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EdgyVenison

2012 13" MBP + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + OSX10.10.2 [EdgyVenison]

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Hardwares

- 13" Mid-2012 Macbook Pro w/ i7-3520M @ 2.9GHz

- Dell U2414H 1080p 23.8" Display

- Gigabyte GTX 960 2GB OC ITX

- AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box

- Corsair RM450 PSU

- 1.3m HDMI-HDMI cable

Softwares

- OSX 10.10.2 (14C1514)

- Nvidia CUDA Driver; v7.0.29

- Nvidia Web Driver; v343.02.02f04


Hardware Setup

1. Utilize PSU paperclip trick [tutorial]

2. Build/connect GPU and Akitio Box

2.1. Unscrew the box and put the metal casing away

2.2. Connect the GPU and the Box via PCIe 16x lane

3. Connect/power GPU via PSU

3.1. Find and plug the 6/8 pin connector between PSU and GPU

4. Connect GPU and Display via HDMI

5. Connect Box and Macbook Pro via Thunderbolt

6. Connect the Akitio Box power adapter.

Software Setup

1. Download and install (latest) nVidia CUDA Driver [here].

2. Find and download (latest) nVidia "Quadro and Geforce Mac OSX Driver".

2.1. You can use the search feature on nVidia website [here]

2.2. Modify the search parameters until you found the driver, e.g. like [this]

3. Modify the driver to ignore system check and allow itself to be installed on any (incompatible) systems.

3.1. Unpackage the file with pkgutil, like so:

pkgutil --expand WebDriver-343.02.02f04.pkg expanded.pkg

3.2. Navigate into the expanded package and edit a file named Distribution

3.2.1. Find and comment out the following two lines of code, like so:

//if (!validateHardware()) return false;

//if (!validateSoftware()) return false;

3.3. Repackage the file with pkgutil, like so:

pkgutil --flatten expanded.pkg WebDriver-343.02.02f04-nocheck.pkg

3.4. Install the modified driver.

4. Modify several .plist files [tutorial]

5. Add boot parameter to enable the driver

5.1. Run the following code:

sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1 nvda_drv=1"

6. Your system should be ready to use the eGPU.

Using the eGPU

1. Power up the PSU and Display.

2. Turn on the Macbook Pro

Updating Nvidia WebDriver

1. Download the latest version of the driver, unpackage, modify the Distribution file, repackage, and install.

See software setup step 3 for details.

2. Modify /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext/Contents/Info.plist as explained [here].

The other .plist files should remain unchanged; check them if you are not sure.

3. (Don't forget to) Run the following command:

sudo kextcache -system-caches

4. Reboot and the eGPU should work fine.


Performance / Benchmarks

fmqfbe.png

inrzgt.png


Notes

- You can normally boot without the eGPU just by turning your Macbook Pro on without powering the PSU/Display.

Author Notes

- Will be adding photos

Credits

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/8199-2013-13-macbook-pro-gtx980%4016gbps-tb2-netstor-na211tb-win8-1-osx10-10-%5Bgoalque.html

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/6088-2011-13-macbook-pro-gtx660%4010gbps-tb1-sonnet-ee-pro-win8-1-osx10-9-1-%5Bfloppah%5D-2.html#post87145

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

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/7879-2013-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-osx10-10-%5Bdschijn.html

http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/7598-2012-mac-mini-gtx770%4010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-osx10-9-4-%5Bentzoe%5D.html

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Windows Software Setup

1. Install Windows 8.1 with Bootcamp.

2. Apply optimus patch [tutorial].

3. Run windows updates, download the latest Nvidia graphics driver [link].

4. Reboot to windows with egpu plugged.

4.1. Turn off the system

4.2. Power the PSU and GPU

4.3. Power the Macbook

4.4. Do nothing; if optimus patch was applied, it should boot to Windows right away

5. Install the Nvidia graphics driver ( without any extras on custom installation to be safe )

6. Reboot, following the details in step 4.

7. Configure windows to extend the display and use both monitors.

8. The system should be ready to use the eGPU.

Troubleshooting

» When booting to windows after the gpu driver was installed, the screen goes to black and never loads.

