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The basic eGPU hardware guide (for Macs)

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Hahaha ok, thats fine ;) 

- Well i guess TB1 has speed enough to handle the GTX 980? Well lets say, im future proof :D 

- Perfect, if you would advice an other psu im open for it

- Ok, so it won't damage the card with 3x 75W?


Well i read that part like 3 times but for me its just to complicated to fully understand it, i guess when i have the right stuff i can put it together with some help :)

Yes i would really appreciate the links, then im sure im getting the right stuff to complete the job. Thanks in advance again. Your a big help

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Perfect, thank you so much! So just to make sure, i will need:
Akito thunder2
EVGA 100-B!-0700 PSU
GTX 980 card 
DC stecker from your link
8-pin EPS from your link


Then im complete? Or do i need something to power on the system, i do not really like using a paperclip. Does the 8-pin EPS you send the link from that trick?


Edited by leendert
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well... you must be aware that the GPU will be too long to fit into the AKiTiO. So you will have to cut/bend the case or use a riser cable and relocate the GPU.

To make the PSU start you will have to apply the paperclip trick or buy an adapter like this: https://www.caseking.de/ek-water-blocks-24-pin-atx-ueberbrueckungsstecker-waek-1226.html

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Yes i read that, i guess im capable to bend it :) Well thank you a lot for the help. I guess i have everything i need now so im gonna order it all :) Maybe when it all arrives i need some help putting it together :D Thank you very much for the help you gave me ;)


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@Dschijn Hi there, i started the project today and i made pictures and i wanted to show to you first to make sure i did it right. Hope you will tell me i did it right so i can all connect it and start playing :)


First pic is the barrel i made. I cut the 4 wires directly off the PSU. 2 yellow wires in the plus, 2 black ones in the minus.

Second pic is the 24 pins connected to the 24 pins with wire like you told me to buy :)

3th pic is the 2 pcie cables to the videocard


I guess i don't need all the other cables on the PSU? Can i put the barrel in the akitio, connect the thunderbolt cable to my computer? Then its ok? Look forward to your reply. Cant wait to start :) Thanks in advance again. 




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@Dschijn Thanks, i already connected it and it works perfectly :) I tried to get it working onder OS X too and i did but i don't have sound there, its not seeing my display as sound system anymore. You have any suggestions? 

Schermafbeelding 2016-05-07 om 6.38.10 PM.png

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Excellent job leendert. Glad to see your success!!!


Dschijn, others,

I ended up waiting to hear what Nvidia would release next and the 1080 is incredible! So that's they way I'll be going.


Also the Akitio Thunder 2 is now like $249 average price. Went way up. So I'm now looking for alternative enclosures. And of course that'll change the cabling. 


I see Akitio released the Thunder3. Can anyone confirm if it will work? 

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Currently AKiTiO onl realeased the Thunder3 in a bundle with a 900$ SSD....

The Thunder3 itself isn't released yet. So there are no confirmations about the Thunder3, but I am optimistic that it will work.

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  • 1 month later...

Just an update. I received an email today from Razer saying that the Razer Core is now available for sale finally. FYI.




Pretty expensive though at $499. BUT... it's big enough for all the cards I believe, so no hacking the case. Also has a big power supply, so no need to buy an expensive 500w external one. 


And I'd imagine it has all the cables already, so no prefabbing up cables ad hoc. 


Still should be $100- 150 less I believe, but since it's the only thing on the market currently I guess they'll try and make a good profit. 


Best part is it's T3. 


Here are the specs:

  • Plug and play Thunderbolt™ 3 (USB-C) external desktop graphics enclosure
  • Supports compatible AMD and NVIDIA cards
  • 4 USB 3.0 ports and Ethernet
  • More effects with Razer Chroma
  • Compatible with Razer Blade Stealth and coming soon to The New Razer Blade.
  • Connection to PC: Thunderbolt™ 3 using included cable
  • Desktop graphics card required for graphic functionality. Graphics card sold separately.
  • GPU Support and Requirements
    • Single double-wide, full-length, PCI-Express x16 graphics card
    • GPU Max Dimensions: 12.20” x 5.98” x 1.73” (310 x 152 x 44 mm)
    • GPU Max Power Support: 375 Watts
    • Plug and Play compatible graphics.
    • Graphics Output based on capabilities of installed graphics
  • Input & Output: USB 3.0 X 4, Gigabit Ethernet 10/100/1000, Thunderbolt™ 3 (for connection to PC)
  • Lighting: Chroma - 2 Zones
  • Internal Power Supply: 500 Watts
  • Approx. Size: 4.13” / 104.9 mm (Width) x 13.38” / 339.9 mm (Depth) x 8.6” / 218.4 mm (Height)



Anyone seen any competitors to this coming out yet?

Edited by Rational
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Looking for advice on best course of action for a mid 2011 27" iMac 3.4 GHz Quad Core i7, 12 GB RAM, came stock with AMD 6970M 2GB.


