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Setup 1.30 Discussion

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This most closely resembles the setup I'm building. I hope it's OK to post these questions a couple times because a few of these implementations are what I'm looking to build but it seems that I'm planning to use it differently from most.

I do 3D Animation and haven't found much but curiosity about eGPUs on 3D forums. I think once a few people implement it, there will be a ton of attention from that community. Anyhow, I plan on using Octane Render Engine software ( Octane Render ) and have a few questions before I place my orders. Thanks so much for all the effort put into this! And especially Tech Inferno Fan. Looks like you're making some dreams come true LoL.

(1) All my 3D software runs on OSX and I like it that way. I don't want to run anything on Windows for a lot of reasons, mainly video editing industry standards related. The software needs to be able to boot and send renders to the eGPU. Will this require any additional software rigging? Octane is most important but Adobe CC (After Effects, Premiere) and REDCINE-X are also important to me.

(2) Will I be able to render on My discrete 750M and the eGPU simultaneously?

(3) I don't care about Optimus but I would like my Thunderbolt Display to operate from my Macbook's other TB port, along with my internal display. This is only for working in the software. Will this work with the standard Boot Camp configuration?

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If you have the money… get a 980Ti. If you want to go for price&performance than you better get the 980, as you will lose performance by using the Retina display and the TB2 connection. The 980Ti performance boost might be very small on your setup.

Hi Again,

Is it going to make any difference in game performance if I prefer to buy gtx 970 instead of gtx 980 or gtx 980 ti? Considering playing games only on retina display of MBP.

Thanks for the help.

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The first has only an expresscard cable ("1 data line"). The second has an expresscard, mPCIe and NGFF cable ("3 data lines"). For your X230 the first will do the job.

Thanks for quick answer. So, cheaper one contains power?

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Actually it's a very simple mod. I have a barrel plug handy so what I did is cut it out, separate the outer and inner wire, twist outer wire with molex's black ground and the inner wire with molex's 12v yellow and that's it. The other 2 wires of (red and black) are unused.

In use the barrel plug is connected to Akitio board, the riser is UNPOWERED. I'm not sure it we should also power the riser but I have it running fine for me up til now (9 hours without any crash).


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I am very glad hearing that your setup worked as expected as I am also planning for this DIY eGPU. I have every thing ready including Akitio Thunder 2 Box. My only question to you is will it make any difference in gaming performance if I buy GTX 980 or anything powerful than it instead of GTX 970? I am considering playing games only on native retina display of my RMBP 15.

Thanks for any help and hope to hear from you soon.

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Great post and will be very helpful when I start to build my eGPU. I have all components ready except graphics card. I am a big fan of MBPs Retina display and only building my eGPU to play games on MBPs retina display.

In your setup, you have used gtx 970 but i want to buy gtx 980 or upcoming highest end graphics card. will it make any difference in playing games on retina display or i should just buy gtx 970.

Please help as i am stuck on this decision.


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[NOTE] This an UPDATED GUIDE currently only works with OS X 10.9.4 version.


  • Apple Mac Mini 2012 16GB with Intel HD 4000
  • AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box

  • Corsair CX750 M
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 770 4GB
  • 2x Thunderbolt Cable
  • HDMI
  • SWEX
  • Monitor (ASUS VG248QE / Apple Thunderbolt Display)


Step 1 (Note: eGPU setup should be all disconnected)

Step 2

  • Download and install a modded NVIDIA Web driver
  • Usually, NVIDIA's official Web driver will do a system check. Official web driver can only be installed on MacPro 2008, 2009, 2010. If you are using a iMac or Mac Mini or MacBook Pro, you can't even install. But Modified Web driver avoids the system check. Modded Web driver file name is ModdedWebDriver-334.01.02f02.pkg.
  • File mirror: https://app.box.com/s/wa2tblhb4y5dtd3fgh1z

Step 3

  • Modify the following KEXT files from your Terminal and look for sections beginning with <key>CFBundleIdentifier</key> and add just before , the two following lines

  • <key>[ATTACH=CONFIG]12461[/ATTACH]
  • <key></key>KEXT Files
  • /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext
  • /System/Library/Extensions/IONDRVSupport.kext
  • /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleHDAController.kext

  • Every time you upgrade your OS you need to modify these KEXT files
  • Finally, clear the cache by issuing the following commandsudo kextcache -system-caches and shutdown your OS.
  • Warning: The following procedure at your own risk. Please be sure to take a backup in case of emergency.

Step 4 (Setup and connect your eGPU. I am using EVGA GeForce GTX 770 4GB Classified)

  • In my case, I have the following setup;
  • GPU card is connected to AkiTio PCI-e slot without the PCIe riser. AkiTio is powered by its supplied power adaptor
  • GPU card is powered with PSU thru its two 8 pins
  • Connect your AkiTio and Mini using Thunderbolt Cable
  • Connect your GPU and Monitor using DVI, Display Port or HDMI cable
  • BONUS: I have an existing Apple ThunderBolt Display, I was able to mirror my display. I connected my TB display to the extra TB port on AkiTio

A BIG Thank you to the following

maxserve blog: (MacOSX 10.9.4 edition) How to recognize GPGPU via Thunderbolt external PCIe Box at MacOSX

A Thunderbolt GPU on a Mac : How-to | Le journal du lapin


Tech Inferno Fan


  • I no longer experience the kernel panic in my previous setup. I am not sure if its with the GPU card that I previously used (760). It appears that this time this is stable compared from my previous setup using PCI-e riser.
  • I can play better games on Steam

PHOTOS and Video





What is that PCIe riser you write about? Do I need one to connect the gtx970 to the akitio thunder 2 and mac mini?

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The newest EXP GDC version has support for Thunderbolt: EXP GDC Laptop External External PCI E graphics card ARES Series Expresscard Set ATX-in Laptop Docking Stations from Electronics on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group.

As he has only got Thunderbolt 1 the EXP GDC with it's x2.2 and 10 Gbit should be sufficient and by far the cheapest way. A HDMI to Thunderbolt cable for connection will fit I guess though one has to be sure it actually is Thunderbolt and not mini-DP only. But I'm not totally sure about this.

Thanks! I do have an actual HDMI to Thunderbolt cable lying around, and made sure it wasnt a mini display port one.

Thanks for the clarification!

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Nando4, I sent u 25 USD for setup 1.3, but I did not hear back!? Can you please check you emails?

Email was sent to fr*****.l*******@gmail.com two days ago. Please check that email's INBOX and SPAM folder.

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hey nando

i'm getting chainloading error. i tried both mbr and mbr2

i have win7 and 8.1 on the same drive.

i read that i should change something in config/menu.lst but don't understand how . plz help

thank you


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Email was sent to fr*****.l*******@gmail.com two days ago. Please check that email's INBOX and SPAM folder.

Weird, I found your email in the spam folder. Many thanks.

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