU and my Mac Pro until I figure out what arrangement I like best, probably the AMD will end up in the EGPU enclosure if the power requirements are lower.  There's software I want to run that wants an AMD card and I can't run it right now, it gets complicated so I'll leave it at that.

OS - I'm running OSX El Cap pretty much everywhere.  Is that ok with an EGPU setup like this?  Would Sierra or High Sierra be better?  (It doesn't look like I ever DL'd Sierra from the App Store so hopefully that's not the best option because I don't think I can get it anymore.)  

What's the easiest and most reliable setup with OS and Videocards given the computers I have available?  I will probably buy another GPU regardless of if the 980 Ti works well or not.

Discrete GPU on the Macbook Pro - My MBP has a discrete GPU, I read on the Beginner's eGPU setup guide that this makes it harder vs integrated graphics only.  What should I expect?

Reliability - One of the cool things about this is that it provides me another backup color computer if my Mac Pro went down.  I don't want to make an unsupported EGPU Mac my main computer for when I have clients, but how reliable can I expect it to be?  I'll be traveling soon and I have a client who wants me to color grade something with him since we'll be in the same place.  I'm working on finding a proper color bay, but how much should I count on a 2012 Macbook Pro with an EGPU?

EGPU Enclosure Choice - I've been looking at the Akitio Node with TB3 since it's commonly used, although the Akitio Node Pro has another PCI card already in there with Display Port and HDMI, maybe I could swap that out?  I have research to do, I'm new to this and  I don't want it to get unnecessarily complicated.  Any recs there?  Are they all about the same on stability with the TI83 chipset?

 

This is a lot of info, so if you have an informed opinion one or a few aspects of this rather than the whole thing I'd love to hear what you have to say.  Thank you very much! - E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

2009 Mac Pro

 

 

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@agris)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

EGPU Enclosure Choice - I've been looking at the Akitio Node with TB3 since it's commonly used, although the Akitio Node Pro has another PCI card already in there with Display Port and HDMI, maybe I could swap that out?  I have research to do, I'm new to this and  I don't want it to get unnecessarily complicated.  Any recs there?  Are they all about the same on stability with the TI83 chipset?

I don't own a eGPU yet, but I have discovered that Akitio Node isn't the best option right now. It's very loud, big, don't have enough power for example for RX Vega cards or 1080TI.  I suggest Sonnet breakaway box 550 - it's smaller, less noisy, have enough power for Rx Vega / 1080ti.

MBP 15' mid 2015


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StanislavM
(@stanislavm)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1080 Gaming BoxEGPU.IO_AORUS

Macbook PRO 15' 2017 i7 3.1 / RP 560 + Aourus Gaming Box / Mac OS only


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 chx
(@chx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

my primary software currently is DaVinci Resolve

eek. There are situations where an eGPU is not the best idea. This is one. You need a HEDT CPU based PC, ThreadRipper, i9, that sort and not a teensy laptop.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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kotlos
(@kotlos)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Resolve uses GPU power much more than CPU. CPU is only used for encoding/decoding and GPU is used for all effects. Get a good GPU!

https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/egpu-for-video-processing-on-a-laptop-does-it-make-sense/

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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HiFiowaMM
(@hifiowamm)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I'm using Resolve Studio 12.5 on a late 2012 quad mini, eGPU is an EVGA GTX 1080 in a Sonnet Breakaway 350.  This system works amazingly well.  Driving both GUI displays with the Intel chip and the preview display with an Intensity Pro 4k, GTX is strictly for CUDA power.  This system plays back CDNG RAW 1080p without a hiccup.  Can have many complex nodes before I start getting caching and even then performance is fine.  I currently work on projects from 15mins to an hour in length.  Had some issues with Resolve 14 crashing early on and just chalked it up to being too old of a computer.  The eGPU has really boosted the power of this machine and bought me some more time to decide on a new system.  Running Sierra 10.12.6, no plans to update yet.  Very happy where things are.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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

The thread is a bit old but I'll post anyway.

I have a BM mini recorder as well. I can slap that onto my Akitio Thunder 3 and see if Resolve/Blackmagic Desktop Video detects it.

I'll do some test later today.

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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(@elliots11)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Would love to know how the BlackMagic Mini does in these enclosures, thank you

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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HiFiowaMM
(@hifiowamm)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Sorry, not sure what you are referring to as the Mini... Are you talking about one of their I/O cards?  If so, I'm using the IntensityPro4k in a Sonnet Echo I and it works great.  It is in the Thunderbolt (1) chain before my Breakaway with the 1080.  Also running a RAID and TB Cinema Display on the same chain.  No problems at all with Resolve 12.5.  Realtime playback and grading plus external preview.  I'm only doing HD (1080p) work right now but I have run some 4K drone stuff through without issue.  Resolve 14 crashed constantly on me but that was version 14.0.1 I believe.  I haven't gone back to it since... No real reason for me.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Reading through this briefly I can confirm Resolve does see AMD GPUs connected to TB3 Macs on 10.13.3 or later, and it does accelerate things like transcoding and previewing. But I haven't tried it on the grading Fx etc. 

But at this point you're unlikely to get it to work with any TB2 Mac + adapter. Apple has more or less killed support for that. TB3 (right or wrong) is the intended audience at this point. At least based on Apples recent actions it is. Maybe that will change in the future.

The NVIDIA part is also unsupported but there are at least try-it-and-see solutions here on this site for that setup, if you have a TB3 Mac. But with Black Magic, you don't need NVIDIA necessarily, the way you do with Adobe. At least I don't believe their R3D support (for example) requires NVIDIA cards. Black Magic is a heavily Mac-centric company so they know they have to play well with AMD.

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


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HiFiowaMM
(@hifiowamm)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Don't forget Linux support from Blackmagic too! 😉 

I was actually quite surprised when I was putting this system together... I contacted BM support and was up-front about using an eGPU on a Mac (this was before the developer kits had been released) and the tech was more than happy to help me out.  He even said they had been testing nvidia eGPUs on MacOS (Sierra), which shocked me.  ...I know some people have had bad experiences with BM support but they've always been really helpful to me and seemed to be extremely interested in helping get my system off the ground. 😎

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: HiFiowaMM

Don't forget Linux support from Blackmagic too! 😉 

I was actually quite surprised when I was putting this system together... I contacted BM support and was up-front about using an eGPU on a Mac (this was before the developer kits had been released) and the tech was more than happy to help me out.  He even said they had been testing nvidia eGPUs on MacOS (Sierra), which shocked me.  ...I know some people have had bad experiences with BM support but they've always been really helpful to me and seemed to be extremely interested in helping get my system off the ground. 😎

Depends on what people mean by "support". If you mean how they support their apps in terms of regular updates and performance fixes, they're great. If you mean person-to-person contact, they're generally not great. They direct people to their web support forum mostly, and nearly all of that is run by volunteers, not Black Magic employees.

They have somewhat taken advantage of the fact there are many users who will offer their time and effort to support new users' questions, by not supplying their own time and effort. You can read complaints about same on the forum itself. But they're a small company I think so it makes some sense that they can't get to everyone's questions. I'm sure as adoption rates increase, their support level will too (because they'll be able to afford more support people... you'd think).

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


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