Hello, I need help trying to put my setup to work. I recently purchased an Akitio Thunder 2 with a GTX 1050 ti Superclocked to implement it as an eGPU for my system. I have a Macbook Pro 15” mid 2012. I’m not interested in using it with OS X (I’ve read that there is not much support by Apple for Nvidia cards Series 10). My main goal is to use it using Windows 8.1. I had some trouble with the initial connection as Windows recognized the external card but it gave me error code 12. I already got rid of the error 12 problem. The situation now is that I connected a second display through the HDMI port of the eGPU and activated it using the Nvidia Control Panel. After a restart I choose to boot windows 8.1 again but the two displays get hanged with black screens and I only see the cursor. Anybody has had this problem and was able to fix it?
I did some further testing, decided to boot up with the eGPU connected but without the HDMI cable plugged. I was able to log in to Windows and the eGPU got recognized in device manager, but then I connected the HDMI cable and for one second I saw my Macbook screen displayed in the external monitor, then both screens hanged again with black screens only showing the cursor. I’m exhausted of experimenting and seeing no positive results...
My goal is to be able to use the eGPU with the internal monitor of the Macbook (if that is possible with my system). If not, I would like to know how I can set it to work with a second display. I will be very grateful if somebody can help me... Sorry for the long post.
So my setup works finally, but with on major flaw: whenever I want to get into "gaming mode" - meaning using the eGPU, my only working solution and method is 100% working, however takes ages -
Without egpu, boot to windows, uninstall all nVidia drivers
Reboot to macOS, turn on egpu, wait around 10 sec, plug it in, run the automate-egpu.sh script, then again in -a mode
turn off mac, shutdown egpu, wait until there's no green light, unplug.
plug the thunderbolt cable back in, boot to windows without egpu connected, open device manager, turn on egpu, after 10 sec hotplug, see it gets recognized, re-install drivers.
turn off mac, shutdown egpu, wait until there's no green light, unplug.
plug in the egpu, boot to boot selection, after the cursor is move-able, power on the egpu, boot to windows (if it would freeze w/ black screen or infinite spinning wheel, force shutdown and do step 6. again)
after getting to Windows, voila, it's alive.
Additional 8th step - whenever I turn off my laptop, I have to re-do everything. +1 : I always use the closest thunderbolt port to the magsafe port.
So the question is, did anyone found out a way of booting 100% succesfully without having to reinstall the geforce driver all the time? I mean since my macbook is the most problematic one, even I have a gtx 10x0 series, I should be happy of this method working at least, I'd still love to fasten up the process.
ps.: I'm thinking about a solution, what would somehow reset all the caches/temp files of the driver itself when shutting down everything, if there would be a way for doing that, I would try it right away, and post an update. Would it help at all, or should I just keep reinstalling everytime?
Firstly I just want to thank everyone in this community. It's thanks to this site with it's information provided by the community that has made this possible.
Update #1 - Now working with OS X 10.10.4
Update #2 - Internal display working (no need for external display) - No performance loss, no paid software and still have sound
Update #3 (27th September 2016) - No longer using Windows 8.1 on EFI, now using Windows 10 on Bootcamp (BIOS)
So here is my guide!
I have a Mid 2012 15" Macbook Pro Retina with Intel HD4000 + GT650M inside.
I am running Windows 8.1 Pro which was installed via EFI (Not Bootcamp).
This guide requires no extra software (you get plug and play eGPU) and no soldering.
1x Akitio Thunder2
1x MSI GTX970 4G Gaming
1x Dell DA-2 220w power supply
2x PCI-e 6-pin Male to Dual 6-pin Female Power Y cable splitter
1x 5.5mm x 2.5mm DC barrel screw terminal adapter
1x Electrical tape
1x Hair Clip
1x 6pin to 8pin PCI cable (provided with graphics card as mine is 6+8pin)
Cost: £429.02 ($668.03 / €601.07)
First off, the software:
I used bootcamp to create a USB stick with Windows 8.1 Pro on it. Do not get the bootcamp software! (This caused the first problem for me later).
I then installed Windows on my Mac via the EFI boot option. I followed this excellent guide right here: https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comment...bootcamp_guide
This was a long process as it meant making an up to date Time Machine backup of my OSX, wiping the whole drive, installing Windows and then reinstating OSX from my backup, so this took some time.
The next step is getting the drivers in Windows. If you have the same Mac as me, remember this! Usually if you install Windows via bootcamp for this model, you would use the 5.1.5621 bootcamp software. Do not do this. To get my drivers working in Windows I had to use bootcamp drivers from version 5.0.5033 instead of version 5.1.5621.
Also before you install those, go ahead and remove the Nvidia folder. Go into the bootcamp folder, into drivers and delete Nvidia. Now you can proceed to install the 5.0.5033 drivers.
A known issue with this model when installing Windows in EFI mode is you will not have sound on the internal speakers. I am 99% that there is no way to fix this issue. However due to the fact that also with this model Optimus does not work, meaning you must use an external display, this problem is then solved as you get sound via the sound device built into the graphics card.
So that's it for software. The benefit to installing Windows in EFI mode is that it makes the eGPU plug and play!
