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P-Mac

15" MBP GT750m + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (Thunder2) + Ammo Case + W10/macOS 10.12 Sierra

48 posts in this topic

Jh3VO3w.jpg

 

Locked and Loaded.

"DotPusher v2.0a" 

 

Hardware:

  • Mid-2014 MacBook Pro (15-inch)
    • Core i7-4980HQ (2.8 GHz)
    • NVIDIA GT 750m
  • NVIDIA GTX 980 4GB, Reference
  • Also tested with: EVGA GTX 1080 SC (see bottom of post)
  • Akitio Thunder2
  • Corsair 550w ATX PSU
  • IKEA RISSLA Magazine File (lol)
  • "Fat .50" Ammo Can (800 rd 5.56mm)

 

Software:

  • Windows 10
  • OS X 10.11.5
  • automate-eGPU.sh
  • rEFInd Boot Manager
  • apple_set_os EFI application

 

Tools:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Channel-lock Pliers (or vise grips)
  • Jigsaw / Dremel / Angle Grinder / Metal File / Sandpaper

 

The Build

Honestly, the build was surprisingly simple! Popped open the Akitio, used channel-lock pliers to pry the front side of the Akitio open to allow for the length of the GPU. Added gaff tape over all of the metal parts, just in case the card came into contact with the bare metal of the bent Akitio enclosure. 

 

Got the card handy, a gorgeous little reference model GeForce GTX 980.

Spoiler

 

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vy3pYwG.jpg?1

 

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On a side note, I actually had an MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G but ended up trading it for this reference unit, as it was one of the ugliest pieces of hardware I've ever seen, and the reference models are just beautiful. (Form over function, but isn't that the Apple way? :P)

 

The card slotted right in, no problems here.

Spoiler

 

BgMYhRc.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

Next up was the power supply. I used a Corsair 550w unit, but cut everything besides the two PCIe power connectors and the CPU 12v rail (to power the Akitio). Terminated all the ends with shrink wrap and gaff tape on top of that, and taped all the unused lines down to the side of the PSU. It was also during this step where I hotwired the PSU to always be "on" via the paperclip trick...except I just traced those wires back to where I was going to make my cut, and soldered them together.

 

For the Akitio's power, I used the molex-to-barrel-adapter guide, but instead of being patient and getting a proper barrel connector with two leads, I cut the barrel connector off of the Akitio's power supply that came in the box. I like to live life in the moment, I guess...but the fruits of my labor were revealed when I stripped the wire and it turned out to be coaxial instead of side-by-side! No matter, I said to myself, as I twisted the outer fibers into a solderable piece of wire, and stripped the inner wire as well. Verified polarity via a multimeter, and soldered the Akitio barrel connector to the CPU12v line from the PSU. A bit of shrink-wrap and gaff tape later, and I had a nice little feed for the Akitio coming off of the PSU. 

 

No powered riser bs, no extra Akitio power supply. Clean and simple. PCIe plugs went straight into the GPU, I gave em a little bend so they'd hug the edge of the magazine holder. I also re-routed the front LED from the Akitio's box around the back of the PCB to where the Akitio power plug is, so that that area of the magazine holder lights up blue when the card is active. 

Spoiler

 

ETVWpMa.jpg?1

 

P5MjjTK.jpg?1

 

Bv6SSs0.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

At this point, I took the magazine holder and made cutouts for the GPU ports, ventilation, and PSU ventilation. Covered the rough edges with gaff tape so they wouldn't fray and get sucked into a fan (plus it looks a bit less janky). The Akitio with GPU slid perfectly into one side of the magazine holder (make your measurements first before going shopping!), but was sitting too low for my cutout to be centered on the GPU's cooler...nothing a little packing foam (from the Akitio box!) couldn't fix. 

 

The PSU slid in with...some effort. 

Spoiler

 

dcncFzH.jpg?1

 

loLQrIb.jpg?1

 

hRTxDuB.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

From my measurements, I knew the PSU wasn't necessarily going to fit, but it was close enough that with a bunch of gaff tape to keep the bottom and sides secure, it doesn't move anywhere and there are no signs of any danger of it falling out after a good 2 weeks with the setup. I just try to keep this side hidden, it's pretty garish. 

 

EDIT 070416 (MURICA DAY)

 

Added green underlighting because #AMDsux #teamNVIDIA (lol). Here she is at work (literally, at my work), powering 2x 120 Hz displays & a bunch of OpenCL compute.

