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DIY eGPU Macbook experiences

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I've been happily running my external Aikito Thunder2 card and NVidia 770 on my MacBook Pro under Windows 8.1 via Bootcamp.

Today I wanted to start using the 770 with OSX 10.10.2 so I updated to the latest NVidia web drivers: WebDriver-343.02.02f04.pkg

I can confirm that installed okay and it running according to the NVidia system preferences panel.

I re-modified the kext files:

/System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext

/System/Library/Extensions/IONDRVSupport.kext

/System/Library/Extensions/AppleHDA.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleHDAController.kext

to add the:

<true><key>IOPCITunnelCompatible</key><key> key with value</key><key> true

</key><key></key>

for each section containing <key>CFBundleIdentifier</key>

I then ran:

sudo kextcache -system-caches

and rebooted but the 770 does not show up.

Has anyone got any advice on what I should try next to resolve this?

Thanks,

X6

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Hi,

I noticed that after installing the Windows drivers for my eGPU on a 2014 rMPB with 750m, that both OS X and Windows have scaling issues. Please check out the weird "pixel blurring" on the attached images. These screenshots were captured at 2880x1800.

post-33851-14494999737618_thumb.jpg

post-33851-144949997368_thumb.jpg

post-33851-14494999737204_thumb.jpg

It seems like certain elements like text and varying web elements are upscaled at the wrong aspect ratio. This happens across Windows and OS X, which is driving me completely mad. I've tried restoring from different images, clearing the SMC and PRAM and yet the problem still persists.

Help!

EDIT: Here's a couple screenshots from within SwitchResX- does this EDID look screwed up?

post-33851-14494999738198_thumb.jpg

post-33851-14494999737892_thumb.jpg

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I had a Mid-2014 13" Retina MacBook Pro working with a plug and play setup with OS X using a Sonnet Echo Express SE II & GTX 750ti.

Just upgraded to the new 2015 model. When I boot the eGPU powers up but I just get a black screen on the MacBook and the external monitor.

I set it all up the same as I did with my previous 2014 model so it does look like something has changed with the 2015 model.

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Gaming in 4k/5k

- - - Updated - - -

5k iMac + Titan X? wohooooo :D

What is your plan with that setup?

Gaming in 4k/5k :)

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Gaming in 4k/5k

Well, but not on the internal Retina Display!

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Well, but not on the internal Retina Display!

Why not? I wouldn´t play games where you need 2ms response time.

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Because you can't get the eGPU performance onto the internal Display!

Maybe it might wotk with this software: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/2967-lucidlogix-virtu-internal-lcd-mode-amd-egpus.html

But you would need Windows and currently the Retina Display can only display 4k in Windows.

OK thanks for the info :)

Does this setup work: Imac 5k + external Monitor.

The imac would only run over the internal graphics in windows and mac

And between the Imac and the external Monitor would be the Titan X. (only running for the external display in windows and mac)

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Hi,

I have a few questions about installing the eGPU drivers on a 2014/750m model. The process is very clear on an Iris model but becomes a bit more complicated when there's already an nvidia gpu onboard.

Let's say in this case I started with a fresh 8.1 UEFI bootcamp install. From what I understand, I should first install the dGPU drivers before rebooting and attempting to install the eGPU drivers as a "clean install".

Qu01: Should I perform the reboot/install with the eGPU powered on and connected to an external display during the boot? Or should I leave it unplugged then use the "safely eject hardware" (and ext display) once I'm booted?

Qu02: Since I'm "clean installing" desktop drivers over the mobile drivers, won't this cause immediate issues when I unplug the eGPU and boot with the 750m? If not, then why do I need to install the mobile drivers in the first place?

Qu03: When updating my drivers in the future, do I still use the "clean install" option? Do both GPUs need to be enabled in device manager at all times, or only when installing drivers. Why even keep it enabled all?

Qu04: What's the expected end result when configured properly? Should the internal display disable itself during boot then activate my eGPU display as the single/primary? Or do I need to manually do this every time.

Qu05: Can you use the internal display as a secondary monitor that is driven by the eGPU?

These are obvious non-issues with the Iris model, and I haven't found any in-depth discussions between dGPU users about these topics. Hopefully one of them can chime in. I'd be very interested learn about why this works in a such way.

I can't wait until we can easily enable Iris in Windows!

Sorry for the painfully long post... I'm new at this and any help is HUGELY appreciated :)

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Hello,

I've been considering some options to be able to decently play games, and came up with 2 possibilities: either a ps4 (obviously out of scope to this forum) or an external gpu for my mac.

I'm in the UK, so my budget would be around 350£ (price of a ps4). The macbook I have is a 15" retina, 2013 (TB2), iris-only (8Gb ram).

