[Sticky] To future eGPU users — do your homework first!  

 

andy
 andy
(@andy)
Eminent Member
Joined:4 months  ago
Posts: 26
October 26, 2017 9:37 pm  

nando4>> Before seeking purchase help, please see these resources

 

1. How-To in the top menu for many common configuration steps.

 

2. Implementation Guides by users showcases system & eGPU capability & compatibility by way of users implementions.  A valuable insight into implementation complexity for your system using the same or similar intended eGPU hardware:

https://egpu.io/external-gpu-implementations-table/

 

3. The Buyer’s Guide for enclosure offerings. Do take note of footnotes about criteria items:

https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2018/

 


 

From what I’ve seen on these boards and other websites is that a lot of people with eGPU issues simply bought the wrong enclosure, the wrong card, or have an incompatible computer to begin with.

Investing $500-$1000, or even more, and only get headaches as your return simply sucks. The community here at eGPU.io is top notch and had direct influence on my success with getting my eGPU working, but I still had a fair amount of troubleshooting to do on my own.

So if you’re in the market for a setup be absolutely sure to consume this in its entirety:  https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2017/

Anybody have any additional advice on taking your first steps for choosing the right eGPU setup?

Edited: 2 months  ago

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Posts: 600
October 26, 2017 10:13 pm  

The implementation table is a great way to get going, because replicating someone’s setup is a lot easier than trying something nobody did before. A system with a lot of recorded successes is a better buy than one that is not.

I also advise people who are going for a gaming eGPU and DO NOT need OS X to not go and get a Macbook. Macbooks add a whole dimension of hurdles to jump or avoid in the eGPU context, and unless you have a good reason to get one (Being a longtime Mac user, or preferring OS X, or “I just want one” are all valid reasons, but people should know what they are getting into).

"Dire Wolf II" - HP ZBook 15 G4: Core i7-7820HQ, 32GB, M1200 dGPU, R9 Fury@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) eGPU, HP Z27q (5K) + Dell P2715Q (4K)
"Timber Wolf" - HP Spectre x360: Core i7-8550U, 16GB, GTX1050Ti@16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2), Dell U3011
"Stormcrow" - Lenovo T430s: Core i7-3520M, 8GB, GTX750Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) eGPU, Sony 4K TV
"Phoenix Hawk" - Intel NUC 33217CK: Core i3-3217U, 8GB, GTX670@4Gbps-mPCIe2 (PCE164P-N03) + Linux Mint 18.2 (64-bit)

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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chaosmage
(@chaosmage)
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Joined:4 months  ago
Posts: 42
October 27, 2017 3:06 am  

Ha ha! I am reading the forum for two weeks, and went through almost all implementation guides trying to figure out which use case is mine.

One thing to add:

When it comes to AMD vs NVIDIA, you should question yourself if native eGPU OSX support is a must or not


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FricoRico
(@fricorico)
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Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 28
October 27, 2017 2:13 pm  

I started my eGPU endeavour about 1,5 years ago and did a lot of research myself. Yet I did not go with something that worked before, I was one of the first people to try the new AMD RX480 (in combination with the Akitio Thunder 2) to work under MacOS and Windows and an Macbook 15″ 2015 with AMD dGPU onboard.

Of course it did not work out of the box, the whole Macbook 15″ with dGPU was a pain in the ass for any eGPU setup back then. I’ve spend a good two weeks of debugging the issues together with @goalque. Eventually it worked in Windows, then it worked in MacOS shortly after, when AMD patched their MacOS drivers to incorporate a power issue fix in their kexts.

What I’m getting at is that you don’t always have to go with what everyone else is doing, and you really need to bite yourself into this topic. With eGPU getting attention by all these major manufacturers, it is all a lot easier. Yes, a normal computer setup is easier to get to work. But for me having one system that has modular power is the best thing ever. My desk is clean and I don’t need a big PC case.

I still use this AMD RX480 setup, now with an Mantiz Venus prototype board that I received about a year ago. Still with the Macbook 15″ (2015) dGPU.


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 600
October 27, 2017 5:34 pm  
Posted by: FricoRico

 

What I’m getting at is that you don’t always have to go with what everyone else is doing, and you really need to bite yourself into this topic. 