 

Spoiler

kq9z0O0.jpg

 

The Experience

It was time to start her up. Plugged in PSU, switched it on, plugged my 4K 60Hz monitor into the eGPU, plugged the TB cable into the Mac and hit the power button. Fired right up, booted into Windows and re-installed the NVIDIA drivers. After a reboot, the card was recognized, and I was playing Doom (2016) at ultra quality 1440p inside of 10 minutes. Not too shabby! 

 

I spent some time in MSI Afterburner, customizing a fan curve to keep it pretty quiet during moderately high gaming workloads, but ramp the fans up quickly if the temperature went north of 70º C. Boy, this thing is loud when the fans are at full tilt, but I'm glad they; the reference cooler is no slouch, and with fans cranked to max it's actually able to pull down the temperature from 80 down to 70 while furmarking! 

 

With a bit of tinkering, I settled on a final, furmark-for-8-hours-stable overclock of +225 MHz core, and 7400 MHz on the memory. Using ThrottleStop, I also undervolted the i7 in the laptop, and downclocked it to ~2.4 GHz. Windows runs a bit hotter than OS X, figured I'd help out as much as I could. 

 

I gotta say, it feels good to put down an 80th-percentile score in 3Dmark Fire Strike with a MacBook Pro.

 

On the OS X side of things, automate-eGPU.sh took care of everything without a hitch. I did notice some weird stuttering every second (and exactly on every second), but with some tinkering I found out that the "Displays have separate spaces" option was the cause of the issue. Disabling it made OS X run perfectly smoothly afterwards.

 

Final Cut Pro X immediately took advantage of the new GPU, and I was able to play back Sony FS5/A7s 4K footage with a few layers of colorgrading on it much smoother than with the 750m. It can almost handle playing it back at full-res, which was just astonishing to me. Analyzation of footage for stabilization just rips, along with optical flow retiming. 

 

Adobe CC was able to take advantage of the card as well, Mercury Playback Engine (CUDA) felt much smoother than on the 750m, though I haven't been using Premiere in a while so I didn't do much testing in CC. Unfortunately, After Effects is not really accelerated by the card, but oh well. 

 

To get Optimus to work with a 750m-equipped MacBook Pro, I turned to this reddit thread detailing the installation of rEFInd and using an EFI utility called apple_set_os to get the Mac to expose the Iris Pro when booted into Windows. I also customized the rEFInd interface because the default skin looked like something out of Mac OS 7.5.3 (I half expected little puzzle piece extension icons to start loading across the bottom).

Spoiler

 

bQwHtDF.jpg?2 p6Mrc2z.jpg?2

 

 

 

 

The reasoning for using apple_set_os instead of the built-in spoofing feature in rEFInd is because I'd like to normally run Windows without the iGPU enabled, but retain the ability to switch into "Optimus mode" when I'm mobile.

 

My full boot/setup process for mobile gaming via Optimus, coming from normal eGPU usage with external monitor is as follows:

  1. Leave eGPU unplugged
  2. Boot into Windows
  3. Disable the 750m in Device Manager (I usually leave it enabled when booting Windows normally)
  4. Run the switch-GPU script to set the iGPU as primary
  5. Shut down Windows
  6. Plug in eGPU and start the computer
  7. Select apple_set_os (I've renamed this to "iGPU Enabler", the far right icon in rEFInd)
  8. Boot Windows

 

If all goes well, I'm in Windows with the GTX 980 as the Optimus "high-performance NVIDIA processor". Game performance takes a bit of a hit, but not anything significant...I can still play most titles at 1080p ultra quality, and they look great on the MacBook Pro's retina IPS display. 

 

Lingering Issues

Thankfully, all of the lingering issues I have only involve the boot process. Sometimes the entire system refuses to POST (sits at a black screen without ever chiming), and I have to hold the power button for a few seconds and try again. When it does POST though, the next hurdle is whether the driver (in OS X or Windows) will initialize properly. Sometimes it doesn't want to play nice, and I'll get a BSOD on booting Windows with DRIVER_IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL, but a restart or two will do the trick.

