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tranj10 last won the day on February 28 2017

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  1. Original Author: tranj10 After two weeks of fiddling around with my eGPU setup I have finally found a method that works well with my hardware. There are many suggested modifications on this forum (Evo*'s modified boot files, DSDT overrides*see note bottom of post, DIY eGPU setup), but it seems that these modifications are not necessary for the 2015 13" MBP. The setup includes easy plug-and-play hardware setup, fairly easy software setup (little bit of command line), and installation of Windows 8 on an external drive. Many users with 2015 MacBook Pros seem to have trouble booting up consistently with the eGPU on 2015 MacBooks, so hopefully the power up process I've found works on other MacBooks. Hardware: AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box ASUS DC MINI NVIDIA GTX970 (fits in AKiTiO case without physical modification, but unable to close the case) Dell DA-2 AC Adapter Samsung T1 Portable SSD Cables: These cables from ebay are what make the hardware just plug and play Akitio Egpu 8 Pin to 2 x PCI E 6 Pin Super Low Profile No Latch 1 x Barrel | eBay Two PCI E 6 Pin to One PCI E 8 Pin 90 Degree Bend Right Low Profile USA Made | eBay Hardware installation: - Do not use the PSU that came with the AKiTiO enclosure - Really simple installation, just plug everything in (there aren't many cables and ports to figure out). Just make sure none of the 6-pin and 8-pin plugs are upside down, but it should be easy to tell. Note that for my software installation below, everything was done right after I reset the MBP to factory settings. eGPU and OS X: Goalque's automate-eGPU.sh script makes OS X very easy to setup for eGPU use. (http://forum.techinferno.com/mac-os-x-discussion/10289-script-automating-installation-egpu-os-x-inc-display-output.html) 1) Boot into OS X without eGPU connected 2) Download automate-eGPU.sh and then move it to desktop 3) Press command + space and type in terminal to open up a terminal instance 4) Run the following commands in the terminal - cd ~/Desktop - chmod +x ./automate-eGPU.sh - sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh 5) Go through the commands with "y" and then shut down 6) Go through the Power up process described below Bootable Windows 8 on external SSD: Follow this detailed guide (BleepToBleep: Mac: Install Windows 7 or 8 on an external USB3 or Thunderbolt drive without using bootcamp) - In step 3 part 1, enter the command 'cd C:\imagex' (or wherever you put the imagex.exe file) eGPU and Windows 8: 1) Boot into Windows 8 without eGPU connected 1a) Install Boot camp drivers if not done so already. 2) Perform Windows Update ignoring the suggested intel graphics update (not sure if ignoring intel graphics update is neccesary) 3) Download latest NVIDIA drivers 4) Power on eGPU and connect the thunderbolt cable to the MacBook 5) Check Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Device Manager > Display Adapters for a new display adapter entry 6) If nothing is there or you got a BSOD just restart MacBook and try again 7) Install NVIDIA drivers, selecting custom installation, and include all the options 8) Shut down 9) Go through Power up process described below I sometimes run into a Windows 8 boot up hang, but they don't seem to happen often so just power off and try again. Power up process: This is the power up process I always use to consistently have a successful boot without any black screen issues. 1) Have everything powered off 2) Connect thunderbolt cable to eGPU and MacBook 3) Power on the eGPU power supply (use a power strip with on/off switch) 4) Wait ~15 seconds 5) Power on the MacBook while holding option key 6a) Select the boot partition you want 6b) If you run into a blank black screen: - Force power off for MacBook - Power off eGPU power supply - Disconnect thunderbolt cable from MacBook - Power on the MacBook while holding option key - Boot into OS X, log in, and shut down - Go back to step 1 (there will be no black screen issues for at least the next boot up) - If you still are getting black screens after repeated tries then try a NVRAM clear (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063) - Note that the NVRAM clear does mess with the changes implemneted by automate-eGPU. So you'll need to run 'sudo ~/Desktop/automate-eGPU.sh -skipdriver' to re-enable the changes - If the NVRAM clear doesn't help then try enabling -a mode with automate-eGPU by running 'sudo ~/Desktop/automate-eGPU.sh -a' Benchmarks: I have run 3DMark Fire Strike on the internal display and external display for the GTX 970 at stock manufacturer settings. - There is a 18% difference between internal and external display graphics performance - There is a 16% difference between external display eGPU and desktop GPU graphics performance - The external display eGPU (stock settings) performance is on par with the top overclocked desktop GTX 960s Here is a link to the comparisons: Results - They are ordered as: Desktop GTX 970 (stock) | Desktop GTX 960 (overclocked) | external display eGPU GTX 970 (stock) | internal display eGPU (stock) - The cpu is definately a bottle neck Thanks to @goalque for all his help in getting my setup for the 2015 MBP up and running! I would be interested in knowing if my power up process works for others out there, or if it's just a fluke. I am not sure if every step in the process is necessary (booting in OS X versus just waiting with everything off) edit: I went through this procedure a second time for a clean install, and it still works mostly fine. For some reason now only the thunderbolt port closest to the MagSafe port works for eGPU recognition in Windows 8. Both ports are usable for eGPU in OS X though. edit2: I am using the dsdt override as suggested here (http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/7476-%5Bguide%5D-dsdt-override-fix-error-12-a-2.html). It doesn't seem to hurt or help, but I am just noting what I am using now.
