Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Pro can use external GPUs, but at a cost

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2016
One of the most frequent complaints about the new MacBook Pro is the relatively weak GPU as compared to some found on the Windows side. Some progress has been made very recently by independent developers, allowing the adventurous who aren't afraid to spend a few dollars to build and connect an external GPU to a Thunderbolt 3 Mac.


The promise of external GPUs

During the development of the Thunderbolt 3 protocol, the ability to seamlessly interface with a GPU in an external PCI-E breakout box was added, rather than it just being a hack.

In theory, an external GPU releases the user from the shackles of lower-performing GPUs typically found in a laptop, and allows the user to leverage desktop units in an external enclosure, benefitting from both an improvement in thermal conditions, as well as no limitations on consumed energy.
This entire process could be boiled down to be as simple as it is on Windows, if Apple decides to explicitly support it.
For Windows 10 users, most external GPU solutions work, plug-and-play. The vaguely Mac Pro styled Razer Core used in this particular project works without flaw, and needs very little configuration in a Mac running Windows under Boot Camp.




However, the entire external GPU assembly doesn't work at all in macOS unless you start modifying the operating system itself. Also, the macOS implementation doesn't feed the video back to the MacBook Pro's screen, so an external monitor is mandatory.

The reality of the external GPU

With almost no fiddling or configuration, AppleInsider testing on a Razer Core and Nvidia GTX 980 in macOS managed 4.5 teraflops, with the two-year old Nvidia 770 pulling down 3.1 teraflops.

The new Nvidia 1080 in Windows 10 delivers around 9 teraflops, with the GTX 1070 pushing 6.5 teraflops.

For comparison, the Radeon Pro 460 in the high-end build-to-order 15-inch MacBook Pro manages 1.6 teraflops, and the custom-build Mac Pro with dual AMD FirePro D700 delivers 3.5 teraflops, per GPU.

Practical measurements

Triple the teraflops doesn't correspond equally to triple the performance, however.

Our test system is a MacBook Pro 15-inch model, with 2.9 gigahertz quad-core processor, 512GB SSD, and the Radeon Pro 460 GPU. The test external GPU is the Nvidia GTX 980 with 4GB of GDDR5 RAM in the Razer Core external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure.




Playing games gets a significant boost. Using the MacBook Pro without external GPU, "Tomb Raider" delivered average frame rates of 55 frames per second at default resolution of 1650x1050, dropping to 31.4 at a minimum.

With the external GPU, average frame rates rose to 81 frames per second, never dropping below 48 frames per second.

We also ran the Final Cut Pro X "BruceX" benchmark both with and without external GPU. An average of three runs gave us 46.6 seconds without GPU, and 26.8 seconds with external GPU. For comparison's sake, the 2015 late 2015 iMac 5K with Radeon R8 M395X GPU cranks this test out in 32.8 seconds.

As a raw measure of GPU performance, no other factors considered, the Geekbench 4 GPU OpenCL Compute score jumped from 59180 without external GPU to 87250 with it running, besting the late 2015 iMac 5k.

There are some pipers to be paid for the notable performance boost, however. The Razer Core with GPU stressed during benchmarking is very loud, hitting 71dB at 3 feet from the case -- about the same relative volume as a car moving at 65 miles per hour, from 10 feet away. Idle, the card and case is about 49dB.

A MacBook Pro under load is about 36dB and about 31dB idle or under light load.

Heat is also an issue. Intake air of 67F was heated to 114F by the case and card. It's not known what tidal volume of air the case needs for adequate cooling, but the output managed to blow a full box of kleenex about three feet across a desk when the fan switched to high speed.

Not only is the apparatus loud, and demands good ventilation, but...

The literal price you pay is steep

The Razer Core, which we've done all of our testing on, retails for $500. Expect to spend at least $250 for a decent graphics card -- but we leave that choice as an exercise for the reader.

There are other enclosure options forthcoming. Power Color's Devil Box isn't yet available, and the same procedure used here should work. It will retail for $380 and be available in "very limited" quantities.




