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Hello tech inferno!

This is my first post here. This seems the place to be for info on setting up eGPUs. I've done some research, and I'm pretty sure I'm willing to take the plunge down the eGPU rabbit hole. 

 

Here's my idea:

Since I love the idea of having all my stuff on one sleek, organized computer, I would like to have a 15 inch macbook pro (2015) with an external 'docking station' of sorts that houses hard-drives, a disk drive, and extra ports (usb, ethernet, ect.), and of course, a powerful gpu. I would have two thunderbolt cables: one for the graphics and one for everything else. I would like the external docking station to be housed entirely within a cooler master elite 120 white that I have laying around. The thing is really good looking and seems to be the perfect size. I have attached some pictures of the case for reference.

 

I would like to put the power supply, the graphics card, the hard drives, and the disk drives in their natural places in the case, and I would also really, really like the egpu to work in both windows and mac. It would be cool to have the ports on the case work, but this is in no way necessary.

 

Questions:

Will this work? What is possible and what is not? Will the macbook retina with the AMD Radeon R9 M370X be ok for egpu, or should I stick with the iris-only? 

Any help would be appriciated, as I am eager to learn, but a total noob on egpus.

thanks so much,

          Hunter

image1.jpgimage3.jpgimage2.jpg

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I cannot comment on getting the eGPU to play well with your Mac, but plenty of people have done eGPU on Macs and the implementations forum has plenty of material to take a look at. Someone probably has an identical Mac there with a working eGPU.

 

What I can comment on is having all external stuff in that one case: The short version is that it is possible (even including the case ports working).

 

Here is the longer version :)

 

The simplest way would be to put a USB3.0 powered hub (with like 8 ports) into the case, alongside the PCB of whatever eGPU enclosure you plan to get and use USB to SATA adapters to enable the laptop to access the external drives. To get the external case USB ports working, you will need some way to connect the case headers to the USB hub. Thankfully, adapters exist for this and are readily available. To power the external drives and USB hub you can use the same PSU that will power the eGPU, since you will have plenty of connectors to spare (and all the USB hub needs as far as extra power goes is 5v).

 

The end result will have you connecting two things to your Macbook: 1 Thunderbolt cable for the eGPU PCie and 1 USB3.0 cable for everything else. If you hook up the keyboard and mouse (or their wireless receiver if you use a wireless set that needs one) to the same hub inside the case, that means no extra cables to hook up.

 

The aforementioned adapters for USB3.0 (this is for a typical USB3.0 motherboard header connector - it might be different for your case, but since you already have it it will be easy to check):

https://www.amazon.com/RAYSUN-20Pin-Header-Adapter-Motherboard/dp/B00P5VG1DE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1464845877&sr=8-5&keywords=usb+3.0+to+internal+header

 

For USB2.0:

https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-designed-motherboard-external-connector/dp/B000V6WD8A/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1464845836&sr=8-7&keywords=usb+to+internal+header

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Yukikaze,

Thanks for your help! I think having a usb powered hub is a great idea, as I could leave all my desktop stuff (microphone, mouse, keyboard, ect) plugged into the external enclosure. However, I don't think one usb3 is going to cut it for the usb connections and the hard drives, since one of them will be a 1tb samsung ssd used for booting windows. I would much rather connect all of this over a second thunderbolt to minimize the bottleneck. How could I do this?

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12 minutes ago, Quackingplatypus said:

However, I don't think one usb3 is going to cut it for the usb connections and the hard drives, since one of them will be a 1tb samsung ssd used for booting windows. I would much rather connect all of this over a second thunderbolt to minimize the bottleneck. How could I do this?

 

USB3.0 is pretty damn speedy and will likely be fast enough for you. But, if you wish to use Thunderbolt, you can do it. It will just be more expensive.

 

You can grab a Thundertek/PX enclosure (139.95$ currently, does not include Thunderbolt cable and it is Thunderbolt 1 only, but that is more than enough for this use) and pull out the PCB and place that also into your case. That gives you a second PCIe x4 slot. The next thing you do is grab a PCIe SATA and USB3.0/3.1 combo card (Amazon has a few options and I am sure ebay has more) and place it into the new PCIe slot. Your drives then connect to the card's SATA ports and the USB hub connects to the USB port.

 

End result is two Thunderbolt cables (and about 200$ extra cost).

