2013 Mac Pro Trashcan Mantiz Venus Radeon Vii Egpu Setup

State of eGPU for Macs – Catalina 10.15 Update

eGPU Resources, eGPU Reviews 63 Comments

Overview

Today Apple releases Catalina 10.15, two years after the launch of macOS High Sierra 10.13 that introduced eGPU functionality. While there were no major changes to external GPU support in macOS, we’ve seen notable refinements in day-to-day use. Better app-level optimization, improved internal display acceleration, and Boot Screen through eGPU are the highlights of Catalina 10.15 for external graphics card users.

As more users migrate to Thunderbolt 3 Macs, the cries for eGPU support on Thunderbolt 1 & 2 machines are fading away. Thanks to our community support developers, Goalque and Mac_Editor, older Thunderbolt Macs continue to enjoy external graphics in macOS Catalina. What we’ve heard loud and clear is the omission of Nvidia graphics card support. Nvidia and Apple are acting as if they went through a bitter divorce with no option for shared custody. Users are meant to side with the brand that’s most essential to their computing needs. 

macOS Catalina 10.15 2018 Mac Mini 6 eGPUs Activity Monitor

2018 Mac Mini with 6 eGPUs – Activity Monitor in Catalina 10.15

Native Support

If you have a Thunderbolt 3 Mac computer, you’re in luck because this is the platform on which Apple has been building eGPU support. All you need is a MacOS-certified AMD Radeon graphics card + Thunderbolt 3 enclosure pairing that fits your needs and budget. There are eGFXs that come ready-to-go with a graphics card such as the Sonnet Breakaway Puck 560/570, Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box, and Blackmagic eGPU/Pro. As of fall 2019, these are Thunderbolt 3 Macs that have native eGPU support in MacOS 10.15 Catalina.

Supported Macs PCIe Speed
Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) 32 Gbps
Mac Pro (T2 Chip, Late 2019) *
MacBook Air (13-inch, T2 Chip, Mid 2019)
MacBook Pro (15-inch, T2 Chip, Mid 2019) *
MacBook Pro (13-inch, T2 Chip, Mid 2019)
iMac (5K, 27-inch, Early 2019) *
iMac (4K, 21-inch, Mid 2019) *
MacBook Air (13-inch, T2 Chip, Late 2018)
Mac mini (T2 Chip, Late 2018)
MacBook Pro (15-inch, T2 Chip, Mid 2018) *
MacBook Pro (13-inch, T2 Chip, Mid 2018)
iMac Pro (5K, 27-inch, T2 Chip, Late 2017) *
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Mid 2017) *
iMac (Retina 4K, 21-inch, Mid 2017) *
iMac (21-inch, Mid 2017)
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2017) *
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2017)
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2016) *
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016)

 

Thunderbolt 3 connector

* Indicates a Mac with discrete graphics card as standard equipment

The 2018 Mac mini received preferential treatment in Catalina 10.15. Apple made changes to its firmware to allow Boot Screen Support through the eGPU-connected monitor. This feature improves usability tremendously. As a headless Mac with iGPU only, the Mac mini is a prime candidate for an external GPU. The challenge for day-to-day use so far is the need to connect a monitor directly to the Mac mini (HDMI or USB-C/Thunderbolt 3) in order to use FileVault or Boot Screen to switch between macOS and Windows. It’s reasonable to expect eGPU Boot Screen Support as a standard feature on Thunderbolt 3 and newer headless Macs going forward.

Macos 10 15 Catalina 2018 Mac Mini 4 Egpus 3 Monitors

Catalina 10.15 2018 Mac Mini 4 eGPUs + 3 Monitors Boot Screen Support

A more future-proof route is to piece together an eGPU yourself. This process takes more effort but gives you flexibility and upgradability. This is beneficial for both enthusiasts and first-timers. Enthusiasts get to have nearly full control of the features they want out of an eGPU. If you try eGPU out and decide it’s not what you expect, the GPU can be repurposed and the enclosure sold.

There is some homework to do in order to understand eGFX technology and what features are available. eGPU.io enclosure reviews go into detail on power delivery to the host computer, available expansion I/O ports, Thunderbolt 3 controller arrangement, power supply capacity and more. The options listed in the table below are currently available and best-suited for Mac computers. The ranking is based on the number of user builds in the past six months.

