new thunderbolt 2 to 3 adapter - anyone with eGPU experience ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by displayator, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. displayator macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
    #1
    Given that apple has made available a bidirectional thunderbolt 2 to thunderbolt 3 adapter, and that there exist thunderbolt 3 optimized external graphics card enclosures, has anyone tried them with their mac pro (or with laptops)?
    I know of the Powercolor devil box and Razer core in the ~$500 range. Unlike the Akitio boxes discussed elsewhere, these do seem to be designed for graphics cards.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10137/razer-core-thunderbolt-3-egfx-chassis-499399-amd-nvidia-shipping-in-april

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10783...evil-box-thunderbolt-3-external-gpu-enclosure

    I'm interested in the following questions:
    - does it work?
    - how well does it work in games?
    - how well does it work for machine learning with CUDA?
    - how well does it work for machine learning with OpenCL?
    - how well does it work for CAD and 3D rendering?
     
  2. jclmavg macrumors regular

    jclmavg

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    #2
    I believe Akitio will be testing their new enclosure with this adapter soon enough, or so it says on their facebook page.
     
  3. singhs.apps macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #3
    The price of these eGPU enclosures would make sense if they supported 2x full length GPUs in at least PCIe x8 mode.
     
  4. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    Geneva
  5. theitsage, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

    theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #5
    I've tried the Apple adapter and CableMatters adapter. They both communicate with my Thunderbolt 2 eGPU enclosure. There's video output to an external display through the eGPU. However, there's no acceleration or Metal support which makes it useless atm in macOS.

    Once there are more Thunderbolt 3 enclosures available, that may change. I'll pick up the Node when AKiTiO starts selling and try it with my TB2 Macs. The Apple TB3 <-> TB2 adapter is one of the smallest on the market but it looks massive next to a 2016 MBP.

    IMG_1205.JPG
     
  6. chrfr, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

    chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #6
    Edit: I missed the caveat about requiring Sierra for bidirectionality. In any case, I'd expect eGPUs connected through this adapter to have the same limitations as before since TB2 has limited bandwidth and lacks native eGPU support.
     
  7. theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #7
    It's bidirectional with macOS as a prerequisite. MMEL2AM/A product description.
     
  8. chrfr macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for the clarification, I missed that.
     
  9. displayator thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
    #9
    Bummer about it providing no acceleration. My idea was to get one so I could use it with a thunderbolt 1 MacBook Air and then get the next mac pro and use it with that to get some extra cuda / metal / opencl oomph. But if it doesn't provide acceleration it's not very useful.

    @theitsage in your experience, does it do anything in bootcamp / linux?
     
  10. theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #10
    It works in Windows 10 after lots of driver installations and registry edits. I have not tried with Linux.
     
  11. JayInNJ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #11
    I have a 2015 13" Macbook Pro with an eGPU. You get acceleration with some applications on macOS, for example in Steam, Minecraft, various benchmarking tools. However, no acceleration in the OS in general, for example you still get frame drops when minimizing via F3 on a 4k display. It seems like 4k video plays better in Safari with the eGPU but I can't prove it is being accelerated. I am told boot camping into windows gets full acceleration so it is great for windows games, but I don't do that.
     
  12. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    Geneva
    #12
    So the adapter doesn't work in Boot camp?
    --- Post Merged, Nov 3, 2016 ---
    That implies OpenGL works but Quartz and Metal don't.
     
  13. theitsage Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    #13
    Not sure if it's possible. We have to wait until there are more TB3 enclosures/devices.
     
  14. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #14
    Thanks for posting your findings. Pity macOS doesn't support it fully. No, pity isn't the word -it's a huge bleeping disgrace and people at Apple need a swift kick up the backside. Thunderbolt has turned out to be a half baked pile of expensive crap.

    We have Sierra and we have TB3. Why the hell doesn't eGPU work yet? Major screw ups like this... I don't know what they're doing out there. No wonder cMP folks are leaving the platform.
     
  15. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    Geneva
    #15
    The OS needs true plug and play, hot plugging support and driver search. When was the last time macOS said 'Found new device. Searching for drivers. Device is ready.'?

    macOS only plays nicely with devices that are already plugged in during boot (not counting simple devices like external drives, etc)
     
  16. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #16
    Do you count printers? It doesn't seem to have a problem finding and downloading drivers for them. How about USB cameras? My point is, where do you draw the line on this functionality?
     
  17. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    Geneva
    #17
    It does the printers, sometimes. Cameras run on UVC, but Apple's version is neutered and doesn't have true universal support.
     
  18. slughead, Nov 4, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #18
    The PCIe speed limited to 4x with PCIe 3.0 doesn't seem to hinder GPU performance much, but there is a 15-30% overhead coming from *somewhere* in TB vs PCIe itself. I'm not justifying the price, but if you're dropping $2,500 on a totally overpriced Macbook Pro with a 1.8Tflop GPU that totally thermal-throttles (a GTX1080 is 9 Tflop), price appears to be no object.

     
  19. singhs.apps macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #19
    Which is why I am not sold on the eGPU option yet. For all the xtra it costs, you are actually losing out on the performance ? No thanks. If the vendors made room for a 2x/4x eGPU option ( there are a couple out there ) then I understand the xtra price point ( reasonable of course ) because it will allow to upgrade the cards. That said even 300 is too much for a crippled GPU solution.

    One more peripheral to attach and maintaining and sweat over.

    Bring back the cMP
     
  20. slughead, Nov 5, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2016

    slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #21
    Whoa I didn't know there was an eGPU that worked at all with OS X (barely, but it works). It does not do loopback mode for people with integrated displays and has a huge TB bottleneck. It does however allow you to use a second screen and game on OS X using the card, in addition to the productivity stuff.
     
  21. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #22
    Slughead, as teh Steve would say, "it's a bag of hurt". The tech inferno forums are rife with configuration nightmare issues, stuff suddenly not working, etc. And apparently the guy who wrote a script to automate some of the process has stopped work on the project.

    If you're up for hackintoshing then this should be a reasonable project, but it's far from plug and play.
     
  22. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #23
    Lucius Washington: You're not gonna live forever.
    Ricky Bobby: No one lives forever, no one. But with advances in modern science and my high level income, it's not crazy to think I can live to be 245, maybe 300. Heck, I just read in the newspaper that they put a pig heart in some guy from Russia. Do you know what that means?
    Lucius Washington: No, I don't know what that means. I guess longer life.
    Ricky Bobby: No, he didn't live. It's just exciting that we're trying things like that.
     
  23. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    Location:
    Geneva
  24. itdk92 macrumors 6502

    itdk92

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2016
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    #25
    Now, THIS made my day! haha
     

Share This Page