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

 

andy
 andy
(@andy)
Eminent Member
Joined:10 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. Build Guides by users showcases system & eGPU capability & compatibility by way of users.  A valuable insight into the 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?


DanKnight, mbtx_au, mac_editor and 4 people liked
ReplyQuote
Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Honorable Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 756
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).

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output 4K@60Hz out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
"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."


Fry-man22, nando4, theitsage and 2 people liked
ReplyQuote
chaosmage
(@chaosmage)
Eminent Member
Joined:10 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


nando4 liked
ReplyQuote
FricoRico
(@fricorico)
Eminent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 40
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.


ReplyQuote
Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Honorable Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 756
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.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output 4K@60Hz out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
"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."


ReplyQuote
FricoRico
(@fricorico)
Eminent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 40
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.


nando4 liked
ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 1159
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.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
3 Build Guides


ReplyQuote
(@rohan_jain)
New Member
Joined:10 months  ago
Posts: 4
March 23, 2018 6:25 pm  

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.


ReplyQuote
(@kevin_peters)
New Member
Joined:5 months  ago
Posts: 2
March 23, 2018 7:17 pm  

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.


ReplyQuote
(@rohan_jain)
New Member
Joined:10 months  ago
Posts: 4
March 23, 2018 7:46 pm  

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. 


theitsage liked
ReplyQuote
(@kevin_peters)
New Member
Joined:5 months  ago
Posts: 2
March 24, 2018 4:03 am  

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..


ReplyQuote
Banana137
(@banana137)
New Member
Joined:6 months  ago
Posts: 4
March 24, 2018 10:07 pm  

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?


ReplyQuote
bgupta
(@bgupta)
New Member
Joined:4 months  ago
Posts: 1
April 28, 2018 9:47 pm  
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.


ReplyQuote
mketcham
(@mketcham)
New Member
Joined:2 months  ago
Posts: 1
June 26, 2018 9:58 pm  

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? 


ReplyQuote
Psychonursey
(@psychonursey)
New Member
Joined:2 months  ago
Posts: 2
July 3, 2018 7:38 am  

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.


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Prominent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 810
July 3, 2018 9:25 am  

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 Touchbar + GTX1060@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + GTX1070@32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10
---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Prominent Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 810

ReplyQuote
Psychonursey
(@psychonursey)
New Member
Joined:2 months  ago
Posts: 2
July 3, 2018 9:58 am  

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

Core x is what I have my eye on.


ReplyQuote
PicoDeGallo
(@picodegallo)
New Member
Joined:1 month  ago
Posts: 1
July 17, 2018 2:37 pm  

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


ReplyQuote
c4dchris
(@c4dchris)
New Member
Joined:1 month  ago
Posts: 2
July 17, 2018 11:22 pm  

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!


ReplyQuote
(@jacoby)
New Member
Joined:3 weeks  ago
Posts: 1
July 28, 2018 9:44 am  

Right now I have a Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti.

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

ReplyQuote
TheItalianoX
(@theitalianox)
New Member
Joined:3 weeks  ago
Posts: 2
July 29, 2018 2:36 am  

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


ReplyQuote
sleepingviola
(@sleepingviola)
New Member
Joined:3 weeks  ago
Posts: 1
July 29, 2018 4:41 am  

Hi there,

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

Many thank


ReplyQuote