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So the TB2 upgrade probably won't be available until December for the Express SE ii apparently. In the mean time, does anyone have a list of compatible Graphics Cards with the SE II/OWC Helios chassis? As in those that are less than 7.75" and are within the power budget?

In other news... T004 seems ideal as it can house a full length with a decent PSU but the supplier is very hard to get a reply out of. Edit: I got hold of someone at Silverstone Technology for Europe and they are aiming for end of 1Q2014 and should have TB2 support.

So now I need to realistically look for alternatives.

What would people recommend? TB2 would be essential. Obviously my concerns are now the power supplies and the GPU lengths.

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So the TB2 upgrade probably won't be available until December for the Express SE ii apparently. In the mean time, does anyone have a list of compatible Graphics Cards with the SE II/OWC Helios chassis? As in those that are less than 7.75" and are within the power budget?

In other news... T004 seems ideal as it can house a full length with a decent PSU but the supplier is very hard to get a reply out of. Edit: I got hold of someone at Silverstone Technology for Europe and they are aiming for end of 1Q2014 and should have TB2 support.

So now I need to realistically look for alternatives.

What would people recommend? TB2 would be essential. Obviously my concerns are now the power supplies and the GPU lengths.

EVGA GTX650Ti 2GB fits into a Sonnet Echo Express (SE I believe) at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/4830-help-e-gpu-power-delay-rmbp-efi-windows-8-1-gtx-650ti-sonnet-echo-express.html#post67626 . Please compare against the SE II dimensions to confirm the card will fit into it too.

FYI: I have already had discussion with Sonnet requesting a cheaper enclosure to compete with a Silverstone T004. That is, one that can host a dual-width full length card and isn't stupidly expensive. No positive outcome from that hence why I too want the T004 to arrive. The competition will force them to lower prices if want some market share.

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I'm very interested into TB 2 !

Actually I wasn't much interested into TB 1 since it was a little disappointing having similar performance to X1.2opt on external display.

So, how can your render on the internal monitor, with the eGPU ? Because Optimus can't want with X2/X4 ?

Because I see that in the eGPU candidate list, the 15" retnia without 750M is recommended for optimus internal LCD mode, but since it's X2 or X4 it can't work ?

The only thing that come to my mind to get X1 on TB is to put scotch tape on the PCI-e of the GPU to make it working in X1 instead X4.

But this also kills the performance, I mean, on my eGPU in X1.2opt I cannot get more than 51fps in full HD I can't even imagine it in retina, it should be arround 23 fps with my calculations...

So @Tech Inferno Fan how did you get such a good performance with your macbook on internal LCD ? did you use optimus or did you use ultramon chungmung ?

Maybe I didn't get something correctly, does optimus internal LCD work for any setup with an nvidia GPU and intel HD ? If yes then it's Optimus compression which only work with X1 right ?

I'm confused now...

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I'm very interested into TB 2 !

Actually I wasn't much interested into TB 1 since it was a little disappointing having similar performance to X1.2opt on external display.

So, how can your render on the internal monitor, with the eGPU ? Because Optimus can't want with X2/X4 ?

Because I see that in the eGPU candidate list, the 15" retnia without 750M is recommended for optimus internal LCD mode, but since it's X2 or X4 it can't work ?

The only thing that come to my mind to get X1 on TB is to put scotch tape on the PCI-e of the GPU to make it working in X1 instead X4.

But this also kills the performance, I mean, on my eGPU in X1.2opt I cannot get more than 51fps in full HD I can't even imagine it in retina, it should be arround 23 fps with my calculations...

So @Tech Inferno Fan how did you get such a good performance with your macbook on internal LCD ? did you use optimus or did you use ultramon chungmung ?

Maybe I didn't get something correctly, does optimus internal LCD work for any setup with an nvidia GPU and intel HD ? If yes then it's Optimus compression which only work with X1 right ?

I'm confused now...

Yes, TB1 is/was imho a dud moreso after the TH05 was discontinued. Not only was the selection of notebooks with a TB port small but the TB eGPU enclosure/adapter was excessively priced. Yes it was faster but the price-performance equation over EC x1.2Opt just wasn't there. See point below about x1.2Opt versus x2 2.0.

