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Multiple eGPUs, non-Apple laptops  

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DrEGPU
(@dregpu)
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April 19, 2019 8:33 pm  

I have tried looking through google and on this site for any implementations or builds with more than one eGPU connected to a laptop. I have 2x aorus 1080 gaming boxes and 1x 2070 gaming box. I mainly do machine learning for image classification and would like a more powerful compact setup for testing. My MacBook “pro” has given me nothing but headaches, from Apple and Nvidias pissing match, to various incompatibilities with MacOS. Pytorch needs to be compiled from source for GPU support on Macs, which is really annoying. PlaidML is nice with its relatively GPU-agnostic HAL, but it uses keras and not pytorch, so you typically take a performance hit (in exchange for easy usability, to be fair). 

Anyway, all the best stuff is for Linux, including AMD’s rOCM. So, has any tested multiple eGPU enclosures on PC-based laptop? Preferrably running Linux, but windows would suffice to figure out how well 2x eGPU’s share the one TB3 bus/controller. If so, which laptops even have more than 1 TB3 port, even if they share the same bus? The newer dell XPS’s do. Any others? 

PS: I swear I tried looking for this!

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
Dell XPS 13 9350 + Aorus gaming box 2070


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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April 19, 2019 9:06 pm  

It's certainly not a typical implementation. There are no non-Apple laptops with more than one Thunderbolt 3 controller that I'm aware of. The best option for you is an Alienware laptop that has both a Thunderbolt 3 port and Graphics Amplifier port. They both have a four PCIe lane connection directly to the CPU. I have a few builds with the Alienware 15R3 to make use of two eGPUs and the internal dGPU. It's a very capable machine for your plan. I also ran it with Linux too.

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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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April 19, 2019 9:49 pm  

@dregpu
I really tried hard to run two eGPUs at one TB3-controller in Windows. It wouldn't work. On two different controllers worked, but not on one (two eGPU on the same site). In MacOSX this is possible.

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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DrEGPU
(@dregpu)
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April 20, 2019 12:42 am  

Thanks for the heads up on the Alienware line. I wasn’t aware of the graphics amplifier thing. Not quite as light and portable as an XPS13 or even my 15” MacBook Pro, but at least you can attach 2x eGPUs and run Linux. I guess it’s time to start putting up some stuff for sale!

Posted by: OliverB

@dregpu
I really tried hard to run two eGPUs at one TB3-controller in Windows. It wouldn't work. On two different controllers worked, but not on one (two eGPU on the same site). In MacOSX this is possible.

If only nvidia and apple would play well together AND the developers of pytorch, TF, etc would include GPU support for Mac by default !

This post was modified 1 month ago

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
Dell XPS 13 9350 + Aorus gaming box 2070


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DrEGPU
(@dregpu)
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April 25, 2019 8:03 pm  
Posted by: OliverB

@dregpu
I really tried hard to run two eGPUs at one TB3-controller in Windows. It wouldn't work. On two different controllers worked, but not on one (two eGPU on the same site). In MacOSX this is possible.

What about linux? I realize it isn't possible on your 2018 MBP ( or mine!), but do you have access to a 2017 MBP running linux? I'd be interested to know if it could handle 2x eGPUs on the same side (ie, controller).

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
Dell XPS 13 9350 + Aorus gaming box 2070


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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April 26, 2019 3:58 am  

@dregpu Yes it is possible in Linux. I don't know how deep a chain you can run but two eGPUs per controller is a good idea. I used an AKiTiO Node Pro in front of chain then connected a Razer Core X Chroma to the second TB3 port of the Node Pro. This chain connected to the single TB3 port on the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

94 external GPU build guides


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DrEGPU
(@dregpu)
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April 26, 2019 11:51 am  
Posted by: theitsage

@dregpu Yes it is possible in Linux. I don't know how deep a chain you can run but two eGPUs per controller is a good idea. I used an AKiTiO Node Pro in front of chain then connected a Razer Core X Chroma to the second TB3 port of the Node Pro. This chain connected to the single TB3 port on the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth.

Wow, very nice! I wonder what the performance hit is on compute tasks... Have run any kind of benchmarks, compute or gaming with the daisy chained eGPU. I realize a one to one true and accurate comparison is going to be difficult but still very curious.

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
Dell XPS 13 9350 + Aorus gaming box 2070


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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April 26, 2019 12:16 pm  

@dregpu Compute is the best use for eGPU. I have not tested extensively in Linux but have run multiple eGPUs in macOS. For example this Mac mini + 2x RX 580 in an AKiTiO Node Duo can scale very nicely. The eGPUs were strictly running through a x2 PCIe connection each and Luxmark numbers didn't change much at all. A daisy-chain setup will be slightly different because each eGPU has access to a x4 PCIe connection but that's also their combined max throughput to the host computer. Ideally the higher performing eGPU should be in front of chain.

AIDA64 is another utility I use to check bandwidth performance of each eGPU setup. I recall in my X399 system, the Radeon VII posted almost identical numbers when run throug TB3 enclosure vs in the internal slot. In fact when the eGPU doesn't have to run a display, it would be fully utilitzed for computing tasks.

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

94 external GPU build guides


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