Update #1 - I now have my eGPU successfully running in OS X 10.10.4 too. Thanks to @goalque and his excellent script which automates the whole install process.
The eGPU will only work with an external screen connected however. You must connect from the eGPU to the display (not from the Macbook to the display).
The only thing to note here is that under 'Displays' in the system preferences, my Mac told me that the GT650M was powering the external display but it certainly was not. Also under system information you should see you eGPU and your display will be listed within that.
First thing is to connect up the power cables. It's pretty simple and requires no soldering at all.
You can see my photo below and a shitty diagram I made too. Feel free to reply if you need help explaining this.
If you have the paperclip/hairclip in the right place you will get a green light when switching it on like in the picture.
Then it's was as simple as plugging the graphics card into the Thunder2 enclosure, and connecting it all up.
Next I switched on the power for the eGPU, plugged the Thunderbolt cable in and switched on my Mac, proceeding to boot in to Windows.
First off it was not being recognised at all in Device Manager. (It should show up under display adapters).
The solution after much frustration was to simply plug it into the other Thunderbolt port on my laptop and plug it into the other Thunderbolt port on the Thunder2.
Then upon bootup I was greeted with 3 devices under display adapters. Happy times!
The final step was to install the drivers.
I downloaded the Nvidia drivers for the card from the Nvidia website and proceeded to install them. Half way through instillation - black screen - followed by system crash and reboot. Bad times.
I booted back into Windows again, went into Device Manager and under the display adapters I disabled the GT650M, then tried to install the drivers again and it worked. Upon reboot the Device Manger showed all three graphics cards (named correctly) as well as GeForce Experience showing the GTX970.
So that's about it!
I installed MSI Afterburner and 3DMark and played around with the clocks. I managed 8923 in Fire Strike 1.1 before overclocking and 9677 after. But oddly the results show up as from my GT650M. The card does show up on the results page as a secondary card though, and of course there is no way my GT650M would get that score! Also the clock speeds in the results for the GT650M are my clock speeds for the GT970. A little weird but I don't really care about that.
Update #2 - Internal display working (no need for external display)
So the two main limitations with this model of Macbook are the fact that you need an external display, and that you have no sound with an EFI Windows instillation. So I got around those limitations with this little device and three resistors:
It's a HDMI to VGA adapter with audio out. You can see the audio out here:
All you need to do is put 3x 75ohm resistors inside the VGA port to create a fake external display. You can see where the resistors need to go with this image:
So the deal with this is, any program started on the 'external screen' (being powered by the eGPU) will use the eGPU. So what you'll want to do is set the fake display as your main display. Then anything started on that display will be running from the eGPU. Now there is a little limitation here; only games that run in windowed mode will work (which is most). You'll want to start the game on the fake screen in windowed mode and then drag it over to your internal display.
So how do you grab from a display you can't see? Well, I found this free program called Dual Monitor Tools (it's free right here: Dual Monitor Tools - Home )
and what you can do in this program is set a keyboard shortcut to move the selected window over to the other display. So you click on the game in the task bar, and hit the shortcut you assigned and it'll pop over to the internal screen, but because it was launched on the fake screen, it'll be powered by the eGPU.
Simple as that, there's no performance hit either as you're just dragging the game to the other screen.
A good tip is to have the internal display set as default first, launch the game, go to options and set the game to windowed mode now, then quit and relaunch after you've changed the fake screen as your primary. Otherwise you might not be able to switch it with the shortcut while it's in full screen.
An issue I have:
I don't know if this will apply to others but I simply cannot boot in to Windows with my GT650M activated. My startup process is very odd, so I'll document it incase others have to do this.
To make my Windows even boot, I must have my GT650M disabled in device manger. But when I do this I cannot boot without the eGPU plugged in at all.
So what I have to do is make sure my GT650M is down (boot in safe mode to do this the first time, no need for eGPU attached when doing this).
Then with the eGPU plugged in, start up my laptop and chose the Windows boot option. The only way I know that Windows has successfully booted is the spinning white dots under the Windows logo on bootup will freeze. When my internal display freezes, I know Windows has loaded (this is when the desktop would appear on the external display) but of course we can't see that because it's a fake display.
So once the bootup freezes, I wait until my keyboard backlights come on, then I know the desktop has loaded on the fake display. (Or just wait about 10 seconds after the freeze). Now the next step is to activate the GT650M in device manger so that my internal screen works. Now for this I did the process on a proper external display to learn the key combination to do it blind. For me it as follows:
(Press START - cmd key)
type: device man
Down arrow x8
After I have done that, the frozen Windows logo will disappear and the screen will flicker for about 5 - 10 seconds before displaying my desktop.
Success! I can now control Windows from my internal display. Opening up the resolution tool will show 2 displays, the internal, and the fake external.
The only thing to remember is when I'm done, I must deactivate the GT650M in device manager again before shutting down. Deactivating it will not shut off the internal display, so it's not a problem to do that and shut down.
So that's it. I hope you don't have to do that process, but for me, that's the only way to do it. it's a slight pain but not too much bother, and it's certainly great not to have to use an external screen!