Rank
6mo
Thunderbolt 3
Enclosure
Design Included
GPU1
Price
US$
Review User
builds
User
builds
macOS
Size (L)
compare
Weight
(kg/lb)
PSU
type2

PSU
max
power
Power
delivery
(PD)3

GPU
max
power4

GPU max
length
(in/cm)

GPU
ports

I/O ports
bandwidth5
USB-C
ports
6
& ctrl

TB3
ctrl7

slots
@width
Updated
firmware8
Cable
cm9
Vendor
page
#1

Razer
Core X

$300
link
link link 14.45
6.48/14.29 ATX-int
650W 100W
500W
12.99/33.0
1 & TI83
DSL6540
[email protected]
33.1 ✔ 50
link
#2 AORUS/
Gigabyte
Gaming Box
RX580
GTX1070
GTX1080
RTX2070
$420
$500
$670
$650
link
link
link
unbox
link link 3.30
2.35/5.19 fATX-int 450W 100W 225W 6.65/16.9 AMD: 3xDP,HDMI
Nvidia: DP, HDMI,
2xDVI-D ,
USB-C (RTX)
5Gbps 1 & TI83
DSL6540
[email protected]
F1.1
F1.0
F1.0
F1.0
50 link
link
link
link
#3 Sonnet
Breakaway
350|
550|650



RX580
Vega56
Vega64
$199
$280
$399
$439
$799
$949

link link link 12.71
3.20/7.10 SFX-int 350W
550W
650W
350W
550W
650W

15W
87W
87W
60W
87W
87W
300W
375W
475W
225W
375W
475W

12.20/31.0 2xDP,
HDMI,
DVI-D
1 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected] 25.2 ✔
25.2 ✔
25.2 ✔
25.1 ✔
25.2 ✔
25.2 ✔
50 link
#4 Mantiz
Venus
$279
link link link 11.56 3.60/7.92
SFX-int 550W 87W 375W 13.00/33.0
5Gbps 1 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
25.1 50 link
#5 Razer Core
X Chroma
$400 link
link link 14.45 6.91/15.23
ATX-int 700W
100W 500W
12.99/33.0 5Gbps 1 & TI83
JHL6540 x2 [email protected] 40.1 ✔ 70
link
#6 ASUS XG
Station Pro
$330 link link link 8.23 2.95 /6.50
AC-ext 330W 15W 300W 12.24/31.1
10Gbps 1 & TI83
JHL6540 [email protected] 29.1 ✔ 150 link
#7 HP Omen
Accelerator
$300
link link link 16.00 5.50/12.10 ATX-int 500W 60W 300W 11.42/29.0 5Gbps 1 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
25.25 50 link
#8 AKiTiO
Node
$200
link link link 14.09
4.90/10.78 SFX-int 400W 15W 375W 12.60/32.0 1 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
25.1 50 link
#8 Zotac AMP
Box Mini
$220 link
link link 4.17 0.85/1.87
AC-ext 180W 15W 150W
7.87/20.0 5Gbps 1 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
26.1 ✔ 50 link
#8 VisionTek
mini eGFX

RX570
$350
$500
link
link link 2.30
0.85/1.90
AC-ext
240W
45W
150W
6.89/17.5

2xDP,2xHDMI,DVI-D

5Gbps
1 & TI83
JHL6540+
JHL6240
[email protected] 40.1 ✔ 50
link
#9 AKiTiO
Node Lite
$219 link
link
link
link
2.64 2.00/4.39 AC-ext 72W 15W 25W 7.87/20.0 10Gbps 2 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
B1-25 50 link
#9 Razer
Core V2
$500 link link link 7.65 4.95/10.89 fATX-int 500W 65W 375W 11.81/30.0 5Gbps 1 & TI83
DSL6540 x2
[email protected]
26.1 ✔ 50 link
#9 Blackmagic
eGPU | Pro
RP580
Vega56
$699
$1199

link
link link 9.64
4.60/10.20 custom-int
400W 85W
HDMI
TB3/USB-C

5Gbps
2 & TI83x2
JHL7540 [email protected]
26.3 ✔ 50
link
link
#10 Sapphire
GearBox
$259 link link link 8.45
3.30/7.30
fATX-int 500W
60W
300W
10.50/26.6
5Gbps
1 & TI83 JHL6540
[email protected] 41.41 50
link
#10 Lenovo TB3
Graphics Dock
GTX1050 $325 link link link 0.74 0.69 / 1.51 AC-ext 170W 65W - - 2xDP,HDMI 5Gbps 1 & TI83 JHL6540 [email protected]
v003 50 link
#10