I've listed the 15" MBP without dGPU as a great TB2 candidate system as we don't know if Apple have fixed their dGPU version to boot with iGPU as the primary device in Windows. In the Sandy/Ivy Bridge series this was a serious handicap preventing the use of internal LCD mode. For the first time we now have a i7-quad 15" MBP with only an iGPU where that previous problem no longer exists. I too am interested in that unit though the new price is ridiculously expensive in Australia. Unless s/h prices drop or HP (or somebody else) make a clone I just can't justify the price.

Will clear up exactly what Optimus requires and what it gives.

As you know you need an active primary iGPU for Optimus to engage. When it does engage we get two benefits:

* internal LCD mode - the eGPU can render the image but display it to the iGPU-attached LCD

* x1 pci-e compression - if a x1 link is detected then pci-e compression engages. This accelerated DX9 anywhere from 20-300%. DX10 sees some minore peformance gain from this compression and DX11 has virtually none. The pci-e compression does not engage if a x2/x4/x16 link is detected.

It was originally estimated that x1 2.0 Optimus approximates x2 2.0, but that is not true . Only the DX9 component can be estimated to that level. REF: Performance Analysis section at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/3062-%5Bguide%5D-2012-13-mbp-gtx660ti-hd7870%40x2-2-th05.html#post42483 for x1.2Opt versus x2 2.0 in-depth analysis.

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EVGA GTX650Ti 2GB fits into a Sonnet Echo Express (SE I believe). Please compare against the SE II dimensions to confirm the card will fit into it too.

That seems like the best candidate - but the power budget might be too much for the Echo Express PSU? I am not experienced with fabricating my own power supply solution.

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* internal LCD mode - the eGPU can render the image but display it to the iGPU-attached LCD

* x1 pci-e compression - if a x1 link is detected then pci-e compression engages. This accelerated DX9 anywhere from 20-300%. DX10 sees some minore peformance gain from this compression and DX11 has virtually none. The pci-e compression does not engage if a x2/x4/x16 link is detected.

Thanks for clearing it up!

Yeah I did know that pci-e compression feature from optimus would only engage with x1 link, I though it was the same for internal rendering.

The macbook pro 15" retina, without dGPU, is such an interesting product... too bad it's very expensive and that TB adapters are pricey too and too bad intelapple forced hwtools to discontinue the TH05...

It's very disappointing that just a few manufacturer dare to implement thunderbolt into a few of their notebooks...

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Thanks for clearing it up!

Yeah I did know that pci-e compression feature from optimus would only engage with x1 link, I though it was the same for internal rendering.

The macbook pro 15" retina, without dGPU, is such an interesting product... too bad it's very expensive and that TB adapters are pricey too and too bad intelapple forced hwtools to discontinue the TH05...

It's very disappointing that just a few manufacturer dare to implement thunderbolt into a few of their notebooks...

The 15" MBP with iGPU is the only i7-quad with a TB2 controller currently available. Way too expensive. Then there is the base model 13" MBP that's far more affordable it's just that the 128MB pci-e SSD, relatively slow CPU (slower than what I have) and costly current TB2 eGPU enclosure still doesn't add up to a cost effective solution.

TB2's release does however change the eGPU landscape for the better. We just need some competition by both notebook and eGPU enclosure manufacturers to drive prices down to more reasonable levels. Eg: had some discussion with HP US about discontinuance of the 2570P where some bits were leaked. Namely:

- there will be HP thin-and-light systems with 'Thunderbolt 2' controllers released in the not too-distant future

- 35W dual-core CPUs are on the way out. Haswell being the last to have them. Broadwell will be ULV 15W for mobile dual-cores or 45W quads for performance systems.

A 400W ~$250 Silverstone T004, perfect for eGPU usage, scheduled for 2014Q1 would be a massive game changer on the eGPU enclosure front.

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Hope that TB2 egpu solutions become feasible/affordable soon, as next gen gaming is just around the corner. My dream machine would be a Surface Pro 2-like tablet/hybrid laptop with a TB2 port. However, that seems unlikely till atleast the next generation. Is there no way the egpu community can approach AMD for an alternative solution? They are both cornered and wishing to fight back tooth and nail against intel/nvidia at this point. I know they had an alternative to TB, I think they called it Lightpeak or something.

