External GPU case for new versions of MBP

Mac Technical Support
Good evening US folks from Russia, with love!

I run wow on the latest version of MBP available, yet I have to admit that I'm not any happy with a framerate while doing even 20man raids (30-man raids are a total disaster). I don't really want to buy a PC and prefer to stay with Apple stack, since WoW is the only game I play nowadays, so I want to do something about it. According to iStat Menus logs, my CPU usage of my i7-3820hq is never getting above 60% when I'm raiding, so the bottleneck should be my GPU (Radeon Pro 560). I do agree that running game on retina display is a bit too much for this adapter which could be barely considered as a gaming card, but also I'm happy with how smooth the picture is and don't really want to lower my resolution. So I decided to go with GPU case idea, and now I'm really lost, since it looks like there's no standard and many companies sell a lot of devices, some are compatible with Apple devices, and some aren't.

So I have a two questions:
1) Will GTX1060-level GPU will be enough for smooth ~60+ FPS in raids (medium settins, projected textures on, shadows off) on 15-inch MBP display (2880 x 1800 resolution)? Or should I get 1070 instead?
2) What about built-in display support? I don't really want to keep another monitor around the house, so I'm not ready to consider options with no built-in display support, unless there's none of them.
3) Am I right that nVidia driver support on macOS is a bit 'hackey' and unofficial right now, and it's better for me to buy Radeon instead?
4) Most important, is there anyone on this forum who uses new (2016+) version of MBP with external GPU case and could just tell me which device to buy? This is the most interesting thing for me, since on web, I found a few videos of eGPU being used with 2013 version of MBP, but I never saw 2016 one.

So anyway, looking for any option which is below $700-800 total (assuming I should buy both eGPU case + graphic card), hoping that there is any viable solution for me instead of buying PC which I don't really need for anything but raiding.
You need to use an external monitor as there is no support for using the internal display on macOS.

Unless you're confident using the terminal and confident in repeating the process, buy AMD. The RX 580 is probably the best value in terms of price vs performance right now, as Vega is still on the pricey side.

Check the eGPU subreddit (or egpu.io) for advice on which box to buy.

Keep in mind, for the price of the eGPU box, GPU itself, monitor, and whatever other accessories you need (keyboard, speakers, etc), you could buy yourself a mid-range Windows PC which has a dramatically reduced risk of breaking whenever Apple feel like deprecation something.

Also keep in mind that eGPU support on Windows (bootcamp) is shaky and how difficult the setup is depends on the model of Mac you have. Reports are that the 2017 15" MBP works out of box, but the 2016 does not. The 13" does not, and required more console trickery.

eGPUs - at this stage - are not ready for prime time, and you are looking at quite a hefty investment if all you want to do is play WoW at a better frame rate.
This has some links to reviews/web sites, detailing the issues and advantages/disadvantages to using an eGPU.

https://us.battle.net/forums/en/wow/topic/20762287901

A hackintosh is also a possibility if you are inclined to build a PC, but it does require a certain amount of technical ability.
I run a 2017 MBP 15 with a Razer core X, inside is a Vega 64. I could not be more happy with my setup. I have two 4k monitors and run the graphics near maxed out but things I don't care about like shadows. You can't just turn everything up, you have to do a little tweaking if you want 4k with 60 fps but you don't lose much. View distance at 8 or less. With a little tweaking 60 fps with pretty high settings and the game looks amazing.

P.S. Get the Razer core X, it is the best one I have seen. It's amazing.
06/12/2018 09:42 PMPosted by Nighttstorm
I run a 2017 MBP 15 with a Razer core X, inside is a Vega 64. I could not be more happy with my setup. I have two 4k monitors and run the graphics near maxed out but things I don't care about like shadows. You can't just turn everything up, you have to do a little tweaking if you want 4k with 60 fps but you don't lose much. View distance at 8 or less. With a little tweaking 60 fps with pretty high settings and the game looks amazing.

P.S. Get the Razer core X, it is the best one I have seen. It's amazing.


Thank you for this! This is exactly what I was considering. So hard to find mac gamer testimonials online

On my mid 2015 MBP I was always on the high end of the RAM usage for Legion. Do you ever run into issues with only the stock 16GB running those settings? Also how is the computer heat and fans when running with the egpu?
06/12/2018 09:42 PMPosted by Nighttstorm
I run a 2017 MBP 15 with a Razer core X, inside is a Vega 64. I could not be more happy with my setup. I have two 4k monitors and run the graphics near maxed out but things I don't care about like shadows. You can't just turn everything up, you have to do a little tweaking if you want 4k with 60 fps but you don't lose much. View distance at 8 or less. With a little tweaking 60 fps with pretty high settings and the game looks amazing.

P.S. Get the Razer core X, it is the best one I have seen. It's amazing.


Hey Nighttstorm,

PLEASE HELP! I have the Core X with the Vega 56 running with a MBP 15 2017
as well.

Im finding in game, via MacOS Im capped at 30 FPS.

