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DIY eGPU Macbook experiences

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RE: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8882-2014-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-handle-win8-1-%5Bphantron.html#post121260

Hello!

Thanks firstly for taking the time to share your setup with the world! I was considering buying an eGPU setup for my MacBook Pro 15", but as I'm still under 18 and therefore not allowed to get a job, I can't spend money on something I'm not 100% sure would work. If you could Skype me and answer a couple questions I have before buying this, and afterwards if anything comes up I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks for your time! :)

(Please PM me for my Skype, I don't want to write it here.)

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RE: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8882-2014-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-handle-win8-1-%5Bphantron.html#post121260

Hello!

Thanks firstly for taking the time to share your setup with the world! I was considering buying an eGPU setup for my MacBook Pro 15", but as I'm still under 18 and therefore not allowed to get a job, I can't spend money on something I'm not 100% sure would work. If you could Skype me and answer a couple questions I have before buying this, and afterwards if anything comes up I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks for your time! :)

(Please PM me for my Skype, I don't want to write it here.)

A few problems with your requirements:

1. You can't PM until have a certain number of posts (5 or so).

2. DIYers generously document their work and help others along on this public forum which becomes leverage for others. It's then best to keep discussion public.

I'd suggest post your questions if you want answers. Clicking the 'thank you' button afterwards giving appreciation for users taking their time to answer.

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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.

Actually TB is no issue for me for some reason, I can shut down the PC, keep the akitio powered (it shuts down automatically) and start pc, boot directly into windows without any issue. However if I keep my mouse or keyboard plugged in, I recieve the screen with the text: "GNU GRUB Version 2.02~Beta2"

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I have a 15" Retina MBP Mid 2012. GT650M, i7 2.3Ghz and 16GiB of RAM.

Is the 16GiB of RAM likely to cause issue with an eGPU in an AKiTiO Thunder2?

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That's excellent, thank-you :)

I'm now trying to figure out the best (cheapest) way of getting a AKiTiO Thunder2 into the UK. (I've already bought a DA-2 to power it!)

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@Kurbeco: There are currently some other people from the UK with the same problem. Seems to be hard to get a Thunder2 directly in the UK. You could consider importing it from France or Germany.

Another option is to mail AKiTiO directly and ask for a bundle price (Thunder2 + shipping). For that please read the first post here: http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/7205-us%24189-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2.html

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I did see that post, but with shipping costs of ~$60+ I was hoping to find a better way. I might be able to get someone from my workplace to buy one in the US and then bring it back with them. I'm not in a rush at the moment. I'm still absorbing information from this forum, currently in awe of the build that @bsohn has done. It's exactly what I want, something that is compact and properly portable!

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I did see that post, but with shipping costs of ~$60+ I was hoping to find a better way. I might be able to get someone from my workplace to buy one in the US and then bring it back with them. I'm not in a rush at the moment. I'm still absorbing information from this forum, currently in awe of the build that @bsohn has done. It's exactly what I want, something that is compact and properly portable!

I live in Denmark, but bought mine from Amazon.de at macconnect - no issues there and fast delivery.

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Greetings!

I've been an avid reader of this forum for a while.

I have a mid 2014 15" rMBP 750m machine and I'm interested in maximum BootCamp eGPU performance while using only the internal Retina display (I don't want to use an external monitor).

Is enabling Optimus is mandatory (hence losing 10%-20% of performance)?

In case I switch to a similar, just Iris Pro non-dGPU machine should I expect basically for the same performance (same CPU)?

Thanks...

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Greetings!

I've been an avid reader of this forum for a while.

I have a mid 2014 15" rMBP 750m machine and I'm interested in maximum BootCamp eGPU performance while using only the internal Retina display (I don't want to use an external monitor).

Is enabling Optimus is mandatory (hence losing 10%-20% of performance)?

In case I switch to a similar, just Iris Pro non-dGPU machine should I expect basically for the same performance (same CPU)?

Thanks...

Expect a loss of performance if using the internal LCD for display since part of the TB bandwidth is sending display traffic. There is no such penalty if using a LCD attached to the eGPU.

IF getting the Iris Pro only model, performance will be the same with the exception that the dGPU model could utilize the dGPU for Physx effects, improving image quality. Though pls evaluate that benefit over the higher complexity in getting Optimus (enabling the iGPU in Windows) going on the dGPU model as documented at http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8717-%5Bguide%5D-enabling-intel-iris-pro-hd5200-win8-1-15-macbook-pro-gt750m.html

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Expect a loss of performance if using the internal LCD for display since part of the TB bandwidth is sending display traffic. There is no such penalty if using a LCD attached to the eGPU.