Akitio has also released the Node, an external GPU box without the USB 3.1 type A ports, and no Gigabit Ethernet plug. Suggested retail for the Akitio Node is $299, and it is also not yet available.

Not only is there a financial barrier to entry, but...

The procedure is not for the timid

Getting an external GPU to work in macOS requires system integrity protection (SIP) to be disabled through the terminal. Then, a hack must be installed allowing for the Apple-laid block on some Thunderbolt 3 peripherals to be bypassed.

Third, a DSDT system file needs to be edited, allowing for the functionality. Then, a script has to be run for graphic card identification, and even after all that, drivers may need to be installed.

Then, there's compatibility issues that may have to be dealt with. The closer a GPU is to the "reference design" or manufacturer's standard, the better the results.

So far, AppleInsider has only gotten Nvidia 700, 800, and 900 series cards to work, but there are reports from the forums that initially spawned the external GPU discussion about AMD cards and other Nvidia cards working fine. The latest 1000-series cards will probably work, but Nvidia has yet to write a macOS-compatible driver for them.

Other reports claim that Radeon cards from AMD function as well, but those appear to be limited to cards similar to what Apple has in the Retina iMac line.

Yet more potential pitfalls await!

The key to success is hardware selection. We mentioned reference design cards earlier -- knowing your card adheres to the spec is crucial to the process.

Ask any Hackintosh user -- things can break, and break dramatically. Any point update from Apple can block the Thunderbolt 3 hack, but the current 10.2.2 beta does not seem to at this point. Apple could also theoretically issue a silent patch to its Incompatible Kernel Extension Configuration Data to block the hack as well.

At least for now, a PCI-e breakout box that needs the Thunderbolt 3 hack to properly connect to macOS doesn't provide more than 15W of power to the connected system. It appears that the system views the box as a peripheral as a consequence of the hack, and not a valid full-power source. If you're using this approach, you'll still need external power.

Overall, if you go this route, exercise caution. Let others get data from failures for you.

Older machines aren't necessarily left out

While AppleInsider is only skimming the top of a very deep pool with this article, there have been external GPU solutions for Thunderbolt 2-equipped hardware for a while, also needing varying levels of software and hardware hacks.

So far, to use the truly powerful cards, PCI-E Thunderbolt breakout boxes need to have an additional power supply. An external power supply for a breakout box which already has a power supply is a kludge, and even less Mac-like than the hacks needed for a Thunderbolt 3 implementation.



Example of a Thunderbolt 2 external GPU, photo credit Anandtech

At this point, AppleInsider doesn't recommend a Thunderbolt 2 external GPU in its current state even though it is possible. Don't even bother trying to find a USB 3.1 type-C one.

We continue to look into external GPU options for current and older hardware. More may proliferate if Apple starts to support them explicitly, but that's the real problem with the whole concept, isn't it?

There's an easier solution...

... but at this point, it doesn't exist, because Apple does not will it so.

This entire process could be boiled down to be as simple as it is on Windows, if Apple decides to explicitly support it. That doesn't appear to be in the cards at the moment, because Apple went out of its way to disallow some Thunderbolt 3 hardware from working properly.

However, when Intel Macs first shipped, booting into Windows wasn't an option and was specifically disallowed, similarly to what's been done with Thunderbolt 3. It wasn't until the spring following release that Apple revealed Boot Camp, and providing a formal way to install Windows on an Mac, and lifting the restriction.

So, maybe, Apple will see the light, and either actually release the long-rumored Thunderbolt display with contained GPU, or put fewer road-blocks in the way of users wanting a better solution for a Mac laptop-turned-workstation.
volcan
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,935member
    You need to look at Bizon for a deliverable external GPU product for the new MacBook Pro (https://bizon-tech.com). The BizonBOX 2S is available now with the BizonBOX 3 coming in early 2017. Some of the latest NVIDIA GPUs aren't supported yet but you can get the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, 12 GB, DVI, HDMI, 3 DP (3072 CUDA cores). Of course it will set you back $1500 but as you say these are for the adventurous.

