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elfxmilhouse

2013 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win8.1 [elfxmilhouse]

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Finished my eGPU set up last night. The EVGA GTX 960 SC fits perfectly. The fan shroud touches the internal fan when you are inserting the card but it sits nicely with a very small gap once it's installed.

I am running a late 2013 macbook pro 13" retina with Windows 8.1 64 bit efi. I modified a 6 pin connector so that it would fit under the case. The power was soldered to the board where the barrel connector comes in.

For the power supply I am using a 180W 12V adapter I had laying around. I did some testing under load and only saw ~125W max being pulled by the set up.

I suspect the card overheats when the enclosure is closed up so I tested it with the chassis open and did not experience any crashes afterwards. I guess it's best to use it opened up when doing intensive GPU activities.

Has anyone modified the external case to allow for better air flow?

WudBYFFl.jpgOeor93Ql.jpg776vEbll.jpg

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Imho the priority should be to:

1. get fresh air into the case

2. get the warm/hot air out of the case

If you can manage to get fresh air into the case, it should be able to push most of the hot air through the slot at the back.

Mods to the case I would consider for good cooling are: cut opening the left side of the case right in front of the GPU fan. Maybe a hole the size of the GPU fan and sth like a tunnel to force fresh air beeing pulled out from the hole. For exhaust you could drill holes to the top as hot air is rising up and by the positiv air pressure from the intake the hot air is beeing pushed out.

If you are considering making a hole to the case and try to cover it up with fan grills, be aware that screwing the grill to the case will cause problems if you want to open/close the case. So you might need some cuts in the internal case structure if you have screws from the outer case pointing inside.

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Yea I agree. I want to find a solution to cut some openings where the GPU fan sits. Also some openings along the top would be nice.

Imho the priority should be to:

1. get fresh air into the case

2. get the warm/hot air out of the case

If you can manage to get fresh air into the case, it should be able to push most of the hot air through the slot at the back.

Mods to the case I would consider for good cooling are: cut opening the left side of the case right in front of the GPU fan. Maybe a hole the size of the GPU fan and sth like a tunnel to force fresh air beeing pulled out from the hole. For exhaust you could drill holes to the top as hot air is rising up and by the positiv air pressure from the intake the hot air is beeing pushed out.

If you are considering making a hole to the case and try to cover it up with fan grills, be aware that screwing the grill to the case will cause problems if you want to open/close the case. So you might need some cuts in the internal case structure if you have screws from the outer case pointing inside.

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Finished my eGPU set up last night. The EVGA GTX 960 SC fits perfectly. The fan shroud touches the internal fan when you are inserting the card but it sits nicely with a very small gap once it's installed.

I am running a late 2013 macbook pro 13" retina with Windows 8.1 64 bit efi. I modified a 6 pin connector so that it would fit under the case. The power was soldered to the board where the barrel connector comes in.

For the power supply I am using a 180W 12V adapter I had laying around. I did some testing under load and only saw ~125W max being pulled by the set up.

I suspect the card overheats when the enclosure is closed up so I tested it with the chassis open and did not experience any crashes afterwards. I guess it's best to use it opened up when doing intensive GPU activities.

Has anyone modified the external case to allow for better air flow?

WudBYFFl.jpgOeor93Ql.jpg776vEbll.jpg

Hmmmm That basically looks like what I want to accomplish as well.. Is this the 2GB card or the 4GB .. Im thinking the 4GB version of this card might be a good compromise given that I want to run 3 monitors and was looking at the 970 4GB but it isn't that much faster for the cost from what I read and the 4GB should better handle the 3 Screen Setup.

Were there any major issues other than so far the over heating issue which I suspected would happen if I could fit the card all inside.. I do notice that the DVI ports are going to be hard to use though it fits because of the proximity to the case.

Brion Sohn

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Finished my eGPU set up last night. The EVGA GTX 960 SC fits perfectly. The fan shroud touches the internal fan when you are inserting the card but it sits nicely with a very small gap once it's installed.

I am running a late 2013 macbook pro 13" retina with Windows 8.1 64 bit efi. I modified a 6 pin connector so that it would fit under the case. The power was soldered to the board where the barrel connector comes in.

For the power supply I am using a 180W 12V adapter I had laying around. I did some testing under load and only saw ~125W max being pulled by the set up.

I suspect the card overheats when the enclosure is closed up so I tested it with the chassis open and did not experience any crashes afterwards. I guess it's best to use it opened up when doing intensive GPU activities.

Has anyone modified the external case to allow for better air flow?

Nice work. If you are powering via the barrel connector, would you mind taking some detailed photos of your power splitting configuration? You'd be the first to do such an arrangement.

As to your question. The most comprehensive cooling done with the existing outer chassis is at http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/9074-2014-13-mbp-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-tb-display-win8-1-%5Bbenchallenger.html#post123518 .

The other way to go would to use a reference style GTX970 or 980 with a blower style cooler draws air across the card. With an open right side this would provide sufficient cooling even with the outer cover partially over the card. Though problem is those reference blower cards are 2.5 slots wide. Eg: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8469-2014-15-mbp-gt750m-titan_z%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-osx10-10-%5Bgarytyler%5D.html#post115647

Either of these requires a bit of work to get going. Hence why I suggest to use the outer cover only for transport purposes and run the eGPU without the top cover to get the best cooling.

