Late 2016 MacBook Pro 13" + Thunderbolt 3 eGPU

linguist

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Mar 31, 2009
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It is possible that double heatsink and fans in touchbar version could help when iGPU and CPU is simultaneously loaded.

Nice to know for heavy CPU only load the cooling is sufficient, most use case would be fine with single fan.
 

maratus

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Jun 12, 2009
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It is possible that double heatsink and fans in touchbar version could help when iGPU and CPU is simultaneously loaded.

Nice to know for heavy CPU only load the cooling is sufficient, most use case would be fine with single fan.
I assume that even non-touchbar 13" has enough capacity to cool both CPU and iGPU under heavy load. But it's better to wait for a test.

In any case, it could be a good gaming ultrabook. A CPU will never throttle and stay cool with your eGPU doing all the work.

Now I wonder how does the 15" behave!
 

theitsage

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I heard from AKiTiO the Node Thunderbolt 3 will be available for pre-ordered in the next couple days. The email stated macOS Sierra is not compatible.
 
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maratus

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I heard from AKiTiO the Node Thunderbolt 3 will be available for pre-ordered in the next couple days. The email stated macOS Sierra is not compatible.
It's still not clear which controller are they going to use. It's possible that Node will become compatible with the new MacBooks as a Thunderbolt device. If it's not, there's very little point in even releasing it. eGPU functionality shouldn't differ from previous gen AKiTiO, so eGPU should work as long as the enclosure itself is supported regardless of what they write on their website as of now.
 

theitsage

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It's still not clear which controller are they going to use. It's possible that Node will become compatible with the new MacBooks as a Thunderbolt device. If it's not, there's very little point in even releasing it. eGPU functionality shouldn't differ from previous gen AKiTiO, so eGPU should work as long as the enclosure itself is supported regardless of what they write on their website as of now.
I received an email from AKiTiO's Operations Manager with an update on the Node's availability and compatibility. They tested it with a handful of TB3 machines. "Unfortunately the Mac OS Sierra (2016 MBP Software) is not compatible with the Akitio Node." was his statement.
 

cjrulli

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Feb 3, 2010
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I received an email from AKiTiO's Operations Manager with an update on the Node's availability and compatibility. They tested it with a handful of TB3 machines. "Unfortunately the Mac OS Sierra (2016 MBP Software) is not compatible with the Akitio Node." was his statement.
I emailed him back regarding the functionality through Bootcamp/Windows 10 and this is the response I received,

"Unfortunately we are unable to say since the issue is within the Mac OS Sierra blocking the any sort eGPU. However users have confirmed that they were able to run the unit through an Apple machine using bootcamp."

Take it for what it's worth but it does sound like Node functionality would work in Bootcamp with Win10.
 

theitsage

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Apple may be listening after all. I upgraded my Late 2016 MacBook Pro to 10.12.2 Beta 2 tonight and eGPU is working better. It now has Metal Support and Acceleration.

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 10.30.32 PM.png


The MBP's internal screen scales to 1440 x 900 when I ran Unigine fullscreen so these are not exactly the same resolutions. You can tell the eGPU boosts performance significantly. Also, OpenCL is not working right when the eGPU is attached. Therefore I had to take screen caps with my phone.

Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 11.27.05 PM.png


Screen Shot 2016-11-09 at 11.26.06 PM.png
 
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Antairez

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Mar 17, 2015
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That would be absolutely amazing if true..... Also false advertising on Apple's part. Maybe this could just be an oversight in the hardware browser and the TB3 ports do indeed run at 40gb/s but its just reporting 20? Maybe? I would want to believe that over apple crippling the base model further but who knows anymore....
https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/Thunderbolt3_TechBrief_FINAL.pdf
upload_2016-11-10_23-9-16.png



I hope this clears things up a bit, with thunderbolt 3 you are getting 4 20-Gbps physical links, which means a throughput of 80-Gbps in total. Of course it is bi-directional, so you get 40 in and 40 out, at max. So imagine this is a highway, you are getting more lanes instead of higher speed limit when going from thunderbolt 2 to thunderbolt 3.
 
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tongefactor40

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Jun 24, 2010
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Apple may be listening after all. I upgraded my Late 2016 MacBook Pro to 10.12.2 Beta 2 tonight and eGPU is working better. It now has Metal Support and Acceleration.

View attachment 671282

The MBP's internal screen scales to 1440 x 900 when I ran Unigine fullscreen so these are not exactly the same resolutions. You can tell the eGPU boosts performance significantly. Also, OpenCL is not working right when the eGPU is attached. Therefore I had to take screen caps with my phone.