AKiTiO
Node Pro
$349
link link link 12.82 3.40/7.40 SFX-int 500W 60W x2 400W 12.60/32.0 10Gbps 2 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
23.1 ✔ 50 link
- Highpoint
Rocketstor 6661A
$175
preview link link 2.40
5.18/11.40
AC-ext 60W
15W
25W
8.20/20.8
10Gbps 2 & TI83
DSL6540 [email protected] ??
50 link
- OWC Mercury
Helios 3
$200 user 2.69
1.40/3.08 AC-ext 90W 15W 25W 7.75/19.6 10Gbps 2 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
50 link
- AKiTiO
Thunder3
$250 link
link
link
link
2.64
2.00/4.39 AC-ext 72W 15W 25W 7.87/20.0 10Gbps 2 & TI82 DSL6540 [email protected]
50 link
- ADT-Link
R43SG-TB3
$260
discuss
GPU
0.1/0.22
ATX-ext
or AC-ext

nolimit
15W
nolimit nolimit
1 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected] ??
50
link
- PowerColor
Devil Box
$300
user link link 16.65 3.60/7.92 fATX-int 500W 60W 375W 12.20/31.0 5Gbps 1 & TI83 DSL6540
[email protected] 25.101 50 link
- AKiTiO
Node Duo
$370
link link link 10.54
5.00/11.00 AC-ext 150W 60W+15W 25W x2
8.66/22.0 10Gbps 2 & TI83x2 DSL6540 2@x2
33.3 200 link
-

Sonnet
Breakaway Puck

RX560
RX570
$399
$499
link link link 1.01 2.38/5.25 AC-ext 160W
220W
45W - - 3xDP,HDMI 1 & TI83 DSL6540
[email protected]
25.1 ✔ 50 link
- Netstor
Hercules HL23T
$435 link link link 8.16 2.70/5.94 fATX-int 300W 15W 300W 12.60/32.0 10Gbps 2 & TI83 DSL6540 [email protected]
25.1 ✔ 100 link
- ASUS ROG
XG Station 2
$550
link link link 20.03 5.10/11.22 fATX-int 680W 100W 500W 12.20/31.0 5Gbps 1 & TI83 DSL6540
[email protected]
v25 50 link
Rank
6mo
Thunderbolt 3
Enclosure
Design Included
GPU1
Price
US$
Review User
builds
User
builds
macOS
Size (L)
compare
Weight
(kg/lb)
PSU
type2

PSU
max
power
Power
delivery
(PD)3

GPU
max
power4

GPU max
length
(in/cm)

GPU
ports

I/O ports
bandwidth5
USB-C
ports
6
& ctrl

TB3
ctrl7

slots
@width
Updated
firmware8
Cable
cm9
Vendor
page

 

All Thunderbolt 3 enclosures available on the market are macOS compatible. The bigger compatibility unknown rests on the graphics card. Apple only provides native eGPU support to select AMD GPUs shown below. They are currently the families of Radeon Polaris and Vega cards. Navi cards have yet to receive drivers in the initial release of Catalina 10.15 but we expect support for them soon. As a precaution, Vega 64 GPUs demand a lot of power. Therefore the eGPU enclosure should have at least a 650W power supply. Polaris GPUs such as the RX 580 are more efficient and can work with almost all eGPU enclosures.

Radeon Pro Radeon RX
Pro WX 9100 Radeon VII
Pro WX 9100 Catalina 10.15  Radeon Vii Catalina 10.15
Vega Frontier Edition RX Vega 64
Vega Frontier Edition Catalina 10.15 RX Vega 64 Catalina 10.15
Pro WX 8200 RX Vega 56
Pro WX 8200 Catalina 10.15 RX Vega 56 Catalina 10.15
Pro WX 7100 RX 480/580
Pro WX 7100 Catalina 10.15 RX 580 Catalina 10.15
Pro WX 5100 RX 470/570
Pro WX 5100 Catalina 10.15 RX 570 Catalina 10.15
Pro WX 4100 RX 460/560
Pro WX 4100 Catalina 10.15 RX 560 Catalina 10.15

 

Once you have the whole kit together, it’s plug-and-play with a Thunderbolt 3 Mac. Hot-plug and surprise removal of the external GPU has been working since 10.13.4. Catalina 10.15 also has much better support for multiple eGPUs. In High Sierra there appeared to be a limited number of eGPU the system could handle based on the host computer’s Thunderbolt 3 controllers. Mojave 10.14 raised this multiple eGPU support to four units. Catalina 10.15 has no set limit in my testing. The bad news is the system and applications can only use up to four eGPUs concurrently.

