Prismjs

Configuring an external graphics card for my Macbook Pro

The MacBook Pro is a laptop, although it is being billed by Apple as a productivity tool.
The CPU performance is decent, although it’s not quite as good as it could be with its magical cooling design.
The biggest problem is the performance of the GPU compared to the CPU.

The 2018 MacBook Pro comes with a built-in GPU, the Radeon Pro 560X, which doesn’t require a lot of GPU for development, so it’s not a problem if you’re running the built-in UHD Graphics 630.
But occasionally I do play World of Warcraft, which is embarrassing.
I’m usually using an external 4k display at home, and I need to set the model rendering ratio to 2k in order to run World of Warcraft 8.0 with minimal effects.

Although World of Warcraft is recognized as a CPU game, I was able to confirm that increasing the GPU performance can significantly improve the experience of running World of Warcraft.
I also confirmed my suspicions in a discussion on Battle.net https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20765096767.

I started planning to purchase the hardware.
The Apple Store has the finished product:

  • Blackmagic eGPU.
    Built-in RX 580, price 5998.00
  • Blackmagic eGPU Pro
    Built-in vega 56, price 10798.00
    ~~ If you have a mine at home you can consider ~~.

Ready.

  • :: GPU

The graphics card is not signed by Apple for Nvidia’s 10.14 Web Driver, so unless I’m willing to install 10.13, I’m going to have to go with the A card.

Detailed support is listed on Apple’s eGPU support page Use an external graphics processor with your Mac.

The final choice is ASUS ROG STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING 1298-1590MHz.

The ASUS ROG STRIX-RXVEGA64-O8G-GAMING 1298-1590MHz is also supported by the Apple documentation. https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/comments/93uxbk/my_setup_2018_15_macbook_pro_razer_core_x_vega_64/ comments/93uxbk/my_setup_2018_15_macbook_pro_razer_core_x_vega_64/)

  • :: Graphics card docking station

If you choose a tiger like vega64, then the choice of graphics docking station is very narrow.

There is buyer’s guide on egpu.io.

I chose the Razer Core X because it’s the same docking station I mentioned in the link above, and because it’s affordable and also provides power for my MacBook Pro.
The price is 2600-2700 on Jingdong and Taobao, but since the docking station isn’t available in mainland China, it’s better to try your luck on Taobao or Taobao than to buy it from a third party.
As expected, I picked it up for 1900 at Salty Fish.
The size and weight of the docking station is ridiculous.

Installation

Graphics card docking station and graphics card are in place after the installation, installation is very simple plug the plug the connection on the completion of the connection.
The only thing I need to note is that the original Raiden 3 cable of the graphics card dock is only 0.5 m. (Online said Raiden 3 cable can not be too long, if it is too long then the cost is too high. (It is said on the Internet that the cable is not too long, if it is too long the cost will rise significantly.)
If you need to buy your own lightning 3 cable, we recommend caldigit lightning 3 cable, this is to ensure the bandwidth + voltage.

Experience

After the installation, it is straightforward to start, unexpectedly can in 4k resolution will World of Warcraft’s effects to 8 while having 60-70FPS experience.

By the way, a PC in my office, i7 5820k + gtx 1080ti is not stable at 60FPS even at 1080 resolution in many places in the game.

At the same time, the heat on the MacBook Pro itself is very dramatically improved when running with an external graphics card, after all, the internal GPU and graphics work stopped.
At a room temperature of 15 degrees Celsius, the MacBook Pro’s CPU can reach a maximum temperature of 60-70 degrees Celsius, and the graphics card 70-75 degrees Celsius. The notebook fan is still running at 2000+rpm as it does when the screen is only on.

When playing World of Warcraft on a 2015 MacBook Pro, you’d think something was about to take off.

The other thing is the noise, the fan does make some noise at full load, but it’s perfectly acceptable even when it’s on your desk.

Finally

I decided to play World of Warcraft this way because I mainly use a Mac, and the only game I play occasionally is World of Warcraft.
I’d rather play with a PC if I really want to.

A group photo before unboxing, you can see that the docking station is too big compared to the full length graphics card.

After the installation, the image quality is a bit slaggy but it can still be seen larger than many ITX cases.

Plugging it in shows the GPU as vega64 without any additional operation.

World of Warcraft 4k resolution with effects turned up to 8.

The last version of the graphics card test bit, the company’s 1080ti at 1080 resolution only less than 30FPS.