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[MacOS] What eGPU should I get for my 2014 15-inch MacBook Pro? (Thunderbolt 2)  

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dorza
(@dorza)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 27
July 4, 2018 2:10 pm  

I'm running Fortnite on 40-60 FPS on lowest settings. I want to boost my performance to 80-100 FPS.

My monitor:  https://www.amazon.com/Philips-247E6QDSD-Class-Monitor-MHL-HDMI/dp/B00LU0GJQS

What eGPU should I get?

Thanks.

MBP Retina 15’’ mid 2014 + GIGABYTE RX580


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 783
July 7, 2018 11:28 am  

Hi do you really need more than 60fps? I would increase settings to have the game looks better. A Radeon Vega 56 should give a good boost!
Are you aware that you need a script to use an eGPU on a TB2 machine? Also you must be on 10.13.4+

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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dorza
(@dorza)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 27
July 7, 2018 11:49 am  
Posted by: ikir

Hi do you really need more than 60fps? I would increase settings to have the game looks better. A Radeon Vega 56 should give a good boost!
Are you aware that you need a script to use an eGPU on a TB2 machine? Also you must be on 10.13.4+

Thanks for your time. So I need to buy a Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure + a Graphics Card? Is there anything cheaper you'd recommend?

MBP Retina 15’’ mid 2014 + GIGABYTE RX580


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xBattleFreakx
(@xbattlefreakx)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 8
July 7, 2018 12:42 pm  

cheap you get the Sonnet Breakaway 350th graphics card, you have to look what you like. Do not forget the Thunderbolt adapter.

Late 2015 15" Macbook Pro Iris Pro + RX 580 [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350 via TB3 to TB2 adapter) macOS 10.13.6 + Win8.1


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dorza
(@dorza)
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Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 27
July 7, 2018 1:06 pm  
Posted by: xBattleFreakx

cheap you get the Sonnet Breakaway 350th graphics card, you have to look what you like. Do not forget the Thunderbolt adapter.

Shouldn’t I just get a Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure, instead of using an adapter?

MBP Retina 15’’ mid 2014 + GIGABYTE RX580


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ghettocivic
(@ghettocivic)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 18
July 7, 2018 1:23 pm  
Posted by: dorza
Posted by: ikir

Hi do you really need more than 60fps? I would increase settings to have the game looks better. A Radeon Vega 56 should give a good boost!
Are you aware that you need a script to use an eGPU on a TB2 machine? Also you must be on 10.13.4+

Thanks for your time. So I need to buy a Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure + a Graphics Card? Is there anything cheaper you'd recommend?

You can use a TB3 enclosure with the Apple TB3 -> TB2 adapter.  Many more options if you go with TB3 enclosures.  Stick with supported AMD cards in macOS if you want reliability and hot plug/unplug ability. 

I'm using an Akitio Thunder2 modified with a Dell power supply and a RX570 Sapphire ITX model and it works great in macOS.  I also have to leave the cover off of the Thunder 2 because the power connector is too tall on the RX570. In the end, it's a reliable eGPU setup that doesn't take up much space but also isn't aesthetically pleasing. It also doesn't work in Win 10 Boot Camp (error 12 nightmare).

MacBook Pro 13" Late 2013 + Akitio Thunder2 + Sapphire RX570 ITX


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karatekid430
(@karatekid430)
Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 154
July 7, 2018 1:52 pm  

My answer is always going to be Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Box, no matter what computer it is for. Use any Thunderbolt 3->Thunderbolt 2 adapter and enjoy the lack of PCIe 3.0, welcome back to pre-2012.

What's the point in having an eGPU the size of a desktop computer? Why not literally build a small desktop computer and put it on your desk, instead?

At least the Aorus is small, and has proper 100W (not 87W, *cough*, Apple) for future computers you might own. The question is whether you get the RX580, GTX1070 or GTX1080 version. For Mac, probably RX580 because the Nvidia drivers are a joke, my friend with a MacBook Pro 2016 and eGPU told me.

Anyways, up until I got my SANLink3 N1 10G Ethernet adapter, I used this with my Dell 9370 with a USB Ethernet adapter in the back of the Aorus, and it worked well as a single cable dock with the power delivery. Now I use the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter in another port. Thankfully the eGPU makes some fan noise, because when I use the SANLink3 N1 without any ambient noise, the fan in the N1 drives me bonkers. It goes, even when freezing cold from the winter morning, when I have just turned the computer on.

Edit: I just realised you asked if you should get a Thunderbolt 2 enclosure. DO NOT DO THAT. You've been warned. TBT1 and TBT2 were a complete joke. I only took it seriously at Thunderbolt 3. TBT1 and TBT2 were too slow to do as much, and lacked the benefits of USB-C like power delivery. Get the Aorus Gaming Box and the adapter, so that when you get a new laptop, you can enjoy the benefits of Thunderbolt 3, like charging the laptop, and faster speeds.

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


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psonice
(@psonice)
Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 113
July 7, 2018 2:45 pm  

I'm using a Sonnet eGPU 550, and would definitely recommend it. You also need an Apple TB2 to TB3 adaptor, and a thunderbolt 2 cable to connect the mac to the adaptor. (Note: you could get a 350, 550 or 650 - depends on what GPU you want to go for, and whether you need more power. There's a PDF on Sonnet's website showing which GPUs are compatible with which box.)

On the graphic card side, definitely go for AMD. I had to go with Nvidia, because I needed CUDA, and got a 1080TI. Which is great (and the drivers have been fine!) except that Apple don't really support Nvidia eGPUs at all, and if I use 10.13.4 or later I have many issues (this is with an iMac, you might be more lucky... but you might hit similar trouble with the next update or the one after). Put it this way: the software I use has recently changed a bit and AMD is becoming a viable option, so I'm swapping that 1080TI for a Vega 56 😉 

Apple have a page listing supported configurations here:  https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544

Note that TB2 is not supported, so you will need to install patches to get it working. But with a supported config, it's a whole lot easier.

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


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dorza
(@dorza)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 27
July 31, 2018 1:42 pm  
Posted by: ghettocivic
Posted by: dorza
Posted by: ikir

Hi do you really need more than 60fps? I would increase settings to have the game looks better. A Radeon Vega 56 should give a good boost!
Are you aware that you need a script to use an eGPU on a TB2 machine? Also you must be on 10.13.4+

Thanks for your time. So I need to buy a Thunderbolt 2 Enclosure + a Graphics Card? Is there anything cheaper you'd recommend?

You can use a TB3 enclosure with the Apple TB3 -> TB2 adapter.  Many more options if you go with TB3 enclosures.  Stick with supported AMD cards in macOS if you want reliability and hot plug/unplug ability. 

I'm using an Akitio Thunder2 modified with a Dell power supply and a RX570 Sapphire ITX model and it works great in macOS.  I also have to leave the cover off of the Thunder 2 because the power connector is too tall on the RX570. In the end, it's a reliable eGPU setup that doesn't take up much space but also isn't aesthetically pleasing. It also doesn't work in Win 10 Boot Camp (error 12 nightmare).

Hey!
i got the RX580 + tb3 to tb2 adapter + tb2 cable that goes into my MacBook. I’ve used the script & connected my monitor to the eGPU - but nothing happens. Any advice?

thanks!

MBP Retina 15’’ mid 2014 + GIGABYTE RX580


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