i need a eGPU, can i buy it ?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by meygraph, Apr 16, 2018 at 10:08 PM.

  1. meygraph macrumors newbie

    I have got a 2017 5k 27- inch iMac with mned2 configuration system and also its graphics card is Radeon Pro 580 with 8GB video memory.
    Since I use Cinema4D and AfterEffect alot and unfortunately AMD graphics card doesn't support CUDA compute capability so I can't get a good rendering at high speed and I can't use plugins such as the Arnold Render and Octane Render.
    I'm going to have my iMac equipped with eGPU and I want to fix this problem, using an external graphic cards.
    My desired graphics cards are GeForce GTX 1060 and XG Station Pro Thunderbolt 3 eGPU.
    The question is, can I fix my problem by buying these this graphics cards?
    Please help me with my problem.
  2. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Don't know about CUDA, but just a couple of things. Firstly, the 580 8Gb is a better performer in general than the 1060. It sits between the 1060 and 1070. Secondly, you will need to buy another monitor, because AFAIK, the eGPU kit doesn't work with internal monitors.
  3. crsh1976 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2011
    I was under the impression that using an eGPU with an iMac forces you to use Windows and that hacks to make use of the internal display resulted in a steep performance drops - do have these "facts" checked out tho, through dedicated sites like egpu.io
  4. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Not true. Rolled out in 10.13.4 I think.
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    OS X has native egpu support theses days. Take your time work out what you need for your apps (AMD will probably be better bang for your buck if you aren’t gaming or using CUDA accelerated software) choose the right enclosure and the external screen that suits your usage, then check for any hacks or problems that may occur with your preferred set up.
  6. The Cappy macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2015
    Dunwich Fish Market
    I think the biggest thing right now is that eGPUs have to drive the external monitor. This will surely change. If that’s your planned setup, though, Nvidia has beta drivers. Check them out and see if they cover your desired card and what those users experience is. If that isn’t your intended setup, you might want to wait until WWDC for Apple to tell us the roadmap for year. Same-monitor support has to come, though, because they clearly expect eGPUs to be useful for their iMac Pro users.
  7. padams35 macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2016
    Yes*, but note the asterisk (ie, an Nvidea for CUDA won't work out of the box by default)

    *See egpu.io for details. While 10.13.4 officially supports eGPUs on 2017 iMacs the official support only extends to a subset of AMD cards. Using Nvidea will require not only downloading their drivers but will also require disabling at least part of System Integrity Protection to edit the kext files and/or install a custom user-created kext. This solution will probably break with every MacOS point release so you also can't be in a hurry to upgrade while waiting for driver/work-arround updates.
  8. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
  9. sublunar macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2007
    I'd also say that graphics cards are overpriced thanks to Bitcoin miners. Getting a full eGPU setup for CUDA apps will be incredibly pricey and will require the aforementioned monitor too.
  10. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    OP, why are you even considering a mid-range gaming card for work with AE or Cinema 4D? I don't get it. As others have mentioned here, Nvidia GPUs aren't supported in the current version of macOS.

    4D doesn't require Nvidia GPUs, AE works best with Quadro cards (none of which work well - if at all - with Macs). Sell the iMac and don't buy a eGPU, put your money toward a Linux box with a multi-GPU Quadro setup (dual P5000 or dual P6000 cards at a minimum) - I've got 6 of these in my offices, you're wasting your money on macOS for this kind of work - QED.
  11. imacken, Apr 18, 2018 at 3:49 AM
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018 at 3:55 AM

    imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
  12. bigtomato macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2015
    the money that you spend might as well get a cheap windows pc
  13. Glockworkorange macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Wait a minute. An eGPU won't work with an internal monitor? So an eGPU won't work with an iMac or a MBP, because that is an internal monitor too.

    How does this makes sense?
    --- Post Merged, Apr 21, 2018 at 6:41 AM ---
    No. No hacks required as of 10.13.4
  14. imacken macrumors 65816

    Feb 28, 2010
    Well, in general, it doesn't! Where it is useful is for MBP owners who already use external monitors, and want the benefit of a faster GPU. Otherwise, it's a very expensive solution.
    Already stated that further up.
  15. padams35 macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2016
    That... isn't strictly true. The problem is how does an application know which gpu to use? Generally software defaults to using the gpu driving the display it started on. So if an application starts on an internal display it defaults to using the device's internal gpu. If it starts on an external monitor attached to an eGPU it will instead default to using the eGPU.

    However, that's just a software issue. Applications that allow manual GPU selection do not require external displays, and software that was started on an external display can be dragged back to the internal display while continuing to be eGPU accelerated.
  16. BergerFan macrumors 68020


    Mar 6, 2008
    Mos Eisley
    Maybe this series can be of some use:
  17. Glockworkorange macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2015
    Chicago, Illinois
    Well, I feel incredibly ignorant. Had no idea I’d have to mix it with an external monitor
  18. Steve the Developer macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2017
    Your first statement is only partially correct. Playing games on a eGPU does require an external monitor. But OpenCL/Metal/CUDA compute shaders (which is what the original post was wanting to accelerate) do not.

    So apps, like games, that want to use the eGPU to accelerate OpenGL / Metal 3D graphics would need that external monitor.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 21, 2018 at 4:20 PM ---
    Same monitor support does not work because of the bandwidth limitations of Thunderbolt3.

    Its possible you might drive the internal display from a separate input Thunderbolt 3 port, but no one supports that today.

    Maybe that will be supported in the future (a guess)

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