The most exciting feature is the ability to accelerate a Mac’s internal display with the eGPU. In previous macOS builds, the external GPU could only provide acceleration to OpenGL tasks rendered through an external monitor. There’s now a checkbox to set the eGPU as the preferred graphics card for all tasks regardless of whether an external monitor is attached. This mode forces eGPU loopback to the internal display of a MacBook Pro or iMac. With that said, not all applications are optimized for eGPU use. Adobe CC 2019 has support for external and multiple GPUs in some of its apps such as Lightroom and Photoshop. As more users adopt external graphics and as drivers mature, we hope third-party software support gets better. 

Macos 10 15 Catalina App Based Egpu Acceleration Preference Lightroom

macOS Catalina 10.15 eGPU acceleration in Lightroom

Macos 10 15 Catalina App Based Egpu Acceleration Preference Photoshop

macOS Catalina 10.15 eGPU acceleration in Photoshop

Community Support

Similar to macOS Mojave 10.14, Apple does not extend eGPU support to users with Thunderbolt 1/2 Macs or Nvidia graphics cards in Catalina 10.15. Our community has been relentlessly providing unofficial eGPU support for these older Macs Apple deemed unworthy. The main developers are Goalque and Mac_Editor. Without their selfless contributions eGPU for Macs would not be as popular as it is today. There are currently two primary approaches to facilitate eGPU support on older Macs. One solution is to make a Thunderbolt 1/2 Mac behave like a Thunderbolt 3 Mac. The other solution is to make an eGPU behave like an internal PCIe graphics card. Keep in mind Mac computers with the Apple T2 chip have tighter security in place. In order to implement these solutions, Secure Boot must be off and external source booting must be enabled.

Purge-Wrangler by Mac_Editor is currently the easiest solution to enable eGPU access to your Thunderbolt 1 or 2 Macs. This workaround also incorporates patches that enable compatibility with older AMD and Nvidia graphics cards as well as TI82 Thunderbolt 3 enclosures. The prerequisites are for SIP to be disabled and patching made to system files. The table below lists the Thunderbolt version of Mac computers built from early 2011 to late 2015. You can either use a Thunderbolt 2 enclosure for external graphics or use a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure via a Thunderbolt 2 cable + Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter.

Unsupported Macs PCIe Speed
Thunderbolt 2 16 Gbps
Mac Pro (Late 2013) *
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) *
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Mid 2015) *
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2014) *
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2015)
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
iMac (Retina 4K, 21.5-inch, Late 2014)
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2015)
Mac mini (Late 2014)
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015)
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2014) *
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) *
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Mid 2014)
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013)
MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015)
MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2015)

 

Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt connector

 

Thunderbolt logo

 

Thunderbolt 10 Gbps
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) *
iMac (27-inch, Early 2013) *
iMac (27-inch, Late 2012) *
iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) *
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2013)
iMac (21.5-inch, Early 2013)
iMac (21.5-inch, Late 2012)
iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2011)
Mac mini (Late 2012)
Mac mini (Mid 2011)
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Late 2011) *
MacBook Pro (17-inch, Early 2011) *
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Early 2013) *
MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) *
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) *
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2011) *
MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2011) *
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2013)
MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2012)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2011)
MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014)
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013)
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2012)
MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2011)
MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014)
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013)
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2012)
MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2011)

 

Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter

* Indicates a Mac with discrete graphics card as standard equipment

 

EFI automate-eGPU solution by Goalque is a cleaner approach in that all patches happen on the fly during macOS booting process. The software can be installed on an external boot volume such as a USB thumb drive or a small FAT partition of your Mac’s internal hard drive. The former is strongly encouraged so that there’s no risk of corrupting your drive and losing data. Using an external drive for each boot is not convenient, but it’s well worth the effort if you’re not willing to disable SIP and modify system files for eGPU support.

A refinement in macOS Catalina is the addition of a GPU tab in Activity Monitor. Not only does it provide a close watch on whether the eGPU is being used, but it also shows other information on the external graphics card such as brand, model, enclosure, and connected Thunderbolt 3 port. While daisy-chaining of external GPU is not recommended due to limited bandwidth through Thunderbolt 3 interface, it works regardless. I have daisy-chained three levels with the Radeon VII being at the end of the chain. For OpenCL task, the performance loss was minimal.

