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2014 15" MBP Iris + GTX970@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win8.1/OSX10.10 [Dschijn#2]

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Alright cool, I'll look into purchasing that.

Also I have a question about software when it comes to installing the eGPU. Is Windows 8.1, installed via Bootcamp and reFIND all I need to set up the eGPU properly? Or do I need to install a special version of Windows? Cause I keep seeing mentions of UEFI in some guides.

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Sorry I can't answer that. Since I have the Iris only MBPr (which is the easiest), I just installed Windows 8.1 with Bootcamp. I have no further knowledge about installing the eGPU on more difficult systems.

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Installing Windows in UEFI mode is usually necessary to get a smooth(er) eGPU experience. The other option is installing in MBR mode, which is older, and not recommended. Installing in MBR requires Nando4's software to get rid of some boot erros.

When installing Windows on a MacBook through the bootcamp software, it is already installed using EFI (an Apple-specific form of UEFI) assuming a recent version of the MacBook (which you have, older MacBooks would install windows in MBR mode through Bootcamp). So you don't have to worry about that.

However, when you install Windows on your MacBook directly (so without using Bootcamp from OS X), you have the option to install it in EFI mode, or regular mode (aka MBR). If you did that, you should have selected the EFI-option.

If you want to double check in what mode you installed windows, you can take a look at the partitioning scheme of your C-drive. To do this, follow the next few steps:

- Right click on your C-drive and select "Properties"

- Go to the hardware tab and select your hard drive on which Windows is installed and click on the "Properties" button below

- Go to the Volumes tab and click on the "Populate" button below. The window will re-appear, this time in Admin-mode. Do this step again (Volumes -> Populate)

- Check the value of "Partition style". If it says "GUID Partition Table (GPT)", then Windows is installed in (U)EFI mode. If it says "MBR" or something similar, then it is the older mode, and you might encounter several more problems when setting up your eGPU. I would suggest here to just re-install windows either directly through the bootcamp software in OS X, or select the right installation option during boot.

Hope this helps in explaining a few things. :)

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Is it safe to assume that yellow goes to plus and black to minus?


Once that is done do i use this to power the box instead of its own psu?: external psu -> molex -> barrel -> plug it in.


Also which switch would you recommend instead of the paperclip mod? UK ebay links please.

24 Pin ATX Jump Start Power Supply Bridging Connector Plug - Corsair OCZ Sesonic | eBay

Are you aware that the Gigabyte card will not allow you to close the AKiTiO case?

Please read my basic guide: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/10061-basic-egpu-hardware-guide-macs.html

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Anyone know how the Zotac card compares to the KFA2? can it overclock as much? how hot does it run etc. thanks everyone for posting these amazing guides btw. i just purchased a macbook pro and i'm looking forward to building a setup. wouldn't be possible without you guys!

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By the numbers, the Galax/KFA2 looks better - higher base clock (1126MHz vs 1076MHz) and higher boost clock (1276MHz vs 1216MHz) than the Zotac. I've got the Zotac and its been running just fine, though I haven't tried to OC it at all mostly because I hit thermal limits already when really stressing the card (80c). I think Dschijn has OC'd his KFA2 a bit, but using the Akitio Thunder2 case doesn't leave a lot of room for cooling the card.

I mostly picked the Zotac since I'm in the US, could get from Amazon through Prime, was $310 and came with Witcher 3 and Batman (and should I need to return the card, Amazon is super easy to work with). The Galax/KFA2 sells only from their web store and is $330.

I think you won't notice much performance difference between either card. I'd say pick the one that you like best (or go for cheapest).

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@martinm0: Stock numbers always guarantee just the minimal boost clock speed. Everything else depends on the chip. Since the complex power management in the GPUs no GPU is the same and same cards can perform totally different out of the box.

I was lucky, since I can run my GPU with a boost clock of 1480MHz.

Since the card has a very very small heatsink I switched the fans to 2x92mm Noctua fans. But both fans running at full speed with the OC can't keep the GPU under 80°C in extremly demanding games.

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Anyone know how the Zotac card compares to the KFA2? can it overclock as much? how hot does it run etc. thanks everyone for posting these amazing guides btw. i just purchased a macbook pro and i'm looking forward to building a setup. wouldn't be possible without you guys!

@jacobsson was an early zotac adopter and indicated the video card had thermal and tdp throttling. The galax card runs a quite high stock tdp (200w + 12.5%) and based on reported temps appears to be using better asics. The galax is an awesome card if you can get one at a good price. The zotac is great too. The biggest margin between the two is going to be 15-20% so factor that into your value equation.

If are OK with opening the akitio chassis then the 10.46" msi gaming 4g card is a compelling buy.

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2014 13" mbp with iris 5100

akitio thunder2 with barrel jack mod for psu power

kfa2 gtx 970 (1x 6pin power connected)

corsair cmx 500w 80 bronze with jump start switch

windows 8.1 pro 64bit (existing installation)

1) assembled everything together (not powered on), booted into windows and downloaded latest nvidia drivers. Tried to install - it failed to recognise a card.

2) updated bootcamp, restarted (paused an boot up option, turned egpu on and then booted into windows). managed to install nvidia drivers. Then restarted - no image on external screen nothing on internal screen.

3) reboot with egpu disconnected and remove all nvidia. tried to reinstal and no luck. just have microsoft standard driver.

Wait, are you only using the 1x 6pin for power at the card? I think you need both.

That said, I boot with my eGPU powered on from the start. I would recommend that, but you might just have an issue with not enough power.

Also, others have mentioned that you should do all your windows updates with the eGPU not connected. I have experienced some similar issues, so make sure all your updates run and then try to boot up with the eGPU.

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just a question, after a fresh install and bootcamp update, how to force the nvidia driver install withou connectign the egpu? Surely it will just stop (liek it doesnt now) as there is no compatible card....

You need the eGPU connected and recognized for the web drivers to load.

Have you tried using the eGPU under OS X? I feel like that was a much easier process, even before goalque's script. And it works every time I boot up, no fuss.

And the card definitely works?

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Why did you just connect 1x6-Pin? ^^

After a fresh Windows installation you should be able to but into Windows with the eGPU and install the latest Nvidia driver. Make sure to install all bootcamp driver before that. Even consider installing the latest intel GPU driver by yourself.

Also try the boot order:

- turn on MBP

- press and hold alt-key

- wait for boot selection menu and chime

- switch on eGPU

- wait 2sec

- boot Windows

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I wouldn't just reboot. Better try to turn everything off and start again with my listed procedure. When everything is running you can start trying your own experiments with the boot procedure.

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hi @Dschijn,

here's my setup:

2015 13" mbp with iris 6100

akitio thunder2 with original psu in barrel and dell da-2 in gpu (2x6pin)

kfa2 gtx 970

dvi-i -> hdmi cable -> dell u2414h monitor

when i plug thunderbolt cable into my macbook everything powers up, gpu fans work, gpu is recognized in my system information but there is no monitor detected. did you have problem like that?

clarification: i've now selected hdmi as input on monitor, it still says there is no signal :(

clarification 2: i'm booting into osx


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Can you use the HDMI port on the eGPU? Maybe the adapter is broken?

monitor came with mini-dp -> display port, i didn't bother getting any adapters and decided to go for simplest possible thing - dvi-hdmi (although i'm not really sure if it's the simplest).

anyway my problem got solved by re-running Kext Wizard and doing whatever that thing does.

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how can you install nvidia drivers without the plugged in and powered gpu if the drivers cant find it and the installer fails?

You can try booting with or without the eGPU into Windows. Before installing the driver the eGPU has to be connected and turned on!

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