This post seems to be quite similar to what I'm looking for:

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/9007-2014-15-macbook-pro-iris-gtx960%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-%5Bmorv%5D.html

I want to play recent FPS games (lets say far cry 4 for instance) decently at 1080p (GTA V as well).

I would like to know more about some things first though:

- Is the following buy list appropriate and does it represent all the needed parts (excluding a case)?

Akitio PCI Express Card Thunderbolt 2 External Expansion Enclosure - AK-T2PC-TIA-AKTU - Scan.co.uk

Corsair CX430M 80+ 430 Watt Semi Modular Refurb ATX Power Supply - Scan.co.uk

MSI GTX 960 Twin Frozr V 2GB NVIDIA Maxwell PCI Express Graphics Card - GTX960-GAMING2G - Scan.co.uk

Powered PCI-E 16X to 16X Adapter Riser Extension Cable Molex Power Connector | eBay

(any feedback from these sellers or other suggestions for the UK would also be appreciated!)

- Would I be able to use the HDMI output instead of the DVI (probably to hook up to a TV)?

- Would going back to the integrated iris card be as easy as a power cycle without the external card connected?

Thanks for your help, this is my first post in this forum so if it is on the wrong place please let me know!

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@dragao-azul: For 350£ you can get a nice eGPU setup and your list seems fine. But I think you should consider a better PSU with more PCIe connectors for a few bugs more.

HDMI should be fine, as the eGPU works almost as a regular desktop PC GPU. The Iris iGPU doesn't care at all. You can reboot into OSX and even Windows with Iris without any problems.

For a better gaming experience you might want to reconsider the GTX 960! FC4 (and I guess GTA V too) is very damanding.

Check out my Guide for some gameplay videos.

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Hello,

I've been considering some options to be able to decently play games, and came up with 2 possibilities: either a ps4 (obviously out of scope to this forum) or an external gpu for my mac.

I'm in the UK, so my budget would be around 350£ (price of a ps4). The macbook I have is a 15" retina, 2013 (TB2), iris-only (8Gb ram).

This post seems to be quite similar to what I'm looking for:

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/9007-2014-15-macbook-pro-iris-gtx960%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-%5Bmorv%5D.html

I want to play recent FPS games (lets say far cry 4 for instance) decently at 1080p (GTA V as well).

I would like to know more about some things first though:

- Is the following buy list appropriate and does it represent all the needed parts (excluding a case)?

Akitio PCI Express Card Thunderbolt 2 External Expansion Enclosure - AK-T2PC-TIA-AKTU - Scan.co.uk

Corsair CX430M 80+ 430 Watt Semi Modular Refurb ATX Power Supply - Scan.co.uk

MSI GTX 960 Twin Frozr V 2GB NVIDIA Maxwell PCI Express Graphics Card - GTX960-GAMING2G - Scan.co.uk

Powered PCI-E 16X to 16X Adapter Riser Extension Cable Molex Power Connector | eBay

(any feedback from these sellers or other suggestions for the UK would also be appreciated!)

- Would I be able to use the HDMI output instead of the DVI (probably to hook up to a TV)?

- Would going back to the integrated iris card be as easy as a power cycle without the external card connected?

Thanks for your help, this is my first post in this forum so if it is on the wrong place please let me know!

This is about what you need to have a working TB eGPU, yes.

I was playing Far Cry 4 maxed out but resolution at 1366x768. FullHD maxed out didn't produce stable 60 FPS and was dropping to 30-40 but I was too lazy and simply reduced the resolution.

Furthermore I'm playing Project Cars, Battlefield 4(Ultra, FHD) and some other shooters. Dying Light needs some effect settings tweaking and/or reduced resolution to produce 60 FPS. Note that the GTX 960 is easily overclockable and produces around 800 additional points in 3DMark11 which also leads to more FPS in games.

Regarding your points:

1. HDMI output works at a TV. I'm having my monitor connected via DVI-DVI and my TV is even connected via DVI - HDMI with sound on TV.

2. No eGPU powered, no eGPU present and everything is as if there was never a eGPU connected. I'm using one of these in my power strip, so I can only power on/off my eGPU but don't need to power off the whole strip.

All together you will be fine with this setup and you'll always the possibility to upgrade your graphics card.

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Hi,

Thanks for your replies! I would typically agree with you, but the fact is I am not that picky, I've managed to go through half of battlefront 4 with the iris card on my macbook, it just got to a point were I quit eventually. I would not mind lowering the resolution a bit if it wasn't fluid enough with the 960 (honestly 40fps is probably more than enough for me), I just wouldn't want to do that on every game. I wouldn't also mind lowering a few settings.

So for now this would seem a good setup, if not for anything else, for me not to make a great investment that may not work out for some reason.