 

FIX FOR BSOD ON BOOT: I figured it out, a trip to Device Manager and I noticed there was a "show hidden items" menu option. Clicking that revealed that I had two GTX 980 devices that weren't connected for some reason, and the driver was fighting itself upon initialization during boot. Rebooted into Safe Mode and ran DDU to clean out the NVIDIA driver, reinstalled it in normal mode with the eGPU connected, and all is well. One GT 750m, and one GTX 980 in Device Manager when viewing hidden devices. If you're having driver issues like I did, you might want to check this.

 

(NEW) FIX FOR macOS NOT BOOTING: Run Goalque's script in "-a mode". This alters something regarding the thunderbolt chipset on every shutdown, so when rebooting back into macOS, the eGPU will initialize properly every time. 

 

For OS X, I just get a black screen with my monitor showing no signal input. Again, a restart or two fixes this. (Honestly, I've had the NVIDIA Web Driver do this with the internal 750m, so it's just a normal driver-crashing-on-init issue, not specific to the eGPU.)

 

But once the system is booted, it is rock solid, and I've never had anything crash or fail (besides overclock-induced crashing in Windows, but that's my own fault).

 

It all seems to be based on luck of the draw, as I'll have some days where it'll work flawlessly and I'll be bouncing between the two OS's with no problem, other days I'll get 8 failed starts in a row. If anyone has any idea how to help mitigate these failed starts, I'm all ears.

 

The only other issue I can think of is lack of display brightness control when running in Optimus mode (anyone got any clues?), but it just means I have to set the brightness from within OS X first before going through the boot process. 

 

5JiTVFC.jpg

 

Final Thoughts

It was totally worth it. I'm in love with this setup, it truly feels like the best of both worlds. The i7-4980HQ in the MBP is no slouch of a CPU, the only thing my setup was missing was some graphics horsepower, and the GTX 980 more than comfortably steps up to the plate. My work experience has had amazing fluidity, and gaming has gone from sub-720p resolutions on the latest titles to gorgeous looking, maxed quality 1080p and higher. Less demanding titles (CSGO, Borderlands Pre-Sequel) even run at 4K 60fps, which is a sight to behold. The Oculus Rift that I got my hands on runs perfectly smooth, with no VR-sickness to speak of. And all this, in a "portable" setup. 

 

I now have 3 levels of portability (with associated levels of performance): full desktop mode, Optimus (so I don't have to lug a monitor around to LAN parties or remote editing / rendering of CGI), and of course the laptop by itself (which, with its Core i7, is still no slouch, at least when it comes to CPU compute power). 

 

It's also extended the longevity of my machine a lot, since I was looking at the 2015 and purported 2016 models for their GPU upgrades...but not anymore! The only thing I'm looking at is the moment NVIDIA releases Pascal drivers for OS X...and my poor wallet might have to take the brunt of a GTX 1080.

 

The Future

I'm still on the hunt for a better case, but all of the computer cases I've found are...well, computer cases, and far larger than this magazine file setup. So I'm looking at...different solutions. An old army surplus ammo box looks like my next case, and it has a handle at the top, which I can't live without after having this magazine file for a couple weeks. 

 

I'd love to pick up a modular SFX PSU so that the PSU actually fits into the magazine holder without any modification necessary, and if it's modular, it'll help keep the cables clean and tidy, with no drive and fan power cables to cut. 

 

Hope you guys enjoyed the adventure, and that some of the solutions to the little quirks I found help out someone! Happy eGPU-ing!

 

---

 

EDIT 070416 (MURICA DAY)

 

Just for kicks, slapped a buddy's GTX 1080 into the chassis to test with Windows. It required a driver reinstall as the system didn't detect the 1080, even after rebooting...it seems that the NVIDIA driver enumerates the cards in your system at install time and will only install the drivers it needs to, not all of them (different from the way OS X does it). The driver install worked fine without having to run DDU and cleanly install. YMMV though.

 

The added compute power of the GTX 1080 was more than welcome to help mitigate the performance hit you take when using Optimus. Crysis 3 ran at the laptop's native resolution (2880x1800) at around 45-60fps with all settings cranked. Beautiful. 

 

I was really looking forward to testing out Rise of the Tomb Raider on it, but ironically there's a bug with Pascal cards and NVIDIA VXAO, so I couldn't get a fair comparison.

 

Wish I could keep it, but the lack of Pascal drivers for OS X keeps me on the 980. For now.


