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DIY eGPU Macbook experiences

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More Update.. In Win 7 the Card is now fully recognized when attached and ON when Windows is opened through the BootCamp Launcher.. Drivers are good for the GTX970. Still getting the Code 12 but I really haven't attempted anything to get rid of it yet as I am not sure what the Best method is DTST Override, Setup, ???.. I am guessing that once the Code 12 is gone that things should work well as everything is up and running..

Still havent attempted the OS X Kext Mods to allow it to be recognized but part of that is I am having a hard time locating what exactly needs to be done.

Update again:

WINDOWS is now up and running.. Thanks to Nando and eGPU Setup 1.2..

Now to see if I can't get it running on Yosemite 10.10.3 though windows was really what I was after.

BTW on a side note how do you post pictures and spoiler sections so that I can create a thread with the build after I am done so that others might have an easier time.

Brion Sohn

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Hi

I have a question. My EVGA GTX 970 uses two 6pins already. Why does it need any extra power? Why is a power molex necessary? What happens if I only connect two 6pins to my graphic card?

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Yeah thanks! And btw for the Titan X, I should get at least a 750W PSU to be safe right?!

No… that would be for a full desktop PC system. You should be good to go with a modern 500-550W PSU.

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@bsohn: You can post pictures with the "Insert Image" button in the answer section. You can choose between using a www domain to link a picture or uploading a picture by yourself. There might be restrictions in the resolution of image!

Spoilers can be set with

[spoiler ] and [/spoiler ] without the space before the ]

@taiwanjen: Please read: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/10061-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-macs.html

A GTX 970, especially the manufactor overclocked versions (so all of the GTX 970s) can use more than 150W. 150W is the limit of the 2x6-Pin PCIe plugs.

The PCIe slot itself is the main and first power source of the card to supply up to 75W!!

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@bsohn: You can post pictures with the "Insert Image" button in the answer section. You can choose between using a www domain to link a picture or uploading a picture by yourself. There might be restrictions in the resolution of image!

Spoilers can be set with

[spoiler ] and [/spoiler ] without the space before the ]

@taiwanjen: Please read: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/10061-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-macs.html

A GTX 970, especially the manufactor overclocked versions (so all of the GTX 970s) can use more than 150W. 150W is the limit of the 2x6-Pin PCIe plugs.

The PCIe slot itself is the main and first power source of the card to supply up to 75W!!

Thank you for the info on the Posting with pictures..

Now does anyone have a link or Answers to these things:

What and how to modify the OS X Kext files for Yosemite 10.10.3?

and

Which Nvidia WebDriver set is a match for build "14D136"?, as I understand that is a key part of Getting the Nvidia drivers to work with Yosemite.

This is all I need to get figured out along with final case modifications for cooling and I will be fully up and running as I want to be.. Currently I am not planning on using Optimus so I don't currently think I need mods to get that to work only for OS X to recognize the Akitio as a second card.

Brion Sohn

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Hey thanks for the tutorials! I have a question, can you use the internal monitor with this setup? And if not, is it possible?

Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing. So question... is it possible to use the internal display at all with MBP 2011 15" with a different setup? Or has noone figured that out yet.

(My MBP went through the Apply Repair Program due to the huge GPU failure lawsuit and although I'm trying to kill it again so I can get an upgrade to a 2015 MBP 15", the new logic board is prevailing -_- ...)

Awesome and thanks for sharing! So do you think any EVGA GTX 900 series graphics card would work? So if I got this right, They're the Windows graphics card and they still work on the eGPU setup? Gratitude.

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@Dschijn:

Thanks for the information.

I am still confused about the 25w power limitation of the Akitio.

Does the limitation come from the 60w adapter or the circuit board ?

Now I use PCI-E riser with a Molex power cable which is connected to a desktop PSU.

The eGPU system works fine except sometimes I get black screens (screen is light on but black) when switching from OSX to WIN.

I want to improve the power supply part of my system. Do you recommend to adjust the Molex power cable to connect to Akitio's barrel input instead of connecting to PCI-E riser?

Thanks.

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@Dschijn:

Thanks for the information.

I am still confused about the 25w power limitation of the Akitio.

Does the limitation come from the 60w adapter or the circuit board ?

Now I use PCI-E riser with a Molex power cable which is connected to a desktop PSU.

The eGPU system works fine except sometimes I get black screens (screen is light on but black) when switching from OSX to WIN.

I want to improve the power supply part of my system. Do you recommend to adjust the Molex power cable to connect to Akitio's barrel input instead of connecting to PCI-E riser?

Thanks.

I quote from: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/10061-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-macs.html

The 75W for the PCIe slot are only provided for PCIe slot, which are designed to host graphics cards. The normal standard for PCIe slots sets the limit to only 25W. That is also the reason why some enclosures only have low power power supplies, because they are designed to only host „non graphic cards“.

