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+10 votes
asked by (22 points)


I'm using X-Plane on MAC OS High Sierra on a MacBook pro 2017 that support external GPU's (Graphic Processing Unit) that embeds Radeon RX570. Model is Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX570. it's supported by both Mac OS and Windows 10 actually

I use it with a few video/image processing software that already support it, some games do as well.

I can see that X-Plane doesn't recognise eGPU's connected to laptop at the moment. Any plans to support it ? That would be great as it would allow to use X-Plane with much better performance, good graphics and no lag on compliant laptops and personally my MacBook pro while I travel... ?

commented by (10 points)
Extremely interested in the Mac OS e-gpu combination.  Is there any way we can contribute to helping fix this bug?
commented by (25 points)
edited response
commented by (24 points)
It would be (very) nice if Laminar deals with this or advises if they have dealt with it.  There are a lot of X-Planers who use Macs.  When I left PC's for Macs several years ago, Microsoft's FS had no Apple/Mac application, so I turned to X-Plane.  I've got a new MacBookPro and a Blackmagic eGPU Pro.  The graphic support, the horsepower are there.

X-Plane is clearly the best flight sim out there.  It needs to be tweaked a bit to capture the large and growing Mac user community.

2 Answers

+5 votes
answered by (19.3k points)
We have an open bug feature request on this, but I do not know if or when our developers will look into it. We are a fairly small team, and there're always a lot of features competing for development time.
commented by (19.3k points)
There has been no change on this. The expectation is that users with an eGPU will have it plugged into a second monitor. We do not expect it to work with the built in monitor. If you have this set up as described and still see problems you can file a bug with detailed information about your set up and the log.txt.
commented by (27 points)

"The expectation is that users with an eGPU will have it plugged into a second monitor. "

Why would that be a logical expectation? Only if you have a desktop like an iMac in which case you probably wouldn't bother with an eGPU.

If you have a MacBook Pro you will use an eGPU as your main monitor in all cases. So yes this does need fixing. And it does work in Windows bootcamp!???

commented by (10 points)
I'm using a Gigabyte RX480 gaming box with a MacBook Pro and have the current X-Plane 11.30b7. There's no change with the beta - the eGPU does not work correctly with the Mac version of X-Plane. This is true in all configurations:

- using an external monitor as the display

- using the internal monitor as the display with Mac Mojave's "Prefer eGPU" checked

- using the internal monitor with a headless ghost adapter in the eGPU

Note it's not that is doesn't work. Mac's Activity Monitor confirms it is using the eGPU at 100%, and some graphic features like SSAO, which do not work with the integrated graphics, work with the eGPU plugged in. It's that the frame rate with the eGPU is 20 fps lower than the integrated Iris 540 graphics. The exception to this is when the plane is over water, in which case the frame rate is 60 fps (versus the integrated graphics 40 fps). In this case, turning the plane so that land is visible quickly tanks fps to single digits (even if autogen is set to minimal).

As others have mentioned, if I run X Plane in Windows Bootcamp with an external monitor, the eGPU works better, giving me a consistent 10 - 15 FPS boost versus integrated graphics. The boost still seems low, though, for an RX480.

I hope Mac eGPU support is added at some point. X-Plane is one of the main reasons I purchased an eGPU.
commented by (20 points)
Hi, jroberts.

Is there any news on adding/fixing eGPU support for macOS?

commented by (25 points)
edited by

A year on and still not fixed :(! This is poor from X-plane and the Laminar team. Come on guys, this is not a feature request per se. This is about getting the software to recognise and utilise all the available hardware at the OS' disposal, or letting Xplane pass onto the OS the such handling of graphics in the same way as Final Cut X or Adobe Premier can. My RX580 will soon become obsolete/outdated, if it isn't already, before a fix is made :s

+1 vote
answered by (21 points)
From al I can gather X-Plane will work with a EGPU with an external monitor as the gPU is not depending on X-Plane. Hopw that helps. Just make sure whoever you purchase from has a return policy just in case.
commented by (27 points)

No, that is not quite true. 

It will work (almost), but you get frame rates that are a fraction of what you get with the on board GPU. It is un-useable. So don't bother at present. But this is known to developers and is the bug mentioned above.

If the latest beta has fixed this as  suggests then we'll all be happy. 

But it does work perfectly in Bootcamp. I have x-plane running with my MacBook pro 2017 and eGPU in windows Bootcamp. Though the issue here was getting the eGPU to work in Bootcamp which can be a bit tricky depending on your Mac, firmware etc. I had to install the non-official bootcamp video drivers to make it work.

But I just wish the developers would fix X-plane then I wouldn't have to boot to windows to fly.

commented by (22 points)
edited by
Actually you need X-Plane to embed eGPU support otherwise it wall only recognise the built-in video adapter.

I confirm that X-Plane still does not support eGPU using latest beta