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To future eGPU users — do your homework first!
 

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

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andy
 andy
(@andy)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

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

 

1. The Buyer's Guide that answers common pre-purchase questions.

 

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

 

3. Builds  showcasing system & eGPU capability & compatibility.  A valuable insight into the implementation complexity for your system using the same or similar intended eGPU hardware

 

4. The Tech Support Directory to contact your enclosure vendor for support.


 

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?

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

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).

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"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)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

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)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

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)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 
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.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"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: 3 years ago
 
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)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 

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.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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(@rohan_jain)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I'm new to the egpu thing, so I apologize if these questions have already been answered a billion times.

I have a 2017 5K iMac. If I connect a compatible AMD gpu via an Akito Node, does it to have a second monitor. And if it does require the 2nd monitor and I ran premiere on my iMac with my EGPU connected, and if I drag my premiere window onto the main imac display, will premiere still take advantage of the eGPU. Thanks in advance.

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(@kevin_peters)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

If any one can please help I have a mid 2015 macbook pro retina running bootcamp and I purchased a radeon rx 560 thinking that I could just connect it like a hard drive lol. Can someone please help me with a list of hardware I will need (Iam on a budget) to get this working or if I should just return the rx 560. I know I need an enclosure but I really dont want to buy the wrong one and I have no clue.

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(@rohan_jain)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

return it. High Sierra killed support for Thunderbolt 2 gpus. You have to have a 2016 or later MacBook Pro or 2017 or later iMac/iMac pro

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(@kevin_peters)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Even in bootcamp? i barely even run osx anymore and windows is my startup disk. If i had known then what i know now i wouldnt have gotten a mac..

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Banana137
(@banana137)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I have a late-13 mbp (retina) an I want to add an egpu to it runnig ino an external display

I'm thinking to buy aorus gaming box, the only problem is the I dont have TB3 in my computer...

I tried to look for an adapter, but could only find TB2 to TB3 (I need the other way around)...

do you know where can I find the right cable, and will it actually work good or TB2 will be too slow?

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bgupta
(@bgupta)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: Banana137

I have a late-13 mbp (retina) an I want to add an egpu to it runnig ino an external display

I'm thinking to buy aorus gaming box, the only problem is the I dont have TB3 in my computer...

I tried to look for an adapter, but could only find TB2 to TB3 (I need the other way around)...

do you know where can I find the right cable, and will it actually work good or TB2 will be too slow?

The Apple TB2 -> TB3 adaptor is bidirectional. It allows TB2 macs to use TB3 accessories like the AkiTio Node Pro. It also allow new TB3 Macs to use older TB2 accessories, like the OWC TB2 Docking station. All you need to use the adaptor is a regular TB2 cable and the adaptor. With those two you have male TB2 at one end and male TB3 at the other.

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mketcham
(@mketcham)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hello, let me first say, thank you for having this forum, it is very informative and for a newb like me getting into eGPU it is very helpful.   The challenge I have is that I am not a normal user and thus my requirements are a little different and thus I am seeking direct advise as you say above, the right enclosure and card for the job I want to do is critical and I don't want to make the investment only to have headaches, as I am a frequently travelling business person that doesn't, have the extra fiddling time that I wish I did.     So I have a mid 2015 Retina 15-inch MacBook Pro with 2.5 Ghz i7 with 16 gig of ram.

With the changes in High Sierra and multi-monitor support, it has left me in a real bind.   I have boot camp installed for native windows apps I need to run, while using Mac most of the time.  I was running four external monitors previously and that stopped with the High Sierra changes.   So I would like to run four external monitors with the machine in clamshell mode with an emphasis on good performance but not necessarily trying to drive four monitors for gaming.      The work we do requires a lot of multi-tasking efforts and window by windows coding or evaluations make the four monitors very very helpful and I am now stuck back in two with the laptop display being a third.

So I would like to get an external GPU to drive the four monitors primarily via the MacOS but also via Bootcamp if possible with the reasonable performance but not gaming in that mode and work well when disconnected and traveling without a lot of reconfiguration etc.  I was thinking of upgrading to a new macbook to get T3, but frankly hate the scroll bar and hoping the new mac will discontinue the stupid thing before upgrading.     Also the machine performance if adequate and it might be fun to play some games in single monitor mode with time permits.

Given that the four montiors is the priority what enclosure and video card is recommended? 

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Psychonursey
(@psychonursey)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and seek some advice on a new setup please. 
Recently I sold my self build gaming pc rig as I simply wasn’t using it often enough to have a £3K rig. 
Also, I’ve found myself migrating to iPhone, AppleTV and plan on having an all apple ecosystem. 
I am very aware that PC is the Mecca of gaming and do not want that topic to cast its shadow this post please. 

What at I am planning on doing is buying a MacBook Pro and using it with an egpu for my gaming. I know also that I’ll need an external monitor et al to implement this fully. 