IF getting the Iris Pro only model, performance will be the same with the exception that the dGPU model could utilize the dGPU for Physx effects, improving image quality. Though pls evaluate that benefit over the higher complexity in getting Optimus (enabling the iGPU in Windows) going on the dGPU model as documented at http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8717-%5Bguide%5D-enabling-intel-iris-pro-hd5200-win8-1-15-macbook-pro-gt750m.html

Thanks! The greater implementing complexity has taken into consideration.

Is it correct that there will be more performance loss in higher resolution/fps count?

Is there a way of lowering the performance penalty (by tweaking or hardware/moding wise)?

I thought that Physx, when enabled, can only lower cpu utilization (where most, if not all, games are gpu-bound, under i7 quad core with, lets say, gtx 970 as eGPU configuration) and does not effect visual quality, am I wrong? Source:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx_faq.html

Thanks.

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Physx is more of a feature in some games. Not really making the machine working better.

Physx will enable better effects, because a GPU can calculate that effects much more efficiant as a CPU.

If you disable Physx, there will be no difference in performance as with the 750 doing the Physx.

If using Physx with a 2nd card it can even support a Titan card so much, that you would have 30% better performance (compared to Titan doing Physx alone) in e.g. "Assassin's Creed: Black Flag" (which is a Physx killer).

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So, when Physx enabled, there should be about 30% performance difference in favor of 750m in AC:BF even when using internal screen? Can you confirm?

Interesting that 750m is not listed as Physx supported GPU: http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/physx/supported-gpus

What will be the average case scenario?

Is there a way of improving internal screen performance?

BTW, your eGPU implemetation's really inspiring and kudos for the guide.

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That are two different things!

Physx:

30% performance gain, when using Physx with a 2nd card.

But you can simply disable Physx :D

Internal screen performance:

Performance loss will be sth like this with a GTX 970

post-26280-14495000194372_thumb.jpg

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Ofcourse they are different. I ment that 30% performance loss due to Physx should be about 25% loss combined with internal screen configuration, right?

But with 750m there shouldn't be performance loss at all, since according to nVidia's site it's not supported?

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Physx can be done by any recent GeForce card.

Using the internal screen will result in a performance loss (e.g. -20%)! Using Physx without a 2nd GPU will result in performance loss (e.g. -20%)!

Using the 750m for Physx will still give you the e.g. -20% loss due to using the internal screen.

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Thanks!

I see now that 750m is actually supported: PhysX GPUs | NVIDIA

What would be the average Physx game scenario performance (not AC:BF) with i7 4880HQ machine comparing Iris Pro to 750m (mid 2014 15" rMBP)?

So... AMD m370x, latest Apple rMBP upgrade, is actually downgrade Physx-wise?

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Please forget Physx!

It doesn't have any real benefit, imho (just looks a bit better). And using two cards (one for Physx) is mostly for enthusiasts.

Yes, Physx is an Nvidia only feature.

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Ok, sorry :-)

Regarding the internal display configuration, is it correct that there will be more performance loss in higher resolution/fps count (due to more information that has to go back to the computer through TB)?

Is there any way of lowering the performance penalty (by software tweaking or hardware modding)?

Thanks!

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Ok, sorry :-)

Regarding the internal display configuration, is it correct that there will be more performance loss in higher resolution/fps count (due to more information that has to go back to the computer through TB)?

Is there any way of lowering the performance penalty (by software tweaking or hardware modding)?

Thanks!

Yeah, attaching an external LCD means no internal LCD traffic being used on the TB link.

Otherwise yours tweak fors improved internal LCD performance include (1) disable the NVidia audio to use your inbuilt soundcard audio instead to save precious bandwidth (2) run a lower resolution or color depth to reduce internal LCD traffic (3) apply a FPS limit using Rivatuner/EVGA Precision.

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Great advice!

About disabling nvidia audio... Should not installing nvidia HD audio drivers would be enough? anything else should be done?

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I don't think anybody tested how the loss due to higher resolutions is…

Still if you let a GPU run at it's full power you will get in low resolutions high FPS, with high resolution low FPS. So in some way it should be balanced…

The idea of Nando is good, using a FPS limiter to reduce to the amount of data. Since most (common normal) displays are running at 60Hz, 60FPS limit is sth that I always use.

However, using a GTX 970 to power the 15" retina with games like FarCry 4 will result in FPS below 60 (retina resolution and high quality)!

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After getting the 2.1mm screw-in terminal quoted somewhere, I realised that it doesn't fit in the akitio case... Ordering an adapter now... Can't wait to try out.

After trying to break open the welded point with hammer and flat-tool without success, i went mad and used a steel cutter to chop the whole part off...

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