Many people are using the GPU inside the AKiTiO slot and even AKiTiO themself confirmed that works. 25W is just the "safe" specification to run anything that is not a GPU and by that will use less than 25W.

eGPU are not officially supported and manufators are not supposed to support that in any way.

If you have stability problems, you should consider switching to a barrel mod! What kind of PSU are you using?

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@Dschijn:

Thanks for the information.

I am still confused about the 25w power limitation of the Akitio.

Does the limitation come from the 60w adapter or the circuit board ?

Now I use PCI-E riser with a Molex power cable which is connected to a desktop PSU.

The eGPU system works fine except sometimes I get black screens (screen is light on but black) when switching from OSX to WIN.

I want to improve the power supply part of my system. Do you recommend to adjust the Molex power cable to connect to Akitio's barrel input instead of connecting to PCI-E riser?

Thanks.

The 25W spec is explained by AKiTiO themselves here as:

We implemented the x16 PCIe slot although we only use x4 lanes signal that Thunderbolt can support. By spec the x16 PCIe slot is capable of 75W power while the x4 is spec’ed at 25W.. That means, if the user uses a power supply that is big enough, there is no problem that our design can support x16 PCIe card that requires 75W power. I do not know why this post described that many complicated HW reworks. The fact is, no rework is needed. That is the reason why OWC’s PCIe Box has the identical PCBAs as ours but they shipped with the 120W power supply.

By the requirement of Intel/Apple, we need to reserve 30W power for the Thunderbolt circuits because it may need to provide power to the bus-powered downstream devices. That’s why we use 60W power supply but we only leave 25W for the PCIe card. For the eGPU application, users do not connect anything else to the Thunderbolt daisy-chain. In such case 10W for the Thunderbolt circuits should be enough and there is 50W to the PCIe card. In order to support 75W power to the PCIe card, users can simply upgrade the power to 90W or larger.

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@Dschijn:

I use Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G 750W and this riser.

So far, there are no big problems but some small flaws.

My EVGA GTX 970 FTW has coil whine issue.(a little bit)

My Akitio circuit has high pitch noise.(a little bit)

I am considering to connect a Molex cable directly to the barrel input and disconnect the power cable on the riser.

@Tech Inferno Fan:

Thanks for the information.

And I still have a problem of booting from osx to windows. Sometimes, my internal screen is light on but black. And I have to reboot again and again until it goes into windows. I already installed the Optimus and my win8.1 pro is UEFI. Any advices?

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Anyone tried to use an nVida eGPU on the newest 15 inch MacBook Retina with the AMD R9 mobile GPU? I'm thinking on buying it, the one with the AMD chipset costs "only" 100$ more. I'd take it if I was sure my Akitio with my GTX 970 would work fine on it.

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RE: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8569-2011-11-macbook-air-gtx750ti%4010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-osx10-10-%5Bjohndshea%5D.html

I have a similar setup except with a 2011 11" mba with 2GB of RAM and a GTX 960. Do you experience any CPU throttling on more intense games/tasks? Seems like I can get smooth gameplay for a few minutes until the CPU hits 89C then performance degrades, even though frame rate counters show 200+fps.

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@arexxk: You could try:

- running the fans at 100%

- lowering the CPUs voltage with Intel XTU tool

- lifting up the MB so it can get fresh air underneath it

Worste case you could consider lowering the boost clock or disabling it.

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Hi Guys!

I need a purchase advice re an upgrade of my MBPr (early 2013) i5 with Akitio eGPU EVGA GTX 970 to an early 2015 MBPr.

Would it boost my system significantly? Stronger i7 CPU and Thunderbolt 2 instead of TB1?

First I am kind of stuck between MBPr 13" (i7-dualcore) and 15" (i7-quadcore), if its just the size I would go with the 13" since its much easier to carry around but I wouldn't mind the extra bugs for a 15" if its worth the CPU boost in games like "The Witcher 3" etc..

I gave been already reading a lot about this and basically people are saying that core clock CPU is much more important than hyper-threading especially when it comes to gaming since no game is currently using it also some sources say that the i7-dualcore is not really worth the money. Also Haswell or Brodwell?!

Apart form the CPU the TB2 instead of TB1 should give me some extra performance.

I don't do any graphic intense work on my system apart from gaming. So what do you thing?

Best and thank you!

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The Witcher 3 is totally fine with any 4 Threads it can get (dual core + 2 virtual cores). But in general 4 cores are much better for very demanding games (BF4, FC4, GTA V).

If you can get a 2nd hand 2014 MB you will not have any difference in the CPU speed regarding the 15" model.

I am not aware of any 2015 15" models tested yet, but I don't see a problem for Windows.

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The Witcher 3 is totally fine with any 4 Threads it can get (dual core + 2 virtual cores). But in general 4 cores are much better for very demanding games (BF4, FC4, GTA V).

If you can get a 2nd hand 2014 MB you will not have any difference in the CPU speed regarding the 15" model.

