General Discussions
Xcode, simulator and eGPU?
 

Xcode, simulator and eGPU?  

  RSS

adamk77
(@adamk77)
Eminent Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

Does anyone know if Xcode and the simulators will take advantage of an eGPU?

The sim with my mac mini is slow with the igpu

 2018 Mac Mini i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 10Gbit ethernet
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W with Sapphire Vega 56 Pulse


ReplyQuote
nu_ninja
(@nu_ninja)
Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I just tested running the simulator and it does seem to use the eGPU.

Edit: To be clear, without knowing what you're project is I can't say how much it will affect your work. I'm just saying it does use it.

This post was modified 6 months ago

Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (MacBookPro9,2) TB1 -> RX 460/560 (AKiTiO Node/Thunder2)
+ macOS 10.14+Win10
+ Linux Mint 19.1


ReplyQuote
adamk77
(@adamk77)
Eminent Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

Thanks for testing this out!

I was curious about the general use of the Sim.  I'm on the 2018 Mini and simply scrolling and tapping on things are slow.  

The more frustrating one is that it doesn't seem to register input consistently.  There's a very long lag. Sometimes it doesn't seem to register at all.

 2018 Mac Mini i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 10Gbit ethernet
Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W with Sapphire Vega 56 Pulse


ReplyQuote
Tony97
(@tony97)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

From what I have tested so far, the simulator not taking advantages of the eGPU on my MacBook Pro.
It's actually the iGPU that is being used and I still wonder why.

On Mac OS High Sierra though, it seems to be using the eGPU ! But since Mojave it keeps using the internal GPU.

Does anyone have experience this and know how to force the use of eGPU for Xcode and Simulator ?

MacBook Pro 15" 2017 i7, 16Go, Radeon Pro 560 4 Go
eGPU Razor Core X + Radeon RX Vega 64 8 Go


ReplyQuote
psonice
(@psonice)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hold on, I thought the simulator didn't use the GPU at all until 10.15? Or is that only for Metal (I haven't touched OpenGL  in quite a while)? Will give it a test on 10.15b3 shortly.

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


ReplyQuote
psonice
(@psonice)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Had to fix the sample code to get the metal in the simulator app running, but basically it's always running on the dGPU in my iMac. Tried launching from the screen attached to the eGPU, same, and tried setting the eGPU attached screen as the main screen, same. Setting simulator to 'prefer external gpu' did nothing, still using the internal GPU. It may be related to debugging and frame capture, which tends to be more complicated when running on an eGPU.

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


ReplyQuote
Tony97
(@tony97)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

That's right ! I just don't get it...even in Catalina it's same, which should be the next OS ! They did improve the way to see which application is using which GPU in Catalina and you can clearly see that Xcode and Simulator are simply not used by the eGPU, worst it's using the Internal GPU ! I feel like developer are being left out, it's all about Video editor and Gaming when they should improve the development tools as well ! Having a slow storyboard or simulator is the worst experience.

MacBook Pro 15" 2017 i7, 16Go, Radeon Pro 560 4 Go
eGPU Razor Core X + Radeon RX Vega 64 8 Go


ReplyQuote
psonice
(@psonice)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Unless you’re on a very, very old machine even the intel GPU should be more than fast enough to handle the simulator. Running basic UI compositing on an eGPU isn’t likely to speed it up much. And the GPU selection is likely based on what’s best for debugging rather than raw performance, which is certainly more important in the simulator.

 
The issue before catalina was that the iOS UI is drawn with Metal, and with no Metal support in the simulator that meant it was running on the CPU. 
 
It’s different if you’re developing games or stuff that uses the GPU heavily. But in that case even the iGPU is a massive improvement over running on the CPU 😉 You’ll probably want to do most of your testing on actual hardware anyway, but be sure to check the WWDC session on this plus the new metal on the simulator sample code.

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


ReplyQuote
Tony97
(@tony97)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

Intel GPU should be more enough to handle simulator ?! Have you try running the base Game sample Xcode project on iPad Pro 12.9-inch simulator ? Please try and let me know cause on my MacBook, it performs awfully...plus what's the point or having a discrete GPU if simulator using the internal one anyway ? And don't say that to a Mac Mini 2018 holder, even scrolling in simulator stuck..

I get the whole improvement stuff running on GPU instead of CPU but in that case why not using the eGPU if you have one them ? That's why they added the check "Prefer external GPU.." for each app, I mean if you want your eGPU to be used instead of your internal GPU why not ? And sure you should test on actual devices but not everyone has the chance to get them all with different iOS versions.....which is also the point of having simulators. I think something is wrong here, hope they will fix it soon.

MacBook Pro 15" 2017 i7, 16Go, Radeon Pro 560 4 Go
eGPU Razor Core X + Radeon RX Vega 64 8 Go


ReplyQuote
psonice
(@psonice)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Haven't tried that, but are you on catalina and are you sure it's configured to work on the simulator? (Some extra work is needed to get Metal working on the simulator, see the WWDC video / sample code). Check in activity monitor, see if it's CPU or GPU bound. 

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


ReplyQuote