2017 27 inch iMac with an eGPU

Discussion in 'iMac' started by spcshiznit, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. spcshiznit macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    #1
    I'll preface this with saying I'm a total noob when it comes to computer hardware, or even computers in general.

    I'm planning on buying a new 27 inch iMac next month mainly for music production, photo post processing, and I'm going to start venturing into videography. Out of the box I'm sure my mac will be fine, but I'm thinking maybe five years in the future when this computer probably starts to show its age. Will an usb-c external eGPU play on the native 5K display of the mac (it seems like every example I see is MBP's using an external display)? Will there be problems? Will Apple continue to support eGPU's in the future? Just wondering if this will be a viable option to extending the life of my Mac when the time comes.

    Thank you in advance for any comments!
     
  2. klatox macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #2
    I've heard of folks getting an eGPU running on the internal iMac display, but I think it requires some tinkering. Also, you're going to see an additional performance hit as opposed to having the eGPU drive an external monitor. Check out http://https://egpu.io for more info. There is also an eGPU subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/).
     
  3. Precursor macrumors 6502a

    Precursor

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    Sep 29, 2015
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    Istanbul
    #3
    Newer AMD cards won't even require tinkering with High Sierra, from what I remember reading the Nvidia support will come in a 2018 patch.

    Edit: I got myself a Sonnet Breakaway Box and a GTX 1080 Ti (arriving today with the new iMac). Whatever the performance drop, it will still be faster than the radeon 580 inside. Plus the box will give me the option for an eGPU upgrade over the years.
     
  4. julianoliver macrumors newbie

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    Oct 2, 2017
    #4
    Interesting. Do you have any comparisons of the 580 to he 1080 Ti on the internal display?
     
  5. Ewen Cameron macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2004
    #5
    Wow the prices that people have to pay these days just to get a Mac which you can upgrade. Maybe will keep hold of my Mac Pro 5.1 for another year.
     
  6. Precursor macrumors 6502a

    Precursor

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    Sep 29, 2015
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    Istanbul
    #6
    Not yet sorry, just received my iMac last night, spent the night setting it up installing my programs, setting up bootcamp etc. I'll test the eGPU tonight after work.
     
  7. Larvas macrumors member

    Larvas

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    May 15, 2014
    Location:
    Berlin
    #7
    Ah, finally someone tried it out, could you please share your results? Have the same setup and am a click away from the Omen X and GTX 1070... Thanks!
     
  8. Precursor macrumors 6502a

    Precursor

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    Sep 29, 2015
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    Istanbul
    #8
    Whelp, didn't work. High Sierra sees the box and the card installed on it, but doesn't recognize it as an Nvidia Card so Nvidia drivers won't work. Full support for Nvidia Cards will come to High Sierra in 2018 spring.

    Couldn't enable the integrated VGA on bootcamp for Windows either, so Windows ended up not booting up after disabling the radeon pro 580, will work on it this weekend, will have to setup bootcamp again. It *should* work on bootcamp as I saw successful setups on the net, it's just that I screwed up the sequence of steps. Mind you, I only tried for the internal screen as I don't have an external screen where I am now, but bootcamp should straight up work with an external monitor as you can see the Nvidia card installed in Windows Device Manager.
     
  9. Larvas macrumors member

    Larvas

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Location:
    Berlin
    #9
    The only reason why I'm still keeping my iMac is because I didn't find a successful egpu solution. I would rather have a next gen quad mbp 13" and a egpu setup with external monitor then having/owning two computers. But it seems like it still needs some work..
     
  10. Precursor macrumors 6502a

    Precursor

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    Sep 29, 2015
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    Istanbul
    #10
    I tried installing bootcamp again last night and still couldn't activate the integrated GPU with the EFI file. I can see the GTX 1080Ti in my connected Sonnet Breakaway box in Device Manager of Windows 10, but there is no integrated GPU in the list. I'm losing hope as the EFI file I downloaded seems to have worked for a number of people.
     
  11. Larvas macrumors member

    Larvas

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    May 15, 2014
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    Berlin
  12. Precursor macrumors 6502a

    Precursor

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
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    Istanbul
    #12
    It's not..Though It does work with AMD Vega in OS X, I just happened to have purchased 1080 Ti, so now I gotta wait for spring 2018 high sierra update
     
  13. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #13
    You'll be somewhat at the mercy of GPU manufacturers driver release. However 5 years from now this will be common place.

    Apples current implementation of TB3/USBC is great and hopefully it stays that way. In direct communications with the CPU the overhead is lower than most of the competition if not all of it. Meaning you can see the most amount of gains from an eGPU on a Mac vs PC (however in a desktop PC you can just get plug directly into a PCIe slot sooooo lol)...

    Is it a viable option for extending the life of your Mac? Well yes and no. If you are hitting GPU bottlenecks than yes. However keep in mind 5 years from now CPU's, ram speed, UBC specs etc will all be better.

    For video editing having a dedicated GPU massively improves transcode times. However just having a dedicated GPU is all that matters, not which one. That is why you see results like this in real world testing...

    Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 11.12.12 AM.png

    Just randomly pulled that screen shot from here. He's getting the same times from a GTX 1080Ti and a GTX 660.

    There are definitely benefits from having a faster GPU for video editing though however its for more specific task like effects and other ways the program used can leverage the GPU's horsepower. However this is mostly professional level stuff.

    Point is, there might not be a good reason for you to upgrade the GPU with an eGPU 5 years down the road. But I definitely believe the option will still exist and be supported from Apple more than ever.
     

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