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DIY eGPU Macbook experiences


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hy guys,

my eGPU is the akitio thunder 2 with a pci raiser and the gtx 970. my power supply is the FSP raider 550W which is connected to the GPU and to the PCI raiser. the akitio is powered by ist own power supply. my computer is a mac mini mid 2011, i5, 16GB ram running os x 10.10.1

the eGPU works, but it crashes when i start rendering in premiere pro cs6 and restarts the computer. i have the latest web driver and cuda driver installed.

please help!

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Cool stuff, very helpful. One request, could you possibly tell me how to configure the .bat file for a late-2013 macbook pro retina?

Per comment in http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/5469-%5Bguide%5D-2013-13-macbook-pro-gtx670%404gbps-c-tbec2-pe4h-3-2-win7.html#post76399 , please use the pci.bat from http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/4271-%5Bguide%5D-2013-macbook-air-gtx570%404gbps-c-tbec2-pe4l-2-1b-win7.html. Though suggest you try the automatic compaction first.

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The Smoking Gun, Apple working on eGPU on Thunderbolt for nMP and others (macrumors) as posted by MacVidCards ( @MVC ) :

The Smoking Gun, Apple working on eGPU on Thunderbolt for nMP and others

Been debating where and when to post this.


Shows that Apple has a lab somewhere that is working on eGPUs. The very thing I posted about a few weeks ago. (CUDA coming to nMP near you)

I decided to try out a variety of cards as they are lying around here.

I can write an EFI that gives boot screen, etc but unlike cMP these cards still have no info in the "PCI" section of Profiler.

Instead, the usual "There was an error...blah, blah,blah" of unflashed cards.

Imagine my surprise when I tossed in an old Quadro 3800 and saw the attached screen. Why oh why would the "Graphics and Displays" section have those TB specific fields? Somebody put them there and it wasn't me.

I would guess that Apple has been quietly working on this for some time but has held off introducing either as a favor to Intel, to sell more computers, or just because they are mean.

In any case, the system profiler knows what an eGPU is. I would guess that they have a routine in that blocks this info on more common and recent cards, but somehow older obscure cards still show up like this.

We will be offering a limited number of eGPU options, but my guess is that eventually Apple themselves will. Or maybe not, I have found that my rMBP becomes an awesome gaming machine when I dock it with TB GTX980. Then I undock and take with me. At which point my 2014 dog-slow Mini becomes a gaming machine, via the same GTX980.

So, you could buy 1 pricey GPU and use it with all of your TB equipped Macs. When you wanted to run CUDA on your nMP, BANG ! Crisis 4 on your MBA? BANG ! Sounds far too useful and sensible for Apple to market it.

In any case, there it is, proof it is either coming or was tested and set aside.

We'll see which.


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I just finished setting up my eGPU based around the Akihito thunder 2. I'm using an MSI GTX 760 and a late 2012 MacBook Pro. I turned on the eGPU PSU first then turned on my Mac. I selected to boot into windows but then both my screens were black. My monitor was not receiving signal as well as the internal display.

Any ideas? I'm freaking out here!

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I just finished setting up my eGPU based around the Akihito thunder 2. I'm using an MSI GTX 760 and a late 2012 MacBook Pro. I turned on the eGPU PSU first then turned on my Mac. I selected to boot into windows but then both my screens were black. My monitor was not receiving signal as well as the internal display.

Any ideas? I'm freaking out here!

Answer posted at eGPU installation and setup coming soon! - Page 2 - General Discussion - Linus Tech Tips . Strange, no link back to the Tech|Infero eGPU forum there to help others along.

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Hey guys, I am following the guide to hook up an eGPU to my MacBook Air. It is 13". On the PE4L, the D4 light (red) is not turning off after I press and hold the option key and go into the boot menu on my Mac. Do you guys know what the problem could be, and if so, the solution? Thanks.

PS: Should I attach the jumper cables from the PE4L to the SWEX adapter (1,2) ?

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I have the rMBP 15 "2012-Dual HD4000/GT650M

follow the stepsthis post http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/8059-%5Bguide%5D-2013-15-macbook-pro-gt750m-gtx780ti%4016gbps-tb2-sonnet-ee-iii-d-osx10-10-a.html and:

1- Sometimes load the OSX, others do not.

2- The VGA fan always is 100%

3- to connect the HDMI to the GTX480 freezes system

4- The Only use the HD4000 or GT650M.... How to use the GTX480?