View attachment 671284

View attachment 671285
Looks like you have the base model, but is it with 8gb or 16gb ram? Still wondering if 16gb is needed.
 

maratus

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I hope this clears things up a bit, with thunderbolt 3 you are getting 4 20-Gbps physical links, which means a throughput of 80-Gbps in total. Of course it is bi-directional, so you get 40 in and 40 out, at max. So imagine this is a highway, you are getting more lanes instead of higher speed limit when going from thunderbolt 2 to thunderbolt 3.
There definitely could be uncertainty because of that. What we definitely need is to see how OS X reports the TB3 bandwidth on both 13" and 15" toucher models. I'm almost 100% sure that at least 15" has true full-speed TB3 ports and if they still show as 20Gb/s x1 link, then it's probably a notation issue

Apple may be listening after all. I upgraded my Late 2016 MacBook Pro to 10.12.2 Beta 2 tonight and eGPU is working better. It now has Metal Support and Acceleration.

View attachment 671282
Awesome news, the overall installation was pretty much plug-and-play, correct?
 

theitsage

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I installed 10.12.2 Beta 3 tonight. eGPU is working better but OpenCL is not running well in this build.

A huge thanks to @fs454 who was updating us all day with benchmarks of Radeon Pro 460 in his 15" MBP. The 15" retina screen scales things to 1680x1050 so I ran Unigine at this resolution to compare.

radeon-pro-460-valley.png egpu-rx-470-valley.JPG

IMG_1234.JPG egpu-rx-470-heaven.JPG
[doublepost=1479180908][/doublepost]
Awesome news, the overall installation was pretty much plug-and-play, correct?
The short answer is Yes. Once you have the right enclosure with sufficient PSU, simply run goalque's automate-eGPU script to make it work. :)
 
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fs454

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I installed 10.12.2 Beta 3 tonight. eGPU is working better but OpenCL is not running well in this build.

A huge thanks to @fs454 who was updating us all day with benchmarks of Radeon Pro 460 in his 15" MBP. The 15" retina screen scales things to 1680x1050 so I ran Unigine at this resolution to compare.

View attachment 672317 View attachment 672318

View attachment 672319 View attachment 672320
[doublepost=1479180908][/doublepost]

The short answer is Yes. Once you have the right enclosure with sufficient PSU, simply run goalque's automate-eGPU script to make it work. :)

Anytime! Thank you too for venturing into the eGPU world for us - it really should be more compatible at this point considering the performance boost it can bring. It works great in Windows via Boot Camp I presume?
 

guayan

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Nov 14, 2016
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I installed 10.12.2 Beta 3 tonight. eGPU is working better but OpenCL is not running well in this build.

A huge thanks to @fs454 who was updating us all day with benchmarks of Radeon Pro 460 in his 15" MBP. The 15" retina screen scales things to 1680x1050 so I ran Unigine at this resolution to compare.

View attachment 672317 View attachment 672318

View attachment 672319 View attachment 672320
[doublepost=1479180908][/doublepost]

The short answer is Yes. Once you have the right enclosure with sufficient PSU, simply run goalque's automate-eGPU script to make it work. :)
Hi theitsage, am new around here, but saw that you have a thread that resonates closely to the topic I have in mind, so have just created an account to seek your advice.

I am getting my hands on a late 2016 15" MacBook Pro with the 460 Pro dGPU. This would be sufficient for my day-to-day work, browsing and design needs. However, on weekends, I like to kick back and enjoy games like Battlefield 1 and Overwatch on a huge monitor. So I am intending to get the new LG Ultrafine 5K display as well, but have concerns as to gaming on such a high resolution monitor with the 460 Pro dGPU alone.

Would like to check if my concerns would be solved by getting the upcoming AKiTio Thunderbolt 3 Node and hooking it up to the monitor/MacBook. If so, would there be compatibility issues with my MacBook Pro already having a dGPU? Would I be able to utilise a Nvidia eGPU to power solely the 5k monitor to obtain smooth framerates?

Thanks!
 

theitsage

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@guayan 4K gaming is unobtainable for the majority of GPUs. GTX 1080 is a single card setup that may handle 4K gaming well. The next challenge is configuring Windows to make use of the eGPU over dGPU. It's doable but not a straightforward process.

I don't recommend the LG Ultrafine 5K/Thunderbolt 3 only displays. While you're able to connect a Late 2016 MBP to the LG 5K through Thunderbolt 3 cable, the eGPU will need to be the conduit between the MBP and LG 5K display. I'm not aware of any GPU with native support for Thunderbolt 3 display atm.
 

Bagpipehero

macrumors newbie
Nov 15, 2016
1
0
Hi guys! Couple questions:

1. With bootcamp and the automated eGPU installation, there's no longer many glitches while using an eGPU?

2. What's the best eGPU for a 2016 eGPU currently in the market that is easy to set up / requires no modding? (I know the Akitio Node looks great but it doesn't seem to be out yet)

3. What's a good monitor that works with an eGPU and will be nice for both productivity and GTX 1080 gaming?

Thanks!
 

