SHOULD I BUY THIS? - Student creating Digital Media, Macbook Pro 13" 2017, Casua...
 
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SHOULD I BUY THIS? - Student creating Digital Media, Macbook Pro 13" 2017, Casual Gaming.  

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yuuiko
(@yuuiko)
New Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

INTRO:

So I need some help and info about eGPUs. I'm not very versed in putting hardware together since I've basically been on a MacBook pro my whole life.

I'd love any tips, recommendations and information about my current situation and part selection below before I buy anything

 

MY SCENARIO:

I'm a student doing a digital media course, which the most demanding tasks involve Video Editing, 360 Video Editing (6K-8K turns out it wasn't 8K when i checked again), Game Design, VR and possibly Rendering Animations.

I have a MacBook Pro 2017 13" (4Tb3 ports) i5 Dual Core 3.5GHz, 16GB RAM, and only this.

This MacBook has been great and has produced a lot in return for me, but it's finally reached its limits with adding effects to 8K footage and possibly VR work soon, so I'm probably in need for an eGPU.

Aside from the graphically intensive work, I'd like to get into a little bit of gaming as well, though I'm not a big gamer so this isn't a top priority. 

 

As for what I'm looking for in the hardware, here's what I'm looking for in order of importance:

  1. Seamless Compatibility with MacOS, 
  2. Enclosure: Compatibility with the internal display AND external (1080p HDMI) display simultaneously if possible,
  3. USB ports,
  4. Enclosure: Mid tier budget < $450 USD or in other words "As cheap as possible but great build quality and utility, slightly premium"
  5. Enclosure: Expandability, Future Proof (Full length double width probably). I want it to last.
  6. GPU: Mid range, 60fps on 1440p gaming (I use internal display as my main display) but I don't mind 1080p gaming too. Basic VR capability in case I need it.
  7. Support for using it in Bootcamp Windows 10
  8. Full Speed Charging (61W for my MacBook),
  9. Nice Looks.

Would be good if it was all under $800 AUD +/- $100 if I must.

 

WHAT I'VE FOUND:

Some Radeon 5500 XT in a Mantiz Venus.
Probably a Sapphire or Asus card.

 

Why 5500XT:
Decent price, Good enough performance for what I need, well I think, I haven't used a GPU before.
I did look at the RX580, though has this aged too much for a new purchase? will it last much longer?

Why Mantiz Venus
PORTS! SATA! CLEAN! And all that seems to be cheaper than the Razer Core X.

 

So, should I go ahead with this plan or did you have something to warn me about? Or perhaps a better recommendation? 

I'm unsure about the RX 580 too. I think I'll go with the 5500xt unless the 580 is better?

Oh and also, if the Mantiz Venus is a good choice, where would I find one? or any eGPU actually... eGPUs seem pretty hard to come across.

Thanks in advance for your help!

This topic was modified 6 months ago

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 - 3.1 GHz Dual-Core i5, 16GB, 512GB, macOS Catalina 10.15.4. Looking to buy an eGPU.


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Mantiz Venus went into hiding. It now uses the name “Powercolor Gaming Station” and a less attractive appearance to avoid undue notice. 😏

6K and 8K video??? Those are Pro formats, not mid-tier. The Radeon VII or RX5700XT would be more appropriate than the RX5500XT or RX580.

Oh, and Microsoft says bad things about Thunderbolt behind its back. So don’t expect Windows to play nice when you plug in your eGPU. 😏

 

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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yuuiko
(@yuuiko)
New Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@mini-i5, Thanks for your input!

Interesting, I didn't realise that the PowerColor was disguised! Does it still have a SATA port? But more importantly how is it's reliability?

As for the 8K stuff, I think I exaggerated a little or mistook the naming for pixel count. The footage I was working with turned out to be 5760 × 2880. so thats like almost 6K. Macbook could chew it slowly on its integrated graphics so well, im sure the 5500XT would be much better anyway. I don't have enough $$ for high end stuff at the moment.

I suppose the main thing I'm uncertain about is the enclosure. Is the PowerColor a nice player to my hardware and software?

 

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 - 3.1 GHz Dual-Core i5, 16GB, 512GB, macOS Catalina 10.15.4. Looking to buy an eGPU.


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@yuuiko

Mine is great. And they are $250 USD.

The SATA connection is inside. You would just need to add a mounting bracket for the SATA device inside.

 

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Hunt out a second hand Mantiz Venus ... the PowerColor Gaming Station looks the same but IIRC is actually a fair bit different, size and material wise.

GPU wise, CPU and TB3 bottlenecking would limit the gains you'd get from going for a top end card for gaming at least (unsure of real work).

I've always had a soft spot for 580 Sapphire's, and since you mention internal screen (both W10 and macOS I assume) then i'd avoid Navi cards as their drivers are far less well optimised for loopback (check itsage's posts/research).

Set up wise, I struggled for years, but recent updates for our exact machines have made things pretty straight forward but it changes with every release so no telling what state things will be in once you've bought your bits and bobs.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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yuuiko
(@yuuiko)
New Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@eightarmedpet, Thanks! Very helpful!

Is the PowerColor any different in any functional way apart from looks and size?

Also, did you have a link to itsage's posts? It's a bit of a concern for me!

Glad to hear that our model of MacBook is playing well!

 

MacBook Pro 13" 2017 - 3.1 GHz Dual-Core i5, 16GB, 512GB, macOS Catalina 10.15.4. Looking to buy an eGPU.


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@yuuiko, Internal display performance loss is higher with Navi cards compared to Polaris and Vega. It's due to driver optimization. Like @eightarmedpet has shared, going with an RX 580 or RX Vega 56 would be a better value.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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