- Boot to windows without plugging the eGPU

- Uninstall the driver, try to reboot with eGPU again;

if problem reoccurs:

- Boot to windows without plugging the eGPU

- Go to system32, search with "Company: Nvidia" as search parameter

- Delete all files found, try to reboot with eGPU again.

Make sure all the previous steps were done correctly, and retry installing the graphics driver.

Known Issues

Installing Nvidia 3D Graphics Driver seems to freeze the system when booting ( with black screen ).

Installing the driver without it works fine

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Hi, there is a newer OS X Web Driver for GTX960.

Will know it's name now. (346 series driver)

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Hi, there is a newer OS X Web Driver for GTX960.

Will know it's name now. (346 series driver)

Thanks for the info!

I have added some info regarding my experience on updating the WebDriver in the main post.

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Updating to OSX 10.10.3

1. Open App Store and install update as usual.

Be prepared since you'll have your external GPU / Display not working.

2. Download the latest driver that is compatible with the latest OS.

See Notes for extra info

3. Unpackage, modify the Distribution file inside the package, repackage, and install the driver.

4. Modify .plist files as explained [here].

/System/Library/Extensions/IONDRVSupport.kext/Info.plist

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

These 2 are modified when the OS is updated. The following are updated when Nvidia WebDriver is updated:

/System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext/Contents/Info.plist

Don't forget to run sudo kextcache -system-caches

5. Run the following command to make sure the nvidia driver is enabled.

After the OS update, the system would normally remove nvda_drv=1 parameter since it was (detected as) incompatible.

sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1 nvda_drv=1"

6. Reboot and the eGPU should work.

Notes

2.1. In this case, I checked driver updates in Nvidia Control Panel and it found an update. It automatically downloads and runs the latest driver installer, which, to my surprise, gave no "incompatibility" warnings ( the driver installer was not modified yet ).

It should probably work fine, but just to make sure, I cancelled the installer and tried to find the latest driver pkg file.

2.2. At this step I found a neat way to find and download the latest driver.

You can open [this] link to see the latest Nvidia drivers published.

Use [this] to filter it to Quadro K5000 Mac compatible only drivers.

2.3. Apparently, while the drivers could be found in that page, the page regarding its details was not ready yet.

I checked the Nvidia Control Panel again and found the driver version; 346.01.02f01.

I then modified the other driver's download link to match the version number, and voila: http://us.download.nvidia.com/Mac/Quadro_Certified/346.01.02f01/WebDriver-346.01.02f01.pkg

X.1. It seems you can force the system to use outdated drivers ( bypass the incompatibility detections ) by additionally editing the value of <key>NVDARequiredOS</key> in /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext/Contents/Info.plist with the current OS build version.

Might be unstable; needs further check.

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Hey there EdgyVenison.

I have a similar setup for my eGPU. I followed, first Jose Cordova's guide, then came across yours and double checked the two and they are very similar in steps (while watching Jose's video, I even documented the steps to a gist here https://gist.github.com/megalithic/50cebb545911e10c4078 -- even linked the two of you at the bottom).

Anyway, I'm having problems. When first starting up my mbp the cpu fan will spin, so i know it's alive (and the psu fan is going, and the AKiTiO's lights are on). My monitors will blink to life, then immediately say they don't have a signal.

Here's a screen shot of system information showing the GTX 960 verified (Screen Shot on 2015-04-14 at 19:02:59.png • Droplr)

Here's a screen shot of the nVidia driver control panel showing it recognized as well (Screen Shot on 2015-04-14 at 19:03:31.png • Droplr)

I've got my monitors connected to the GTX 960 via display port plugs. I've got the the AKiTiO Thunder2 connected via this Thunderbolt cable Amazon.com: StarTech.com 1m Thunderbolt Cable - M/M (TBOLTMM1M): Computers & Accessories

won't

Any thoughts as to why the monitors won't fire up (and of course they don't show as displays in OSX). If i shut the laptop lid it "sees" monitors plugged in because the laptop won't go to sleep.

Would LOVE to get your help or additional thoughts/suggestions on this.

Thanks much!

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Hey there EdgyVenison.

I have a similar setup for my eGPU. I followed, first Jose Cordova's guide, then came across yours and double checked the two and they are very similar in steps (while watching Jose's video, I even documented the steps to a gist here https://gist.github.com/megalithic/50cebb545911e10c4078 -- even linked the two of you at the bottom).

