question about eGPU

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DroneFLyStudio

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question about eGPU

PostFri Jul 31, 2020 6:50 pm

Hi... a new user with my second post....

I have an iMac from 2015 with a good amount of RAM at 32GB, and and 4 GHz i7 processor.... Problem is the graphics card, an AMD Radeon R9 M395 with 2 GB vram.... I have struggled enormously with editing and coloring with a project, a 7 min video with multiple cuts... My GPU usage is pretty much 100% when I am doing anything in the color window..

Should mention that getting another machine is not an option, sorry to say....

SO... I have been looking into an eGPU... Problem is my iMac has only thunderbolt 2 connections, so I can't just get, say, a Sonnet breakaway and a graphics card... After some more research I discovered that there is a workaround... It involves using a Purge Wrangler script in the terminal, and an Apple Thunderbolt 2 to 3 converter... It seems a pretty simple procedure, and from what I can tell not much can go wrong...

Though, due to my experiences of late when I say "from what I can tell not much can go wrong" I get immediately quite anxious...

So I just wanted to ask if anyone has done something like this, and if setting it up is as simple as it seems....

I think I would get a Sonnet breakaway 550 box and an AMD Radeon RX580... Not the best card but my budget is extremely small at the moment, and at least it has 8 GB vram...

I am all too aware that down the road I will have to get a different computer, but for now I just need a way to work on smaller projects without having to wait for a clip to render to cache every time I make a change.... Trying to get this last project done I would make one small correction and have to wait 30 seconds to a minute or two in order to watch the clip, making final editing extremely arduous... I assume this process would be made easier if I was processing with a GPU that wasn't at its limit all the time while working in Resolve...

Advice/thoughts would be VERY welcome... Thanks!
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Uli Plank

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSat Aug 01, 2020 7:03 am

Sorry to put water with the wine, but forget it. TB2 is too slow.
Rather get a slightly younger iMac with TB3 and the 580 inside.
Resolve Studio 16.2.2 and Fusion Studio under MacOS Mojave 10.14.6
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
Mac mini 16 GB RAM plus eGFX Breakway Radeon RX 580
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DroneFLyStudio

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSat Aug 01, 2020 7:43 pm

Uli Plank wrote:Sorry to put water with the wine, but forget it. TB2 is too slow.
Rather get a slightly younger iMac with TB3 and the 580 inside.



Hi... Thanks for the message... I actually talked to a Resolve instructor here in Denver this morning and he said the same thing... I just came back to update and saw your post...

I have a friend that may be able to help me get an updated iMac and just pay him back over a little time, but he wants to get one from Costco.... The current model they have available has a AMD Radeon Pro 570X.... its better than I have with 4GB vram and a faster processor, and while the RAM is less I can just take the 32 GB out of mine and swap....

This is a huge help from a friend... It would be a much better machine for me than what I have.... Is the 580 THAT much better??
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MartinOzFox

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSun Aug 02, 2020 1:13 am

I have an 2017 iMac with the 580 and it works really well with resolve, I mostly do HD often from 4K sources with 5 to 7 nodes ( correctors, windows, etc, no noise reduction). Playback is always real time and most renders are 70 - 90 FPS.
iMac i7 2018 32GB Rx580 8GB
Ezio CS2420, BMD Ultrastudio,Tangent ripple, midigrade, Keymand+keyboard maestro, Sata Raid
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Uli Plank

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSun Aug 02, 2020 4:42 pm

If 4K is somewhere in your near future, go for the 580. If not, 4 GB VRAM is fine.
Resolve Studio 16.2.2 and Fusion Studio under MacOS Mojave 10.14.6
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
Mac mini 16 GB RAM plus eGFX Breakway Radeon RX 580
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DroneFLyStudio

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSun Aug 02, 2020 5:28 pm

MartinOzFox wrote:I have an 2017 iMac with the 580 and it works really well with resolve, I mostly do HD often from 4K sources with 5 to 7 nodes ( correctors, windows, etc, no noise reduction). Playback is always real time and most renders are 70 - 90 FPS.


Thanks Martin... that mirrors what my work looks like too...

Uli Plank wrote:If 4K is somewhere in your near future, go for the 580. If not, 4 GB VRAM is fine.


Thanks again Uli... I do shoot 4K for Mavic footage, and it's in dlog at H.265, which as I have come to understand is pretty hard on the processor.... So at the very least, even if my editing is not for and output of 4K now, it makes sense to have that as a possibility for the future....

This has been really helpful as it can be tough to know who to trust with this info... The machine I have now, for example, I was told it would work fine....

One (I think) last question though... I was reading on a site by a guy called Richard Lackey that its important to have at least an I7 Core... Most of the newer iMacs that I have seen that have the 580 video card have the i5 processor... Even the new iMac on the apple site have a baseline i5 and its a $400 upgrade to go to the i9...

Just wondering your thoughts on the processor... If I find a used machine with a i5 but all the other specs are good (580 card) should I not go for it or wait to find an i7 or higher?

There is a perfect model on craig's list with great specs for $2500... but I am a little hesitant to buy used from craig's list even if I check it out, because if something goes wrong with it I won't have the money to deal with a problem... But this one has an i7 processor, 40 gb RAM and the pro 580x....

