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How it looks like to use an authorised eGPU on a Mac?
 

How it looks like to use an authorised eGPU on a Mac?  

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(@jangoloti_1)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

Hello to all

One question to you all. I am thinking of buying the following setup, Razer Core X + Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT, to use with my Mac mini 2018 (and for the moment being for my Apple Cinema Display 23" but soon I will buy a more modern 4K display, preferably HDMI).

I had used in the past the KFA2 GeForce 1060 eGPU but my Mac mini cannot be downgraded to High Sierra, so it is back in the box. I reported using it on the link to the left, the use of Reddit to log in messed up the whole egpu.io experience and I think I am now using another name.

To be honest I really do not need the new AMD one but if it is relatively "transparent" I may go and buy it:

  • Is the use of an MacOS-validated eGPU a "transparent experience"? I mean, can I leave it connected all the time?
  • Does the enclosure throttle down when not in use or for normal (not graphic) work, or only when the Mac is on standby?
  • Does the whole thing start up when needing more power?
  • Even better, does it do a passthrough TB3 to HDMi when switched off, being powered by the TB3?

If an AMD eGPU on Mac means having to connect it only when I need it, or switched off before the computer, disconnect physically the HDMI cable, boot in a specific manner, etc... it is not worth the hassle for me. It was the case with the KFA2 at least on Bootcamp: I used it with my MBP on High Sierra with one of the scripts in this website but it was never the intended use of the eGPU.

Thanks for any insight, I really have no clue on how it looks like to use an authorised eGPU on a Mac, apart from the performance increase. 

Jaime

 

 

 

 

This topic was modified 4 weeks ago

Mac Mini 2018 i7 16 GB 512 GB SSD, Mac Book Pro 2016, ACD 23", KFA2 eGPU TB3,...


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joevt
(@joevt)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@jangoloti_1 Currently with the Mac Mini 2018, you might need to boot with the eGPU disconnected (but it usually boots ok if you don't go into the Startup Manager and you have a display connected to the iGPU). This is not a problem if you don't need to reboot often (just put the computer to sleep when you're not using it).

The fans of my RX 580 don't turn on during normal usage (Finder or Safari). They will turn on during gaming.

For computer displays, DisplayPort is better than HDMI. Most modern 4K displays have both. DisplayPort has higher bandwidth (4K60 10 bpc). For HDMI 2.0, macOS might do something stupid and use 4:2:2 YCbCr mode instead of 4:4:4 RGB (8 bpc).

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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(@jangoloti_1)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@joevt

Thanks Joevt.

I will wait and see how well integrated are the Navi AMDs on MacOS Catalina before buying anything. But I suppose they will not get better than what you say, will they?

Mac Mini 2018 i7 16 GB 512 GB SSD, Mac Book Pro 2016, ACD 23", KFA2 eGPU TB3,...


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joevt
(@joevt)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@jangoloti_1 The boot problem I have is maybe because of the RX 580. The 5700 XT may behave better. Read the recent macOS Catalina beta 5700 XT builds that exist now.

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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