• Announcements

    • Brian

      Introducing T|I Marketplace/Classifieds!   11/24/16

      After a long wait, Tech|Inferno now has a Marketplace/Classifieds section where all registered (promoted and above) members can participate in selling, trading and seeking out items. This service is free to all members to use as they wish. Currently all ads last for a period of 14 days before they expire for promoted users. Those users belonging to T|I Elite, Contributor, Developer and Moderator have access to 30 day ad periods that are featured   Some easy rules to remember: Do not post multiple ads of the same product. Do not advertise here if you are a retailer or business. You must contact Tech|Inferno for advertising space. Keep ads civil, do not try to lowball members. You may contact them in private via PM if you feel their price is not to your liking. Harassing members will result in an infraction. It is recommended you have Heatware/eBay feedback to establish trading credibility.    Tech|Inferno assumes no liability for any sales posted in the Classified section. Always use common sense when buying/selling with traders and ask for their heatware/ebay feedback!   Enjoy!
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

 

SpUhhNk.jpg?1

 

vy3pYwG.jpg?1

 

t0cybB1.jpg?1

 

 

 

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, igloo_si said:

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

 

4-port USB3 hub. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK,I almost got it.

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

 

please teach me....

please.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By nrpaul1015
      I am relatively new to the online PC gaming experience and would like some input on my next project. Right now, I would like to make myself a proficient (not two expensive) EGPU setup for my laptop. I don't have the funds nor the experience to build a tower yet so i want to start with this.
      I have a Toshiba Satellite and here are its specs. :
      Toshiba Satellite L50-C 
      Intel Core i7-5500U CPU - 2.4 GHz
      16 G's of ram
       
      My question is what setup including card, power supply, etc. I should use?
      Thanks for your input ahead of time.
    • By unrealmitch
      First, hello! Although I am new here, I have been a long time following this forum, and without all of you this hasn't been possible,so thank you!
       
      System: Hardware Dell 5430 14" Core i5 3320M 8GB RAM (1x1600Mhz) iGPU Intel HD 4000 Software Win 10 Pro 64-bit Versión 10.0.14393 [UEFI] GPU Driver AMD Radeon 17.2.1 (non-whql) EGPU MSI Radeon RX 480 GAMING X 8G BEST EXP GDC V8.4d [Express Card] PSU Deer 400W Configuration Just connect the egpu to PC via ExpressCard (PSU ON & PC Off), turn on the PC, and GPU was detected and it worked. [PTD: Off] Others: With 16.12.2 Drivers have some better performance, but my screen blinks sometimes Freesync works well This test have some OC to have similar performance that with whql drivers Video demo:    
      Hardware Info:  
      TEST & BenchMark 3DMark TimeSpy 1.0 3242 (GPU:3920) http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/18115631 3DMark FIRE STRIKE 1.1 7375 (GPU:12996) http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/18115814 Ungine Heaven 4.0 [Basic]: 3025 [Extreme]: 1495 Ungine Valley 1.0 [Extreme HD]: 1933 Games [FRAPS - 5Min ingame]: Game [1080] FPS AVG FPS Min FPS Max Config The Witcher 41.66 28 52 Ultra GTA V 23.66 13 38 Maximun Setting [Mod Cars] GTA V 32.2 20 72 High Skyrim 59 35 63 Ultra [Mod ENB Photorealistic]             Screenshots Bench:  
    • By Hellmanor
      Hello everyone!
      Well, I have Fujitsu AH532 witch EXP GDC, Win10 and Setup 1.3 (for enabling gen.2 port on EC and disabling dGPU)
      My new card doesn't want to start in DOS (or setup) and Windows. It works only after I put my notebook to sleep and resume it from that.
      But after resuming I don't have 1.2 OPT, only 1.1.
      Do you know what to do in this case?
      I forgot to say that if I try to do it in plug-and-play way, the fans are either spinning to fast like on full speed or too slow.
    • By enjoy
      Firstly I just want to thank everyone in this community. I read a lot of info before i start my project! Now i have more then 5 times better laptop just for 633 EUR!
       

       
      Windows 10 64 Bit (BIOS) / Bootcamp
      MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012)
      2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" (I7-3615QM) (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache
      8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
      NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB
      Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB
      Nvidia Driver: 372.70
       
       
      I dont like the new retina MacBook Pro 2016 and choose to spend my money for the Akitio eGPU setup with:
       
      I. PARTS:
      1. Akitio Thunderbolt2 PCIe Expansion Box 290 EUR
      2. 2 x Startech.com 6 inch PCI Express Power Splitter Cable 20 EUR
      3. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Super Clocked (1607 /1835)  GAMING 6GB  275 EUR
      4. Dell 220W DA-2 35 EUR
      5. DC Barrel 5.5mm x 2.5mm 1 EUR
      6. HDMI to VGA adapter from Bulgaria 12 EUR - to play on the retina internal screen
      TOTAL: 633 EUR
       
      II. DELL 220W DA-2 SETUP: 
       
      I have Windows 10 64 bit (BIOS) via Bootcamp on my SSD and eGPU-Setup-1.20 ready.
       