Boot Camp Support

Many Mac users who are interested in eGPU want to use it for gaming in Windows. We were hoping eGPU improvement in Catalina 10.15 would also mean better support for Boot Camp mode. The reality is that Apple still considers eGPU use in Windows a non-priority. We had seen beta builds of macOS Catalina 10.15 directly affect the way eGPU worked in Boot Camp. Unfortunately there’s no one clear solution. It’s easier to set up an eGPU with Boot Camp in iGPU-only Mac computers; dGPU-equipped Macs such as the 15″ MacBook Pro pose a challenge. Our Boot Camp eGPU setup guide provides more technical information and the step-by-step process for Thunderbolt 3 Mac users.

While both AMD and Nvidia have made great strides in eGPU support for Windows, Apple does not adhere to the ways Windows computers interact with Thunderbolt 3 eGPUs. I’ve been testing the 2018 15″ MacBook Pro. The Mac firmware and Apple T2 chip are big hurdles to successfully set up an external GPU in Boot Camp. The only saving grace is that it has Large Memory allocation to help with error 12 when adding an Nvidia eGPU. As seen in the screen capture, adding an AMD eGPU in Boot Camp can wreak serious havoc to the system. Both the Radeon Pro 555X dGPU and RX 580 eGPU got yellow-banged with driver conflict and lack of resource issues.

Catalina 10.15 2018 15 Macbook Pro Akitio Node Duo Rx 580 Egpu Device Manager Error 12

2018 15 Macbook Pro Error 12 on RX 580 eGPU & Error 43 on Pro 555X dGPU

There are advances and setbacks from Microsoft’s Windows 10 Fall Update. Version 1903 continues to improve upon Windows Hybrid Graphics (introduced in 1803) that allows the external GPU to work with a discrete GPU for internal display acceleration. This is beneficial for Mac computers because Apple firmware has a tendency to disable the Intel-integrated GPU in favor of the AMD Radeon discrete GPU. Without an active iGPU, AMD XConnect and Nvidia Optimus can’t leverage eGPU acceleration to the internal display. As seen in the Graphics Settings of Windows, you can set your preference for a given software or game to use the higher-performing external graphics card. Boot Camp eGPU users need to be careful of Security Updates which take place automatically. The recommended Windows 10 1903 is OS Build 18362.295. Once your Mac is running this version, make sure to disable Windows Update in Services.

Catalina 10.15 2018 15 Macbook Pro Asus Xg Station Pro Gtx 1080 Ti Egpu Device Manager Large Memory

2018 15 Macbook Pro Asus Xg Station Pro Gtx 1080 Ti Egpu Device Manager Large Memory

Catalina 10.15 2018 15 Macbook Pro Asus Xg Station Pro Gtx 1080 Ti Egpu Graphics Settings

2018 15 Macbook Pro Asus Xg Station Pro Gtx 1080 Ti Egpu Graphics Settings

Apple has made incremental changes to Mac firmwares in each macOS build. For example Mojave and Catalina improved the 2013 Mac Pro in that they allow more Thunderbolt devices to function in operating systems other than macOS. This is a nice ability for a Mac that received no love from Apple since inception. Although not officially announced or supported, trashcan Mac users have an upgrade path from the outdated FirePro dGPUs through external enclosures in both macOS and Windows.

Closing Thoughts

Catalina 10.15 has shown positive progress for eGPU Mac users. Hot-plug capability, internal display acceleration, and multiple eGPU support can truly transform a seemingly gutless Mac mini into a powerful workstation (an affordable one at that vs. the 2019 Mac Pro). Our community remains committed to providing eGPU support for older Thunderbolt Mac users. We’re also hopeful Apple will continue to improve Mac firmwares to make eGPU in Boot Camp a more straightforward process. The jury is still out on who’s the bitch in the failed relationship of Apple and Nvidia.

One more Thing

A better-implemented Sidecar in Catalina and future macOS versions can leverage eGPU to make a hybrid touchscreen Mac. Imagine a new iPad Pro lineup that has a matching footprint to the topcase of a new MacBook Pro lineup. You would then be able to place the iPad Pro on top of the keyboard and trackpad area to use it like a drawing pad (extended display mode). Sidecar can make use of an eGPU to accelerate this drawing pad. There should also be a Sidecar app on iPadOS. This would benefit headless Macs such as the Mac mini (primary display mode). In its current implementation Sidecar display cannot be the primary display. Once we’re able to use a Sidecared-iPad as the primary display, we have ourselves a wireless touchscreen Mac. For users who would not entertain a tablet as their computer replacement, Apple can make its iPads the essential complementary accessories to Macs.