I then run the "GPU History" in activity monitor, then I see a 60 FPS but with the "GPU History" constantly on my screen.

What your doing to constantly get high frame rates
08/05/2018 01:30 PMPosted by Raskal

Hey Nighttstorm,

PLEASE HELP! I have the Core X with the Vega 56 running with a MBP 15 2017
as well.

Im finding in game, via MacOS Im capped at 30 FPS.

I then run the "GPU History" in activity monitor, then I see a 60 FPS but with the "GPU History" constantly on my screen.

What your doing to constantly get high frame rates


It would help if you told us what resolution you are running at.

I assume you are using an external monitor with the eGPU right?

The Vega 56 is not as powerful as the 64, but I don't recall off hand how much weaker.
08/05/2018 02:48 PMPosted by Akainakali
08/05/2018 01:30 PMPosted by Raskal

Hey Nighttstorm,

PLEASE HELP! I have the Core X with the Vega 56 running with a MBP 15 2017
as well.

Im finding in game, via MacOS Im capped at 30 FPS.

I then run the "GPU History" in activity monitor, then I see a 60 FPS but with the "GPU History" constantly on my screen.

What your doing to constantly get high frame rates


It would help if you told us what resolution you are running at.

I assume you are using an external monitor with the eGPU right?

The Vega 56 is not as powerful as the 64, but I don't recall off hand how much weaker.


Sorry, yeah just running 1080p.

Strange thing is I have everything up high and it can take it at that res.

But when I don't have the "GPU History" on, it caps at 30 fps. Then when I switch it on... BOOM I get the maximum my screen can output at 60fps
08/05/2018 04:51 PMPosted by Raskal

Sorry, yeah just running 1080p.

Strange thing is I have everything up high and it can take it at that res.

But when I don't have the "GPU History" on, it caps at 30 fps. Then when I switch it on... BOOM I get the maximum my screen can output at 60fps


This is on an external monitor correct? At that resolution, you really shouldn't have any trouble hitting the 60 fps cap with that system.

Have you double checked what you have the frame rate capped at?

I'm not really seeing any noticeable effect from having the GPU history running on my frame rates, but I'm using an nVidia card on a considerably more powerful desktop with far better cooling. So I'm not sure what to say about the result you are seeing.
is external monitor required to use eGPU with macbook?
Basically it depends on the hardware your macbook has, the lower end the hardware is the less likely it is of being able to run the game currently. Depending on the mac, anything more than 3-4 years old might be too old. High end hardware will still work that's a few years older, possibly
up to 5-7 years old.

As far as the eGPUs goes, the catch-22 however is that most of the macs with hardware that are old enough for a eGPU being required/necessary are also too old to have the Thunderbolt 3 connection necessary to use an eGPU.

One possible alternative is to use bootcamp (IE. run windows), since the inability of a lot of the macs to run the current incarnation of wow is primarily due to Apple's refusal to update the OpenGL API that the game used to use. Basically the game now requires support for Apple's Metal API and a lot of the older hardware is not supported with that.
Just to pile on a bit.

I just replaced my iMAC(due to dead GPU) with a new MBP. playing WoW with the dedicated GPU is a very sad experience. Since eGPU support is still relatively new I decided to dip my toes in to get a feel for it. I run in clamshell mode and have a nice little USB-C dock for all my connectivity needs

My setup:
2018 MBP(High Sierra) Core i9,32Gb Ram (don't you judge me) :)
Sonnet eGPU Puck with RX570. It's small and quiet
Samsung UHD UE590

I lock my FPS to 60 and the slider is set to 5, with most things set to Good or High. I still get a very small amount of tear every now and again, but nothing I can't live with and honestly barely notice anymore.

The gameplay is great for me and I have been in LFR as well as Normal/Heroic runs with my guild. I do believe that for we Mac users, eGPU's will likely become part of our day to day WoW experience..
11/01/2018 01:29 PMPosted by Izula
Just to pile on a bit.

I just replaced my iMAC(due to dead GPU) with a new MBP. playing WoW with the dedicated GPU is a very sad experience. Since eGPU support is still relatively new I decided to dip my toes in to get a feel for it. I run in clamshell mode and have a nice little USB-C dock for all my connectivity needs

My setup:
2018 MBP(High Sierra) Core i9,32Gb Ram (don't you judge me) :)
Sonnet eGPU Puck with RX570. It's small and quiet
Samsung UHD UE590

I lock my FPS to 60 and the slider is set to 5, with most things set to Good or High. I still get a very small amount of tear every now and again, but nothing I can't live with and honestly barely notice anymore.

The gameplay is great for me and I have been in LFR as well as Normal/Heroic runs with my guild. I do believe that for we Mac users, eGPU's will likely become part of our day to day WoW experience..


As someone who is also running the Blackmagic eGPU with my 2018 MBP i9, the eGPU is just a must at this point. I will also be ordering the new BlackMagic Pro once it’s available to place an order. Not just for WoW, but for work too.

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