    Barefeats evaluated this box way back in July 2016, 
    http://barefeats.com/bizon_box.html. I'm sure they'll be testing the new version when it comes out. He mentioned the new version in October while evaluating the new MBP, http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016.html.
    elijahg
  • Reply 2 of 47
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    wigginMike Wuertheleevilutiontallest skilelijahgentropys
  • Reply 3 of 47
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,609administrator
    I looked at Bizon during the production of this article. None of them are cost-effective, and in nearly every possible use case, the money spent on the Bizon Box is better used towards a new MacBook Pro.
  • Reply 4 of 47
    Nah...at that cost you can build a great Windows game machine. Probably not really worth it until Apple gets behind it. Which seems unlikely to happen.
    viclauyycentropys
  • Reply 5 of 47
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,618member
    blastdoor said:
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    Who uses Mac Pro's for gaming? Those graphics cards are not designed for that type of thing.
    spliff monkeychiaGeorgeBMachmm
  • Reply 6 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member
    Full disclosure before the following, I've used Macs since 1984 and hate Windows but I love high end, high resolution graphics games so I am stuck with Windows 10 and Steam for that when not working in macOS. Sad but a fact.

    So ...  I have to ask, is this article tongue in cheek or serious  ...... or perhaps an advertorial?  If so I have to point out that it's nearly $500 for the empty box, then you have to buy the high end GPU, I haven't read up on this box yet but I assume you can add two GPUs?  Unless you have duel GPUs there's no Catalyst or Nvidia equivalent for high end performance.  

    By the time you've spent probably over $2,000  building your own gaming PC would be a simpler solution.  I am lucky as the owner of MBPs and a new 6 core Mac Pro as the latter runs Window 10 for high end gaming very well.  It of course has has duel AMD D500 GPUs but sadly no option for macOS to utilize both in games, one is used purely for computation and this is aimed at FCPro X (and works very well I should add), but it's useless for modern games, not that there are many!

    Running Windows on the Mac Pro both GPUs can be used with Crimson AMD drivers and to my relief (I wasn't sure till I tried it) I get over 80 f.p.s. with yesterday's release of Watch Dogs 2 (Yay!) and well over 60 f.p.s. in GTA V and all this at 2560 x 1440! Reading many of the PC gamers' blogs my Mac Pro running Windows blows most of their results out of the water as they run at a measly 1920 x 1080 or lower and struggle to get even half this frame rate.  Only the bleeding edge Gamer PCs are in that range.  So me and my Mac Pro glow with pride.

    That said, the much touted AMD and Apple agreement over joint driver development seems to have fallen way short of the promises in late 2013 and early 2014 as AMD's PC drivers are several versions ahead of the official release of the Crimson drivers for Boot Camp which is very worrying.  I live in hope any day now they may be updated but along with so many Apple products I have relied on they may well go the way of Aperture etc..

    Anyway, back to a MacBook Pro ... This is all a long way of saying,  if my only Mac was a MBP and I was a keen gamer too, I'd build my own PC for gaming (or buy one ready made if you don't want to do that) and throw in two Polaris cards or Nvidia equivalents before I'd hang one of these on my MBP.  Having now read in this article the staggering teraflops data from some of the latest PC CPUs and GPUs I turned green, so I may be doing that in a year or two anyway as I suspect newer Boot Camp drivers for my Mac Pro will never be forth coming from Apple and I am running on borrowed time. Then there's 4K gaming .....  but that's anther story.