      III. Uninstall GT650M Drivers from Device Manager and Download and install 327.70 NVIDIA Drivers - http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/107012/en-us
       
      IV. ERROR 12 FIX
      Unzip eGPU Setup 1.2 to c:\eGPU run setup-disk-image (as admin user) Restart and load eGPU Setup 1.2 and select 2 with your keyboard Then:  
       
      V. Install again 327.70 NVIDIA Driver when you with the two GPU's in Windows
       
      VI. DONE




       
      VII. GAMES - I can play all games i have with 60FPS with High/Ultra setings FULL HD 1920x1080 - Before that i can play only on lowest settings with my GT 650M 1GB with 1280x800


       
      VI. UPDATE NVIDIA DRIVER via GEFORCE EXPERIENCE TO LATEST DRIVERS - 378.66

       
      VII. DONE
      I can play all games - FULL HD / 60 FPS (all to MAX + AA) on External Display
      I can play all games - 1680x1050 / 30-40 FPS (all to MAX + AA) on my Internal Reitna Display

       I also made a custom Windows 10 theme aka macOS Gaming 10.10.10 

       
      VIII. PLAY ON INTERNAL RETINA MONITOR @LukeHero MOD:
       
      So the main limitations with this model of Macbook is the fact that you need an external display. So @LukeHero got around this limitation with this little device and three resistors:



      It's a HDMI to VGA adapter. 

      All you need to do is put 3x 100ohm resistors inside the VGA port to create a fake external display. You can see where the resistors need to go with this image:



      So the deal with this is, any program started on the 'external screen' (being powered by the eGPU) will use the eGPU. So what you'll want to do is set the fake display as your main display. Then anything started on that display will be running from the eGPU. Now there is a little limitation here; only games that run in windowed mode will work (which is most). You'll want to start the game on the fake screen in windowed mode and then drag it over to your internal display.

      So how do you grab from a display you can't see? Well, I found this free program called Dual Monitor Tools (it's free right here: Dual Monitor Tools - Home )
      and what you can do in this program is set a keyboard shortcut to move the selected window over to the other display. So you click on the game in the task bar, and hit the shortcut you assigned and it'll pop over to the internal screen, but because it was launched on the fake screen, it'll be powered by the eGPU.

      Simple as that, there's no performance hit either as you're just dragging the game to the other screen.

      A good tip is to have the internal display set as default first, launch the game, go to options and set the game to windowed mode now, then quit and relaunch after you've changed the fake screen as your primary. Otherwise you might not be able to switch it with the shortcut while it's in full screen.
       
      HOW TO CLOSE THE AKITIO CASE: 
       
       
      HOW TO START THE SETUP (when i want to play games):
      1. choose eGPU Setup 1.2 from boot menu and select 1 with your keyboard
      2. choose again Windows 10 from boot menu
      3. Start the game i want
      4. Press the combination for Dual Monitor Tools to show the game on my internal display (i use Borderless Gaming so i run my games fullscreen on my retina display)
      5. Done - my old rMBP 2012 can run all new games - 30-60FPS (1680x1050) on Very High/Ultra settings on my retina display Borderless like Fullscreen!
       
      BENCHMARKS:
       
      Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Score EXTERNAL DISPLAY 1920x1080:

       
      Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Score INTERNAL RETINA DISPLAY 1680x1050:

       
      6584 in Fire Strike (V1.1) - External (fake display) - the basic test (for example only 1522 with dGPU - GT 650M)
      Graphics score
      7 210 
      Graphics test 1
      32.47 FPS
      Graphics test 2
      30.30 FP
       
      FOR EXAMPLE: This user have 8556 in Fire Strike (V1.1) ( http://www.3dmark.com/fs/9689714 ) with the closer CPU to mine so there is 20% performance loss because of TB1 but I still can play all games Very High or Ultra FULL HD!
       
      1680 x 1050 - External (fake display) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
      Graphics score
      9 089
      Graphics test 1
      46.98 FPS
      Graphics test 2
      34.11 FPS

      1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display  (Borderless) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
      Graphics score
      7 852  - the score is enough to play all games VERY HIGH/ULTRA with 1680 x 1050 on the Internal Retina Display  (Borderless)
      Graphics test 1
      33.96 FPS
      Graphics test 2
      34.32 FPS
       
      1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display  (Windowed) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
      Graphics score
      8 377 
      Graphics test 1
      37.83 FPS
      Graphics test 2
      35.12 FPS
       
       
       
      AKITIO TB2 CASE MOD - by enjoy
       





    • By Irons324
      (Having trouble uploading images here, I'll try again later)
       
      Hi all, 
       
      I'm green as here, but been closely following peoples implementations for eGPU and MBP. After finding some inspiration from P-Mac here, I decided to build one. I knocked this all out for around $600 AUD. Being from Australia, it was hard to come by a Thunder2 box. So I bit the bullet and bought one from the US as cheap as I could find it. Picked up a second hand MSI Gaming GTX960, the twin frozr fan edition, also overclocked edition, cost me $200. Grabbed a Corsair VS550 PSU too for $80. I'm pretty handy with electronics and good with a soldering iron so I thought, no worries mate. Anyway, after waiting 3 weeks for the Akitio to arrive, it finally showed up and I knocked this all out in about 1.5 hours. 
       