 

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rkaregaranmac_editoritsageJuan C. YunisFringeDivision Recent comment authors
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siyuanchu
Member

I am using a Windows To Go (with BootCamp drivers) with Mantis Venus, will it continue to work as before? 

jefniro
Member

@itsage
…and now we hope that they will introduce thr NAVI drivers in the next Beta versions!! Finger crossed!

steve4332
Member

Still white screen of death for me upon boot (Mini 2018 + RX570 w/ Zotac Mini). 🙁

JK Park
Guest
JK Park

Same issue with my ampbox mini +msi rx580 v1 8G

It worked with no problem, but just as I upgrade to catalina,
It shows white screen after Apple logo.
Don’t know the reason but, Looks like it’s issue with zotac ampbox only. (Identical issue)

So I’m worrying whether Apple gonna fix this…
Not many users would use this egpu box…

But turning on and off the box doesn’t take that long..
So I would like to keep using catalina..

steve4332
Member

@JK Park
“Luckily” several other eGPU models have this problem (there are reports with Razor Core X, Akitio Node, and Sonnet, all with RX570/580 cards). This might not be eGPU box related issue but a problem with the Polaris driver (as @itsage theoretized) and maybe a card firmware compatiblity issue which affects mostly RX570, 580 cards. AFAIK nobody has this issue with Vega cards. Let’s hope Apple fixes this soon.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/catalina-egpu.2193797/page-4
 

Miro
Guest
Miro

Sonnet Breakaway Box + ATi Radeon 580 / MacMini Late 2018 i7.
Same problem. White Screen of Death

mac_editor
Editor

@itsage it may be the case that automate-eGPU EFI does not work on macOS Catalina. Hopefully should not be too much trouble to fix for @goalque (might be helpful to check updates to Clover), if he has time.

jefniro
Member

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/hackintosh/comments/den28t/whats_new_in_macos_catalina/   “Where’s the Navi support? Well just like with Mojave, talks of Navi support is sparce. Within the AMDRadeonX5000HWServices.kext, we can see 3 kexts that hint at full Navi line up support: AMDRadeonX5100HWLibs.kext AMDRadeonX5400HWLibs.kext AMDRadeonX5700HWLibs.kext When taking a deeper look into these kexts, they show us that the code is only partially there requiring a master kext to handle them like an AMDRadeonX6000HWServices.kext. What early Polaris/Vega drivers have shown us before is that we might be waiting until either the end of this year or early next before we get support for Navi. At that point, we might… Read more »

joevt
Member

Posted by: @itsage
Mojave 10.14 raised this multiple eGPU support to four units. Catalina 10.15 has no set limit in my testing. The bad news is the system and applications can only use up to four eGPUs concurrently.

In Catalina, can all the GPUs support a display? Or can displays only work when connected to the working four eGPUs?
Can one app use 4 eGPUs, and another app use a different set of 4 eGPUs, so that more than 4 eGPUs are used?
 

eyalg
Member

Great news guys ! Apple just released first beta for 10.15.1 !
According to Apple’s release notes, ‌macOS Catalina‌ 10.15.1 introduces support for the AMD Navi RDNA eGPU architecture !!!

So now we have official support for the 5000 series ! Yay !!!

FringeDivision
Member

Can anyone say if the 10.15.1 will fix the white screen of death problem with 10.15 and RX570/580 cards? 🙁

steve4332
Member

It does not seem to fix it according to the Apple Community discussion: “I have installed the Beta 10.15.1 Beta (19B68f), and I am still having the same issue, apple logo, black screen, sonnet 550 with AMD 580x goes full blast on, then calms down, and does nothing after that. I still have to shut off the EGPU for 5 seconds, and then turn it on, in order to work again.” Also a full reinstall does not seem to help: “I did a full reinstall from scratch to an empty drive. This does not solve the problem, after installation the… Read more »

FringeDivision
Member

Real Bad News. Im Thinking about switching to an iMac. Who knows when this will be fixed. Maybe Never..