    In case anyone wonders, sadly, no you can't use AMD driver updates while in Windows as they deliberately exclude their own GPUs made for Apple as being 'not recognized', nice one AMD!  It was possible to mod the Omega drivers prior to Crimson, to stop rejecting the D500s, but a complex hack, I've yet to look to see if this is possible with the latest Crimson but I probably won't anyway as the hacked Omega drivers made the Mac Pro run very hot.  That's why I am using the long outdated official Crimson drivers from Apple still!
    edited December 2016 loquiturStrangeDaysroundaboutnowelijahgviclauyyc
  • Reply 7 of 47
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,609administrator
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    Who uses Mac Pro's for gaming? Those graphics cards are not designed for that type of thing.
    I believe what Mr. Door is talking about is a 5,1 Mac Pro with upgraded PCI-E video card.
    spliff monkeyentropys
  • Reply 8 of 47
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,609administrator
    Full disclosure before the following, I've used Macs since 1984 and hate Windows but I love high end, high resolution graphics games so I am stuck with Windows 10 and Steam for that when not working in macOS. Sad but a fact.

    So ...  I have to ask, is this article tongue in cheek or serious  ...... or perhaps an advertorial?  If so I have to point out that it's nearly $500 for the empty box, then you have to buy the high end GPU, I haven't read up on this box yet but I assume you can add two GPUs?  Unless you have duel GPUs there's no Catalyst or Nvidia equivalent for high end performance.  

    By the time you've spent probably over $2,000  building your own gaming PC would be a simpler solution.  I am lucky as the owner of MBPs and a new 6 core Mac Pro as the latter runs Window 10 for high end gaming very well.  It of course has has duel AMD D500 GPUs but sadly no option for macOS to utilize both in games, one is used purely for computation and this is aimed at FCPro X (and works very well I should add), but it's useless for modern games, not that there are many!

    Running Windows on the Mac Pro both GPUs can be used with Crimson AMD drivers and to my relief (I wasn't sure till I tried it) I get over 80 f.p.s. with yesterday's release of Watch Dogs 2 (Yay!) and well over 60 f.p.s. in GTA V and all this at 2560 x 1440! Reading many of the PC gamers' blogs my Mac Pro running Windows blows most of their results out of the water as they run at a measly 1920 x 1080 or lower and struggle to get even half this frame rate.  Only the bleeding edge Gamer PCs are in that range.  So me and my Mac Pro glow with pride.

    That said, the much touted AMD and Apple agreement over joint driver development seems to have fallen way short of the promises in late 2013 and early 2014 as AMD's PC drivers are several versions ahead of the official release of the Crimson drivers for Boot Camp which is very worrying.  I live in hope any day now they may be updated but along with so many Apple products I have relied on they may well go the way of Aperture etc..

    Anyway, back to a MacBook Pro ... This is all a long way of saying,  if my only Mac was a MBP and I was a keen gamer too, I'd build my own PC for gaming (or buy one ready made if you don't want to do that) and throw in two Polaris cards or Nvidia equivalents before I'd hang one of these on my MBP.  Having now read in this article the staggering teraflops data from some of the latest PC CPUs and GPUs I turned green, so I may be doing that in a year or two anyway as I suspect newer Boot Camp drivers for my Mac Pro will never be forth coming from Apple and I am running on borrowed time. Then there's 4K gaming .....  but that's anther story.

    In case anyone wonders, sadly, no you can't use AMD driver updates while in Windows as they deliberately exclude their own GPUs made for Apple as being 'not recognized', nice one AMD!  It was possible to mod the Omega drivers prior to Crimson, to stop rejecting the D500s, but a complex hack, I've yet to look to see if this is possible with the latest Crimson but I probably won't anyway as the hacked Omega drivers made the Mac Pro run very hot.  That's why I am using the long outdated official Crimson drivers from Apple still!
    It's not an advertorial, no. I do agree with your assessment that it is an expensive exercise.

    I haven't seen any external GPU boxes allowing two GPUs, and power is generally limited to 350 or 375W, so that rules that out anyhow.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    rob53 said:
    You need to look at Bizon for a deliverable external GPU product for the new MacBook Pro (https://bizon-tech.com). The BizonBOX 2S is available now with the BizonBOX 3 coming in early 2017. Some of the latest NVIDIA GPUs aren't supported yet but you can get the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, 12 GB, DVI, HDMI, 3 DP (3072 CUDA cores). Of course it will set you back $1500 but as you say these are for the adventurous.

