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I have one, with dedicated graphics card (AMD R9 M370X) want to know whether it would work because of the possible incompatibility of the thunderbolt controller (TI86/87) of the Node
First and foremost: this is a HASSLE-FREE BUILD.
You will not find creative schematics, acrobatic soldering, custom BIOSes or anything like that: this is pure "just works eGPU" with Win10 bootcamp and an external display (so, no OSX support and no internal monitor either)
- Macbook Pro Retina Mid 2014 with nVidia GT750M
- Akitio Thunder2
- MSI GTX 1070 Armor 8G OC
- Dell DA-2 12V (ended up not using it)
- Old Corsair 540W Modular PSU
None. Absolutely no software setup. I had my previously working Win10 bootcamp machine installed, and it was a regular, apple-certified, Win10 installation done via bootcamp assistant, so no UEFI workaround or custom BIOS.
Got my Akitio, unbox and open. Just 2 screws and voila.
Removed the back plate (4 little screws)
I unplugged both the fan and the led cable and removed the glued support for the cable, you can still see the glue
Removing the fan was just a matter of removing 4 screws, the LED light took just a bit of force and it popped out of the socket.
Here's all the things from the Akitio you will not use.
As you can see from the hardware list, I decided to go with a full sized GTX card, and not just a full-sized one, a pretty big one at that.
The MSI GTX1070 Armor OC does not have any LEDs or fancy things, just 2 big (and quiet) fans and that's that.
So, of course, I had to bend the Akitio to make room for the card.
I went with the "jeweller's screwdriver" technique. Fast and easy: just put a little flat screwdriver near the soldering at the bottom of the enclosure and work your way in lightly with a hammer.
Took me 1 minute and the little solderings popped open.
Now it was just a matter of applying a bit of brute force and bend the enclosure open.
Not pretty, I know... but I'm not looking for pretty. Besides, the card is so long it covers the bent enclosure and then some!
I gotta say, I was getting pretty impatient at this point.
I put the card in, adjusted the two screws to set it in place and checked the spacing between the card and the bent enclosure.
Everything was in order. Not pretty, again, but in order.
At this point, I encountered a little snafu in my plan.
I had bought the famous Dell DA-2 to power my GPU.. turns out this monster of a card has an 8 pin power slot, not a 6 pin one.
Huh. Now what?
Remember, this was supposed to be a hassle-free installation, no soldering or complicated workarounds.
I remembered I had an oldish PSU from my desktop era sitting in a closed, took it out, plugged it in and got a nice 8-pin cable to power my GPU.
(of course I had to use the paperclip-trick to power the PSU, but it's so basic, I'm not counting that as a hassle).
To power the Akitio, since this a... let's say it again, everyone... hassle free build, I didn't want to use any custom made barrels or anything, so I used the original PSU, plugged it in and that's it.
It was time to power it all up and see what the future brings.
Thunderbolt cable connected, external monitor plugged in with a displayport cable, everything powered up... turn on MBP: nothing. Black screen.
Powered down, tried to plug the thunderbold cable in AFTER the boot.
Got a "hey I found something" sound from Windows, but nothing else.
Now the MBP started in Bootcamp, and Device Manager said there was a "Microsoft Basic Display Adapter".
Downloaded latest nVidia drivers, gave it a go: oh, damn! I have 2 video cards!
The external monitor came to life, so I closed the lid on my MacBook (I'm using it in clamshell mode, I have no need for another screen) and there it was.
With this solution, you don't even need to go and disable the "internal" 750M,
Didn't have the time to make a 3D Mark benchmark, yet... but these were the settings of my WoW client yesterday
and @2560x1440 with all ultra settings I had 67fps. Not too shabby
- power the Akitio via the barrel to remove an external PSU
- organize cables and spaces
- switch PSU: this one has a terrible case of "coil whining", it looks like I'm skinning a cat...
- IF I ever have any spare time, try and put everything inside a box: I'm thinking of one of those ikea metal boxes...
Thank you all for your help and... comments appreciated! (everything but: "it's ugly!". That one I know )
I have a 2016 15" Macbook Pro with the Radeon Pro 455 Gpu inside.
My plan is to get a working eGpu setup for both Windows and MacOs so I can play games in Windows and use the Gpu ins MacOs for productivity. I also want to just use an external Monitor, I don't need to get it to work on the internal Display.
I also already have a Nvidia GTX 970 from my current Desktop computer that I would like to use.
Unfortunately Razer doesn't sell the Razer Core in Germany but I found one on Ebay for 250€ which is a pretty good price considering that it costs double in America. Also I think this would be the only eGpu solution that I have access to at the moment.
Another thing is that I don't have massive amounts of knowledge to find solutions to problems which may occur during the process and money (the Macbook was already pretty expensive), so I would only do it if it really works well.
The guides from people who got setups like this to work always seem relatively straight forward to me but I wanted to get your opinion first before I buy something for 250€ and it doesn't work.
Thanks in advance!
No issue up to now, everything is stable, easy and cheap setup. However, Nvidia Optimus isn't working with latest Nvidia drivers.
- Mac mini Late 2012 (MD387LL/A) / Macbook Pro Retina Late 2013 (ME293LL/A)
- Akitio Thunder2
- Zotac GTX1050Ti
- Samsung T3 Portable SSD - 250GB (for Windows To Go)
- DC 12V/12.5A from Aliexpress
- Install Windows 10 as Windows To Go with Rufus;
- Install Bootcamp;
- Reboot to Windows with Akitio connected and install latest Nvidia Driver;
- Connect External SSD with Windows To Go to your Mac;
- Power up and hold down ALT keyboard;
- Connect Akitio and wait 2-4 minutes;
- Choose Windows from boot menu;
sorry guys, I can't attach files here, every times it gives me an error. I uploaded images and benchmarks to my google drive here