      Opening up the Akitio
      I unboxed the package, and opened it up. These things are TINY, I thought. I knew I'd have to open the case up to make the GPU fit, but jesus, the GPU dwarfs this thing. I removed the fan from the Akitio and set it aside, probably never to be used again. A lot of people have just bent the back plate of the Akitio away, then gaff taped it up, etc. I didn't like that idea, so I took to it with a dremel and cutting wheel with the box facing DOWN, as grinding sparks and PCB's tend to disagree with each other. I cut a decent line into the steel, then bent it away with some pliers, then fatigue snapped the cut line. 

       
      Inserting the GPU
      Pretty straightforward. Removed the 2 retainer screws for the PCI cards, pushed the card firmly into place. I re-inserted the two screws and nipped them up with a screwdriver. 
       
      Easy peasy. 

       
      Wiring up the CPU PSU
      Now, I've seen all sorts of dodgy behaviour like jumping PSU's on with paperclips. That's live power, flapping around sensitive electronic components. I didn't like that idea. I also didn't like the idea of chopping up the PSU cables in case I ever want to re-purpose the PSU. So, I bought a molex to something connector (I can't remember the name) and chopped the red and black wires off at the molex plug end, chopped the yellow and black at the something end. Got some automotive twin core 3mm wire and a barrel plug I bought from JayCar and soldered the red to the centre post and the black to the outer post. Heat shrink over the exposed solder connections and electrical tape inside the barrel plug to ensure that it didn't short out, BAM, one 12V barrel plug to power the Akitio. Plugged the PCI-E connector into the GPU, simple. To "hot-wire" the PSU, I used a jumper wire and two electrical bulkhead crimp terminals. They're a little big to fit in the ATX connector of the PSU, but I squished them up with pliers and they fit in there snug, no exposed metal to short out on the case, or anywhere else, with the added bonus of the entire setup being plug and play. 

       
      Plugging in and recognising
      I used the instructions here (see below) to get OSX to recognise and install the drivers. Followed the instructions, no problems. Had to go and disable system protection out of the recovery partition, but that's no biggie. I re-started, flicked the switch on the PSU with the eGPU plugged in, took a little while to get through the load screen, but away it went. I ran a benchmark on Cinebench, got 77fps which was an improvement over the 59fps I would get out of the GT750m. 
       
      Teething issues
      Being new as hell to all of this, I'm still working out how to tweak settings etc. I opened up WoW, being an avid player, and expected to be dazzled. I copped a heaping load of disappointment when my recommended settings went to 1 from 4, and the game ran like a wet turd. However, after some playing around, trying a different monitor, enabling automation of the eGPU in the script, I'm getting a solid 40-60fps at high, not ultra, settings at 1080p. 
      I'm having often problems booting out of sleep, the computer crashes and won't turn back on without a hard reset, no boot chime or anything. Sometimes switching off the PSU to kill the eGPU is needed to get into the OSX loading screen, then flicking it on once it's loading is needed. Sometimes it works fine. This seems to be common but I'll keep looking for fixes for waking up from sleep. Even with NoSleep enabled and not closing the lid, eventually it'll go dark and won't wake up. However sustained use and gaming doesn't kill the computer, so I don't think it's an overheating issue. Also keeping a close eye on temps everywhere and setting the fans to max when gaming, as I always do as these things overheat like crazy during gaming. 
       
       
      To be done
      At the moment the Akitio is sitting open on the desk and the PSU next to it with wires fucking everywhere. It's messy and cluttered and I hate it. I've got access to tools and equipment some probably don't, so I'm going to build a custom case for both the PSU and the Akitio, and put some nice big fans on it to keep it all nice and cool under high load, hopefully preventing the GPU from needing to use it's active cooling at all, thus letting it work without strain. 

       
       
      Any tips or advice would be great!
       
      Updates
      Managed to pick up a GTX 970 locally for the same price as I paid for the 960. Same card build, MSI Twin Frozr fans etc, slotted right in with no changes needed. Getting 57 fps on furmark within OSX, 82 fps out of cinebench, which is a slight improvement over the 960. I've upped the settings in WoW and it's running between 50-60 fps no worries. 
      I also installed windows to try and get some benchmarks done, however furmarking is crashing the whole show and requiring a hard reset. I can get furmark to run in OSX though through some command lines found from the guys at geek3d.com. Windows has way more trouble posting the eGPU from startup, and has A LOT of trouble rebooting/shutting down. Really re-enforcing my love for OSX but I would like to play some higher end titles that simply aren't available on OSX in the future. Got Unigine to finally install (had a lot of issues downloading the entire file for some reason) and ran that on the 970. Didn't get to test it on the 960.