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eGPU gaming with a 2020 i7 MacBook Air

Hello,

 

I have a 2020 i7 MacBook Air that I use for productivity.

 

If I ever decide to play video games on BootCamp Windows with an external display, what graphics card to use in a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU gives me decent performance? Preferably, more than 60 FPS at 1080p.

 

The 2020 i7 MacBook Air uses the 1060NG7 variant of the i7, which also includes the Intel Iris Graphics Plus Graphics G7 iGPU, if that's any help.

 

Please note that I am not looking for answers that tell me to buy or make a new computer without any other suggestions. Also, I don't mind any noise from the fans, since I will be using headphones.

 

Thank you.

Edited by GalacticLion7
specified that I will be using an external display, and noted about the thermals and noise. specified that I will be using an external display, and noted about the noise
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i don't know much about eGPU's so i can't really make a recommendation, keep in mind though taht because gaming is a sustained load you will likely bottleneck any reasonably modern high end card due to the thermal design of that macbook, i'm not telling you to buy a new computer or anything, if it does what you need then great, i'm just saying keep in mind you'll need to stick to low end and midrange cards, since you will bottleneck anything high end.

Edited by Ashley xD

Phone: iPhone SE 2020 | 64GB iOS
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Hi mate, 

 

I am using an eGPU with my GPD Win Max and the results are awesome but in my case I am gaming at a lower resolution. In case you are not aware, if you want to game on the Macbook´s display, you will lose some bandwidht as the data needs to travel out and in, unlike if you are gaming on an external display, you will connect the display directly to the eGPU. 

 

In my case, I am using my old GTX770 and I strongly recommend you right now something like a GTX1060 or a RTX2060 second hand. It always depends on your budget but it will work for sure, despite the performance lost for the TB3, the mobile CPU...

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You'll be getting roughly 70%-85% of pure card performance. Amount of dip will depend on quality of textures and on type of load. Computational heavy tasks are better for eGPU while tasks with lots of data transfer are bad to the point of stuttering. Check out "egpu forum", they may have your setup already tested by someone.

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43 minutes ago, GalacticLion7 said:

If I ever decide to play video games on BootCamp Windows with an external display, what graphics card to use in a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU gives me decent performance? Preferably, more than 60 FPS at 1080p.

As mentioned by others above, there is a limit in the throughput of Thunderbolt. Spending a boatload of change on a top of the line card probably won't do you any good. For 1080p/60 gaming on recent titles, an nVidia 1060/2060/1660 will probably do best for what you want. If you want to retain compatibility in macOS with the card, you're going to need to go Team Red. Maybe snag a cheap 5700XT (it can definitely handle 1080p/60 no sweat) now that Navi 21 is announced? Or the 6800 looks pretty promising as well, when it arrives. 

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-> Moved to Graphics Cards

^^^^ That's my post ^^^^
<-- This is me --- That's your scrollbar -->
vvvv Who's there? vvvv

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Thunderbolt is limited to around 40 Gbit/s and there is overhead.

 

So I'd expect at best something like PCIe 3.0 X4 speeds.

 

Based on that I wouldn't bother with anything spending above a GTX 1060 since you are going to see diminishing returns on investment with the more bandwidth a card uses. Performance will improve on the higher end cards but the Thunderbolt performance penalty will get steeper as well.

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