Edited by Yukikaze
Price adjusted - Forgot to add the PCIe to SATA/USB cost.

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On 6/2/2016 at 1:48 AM, Yukikaze said:

I cannot comment on getting the eGPU to play well with your Mac, but plenty of people have done eGPU on Macs and the implementations forum has plenty of material to take a look at. Someone probably has an identical Mac there with a working eGPU.

 

What I can comment on is having all external stuff in that one case: The short version is that it is possible (even including the case ports working).

 

Here is the longer version :)

 

The simplest way would be to put a USB3.0 powered hub (with like 8 ports) into the case, alongside the PCB of whatever eGPU enclosure you plan to get and use USB to SATA adapters to enable the laptop to access the external drives. To get the external case USB ports working, you will need some way to connect the case headers to the USB hub. Thankfully, adapters exist for this and are readily available. To power the external drives and USB hub you can use the same PSU that will power the eGPU, since you will have plenty of connectors to spare (and all the USB hub needs as far as extra power goes is 5v).

 

The end result will have you connecting two things to your Macbook: 1 Thunderbolt cable for the eGPU PCie and 1 USB3.0 cable for everything else. If you hook up the keyboard and mouse (or their wireless receiver if you use a wireless set that needs one) to the same hub inside the case, that means no extra cables to hook up.

 

The aforementioned adapters for USB3.0 (this is for a typical USB3.0 motherboard header connector - it might be different for your case, but since you already have it it will be easy to check):

https://www.amazon.com/RAYSUN-20Pin-Header-Adapter-Motherboard/dp/B00P5VG1DE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1464845877&sr=8-5&keywords=usb+3.0+to+internal+header

 

For USB2.0:

https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-designed-motherboard-external-connector/dp/B000V6WD8A/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1464845836&sr=8-7&keywords=usb+to+internal+header

Yeah, it looks like USB 3.0 will have more than enought bandwidth for what I'm doing. I have a list of all the parts I need, except for a way to connect the hard drives to usb. All the cables I can find connect USB 3.0 by both data AND power to a 2.5" drive. While this is fine for the SSD, I still need to connect the 3.5" 3tb drives and the Blue-Ray Drive. These require sata power from the power supply, so I need data-only USB 3.0 to SATA cables. Do you know where I can find these?

thanks

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Something like this comes to mind:

http://www.amazon.com/Anker®-Converter-Adapter-Cable-included/dp/B005B3VO24/ref=pd_sim_sbs_147_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=41NRVzaqsWL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=01PVER34H2D5G6T1VN6S

 

You'd mod a power input for it from the ATX PSU in place of the ac/dc mini-brick it comes with. I am also pretty sure you could get a cheaper version somewhere.

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1 hour ago, Yukikaze said:

Something like this comes to mind:

http://www.amazon.com/Anker®-Converter-Adapter-Cable-included/dp/B005B3VO24/ref=pd_sim_sbs_147_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=41NRVzaqsWL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=01PVER34H2D5G6T1VN6S

 

You'd mod a power input for it from the ATX PSU in place of the ac/dc mini-brick it comes with. I am also pretty sure you could get a cheaper version somewhere.

Thanks!

Looks good, I found a cheaper one on amazon with good reviews: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CV855BC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=3TCGMRAW8DP7Y&coliid=IRDNP7GBJHSED

I'm going to connect the 3.5" drives with SATA data extention cables to these, so I can use the sata power from the power supply. This should be neater than modding molex cables to barrel plugs.

 

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There's one final thing I still need to get this all working. 

I need a way to connect the molex connectors on the power supply to the power plug on the powered USB hub here: http://www.amazon.com/Anker-Charging-Adapter-Included-VL812-B2/dp/B014ZQ07NE?ie=UTF8&colid=3TCGMRAW8DP7Y&coliid=IP327B1BMJ3W7&psc=1&ref_=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl

I assume some soldering is involved.

Thanks! :)

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The input voltage of the USB hub is 12V, 3A. That can easily be provided from the ATX PSU by modding a molex connector to a barrel plug of the right diameter.

 

On the ATX PSU's Molex you have 4 wires. Yellow is 12v, Red is 5v, the two blacks are ground. So you take a molex female side connector with wires going out of it, and connect the black and yellow lines to a barrel plug that fits the USB hub (electronics hobby stores or amazon carry those, you can salvage one off an older power adapter). Make sure to get the plug's polarity correctly!

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