Singhj90

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2016
1
0
I ordered a 15" MBP with the AMD Radeon Pro 460, from what I've read about the Pro 460 it's built with AMD's "Polaris" infrastructure, there's a lot about being able to plug and play AMD eGPU's, I was wondering if I purchased a Razer Core and a AMD R9, if I'd be able to simply plug it into the MBP and have it start using the the R9 for graphics instead of the Pro 460? on AMD's website they make it seem like it's as easy as that using "x connect"
 
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voxtro

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2014
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I ordered a 15" MBP with the AMD Radeon Pro 460, from what I've read about the Pro 460 it's built with AMD's "Polaris" infrastructure, there's a lot about being able to plug and play AMD eGPU's, I was wondering if I purchased a Razer Core and a AMD R9, if I'd be able to simply plug it into the MBP and have it start using the the R9 for graphics instead of the Pro 460? on AMD's website they make it seem like it's as easy as that using "x connect"
There's a chance the AMD RX 480 and Fury series will work "better" with the 15" dGPU Touch Bar Pro, just due to drivers involved in eGPU especially if you are able to use it on macOS.

I am very curious if any owners of the new 15" with dGPU (and iGPU technically) got this to work. I can see it happening on a machine without a dGPU more easily than one with the Radeon 450-460 chips.

I don't think anyone has tried the new 15" dGPU with an eGPU, with or without Bootcamp.

First I guess you would want to disable automatic graphics switching as that will cause problems no doubt.

I would be impressed if it worked natively with macOS. I am interested in the Akitio Node as well, but curious how any of this works with the dGPU 15" as you would be seeing essentially three graphics sources (iGPU, dGPU & eGPU) at that point.

On Bootcamp - perhaps - but I would be very impressed with Apple frankly if they made it "easy" if at all possible to utilize the dGPU and an eGPU even on Windows. One can only wish, but knowing Apple I'd be shocked if this was possible at all. Not even sure if the dGPU and eGPU can work on the same machine.

In terms of the TB3 stuff, yes, it has to work with macOS and Apple's hardware specifically, which is slow and licensed among other things. Only then will you get the bidirectional TB3 recognition on macOS to allow the full 40Gbps. Right now there is basically nothing out there that is TB3 <-> TB3 on macOS. The OWC Dock is coming out in Feb 2017 per the last estimate and other manufacturers with TB3 devices are working to attempt to get them compatible with macOS (hence the many "not compatible YET" labels). Apple is very keen on allowing certain accessories with TB3 on their OS to work plug-and-play. I wish I could say I was surprised, but I'm not. It's what I would expect from Apple based on how they operate.

Anyways, if any new 15" Pro dGPU owners happen to have a way of trying an eGPU (would disable switching graphics before this if you are trying) via. TB3->TB2 / Razer Core would be awesome if we got some confirmation of success - at least on the current build of macOS...since that could be "fixed" by Apple anytime.
 

voxtro

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2014
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Good to hear - thanks! Did you try it on Bootcamp/Windows to see if you are able to get the dGPU/eGPU to both work in certain applications? That's very unlikely from a technical standpoint especially on Apple hardware, but it would be surprising.

EDIT: That's probably impossible right now if I think about it. I don't think your eGPU can talk-back with the host as it would need to be in order to properly work as an emulated "SLI/CrossFire". If the external devices like the Node that integrate PCIe over TB3 work with Windows/Bootcamp (don't think they will work TB3 <-> TB3 with macOS in any way) then that may be an option later.
 

theitsage

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It's a lot of work in Windows. First of all, Thunderbolt Controller Driver and Software are currently distributed through manufacturers. The 13" base MBP I have uses Thunderbolt 15D2 controller which I was able to find through some dicey websites. The Thunderbolt Software is another challenge. The latest version flat out tells you Boot Camp is not supported. I have to resort to a much older version.

Once I got all that done, the controller and software show my eGPU is connected but the eGPU's firmware/chipset is not approved. I guess this is how Intel keeps a short leash on which manufacturers can sell a complete eGPU solution.
 

voxtro

macrumors member
Sep 12, 2014
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With TB3 with something like the upcoming Node on a native Windows device for the most part would allow it to work fine with any decent desktop graphics card. I don't think this will make a difference for the Mac/Bootcamp issues. TB3 <--> TB3 allows for PCIe 3 through TB3 smoothly as long as your hardware and underlying software allow external graphics, which is just something Apple can technically do by means of software and/or issuing proper directives, firmware, etc. for the TB3 devices which I doubt will happen with something like an eGPU system such as the Node.

It may work on Bootcamp, but there will no doubt be issues with drivers, especially with the newer TITAN GPU's.