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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
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:
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
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
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!
6584 in Fire Strike (V1.1) - External (fake display) - the basic test (for example only 1522 with dGPU - GT 650M)
Graphics test 1
Graphics test 2
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 test 1
Graphics test 2
1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display (Borderless) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
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
Graphics test 2
1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display (Windowed) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics test 1
Graphics test 2
UPDATE: I update from 372.70 to 376.09 and its work, I don't want to risk to update to 376.33, because 376.09 is great for now :))
AKITIO TB2 CASE MOD - by enjoy
I've done a lot of research on this forum and on Youtube about getting an eGPU. However, one thing I have noticed from that is that my particular Macbook Pro Retina (13'' early 2015) has a lot of issues with booting up. So, I have a couple of questions before I order my parts.
1. Is it even worth trying on my Macbook? If it takes me half an hour to finally get it to boot up (it seemed very complicated from the builds I saw), I don't think it's worth the effort.
2. Would the GTX 1060 Mini work with the Akitio 2 and the Macbook?
3. Does a Razer Core (TB3 to TB2 adapter) share the same issues as the Akitio? If it has an 100% success rate with Bootcamp, I might just shell out for it.
4. Finally, is it possible to run an eGPU and Bootcamp on an external SSD? I would love to be able to use my entire internal SSD with OSX at school/work but come home to a huge drive on Windows for all my games and intensive apps.
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 )