    Barefeats evaluated this box way back in July 2016, 
    http://barefeats.com/bizon_box.html. I'm sure they'll be testing the new version when it comes out. He mentioned the new version in October while evaluating the new MBP, http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016.html.
    I had no idea such GPU solutions existed. So I'd really just have to spend more money to get some high-end GPU support. As long as Apple doesn't deliberately try to stop the use of this solution, then I have nothing to complain about. I know Apple doesn't give a damn about games so that's just how it has to be. The only thing is, it may make much more sense to build a Windows machine with a good CPU and GPU unless I really needed to use OSX. Anyway, it's nice to find out I can get a powerful GPU solution with an Apple computer. It's just a matter of how much money I'd be willing to spend. It's not a completely elegant solution but it's much, much better than nothing.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    appexappex Posts: 687member
    Bring the brand new Mac Pro. With brand new Apple Thunderbolt Display. All with Thunderbolt 3.
    edited December 2016 rezwits
  • Reply 11 of 47
    jSnivelyjSnively Posts: 324administrator
    rob53 said:
    You need to look at Bizon for a deliverable external GPU product for the new MacBook Pro (https://bizon-tech.com). The BizonBOX 2S is available now with the BizonBOX 3 coming in early 2017. Some of the latest NVIDIA GPUs aren't supported yet but you can get the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, 12 GB, DVI, HDMI, 3 DP (3072 CUDA cores). Of course it will set you back $1500 but as you say these are for the adventurous.

    Barefeats evaluated this box way back in July 2016, 
    http://barefeats.com/bizon_box.html. I'm sure they'll be testing the new version when it comes out. He mentioned the new version in October while evaluating the new MBP, http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016.html.
    I had no idea such GPU solutions existed. So I'd really just have to spend more money to get some high-end GPU support. As long as Apple doesn't deliberately try to stop the use of this solution, then I have nothing to complain about. I know Apple doesn't give a damn about games so that's just how it has to be. The only thing is, it may make much more sense to build a Windows machine with a good CPU and GPU unless I really needed to use OSX. Anyway, it's nice to find out I can get a powerful GPU solution with an Apple computer. It's just a matter of how much money I'd be willing to spend. It's not a completely elegant solution but it's much, much better than nothing.
    Keep in mind you're probably just going to be installing Windows anyway if you intent is gaming. Not only because the games situation on macOS is so poor, but also because of the GPU driver situation. It really doesn't make sense as a solution for basically anybody. You can build a $1500 PC that will blow away something like this, and there's always the console route to consider if you just want to play games.

    It's like a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of an academically interested subset of users. That said, it would be fun to mess with.
    randominternetpersonelijahg
  • Reply 12 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member
    Full disclosure before the following, I've used Macs since 1984 and hate Windows but I love high end, high resolution graphics games so I am stuck with Windows 10 and Steam for that when not working in macOS. Sad but a fact.

    So ...  I have to ask, is this article tongue in cheek or serious  ...... or perhaps an advertorial?  If so I have to point out that it's nearly $500 for the empty box, then you have to buy the high end GPU, I haven't read up on this box yet but I assume you can add two GPUs?  Unless you have duel GPUs there's no Catalyst or Nvidia equivalent for high end performance.  

    By the time you've spent probably over $2,000  building your own gaming PC would be a simpler solution.  I am lucky as the owner of MBPs and a new 6 core Mac Pro as the latter runs Window 10 for high end gaming very well.  It of course has has duel AMD D500 GPUs but sadly no option for macOS to utilize both in games, one is used purely for computation and this is aimed at FCPro X (and works very well I should add), but it's useless for modern games, not that there are many!

    Running Windows on the Mac Pro both GPUs can be used with Crimson AMD drivers and to my relief (I wasn't sure till I tried it) I get over 80 f.p.s. with yesterday's release of Watch Dogs 2 (Yay!) and well over 60 f.p.s. in GTA V and all this at 2560 x 1440! Reading many of the PC gamers' blogs my Mac Pro running Windows blows most of their results out of the water as they run at a measly 1920 x 1080 or lower and struggle to get even half this frame rate.  Only the bleeding edge Gamer PCs are in that range.  So me and my Mac Pro glow with pride.