  2. What do you mean by Optimus way? The internal display graphics are accelerated using NVIDIA optimus. Generally when I run into issues (on Windows 8.1) for whatever reason I try: 1) Switching around thunderbolt ports on both the MacBook and Akitio chassis 2) Running a clean install of the NVIDIA drivers
  3. I recommend trying to get Windows 8.1 to work first. I have had trouble with Windows 10 and never got it to work for me. I noticed your model is a macbook air, so it's possible your results will differ. It seems that installing with bootcamp and bootcamp driver is fine. Just going by this thread, @bluecitrus and @Syncytia have semi-successfully used it for booting up Windows 8.1 installed with boot camp. They both seem to have trouble booting up consistently though which I think may be due to them installing on the Macbook internal SSD. I installed Windows 8.1 on an external drive I listed in my first post in the thread. I rarely have any issues in booting up with my eGPU and Windows 8, so I recommend you to try use the external drive if you can. I am currently unsure on the difference between booting up Windows from external vs internal drive, so I'm just speculating.
  4. Windows automatic repair will come up if Window's is unsuccessful in booting up after two tries or after a blue screen of death. You can get rid of automatic repair by booting into Windows successfully without the eGPU connected. When does the black screen happen? I have never gotten just a black screen after selecting Windows from the boot menu (menu from holding option key at power up). I will sometimes get a screen where the Windows 8 circling dots just loop forever, so I force power off the MacBook and try again.
  5. It seems that the ebay seller no longer offers the pre-fabricated cable.
  6. Great to hear @bluecitrus! I've observed similar things in trying to avoid the 'loop' you described while booting into Windows 8. It is not common for me to encounter the 'loop' though. Do you use Windows installed on the internal drive or external drive? I am curious to know if Windows on internal/external drive has any effect on the booting reliability. @qqq66660 No, enabling optimus at boot does not seem to be needed. Post #77 - #80 here http://forum.techinferno.com/mac-os-x-discussion/8558-%5Bguide%5D-macbook-enabling-optimus-internal-lcd-mode-8.html seems to imply that enabling Optimus using Evo*'s method isn't helpful.
  7. @mvpzzp 3D mark on windows 8.1. You can enable eGPU using goalque's script (instructions in my first post in topic). Enabling the external display is just plugging your monitor cable into the GPU.
  8. They claim to support hot plug and play capability with all Mac models. I wonder what they're doing different.
  9. I was able to increase my firestrike benchmark graphic scores by changing some power management options. I changed the Windows power option from 'Balanced' to 'High Performance', and I changed the power management mode within NVIDIA control panel from 'Adaptive' to 'Prefer Max Performance'. My external display score went from 8767 to 9576 and the internal display score went from 7797 to 7971.
  10. I think if the backup file is missing then the easiest fix is to back up all the data you want to keep then factory reset. I don't use the EFI boot on my internal drive, so I can't cross check what the optimus mod actually does to the EFI folder. - If the optimus mod actually overwrites files in the EFI folder then restoration isn't possible without the back up file. - If the optimus mod just adds files to the EFI folder then you could check whiles files are added and just delete them. Also I don't think the commands given in the first post on how to restore the EFI from the back up file totally works. It seems using the ditto command again will just merge the back up EFI file and the Optimus modded EFI, so the additional Optimus files aren't actually removed.
  11. @JoshS0515: I've seen similar issues to you in Windows 10 and a 2015 13" MBP. I never ran into your issue #1, but I did get frequent boot up hangs with Windows 10 (the circling dots at boot up just circles forever). I also had the same issue as you in #2. The eGPU was recognized and usable with an external monitor, but the wifi adapter was not working properly. I saw in Device Manager that the Broadcom adapter did not boot properly. Disabling/Enabling it from within Device Manager did nothing. I plan to just stick with Windows 8.1 until Apple explicitly supports Windows 10 with boot camp.
  12. @jackfsqyj: Yeah, there is some noticeable coil whine when the GPU is in use. I use headphones though, so it doesn't bother me too much. @Syncytia: Great! Hopefully you continue to have good boot ups. I get a boot up hang for Windows 8 maybe every 1/10 tries. I didn't do anything extra for Optimus to work. Just installed all the components in NVIDIA driver install, booted up with eGPU into Windows 8, then optimus is ready to go.
  13. If you're talking about freezing at the EFI boot menu then here are two things to try. 1) Use goalque's shell script with -a mode (http://forum.techinferno.com/mac-os-x-discussion/10289-script-automating-installation-egpu-os-x-inc-display-output.html). This modifies a NVRAM parameter that can help with hot plugging the eGPU at the EFI boot menu. 2) Try the power up process method I use here (http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/10614-2015-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-osx10-10-%5Btranj10%5D.html). I have no issues getting the eGPU and MacBook to fully power up at the same time when I use this method. I am not sure why it works, but it does for me. If you mean the freezing happens while Windows 10 is booting up, then I had the same issue, and I just went back to Windows 8.
  14. I tried out Windows 10 (clean install on external drive) on the 2015 13" MBP, but it didn't seem to work out too well. I was getting several boot up hangs at the Windows circle dot loading screen. When I did get successful boot ups, the eGPU is recognized, but the wireless Broadcom adapter in the MBP would be disabled. I don't think Optimus was working for me either. When I looked in the NVIDIA control panel within the PhysX sub menu, the Color LCD (MBP internal screen) was attached to Intel Iris and only my external monitor was attached to the GTX 970. When I ran 3DMark Fire Strike on the internal screen it was very choppy. It could be that my problems stem from the imaging method I use to put Windows 10 on the external drive. I am using imagex which isn't supported for it, but I should be using these tools here https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/dn916113%28v=vs.85%29.aspx edit: nevermind about the NVIDIA control panel. I looked at my Windows 8 setup which does have optimus enabled, and Intel Iris is connected to Color LCD there too.
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