Anyways, I think AMD would be far more open to considering eGPU as a viable product as they do not really have any hold in the mobile gaming marking (AMD's laptop CPU's being mostly useless for gaming, and nvidia also massively outsell them in mobile gpu market).

Hey Nando, if you could get in touch with someone at AMD, I am sure the community here would definitely rally and show their support for such a cause.

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Hope that TB2 egpu solutions become feasible/affordable soon, as next gen gaming is just around the corner. My dream machine would be a Surface Pro 2-like tablet/hybrid laptop with a TB2 port. However, that seems unlikely till atleast the next generation. Is there no way the egpu community can approach AMD for an alternative solution? They are both cornered and wishing to fight back tooth and nail against intel/nvidia at this point. I know they had an alternative to TB, I think they called it Lightpeak or something.

Anyways, I think AMD would be far more open to considering eGPU as a viable product as they do not really have any hold in the mobile gaming marking (AMD's laptop CPU's being mostly useless for gaming, and nvidia also massively outsell them in mobile gpu market).

Hey Nando, if you could get in touch with someone at AMD, I am sure the community here would definitely rally and show their support for such a cause.

By all means, anybody in the US that's interested in getting AMD on board is welcome to contact them. Worth noting AMD pros/cons which have previously been discussed in detail in http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/3062-%5Bguide%5D-2012-13-mbp-gtx660ti-hd7870%40x2-2-th05.html#post42483 but summarized below:

AMD pros

- is more pci-e bandwidth efficient once we get away from x1 2.0. It's only in x1 links where NVidia performs better due to pci-e compression.

REF: Ivy Bridge PCI-Express Scaling with HD 7970 and GTX 680 Review | techPowerUp

-> AMD could get one up on NVidia by implementing a pci-e compression option in their driver at any link width (x1, x2, x4) without the need for an iGPU. NVidia's pci-e compression only engages on a x1 link where there is an iGPU as the primary video device.

AMD cons

- requires a 256MB contiguous PCI space block to allocate the eGPU so as to avoid error 12. Systems tight on PCIe space cannot accomodate this without a DSDT override. NVidia's fragmented 128MB+32MB+16MB (GTX660+) or 128MB+64MB +16MB (GTX560TI) being easier to accomodate. AMD would need to rework their pci-e aperature to correct this. Though this has not been a problem on Thunderbolt equipped systems as they tend to have a very low TOLUD. This is more of a problem with EC/mPCIe eGPU candidate systems where eGPU attachment was outside the BIOS design parameters.

- there is no free internal LCD mode driver akin to NVidia Optimus available. AMD have Enduro but that doesn't translate well for eGPU use. LucidLogix Virtu is available but it's (1) not free (2) performs worse than Optimus and (3) requires a Sandy Bridge or newer CPU. NVidia's Optimus requires a 4500MHD or newer iGPU.

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So to recap, the likely best rMBP candidate for eGPU purposes would be the 15" with the built in 5200m crystalwell iGPU and no built in GT 750m?

I’m very new to all of the eGPU business. I get to buy any "reasonably" specced (< $3000) Macbook Pro and my company will pay for it, so I have a 2.3/16GB/512GB machine with the built in 750m preordered at the moment. I do enjoy gaming at home from time to time, so I’m looking into an eGPU.

The way I see it form the benchmarks, the 750m is not that much faster than the built in Intel 5200m iGPU.

The performance difference between the two is 15% at best, but at the cost of having an additional chip in the machine that adds another 30-ish watts of TDP, with all the additional heat and battery life penalty added.

If I could use a eGPU to boost the graphics performance significantly, I would consider ordering the same machine without the 750m.

The price would end up being the same, but I would (a) have more battery life and less heat under Windows and (B) gain the ability to run an eGPU on the beautiful internal screen.

Is that correct?

(please don’t advise me to buy a non-Apple machine… I’d like to but they won’t let me)

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Some info on the rMBP Late 2013 13"

I have installed WIndows 8.1 Efi Mode without problems. All drivers basically work. The TH05 experience is smooth :) But the same problem as the 15" guys with nvidia graphics. When there is another card detected the igpu disappears. Internal Screen cannot be used.

Another problem are the Intel Graphics drivers from Boot Camp 5. They work, but the intel graphics menu crashes and games crash imediately. (Tested World of Tanks and Age of Empires 2 Steam Edition). There are Windows 8.1 beta drivers from intel which solve this problem but unfortunately then the screen brightness cannot be adjusted anymore.