 

Spoiler

 

BjaSIjB.jpg

 

fsFafzg.jpg

 

EDIT 071816 

 

Acquired a "Fat .50" (actually an 800x 5.56mm) ammo box and made the primary cuts using a pneumatic angle grinder + cutoff wheel. Test fitted the Akitio and PSU. Currently need to drill the PSU & AKT mounting holes, but also trying to figure out what thread pitch the Akitio's mount holes are (anyone got a clue?). Specifically, the ones that the Akitio's own case's captive thumbscrews screw into. 

Spoiler

 

 

tZLy53d.jpg

 

YSITC9H.jpg

 

 

EDIT 072016

 

Finally finished the ammo can case after much measuring, cutting, and drilling.

 

Spoiler

Jh3VO3w.jpg

 

As the barrel plug was going to be flush against the side of the case, and I didn't want to have to loopback the cable like I did in the magazine file, I ended up soldering the CPU12v rail to the back of the Akitio's PCB. Pre-tinned the wires and plopped them onto the PCB, then secured it with gaffer's. Verified the correct solder points thanks to /u/Dippyskoodlez, who found the info from these very forums. Singed the PCB a bit, but oh well, close enough.

 

Spoiler

ZIYTmwD.jpg

 

Tqe8cWY.jpg

 

2hlC3DK.jpg

 

Edited by P-Mac
updated revision in title, added macOS boot fix
6 people like this

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Nice case, You had no issues when cutting all the other wires on the PSU? I want to do this to mine but was not sure if the cutting the wires that were not in use would affect the power supply.

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4 hours ago, JohnyB33 said:

Nice case, You had no issues when cutting all the other wires on the PSU? I want to do this to mine but was not sure if the cutting the wires that were not in use would affect the power supply.

 

Nope, just be sure to terminate them individually, I went with both shrinkwrap and gaff tape just to be double sure, there's tons of mixed polarity in the ATX 20-pin connector and the last thing you want is two things shorting out. 

 

Electrically, the wires being cut and the wires not being connected to anything are the same, so the PSU "sees" nothing different. If it works with those wires not plugged into anything, it'll work if those wires are trimmed down. 

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Hi P-Mac, nice to meet you.

I read your post about setting up eGPU for MacBook Pro. I have made a similar set up for my MacBook Pro (same as yours). I used the same way as the steps you suggested. What I have so far is make the Mac runs on Iris Pro in Win 10 as primary. From device manager, I can see my eGPU, iGPU and disabled dGPU. But no matter what I did to any 3D apps, to let them run in high performance mode. But in internal display, it always uses iGPU. So I am wondering if you have any idea about it

 

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2 hours ago, murcielagoferrari said:

Hi P-Mac, nice to meet you.

I read your post about setting up eGPU for MacBook Pro. I have made a similar set up for my MacBook Pro (same as yours). I used the same way as the steps you suggested. What I have so far is make the Mac runs on Iris Pro in Win 10 as primary. From device manager, I can see my eGPU, iGPU and disabled dGPU. But no matter what I did to any 3D apps, to let them run in high performance mode. But in internal display, it always uses iGPU. So I am wondering if you have any idea about it

 

 

 

If you've enabled "Use High-Performance NVIDIA Processor" in the NVIDIA Control Panel, but the apps are still using the iGPU, then I've got no idea. Sometimes apps do that (I had issues when running VR apps without a monitor attached to the eGPU). Wish I could help...

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Found a fix for the Windows BSOD upon driver initialization during the boot process, added it into the main post. 

 

"I figured it out, a trip to Device Manager and I noticed there was a "show hidden items" menu option. Clicking that revealed that I had two GTX 980 devices that weren't connected for some reason, and the driver was fighting itself upon initialization during boot. Rebooted into Safe Mode and ran DDU to clean out the NVIDIA driver, reinstalled it in normal mode with the eGPU connected, and all is well. One GT 750m, and one GTX 980 in Device Manager when viewing hidden devices. If you're having driver issues like I did, you might want to check this."

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3 hours ago, igloo_si said:

Hey, Ihow diy you find enough usb3 ports to power oculus rift on mbp?

 

4-port USB3 hub. 

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cool, thanks. good to know it works that way. need the other port for for the wheel 

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Hello!

i have macbook pro (same model as you have),and i'm having trouble with eGPU.

i bought all the thing that i need.

but when i turn on windows 10, my macbook catch both GPU.(gt 750m,gtx 950)

And i read all your tutorial,but i'm not professional.

So i have to ask something about this.