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Hi @Tech Inferno Fan, I pretty much did the same thing as @Phantron http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8882-2014-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-handle-win8-1-%5Bphantron.html

You can see the wires soldered to the board from the PSU to power the unit but I did the reverse and tapped into the same pads as a power source for the 6 pin connector. I upgraded the power brick to a 180W unit. I am only seeing about 110W average draw from the entire unit under gaming and around 125W when running benchmarks. I believe it should be able to handle the power required for the 960, I haven't experienced any issues yet with the wiring. I have a DA-2 adapter that I might use and install a custom connector on the AKiTiO if I need to supply more power.

Nice work. If you are powering via the barrel connector, would you mind taking some detailed photos of your power splitting configuration? You'd be the first to do such an arrangement.

As to your question. The most comprehensive cooling done with the existing outer chassis is at http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/9074-2014-13-mbp-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-tb-display-win8-1-%5Bbenchallenger.html#post123518 .

The other way to go would to use a reference style GTX970 or 980 with a blower style cooler draws air across the card. With an open right side this would provide sufficient cooling even with the outer cover partially over the card. Though problem is those reference blower cards are 2.5 slots wide. Eg: http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8469-2014-15-mbp-gt750m-titan_z%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-osx10-10-%5Bgarytyler%5D.html#post115647

Either of these requires a bit of work to get going. Hence why I suggest to use the outer cover only for transport purposes and run the eGPU without the top cover to get the best cooling.

- - - Updated - - -

@bsohn I also debated using the 4GB card and I didn't realize that it was available until I already purchased my 2GB version. I decided to stay with the 2GB version because the benchmarks only showed advantages for certain games. Also, since the GPU performance isn't 100% of a traditional desktop set up I didn't think it would matter much for the extra cost. Benchmarks show my i7 4558U on par with a 4XXX i3 desktop part.

For the price difference the 4GB is a good deal, last time I checked it was only about $30 more than the 2GB version. If you haven't purchased yet I don't see why you shouldn't get it.

Besides overheating I noticed I cannot use any other thunderbolt device when using the eGPU. This is both daisy chaining and with the second port on the MBP. I think I read that it is not possible to do this when using an eGPU. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Hmmmm That basically looks like what I want to accomplish as well.. Is this the 2GB card or the 4GB .. Im thinking the 4GB version of this card might be a good compromise given that I want to run 3 monitors and was looking at the 970 4GB but it isn't that much faster for the cost from what I read and the 4GB should better handle the 3 Screen Setup.

Were there any major issues other than so far the over heating issue which I suspected would happen if I could fit the card all inside.. I do notice that the DVI ports are going to be hard to use though it fits because of the proximity to the case.

Brion Sohn

- - - Updated - - -

@Honsta Thanks! I'm thinking of drilling a grid of holes where the GPU fan is. I will post the results of the temps once I make the modifications. However running it open doesn't bother me. I actually like being able to see the GPU.

@elfxmilhouse Awesome build! Good to see that the EVGA card fits snuggly. What do you think you'll do about the cooling? I'm trying to stay on a budget so I might just use it with the case open and only close it to transport it for the meantime, until I can find a way to cut open the side and probably install a fan or a mesh screen for more airflow.

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Hi @Tech Inferno Fan, I pretty much did the same thing as @Phantron http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides-apple/8882-2014-13-macbook-pro-gtx970%4016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-handle-win8-1-%5Bphantron.html

You can see the wires soldered to the board from the PSU to power the unit but I did the reverse and tapped into the same pads as a power source for the 6 pin connector. I upgraded the power brick to a 180W unit. I am only seeing about 110W average draw from the entire unit under gaming and around 125W when running benchmarks. I believe it should be able to handle the power required for the 960, I haven't experienced any issues yet with the wiring. I have a DA-2 adapter that I might use and install a custom connector on the AKiTiO if I need to supply more power.

Ok, moved your content to a new thread. I'm endeavouring to a larger repository of AKiTiO implementations without a riser at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-hub-tb-ec-mpcie.html#Thunderbolt . Yours being a unique one without a riser, with a card that fits the chassis AND the outer cover.

Clear photos showing your wiring and parts used for others to replicate would be greatly appreciated.

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@Tech Inferno Fan I plan on taking more detailed pictures and writing more about my setup. I'll post it in the new thread in the next few days.

Ok, moved your content to a new thread. I'm endeavouring to a larger repository of AKiTiO implementations without a riser at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-hub-tb-ec-mpcie.html#Thunderbolt . Yours being a unique one without a riser, with a card that fits the chassis AND the outer cover.

Clear photos showing your wiring and parts used for others to replicate would be greatly appreciated.

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Nice setup.

Did you get any Error 12 with Windows?

Have you tried to use in OS X?

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Sorry for the delay, been busy I couldn't work on the eGPU much in the past weeks.

Nice setup.

Did you get any Error 12 with Windows?

Have you tried to use in OS X?

No issues with windows. Didn't really try OS X other than installing web drivers and booting, no luck. I only wanted to play some steam games in windows so I probably won't venture into OS X for the time being.

Any updates? Did you improve the cooling?

you can see my cooling solution here: eGPU

@elfxmilhouse , would you mind including 3dmark13 and 3dmark11 benchmark run results when using an external LCD in your opening post? The results will place you in the Leaderboard at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-hub-tb-ec-mpcie.html#Thunderbolt .

I will need to get a copy of those programs. I'll post back once I've got the results.

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What kind of PSU did you use specifically? I can't find any 12V PSU with more than 120W…

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