e-GPU & Thunderbolt 3 on MacBook Pro 2017 13”

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bwfc0907, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. bwfc0907 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I am considering the Aorus GTX1070 gaming box for my 2017 MacBook Pro 13” with TB.

    I note the same Mac in 2016 only had 2 of the 4 thunderbolt with 4 lanes which affects the speed of the e-GPU. Does my 2017 model have the same restrictions on thunderbolt as the 2016 model?

    Any views of the Aorus and some FPS that games run at?

    Regards
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #2
    I would assume it's the same situation, yes. From what I can remember, Alpine Ridge is no different to its predecessor with respect to Thunderbolt Lanes per chip. (Alpine Ridge is Intel's Thunderbolt chip).

    Regarding frame rates, if I remember correctly, external displays with the GPU have roughly 10% reduced performance compared to having the card plugged in internally, and using the built-in Retina display suffers a 20-30% performance impact, as the data needs to be routed through the frame buffer of the internal GPU to reach the display

    PS. Numbers vary between compute and graphics, and compute should suffer less than graphics
     
  3. Bravo3013 macrumors member

    Bravo3013

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    #3
    Yes only the left TB ports have 4x lanes. As posted above, expect a 10-20% performance drop on External display compared to a desktop. I would advise you to check out egpu.io for more detailed information.

    I currently have the Aorus Gaming Box with GTX 1080 and a 2011 Mac, but haven't managed successfully set it up yet. Will post some benchmarks if you'd like. (If I succeed to make it work).
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #4

    For reference; Those benchmarks wouldn't be entirely comparable as that'd be the slower Thunderbolt 2
     
  5. Bravo3013, Feb 25, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018

    Bravo3013 macrumors member

    Bravo3013

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    #5
    Indeed, the benchmark would just out of curiosity to see how a 2011 would compare to 2017. Different processor, Thunderbolt 1 and other factors would mean they aren't directly comparable.
    To my understanding the performance drop with eGPU is the same on TB1/2/3 (20%) when using external monitor. Using the internal monitor would result in huge performance losses, especially on TB1 (approx 50%).

    Check out egpu.io for more eGPU stuff.

    Edit: This can be a reference to check how many % the eGPU setup will loose compared to internal hardware. https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/pcie-slot-dgpu-vs-thunderbolt-3-egpu-internal-display-test/
     
  6. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #6

    May be very similar between the three, but it shouldn't be the exact same. At least not between TB 2 and 3. Whilst the GPU would need to send substantially less data back when using an external display, it would still need to receive instructions from the CPU, which TB 3 does much faster. May not be a huge difference, but it should still mean something.
    For use with the internal display it'll matter more, as the GPU will need to send more data back through the TB cable as well
     
  7. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Would appreciate the benchmarks
     
  8. sublunar macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    External eGPU boxes with a traditional GPU is a pricey way to play games on a Mac at the moment not least because of the price of the GPU at the moment.
     
  9. Bravo3013 macrumors member

    Bravo3013

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    #9
    Indeed they are expensive, especially when they aren't even natively supported yet. The Aorus Gaming Box is however a good deal, an enclosure + a 1070/1080 for "just" 570/700$. The benefits of an eGPU setup removes the only weakness a Mac has, its graphics performance. I chose to buy the setup not just to play games, but to enhance overall performance and enable the use of external monitors. I haven't managed to set it up as of now, so I might have to return the unit, unfortunately :(
     
  10. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    Would you recommend the 1070 or 1080 version?

    What problems are you having?
     
  11. BananaX macrumors regular

    BananaX

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    #11
    But, man the future is bright! I have already planned my future setup.

    Apple 5K display + eGPU Box with middle tier graphic card for my poor gaming skills at home.

    And MBP 13 for portability.

    :cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool:
     
  12. Fravin macrumors regular

    Fravin

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    #12
    High Sierra does have native support for eGPU since it is a Radeon X580. Why are you considering a Nvidia card?

    Nvidia ones are faster?
     
  13. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Simply because the box is good value for money (in comparison to other eGPUs).

    Will use Bootcamp if needed until HS supports it.

    Really need to know whether value for money the AORUS gaming box instead of buying a PC.
     