We'll see how this shakes out!
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DroneFLyStudio

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Re: question about eGPU

PostMon Aug 03, 2020 1:07 am

Update... My friend is really stepping up... He said don't get something that flubs though, get what works... (I mean, I can't get a iMac Pro, but I can get an iMac with good specs...)

So I think I'm going to get a new iMac with the following specs.... Let me know if you guys think I'm making the right call...

- i9 8 core base 3.6 GHz with the turbo boost to 5.0 GHz
- will get 8 GB RAM but will replace with four 16 GB cards for a total of 64 GB (friend knows a good site for purchase of the RAM)
- 2 TB fusion drive
- Radeon Pro 580X with 8 GB

Apple has listed the Radeon Pro 580X card but its an upcharge of $50 and I am inclined to not do that... I am already asking a huge favor.... So I had no plans to think about that card because it puts the cost over $3K....

Seems like the 580 does really well for most people doing smaller projects....

I had a brief thought to wait for the new iMac with the Apple-made processor, but that's probably a long way off for the higher end iMac... Seems like the notebooks, especially the Air, will roll out first, and things have been delayed due to the virus, so I wouldn't expect the new processor iMacs will be here for a while, and I need to work now... Not to mention being a little hesitant to move to a gen one platform...

Anyway, I think the above specs will serve me very well for a good long while....
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Dejan Špagnut

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Re: question about eGPU

PostMon Aug 03, 2020 11:00 am

New Intel iMacs are supposed to be just around the corner, so you should at least wait a few days and see what is going to be on offer. You might even get a better deal on a 2019 one.

I would sugest you to aim for at least a 512 GB SSD instead of fusion drive. If you could strech for a Vega 48 that would also be highly beneficial to Resolve.
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DroneFLyStudio

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Re: question about eGPU

PostWed Aug 05, 2020 2:32 am

Dejan Špagnut wrote:New Intel iMacs are supposed to be just around the corner, so you should at least wait a few days and see what is going to be on offer. You might even get a better deal on a 2019 one.

I would sugest you to aim for at least a 512 GB SSD instead of fusion drive. If you could strech for a Vega 48 that would also be highly beneficial to Resolve.



Not yet sure if I can stretch to the Vega and SSD.... We'll see... Its not really up to me, so I'll be really grateful to be in better stead with whatever my friend is comfortable getting...

Definitely going to wait for the new Intel release, hopefully this week or next.... Maybe that will drop the price of the i9 down a bit and make some room....

Couple questions....

Why not a 1 TB SSD?

And if you could only do one of the two upgrades (SSD or Vega) on the i9 which do you think is more important?

Thanks!
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Dejan Špagnut

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Re: question about eGPU

PostWed Aug 05, 2020 2:35 pm

There you go, new iMacs are here, per your request…

As you already discovered, graphics chip is very important for Resolve image processing and it can not be replaced or upgraded later, so it is a best practice to buy as powerful GPU with as much VRAM as you can. You could add an eGPU latter, but that is just a mediocre and somewhat expensive solution suffering from Thunderbolt 3 bottlenecking.

On the other hand, having an SSD of some decent size is important as well, for running os and apps, and also for cashing files, but additional storage for media files and renders can be added easily over Thunderbolt 3 or USB 3.1 gen 2, without much of a performance hit, so if you have to save money, it is better to spend more on GPU and less on SSD.
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DroneFLyStudio

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Re: question about eGPU

PostThu Aug 06, 2020 10:50 pm

Thanks for all you help!!

Getting a new iMac, 10th gen i9, Radeon 5700XT with 16 GB GDDR6 memory, and a 1 TB SSD....

I'll get aftermarket RAM from OWC, 2 16 GB cards for now, so 32 GB....

Very happy the way things are going to work out... Don't have it yet, but hopefully next week....
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Uli Plank

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Re: question about eGPU

PostFri Aug 07, 2020 10:07 am

You're gonna love it.
Resolve Studio 16.2.2 and Fusion Studio under MacOS Mojave 10.14.6
iMac 2017 Radeon Pro 580 8 GB VRAM and 32 GB RAM
Mac mini 16 GB RAM plus eGFX Breakway Radeon RX 580
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MartinOzFox

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSun Aug 09, 2020 6:26 am

I would be very interested to hear how it works out, as I was thinking hackintosh before these new confiqs came out.
iMac i7 2018 32GB Rx580 8GB
Ezio CS2420, BMD Ultrastudio,Tangent ripple, midigrade, Keymand+keyboard maestro, Sata Raid
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James Harkness

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Re: question about eGPU

PostSun Aug 09, 2020 10:58 pm

DroneFLyStudio wrote:Thanks for all you help!!

Getting a new iMac, 10th gen i9, Radeon 5700XT with 16 GB GDDR6 memory, and a 1 TB SSD....

I'll get aftermarket RAM from OWC, 2 16 GB cards for now, so 32 GB....

Very happy the way things are going to work out... Don't have it yet, but hopefully next week....



you gonna be blown away by the difference in that computer compared to your old one. Enjoy, and many thanks to your friend.

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