 

first, i have to apologize that i'm not good at english.

please under stand that.

 

I wanted to ask,

how to use 

  • automate-eGPU.sh
  • rEFInd Boot Manager
  • apple_set_os EFI application

this three things??

from installing those things.

 

and when i do correctly,

will it only work for external display??

is there anything solutions for internal display??

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OK,I almost got it.

please tell me how to copy apple_set_os.efi file in my rEFInd partition??

 

please teach me....

please.....

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run mountesp in terminal to mount the EFI System Partition, and then follow the instructions on copying apple_set_os.efi

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This ammo box case is damn cool, I think I'm gonna rebuild that :D They're also pretty cheap on eBay but they are like the best thing for an eGPU regarding form factor. Awesome work!

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3 hours ago, P-Mac said:

run mountesp in terminal to mount the EFI System Partition, and then follow the instructions on copying apple_set_os.efi

I can boot to rEFInd,but i can't find apple_set_os boot...

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3 hours ago, Morv said:

This ammo box case is damn cool, I think I'm gonna rebuild that :D They're also pretty cheap on eBay but they are like the best thing for an eGPU regarding form factor. Awesome work!

How can i copy that file??

With terminal?

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5 hours ago, chlgmlco1346 said:

How can i copy that file??

With terminal?

 

Please read the directions marked on the apple_set_os github page by the author. 

 

You need to perform this after you've successfully mounted the EFI partition, which you can do using "sudo mountesp" if you've properly installed rEFInd. 

 

You might also need to modify the path a bit, should be /Volumes/ESP/EFI/custom

 

If you are unfamiliar with basic terminal commands I suggest you do some research on how to perform basic tasks like creating directories and copying files using a UNIX terminal. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 9.37.39 AM.jpg

Edited by P-Mac

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On 2016. 7. 22. at 1:40 AM, P-Mac said:

 

Please read the directions marked on the apple_set_os github page by the author. 

 

You need to perform this after you've successfully mounted the EFI partition, which you can do using "sudo mountesp" if you've properly installed rEFInd. 

 

You might also need to modify the path a bit, should be /Volumes/ESP/EFI/custom

 

If you are unfamiliar with basic terminal commands I suggest you do some research on how to perform basic tasks like creating directories and copying files using a UNIX terminal. 

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 9.37.39 AM.jpg

Thak you for your instruction!

I did it!

But i have a problem.

I turn on the igpu with gpu-switch,and reboot to EFI and use apple_set_os.efi,sometimes,it froze.

Espacially when i pluged egpu.

Do you have any clue?

 

And do i have to do your boot instruction every time when i boot to windows?

 

Thank you for your help!

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Hey @P-Mac, sick write-up.  I followed it to a T got almost everything working.  Have you actually benchmarked the 980 while using the internal screen (Optimus)?  Optimus works perfectly with the 750m, but when I disable it/run gpu-switch/reboot with eGPU, it boots fine, but it doesn't actually use my eGPU because Optimus never kicks in.  If I try to open nvidia control panel, it says "You are not currently using a display attached to an NVIDIA GPU", so it doesn't open up.

 

I have the Akitio + GTX970, Macbook Pro mid-2014 w/ 750m, dual booting osx/windows (uefi), with latest rEFInd +  apple_set_os.  Intel drivers + nVidia drivers are installed and everything shows up in device manager correctly.  

 

If it works for you, it should work for me, since we both have the same set-up, so I'll know I'm not wasting my time trying to get Optimus to work.

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3 hours ago, UncleGravity said:

Have you actually benchmarked the 980 while using the internal screen (Optimus)?

 

Hi, I haven't benchmarked, but I've played through many hours of Crysis 3 (1080p/High) and Rocket League using the 980 via Optimus, so I know it's working.

 

Is the NVIDIA Control Panel set to use "High-Performance NVIDIA Graphics"? Does the GTX 980 show up in Device Manager without any exclamation marks, along with the GT 750m (disabled) and the Intel Iris Pro? 

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Good to know.  Thanks for the quick reply.

 

The NVIDIA Control Panel shows up only when I boot with dGPU + Iris.  I can then set the 750m as the "High-Performance NVIDIA Graphics".  

