I am just posting this here in case some of you might want to try this out.
I just build a eGPU using Akitio 2 and a Sapphire RX 480 8GB Nitro, for VR development. I will be using windows on Bootcamp of course, but here goes the results of running Unreal Engine on the MacOS side with an eGPU.
WITH eGPU (RX XXX = RX 480)**
You get 2x the FPS and Half the MS using this setup. Furthermore the macbook remains cooler, since all the rendering is done on the eGPU.
It’s not a great increase for the investment, compared to the discreet card, but if compared to the on-board Iris card, it will make a huge difference. AND since the Macbooks without the discreet video card are about US$ 400 cheaper, this setup makes sense.
WITHOUT eGPU (using the built in discreet card R9 M370X)
The word here is portability.
I HAD a US$ 3000 desktop machine, 32Gb, latest GTX video card and all the goodies. I had to switch to a laptop, because I work on the road, traveling between several different cities and therefore cannot keep checking in my desktop + monitors every time I fly to another place. (I did try this and the airline damaged my case on the very 1st flight, and luckly it wasn’t on the motherboard side … and no refunds!)
Now, you are going to reply, “well why don’t you just buy a top windows laptop with 1060/1080 instead”. Well I need to have both systems, since I require to test builds, both on iOS/Android + Win/Mac configurations. So for now carrying a laptop and a shoe-box size case for the eGPU is as mobile as I can go.
So for prices, since you asked:
Macbook Pro 15-2015 == US$ 1500
eGPU Setup == US$ <500
So it’s around US$ 2000 for a Windows/MacOS Setup - VR Ready. So I guess it’s the same as having a Macbook + another windows VR Ready machine, but in this case I can swap the eGPU at any time.
It’s a matter of choice really. This means that next time around, I will not go for a MacBook Pro with a discreet card, I can just get a Macbook 13 or 15" with a Intel Iris card and save about 500 bucks on the whole system.
For the final words. The reason why I posted this is simply because I could not find any post showing this setup, MacOS + eGPU + UE4. It’s a “FYI” only.
yeah man, i was confused for the reason behind it was all. I thought it was cool seeing how far eGPU has come, but, i was wondering with the performance because your eGPU is about 500% better (in average benchamarks) then your internal … lol. Anyways - i see the point of it now
@Angrytoilet. Yep. The results are a bit disappointing. I was thinking it would get to 120-180+ FPS, but no. Although it looks like it’s stuck at around 60FPS, no matter how complex the scene and the UE4 runs a LOT smoother. Also I am running this on the internal display, for what I understand it looses about 30% of performance, when compared to using it with an external display.
I will update this thread with this setup on Windows tomorrow and Windows + Rift in about a fortnight.
awesome, im excited to see if there is a boost (or, not, we dont know) in OS performance. I know i struggle some times with that “fine line” between my 1080GTX and my programmers 900 series. Same OS, but, the hardware differences are simply amazing. I wonder how bad it will be when i add the new RyZen5 in and hes still running his little intel chip lol.
anyways … i am excited to see the difference on your tests