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DIY eGPU Macbook experiences

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I got the 2.5GHz model, because the higher price wasn't that much as a student. But 2.8GHz wasn't worth the price (imho).

I can't tell if the 2.8GHz model is pushing the cooling unit faster to the edge, as the 2.5GHz model. In general the CPUs have a max TDP which is for both 47W, so they should be more or less the same.

I doubt that the cooling of the GT750m MacBook is better as the one of the one with Iris only…

I figured it would be cooler because the GT750 was taking some of the load? Or would the card just be disabled?

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I don't think it will make a huge difference. With the Iris Pro, the CPU will produce some additional "heat" or the GT750m will produce some for the cooling system.

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FYI, got Titan-X running as eGPU with rMBP. Details and screenshots shortly

I'm looking forward to it! I've just pre ordered one as well and I'm also in the process of acquiring an Akitio box so I'm looking forward to go back to Maxwell again!

Which TB2 chassis and which rMBP did you use if you don't mind me asking?

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Hi all,

I'm interested in knowing if it's possible now to use an external GPU to power an external (Thunderbolt/HDMI/DP) display on the latest Mac Mini, and if that solution works in Windows?

I've heard about ViDock which looks good as it fits full size graphics cards, even though it can't connect natively via Thunderbolt... I've read about other solutions from Sonnet, etc., which have Thunderbolt support, but they seem only to fit half sized cards.

Would appreciate any info on this topic!

Cheers

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Hi all,

I'm interested in knowing if it's possible now to use an external GPU to power an external (Thunderbolt/HDMI/DP) display on the latest Mac Mini, and if that solution works in Windows?

I've heard about ViDock which looks good as it fits full size graphics cards, even though it can't connect natively via Thunderbolt... I've read about other solutions from Sonnet, etc., which have Thunderbolt support, but they seem only to fit half sized cards.

Would appreciate any info on this topic!

Cheers

Mac Mini features thunderbolt 2 and from what I've seen you can do the same thing with the Mac Mini as many people are implementing here with their Macbook Pros/Airs. The ViDock has it's own limitations which makes it less desirable compared to the other options but Sonnet can feature full length GPUs depending on what expansion chassis you go with. The Akitio Thunderbolt 2 is a popular choice just because it is relatively cheap and you can attach a full length GPU so as long as you have a powered riser and PSU to attach it to.

This has a guy using his 2012 Mac Mini with a Sonnet III-D to power a GTX780TI.

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Mac Mini features thunderbolt 2 and from what I've seen you can do the same thing with the Mac Mini as many people are implementing here with their Macbook Pros/Airs. The ViDock has it's own limitations which makes it less desirable compared to the other options but Sonnet can feature full length GPUs depending on what expansion chassis you go with. The Akitio Thunderbolt 2 is a popular choice just because it is relatively cheap and you can attach a full length GPU so as long as you have a powered riser and PSU to attach it to.

This has a guy using his 2012 Mac Mini with a Sonnet III-D to power a GTX780TI.

Ah thanks. However will it work under Windows? Having a look at the Akitio's product page, it says it doesn't work in Boot Camp. Also it says it doesn't support GPUs, which I assume is why we need a power supply and a riser?

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Ah thanks. However will it work under Windows? Having a look at the Akitio's product page, it says it doesn't work in Boot Camp. Also it says it doesn't support GPUs, which I assume is why we need a power supply and a riser?

It should work in Windows, depending on what you are using it may or may not work in OSX. I have a running eGPU connected to my MPB using Akitio and they appear to be similar. Akitio will work in bootcamp, they don't support GPU's meaning that they won't help you implement a eGPU if you were to ask them for help about it. Check out this for more info on the Akitio:

http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/7205-us$189-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2.html

Akitio is probably the cheapest option because you really just need the thunderbolt2 to pcie x16 board inside of it; however, you can run with a smaller GPU so as long as it fits inside the chasis and is low on power consumption. <strike>The powered riser is needed because the Akitio itself only supplies 75W when connected. Instead you use a powered riser w/ molex, this will connect to the pcie x16 end to your GPU which also connects to a PSU (via molex) and you power it by that means instead of relying on the Akitio power supply.</strike>

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ViDock isn't providing the best performance for the eGPU, a AKiTiO is still the best and cheapest option.

