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SmutjeHannes

2011 17" MBP HD6770M + GTX780Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + OSX10.9 [SmutjeHannes

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I'm writing this guide in order to help anyone with kind of the same configuration. Without the other guides out there and some help I wouldn't have made it. Thank's a lot guide guys!

Warning: The following procedure at your own risk. Please be sure to take a backup in case of emergency.

Hardware Configuration:

  • Apple MacBook Pro 17" late 2011 16 GB with discrete AMD Radeon HD 6770M AND integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 + Thunderbolt 1 + Mavericks 10.9.4
  • AKiTiO Thunder 2 PCIe Box
  • Thermaltake London 550 W (73 € @ Conrad)
  • Asus GeForce ROG MATRIX GTX 780 Ti Platinum (444 €)
  • external Display via HDMI
  • Thunderbolt cable

Preperation: (thanks to entzoe for his guide here)

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
    • /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext
    • /System/Library/Extensions/IONDRVSupport.kext
    • /System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleHDAController.kext

    [*]look for sections beginning with CFBundleIdentifier and add just before the closing add the two following lines

<key>IOPCITunnelCompatible</key>

<true>

  • There are several sections OF that CFBundleIdentifier

post-29425-14494998327631_thumb.png

If you don't know how to modify these files (like me), that's what I did:

  • download and install Textwrangler
  • go to the file and right click, open with Textwrangler
  • in the left tab extend the Contents folder and click on info.plist
  • in the right hand tab you can do the modifications

Step 4

  • Every time you upgrade your OS you need to modify these KEXT files
  • Finally, clear the cache by issuing the following command in the Terminal application “sudo kextcache -system-caches” and shutdown your OS.

Step 5 - Put together your hardware (without anything connected to electricity yet)

  • connect the eGPU to the PSU via the 8 pin / 2x 2+6 pin cable
  • dismantle the AKitio and take out the card (actually it’s two)
  • plug the GTY into the x16 PCIe slot of the AKiTiO card (no PCIe riser needed)
  • connect the power adaptor of the AKiTiO into the card
  • to power-on a PSU without a motherboard connection you can use the Paperclip Trick
  • connect the Thunderbolt cable with your computer
  • connect the HDMI with you external display
  • have both, the PSU and the AKiTiO power plugged into a switchboard an turn it on
  • turn on your MacBook

Step 6 - Software configuration

  • in System Preferences / Displays / Arrangement make sure that the menu bar is located on your external display

post-29425-14494998328214_thumb.png

  • Check Apple / About This Mac / More Info… if the GTX is being used

post-29425-14494998328715_thumb.png

Pictures:

I'll upload some later when everything is nicely put into an enclosure. The pictures I posted before elsewhere where totaly misleading and just wrong. Did everything wrong... (eGPU and AKiTiO card where touching each other, everything was placed onto a metal board and that caused electric sparks, so don't do that!)

Benchmark:

post-29425-14494998327855_thumb.png

Conclusion:

It works! I can use my internal screen and the external screen connected via the eGPU.

Concerning stability with my eGPU everything is fine except for Preview and Quicktime (so far). Whenever I try to watch a movie with these programs the screen just freezes, but I can still move the mouse and hear the sound. Also the image is somehow green and distorted but wouldn't actually play for longer than a second. When that happens I have to force shut down and restart.

VLC is fine, no problems there with the same files compared to Preview and Quicktime.

Help anyone?</true>

post-29425-14494998328494_thumb.png

  • Thumbs Up 4

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Thanks for the guide!

Maybe the "preview and quicktime" problems can be solved better in a "hackintosh" forum. These people know how to implement non-Apple-hardware into OSX.

I would recommend tonymacx86 or hackintosh-inc (hope naming these isn't violating any rule).

If you need a PSU switch at the front of the case: Jump Start EPS/ATX 24 Pin Power Supply Jumper On/Off Switch (White/Grey/Black) - modDIY.com

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Hi SmutjeHannes

Thanks very much for the guide.

I have a Macbook Pro 2011 and I want to run a 4k display from it.

The main question I have is will VMWare Fusion run with your setup?

Would you be able to install VMWare Fusion 7 please and test run a WIndows 7 virtual machine?

Thanks.

demorganize. Australia

Macbook Pro 15" Early 2011. 2.2GHz i7. 16GB Ram. 1TB SSD.

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Not sure if anyone is still running 2011 Macbook Pro 17", but recently this got pretty exciting for me.  I boot Windows 10 with both GTX 970 and internal Radeon 6750M working.  Amazing scores on 970 on external monitor.

 

I'm dual booting.  Running Windows 10 in bios (legacy) boot mode with regular bootcamp upgrade from Windows 7.