    That said, the much touted AMD and Apple agreement over joint driver development seems to have fallen way short of the promises in late 2013 and early 2014 as AMD's PC drivers are several versions ahead of the official release of the Crimson drivers for Boot Camp which is very worrying.  I live in hope any day now they may be updated but along with so many Apple products I have relied on they may well go the way of Aperture etc..

    Anyway, back to a MacBook Pro ... This is all a long way of saying,  if my only Mac was a MBP and I was a keen gamer too, I'd build my own PC for gaming (or buy one ready made if you don't want to do that) and throw in two Polaris cards or Nvidia equivalents before I'd hang one of these on my MBP.  Having now read in this article the staggering teraflops data from some of the latest PC CPUs and GPUs I turned green, so I may be doing that in a year or two anyway as I suspect newer Boot Camp drivers for my Mac Pro will never be forth coming from Apple and I am running on borrowed time. Then there's 4K gaming .....  but that's anther story.

    In case anyone wonders, sadly, no you can't use AMD driver updates while in Windows as they deliberately exclude their own GPUs made for Apple as being 'not recognized', nice one AMD!  It was possible to mod the Omega drivers prior to Crimson, to stop rejecting the D500s, but a complex hack, I've yet to look to see if this is possible with the latest Crimson but I probably won't anyway as the hacked Omega drivers made the Mac Pro run very hot.  That's why I am using the long outdated official Crimson drivers from Apple still!
    It's not an advertorial, no. I do agree with your assessment that it is an expensive exercise.

    I haven't seen any external GPU boxes allowing two GPUs, and power is generally limited to 350 or 375W, so that rules that out anyhow.
    OK good to know we agree. :)  How about an article from AI berating AMD/Apple over their tardiness on the AMD driver updates for Boot Camp?
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 13 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member

    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    Who uses Mac Pro's for gaming? Those graphics cards are not designed for that type of thing.
    Me.  Read my post above on the 'how'.   By the way I don't run Boot Camp internally (no frickin' room on a Mac Pro's SSD), I build external SSD boot drives for Windows and YES I can use both GPUs for gaming.
    edited December 2016 StrangeDays
  • Reply 14 of 47
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,884member
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    Who uses Mac Pro's for gaming? Those graphics cards are not designed for that type of thing.
    I believe what Mr. Door is talking about is a 5,1 Mac Pro with upgraded PCI-E video card.
    Yup. 

    It's this amazing idea -- you have the CPU and the GPU in the same case with an extremely high speed connection (faster than TB3 even!!) between them. Just one simple box, no ugly wires connecting two boxes. And it's faster and quieter! 

  • Reply 15 of 47
    rob53 said:
    You need to look at Bizon for a deliverable external GPU product for the new MacBook Pro (https://bizon-tech.com). The BizonBOX 2S is available now with the BizonBOX 3 coming in early 2017. Some of the latest NVIDIA GPUs aren't supported yet but you can get the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, 12 GB, DVI, HDMI, 3 DP (3072 CUDA cores). Of course it will set you back $1500 but as you say these are for the adventurous.

    Barefeats evaluated this box way back in July 2016, http://barefeats.com/bizon_box.html. I'm sure they'll be testing the new version when it comes out. He mentioned the new version in October while evaluating the new MBP, http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016.html.
    Except the Bizon is a scam.

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7921-rip-off-alert-bizon-box-2-is-an-overpriced-modified-akitio-thunder2-enclosure/
    tenthousandthingsuniscape
  • Reply 16 of 47
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,609administrator
    blastdoor said:
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    Who uses Mac Pro's for gaming? Those graphics cards are not designed for that type of thing.
    I believe what Mr. Door is talking about is a 5,1 Mac Pro with upgraded PCI-E video card.
    Yup. 

