Sorry, Apple. EGPU with my 2015 Macbook Pro is awesome.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Flabasha, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. Flabasha, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

    Flabasha macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    I posted this in the other thread about 2015 MBP's, but I think it might be worth it's own thread...

    They killed official support for eGPUs for TB2 Macs with Mojave. They were, of course, hoping people wouldn't extend the life of their older laptops and would just buy new laptops. But turns out, with a tiny terminal script, it works amazingly.

    I have a Vega 56 in an Asus XG Station Pro. My Unigine Valley score comparison...

    M370X (2015 internal dgpu): 12.4fps
    VEGA 56 (egpu): 75.5fps

    I was scared initially, but setup took less than 5 minutes. Buy the TB2>TB3 cable ($50, boo). Then follow these simple instructions...

    It's just... disable SIP (you are disabling a security feature, FYI), restart, run PurgeWrangler, restart, done. Works perfectly. Can hot plug/unplug without restarting or anything.

    MBP 2015 and an eGPU are AWESOME.
  2. turbineseaplane macrumors 601


    Mar 19, 2008
    May I ask how you settled on that particular eGPU enclosure?

    That’s the next part of my decision making process.

    There’s a Sonnet available locally for $140-$160 I’d thought about.

    Any killer reason you chose yours and or didn’t choose others?
  3. Qaulity macrumors member


    Jul 23, 2018
    It's so foreign to me that a company will remove features from their products. I get why they do it, but I think the long term reward of having people love your tech would trump any short term gain. The benefits to jump to TB3 are obvious, the new features should be what moves people to newer hardware, not the removal of features.
  4. Flabasha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Sure! The XG Station Pro is the quietest, and smallest combo. That said, the Sonnet was my original choice, and it should work perfectly (and is noted for being the next-quietest enclosure). And that price is awesome!

    The downside of the XG Station Pro is that it can't power your laptop, but we don't have USB-C in our 2015's anyway, so it doesn't matter for us.
  5. turbineseaplane macrumors 601


    Mar 19, 2008
    Ok. One more.
    Do you, or can you, use your laptop in clamshell and just use the external monitor with eGPU on macOS?
  6. Flabasha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Yes, in fact performance is supposedly much better with an external monitor, because you're not sending the info back to your internal monitor through the same cable. I haven't benchmarked this, as I usually use it in clamshell mode at my desk anyway.
  7. Ma2k5, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018

    Ma2k5 macrumors 68020


    Dec 21, 2012
    edit: Nvm, I see this is TB2 related
  8. Merlin100 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2013
    Flabasha - Can you provide more details on your setup? I'm wondering if I can duplicate this on a 2015 i7 Mac mini with an Apple 27 inch TB2 Display? I didn't know there were any eGPU options for TB2? Thanks!
  9. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    its also worth noting that I've got a 2018 MacBook Pro on Mojave, connected via thunderbolt 3, running a Vega 64, and my Unigine Valley score is 79fps.

    so it seems your older hardware setup doesn't even really take a performance hit! (I'm slightly consoled by the fact that I got the Vega 64 on a pretty good sale :p)

    I'd wager poorly optimized graphics drivers on macOS are the real bottleneck these days. (scores on bootcamp windows are considerably better for me)
  10. Flabasha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Yeah, I got my Vega 56 Strix for $410 on Black Friday, it's crazy how much GPU prices fluctuate, my card is selling for $650+ today.

    Caveat: I hear it's a little more complicated to get an eGPU running on an old Mac if your dGPU is Nvidia. I think you have to run a "purge Nvidia" script as well (Apple REALLY hates Nvidia now). For anyone who is interested to see how their system will work with an eGPU, just go to...

    With all the user build reviews there, you're bound to find some folks who have your model of Mac working with an eGPU.
  11. turbineseaplane macrumors 601


    Mar 19, 2008
    Are there multiple models of your enclosure?

    I'm trying to make sense of PSU requirements for a given GPU and it looks like your Vega 56 shouldn't work in that box, but it clearly does... Confused again here..

    Also, at a similar price as yours, what do you think of the Razer Core X?
  12. Flabasha thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2011
    Best way is to search these user builds...

    From a quick scan, there's a TON of people using pre-2015 Mac Minis with eGPU. Here's one, but there's dozens more...

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