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2015 13" MBP + [email protected](AKiTiO Thunder2) + Windows 10 [Creativie]

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Hey guys, I've finally decided to get myself a eGPU set-up to have a better gaming experience for myself. My set up is an easy plug & play type of set-up, so regarding hardware I am pretty much a noob.

I've read many forum posts saying 2015 Macbook Pro 13" is giving a lot of users "spinning wheel" problem. I, myself, had this issue, but after writing down alternative procedures every time for a week, I think I have a solution for those who carry this Macbook (I've actually uninstalled and reinstalled Windows 10/8.1 so many times that now if I see the windows set-up logo, I cringe a little).


I will start off with the hardware first, but as I mentioned above, this was a plug & play; therefore, I think it would be best to read other similar guides to find an alternative. (DA-2 cables were from eBay and they are not on sale anymore)



AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box

EVGA GTX 960 2 GB SC (ITX version)

Dell DA-2 AC Adapter

Akitio Egpu 8 Pin to 2 x PCI E 6 Pin Super Low Profile No Latch 1 x Barrel | eBay (This is not for sale anymore)

Hardware Preparation

1. Open and slide out the AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe box and insert your desired GPU (Has to be a single fan in order to fit inside of the chassis without modification, eg) ASUS GTX 970 Mini, EVGA GTX 960, Gigabyte GTX 960/970 ITX)
2. Plug the cables into appropriate sockets(?).

3. Do not power on the eGPU or connect it to your Macbook until you have everything set up on the software side of things on Windows 10


Software Preparation

1. Install Windows 8.1/Windows 10 via Boot Camp
2. Install Boot Camp drivers

3. Update your Windows 8.1/10 to the latest version via Windows Update

4. Download the latest nVidia driver (BUT do not open the .exe) - Mine is running under 362.00. I tried 364.51 and noticed that it was being inconsistent so I pretty much threw this away.


Please read the following before you proceed with your set up.

Let's Connect (Only Applicable to 2015 13" Macbook Pro's)

1. Power on the eGPU. 

2. Boot your Macbook to Windows 8.1/10 

2. Plug the TB2 connector to the Macbook

3. Open Device Manager

4. If everything is done right, then there should be a tag under display saying "Microsoft Basic Display Adapter" - This means that the connection is established between your Macbook and the Thunder2

5. Once you check that the Macbook detects your eGPU, open up the driver .exe that you downloaded and run it as administrator. 

6. Press Agree Terms of Service, and click Custom Installation. Make sure you've checked everything and press Install.

7. Once the installation is complete, the driver wizard will ask you to restart your computer. Press "Restart now"
8. Wait until it restarts. (Always press Alt after to get into boot selection menu)

** Now this step is very tricky. For Windows 8.1 users, the computer should restart without touching any of the connection, but for windows 10, the restart might freeze at a black screen. 

        - If your computer freezes (ie. black screen, but your backlit keyboard is still lit), then force shutdown the Macbook.
        - Turn off the eGPU  and make sure it's completely off. (ie. no green light from Thunder2) Do not disconnect your TB2.

        - Wait 10-15s and power on the eGPU
        - Turn on your Macbook and go to boot selection (If you have a black screen, simply force shutdown and power off the eGPU. Then unplug the TB2 and boot into OSX. Log in then shutdown. Repeat above steps afterward)

        - You may get stuck at the spinning wheel. If this happens to you just force shutdown and make sure Windows repair isn't causing this problem. Then try again. (I got mine working after my 2nd attempt)

9. If everything works, then your Macbook should be able to detect your GPU with a proper driver. Check this under device manager.


Now, some of you may ask how they will be able to go back and forth between OS X and windows, here are the steps that I took.


Windows -> OS X

1. Click "Shutdown" (DO NOT CLICK "RESTART" - This gave me a bad result, causing me to reinstall Windows again)

2. Power off the eGPU once the Macbook is fully shutdown

3. Unplug TB2 connector once the AkiTiO box is fully powered off

4. Turn on and boot into OS X via boot selection


OS X -> Windows

1. Power on your eGPU

2. Turn on your Macbook and go to the boot selection

3. Select Windows and wait until the spinning wheel shows up.

4. As soon as it shows up, plug in the TB2 (The timing is crucial)

(** If you have a infinite spinning wheel, simply try again, but ideally this should not happen)


I hope this guide has been helpful to you. This is more of a boot-guide than a hardware set up. As I was reading the forum threads, many people were having issues with the 2015 13" Macbook pros. I hope my method will solve your issue.


Please write down below to let me know if it worked or not. I've tested this on both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 and it has worked 100% of the time (Replicated this three times each. ie. fresh installed Windows three times each)


Thanks for reading and here is a potato pic of my eGPU hardware.


New guide with GTX 1070 is here : 











Edited by Creativie
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Mine is on the way. Are you using the internal LCD with eGPU? If so, did you use the efi patch?

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41 minutes ago, jowos said:

Mine is on the way. Are you using the internal LCD with eGPU? If so, did you use the efi patch?

For some reason, I can't get the graphics card connected via HDMI to the monitor... I use an external monitor that's connected to the Macbook via display port adaptor (DVI). I didn't do efi patch as I was told it is not necessary for the 2015 models.

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@Creativie I have basically the same setup as you but I bought a standard 500W ITX PSU and made the barrel plug to have enough wattage in the Akitio. On a 2015 13" rMBP with IrisHD. I was so excited!


Sadly... I'm having a bunch of issues :

- If I plug powered eGPU TB before turning on the rMBP, black screen, no chime

- If I plug unpowered eGPU TB before turning on I have chime and can go to alt bootloader

- If I power eGPU at alt bootloader, it freezes

- If I power eGPU or plug it in at various times during the booting of windows I sometimes get infinite spinning wheel or just no detection at all!

- Hotplugging has gotten mixed results, now I have 2 Nvidia GPUs on my device manager, one of them doesn't have a driver and I can't install one, the other seems OK but never active when I plug in the TB. Sometimes I get a BSOD with "IRQL_NOT_EQUAL_OR_LESS"...


I completely formated my windows partition...

After formating and installing latest drivers and updates, I hotplugged it on Windows, got the "Microsoft Basic Display Adapter", started the driver install successfully from nvidia and then I needed a restart. Restart was stuck at spinning wheel, forced it to shutdown, unplugged TB, boot with alt, plug in TB and boot windows at the same time, and I got an infinite wheel...


Should I try the EFI/Optimus fix? Does it matter which port I use for the TB connection, maybe I switched between my two ports and it confused Windows? Been banging my head on this for the last week now kinda getting depressed about it...

Edited by Codeweaver
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Did you get it working? I also had some of these issues with same mbp, I have the Iris6100 gpu, I'm using an Akitio thunder2, I was able to make it work with an external monitor attached to the gpu (tried it with EVGA cards only: GTX 660, 760, and a 970- all of them worked with external display no problem). But I want to use the internal Retina display, so installed Windows 8.1, updated all the updates , installed all the things. Then connected the eGPU with mbp powered off, powered up and started Windows, went straight to installing nvidia drivers - reboot, all works great with internal.

I haven't had a single issue with Windows 8.1, whenever I want to game I shutdown OSX, pop in the TB cable and boot into Windows and ready to go. Which I'm bittersweet about because I want Windows 10

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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