    It's this amazing idea -- you have the CPU and the GPU in the same case with an extremely high speed connection (faster than TB3 even!!) between them. Just one simple box, no ugly wires connecting two boxes. And it's faster and quieter! 

    Full disclosure -- I've got a 5,1 twelve-core with Nvidia 770. Love it.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member
    pentae said:
    rob53 said:
    You need to look at Bizon for a deliverable external GPU product for the new MacBook Pro (https://bizon-tech.com). The BizonBOX 2S is available now with the BizonBOX 3 coming in early 2017. Some of the latest NVIDIA GPUs aren't supported yet but you can get the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, 12 GB, DVI, HDMI, 3 DP (3072 CUDA cores). Of course it will set you back $1500 but as you say these are for the adventurous.

    Barefeats evaluated this box way back in July 2016, http://barefeats.com/bizon_box.html. I'm sure they'll be testing the new version when it comes out. He mentioned the new version in October while evaluating the new MBP, http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016.html.
    Except the Bizon is a scam.

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7921-rip-off-alert-bizon-box-2-is-an-overpriced-modified-akitio-thunder2-enclosure/
    Well spotted.  Mind you just about anything connected to Windows is s scam ...  lol
  • Reply 18 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member

    blastdoor said:
    macxpress said:
    blastdoor said:
    There's an easier solution...

    The easier solution is an updated Mac Pro. 

    Who uses Mac Pro's for gaming? Those graphics cards are not designed for that type of thing.
    I believe what Mr. Door is talking about is a 5,1 Mac Pro with upgraded PCI-E video card.
    Yup. 

    It's this amazing idea -- you have the CPU and the GPU in the same case with an extremely high speed connection (faster than TB3 even!!) between them. Just one simple box, no ugly wires connecting two boxes. And it's faster and quieter! 

    Having owned many of those the down side is moving them, they are ridiculously, bloody heavy ...  But it's worth looking into, I haven't looked but I wonder what they are going for on E-bay these days?  I still worry about drivers though with all these alternatives to a real PC (however much i want to find an alternative).  Is there a way to fit SSDs into a Cheese Grater?
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 19 of 47
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,342member
    pentae said:
    rob53 said:
    You need to look at Bizon for a deliverable external GPU product for the new MacBook Pro (https://bizon-tech.com). The BizonBOX 2S is available now with the BizonBOX 3 coming in early 2017. Some of the latest NVIDIA GPUs aren't supported yet but you can get the NVIDIA GTX TITAN X, 12 GB, DVI, HDMI, 3 DP (3072 CUDA cores). Of course it will set you back $1500 but as you say these are for the adventurous.

    Barefeats evaluated this box way back in July 2016, http://barefeats.com/bizon_box.html. I'm sure they'll be testing the new version when it comes out. He mentioned the new version in October while evaluating the new MBP, http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016.html.
    Except the Bizon is a scam.

    https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/7921-rip-off-alert-bizon-box-2-is-an-overpriced-modified-akitio-thunder2-enclosure/
    Well spotted.  Mind you just about anything connected to Windows is s scam ...  lol
    Sorry, but when the new MBP with 2.9GHz processor, 2TB SSD and the slightly better graphics Radeon Pro 460 (instead of the 455) is $4300 (not including all the extra dongles/adapters that one has to buy) and without a mouse, PLEASE don't tell me that anything associated with Windows is a scam.    Even with the stock configuration upgraded to a 1TB SSD, it's $3200, still a ripoff.   
    singularityelijahg
  • Reply 20 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,736member

    appex said:
    Bring the brand new Mac Pro. With brand new Apple Thunderbolt Display. All with Thunderbolt 3.
    There would be no need for any external boxes assuming a new Mac Pro has similar but better GPU configuration, my bet is on Polaris, then Apple have to update the GPU drivers for Boot Camp.  I just hope they also update them for my now ancient late 2013 MP!  Then again ... maybe Boot Camp will join Aperture ....
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