eGPU, macOSX, Akitio Node TB3, Graphics card ?

eGPU discussions and forums ( are showing success stories about enhancing Apple Mac graphic performance. Some promising results and direction with High Sierra OSX. After much research I'm still in the dark as to what graphic card will provide support for multiple projectors in a configuration to say the Matrox tripplehead2go. Most forums are reporting good performance for gaming, enhanced FPS etc. I read that Millumin have been reviewing the Apple eGPU developers kit, any update on that and configuration would be much appreciated.  With the advent of 4K upon us and Lumix GH5 camera that can record hi quality 4k media , Im looking for recommendations on a graphic card that 
A - supports Millumin projector setups
B - Has support in terms of drivers (nvidia pascal is in Beta for MAC)  AMD RX580 seems to have native Apple support
C - Post production Video editing... (some have issues with Final Cut X )
With both Nvidia or AMD i still have not found a configuration setup guide of what is do able on a MAC PRO and then there are Nvidia Quadro's to add to the confusion :-)


  • edited August 2017
    Hello @Mikey,

    We're still testing the Apple eGPU developer-kit.
    We'll share our thoughts when we'd gather enough experience. Thank you for your patience.

    For the record.
    The custom eGPU we tested last year was working greatly on macOS 10.11 (despite you'd have to reboot your machine to detect it).
    It was a GeForce GTX 970 inside a Thunder 2 PCIe Box. Our benchmark on El Capitan scored 8652, so very close to
    We didn't run a lot of tests however, but still got a 4x better FPS in comparison of MBP's Radeon R9 M370X (internal GPU). Indeed, we ran 100 layers of 4K static images at the same time :
    - intern GPU (Radeon R9 M370X, benchmark 1924) —> 12fps
    - extern GPU (GeForce GTX 970, benchmark 8652) —> 60fps

    Best. Philippe
  • Thank you Philippe, look forward to hear your experiences.

    regards Mike
  • edited August 2017
    eGPU update ! 
    After much research i invested in the Akitio Node with the Sapphire Pulse RX580 8GB card. I use 2012 MacBook Pro, first Retina model so it has the Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB as well as the Nvidia GT 650M. macOS Sierra 10.12.5

    This model uses TB 1 so i needed the TB 3-2 adapter for the Akitio Node. Install was straight forward from info and forums at using the sudo ./ script although for this laptop i needed the sudo ./ -a   command. If i did not use (-a) at the end of the command the laptop would not boot and hang.
    At least 1 projector needs to be connected to the eGPU in order for the Mac to switch over to the RX580 graphics card during boot up. Open displays in Mac System preferences and there you will see the projector. Can work in mirror, although not desirable.
    Shifting the menu bar option in the Display layout back to the Mac Pro will switch the graphics back to the inbuilt gpu's. Move the menu bar to the projector and it will switch back to the eGPU Graphic card. The Mac Pro screen will dispaly back ground only with the Projector showing all the usual Mac icons etc.
    Open Millumin, then drag it across onto the Mac Pro screen and set up the projector as usual. Hit command F for Full screen and the Projector shows the mapping and content :-) Extra Projectors connected shows up in the Mac System preference Display panel and you can drag and arrange them accordingly.

    Millumin also shows every display device connected, where you can arrange your final resolution. Performance is just amazing I can run heavy graphics files 6 layers , Quartz files, Syphon from other applications on the same laptop, with out a glitch..and the Laptop runs cool.. Thank you Millumin fantastic software !

  • Hello @Mikey,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. This is really interesting, especially since you use only Thunderbolt 1.

    On our side, we're still running tests on the Apple eGPU for Thunderbolt 3 (so for newest MacBookPro). But so far, it runs really great directly out-of-the-box : it's automatically detected by macOS, that ask you to logout-then-login to use it.
    The performances are nice, depsite we didn't run a benchmark yet to get proper numbers.

    Best. Philippe
  • Thanks Philippe, Are you testing  on macOS High Sierra Beta ? 
  • Hello @Mikey,

    Yes, Apple eGPU requires High Sierra (and Thunderbolt 3).

