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2014 13" MBP + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2+TB Display) + Win8.1 [benchallenger

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Hi All, I have been lurking on this forum for a couple of months now interested in upgrading my 2014 MBPr 13 inch with an egpu... finally decided todo it so flew to Singapore to get the following items:

1) 450 W SFX PSU (nice and small)

2) Akitio Thunder 2 Unit

3) Various Power Leads

4) Zotac 970 GTC - with fan cover removed

5) 50mmx10mm low profile fan

6) 2 x 50mm x 10mm Cooler System

I managed to get all the parts working very easily - without needing a powered riser. I preferred everything in the akitio unit so directly wired the barrel adapter to the ide/sata power port (Along with the dual fan unit I am using to ensure sufficient air flow in the case)

I removed the internal Akitio fan as I was unable to fit the zotac card in with it present, however I replaced this with a low profile fan so I didn't lose the additional air flow. I then drilled some holes in the side of the case and mounted the dual 50mmx 10mm fan unit (also directly powered by the 6 pin ide power port on the psu) and mounted it above the drilled holes to give additional air flow.

Then I mounted the SFX 450 W PSU to the side of the unit - routed some cable once I drilled out some space on the top for the 2x6 pcie ports to the Gcard. So overall it is a nice self contained compact unit. On the PSU U directly connected the necessary 2 pins with a jumper wire to trick start it.

I followed the normal guides for installed the EFI Windows, Drivers and updated NVidia driver. I have not had todo the "Guide for Internal Optimus Thread" yet - optimus seems to work 100% of the time with the internal LCD as long as the unit is powered on and plugged into the mac before I turn the mac on.

I also have an Apple thunderbolt display and was worried it wouldn't work - I have it plugged into the spare TB2 port on the mac, and both internal screen and TB display are accelerated by the 970 by optimus. VERY HAPPY! I'm sure I get some penalty by not running out of the GPU but I didn't want to buy another display.

I haven't tried to get it working with OSX nor will I try to - quite happy to be on the road with work in OSX - but when I want to game, just to head into windows...

Temp wise with 98% GPU utilization after an hour the Gcard is staying at 80 deg C according to CPUID HWmonitor, with the fans at around 60%. Funnily I cannot get GPUZ to see the egpu so cannot monitor for it is throttling at all. However I'm running most games at high/ultra on all settings at 2600x1440 on the TB display at solid 60FPS with vsync so am a very happy camper. Noise wise the unit is relatively quite, even under load. I usually set the mac fan at 6k RPM to keep the CPU from throttling as bootcamps fan control is a bit on the lazy side, and that is much louder and more irritating than the eGPU... Few photos of my build - thanks to everyone sharing as I could not of done this without seeing everyone's attempts! Any questions, happy to answer!

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Great news you got the TB Display working.

Do you have any problems to boot into Windows or is it 100% sucessfull?

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Seems to be 100% successful so far. Haven't had a single issue booting into windows with optimus enabled and I haven't had todo the editing in OSX mentioned elsewhere to get internal optimus to work every time...

Great news you got the TB Display working.

Do you have any problems to boot into Windows or is it 100% sucessfull?

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just an update - got GPUZ working so torture tested on furmark. Before I did I added a row of slots on the top to aid in further ventilation and covered it with the spare grating from the akitio (when using a single width slot) - after 1 hour of furmark on the TB display, fans levelled out at 78%, GPU at 85 degC, core between 1050-1070 - no thermal throttling reported. Think we have a winner! :) pic with the holes in the top added.post-33360-14494999501751_thumb.jpg

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Have you disabled the thotteling? In general a GTX 970 has a temperature target of max 80°C and starts throtteling after that. You can prevent throttling by raising the temperature target in EVGA Precision X or MSI Afterburner (great tools). 1050MHz seems quite low. I assume it is already throttling.

Are you providing fresh air from the side into the case and by the front fan? Can you guide the air from the front fan to the GPU instead of blowing randomly into the AKiTiO?

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I don't see any throttling whilst playing games.. Stays at boost of 1290 MHz consistently. When I do fur mark and clock is at 1050 after an hour gpuz doesn't show thermal throttling as perfcap reason... Need to check what it says again but I know it's not thrm

The front fan directs air through the case from front to back... the side ones direct it in from the side for increased air flow to the front of the graphics card so overall it is swept through the case and out the back/up through the top vent holes.

Have you disabled the thotteling? In general a GTX 970 has a temperature target of max 80°C and starts throtteling after that. You can prevent throttling by raising the temperature target in EVGA Precision X or MSI Afterburner (great tools). 1050MHz seems quite low. I assume it is already throttling.

Are you providing fresh air from the side into the case and by the front fan? Can you guide the air from the front fan to the GPU instead of blowing randomly into the AKiTiO?

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Played around a little more today. Downloading precision and made some new fan profiles and did some overclocking and benchmarking. Using 3dmark firestorm with core clock boosted to 1500mhz (+210), mem clock to 7500 MHz (+250) and tdp set to 106%, running on internal MacBook displAy via Optimus gave me a graphics score of 8990. With Gpu fans at 100% Gpu stayed below 75deg C with no throttling, full 1500mhz boost core throughout test. When running Apple Thunderbolt Display score was around 8800 so no real difference.

Managed to finally get it to boot without any black screens - just had to do the Optimus efi guide and ensure boot is set to windows by default.

Finally there. Happy days :)

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