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Gmonkey

Late-2011 15" MBP HD6750M + GTX960@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + OSX 10.11.4 / Win10 [Gmonkey]

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Hello everyone,

 

First of all I have to thanks to this community for the help and information you provide. The last Christmas I decided to make a small gaming PC that I can transport with me in my hand luggage when I have to travel on plane. But I discovered this forum and I preferred to invert my money in update my Macbook Pro and try with the eGPU option. Today I am really happy, my easy to transport laptop is capable to play modern games if I need it.

 

 

HARDWARE:

 

Macbook Pro (Late 2011)

  • Intel Core i7 2.2 GHz "Sandy Bridge"
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750M 512MB
  • Thunderbolt 1
  • 16 GB 1333MHz DDR3 (Updated)
  • HD SSD 500GB + HD SSD 120GB (Updated)

 

AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box

EVGA GTX 960 FTW 2GB

Corsair CS 550M

Jumper switch

Molex cable

DC power connector

 


SOFTWARE:

 

OSX Capitan 10.11.4

Windows 10

 

 

INSTALLATION:

 

  1. Create a Molex to barrel cable following this guide.
  2. Insert the graphic card in the AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box.
  3. Insert the jumper switch in the PSU.
  4. Connect the AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box with the molex to barrel cable.

 

  1. Install OSX in the main SSD.
  2. Connect the Thunderbolt cable into the Macbook Pro.
  3. Turn on the eGPU.
  4. Turn on the Macbook Pro.
  5. Install the eGPU script.
  6. Install CUDA drivers.
  7. Restart and you have the eGPU working on OSX.

 

  1. Install Windows with Bootcamp.
  2. If you want to install Windows in a secondary drive you have to create a Windows partition with Bootcamp, install Windows and then clone it to the secondary drive with an specific software. In my case I used Wineclone. If not, install Windows with Bootcamp as usual.
  3. Install the Bootcamp drivers without the ATI drivers.
  4. Connect the Thunderbolt cable into the Macbook Pro.
  5. Turn on the eGPU.
  6. Turn on the Macbook Pro.
  7. Push ALT button and boot in Windows.
  8. Install the last Nvidia drivers.
  9. Restart, choose Windows again and you have the eGPU working on Windows.

 

 

BENCHMARKS:

 

Unigine Valley.jpg

 

Unigine Heaven.jpg

 

Tomb Raider.jpg

 

Cinemabench R15.jpg

 

Fire Strike.jpg

 

Sky Diver.jpg

 

 

NOTES (UPDATE 29/07/2016):

  • The CPU on Windows had problems with temperature, sometimes it raised more than 90º. I've tried to undervolt the CPU but was impossible. At the end I changed the maximum processor state in the Windows options to 99%. With this I didn't have better results in the benchmarks but I improved the temperature. At the end the best solution for me was to use the program ThrottleStop. I tested different profiles until I keep my CPU on 80º maximum.
  • This annoyed me. I couldn't squeeze the GPU using overclock even when this card is ready for that. I only can increase to +60 MHz GPU Clock and +500 MHz Mem Clock and without much difference in the results.
  • My GPU is too big for the Akitio Box. I didn't want to have the CPU and the GPU without anything. I created a temporary case with a magazine file set I bought in IKEA. Sorry but I am not allowed to upload more pictures in this post!

 

 

EDIT, new images:

 

Molex_cable.jpg

 

Molex_to_barrel.jpg

 

Jumper_switch.jpg

 

Wood_case_1.jpg

 

Wood_case_2.jpg

 

Wood_case_3.jpg

 

Thanks!

 

Edited by Gmonkey
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Great benchmarks! :D

I guess you are using an external monitor?

A shorter card and a Dell DA-2 could make the eGPU much smaller.

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Thanks! I did all the benchmarks using an external monitor because is my normal scenario when I am using the laptop for gaming.

 

About the size of the eGPU I had to use that card because I bought it when I had in mind create an small gaming PC. It's a shame because I know there are good MiniITX graphic cards to use inside the Akitio box. And the PSU option was because it was easy to start without knowledge of electricity or welding. When I have to travel to home I can move the eGPU without the PSU and use the PSU I have it there.

 

In a future I want to improve the overclock in the card, change the PSU like you said or think a proper case for everything (but all the options I've seen need a riser) but for now time to enjoy it.

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Thanks for the quick guide. How did you clone the bootcamp from internal SSD to an external SSD and is this step mandatory?

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4 hours ago, g-hood said:

Thanks for the quick guide. How did you clone the bootcamp from internal SSD to an external SSD and is this step mandatory?

 

No, it's not mandatory. In my configuration I have two SSD inside of my Macbook Pro. An 500GB SSD for OSX and a secondary 120GB SSD only for Windows. I couldn't install Windows straight in the secondary SSD because my 2011 Macbook didn't allow me to do it. I had to create a Windows partition with Bootcamp in my main SSD, install Windows and then clone it to the secondary SSD. I did it with Wineclone, it's very easy to use and if you can clone your windows partition in an external SSD if you want it.

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Hello everyone here is an update about how is going my eGPU:

First, I am really happy with the amazing results when I play games. It's a pity that my Macbook Pro has the Thunderbolt first version (only 10 Gbs), I can't imagine the results with a Thunderbolt 2 or even better, a Thunderbolt 3! But well, like I said I am really happy.

 

And, well, few months ago I tried Forza Motorsport 6: Apex on Windows Store because it uses Directx 12 and it's free. The graphics are amazing even in low-medium settings. I could play at 25-40 fps but I noticed after play one circuit the fps drop to 10-15. And then I realise something was happening to the CPU. I think it was suffering thermal throttling. I tried before to undervoltage the CPU but it was impossible in this one. But now I use Throttlestop to put a maximum limit on the CPU. My CPU is 2.2 GHz and in 3.1 GHz in turbo mode, now the maximum is 2.6 GHz and the result is more stability and less heat (maximum 80º).

 

Finally today I tried de new 3DMark's benchmark, Time Spy. It uses Directx 12 and pretty heavy to move. I obtained 2189 points. At the beginning I thought was horrible but when I compared with desktop PCs it isn't bad at all.

And that's all. I still want to buy or create a nice case for my eGPU, I accept advice!

 

See you soon!

 

Edited by Gmonkey

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Hello, I come from China. my egpu GTX660 + 2015  15 "is MBP Iris. My OS is 10.11.6 my video card driver doesn't under MAC osx, but modified file has been identified is GTX660 2 gb. Graphics display is connected HDMI but no response,  could you tell me what to do. Very afflictive recently. Thank you very much

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Hey, nice build but i want to ask something, the molex to barrel adapter you just made, i noticed you put a total of 2 yellow wire and 3 black wire, why not put 2 black wire? And why use 2 yellow wire? Will it have over volatge? Because 1 yellow is 12v 2 yellow means 24 v? Thanks

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