    Best. Philippe
  • edited August 2017
    We are testing eGPU's and custom builds (hackintosh) We have not had much luck thus far. Our hackintosh build is running OS 10.12.5 with the nVidia Titan XP card. When we connect more than one external display our fps in Millumin drops to 15-30. We are using the updated nVidia web drivers. We also tried the GeForce 980 Classified edition card and the 1080ti card. Same results, dropped fps. We have also outfitted the Akitio Node thunderbolt 3 box with GeForce 1080ti card connected to a brand new touchbar MacPro. Same results, 15-30fps. We thought it might have something to do with the nVidia web drivers so we just started testing the AMD Radeon Vega Frontier card in the Akitio node. For this we are using a touchbar macbook pro with High Sierra beta. The box is recognized and it's a super easy setup. Unfortunately thus far same results, 15-30fps. Our eGPU developers kit just arrived and I have not tested it yet. We will report back once we do. Is this a Millumin issue?
  • Hello @jamesont,

    I doubt it's an issue specific to Millumin. You should check with other softwares.
    It rather looks like you're running Millumin on the MacBookPro's screen, so on the internal GPU, but outputting to external GPU : in this case, the data is constantly transferred between the 2 GPUs (internal and external), causing lags because such an operation is taking time.
    In brief : try to run everything from your eGPU (especially Millumin on a monitor connected directly to the eGPU).

    Best. Philippe
  • Thanks for the suggestion Philippe. I will try running Millumin from an external monitor connected directly to the eGPU, rather than the laptop screen. However, this does not explain why I'm seeing the same issue with the Hackintosh. It's a desktop unit not a laptop and Millumin is always running on the GPU. Will let you know what I find out. We are doing a lot of R&D over here to try and figure this out.
  • edited November 2017
    Hello ,
    I would transfer my show running with Millumin 1 and a Hackintosh  (2 x GTX760) on a newMacBook Pro with thunderbolt3 and eGpu.
    Do you think it's possible ? If yes, wich Graphic card do you recommand ?
    It could help me to go playing the performance to Brasil  :D

  • edited November 2017
    Hello @creal

    The compter selection will largely depend on the topography of your project (resolution, number of layer, number of outputs...). 
    You will find general recommendations about computer selections and graphic cards here

    Depending on what you want to do, you might not need an egpu but use the internal graphic card and some adpaters or expension cards such as datapath. You will find information about this here

    If you really need an egpu, the general solution would be to go with the one recommended by apple. 

    Keep in mind that Millumin always use one GPU to render the images, so having two GPU connected to your computer won't improve the performances. 


    Antoine M*

  • Hello,
    I'm going to use MBP 2017 with a Sonnet eGFX650 + AMD RADEON W9100 with 4 VPs and a second monitor.
    Is it necesseray to put Millumin driving window on the external screen to be sure to run on the eGPU or can i live it on the MBP screen ?

  • Hello @generalh,

    Yes, this is very important !
    Always start Millumin from a monitor connected to your eGPU and do not display Millumin's interface on your MacBookPro's display.
    The reason is hardware : if the rendering is all done on the eGPU, it shouldn't come back to your internal GPU to be displayed on your MacBookPro, because such an operation uses a lot of bandwidth.

    We wrote a post on the help center about it :

    Best. Philippe
  • edited August 2019
    I'm going to use MBP 2017 with a Sonnet eGFX650 + AMD RADEON W9100 with 4 VPs and a second monitor.
    Is it necesseray to put Millumin driving window on the external screen to be sure to run on the eGPU or can i live it on the MBP screen ?


    @generalh  : did u use a W9100 or WX9100 ?? 

    these are two different cards. 
  • Hello @Arveen,

    With latest Millumin V2 and V3, it automatically selects your eGPU as the main GPU. No need to run Millumin from a specific screen.
    However, it's recommended to display Millumin's interface on a screen managed by your eGPU (to avoid useless flow fo data between your MBP and the eGPU). More info on this post.

    The Radeon Pro WX9100 is supported by macOS, and you can find builds on
    The Firepro W9100 doesn't seem to be supported yet, see this post.

    Best. Philippe
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