 

The eGPU does show up correctly in device manager, no exclamation marks.  I boot-up looks like this:

 

1. Boot windows normally, egpu disconnected.

2. Disable 750m

3. Run gpu-switch (set to igpu)

4. Shutdown, plug-in egpu

5. Run apple_set_os

6. Start windows

 

After doing that if I open Device Manager, I can see the Iris Pro, the 750m (disabled), and the 970 (no exclamation), but if I try to open NVIDIA Control Panel, it just throws a dialog with "You are not currently using a display attached to an NVIDIA GPU", and it doesn't open the control panel.  So if I try to play, it only uses the Iris Pro and never switches (which, as you can imagine, is not ideal).

 

If I plug in an external monitor, it works great.  And Optimus works with the 750m + Iris, so that's fine too.  Not sure what I'm missing really.  I'm so close!

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Hm, I would try reinstalling the NVIDIA driver while booted into Windows with the eGPU plugged in. It sounds like the driver hasn't been installed for your GTX 980, so even though it shows up in Device Manager, the NVIDIA driver won't see it.

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Hmm, after messing with the drivers for a while I noticed that the GTX 980 (the one you have) is listed in the list of devices for the nvidia "notebook" drivers, but my card isn't (gtx 970).  It's the only non mobile card on that list.  I guess that's because the full 980 (without the 'M' suffix) came out for laptops.  

 

http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/105035/ (the device list is in the "supported products" tab)

 

I have a theory, and it might be silly, but perhaps the 980 is the only non mobile 900 card that would work with this setup.  I've seen people using the 1070 too so maybe the 1000 cards have that functionality.  I mean I'm just speculating, since I haven't seen anyone else make this work with a 970.

 

I don't have a 980, but I'll see if one of my friends does.  If you know someone with a 970 and can test it out, that would be sick.

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3 hours ago, UncleGravity said:

If you know someone with a 970 and can test it out, that would be sick.

 

That thread is a confirmation of a 970 working via Optimus. The driver should not really care. Verify you're actually booting with the iGPU as the active card, run DDU to cleanly uninstall the nvidia drivers, and reinstall (booted normally with eGPU + external monitor, don't try to install the drivers while running in Optimus mode) the NVIDIA drivers. 

 

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Did it a few times.  Still nothing.  Do you think it has to do with the OS?  I'm using Windows 8.1.  I'll try upgrading to Windows 10 and see what happens.

 

I'm also using this bootcamp partition for Parallels so they have their drivers installed.  Not sure if that would mess anything up.

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On 5.8.2016 at 9:04 PM, UncleGravity said:

Did it a few times.  Still nothing.  Do you think it has to do with the OS?  I'm using Windows 8.1.  I'll try upgrading to Windows 10 and see what happens.

 

I'm also using this bootcamp partition for Parallels so they have their drivers installed.  Not sure if that would mess anything up.

 

Don't install the mobile drivers but the usual desktop drivers for the GTX 970. Every desktop card works as an eGPU but you need the correct desktop driver. The mobile driver for the GTX 980 works for the desktop GTX 980 solely because it's actually the exact same chip in both versions only with lower clocks for the mobile version.

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    • By matthieuv
      Hey guys,
       
      Let me introduce you my eGPU setup, realized on a 2013 15" retina Macbook Pro, model equipped with a dedicated GT 750M. I am using an Akitio Thunder2 PCIe enclosure and a EVGA Geforce GTX 1060 SC 6Gb.
       
      I wanted to use both internal and external display on my Mac.
       
      I was looking for information during weeks before buying it and wasn’t really sure if it would work as I wanted to. Many people are convinced that using the internal screen is impossible  or way more complicated if the Mac has a dedicated GPU.
       
       
       
      I spend a whole week formatting and testing, using UEFI, BIOS, considering going back to Windows 7 (not for long)…
       
      I finally used Windows 10 UEFI, the programs rEFInd and GPU-switch and nothing else !
      No need for an HDMI headless ghost or any program to spoof the number of screens.
       
      I made a video to show you the whole installation process, I hope that it will help:
       
       
       
       
       
      My GF did the voice acting as I wasn't convinced by my own
       
      If you prefer a text-based tutorial, here are the different steps:
       
      1)    Installation of Windows 10 in UEFI mode
       
      On the 2013 retina Macbook Pro, the SSD is a PCIe model. This seems related to the UEFI mode used by default when using the Boot camp assistant. If you don’t want to use it or are using another model of Macbook, you can follow this excellent tutorial to force the UEFI mode:
      http://fgimian.github.io/blog/2016/03/12/installing-windows-10-on-a-mac-without-bootcamp/
       
      You just need to create a conventional partition and convert your table partition from “hybrid” to “protective”. By doing this, Windows will see a GPT disk instead of MBR. You just need to boot your USB drive on EFI mode.
       
