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cascascas

2013 15" MBP GT750M + GTX980Ti@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win8.1/OSX10.10 [cascas

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I wanted to add myself to the list of successful eGPU users. Also, I haven't yet seen any GTX 980 Ti reports! Thank you to all who have committed to posting helpful info and helping other users on this forum. I've been running the 980 Ti on my Akitio Thunder2 for the last 48 hours and it's been nearly flawless and INSANE performance above my 750m, as expected.

 

Notebook

 

2013 15" Macbook Pro GT750M

i7-4960HQ @ 2.6Ghz

16GB RAM,  1TB SSD

Win8.1 + OSX 10.10

 

eGPU gear

 

Akitio Thunder2 eGPU enclosure

MSI GTX980 Ti reference

 

 

Also, in terms of my physical setup, I have some pictures (still in progress cleaning it up). I ended up putting the whole rig inside a built in cabinet in our home office. I used a Noctua fan and installed it into the cabinet to keep constant airflow. I also house a 5-drive RAID in this cabinet so it keeps everything cool. A nice out of sight setup with just the thunderbolt cable and a hidden DVI cable. Need to paint and clean up some but it's working out well. I'd say I can boot with the card successfully about 75% of the time.. 25% of the time I get stuck at black screen. A mild inconvenience.

 

 

The short version is that I tried the NA211TB because of the all-in-one solution and it's really nice design. But I could never get it to operate because the 750m rMBP doesn't play well with chassis that have multiple slots (PCIe multiplexer conflicts with Macbook's firmware). Would just boot to black and never POST with either OS (yes I've used goalque's awesome, amazing latest script but alas...)

 

Here's 3DMark benches (no overclock on the card)

 

Firestrike, 980 Ti vs 750m : http://i.imgur.com/QcKOoH0.png

Sky Diver, 980 Ti vs 750m : http://i.imgur.com/GTOq71A.png

 

3dmark13-FS.GPU=15687

 

ps. small issues I've had:

 

- on a fresh startup I have wait until boot to boot select screen to plug into the Akitio. Wait 10 seconds before plugging in TB cable then quickly select an OS (if I wait too long it locks up)

 

- on Win 8.1 occasionally (probably only after 2 hours of straight gaming) I'll get a very brief display lockup and windows tells me the driver had failed and then almost immediately recovered (is this a dirty power issue? Or drivers? I'm using latest NVIDIA drivers) I'm running a CX600 Power supply but I don't have amazing soldering skills!

 

- first few times I booted into OS X nearly all pro apps would hang and not successfully open (using latest web driver) But that since has been resolved and everything is good. No change to the system (?)

 

Edited by nando4
formatting

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The short version is that I tried the NA211TB because of the all-in-one solution and it's really nice design. But I could never get it to operate because the 750m rMBP doesn't play well with chassis that have multiple slots (PCIe multiplexer conflicts with Macbook's firmware). Would just boot to black and never POST with either OS (yes I've used goalque's awesome, amazing latest script but alas...)<don't know="" what="" happened="" to="" this="" section="" below="" --="" couldn?t="" remove="" during="" edit="">

</don't>

The [-a] mode should resolve the booting issues with multi-slot enclosures on OS X. If you have problems and want to get it working on OS X, please contact me.

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@Dschijn

10988 Firestrike (not overclocked) It's a reference design from MSI.

- - - Updated - - -

@goalque

I saw that you had a solution for OS X but I also need to have it working for Windows 8.1 as well. The Akitio is working on both at the moment so I think I'm going to send the NA211TB back and build a small case for the akitio setup. I could do a few tests for you before I send it back if you'd like. Let me know.

- - - Updated - - -

Hmm... can anyone help me with this weird issue:

I booted up the rMBP (not plugged into the Akitio, just by itself) into OS X and during the load bar it all of a sudden shrinks by 2x (very small) and the whole OS loads extremely slowly and is 2x scaled down. Really really laggy and unusable. I've tried all of the following with no changes results:

- repair permissions (both from recovery volume and from boot volume)

- reset PRAM

- reset SMC

- changed video driver back and forth from OSX to NVIDIA web driver via the web driver tool.

OS X is virtually unusable this way. And it won't push signal to any external display.

Interestingly, OS X thinks my primary display (laptop display) is a 47-inch screen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i4dx7l76npvj5kx/Screenshot%202015-07-13%2012.32.11.png?dl=0

Also, laptop will not go to sleep when the lid is closed. Display stays active.

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We have at least two successful reports of the Late 2013 15" rMBP 750M + multi-slot enclosure/AKiTiO on OS X. What could make your system behave differently on OS X?

If you give information about your monitor, display interface, script output and how you have powered AKiTiO, do you use a powered riser or not, we have a chance to find the solution. GTX 980Ti is confirmed to work on OS X here.

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@goalque

I've already modded my Akitio (opened it etc) so I'm pretty locked in. Unsure what was diff about my system. Thank you for the offer to help! Really appreciated.