Akitio Thunder 2 PCI-e (powered from PSU using barrel adapter)

Rosewill gold PSU

EVGA GTX 970 FTW+ plugged directly into Akitio (no riser), and latest Nvidia Driver (364.51 win10 64bit).  Macbook Pro has all bootcamp drivers installed and working (internal Radeon 6750M fully working, sound, etc).

 

Booted into Windows 10 with eGPU fully working.  Ran several Steam VR tests and score either very top of "Capable" (yellow bar), or into low end of "Ready" (green bar). 

Only drawback is I have to boot using the timing method.  Have Thunderbolt cable plugged in, but PSU powered off.  Boot holding option to the boot selection screen.  Hit enter on Windows, wait 3 seconds, and power on PSU.  Works reliably for me.  Sometimes I miss the timing, but just try again.  It's like a 3 1/2 second wait for me before hitting power switch.  Then I'll see windows boot cursor and know I got it.

 

First install:  Boot with eGpu plugged in.  Download Nvidia drivers.  It should detect card and install.  If not, try again.

First boot after installing drivers:  Device manager showed 970 installed and active, but no image on external screen.  Used Win+P to extend desktop and to my surprise external screen came alive and is absolutely kicking *** running benchmarks.

 

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Actually, I'm running a 2011 MBP 17" that just went through the free logic board replacement for dGPU issues, after the dGPU just died while playing D3.
I also upgraded it, current config is i7-2760QM, 16GB DDR3 1600MHz, 512GB Samsung SSD, ATI 6770M dGPU.

Compared to my work rMBP 15" mid 2014 which is quite similar in config (i7-4xxxHQ, 16GB Apple DDR3, 512GB Apple SSD, GTX 750M dGPU) in day to day use (as a developer) I feel no noticeable difference.
I started pondering now either getting an eGPU setup with AKITIO and GTX 970 or a full desktop PC, I was afraid that TB1 and already having a dGPU will make things not worth it, but from your post I see it is totally doable.

So thanks for that.

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On March 23, 2016 at 1:50 PM, Xellian said:

Actually, I'm running a 2011 MBP 17" that just went through the free logic board replacement for dGPU issues, after the dGPU just died while playing D3.
I also upgraded it, current config is i7-2760QM, 16GB DDR3 1600MHz, 512GB Samsung SSD, ATI 6770M dGPU.

Compared to my work rMBP 15" mid 2014 which is quite similar in config (i7-4xxxHQ, 16GB Apple DDR3, 512GB Apple SSD, GTX 750M dGPU) in day to day use (as a developer) I feel no noticeable difference.
I started pondering now either getting an eGPU setup with AKITIO and GTX 970 or a full desktop PC, I was afraid that TB1 and already having a dGPU will make things not worth it, but from your post I see it is totally doable.

So thanks for that.

 

Actually my 17" also got the free logic board replacement in February 2106.  Mine is the i7-2675QM (I think)  Currently 10GB RAM, 750GB SSHD, ATI 6750M dGPU. Did you just upgrade RAM and SSD?

Also, I didn't do anything special to make Windows 10 work with eGPU.  I just installed it normally (actually an upgrade from Win7).  It's even running in Bios mode (not UEFI) and it still works.  I discovered I don't need to do a very difficult timing method for it to boot.  Just plug in, or power on, the eGPU somewhere in the middle of the boot chime, and keep holding option to select Windows and go.

Unigine valley benchmark is somewhere around 3,300 with the GTX 970.  

Playing Shadow of Mordor is fast and flawless.  No discernible lag at all, and so far I've had zero stability issues. The Nvidia driver includes a toggle to disconnect the eGPU after use and still leave Windows running on my internal 6750m. 

I'm really stunned by the graphics performance from the eGPU under Win10.

 

This makes gaming with eGPU under Win10 indistinguishable from my gaming PC, and that has surprised me the most.  The latest drivers Nvidia wrote are very good, at least for this card.

 

OS X works fine as well.  Not as much speed throughput because I think internal graphics drivers gets in the way.  Seems like not as good driver support there to essentially bypass internal and send everything to eGPU.  But 970 is still MUCH faster than dGPU and it's been rock solid stable for me.

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That is very nice to hear, guess windows 10 support and drivers are way better because of the official support for eGPUs on TB3.

I am considering getting the Razer enclosure because of TB3 (yes, I know I have TB1 currently, but that means I could use it with a different, newer laptop aswell) and the fact that it can hold a big GPU and has the built in PSU.

About RAM and SSD, I did those upgrades a while ago. They were pretty straight forward to do, but the SSD especially speed it up a lot. Originally it had 4GB RAM and 750 HDD.

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The moded driver tells me osx 10.9.5 is not supported. When I put the actions into terminal it comes back with something like "only kepler architecture cards supported " I have a MSI geforce gtx 980ti and 600watt power supply. Can any one help guide me in the right direction ?

Edited by thomasjiam

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