      Once Windows is properly installed with the correct Macbook drivers (another reason to prefer the boot camp assistant), you need to go back to Mac OS.
       
      2)    Installing rEFInd
       
      rEFInd is a boot manager tool, like rEFIt or GRUB. Its first advantage is the ability to choose the OS without the need to press a key at startup. And the real reason why we are using it is to spoof the computer to allow Windows seeing the entire installed hardware.
       
      You can install refind from this link: http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/
       
      Then you need to activate this spoof ability by opening a terminal and typing these two commands:
       
      sudo mkdir /Volumes/efi
      sudo mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes/efi
       
       
      Now, you can see your EFI partition in your Finder.
      Go to EFI/EFI/refind and open the file refind.conf with textedit.
       
      Search for the “spoof OS version” and remove the comment symbol #
       
      Reboot your computer and choose Windows on the rEFInd screen.
      Open your device manager, you’ll see your iGPU (intel iris pro graphics 5200) and dGPU (Geforce GT 750M)
       
      3)    gpu-switch
       
      GPU-switch can be downloaded from there: https://github.com/0xbb/gpu-switch
      Download the windows version, available in the description
      (direct link : https://github.com/0xbb/gpu-switch/releases/download/v0/gpu-switch-windows.zip )
       
      Install Microsoft C++ redistributable (not sure which version do the trick, I’ve installed each version in x64 and x86 just to be sure)
      open the file integrated.bat with administrator rights, you should see the word “success”
       
      4)    GPU driver installation
       
      Not sure if this step is necessary but I’ve removed the dGPU driver before installing nVidia GeForce experience. The program DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) is perfect for that.
      You can download it using this link: http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html
       
      Choose to uninstall and shutdown the computer, as you will install a new hardware indeed
       
      When your computer is off, plug the power supply to your eGPU, press the computer power button, wait for the chime and the rEFInd screen to appear, then plug your eGPU to the Macbook and launch Windows. If rEFInd is stucked, hold the power button until the computer is off.
       
      You should now see three graphics cards in the device manager, two of them not recognized at this point.
      Install nVidia GeForce experience and the latest nVidia driver. The GPU list will be updated at the end of the installation process.
      Re-launch GPU-switch and reboot. You don’t need to unplug the eGPU when rebooting.
       
      Now, your eGPU should have an error code 12, with unsufficient resources available.
      Just right clic on the dGPU (GT 750M) and disable it. Re-launch gpu-switch just to be sure (integrated.bat) and reboot.
       
      Just a last step and you’ll good to go
      Right click on the nVidia icon in your systray and open the configuration panel. Go to PhysX and set it to automatic instead of processor, like on this picture:
       
       
       
      That’s it, you can now launch your games on the internal screen or using an external monitor
       
      To switch between both, just plug the display on the eGPU and use the shortcut Win + P (Cmd + P on a Mac keyboard) to toggle between both screens.
       

       
      You can also duplicate them, it works, but don’t expect any kind of good performances doing this
       
       
      Now, the most important part, to avoid screwing your configuration: every time you go back to Mac OS, Windows will switch to the dedicated GPU (maybe also when turning off the computer, I’m not sure).
      For this reason, always re-enable the GT 750M before turning off the computer! Otherwise, you’ll get a black screen at Windows startup.
       
      Just follow this procedure when you want to use your eGPU:
      -       Use gpu-switch to set the integrated GPU as primary
      -       Disable the dGPU from the device manager
      -       Turn off your computer or reboot
      -       When you see the reEFInd screen, plug your eGPU and launch Windows
      -       Play you favorite video game or launch your intensive GPU application (there are two schools)
      -       Re-enable your dGPU from the device manager
      -       Turn off your computer
      -       Unplug your eGPU
       
       
      Now, some advices based on my little experience:
       
      If your end up with a black screen, you can restore Windows to a previous restauration point or remove the display driver. If you really can’t boot windows, using Parallels Desktop, you can boot your Windows partition from a virtual machine, then remove the display driver.
       