FringeDivision
Member

First Catalina Update Released today Does not solve white screen problem. 

steve4332
Member

@fringedivision
Yeah, it didn’t. 🙁 This issue is probably somewhere at the bottom of the priority list or maybe it’s not on the list at all. Affecting only some Mac Mini 2018 configs with some RX560/570/580 cards. I am afraid there are about 15-20 or so people complaining about this among millions of users…

FringeDivision
Member

@steve4332
you‘re right. 🙁 maybe this will Never ne fixed. Are RX590 Cards Not affected? Then maybe it would be the cheapest solution to switch to one of these..
 

TheMadTurtle11
Guest

Unfortunately, I’m one of those…2018 mini with breakaway 550 + Sapphire Pulse RX580 🙁

Shad0wca7
Member

Some frustrations on my side. Radeon 570 in visiontek mini on a 2018 MacBook Air. Won’t boot to desktop unless I unplug and replub egpu during loading bar 

steve4332
Member

I donno. Do anybody have an RX590? 🙂 Unfortunatelly I can only upgrade to an other ITX card (the Zotac Mini Box is limited in size). I am thinking about getting an RX 5500 which seems to be ITX by default. Not a very powerful card though. Of course it must be released first and I’ll have to wait for OSX support.

joshtaylor
Member

Has anyone tried a Mac Pro 5,1 with the Sapphire 580? It looks like most issues being reported are with Mac Mini but I wanted to see if anyone has had experience with Mac Pro before I try to upgrade. 

joshtaylor
Member

Posted by: @itsage
It should work fine. I have a 5,1 running Gigabyte RX 580 and upgrading from Mojave to Catalina went smoothly. Keep in mind the 2009 and 2010 Mac Pro do not have official support for Catalina. Therefore you need to do some prep work. The most important piece is Boot ROM version. The second essential piece is the macOS installer patcher from dosdude1.com.

Please forgive me, I don’t know much about this process. When you say that I need Boot ROM version, what does that mean exactly? Thank you!

mac_editor
Editor
Posted by: @steve4332

Before the screen turns white I see a few magenta lines appear on the top section of the screen for less than half a second (both HDMI and DP).

Thanks for the detailed response. This happens on my MBP for Vega as well, after which all is well.

Sadly all this sounds like a firmware issue. Apple really messed up the Catalina launch for 2018 mini. 

steve4332
Member

@mac_editor
However: if I connect a second display to the iGPU HDMI port, the boot screen appears on the HDMI display (the firmware seems to prefer it to eGPU) and the eGPU display is sleeping during boot. In this case the login screen appears normally on the eGPU (since in the OS this is selected as primary display) and there is no white screen of death! This is not a very practical setup however (I don’t have a need for a secondary display permanently connected to iGPU).

mac_editor
Editor

@steve4332

This would essentially indicate that the eGPU bootscreen support is still work-in-progress. Otherwise Apple would have updated their document regarding Mac mini eGPU support here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208544

Notable though is that their recommendation for Mac mini only applies if FileVault is on, but white screen issue occurs even without FileVault. Hopefully we see a resolution by 10.15.3 at least. Typically around the .4 release Apple plans to bring some more significant under-the-hood changes (and sometimes these changes are split between the .4 and .5 releases).

Shad0wca7
Member

I seem to have fixed my issues – booted into recovery mode and turned on full system / startup disk protection (it had been turned off previously when I was playing with boot options). Seems to boot into Catalina with the egpu connected just fine now…

FringeDivision
Member

Posted by: @shad0wca7
I seem to have fixed my issues – booted into recovery mode and turned on full system / startup disk protection (it had been turned off previously when I was playing with boot options). Seems to boot into Catalina with the egpu connected just fine now…

Are you using a Mac mini and RX570/580?

steve4332
Member

Posted by: @fringedivision

Posted by: @shad0wca7
I seem to have fixed my issues – booted into recovery mode and turned on full system / startup disk protection (it had been turned off previously when I was playing with boot options). Seems to boot into Catalina with the egpu connected just fine now…

Are you using a Mac mini and RX570/580?

Turning on full security (it was medium) did not fix the white screen of death problem. 🙁

Shad0wca7
Member

Posted by: @fringedivision

Posted by: @shad0wca7
I seem to have fixed my issues – booted into recovery mode and turned on full system / startup disk protection (it had been turned off previously when I was playing with boot options). Seems to boot into Catalina with the egpu connected just fine now…

Are you using a Mac mini and RX570/580?

