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Macbook Pro + eGPU with TouchDesigner

Discuss graphics hardware, computer hardware, and input/output devices to use with TouchDesigner

Macbook Pro + eGPU with TouchDesigner

Postby n23 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:13 pm

Hi guys, I wanted to give you heads up on my eGPU setup. :)

The official eGPU support from Apple is coming soon, but it's already available with dev-kit and unofficial eGPU enclosures (they are basically the same ). It should run with any PC having a Thunderbolt 3 port. Not all setups are working correctly yet, but the one I'm using seems pretty stable.

My setup is:
* Macbook Pro (15-inch, 2017) with Radeon Pro 560
* Akitio Node eGPU enclosure (firmware 23.1)
* NVIDIA GeForce 1080 Ti

Resuts:

On macOS HighSierra TouchDesigner placed on external screen accelerated by eGPU is working correctly and is stable. I see about 700% performance increase over the laptop's GPU. When I move the TD window to my laptop's screen, the rendering switches to laptop's Radeon and the window content goes red, I can't do anything about it. I think it's related to Radeon's OpenGL drivers. Probably will be fixed on official Apple release.

On Windows (installed via Bootcamp) TouchDesigner works stable both on internal and external screen.

Other card I've tested on this machine and eGPU is Radeon RX580. On macOS I'm getting red screen both on external and internal display.

Overall I'm happy with the setup. It may be more reasonable to get a desktop PC or a gaming laptop, but if you already own a good laptop that only lacks a descent GPU or you want a Mac with a strong GPU - it could be a nice solution.
Last edited by n23 on Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Macbook Pro + eGPU with TouchDesigner

Postby nettoyeur » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:34 am

cool! thanks for posting your results!
Idzard Kwadijk | freelance TouchDesigner consultant | LinkedIn
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Re: Macbook Pro + eGPU with TouchDesigner

Postby n23 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:53 pm

I have to report that I'm encountering occasional crashes on longer sessions. TouchDesigner becomes unresponsive without returning any crash dumps. I'll try to narrow the problem to a specific operation.

The setup isn't ready for production use yet.
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Re: Macbook Pro + eGPU with TouchDesigner

Postby selina » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:59 am

Next time you get a crash, can you see if the system has log any crash reports? I find that I don't always get the dialog saying here's a crash report. You can find the crash reports via ​Applications->Utilities->Console. The Crash reports will be under User Reports and named TouchDesigner099_date-xxx.crash
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