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  1. So I first heard about e-gpu *somewhere* about a year or so ago and of course Google led me here, where I read a few posts about various implementations and ideas and such, and then went off to contemplate and research it more, and to wait around for it to catch on enough for it to be "a thing" you could just buy and be done with. Obviously, aside from Alienware and whoever else's proprietary idiocy, it's not "a thing" you can just go and buy. So I read some more, but the one thing different about my situation was that I wanted to implement this on my desktop, not a laptop, for 3D rendering (Daz Studio with iray). As well, I wasn't using a Mac, so there were certain things about it that simply did not apply to my situation. I have an ASUS Z87 Pro motherboard, which doesn't have Thunderbolt built-in, but does support it via the ASUS Thunderbolt EX II add-in card. I picked up an Akitio Thunderbox 2, and noted that it was aimed at Mac, according to the box. Still, I tried. I had to take the guts out of the enclosure because a GTX 980 is too big for it. I skipped the powered riser thing and just got the Akitio and a PSU to power the card. At any rate, since I didn't know about the paperclip trick to hotwire the PSU, and it wouldn't turn on without being attached to a motherboard, the whole thing sat on a shelf for about a year while I looked around a bit more. Today I decided to give it one last try, and for the last several hours I've been doing just that. I dug an old tower out of the closet and put in my PSU, hooked it to the mobo so it'd power on, and hooked up the Akitio. I was able to get it showing in Device Manager, and of course got Code 12. However, rather than use a command prompt to hack my system into allocating resources, it dawned on me that I have plenty of available resources already being used by things in my motherboard I don't use. Bluetooth, WiFi, RealTek HD audio, etc. These are useless to me, since all my gaming sound comes from my GTX 980, and I'm hardwired to the router. As well, the on-board Intel HD graphics stuff is going unused. So, in Device Manager, I uninstalled these items, which of course freed up resources. I did make a few BIOS edits in regards to those items in particular: disabled onboard audio, onboard video, onboard wifi and Bluetooth. I also set the PCI speed to Gen2 instead of Auto (read that somewhere today). The Thunderbolt BIOS options unlocked only after the TB add-in card was installed, and there were a few tweaks I made there, as well. Notably, Enabling the Option ROM for TB during POST (it's worded backwards - the Disabler for it is Enabled, so I had to Disable the Disabler, which Enables it). There was another one, just above that I believe. I'd have to go back and see what it was, but basically it enabled resources for TB or somesuch. It didn't work by itself when I first tried it, so I know that alone wouldn't do it. I don't know if it helps, though. Not sure which one of those is and is not necessary, but upon reboot, I no longer had Code 12, Daz Studio, EVGA Precision X, GeForce Experience, and NVIDIA Control Panel see 3 cards - the 2 internal (980 and 780 TI) and the external (another 780 TI) - and I'm rendering noticeably faster (10 minutes faster) with all fans blazing away. The instructions for the TB add-in card state to connect the Display Port of the card to the DP of the MOBO, which I did at first, but then moved it from the MOBO to the external GPU. I figured that was just so the MOBO video is routed to the TB card, which would then be connected to a TB display. Ergo, connect the video card that's actually being used. That part probably doesn't matter anyway since I'm only using the egpu for rendering power, not video output. I'll have to go into the BIOS and write down the exact settings if anyone's got a similar setup and similar issue, but basically the TL;DR is that you can avoid using the DSDT edit trick for Code 12 by uninstalling mobo features that you're not using and disabling them in the BIOS. I'd take a picture, but it's a fire hazard of noteworthy proportions.
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