I am not aware of any 2015 15" models tested yet, but I don't see a problem for Windows.

2015" 15" MBP has the same Haswell quad-core CPU as 2013-2014 models though with an incremental speed bump. Only thing different is the new AMD dGPU option, force touchpad and slightly longer battery life. Hardly worth paying more for if wanting to having the eGPU doing the graphics processing.

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So what you are sayingis: Try to get hands on a MBPr 15" (2014) for a good price or go with the 13" (early 2015).

Will the early 2015 13" be worth it in comparison with the early 2013 model, CPU wise? And what about the TB1 vs TB2, that should give extra performance as well, right?

Thank you!

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The 2015 13" has the new Broadwell CPUs and is faster than the 2013 model. For gaming I would say a Quad Core would have a much bigger impact.

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Hi Dschijn, I am Frikli444. With these compononents AKiTiO Thunder2

- Galax GTX 970 Gamer OC

- Dell DA-2 220W PSU

- 2x6-Pin PCIe splitter (1x6-Pin -> 2x6-Pin PCIe y-cable)will it be a plug and play device or I need to do some soldering? Sorry if I am asking all these question because I am not a boss in informatic and also I don't want to waste my money. Sorry for the questions:48_002:

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Hi Dschijn, I am Frikli444. With these compononents AKiTiO Thunder2

- Galax GTX 970 Gamer OC

- Dell DA-2 220W PSU

- 2x6-Pin PCIe splitter (1x6-Pin -> 2x6-Pin PCIe y-cable)will it be a plug and play device or I need to do some soldering? Sorry if I am asking all these question because I am not a boss in informatic and also I don't want to waste my money. Sorry for the questions:48_002:

Hi, yes that seems fine. Please read this: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/10061-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-macs.html

You will just need one more piece and that is the barrel plug with the screw terminals, like I am mentioning in the "Powering the AKiTiO Thunder2 with an alternative power supply:" section.

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Have anyone figured out how to boot to windows via uefi while usb tems plugged in ?

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Hi, yes that seems fine. Please read this: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/10061-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-macs.html

You will just need one more piece and that is the barrel plug with the screw terminals, like I am mentioning in the "Powering the AKiTiO Thunder2 with an alternative power supply:" section.

So here I try to find some website to buy the components can you just check to see if everything is correct (if you have time) and also it doesn't bother me just to solder the barrel plug. And also which graphic cards is better the galax gtx970 gamer oc or the gygabite gtx 970 mini?

Websites:

Barrel plug: 5.5mm x 2.5mm DC Power Plug to Screw Terminal Adapter

Graphics cards: http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GeForce-Overclocked-GDDR5-GV-N970IXOC-4GD/dp/B00OQUMGM0

GALAX NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition

Power : Dell DA-2 USFF Power supply Optiplex 745 755 760 D220P-01 MK394 AC ADAPTER | eBay

2x6-Pin PCIe splitter: THIS http://www.amazon.co.uk/Graphics-Electrical-Cable-Adapter-Express/dp/B002CX4TNM/ref=pd_sim_147_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=16E5BRVYFC9TQ5CMFGW0 OR Ls 18 Awg Wire Pci-express 6 Pin Male To 2x6 Pin Female Pci-e Y Splitter Power Extension Cable - Buy 18 Awg Wire Pci-express 6 Pin Male To 2x6 Pin Female Pci-e Y Splitter Power Extension Cable,6 Pin Pci-e Y Splitter,6pin Pci-e Male To 2x6 Pin Pci-e Y OR Pci-e 6-pin Male To Dual 6-pin Female Power Y Cable Pcie 6pin-2x6pin Splitter - Buy Atx Extension Cable,Pci-e Cable,Atx Extension Cable Product on Alibaba.com

Case: AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box | PCI Express Expansion Box with Thunderbolt 2 Interface | AKiTiO

With all this will I have only the barrel plug to solder or some other parts ? And I wanna Thank you to you for answering all my questions!

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@DatScream:

- Both graphics cards are wrong!

- The Gigabyte is too wide (if you want to close the case) and has 1x8-Pin PCIe plug

- The Galaxy isn't the correct card as well, you will need this card: GALAX NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 OC

- the first cable is wrong as well…

- the 2nd and 3rd cable are 500 pieces (if I read that correct)

- better get this two times: http://www.amazon.co.uk/DeLOCK-cable-Power-PCIe-pin/dp/B00FOQW2GA/ref=sr_1_7?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1432929928&sr=1-7&keywords=6+pin+pcie+cable

If you can solder than you can get a barrel plug without the screw terminals and with wires instead.

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Have anyone figured out how to boot to windows via uefi while usb tems plugged in ?

I'm not sure that I completely understand your question.

Do you mean USB devices of any sort or just USB drives?

I have had great luck just using the "plug TB cable in after boot chime" method.

Too soon and it stays on black screen, too late and it gets error 12 or isn't in Device Manager.

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