(WIth an old Macbook with Nvidia 320m i once had the luck to just set a switch in the ini file of the driver and brightness would then work on newer drivers. But i can't seem to find something like that in the inf file of the intel drivers when comparing those.)

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Hi gp,

Thanks for the update and it is good that the EFI install is (relatively) easy.

Is it possible to try this rEFInd approach detailed here (http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2367-macbook-pro-retina-15-gtx-560-ti-%40-th05-12.html#post37304)? Maybe then you can get the igpu to be enabled at same time. I think you could even try booting the EFI bit from a USB so that you dont have to mess around with your machine too much.

I would really like to know because I have been watching waiting for someone to confirm before I buy a 15" MacBook Pro (with only Intel GPU) and probably the big Sonnet/Magma box to get Thunderbolt 2.

Cheers

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I have refind installed. When i boot via refind and do not alter any of the settings then windows 8.1 will never recognize the eGPU. Although it is listed when i do a "pci -b". When I boot with the Mac Bootloader via pressing the alt button, then only the eGPU is recognized.

I Have to admit that i cannot find anything in the refind.conf related to scanning hardware by "just removing a # from the file".

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I have refind installed. When i boot via refind and do not alter any of the settings then windows 8.1 will never recognize the eGPU. Although it is listed when i do a "pci -b". When I boot with the Mac Bootloader via pressing the alt button, then only the eGPU is recognized.

I Have to admit that i cannot find anything in the refind.conf related to scanning hardware by "just removing a # from the file".

It's been a while since I've been on this forum, not sure what else has changed, but have you considered using Windows 7 and doing bootcamp?

Since I also have the TH05 on a late 2012 13" rMBP I found that to be such a smooth and easy installation.

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I will stay with Windows 8.1 Efi boot because it is fast and it works. I do not need the internal screen when at home with the egpu. just wanted to inform and maybe help others.

Good News: Suddenly the brightness settings are working with the 8.1 drivers. I tried 3 different drivers ending up with https://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?DwnldID=23323

The brightness controls did not work at first. I also tried disabling the display device. then i reenabled it. And now after some reboots the controls work. When i use the function keys i do not see the white apple brightness icon. only the windows brightness control pops up in the top left. but hey, it works!

PS: After some investigation: Put the macbook to standby once with the powerkey and then power it back up. then the brightness controls will work :P

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Hi all - just got the new MBP 15" with Thunderbolt v2 controller, but I can't connect to my network adapter...

Consequently, I have no network connection when in Windows.

I'd really like to run some benchmarking for y'all to see how this setup goes.

Anyone know where I can get the proper drivers for these new MBP's??? I really don't want to download 0.5GB of Bootcamp and risk installing it, only to find out that installing bootcamp stuff messes up everything.

Anyone have any thoughts. I'd really appreciate your help. Thanks.

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So to recap, the likely best rMBP candidate for eGPU purposes would be the 15" with the built in 5200m crystalwell iGPU and no built in GT 750m?

I’m very new to all of the eGPU business. I get to buy any "reasonably" specced (< $3000) Macbook Pro and my company will pay for it, so I have a 2.3/16GB/512GB machine with the built in 750m preordered at the moment. I do enjoy gaming at home from time to time, so I’m looking into an eGPU.

The way I see it form the benchmarks, the 750m is not that much faster than the built in Intel 5200m iGPU.

The performance difference between the two is 15% at best, but at the cost of having an additional chip in the machine that adds another 30-ish watts of TDP, with all the additional heat and battery life penalty added.

If I could use a eGPU to boost the graphics performance significantly, I would consider ordering the same machine without the 750m.

The price would end up being the same, but I would (a) have more battery life and less heat under Windows and (B) gain the ability to run an eGPU on the beautiful internal screen.

Is that correct?

(please don’t advise me to buy a non-Apple machine… I’d like to but they won’t let me)

I booted a USB Setup 1.x on a GT750M-equipped 15" rMBP. Turns out it's the only GPU listed, so no iGPU is active. That BIOS-type boot method being the same as what bootcamp uses.