You can use any display you want in Windows to have eGPU performance. But to get the best performance you have to connect the display to the GPU of the eGPU.

If connect the display to your Mac, your eGPU needs to transfer the data back to the Mac and the Intel GPU has to display that by it's Optimus feature, which will result in a lower performance. As Thunderbolt Displays need a TB connection, you will have to connect it to the Mac!

A great way is to use a display with multiple inputs. So you can use one connection under OSX directly conencted to the Mac, without the eGPU.

And in Windows you can use another connection from the eGPU to the display (you would have to disable the recognized directly connected to the Mac in the graphics settings).

In OSX you will only have eGPU performance for games on a display directly conencted to the GPU of the eGPU. Rendering programs in OSX are able to use the eGPU despite where the display is connected to.

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It should work in Windows, depending on what you are using it may or may not work in OSX. I have a running eGPU connected to my MPB using Akitio and they appear to be similar. Akitio will work in bootcamp, they don't support GPU's meaning that they won't help you implement a eGPU if you were to ask them for help about it. Check out this for more info on the Akitio:

http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/7205-us$189-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2.html

Akitio is probably the cheapest option because you really just need the thunderbolt2 to pcie x16 board inside of it; however, you can run with a smaller GPU so as long as it fits inside the chasis and is low on power consumption. <strike>The powered riser is needed because the Akitio itself only supplies 75W when connected. Instead you use a powered riser w/ molex, this will connect to the pcie x16 end to your GPU which also connects to a PSU (via molex) and you power it by that means instead of relying on the Akitio power supply.</strike>

@Tech Inferno Fan Is what I said in my last post entirely off? (Looking back at the Akitio forum I guess it is 25W as opposed to 75W) But from my understanding is that if you want to power a full length GPU that draws more power than the Akitio can handle, you need to have a powered riser OR solder a 12V/GND power supply to the pcie board?

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@Tech Inferno Fan Is what I said in my last post entirely off? (Looking back at the Akitio forum I guess it is 25W as opposed to 75W) But from my understanding is that if you want to power a full length GPU that draws more power than the Akitio can handle, you need to have a powered riser OR solder a 12V/GND power supply to the pcie board?

AKiTiO AC adapter provided 60W. Slot requires 75W. Initially is was suggested to use a powered riser however that introduces additional issues with signal degradation. Latest suggestion is to use the slot directly and supply ATX power via a molex-to-barrel adapter. If there are power instability issues then there is a mod to cellophane tape 6 pins of the AKiTiO board AND solder two lines to provide 12V directly to the slot from the barrel adapter. See http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/7205-us%24189-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2-98.html#post122901 and http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/8317-%5Bguide%5D-making-molex-barrel-adapter.html .

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Ahhhhh okay thanks!

- - - Updated - - -

AKiTiO AC adapter provided 60W. Slot requires 75W. Initially is was suggested to use a powered riser however that introduces additional issues with signal degradation. Latest suggestion is to use the slot directly and supply ATX power via a molex-to-barrel adapter. If there are power instability issues then there is a mod to cellophane tape 6 pins of the AKiTiO board AND solder two lines to provide 12V directly to the slot from the barrel adapter. See http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/7205-us%24189-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2-98.html#post122901 and http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/8317-%5Bguide%5D-making-molex-barrel-adapter.html .

Ahhhhh okay thanks, I didn't realize that. I was still under the impression that the powered riser was still the best way to go. With regards to the signal degradation it is just the powered molex riser which degrades overtime? So with what I have currently, that would mean I would eventually have to replace the powered riser? Does this also affect the integrity of the PCie board as well?

