State of MacOS egpu support with Thunderbol 2 Macs
 
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alx_wien
(@alx_wien)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hi,

a while back I encountered some posts about High Sierra dropping support for Thunderbolt 2 egpu solutions. I'm still running my 2015 15" retina as my daily driver. And I have no intensions to upgrade unless the keyboard finally becomes reliable. And I upgraded my Macbook with an Transcend 960GB SSD which wouldn't be possible with a later on model. (unless I use a external thunderbolt enclosure). 

I use a 4K Screen running scaled at 2560x1440 with the integrated graphics - which sort of works fine. Scrolling in Firefox could be smoother, Youtube only works smooth in Chrome or Iron. That's why I was thinking of reactivating my eGPU project. 
I would go with a Radeon RX560 or 580 in a Breakaway Box and a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter. 

How's the state of Thunderbolt 2 egpu support now?
How's the desktop acceleration in OSX 10.13.6 or 10.14 Beta?
How reliable does bootcamp work (error 12 and some sort?)

Is it a working smooth experience nowadays or am I better of ditching Mac for the foreseeable future and replace it with a 12 or 16 Core AMD Desktop?

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

We have workarounds to enable eGPU use on older Thunderbolt Macs. They work well with an AMD RX card in macOS. Bootcamp can be a challenge depending on whether your MacBook Pro has a dGPU.

Given Apple's direction with its new products, you'd be better off switching away from the Mac platform. A 1st-gen Threadripper build is the best bang for the money.

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


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alx_wien
(@alx_wien)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

no discrete GPU in my Macbook Pro.

When the first Retina came out - and when I bought my Mid 2015 I thought Thunderbolt will be the port of the future with endless possibilites. Sadly enough, the only thing I use now is the ethernet adapter and the mini display port capabilities.

So how are my chances with a non internal discrete gpu Macbook?
At the end of the day it has to be a somehow dependable and stable setup.

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

iGPU-only MacBook Pro makes things easier in Boot Camp. There's one Windows 10 build guide with an RX 480 eGPU.

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


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alx_wien
(@alx_wien)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

so there's a possibility to get it to work.
So I'll make the decision based on wether I can get a used RX560/580 for a good price on ebay - then I might do it.

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


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alx_wien
(@alx_wien)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I found out that my main issue with the graphics performance and my 4k screen is simply how macOS handles HiDPI. At full 4K it renders in 4k, everything is smooth. But everything is too small on the screen.
2560x1440 looks fantastic, but macOS renders the image in 5120x2880 in the background and that pushes the integrated gpu over its limits.

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


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