I ended up having to re-install OS X because of the issue I was having and, for now, deciding to only eGPU on windows for gaming. Though, in the future I'd love to use it in all my pro apps on OS X.

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@goalque :I think i'll give it another shot over the weekend once I have a nice clean backup image of my system before I do it!

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@goalque

After a fresh re-install of Yosemite (10.10.4) I ran your most excellent script, installed CUDA and bam, everything booted perfectly. I realized I had a lot of weird system file changes on the older OS from running various development servers locally. Almost no way to trace the problem but it was surely my system.

However, it seems as though most apps that use GPU acceleration (or maybe Core Animation?) in OS X are having a hard time opening and running with the new GPU. Almost all of these apps have the same way (by never full opening, hanging at start with beachball, or totally locking up): Photos app, Photoshop, After Affects, Premier, Final Cut Pro X, Even Unigen Heaven beachballs when i try to run the bench.

Any experience with this?

Solutions I've already tried:

• repair disk permissions

• restart / shutdown / reboot

OS X is certainly running off the eGPU, 6Gb NVIDIA Graphics device detected and posting video to my 30" Cinema Display.

Thanks and hope you are having a great weekend!

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Is the display connected to the eGPU? Can you test by setting up that display as your main display?!

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@Dschijn Yessir - display connected to eGPU (DVI) and I get active display. Internal LCD is disabled (actually has a permanent OS load bar that's frozen, but I think this is normal).

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@goalque @Dschijn I'm having a very bizarre situation where I can't even get the macbook pro (750m model) to boot to OS X. No matter what order I boot in I get a complete hangup on boot and the "no chime" issue. If I remove the eGPU TB cable i start getting Kernel Panics until i PRAM reset....but still cannot boot with eGPU in OS X!

Tried researching the forums but can't find anything specific.

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Can you boot without the eGPU into OSX, switch on the AKiTiO and check if it is listed in your hardware?

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@Dschijn - Yes, detects in OS X when plugging after boot (screenshots). And this is with NVIDIA web driver enabled.

And, I have no problems booting into windows.

post-35856-14495000547909_thumb.png

post-35856-14495000548984_thumb.png

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- changed video driver back and forth from OSX to NVIDIA web driver via the web driver tool.

You can't use OS X default driver, please don't touch to web driver settings. What terminal commands did you type? What's the output if you run "sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -skipdriver" ?

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Yes, I realize I can't run default OS X driver, was just trying to troubleshoot. Often times it seems OS X returns itself to the default driver and I have to manually switch it back to web driver.

Here's the script instructions I've been using with Version 0.9.3 (netstor actually provided this to me when I was using the NA211TB previously)

Automatic eGPU Configuration Guide.pdf

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*Sometimes* (maybe 10% of the time) I can get OS X to post and I get video on both the external display from Akitio AND internal LCD display. It loads OS X to login screen briefly, then locks up and all goes black and hangs before I can do anything.

All very odd behavior but I sense it's the gmux trying to sort things out and then gives up.

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Yes, I realize I can't run default OS X driver, was just trying to troubleshoot. Often times it seems OS X returns itself to the default driver and I have to manually switch it back to web driver.

Something is wrong if you have to manually switch. Netstor's guide doesn't work for you as you have the 750M model. You also have to run the script with [-a] parameter. I am the creator of the script, please ask from me. So is this the issue with the NA211TB only or with AKiTiO as well? Would you tell the output with -skipdriver parameter? (eGPU disconnected)

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Agreed - The driver seems to switch back to default after a series of hard power-downs on the MBP when it hangs at boot.

Yes, my apologies, all credit to you as the script creator and I had only found out about the script because Netstor sent it to me (last week). Now I will channel everything through you. I've sent back the NA211TB and only working from the Akitio. There were too many boot problems with the multi-slot device.

Here's the output when i run latest script with -skipdriver

[FONT=Menlo]Current OS X[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo] 10.10.4 14E46[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]Previous OS X[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo] [not found][/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]Latest installed web driver[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo] Version: 346.01.03f01[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo] Source: 3rd Party[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo] Install Date: 7/18/15, 8:52 AM[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]Checking IOPCITunnelCompatible keys...[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]
[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]IOPCITunnelCompatible mods are valid.[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]Mac board-id found.[/FONT]
[FONT=Menlo]All ready. Please restart the Mac.[/FONT]


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Quote

Something is wrong if you have to manually switch. Netstor's guide doesn't work for you as you have the 750M model. You also have to run the script with [-a]



Ahhhh. I don't know how to do this, but currently reading your Main script thread right now! Again, many thanks for all your effort on this! Once I'm less-ignorant on this topic I would love to offer any help testing 750m further.

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So far looks good.

1) Firstly, we make sure that manual mode doesn't output any errors so run "sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -m"

2) If the reboots still cause kernel panic, run with -m parameter again and then with -a, and restart eGPU connected.

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Ok - mixed news!

First time I ran script with -a parameter it was magic:

- restarted with plugged, went straight to OSX and external display with eGPU insta-good.