This means then the GT750M dGPU is a liability in the latest 15" rMBP when it comes to eGPU use and battery life when used under Windows. That's because the Apple dGPU implementation doesn't allow for the iGPU to be accessible in Windows, hence no NVidia Optimus internal LCD mode or x1 pci-e compression (if doing Expresscard-TB implementation).

Better to get the Iris iGPU rMBP model. When specced with the same RAM, CPU and SSD size then they cost the same too. Apple appears to know that the Intel Iris iGPU only model is more valuable to some users.

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This means then the GT750M dGPU is a liability in the latest 15" rMBP when it comes to eGPU use and battery life when used under Windows.

I can confirm that setup with the new MBP 15" with dGPU is a breeze. It took me almost no time to get everything installed and windows up EXCEPT there is no driver available for the Broadcom Network Adapter card inside right now... as far as I can tell Bootcamp does not provide the right driver. This has been a real pain.

If anyone has the Windows driver for the Broadcom BCM43xx 1.0 (6.30.223.154.47) please let me know. It's the supposedly new 802.11 ac super fast one that's much faster than "n"...

I have no internet on my new machine and can't download any benchmark tests for you guys with no wifi... :(

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Hi MLow.

For clarity, are you doing a UEFI or Boot Camp windows 8.1 install?

Have you managed to get hte TH05 recognised?

I went an had another look a the Macbooks - that screen just blows away everything else on the market - quite amazing.

Cheers

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Sorry to be a little impolite, but you do not have a real problem.

Just download the bootcamp drivers through the boot camp wizard. it won't break anything. you get a bunch of folders with all the single drivers. then you can just pick the ini file of the broadcom driver and either it works or it does not.

Also it would be nice to know what kind of Windows you have installed and if it is EFI or Bios install.

If you have Windows 8.1 64bit then i can tell you that i have the broadcom 6.30.223.170 driver installed. You could try the drivers from the Lenovo website then: Broadcom WIFI BCM4352 Driver for Windows 8.1 (64-bit) - ThinkCentre Systems or this link for 32 and 64 bit (not sure if its trustable) Download file broadcom_wifi_6.30.223.170_win8.rar

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Thought of that - does not work. This is an issue.

Apparently the new bootcamp drivers are not compatible with the new network adapter in the new MBP. I was on the phone with Apple tech people for four hours on Saturday going through this multiple times in many different ways. Thanks for your effort - but this is an issue.

Short-term solution is to use a USB wifi card. This totally sucks because it uses up one of the limited two usb slots.

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Hi everyone.

I've got a Macbook Pro late 2013 15" and i want to use my Pe4H adapter, with the Sonnet Echo Pro.

Since i failed using eGpu with my old Macbook (2012), i want to use it now with my MBP-R 15" October 2013 Haswell 2,6 Ghz. My testet graphic card was a GTX 560ti Phantom from Gainward.

Ive read a lot about Macbook and eGpu but i found guides only for 13" ist it possible for 15" MBP?

Can i use one of these guides, called in that thread?

http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/5527-retina-macbook-pro-13-october-2013-what-best-option-egpu.html

Thanks for your help and sorry for my bad english i'm better at reading and understanding english :D

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Hi,

I am currently researching and want to build an eGPU for my MacbookProRetina. I want to primarily make it work in OS X but would love to have it working under Bootcamp with Win 8.

My specs:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012)

CPU: 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7

RAM: 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L

Storage: 256GB SSD

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5

OS: OS X 10.9 and Windows 8 Bootcamp

Considering eGPU specs:

  • I want to take the adapter from the Firmtek ThunderTek/PX Thunderbolt to PCIe Chassis out.
  • Use a riser like this one to connect for example a GTX760 2048MB GDDR5 256bit.
  • Power this with a PSU and put it all in a miniITX or something (will make sure it fits nicely).
  • Use an external display.

For OS X from what I have read in other threads I will have to:

  • Modify the adapter's PCIe slot to fit the 16x riser.
  • Edit some files in OS X to make it see the eGPU. Making the drivers, thunderbolt aware is not that hard. (Nvidia GPU)

For Windows 8 (I want to use bootcamp since EFI seems to brake other stuff like audio adapter):

  • I understand I need to make a Reset Delay for this to work in Windows. Can someone help with this part?
  • Do I need special drivers?


All help is much appreciated and I promise to make a step by step guide if I can make this work.

Thank you!

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