Is it just me or is this link broken from OP?

List of current builds and benchmark results:



Anyhow, which GPU would match my TB1 ports and processor best? Which case? Seems like options have recently flowered...


I currently boot into Windows 7 bootcamp and overclock my stock GPU with fans ablazing to play 3D games via Steam on either the built in display or an external HDMI projector/tv.  Looking for a reasonably affordable upgrade option that optimizes TB1 ports without being overkill.  Portable-ish would be nice. I don't mind fiddling but I can afford a little bit of convenience, but not so much that I wouldn't just rather sock the money into a dedicated gaming rig or new Pascal Retina 5K iMac.  I'm a bit sentimental about my iMac though and would love to stretch it out a bit longer.


Options include:


New Kickstarter Wolfe thingie promising a GTX 970 or GTX 1060 for $599 come March 2017.  


Pros: Convenience. Already built to fit everything. Portable. Reasonably priced. I kinda like the idea of supporting budding entrepreneurs. Amused by the "Wolfe vs Bizon" scene.

Cons: Usual Kickstarter risks. Delays, compatibility, Vaporware? Better option comes along meanwhile? Future-proof?


DIY Akitio Thunder2 PCIe Box

Pros: Cheap, lots of support on forums, infinite variability.

Cons: Usual DIY frustrations. Guts spilling out of the tiny case. Portable would be nice.


BizonTech just feels overkill to me for the price. Same thing goes for Razor Core, I don't need no TB3 ATM, but maybe I should be considering future-proofing?

Pros: Finished product. Upgradeable. Support?

Cons: Pricey, overkill?


I'd appreciate any and all opinions.

Edited by mfort312
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I'd say don't pledge anything on KS project most of them are just vaporware. I've lost money almost $1500 for all project I backed and never received anything. For any project that is success ("Success" by I received it) you can buy them at a little higher price but with no risk at all.

Edited by errin
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10 hours ago, Dschijn said:

Is there are chance of upgrading to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10? External display is an option?


@Dschijn Yes, upgrading to Window 8.1 definitely doable and seems more stable compared to 10 builds? Currently switching between two HDMI external monitors (projector or 1080p tv), would be nice if I can accelerate iMac screen too, primarily for Windows gaming.


For the time being, GTX 970 seems most compatible for both MacOS/Windows and might sit at the higher end for TB1 bandwidth saturation?  I like the performance and compactness of the GTX 1060 but seems like Mac drivers and Windows 10 are currently issues for some?


Leaning towards a compact Akitio build like in your sig, but any experience/thoughts on the TB1 ThunderTek going for $140? Or the $234 HighPoint RocketStor? 


I guess a main consideration is how future proof I'd want to be for possibly carrying forth an eGPU build to use a newer generation 5k iMac or Retina portable. Any optimism that the next generation of iMacs might not require eGPUs with upcoming Polaris integration? Or should I be planning to eGPU for some time to come and perhaps commit to TB3 technology?  In that case, would a TB3 to TB2/1 adapter work for my current situation?


@errin Agreed, I think the KS risks outweigh the reward at this early stage. Thanks for sharing your KS experience. 





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Hi @Dschijn,

Thanks for all your answers and knowledge! 

I went with: 

- Msi Gaming 6G LE GTX 980Ti

- Corsair RM750x  (its over powered I know , but I might make a hackingtosh if this doesn't work out)

 -with a  powered riser and the barrel plug to power 

 -Akitio TB2

 -on a rMBP 2014 15" GT 750m on El Cap 10.11 with Nvidia webdrivers  and Cuda 7.5.30

 - Goalque v 0.9.9 script 


1/ Is the any real issue if I use them both at the same time? I have had it successfully run with the two Molex attached to the barrel plug only.

2/ My purpose is to use it as  CUDA machine in OSX as well as Windows but most of the time in OSX. I got the eGPU detected using Goalque v 0.9.9 script when it was connected to the Thunderbolt but i did not have any output out of the GPU. I only managed to get it going when hot plugging it in at efi boot screen  causing it to Kernel Panic and restarting but when it restarted the connected Monitor to the GPU actually started and worked. Is this a bad thing to do? I feel slightly weird having to have a Kernel Panic.

3/ When the monitor falls asleep it gave a Kernel Panic, can this be avoided?

3/ Is there any other bits of information I am missing that might help me have a smoother experience or thread I can read. I have read most threads completely but there are a lot of new and old information mixed in and not  a lot of information regarding my build, I saw that you stated you were using the 980Ti

4/ Can the eGPU output only to the internal screen without a monitor attached so I can speed up my CUDA without connecting the Monitor. As of now when the monitor is connected it only shows the external monitor as 800x600 and I havent been able to find out how to change that to 1080


Appreciate any insight you can help me with. Thanks 

Edited by MultiU
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