The advice I am hoping to get opinion on is which, if any, of the current line up (July 2018) of MBP is best to get in terms of gaming and egpu use (15” probably for the quad core), or wait for the MBP refresh in September (probably). 

Also what hat enclosure is considered ‘gold standard’ for use with MBP and what card would work out of the box. 

Thanks for reading this far and I look forward to responses. 

TLDR: 
Which MacBook Pro (current or 2018 refresh) for use with egpu for gaming and what enclosure would you recommend.

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

15 inch and a Vega card and you’ll get great performance in both macOS and Windows. Refreshes are an unknown but are expected soon so I’d hold off if you can.

I have read that the current 15’s are the easiest to set up when paired with AMD cards. 

Ive tested quite a few games on a lesser set up in my build thread if you are curious about performance. 

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


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago

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Psychonursey
(@psychonursey)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Thanks for that. I’m in no rush so can hold out. 

Core x is what I have my eye on.

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PicoDeGallo
(@picodegallo)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hey guys,

I have a 15-inch, 2017 Macbook Pro 2.8ghz, and have been reading as much as I can about my eGPU options.  I know I'll be getting a GTX 1080ti, but am not sure of the enclosure that would be ideal.

I am not a gamer.  I am a 3D artist, so my primary programs are things like Maya, ZBrush, Mari, and Substance Painter.  I've seen benchmarks and tests for 3D rendering, and it seems like I'm going to see a huge improvement in performance.  

My one question relates to the external monitor.  I have a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, which is an HDMI input, and a 29 inch Apple Cinema Display (2011, if I'm not mistaken), that uses a miniDisplay connection.  

I believe that in order to not lose performance with the Cintiq, I need an eGPU that includes an HDMI output.  Is this correct?  Or will I generally be okay with a Thunderbolt 3 --> HDMI adapter?  As for the CinemaDisplay, I haven't seen any info on eGPUs + miniDisplay.  I absolutely love my monitor, but am prepared to keep it connected to my mid-2010 MBP as a web surfing/Netflix computer.  However, if someone can tell me that I can use the CinemaDisplay with my 2017 MBP without any real hit to performance, please let me know.

Thank you!
PDG

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c4dchris
(@c4dchris)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hey All - Had a quick question as Im getting into this...

I have a macbook pro 15" (Late 2013) but will be upgrading to the new 2018 macbook pro in a few months. Is there a recommended setup that will work on both? Thinking of building it out with thunderbolt 3 and with an nvidia card as I do mostly 3d rendering. I would just get the converter to thunderbolt 2 for the time being. 
 
Thanks!

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(@jacoby)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Right now I have a Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti.

  • 2x8pin power supply.
  • At least 60W PD
  • HDMI or DP
  • Full-size GPU
  • Over 300W

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TheItalianoX
(@theitalianox)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hello everybody, 

I’m currently thinking of an eGPU setup, but would like to introduce to you my scenario first, so that some more experienced user could help me deciding.

I have a mid 2015 Macbook pro 15, which I daily use for work and stuff (macOS). I don’t really would need a gpu for working, instead, I would like to stop using a different pc for gaming. My idea was: when I’m home, sit in front of my desk, plug my MacBook to my “enclosure” then successfully have a gpu and an SSD/HDD with Windows connected, and do whatever I want. Gaming? Just boot windows, use the eGPU and play games. Want to work/do stuff on macOS? Boot normally and still have the power of a eGPU. Need to leave home? Just unplug one(?) cable, bring the MacBook with me and go away, normally using the integrated GPU.

Is this possible, worth it and “the right way to do it”?

Looking for some kind of help, since I have no experience with eGPU.

I was also thinking about a thunderbolt 3 “enclosure” which I would then adapt to my Thunderbolt 2 connection on the MacBook Pro, so that if I would like to upgrade my MacBook in the future, I will have an already built setup.

Thanks,
Kristian

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sleepingviola
(@sleepingviola)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hi there,

Just quick question. What is the most suitable eGPU for Macbook Pro Retina Mid 2012 15'' Model?

Many thank

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maskofsin
(@maskofsin)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
 

I've used for some time now userbenchmark.com for all my comparison needs.
Now that I am getting myself a 2570p for work + egpu at home (so I use only one laptop for everything) I found a very good way to compare and decide if egpu is for you:

userbenchmark.com benchmarks cpu, gpu, storage and ram. For example, this link sends you to all 2570p benchmarks and luckly some users that did the egpu and varios upgrades did their tests there, so:

link for all 2570p benchmarks:
http://www.userbenchmark.com/System/HP-EliteBook-2570p/1972

I bought a refurb 2570p. These benchmarks helped me decide and check how other users 2570p fared with their upgrades. Really useful if you find the model you want to try.

