eGPU advice for late 2015 iMac..
I'm running an iMac late 2015 with spec as below
macOS Mojave - version 10.14.4
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015)
Processor - 4 GHz Intel Core i7
Memory - 32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3
Graphics - MD Radeon R9 M390 2 GB
As well as using After Effects CC 2018 I'm learning Cinema 4D and X-Particles. As well as motion graphics the eGPU is primarily for rendering in Cycles 4D but I might move over to Redshift in the future (Cycles & Redshift require Nvidia GPU's with Cuda enabled).
I'm thinking about buying a Sonnet Breakaway 550w box with a ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card and using theApple TB3 to TB2 adapter.
I'd like the option to upgrade the graphics card in the breakaway box as prices go down and if my workflow intensifies possible purchase another eGPU to further future proof my workflow.
I might add an external monitor but that won't be for a while and I don't want to build a PC as I've been using Macs for so long now that I'm very comfortable with macOS and use many apps/workflows to run my film and music collection etc..
I've read through the The Beginner’s External Graphics Card Setup Guide for Mac on here as well as a few online articles but there is not a lot of build information about late 2015 iMacs so any advice about my component choices, potential build pitfalls to watch out for would be a great help.
Thanks in advance
There are a few hurdles with your proposed plan. The 2015 iMac is Thunderbolt 2 and doesn't have official eGPU support. Running mcOS Mojave also means no drivers to use Nvidia graphics cards (900 series and newer). Here's an overview of eGPU support in Mojave. You may either go back to 10.13.6 or go with an RX Vega 56. Adobe recently showcased eGPU and multiple GPUs support in some of it CC at NAB 2019.
Thanks for taking the time to reply I appreciate the input. From what i’ve read so far the biggest problem would be getting my current osx set up to recognize the breakaway box with Nvidia as i’m running Mojave. Would that be negated if I rolled it back to High Sierra in terms of plugging and playing the boxes. I’m looking for a simple solution to a long term issue with terms of updating the boxes as times goes on and ATM it seems like it would be easier to build a custom (updateable) PC as eventually the boxes on OSX will stop working as the operating system falls behind?
thanks in advance
It's a sad state of affair when we have to pick the lesser of two evils. If you need Nvidia GPU more than macOS for your workflow then a custom PC would be a better long term solution.
There is another possibility if you must have nVidia card with Mojave: Kepler cards. (most of 600er and 700er series).
There are some cards which are quite powerful, like this GeForce GTX Titan Black.
This card is not far behind a GTX1070, in MacOSX it's probably better.
Problem: Of course this is the end of the line, you won't have the possibility to upgrade the card. This is the reason, why it wasn't suggested before.
Hey Oliver and thanks for jumping in with the advice which I really appreciate. I have a few more questions if thats cool
I've been looking at Nvidia Kepler cards here: https://nvidia.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4780/~/list-of-kepler-series-geforce-notebook-gpus
and would the later 800 series cards also work as well?. (more options are always better). I know it seems like an obvious question but your build information for the Titan Black with Mojave 10.14.4 uses @mac_editor's purge-wrangler script which requires High Sierra 10.13.4+. I'm assuming the + means High Sierra & above so you can use the script in Mojave?
Cheers sage, the thing is when I bought the iMac back in 2016 I considered the GPU and thought it would be enough for what I was doing at the time but hindsight I suppose. With the advice from yourself, Oliver and more research I should be able to future proof the iMac for the next couple of years whilst I get the money together for the PC as well as learn how to assemble the PC myself which is a plus point. I never thought I'd go back but but where needs must.
Thanks again for the advice.
Ignore the 800 series question. More research answered my own question.😉