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DrMacintosh

eGPU support

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello, So I've got a 2016 13" nTB MBP and while I absolutely love the performance of the Iris 540 iGPU for light gaming and editing in FinalCut, it obviously doesn't hold up too well to more demanding titles.

I know that Apple has they list of supported eGPUs, afaik only RX 500 series and Vega cards are the only officially supported cards, but this has me wondering....what happens if you plug an unofficially supported card into an eGPU enclosure such as an older gen AMD card?

 

Does the card working rely on the manufacturer (In my case AMD) providing drivers for the card in the eGPU setting? Or is there something on Apples end that must be enabled?

I ideally would like to pick up a Sapphire Nitro+ RX 580 4GB but I currently own an MSI R9 380 4GB which is in my PC. Obviously the RX 580 would work in an eGPU enclosure, but I would rather give my PC the Sapphire 580 and give my MacBook the MSI 380.

 

TLDR; provided that AMD provided eGPU drivers to the R9 380, would it work in an eGPU enclosure?


Laptop: 2016 13" nTB MacBook Pro Core i5 | Phone: iPhone 8 Plus 64GB | Wearables: Apple Watch Sport Series 2 | CPU: R5 2600 | Mobo: ASRock B450M Pro4 | RAM: 16GB 2666 | GPU: ASRock RX 5700 8GB | Case: Apple PowerMac G5 | OS: Win 10 | Storage: 480GB PNY SSD & 2TB WD Green HDD | PSU: Corsair CX600M | Display: Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2719DGF 1440p @155Hz, Dell UZ2215H 21.5" 1080p, ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED 23.6" 1080p | Cooling: Wraith Prism | Keyboard: G610 Orion Cherry MX Brown | Mouse: G303 | Audio: Audio Technica ATH-M50X & Blue Snowball
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I would say don't buy a mac for gaming at alllllll. but since your name is Drmacintosh i dont think I can chnage that. Gpu over thunderbolt behave just like a gpu that is connected if they are connected properly, just install the drivers. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, CODboyX said:

I would say don't buy a mac for gaming at alllllll. but since your name is Drmacintosh i dont think I can chnage that. Gpu over thunderbolt behave just like a gpu that is connected if they are connected properly, just install the drivers. 

Never bought this machine for gaming, but this machine has Thunderbolt and the ability to play games, so I'm more than willing to utilize its capabilities. 

 

You could say I should have just gotten laptop with a dGPU but those have problems all their own. Also isn't the point of the thread. 


Laptop: 2016 13" nTB MacBook Pro Core i5 | Phone: iPhone 8 Plus 64GB | Wearables: Apple Watch Sport Series 2 | CPU: R5 2600 | Mobo: ASRock B450M Pro4 | RAM: 16GB 2666 | GPU: ASRock RX 5700 8GB | Case: Apple PowerMac G5 | OS: Win 10 | Storage: 480GB PNY SSD & 2TB WD Green HDD | PSU: Corsair CX600M | Display: Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2719DGF 1440p @155Hz, Dell UZ2215H 21.5" 1080p, ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED 23.6" 1080p | Cooling: Wraith Prism | Keyboard: G610 Orion Cherry MX Brown | Mouse: G303 | Audio: Audio Technica ATH-M50X & Blue Snowball
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I would suggest doing more research because before it officially worked people were doing it on thunderbolt on older macbooks with any gpu, though on windows mostly. The only limitation then was the only way to get it to show up on the laptops built in screen at that point was to be using an nvidia gpu and NOT have a dedicated gpu in the macbook, allowing you to trick some kind of optimus driver I think.

I have experience getting non supported gpus to work on mac years and years ago. To my memory, to throw a gpu on a mac machine like a mac pro, you had to make a vbios that worked, and there were even tools to generate this, which allowed non officially supported models even. On OS side however, I was able to get any gpu on a hackintosh with some kexts. 

So ask around place like notebookreview forums. They'll know more specifics, and some probably will have done it themselves. I imagine the answer is yes you can, but you may be limited to windows or have to do something janky on mac? 


muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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If your going to get the egpu enclosure anyways, It's worth giving it a shot. Here is what I do know about Macs and gpus, AMD doesn't provide drivers for mac. The divers are called .kexts and they are preinstalled on the mac system when you buy it. The R9 380 uses the AMD9000Controller.kext. Here is the grey area, the R9 380 works out of the box with Mac on hackintosh systems. So it's possible the system could use the R9 380 over egpu. For sure the 580 will work, that was disclosed in the 10.13.4 High Sierra update. I say, give it a shot, if it doesn't work get a 580. Good luck!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
2 minutes ago, Syntaxvgm said:

I imagine the answer is yes you can, but you may be limited to windows or have to do something janky on mac? 