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Ahhhhh okay thanks, I didn't realize that. I was still under the impression that the powered riser was still the best way to go. With regards to the signal degradation it is just the powered molex riser which degrades overtime? So with what I have currently, that would mean I would eventually have to replace the powered riser? Does this also affect the integrity of the PCie board as well?

There are video cards that get better Gen2 signalling without a riser. Your video card may not be affected. Still, if you wanted to slot your video card into the AKiTiO chassis (if it fits, or with the chassis bent to accomodate larger cards), then you know how to pass through 75W to the slot without a riser.

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@Dschijn

I just had a question about the 90 degree riser. I unfortunately bought the wrong PCI-E riser being that it angles to the left (out of the case) instead of right (into the case). I thought I had ordered the right one but I guess I got spatially confused. Now that I am looking for a riser that angles to the right I've found that they are far less common. I have found three different ones but they differ by $50 dollars and I am unsure if they are the same or not. I was hoping if you (or anyone else) could confirm before I end up ordering another one that doesn't work.

Leftward Left Angle PCI Riser Card Connector Adapter: Amazon.ca: Electronics

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B001PNGEBK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3KZFHPRUM5A3U

Aliexpress.com : Buy PCI EXPRESS X16 RISER CARD RIGHT Slot Adapter (Star Empery PT328HR) from Reliable pci express x16 nvidia suppliers on PCOLTECH(Star Empery) Technology Co.,Ltd | Alibaba Group

The second one I have seen people post using but it is the most expensive ~50USD; the first and the third ones appear cheaper (both build and price) but I would probably order one of them so as long as they work.

Thanks!

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@eleven: The first riser is PCI not PCIe, caution!

2nd and 3rd seem fine. I got this one: Delock 41788 (seems to be only available in europe).

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Welcome

This is my first post on this forum.

I have problem with instalation EGPU on my Macbook Pro 13" 2012. I read post about this instalation http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/6088-2011-13-macbook-pro-gtx660%4010gbps-tb1-sonnet-ee-pro-win8-1-osx10-9-1-%5Bfloppah%5D.html

and I don't have any success. My EGPU instalation is nvidia graphics card 9800gt ( for test only), Echo ExpressCard Pro http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpresscard34thunderbolt.html and EXP GDC Laptop External External PCI-E graphics card Expresscard Set VER 5.8 http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/EXP-GDC-Laptop-External-External-PCI-E-graphics-card-Expresscard-Set/221491_1452008557.html.

My system is osx yosemite 10.0.2. and I want to install EGPU in my 10.0.2 osx yosemite. When I change the 2 files NVDAStartup.kext

IONDRVSupport.kext. I don't have new card in my osx report system view. Please help me maybe any of you had a similar problem. Thanks.

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@eleven: The first riser is PCI not PCIe, caution!

2nd and 3rd seem fine. I got this one: Delock 41788 (seems to be only available in europe).

Cool thanks! Also, I've started into looking at running the eGPU in OSX. In your guide it appears you had it working at some point but after several boots it no longer ran(?). Did you ever resolve that problem?

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Cool thanks! Also, I've started into looking at running the eGPU in OSX. In your guide it appears you had it working at some point but after several boots it no longer ran(?). Did you ever resolve that problem?

I stopped trying in OSX, because my main goal was to get it working in Windows.

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I have found risers to be unnecessary and in fact more likely to cause trouble than solve it. I have only tested with Nvidia cards.

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You don't need to use Web Driver for 9800, but aren't there 3 files to change?

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I have found risers to be unnecessary and in fact more likely to cause trouble than solve it. I have only tested with Nvidia cards.

I agree! Riser are an additional part of the chain to fail or cause a problem. Cheap riser are also vulnerable to electromagnetic interference or weaker signals.

Still, riser are an option to place the GPU away from the (e.g.) AKiTiO board.

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I´m thinking about buying the 5k imac with titan x as egpu.

I thought the Vidock Nano 320w would be perfect, because you don't need external power its very cheap.

What do you think about it guys?

Sorry for bad english..

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5k iMac + Titan X? wohooooo :D

What is your plan with that setup?

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