While true for experts and tinkerers, that isn’t sage advice for most users. Most people who are asking about eGPUs just want an eGPU to just work. They do not want (and in some cases are not technically knowledgeable enough) to bite into the topic, or spend a long time hacking something to work, or risk money on something that might or might not work. Being a pioneer is great: Without people like you we would not be halfway where we are today, but it isn’t for everyone, and part of what this community is about is making it easy/easier for the average Joe/Jane to get an eGPU setup working. Not because the average Jane is an idiot, but because their expertise in life lies in something else.

Edited: 4 months  ago

"Dire Wolf II" - HP ZBook 15 G4: Core i7-7820HQ, 32GB, M1200 dGPU, R9 Fury@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) eGPU, HP Z27q (5K) + Dell P2715Q (4K)
"Timber Wolf" - HP Spectre x360: Core i7-8550U, 16GB, GTX1050Ti@16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2), Dell U3011
"Stormcrow" - Lenovo T430s: Core i7-3520M, 8GB, GTX750Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) eGPU, Sony 4K TV
"Phoenix Hawk" - Intel NUC 33217CK: Core i3-3217U, 8GB, GTX670@4Gbps-mPCIe2 (PCE164P-N03) + Linux Mint 18.2 (64-bit)

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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FricoRico
(@fricorico)
Eminent Member
Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 28
October 27, 2017 7:11 pm  
Posted by: Yukikaze
Posted by: FricoRico

 

What I’m getting at is that you don’t always have to go with what everyone else is doing, and you really need to bite yourself into this topic. 

While true for experts and tinkerers, that isn’t sage advice for most users. Most people who are asking about eGPUs just want an eGPU to just work. They do not want (and in some cases are not technically knowledgeable enough) to bite into the topic, or spend a long time hacking something to work, or risk money on something that might or might not work. Being a pioneer is great: Without people like you we would not be halfway where we are today, but it isn’t for everyone, and part of what this community is about is making it easy/easier for the average Joe/Jane to get an eGPU setup working. Not because the average Jane is an idiot, but because their expertise in life lies in something else.

Yes you are absolutely right, and I did not want this to sound like only pioneers and tech-savy should use eGPU. But, especially back then, you’d buy an eGPU with the knowledge that you are ‘hacking’ the OS and that support is not always guaranteed. Even though someone has achieved it before, minor changes in your setup could ruin the whole device.


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Honorable Member Moderator
Joined:11 months  ago
Posts: 556
October 27, 2017 8:05 pm  

I think the advice here really sums it up! Some more things for mac users considering eGPU:

  • Search for forum posts and guides detailing your specific Mac model and find any specific issues or problems you might have based on the equipment you are buying. Sometimes implementation guides may not cover specific issues in detail – they don’t need to. But you may encounter them, since usually a setup is not an exact replica (nearest ancestor/descendant Mac model, OS version, TB enclosure, GPU vendor, etc.).
  • Be mindful of what version of macOS you will be using, especially now that High Sierra w/ eGPU support is here.

 

When I joined the community (first foray into anything eGPU), there was no implementation guide for my Mac model (with discrete NVDA chip – 2014 15″ MBP) with a TB3 enclosure and an NVIDIA eGPU. I then read about TB2 implementations elsewhere, but none with a TB3 enclosure. As with @FricoRico, I enjoy tinkering here and there so I took a chance anyway and discovered that it isn’t possible to get my model to work on Windows in that configuration (a potential workaround is on this forum somewhere). Then, I tried switching out the eGPU for an RX 480, a first for this Mac model. That worked spectacularly. Now this model has problems on High Sierra, which I’m still trying to figure out – and this community has been a wonderful source for guidance and advice.

Edited: 4 months  ago

Mid-2014 15" MacBook Pro GT750M + RX480@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS & Win10
Purge-NVDA - Enable AMD eGPUs on NVDA Macs on High Sierra


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yjchua
(@yjchua)
Active Member
Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 17
December 17, 2017 9:45 am  

Suggestion:

In the eGPU implementation guides table, add a column specifying whether it’s intended for a setup with acceleration for internal display, or acceleration for external display only.

I think there’s quite a few of us who only want an externally-accelerated display (which is easier, I believe).


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