Personally don't care about being limited to Windows. Windows has more games in my library anyway. 


Laptop: 2016 13" nTB MacBook Pro Core i5 | Phone: iPhone 8 Plus 64GB | Wearables: Apple Watch Sport Series 2 | CPU: R5 2600 | Mobo: ASRock B450M Pro4 | RAM: 16GB 2666 | GPU: ASRock RX 5700 8GB | Case: Apple PowerMac G5 | OS: Win 10 | Storage: 480GB PNY SSD & 2TB WD Green HDD | PSU: Corsair CX600M | Display: Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2719DGF 1440p @155Hz, Dell UZ2215H 21.5" 1080p, ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED 23.6" 1080p | Cooling: Wraith Prism | Keyboard: G610 Orion Cherry MX Brown | Mouse: G303 | Audio: Audio Technica ATH-M50X & Blue Snowball
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1 minute ago, DrMacintosh said:

Personally don't care about being limited to Windows. Windows has more games in my library anyway. 

well if you run into problems and cant get an answer here, notebookreivew forums. Been some years myself since I did a ton of laptop shit, but I used to get really good help on stupid specific laptop things like flashing the vbios on mxm cards and stuff like that there. 


muh specs 

Gaming and HTPC (reparations)- ASUS 1080, MSI X99A SLI Plus, 5820k- 4.5GHz @ 1.25v, asetek based 360mm AIO, RM 1000x, 16GB memory, 750D with front USB 2.0 replaced with 3.0  ports, 2 250GB 850 EVOs in Raid 0 (why not, only has games on it), some hard drives

Screens- Acer preditor XB241H (1080p, 144Hz Gsync), LG 1080p ultrawide, (all mounted) directly wired to TV in other room

Stuff- k70 with reds, steel series rival, g13, full desk covering mouse mat

All parts black

Workstation(desk)- 3770k, 970 reference, 16GB of some crucial memory, a motherboard of some kind I don't remember, Micomsoft SC-512N1-L/DVI, CM Storm Trooper (It's got a handle, can you handle that?), 240mm Asetek based AIO, Crucial M550 256GB (upgrade soon), some hard drives, disc drives, and hot swap bays

Screens- 3  ASUS VN248H-P IPS 1080p screens mounted on a stand, some old tv on the wall above it. 

Stuff- Epicgear defiant (solderless swappable switches), g600, moutned mic and other stuff. 

Laptop docking area- 2 1440p korean monitors mounted, one AHVA matte, one samsung PLS gloss (very annoying, yes). Trashy Razer blackwidow chroma...I mean like the J key doesn't click anymore. I got a model M i use on it to, but its time for a new keyboard. Some edgy Utechsmart mouse similar to g600. Hooked to laptop dock for both of my dell precision laptops. (not only docking area)

Shelf- i7-2600 non-k (has vt-d), 380t, some ASUS sandy itx board, intel quad nic. Currently hosts shared files, setting up as pfsense box in VM. Also acts as spare gaming PC with a 580 or whatever someone brings. Hooked into laptop dock area via usb switch

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Everything I have read like this, https://9to5mac.com/2017/04/19/akitio-node-gtx-1080-ti-gpu-macbook-pro-gaming-egpu/, says that it will work, but with some bugs and issues.  Also everyone seems to agree that bootcamp and windows is the best way to game on Apple Hardware.  

So possible? Yes.

Ideal?  No.  Unless you are going bootcamp.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
12 minutes ago, TheGlenlivet said:

Also everyone seems to agree that bootcamp and windows is the best way to game on Apple Hardware.  

Of course it is. It’s got DX support and Vulkan. macOS just has OpenGL and Metal. 


Laptop: 2016 13" nTB MacBook Pro Core i5 | Phone: iPhone 8 Plus 64GB | Wearables: Apple Watch Sport Series 2 | CPU: R5 2600 | Mobo: ASRock B450M Pro4 | RAM: 16GB 2666 | GPU: ASRock RX 5700 8GB | Case: Apple PowerMac G5 | OS: Win 10 | Storage: 480GB PNY SSD & 2TB WD Green HDD | PSU: Corsair CX600M | Display: Dell 27 Gaming Monitor S2719DGF 1440p @155Hz, Dell UZ2215H 21.5" 1080p, ViewSonic VX2450wm-LED 23.6" 1080p | Cooling: Wraith Prism | Keyboard: G610 Orion Cherry MX Brown | Mouse: G303 | Audio: Audio Technica ATH-M50X & Blue Snowball
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