MacBook Air 2018 and an RX570

Eightarmedpet
Member

I feel bad for asking this, because its prob in the first post and I’ve just missed it, but…
Does 10.15 effect things like rEFInd and EFI Bootloader? Think I saw somewhere the EFI Bootloader needs updating to boot into windows, but what about rEFInd? Seen it works in Catalina on Macs with Linux but no mention of eGPUs…
 
https://www.reddit.com/r/unixporn/comments/c0wz3c/refind_catalina_theme/

cpokrywka
Member

Hey all! Just wanted to report that I’m on Mac Pro 5,1 (Late-2013 “trash can”) and my eGPU is not working with Catalina. It was working fine in High Sierra. Setup is Sapphire RX580 and Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box. Hoping Apple will release an update to fix things up as my company just bought this a few months ago to breathe new life into my aging Mac as opposed to having to buy an entirely new system. 🙁

FringeDivision
Member

I know there won‘t be Good News but maybe Beta 2 of .1 fixes White Screen of Death?

Juan C. Yunis
Guest

Not sure if beta 2 fixed my boot screen for my mac mini with a Razer Core X + Radeon VII but i also followed @itsage instructions of using controller #1 (Port 4) instead of controller #0.

Juan C. Yunis
Guest

I was getting a black screen with a Razer core x + Radeon VII, my monitor detected an input like signal but no output at all, the only way i was able to boot was with iGPU connected too. And I read that you had trouble using controller #0 (Port 1 and 2) so i disconnected the eGPU and connected it in controller #1 (Port 4) and applied the update and when it finished i was able to boot with the eGPU alone. Not sure if the problem was the controller or if the beta fixed something for me. I… Read more »

mac_editor
Editor

@rkaregaran

Could you share screenshot of purge-wrangler System Status as well as System Report > Displays and System Report > PCI with eGPU connected?

mac_editor
Editor

@rkaregaran

I also need output of purge-wrangler system status.

rkaregaran
Member

@mac_editor
(Edit: Just noticing it looks like it’s still enabled after the update!?)
Sorry about that, here’s purge-wrangler:
>> PurgeWrangler (6.0.1)

1. Setup eGPU
2. System Status
3. Uninstall
4. Recovery

5. More Options
6. Donate
7. Quit

>> System Status

Ti82 Devices Disabled
TB1/2 AMD eGPUs Enabled
Legacy AMD eGPUs Disabled
NVIDIA eGPUs Disabled
Web Drivers Absent

Back to menu? [Y/N]:

mac_editor
Editor

@rkaregaran

Thank you for sharing. Clearly the patch is active, hence your eGPU is working. Are you still getting a notification every time you boot? Can you share contents of the following file: /Library/Application Support/Purge-Wrangler/io.egpu.purge-wrangler.config.plist

rkaregaran
Member

@mac_editor

Yep, you’re right, and I just noticed it’s still enabled (:facepalm:), sorry for the runaround. I’ll check again after I reboot and share those details with you.

 

mac_editor
Editor

@rkaregaran

No worries and thanks for the quick response! If you are still getting a notification from the script after reboot pls share a screenshot of that along with the file I requested above so I can debug.

rkaregaran
Member

Just rebooted and the dialog popped up again, and I clicked on “No” again. (Took a screenshot, too, but can’t attach here. Edit: attached.)
more io.egpu.purge-wrangler.config.plist
<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
<plist version=”1.0″>
<dict>
<key>DidApplyBinPatch</key>
<true/>
<key>DidApplyPatchNVDAWebDrv</key>
<false/>
<key>OSBuildAtPatch</key>
<string>19A583</string>
<key>OSVersionAtPatch</key>
<string>10.15</string>
</dict>
</plist>
io.egpu.purge-wrangler.config.plist (END)
 
 Screen-Shot-2019-10-19-at-9.42.12-AM.png

mac_editor
Editor

@rkaregaran Thanks for sharing. So I presume you ran the patch on macOS 10.15 (19A583), then installed supplemental update which made the build (19A602), and system is already patched? Usually any sort of updates disable patches. I shall investigate more thoroughly. For now, you can disable the notification by choosing “Never” next time it pops up. I will hopefully be able to incorporate a fix for this issue in the upcoming v6.0.3 release. For tracking/logging purposes, I request that you file an issue on the purge-wrangler github page if you have time (though I have it noted in my personal… Read more »

rkaregaran
Member

@mac_editor
Yep, that’s exactly the series of events. I’ll submit the issue on Github now. Thanks for taking a look! And also, great work on purge-wrangler! 
Edit: Github issue filed: https://github.com/mayankk2308/purge-wrangler/issues/36