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(@timo_tepper)
New Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Hi everyone,

im new to this forum and  i have a question for you to help me with .

i have  a dell latitude E6530 with an intel core i5 3320M CPU @ 2.60 ghz
and 4 gb ram it also has an esata port

and i want to use my nvidia gforc 8800 gt card external  

so where do i start and is it even possible in the first place?

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bryanfelixander
(@bryanfelixander)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi, i am considering to get the XPS 13 laptop since i found them best value for me. But i notice that xps 13 9370 is not only in 4k but also fhd (i know i should have known this otherway around). I am not really into high-end screen stuff but i already know that the 4k has 4 pcie lanes which is rather optimal but thunderbolt 3 connection. 
Budget is a factor for me thats why i am also considering the FHD one as i would like to know how many pcie lanes there are?

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I don't think the monitor resolution would affect the number of PCIe lanes to the TB3 controller. It would make little sense for such a strange dependency.

I always recommend 1080p panels for 13" systems. The screen is too small to gain much from a 4K panel, and the battery life with the 4K panels tends to suffer compared to the 1080p ones.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"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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itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@bryanfelixander All XPS 9370 systems have 4 PCIe lanes to the Thunderbolt 3 ports. I'd recommend buying the FHD model so that you get a better value and longer battery life.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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arveen
(@sabharwal)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
 

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. 

 

I did the same and got myself AMD w9100 32gb and now stuck with it as I'm unable to debug it and use it with any working solution. 

I've tried the el captain / Sierra / High Sierra and now will try mojave as my last option.

the same GPU has been suceefully run plug and play for another user 2 years back but it isn't working for me. 

dunno if apple has updated the firmware when we install a new OS so which prohibits using eGPU with any older macs. 

goalque / mac_editor all have stopped support for older OS so will have to try the new os and see what the outcome is. 

Mac Pro 2013 - D700 - Sonnet Echo III TB2 - AMD W9100 - OS 10.13.6 High Sierra
Macbook pro late 2013 - GT750M - Sonnet Echo III TB2 - AMD W9100 - OS 10.11.6 El Captain


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hessybear
(@hessybear)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi guys new here and complete noob.
i need help i have a mbp 13 mid 2012 non retina i7 2.9 intel 4000
lately its getting hard to work on 4k in final cut for my drone footage. so my next thoughts was a egpu , that works with tb1 on my mbp. However i want to future proof it to tb3 as i am geting the new mac mini in 3 or 4 months.
what would be my best setup?
Any help welcome thanks guys

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TheLanMan
(@thelanman)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi folks,  
Just looking for your opinions on my plan for egpu with my lenovo yoga 720.

lenovo Specs

i7 7700hq,
16gb ram
1tb ssd
gtx1050 2gb dedicated gpu

egpu enclosure
Razer Core X 650W

Gpu (to buy)
1080 ti
looking at gigabyte/ asus strix/ (basically anything with +1.51Ghz and 3 fans)

Setup/ purpose:
external lg 4k monitor. purpose mainly modelling in CAD, gaming and occasional 4k drone footage editing.

Concerns:
will the 7700hq bottleneck the gpu?
is it true the lenovo yoga 720 has 2lane PCI for TB3?
if so will it be an issue for performance from gpu?
i changed thermal paste to liquid metal and sealed it pretty well and temps hover at max 65-70C under full load was it a good idea?
bottom line is it worth setting an egpu with 1080 ti ?

thanks

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

@thelanman The i7-7700HQ is very capable so no concerns there. The Thunderbolt 3 controller in Yoga 720 indeed attaches to a 2 PCI lane connection. Ideally you'd want to use it with external monitor only to minimize performance loss.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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TheLanMan
(@thelanman)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Thanks for responding

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JatBat
(@jatbat)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi,
I have a late 2013 iMac with only Thunderbolt 2 ports, but I want to buy the Sonnet Breakaway 350W Thunderbolt 3 enclosure so I can use the eGPU for future newer Macs that I buy. Can I use this enclosure with a RX580 or RX580 XTR GPU with my Thunderbolt 2 iMac using a Thunderbolt 3-2 adapter? Will the eGPU work with this adapter?

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(@dinh_an)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

i want to use my old laptop to play games but unfortunelately i never had any experience , i see one build hp 8460p with gtx 760 but i think it's not enough for me , can i use gtx 1060 ... i will play in tv with hdmi as external monitor . Thanks for read and have a good day .

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BaronKrause
(@baronkrause)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

I was wondering if anyone knows anything about using an eGPU with a laptop that already has an nvidia dedicated GPU. The Laptop is a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme which has an internal nvidia 1050 Ti and 2 USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Is it possible? Is it harder or easier if it has an internal nvidia gpu (assuming the eGPU is also nvidia)? If possible is there any issues using the internal monitor vs external?

It's not something i'm jumping to do right now, but i've been pretty curious and I didn't see much around that specifically talks about laptops with existing dedicated gpus.

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