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Hey guys,

Firstly I would like to thank this forum for being a fantastic resource in realizing my goal of setting up an e-gpu. My setup consists of the following components:

- Zotac GTX 970

- Akitio TB2 enclosure without riser

- Antec earthwatts 650 PSU + paperclip

- Macbook pro 13" Iris

- OSX Yosemtie 10.10.1 + web driver 343.01.02f01

With the Zotac's fan shroud off, it fits handily into the akitio enclosure and I have a pretty clean setup. I am however worried that I without a riser I am putting too much strain on the Akitio's external PSU. That having been said I was able to play civilization 5 on high detail + 2560x1440 for a couple of hours without issues.

I have some random questions:

- Is there a way to monitor the temperature of the zotac gtx 970 on OSX?

- Is there a way to provide power to the Akitio board from an external PSU while still having my Zotac gtx 970 fit inside it.

Much appreciated! When I have this running stably I'll put up an implementation guide.



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  • 4 weeks later...

RE: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/8578-%5Bguide%5D-2012-15-macbook-pro-titan_z%4010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-osx10-10-a.html#post116918

Thank you for your video. Honestly it is much less frightening to watch how to do it than to read about it.

Can the same be done on a mid 2012 MacBook Pro (non-retina and extended to 16 GB ram) with somewhat less expensive GPU (like 970)? I am pretty sure that this question has already been answered somewhere at this forum, but after reading it for several days I feel completely lost and will be grateful for any insight.

Thanks in advance

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Hi Guys!

I'm new to this forum and very interested in building my own eGPU for my Macbook Pro Retina (13 inch, Late 2013, 8 GB RAM, i5 2.4 GHz, 256 GB SSD).

From what I read here in this forum, the most affordable solution is by using the Akitio Thunder2 PCIe enclosure, and it seems to work rather well.

I also got a good insight in the different issues you have to face, but some questions did still remain unanswered.

I want to use the eGPU predominantly for video editing with FCP X or Davinci Resolve.

Which Card?

  • How is the compability of the different Cards under OS X? I see many people here use the Akitio with the GTX 970 which is as far as I know not officially supported OS X. How risky is it then to buy a card that is not officially supported, and can you even make every thing work like OpenCL, CUDA and thing like that?
  • How big is the actual performance gain when using a more powerful card like the GTX 760 compared to the GTC 750 TI, since the bottleneck is the Thunderbolt connection which only makes 20 GB/s?
  • Do you think the GTX 750 TI or GTX 760 would be a good choice? What card would you suggest for my editing purposes?

Power Supply:

  • The last big question is the power supply in the Akitio: Officially it is meant to deliver a max. power of 25W to the PCIe port, but it seems that it can drive a GTX 750 ti without Riser. Does anybody know if this is stable or which damage could exactly be caused? I'm not an electrician, but if it can deliver the power, what could happen to it?
  • Then, if you use a card like the GTX 760, which has it's own 8pin (or 6pin?) power supply, has anyone measured how much it still draws at max. from the PCIe slot, or does anyone know any limit for sure? Because, in theory you wouldn't need a PCIe-Riser neither, an you could plug the card directly into the PCIe slot.

Thank you very much in advance!

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Regarding your power consumption question, please take a look in my first Guide with a GTX 970: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/7879-%5Bguide%5D-2013-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-osx10-10-a.html

Why you want to go low and use a GTX 750Ti or 760? You could consider a GTX 780 or even bigger card. I don't think the bandwidth will be limiting your work so much and because of that, aim high ;)

But still if you want an opinion between 750Ti & 760, take the 760. The 750Ti is based on the GTX 970/980 chip and could cause a bit more problems. Also a 760 is faster.

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Thank you!

That's a good point if the GTX 750 causes more problems. Do you mean in terms of drivers and CUDA and so on?

I just can't spend to much money and at the same time I want a rather stable system, so I thought since the GTX 760 ist natively supported (is that even true?) I thought it would be the best choice.

Do you know any other alternative which would be a better "bang-for-the-buck"?

P.S.: Does anyone know why in the "Buyer's Guide December 2014" from tonymacx86 under "native GPUs" you only find the GT 740 and the GTX 760, but in November there was also the GTX 770? Does it mean the GTX 770 is not more natively supported?

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Ok, I'm a little confused.

Above you said, the GTX 750 TI is not as good as the GTX 760.

do you mean, it is better in terms of power efficiency or in computing performance?

I don't really need the best card of all but one so that I can properly edit on FCP X and DaVinci with effects and so on.

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A 760 is faster, but a 750Ti is more efficient. The 750 needs less power as it has a better/newer chip.

If you want a eGPU with little power consumption/heat/noise you should consider a 750Ti.

BUT… I don't know if a 750Ti will work in OSX.