  14. Fravin macrumors regular

    Fravin

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    #14
  15. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #15

    The latest HS beta much improved eGPU compatibility - still just for the AMD side, but with web drivers Nvidia should be supported too
     
  16. Bravo3013 macrumors member

    Bravo3013

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    #16
    Personally I would recommend the 1080 version, due to the fact that you get more performance per dollar. Its a 15% price increase for the 1080 (at least where I live) in exchange for 30% better performance. But in the end it all depends on your needs. I believe both versions are good choices. One should also consider the fact that you lose about 20% performance with eGPU, so you should buy a slightly better graphic card than what you need due to the performance hit.

    The problems I having with my setup is that the mac currently is not able to "see" or detect the enclosure. I have tested the box and my cables in the apple store and they worked on their newer macs. So it might be that my Thunderbolt port is broken or that my mac cannot see it due to I have some changes in drivers and EFI because my dGPU is not working.
    I have not tested everything I can to make it work yet, so I will update you if I get the setup to work. It seems like other people with dGPU working are able to set it up, so there is some hope for me.


    The Aorus box is currently the most value per dollar. That is why I chose it. There are no specific reason why you should choose nVidia over AMD on macOS unless you need the CUDA cores or better gaming performance in BootCamp.
    I personally had to select a nVidia card due to the fact that my AMD drivers are disabled on my Mac, because my AMD dGPU is not working properly.
     
  17. jerryk macrumors 601

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    #17
    FYI, rumor is 2070 and 2080s coming in a month or two. Supposed to be much more powerful, and pricey, $1500.
     
  18. Fozziebear40 macrumors regular

    Fozziebear40

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    #18
    The latest BETA of HS seems to have dropped support for TB2 and TB1. I do hope this is a temporary glitch or else it's going to cut out Mac Pro (trash can) and Mac Mini users etc. computers you can still buy from Apple!
     
  19. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #19
    Keep me updated.

    Just need to decide if I will use it enough for both gaming and video editing.

    It’s around £700 and I am thinking regardless if I go for an iMac, windows notebook, newer MacBook I can ignore the graphics as would be able to use this.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 1, 2018 ---
    Oh my .....
     
  20. Bravo3013 macrumors member

    Bravo3013

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    #20
    Yes that is correct. Hopefully it's a glitch. If they cut the support for TB1/TB2 I will be disappointed, as Thunderbolt was advertised as future proof. I do also have some understanding if they decide to do it because Intel only certifies TB3 as eGPU compatible. Still a stupid move by Apple if they cut out us with older Macs.

    Yes that is interesting. They are not cheap as you say. The reason is that there is a GPU shortage with the current cards, and therefore it would not be possible for Nvidia to price the newer GPU at the same price points as todays GPUs. I would also believe it takes some time for Nvidia to release Mac drivers for those cards, so even if they are launched in the near future it will take some time before they will work with macs.

    @bwfc0907 I will keep you updated. I will probably have a definite answer this weekend!
     
  21. Fravin macrumors regular

    Fravin

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    #21
    You should understand that no iMac will be enough to work with videos in zero lag. Bear in mind that those machines has "Retina Displays" that sucks all of the GPU power to render just the screen. Even the Pro one will struggle.

    Apple has decided to use multiples pixels per a single pixel to make "Retina Displays" real. So the GPU needs to handle 4 times (maybe 8 times in 5K) more pixels than regular external monitors even if it is a 4k or 5k.

    Running a native display at Retina resolution will always be a mountain to climb.

    The best performance you could achieve is with external monitors and eGPUs, never consider using a native "Retina display". You will be disappointed.

    That's why many folks use a MBP in Clamshell with an eGPU.
     
  22. bwfc0907 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Thank you
    --- Post Merged, Mar 1, 2018 ---
    So you think my MacBook Pro + eGPU would be a good for using the internal screen?
     
  23. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

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    #23

    Sorry but this is not my experience at all. I have a first gen 5k iMac, and performance is brillant. I edit video, play games and really do loads of different GPU intensive tasks whilst running the amazing 5k display just fine. From the built-in R9 M295X
     
  24. Fravin macrumors regular

    Fravin

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    #24
    Well, you should check the iMac section in this forum. That's a lot of complains about the laggy performance from GPU.

    I have an 2015 5k iMac with R9 M390x, and for sure it's not a machine to work with video editing. I'm so disappointed with the poor performance that gave it to my wife, for surf the web.

    It's a known and well discussed thread. Your M295x can't handle the 5k monitor fine. Sorry. If you are happy with it, ok. Move on!
     

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