2018 MacBook Air Windows 10 RTX 2080 eGPU gaming setup!

How to turn the 2018 MacBook Air into a legit Windows gaming machine with an RTX 2080 eGPU! Read full tutorial:

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57 Comments on 2018 MacBook Air Windows 10 RTX 2080 eGPU gaming setup!

    • Are drivers coming out down the road officially from Apple? Im about to purchase the new Mac mini. Want to get a egpu, but not sure which one to buy. If Apple’s going to support Nvidia then I think I want to get one with a Nvidia gpu.

    • +Herminio Gonzalez Apple doesn’t support Nvidia GPUs officially, nor do they release drivers: it’s Nvidia’s business (Apple can only offer assistance). As far as I understand Nvidia is having troubles adapting their drivers for Metal 2 compatibility. If you want an eGPU for OS X, you should consider AMD.

    • Lots of variables in play here, but it can improve performances. It’s hard to say exactly how much, a lot depends on what you’re doing, the machine you’re using, eGPU choice, etc. For adobe, it hurts that there’s no macOS Nvidia support though.i.e. No Cuda accelerator.

    • +Josh Biggs Gaming PC still costs more than an eGPU enclosure & GPU though (bearing in mind Jeff already had the Macbook Air, and didn’t buy it just to play games on). I think the point Jeff is trying to illustrate is that if Mac users want to play PC games, buying an eGPU enclosure and sticking in a graphics card of your choice is now a viable option – and cheaper than buying a whole gaming rig. I know you could build a gaming PC for less than the cost of the Macbook Air + eGPU – but then that doesn’t run MacOS, so that totally misses the point.

    • Josh Biggs I can see where you’re coming from. Still, I like having my MacBook Pro that I plug into my monitor to do work with on MAC OS, and then immediately being able to switch to windows and play games on the same monitor. It’s just a simpler and cleaner than having an extra alien RBG glowing machine sitting in the corner taking up extra space.

    • +Josh Biggs if you already have a macbook air/pro then it would make sense instead of buying a new rig on top of already owning a macbook. I would do something like this in my case for gaming purpose while still using my macbook on the go.

    • The cost of the setup shown not including the MacBook Air is over $3300. The MacBook Air is $1150. This brings your total to about $4500. If you really want to game on this computer and have money to burn sure go ahead but it’s more of something to do just because you can do it rather than it’s practical.

  1. Hi guys I want to keep you in the know how !
    I use a MacBook Pro 2018 i5 quad core and I play games on it with my egpu (Rx 580) I used that card because it is natively supported via Mac os itself. So after a few hiccups I had everything running playing siege at 150/160 FPS. Amazing. Now here’s the issue. Whenever I head over to see my cpu Temps my computer is rocking at a nice 80-90 degrees Celsius. You will need some element of cooling, if anyone wishes to let me know when to get that would be great but the computers temp sky rockets !

    • Azza S You are *exactly* in my shoes! I’m also a student and bought the 2018 Pro because of 6 cores with me everywhere. The difference is, I lost interest in gaming a while back and am slowly getting back into it. So I also don’t want to build an expensive dedicated system.

    • +AbuBakr Akram I will make an exit hole, or build a little wedge with the whole cooling inside. (similar to a laptop-cooling-pad) but connected directly to the cpu.
      I don´t care about warranty.
      I will use it for my HTC Vive VR. AND get the wireless set for the Vive. then all will be sleek and sexy : )

    • +Dennis Vanderben they have a horrible heat management, and go into thermothrotteling. (should not happen for machines that expensive) that´s why I didnt buy the 2018 Macbook Pro. I will wait for a future generation
      …or cool it myself, let´s see. need to check more about peltier elements too.

  2. When it comes to overall performance of a Mac (Web scrolling, resizing Windows, ect), what is most important? CPU or GPU? My Mac Mini uses HD4000, and I think that’s why I have issues (Processor is a bit old too, but not ancient, i5 2.5ghz)

    • Joe Tischer I’ll say this: I went from a 2016 13” dual core to a 2018 15” 6-core, and my day to day performance fell. Here’s my theory: I know that the Radeon GPU stays off most of the time, and the Intel one is being used. Well, the Intel Iris in my 13” was MORE powerful than the Intel HD in my 15”. I think that’s what general performance seems lower to me.

    • You can already… Apple makes computers with dedicated grapics that are more than capable. The MacBook Air is a tiny laptop that’s not intended for gaming. It’s made for students and business.

    • +Josh C well everything when it comes to computers is depending on how much you want to spend. The manufacturer of my PC was “being cheap” by not installing a 1080TI in my system. Instead it has a crappy 1070. Everyone knows Apple charges more for the same hardware as compared to a Windows PC. If you just discovered this then I’m not sure what to say. Apple isn’t selling hardware but rather an ecosystem with services included. It’s a choice to pay more for that and if you’re just trying to play games it probably doesn’t make sense to do this.

    • +BrookNeese Agreed the MacBook Air is awesome for a college student so I’m not saying don’t buy the MacBook Air. What I’m saying is it’s silly to spend the price of two laptops to make a laptop do something it’s not meant to do. I’m not sure what country you’re in but in the US we can own more than one computer. Rather than spend spending the $3300 on accessories to make the MacBook play games it makes more sense to spend about $1400 – $2000 to buy a gaming computer. I’m not anti Apple but rather the opposite. I have an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and will buy a MacBook soon when I save enough. I just think what he did was silly when it comes to spending so much to get so little. Now like I said in a different comment if you’re rich or have rich parents and money is no object then why not. At that point you can do silly things that make no sense with your money and it’s no big deal.

    • +Calvin Walker I don’t exactly agree with the pricing in your argument. I think it’s only fair to count an eGPU enclosure (e.g. $300 for a Razer Core X) and a GPU (e.g. $250 for a GTX 1060 6GB), because other accessories (a monitor, mouse+keyboard, external drive) are something you need for any serious work on a laptop at home anyway (likewise, you would have to buy these for your desktop machine). For $550 you won’t be able to build a decent desktop (it’s like buying an Intel Core i5 and the same GPU).
      From my point of view, the real issue is MBA itself. If you are going to game, I’d say it’s better to consider the base configuration MBP 13″ (without touchbar). It’s only 100g heavier and costs $100 more, but has a far more capable CPU (when it comes to cooling).

    • +Ilia Korvigo I was talking about this video and the setup he used in it. For pricing I used the Amazon links listed in the video and only counted those items. I guess you could use a cheaper setup but that’s not this video. He literally spent $3300 to get a MacBook Air to play a game that wasn’t even really graphics intensive by today’s standards.

    • Only need thunderbolt 3 on the TV if your eGPU has Thunderbolt 3 out. Thunderbolt 3 is only really needed on the Mac, to connect to the eGPU enclosure. HDMI should be fine to your 4K TV, as pretty much all GPUs have and HDMI out.

  3. Love this, Jeff. Right on time. Really appreciate all of the details you walk through – where to plug in what, settings, potential problems, etc. Another outstanding video from you, Sir. Thanks for everything you do.

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