Any suggestions on the store front? I saw some (format.de and mag.de) which either appear not to chip to the UK or are for business only, so I guess my best deal would be with scan.co.uk?

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Hi,

Thanks for your replies! I would typically agree with you, but the fact is I am not that picky, I've managed to go through half of battlefront 4 with the iris card on my macbook, it just got to a point were I quit eventually. I would not mind lowering the resolution a bit if it wasn't fluid enough with the 960 (honestly 40fps is probably more than enough for me), I just wouldn't want to do that on every game. I wouldn't also mind lowering a few settings.

So for now this would seem a good setup, if not for anything else, for me not to make a great investment that may not work out for some reason.

Any suggestions on the store front? I saw some (format.de and mag.de) which either appear not to chip to the UK or are for business only, so I guess my best deal would be with scan.co.uk?

You'll be fine with the GTX 960.

scan.co.uk seems to be the best choice, it's even a few bucks cheaper there compared to german stores if you only take the price itself(idk about shipping from or to germany, for example).

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Hi,

I've run into an issue after installing the win8.1 drivers for my Akitio/GTX560 on my 2014" 750m macbook. I started noticing some aliasing/scaling artifacts in video, text, and other rendered UI elements. It effects both my Windows 8.1 and Yosemite 10.10.3 installation. I've also lost the ability to play smooth 4k60 video with the dGPU, but switching back to the iGPU with gfxCardStatus instantly doubles the frame rate in OSX. I've used the 4k60 version of this video as a benchmark many times in the months leading up the the eGPU install, so the change was very noticeable.

Here are some examples, note the blur around the edges:

http://i.cubeupload.com/hlGiJ1.png

http://i.cubeupload.com/G2GxmY.png

http://i.cubeupload.com/ygCTY8.png

http://i.cubeupload.com/aZdvLA.png

http://i.cubeupload.com/eRemK8.png

http://i.cubeupload.com/cVqLHA.png

When I first connected the eGPU and installed the drivers, it was connected to a 1080p display. It looks to me like it's scaling as if I'm always using that resolution, as the aspect ratio looks stretched as well.

I'm at a loss for how to fix this, as nothing seems to have worked so far. Rolling back the drivers and clearing the PRAM unfortunately had no effect.

Have you kind folks ever encountered such a problem?

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If this is any help, I noticed today after updating to 10.10.3 that using the update function from the web driver preference panel I could update to the latest version in one click, no need to modify the installer. Still need to modify the kexts after but still a bit faster.

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Hi, if there is anyone in europe with an old but working thunderbolt 2 or 1 enclosure i'd buy it for a reasonable price, feel free to contact me here on the forums. I do also have a question what would be the most powerful graphics card that could run on tb1?

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It could works on a Mac mac mini 2014?
2014 should work, yes :D

For GTX 9X0 cards in OSX we need to wait for some input from @goalque. He mentioned sth about that generation of macs here: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/8619-tb2-macbooks-allow-monitors-used-nvidia-egpus-osx-2.html#post129160

I just received confirmation that a Late 2014 Mac mini 2.6GHz (Intel Iris 5100) didn’t have screen output to the external monitor via GTX 980 on OS X, and MVC has reported that 1.4GHz (Intel HD 5000) model shows black screen as well with regular PC Nvidia cards. My kext discovery may help, but no guarantee. AMDs will give screen output, and GPGPU computing is possible with Nvidia cards though.

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My kext discovery may help, but no guarantee.

Testing that would be nice.

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Testing that would be nice.

I could enquire if the latest Mavericks security updates have the same effect on 2014 Mac mini. I only have a Mid 2011 Mac mini, which works perfectly with dual SSDs (Windows 8.1 / OS X Yosemite) + AKiTiO + GTX 980 :) And by chance, saw something really awesome: the external monitor was accelerated via Mac mini’s HDMI interface on Win8.1, also the HD 3000 was visible. Somehow the GTX 980 was fully utilised via TB1. Not sure if I can repeat that. I may have the 3DMark11 results. The common way is to use eGPU’s display connectors of course, and it gives the best performance.

EDIT: I can repeat it.

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Thunderbolt 1 shows pretty good scores:

GTX 980 <- AKiTiO <- TB cable <- 2011 Mac Mini -> HDMI - DVI cable -> DVI monitor:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 video card benchmark result - Intel Core i5-2415M Processor,Apple Inc. Mac-8ED6AF5B48C039E1

2011 Mac mini -> TB cable -> AKiTiO -> GTX 980 -> DVI cable -> DVI monitor:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 video card benchmark result - Intel Core i5-2415M Processor,Apple Inc. Mac-8ED6AF5B48C039E1

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