Anyway, I'm having problems. When first starting up my mbp the cpu fan will spin, so i know it's alive (and the psu fan is going, and the AKiTiO's lights are on). My monitors will blink to life, then immediately say they don't have a signal.

Here's a screen shot of system information showing the GTX 960 verified (Screen Shot on 2015-04-14 at 19:02:59.png • Droplr)

Here's a screen shot of the nVidia driver control panel showing it recognized as well (Screen Shot on 2015-04-14 at 19:03:31.png • Droplr)

I've got my monitors connected to the GTX 960 via display port plugs. I've got the the AKiTiO Thunder2 connected via this Thunderbolt cable Amazon.com: StarTech.com 1m Thunderbolt Cable - M/M (TBOLTMM1M): Computers & Accessories

won't

Any thoughts as to why the monitors won't fire up (and of course they don't show as displays in OSX). If i shut the laptop lid it "sees" monitors plugged in because the laptop won't go to sleep.

Would LOVE to get your help or additional thoughts/suggestions on this.

Thanks much!

Hey!

Try checking Display Preferences and gather click the [Gather Windows] button, there should be 2 windows there

On the main window try turning off screen mirroring and see if it helps; I had similar problems with Windows ( the monitor is black; no signals detected ) and turning off mirroring resolved it.

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Thanks EdgyVenison, unfortunately it literally only has the retina display as the only option (no mirror windows checkbox or gather dispalys button enabled).

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replicant, I have the same problem with my Macbook Pro 15 Retina Late 2013, but this problem doesn't appear on my Mac Mini 2012. Did you solve it?

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Yes, goalque is correct.

There is a nasty streak of more and more of the newer Apple products mysteriously not allowing the displays to work.

We will have an additional software engineer (a real one, not a phony like me) on this shortly so I expect some advances.

We will soon be offering cards that can BREAK through the Apple block, for 1 screen at least but possibly more. (I have figured out 1 screen, having real guy on this should lead to more)

If we find a simple fix in the drivers we will offer that here as well.

But anyone trying with a TB2 Mac should look through that thread before buying the gear, until a solution is found. Most TB2 Macs will not be offering display output via eGPU, at least not with Nvidia cards. (CUDA is still possible, however)

I plan to soon update the lead post with a list of which TB2 work for display output, and which stay black.

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Just wondering if this guide is suited for someone with no knowledge of how terminal and programming works. Is pkgutil a separate software needed to carry out the steps?

Also, since i currently have 10.10.2, should i complete all the steps in order or is it better to update it to 10.10.3 and continue from there on

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Just wondering if this guide is suited for someone with no knowledge of how terminal and programming works. Is pkgutil a separate software needed to carry out the steps?

Also, since i currently have 10.10.2, should i complete all the steps in order or is it better to update it to 10.10.3 and continue from there on

I don't think any programming skills are needed to follow the guide.

pkgutil should be available in all OSX.

Also, I would update to the latest version of the OS first before doing anything.

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Hi Guys,

I super new to the who ePGU thing, but I've been reading these forums over and over, different builds and so forth. Eventually I found this thread which has the exact same Macbook as myself so I decided to go for it. I wanted to upgrade my Macbook to replace my PC as room in our unit is going to get small (baby room to replace our PC/storage/office room). I installed a 2TB HDD into the optical bay (for data) and a 240GB SSD into it which is running OSX 10.8.5 and BOOTCAMP (Win 7) fine. I have tried to install YOSEMITE but the install fails due to disk errors or some such. What I want to ask is can you guys help me or do I absolutely have to be running YOSEMITE and BOOTCAMP Win 8.1 for this to work?

I have built the eGPU into a Coolmaster 130 micro-atx case drilled screw holes and affixed the Aikito PCI board and 90 degree PCI riser and everthing is plugged in correctly. I'm using my Gigabyte GTX470 superoverclocked PIC-e card in the setup with a hard switch instead of the paperclip trick, it all seems to power up nicely (green and blue lights).

I can give full details as to where I'm at and what I've done but I'm not going any further unless i can get some help or I'm going to end up putting a mac shaped hole in the wall :(

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