- I shutdown

- booted plugged again

- no chime, just black screen (cpu fans maxed)

- I booted again, plugged, (hold option) selected Yosemite

- froze on boot select (cpu fans maxed)

- Booted again (not plugged) just to get back to OS X

- Unplugged: starting halfway through load bar, everything gets 50% scale and runs reeeeeaaly slow like no GPU acceleration at all. Screen refrseshes are laggy and performance is unbearable... like 6-10 fps constant. You can see my previous reply in this thread where I explain this problem in more detail. OSX thinks the internal LCD is a 47-inch TV

Also, since running in -a mode I can't boot into Win 8.1 any more :(

I'm going to keep trying thing to repair internal LCD at minimum.

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Ok - mixed news!

First time I ran script with -a parameter it was magic:

- restarted with plugged, went straight to OSX and external display with eGPU insta-good.

- I shutdown

- booted plugged again

- no chime, just black screen (cpu fans maxed)

- I booted again, plugged, (hold option) selected Yosemite

- froze on boot select (cpu fans maxed)

- Booted again (not plugged) just to get back to OS X

- Unplugged: starting halfway through load bar, everything gets 50% scale and runs reeeeeaaly slow like no GPU acceleration at all. Screen refrseshes are laggy and performance is unbearable... like 6-10 fps constant. You can see my previous reply in this thread where I explain this problem in more detail. OSX thinks the internal LCD is a 47-inch TV

Also, since running in -a mode I can't boot into Win 8.1 any more :(

I'm going to keep trying thing to repair internal LCD at minimum.

Most likely the background process hasn't done its job ready when you booted again. The automatic mode is still experimental and not ready. You can always disable that -a mode by executing the script with -m parameter. Then switch back to -a mode if you like to get it working on OS X. If you run with -m and -a again, does it work? When the OS X gives the login screen, does it appear on the internal or external screen?

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Most likely the background process hasn't done its job ready when you booted again. The automatic mode is still experimental and not ready. You can always disable that -a mode by executing the script with -m parameter. Then switch back to -a mode if you like to get it working on OS X. If you run with -m and -a again, does it work? When the OS X gives the login screen, does it appear on the internal or external screen?

Yes, running -m and -a again works. It loads the login screen on the External screen. To my surprise, the internal screen is active as a second display (extended). Before your script I would get a frozen, distorted image with OS X load bar and the internal screen was locked (but still powered on) not recognized by OS X. Now It's active but sometimes goes black when I try to run, say, Unigen Heaven on internal. And comes back a live after I close unigen heaven. trying to figure out what's actually powering the internal screen - - total mystery. I can, however detect (with gfxcardstatus) the macbook GPU's switching when certain apps are opened etc.

Also interesting, when closing the macbook pro lid the internal LCD powers off but OS X still recognizes it as active and app windows can still be moved over. It's probably addressed in this forum somewhere (actively looking) but I'm trying to find a way to disable the internal screen when lid is closed.

Right now it seems like -m is the most stable (as you stated) way for me to boot into both OS X and Win 8.1 but I have just successfully done both!

Attaching some screens in case they are helpful.

Thank you sir!

post-35856-14495000550413_thumb.png

- - - Updated - - -

I'm going to keep trying thing to repair internal LCD at minimum.

quick update: this fixed itself. I'd really like to find out why this was happening (it's happened two times now on two different installs of 10.10.4 and the first time I couldn't get it to go away). So in case it happens again I have a way to repair it.

- - - Updated - - -

quick update: Simple and stupid: just boot with lid closed and internal LCD never posts. Problem solved.

post-35856-14495000550881_thumb.png

post-35856-14495000551419_thumb.png

post-35856-14495000551578_thumb.png

post-35856-14495000552254_thumb.png

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UPDATE 3: booting eGPU to OS X with macbook lid closed (means internal LCD never posts or never recognized) is causing the crashing and hangups in all my pro apps and games. It's like they are all confused about what to do :) But they run fine if internal LCD posts as an extended screen.

Since I primarily want to work in single display mode (I mount my MBP behind the 30" Apple Display) my solution is to leave the macbook lid open slightly and change OS X display prefs to mirroring both displays. No more stray UI elements and wasted GPU resources.

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UPDATE 4: Using mirroring as a solution seems to cut performance down by 30-40% and causing external display to run at 30hz instead of 60hz (just guessing by the lag in UI render). I suppose I'll have to live with the laptop display being on and extended even though I sits behind my external display.

I think i'm learning some of the lessons others already have on this forum :P

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@cascascas

​Thank you! :) Yep, the internal and external screen work fine together in "extended mode". If you go to System Preferences -> Displays -> Arrangement, you can choose which is your primary display by dragging the white bar (menu) onto the blue box.

post-28870-14495000553447_thumb.png

Games can be launched on the external monitor for acceleration and sometimes you can move them to internal screen and continue gaming. It’s a pity that games are not often optimized for OS X, programmers haven’t thought about external GPUs.

SwitchResX is a handy tool, but its display disabling/enabling is not perfect in Yosemite. However, worth to try.

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