      At first, I was experiencing a game crash and the GPU fan running at max speed, when launching any sort of game. This issue was caused by the power supply connection, using an Xbox 360 S adapter with too thin wires
       
      These wires caused a voltage drop when consuming the 100W needed when playing a game (against 15W on Windows)
       
      About the electrical connections, here are a few pictures
       
       
      I’ve added a connector on the free PCB footprint to avoid soldering wires on the board. The cables are 0,75mm2 section and fits perfectly the original jack hole.
      About the PCIe power connector at the top of the graphic card, I had to cut it with a Dremel to fit the enclosure. You can find specific (and pretty expensive) cables on Ebay if you don’t want to modify one.
       

       
       
      For the ventilation, a colleague helped me cutting holes in front of the fan. I’m not sure to keep this solution, as some games make it very noisy.
       

       
       
      Let me know if this tutorial or the video did help you. Don't hesitate to ask for support if you want to do the same setup.
       
      Some websites are pretty discouraging about the concept of eGPU, the whole process is not pretty user-friendly but I'm happy to see that there is an active community growing each year !
       
    • By Zenski
      Hi I'm wondering if it would be possible if i tore out the wifi adapter out of the zenbook flip and then get mpcie to pcie riser and do an egpu setup with a 960. Would this work well? I currently own the psu and gpu. I'm just wondering if it's feasible. Also if there is a better recommendation for a 500-600 ultra book I'm open. I will be taking this for school work and then I come home plug it in do some casual gaming.
    • By 613
        Boost Your MacBook Pro / Air / Mac Mini / iMac graphics performance*.   Thunderbolt 2 eGPU 20gbps, a modded AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box.   220W Dell DA-2 power supply brick is included (Max TDP up to 240W).     Ready for work.   Just plug and play.   No extra moding is needed!     Supports Graphics card up to GeFroce GTX 1080!   Minimal design - modded to occupy less space.               Includes: - Modded AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box                                                - 1m Active 20gbps Thunderbolt cable      - Dell DA-2 220W PSU                                   - Power cable (US)                                                         - 2x6pin PCIe to 8Pin PCie adapter       GRAPHICS CARD IS NOT INCLUDED              * Works with all Windows laptops and MacBook Pro / Air / Mac Mini / iMac with a Thunderbolt 1/2 connection. Thunderbolt 3 devices (2016 MacBook Pro etc.) need a supplementary $29 Thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 2 adapter.  
    • By ShanghaiOhMy
      I'm selling a new (out of box) BPlus mPCIe board. I accidentally bought this when I should have gotten an m.2 adapter board instead. I am selling for $90 + Shipping from Providence, RI. Payment through PayPal. All original parts are included.
       
      The whole goal of this is to recoup some money to put towards the correct board, so if you have a v4.1 m.2 key e adapter board and are willing to trade, that would honestly be even better. 
    • By samupetho
      Hello guys!
      So my setup works finally, but with on major flaw: whenever I want to get into "gaming mode" - meaning using the eGPU, my only working solution and method is 100% working, however takes ages -
      Without egpu, boot to windows, uninstall all nVidia drivers
      Reboot to macOS, turn on egpu, wait around 10 sec, plug it in, run the automate-egpu.sh script, then again in -a mode
      turn off mac, shutdown egpu, wait until there's no green light, unplug.
      plug the thunderbolt cable back in, boot to windows without egpu connected, open device manager, turn on egpu, after 10 sec hotplug, see it gets recognized, re-install drivers.
      turn off mac, shutdown egpu, wait until there's no green light, unplug.
      plug in the egpu, boot to boot selection, after the cursor is move-able, power on the egpu, boot to windows (if it would freeze w/ black screen or infinite spinning wheel, force shutdown and do step 6. again)
      after getting to Windows, voila, it's alive.
      Additional 8th step - whenever I turn off my laptop, I have to re-do everything. +1 : I always use the closest thunderbolt port to the magsafe port.
      So the question is, did anyone found out a way of booting 100% succesfully without having to reinstall the geforce driver all the time? I mean since my macbook is the most problematic one, even I have a gtx 10x0 series, I should be happy of this method working at least, I'd still love to fasten up the process.
      ps.: I'm thinking about a solution, what would somehow reset all the caches/temp files of the driver itself when shutting down everything, if there would be a way for doing that, I would try it right away, and post an update. Would it help at all, or should I just keep reinstalling everytime?
      Thanks,
      Samu