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Hello Everyone,

As many of you I am trying to setup an EGPU :)

My config: MBPRD mid 2012, 16 go ram, Intel I7, internal GT650m with Akitio Thunder2 + external 550w PSU + EVGA GTX770 on thunderbolt 1 under yosemite 10.10.1

I managed to get it working with the apple stock drivers but it was not very stable: after about 20mn the computer would freeze/restart so I decided to give a go to the official web drivers.

I have experiemented with a few packages including the latest WebDriver-343.02.01f01 but so far everything has been a disaster and it is alway the same issue:

The issue comes when I modify the NVDAStartup.kext. As soon as I modify it and restart a bizarre thing occurs:

-About half way through the OS loading bar, the screen suddenly doubles in resolution (everything is really small) and it is almost like there is no acceleration at all. refresh rate is unusalble.

-OS X sees the GT650m under "about my mac" but does not see the GTX770.

-Looking at the NVIDIA web driver panel nothing appears; not even the GT650m (Hence poor refresh rate I guess): It looks like the drivers are not loading correctly and/or detecting the cards somehow which makes me think it out be an easy fix but my knowledge is very limited.

reverting the NVDAStartup file does not fix the issue but reinstalling WebDriver-343.02.01f01 and everything goes back to normal but I do not have the EGPU of course.

So basically I cannot use any webdrivers so I cannot test anything... Thinking of building a PC :////

i heard about some startup commands but my knowledge is extremely limited there. I am repairing permissions every time and also tried to clear the cache under terminal but nothing works. Also tried reseting PRAM/SMC.

Is it true that I should not use the akitio PSU ?

Could not find any reference to this particular issue anywhere. Anyone experienced it ?

I followed all the steps of Mark's guide [GUIDE] 2013 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + GTX780Ti@16Gbps-TB2 (Sonnet EE III-D) +OSX10.10

Sorry for all the noob questions

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Happy new year !

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RE: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/8059-%5Bguide%5D-2013-15-macbook-pro-gt750m-gtx780ti%4016gbps-tb2-sonnet-ee-iii-d-osx10-10-a.html#post109983

Ok so I just setup my Asus GTX 970 eGPU with the akitio and it works great in windows 8.1. However, after all the directions listed here I can not get the computer to fully boot with the eGPU. The screen goes black halfway through the boot and either gives me the kernel panic warning message or it just stays black forcing me to shut down.

The only reason I can think its not working is because I'm running 10.10.2. Any other Ideas?

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Okay so I have been using my EGPU in Windows for about a week now and everything has been great other than a few crashes here and there but I expected that. Today I decided I would get it to work in OS X. I did not have the "joy" that I did have in Windows. I have modified all KEXT files, installed the CUDA driver and NVIDIA Web Driver. Allowed signing of driver certificates in terminal, I cleared my KEXT cache. However when I boot into OS X after following the startup procedures all it shows up as is "Display" as you can see below, If anyone could help me figure out why this is happening it would be greatly appreciated @Tech Inferno Fan @Dschijn @Sachin10 @entzoe

. post-31579-14494999042471_thumb.png

Also just some pictures of my setup in case you guys are interested


If these images seem disproportionate it's because I scaled them to 2560x1440 to upload them here.





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You shouldn't bother of trying to make it work in OSX. I stoped trying after many failed attempts. GTX 970 and OSX isn't the best combination right now.

In the end I'm pleased it didn't work for me. In OSX I connected the external display directly to the MBP and have a much quieter system. For Windows I disabled the direct connection (TB -> DisplayPort) and am only using the MB screen with the external display connected via DVI to the eGPU.

If you really need OSX eGPU, you should consider making a step back to a GTX 780 (Ti).

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If anyone could help me figure out why this is happening it would be greatly appreciated

I haven't even tried to use my e-GPU in Mac OS X. But I would like to have this functionality in the future to drive a 4K display that I don't have yet (Windows: 1080p gaming & Mac: 4K productivity).

- - - Updated - - -

Some general information and experience about my system. My setup works very good under Windows without any crashes yet. Sometimes I just need to force shutdown the system because Optimus isn't working (when no external screen is connected) or because there isn't anything to see on both the internal and external screen. But after one or a few reboots everything is fine again.

The 13" interal screen is small so I like to game on my TV quite often. My e-GPU and laptop are located in my home office and I have a USB and HDMI cable running through the wall from my office to my living room TV. In the living room I have an USB hub to connect a keyboard, a mouse and my Sony PS3 controller. I have slightly better FPS with an external monitor/TV and this way I can game in my living room without any noise of the e-GPU.

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