Update 3 (Removed EFI Win8.1, now using Win10 BIOS):
So I decided I want to use Windows 10 now for DirectX 12 gaming. This was a pretty simple process to setup. Hardware-wise it's all the same as above, software-wise is as follows.
Get yourself a copy eGPU Setup 1.2 (not 1.3). Big shout out to @Tech Inferno Fan for making it.
If you don't have EFI Windows on your Macbook, continue to the next paragraph.
I had to wipe my whole mac hard drive clean as the EFI partition of Win8.1 gets installed before OSX. So I made a Time Machine backup. Now to wipe the whole hard drive you must boot from a USB otherwise you can't wipe the drive you're using with the recovery on it. But I really didn't want to download 4GB or whatever size the latest OSX is just so I can use the recovery option (I don't need OSX as I'm using a Time Machine backup with it already). What I did was downloaded a piece of software called Carbon Copy Cloner (you can get a 30-day free trial), on here you have an option to clone the Recovery HD partition from you MacHD to another drive (in this case a USB). So I did this saving me the time of downloading the whole OSX just for it's recovery.
So all there was to do next is boot the recovery from the USB, wipe the entire drive and restore from my Time Machine backup.
Once in OSX load up the Bootcamp Assistant, plug in a USB (8GB or bigger), burn on Windows 10, download the drivers and create a Windows 10 installation. It's pretty straight forward with Bootcamp, just follow it all until you're in Windows 10 on your desktop. Once on the desktop I installed the Bootcamp software and shut down the system. I then plugged in the eGPU (not sure if you have to but I felt I should while installing the drivers for it), booted back up and installed the latest Nvidia drivers for my eGPU then shut the system down again. For the next steps I basically followed @w4vz's guide. Particularly just this part (I made some slight changes to parts that didn't quite translate to what I was seeing on my screen, I underlined the ones I have modified):
Unzip eGPU Setup 1.2 to c:\eGPU run setup-disk-image (as admin user) Restart and load eGPU Setup 1.2, select option 2 Do PCI compaction all exept sata etc etc. After it's all done make sure you have PCI WRITE and ALL ALLOC showing yes on the right side panel Optional: If freeze at the bootloader: edit PCI.BAT replacing a:x.x and b:x.x with 0a:x.x and 0b:x.x (I only found A occurences in mine) (in the editor alt/option+F to access the file menu) Optional: If the settings are not kept after reboot: edit Startup.bat by adding REM in front of all "call vidinit" like so: REM call vidinit... (in the editor alt/option+F to access the file menu) Run startup.bat, then Test Run Chainloader, then Test. After this you should be taken back to the main menu Select eGPU Setup 1.2 again and now select (default) option 1
From now on all you need to do to get your eGPU working is boot Windows, select eGPU Setup 1.2 and press 1
Any questions just ask and I'll help in any way I can.
I recently put together my egpu configuration using the video below down to a T. Every part of my set up is in this video and I've done exactly like this guy has said to make my set up. I've gotten my egpu to work finally by plugging in the thunderbolt2 cord when both the MacBook and egpu are powered down. Then I power on my back into the selection screen to choose windows or mac. Then I turn on my egpu and hope for the best. I've found this works about 30-40% of the time so if someone has a way to increase my chances feel free to comment. I'm using a MacbookPro 13in Retina with dual core processor and Intel Iris 6100 (Late 2015 MacBookPro 13in retina). Anyways once I am booted into windows (I'm using windows to use the egpu on the internal screen because this was meant as more of a mobile device) and I've checked the device manager to make sure the gtx960 is working properly (sometimes I get "no drivers are installed for this device and I have to reboot and try again) I try and run a game. I use WoW as a test for my graphics card. I have msi afterburner installed and I play WoW off an external HDD since I have the 128gb version of the MacBook pro.
When the graphics card is working and I'm playing a game for a while the game will suddenly crash and I'll get the BSOD with the error NVLDDMKM.SYS. Does anyone know how to fix this error? Other than that the fan boots up when at 60degrees Celsius like it should. I'm using windows 10 with the driver 369.90 for nvida which is the most recent so if anyone has a fix for this error it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I recently put together my egpu configuration using the video below down to a T. Every part of my set up is in this video and I've done exactly like this guy has said to make my set up. I've gotten my egpu to work finally by plugging in the thunderbolt2 cord when both the MacBook and egpu are powered down. Then I power on my back into the selection screen to choose windows or mac. Then I turn on my egpu and hope for the best. I've found this works about 30-40% of the time so if someone has a way to increase my chances feel free to comment. I'm using a MacbookPro 13in Retina with dual core processor and Intel Iris 6100 (Late 2015 MacBookPro 13in retina). Anyways once I am booted into windows (I'm using windows to use the egpu on the internal screen because this was meant as more of a mobile device) and I've checked the device manager to make sure the gtx960 is working properly (sometimes I get "no drivers are installed for this device and I have to reboot and try again) I try and run a game. I use WoW as a test for my graphics card. I have msi afterburner installed and I play WoW off an external HDD since I have the 128gb version of the MacBook pro. The graphics card fan never starts to spin. I monitor afterburner and at 50degrees celsius it still hasn't kicked on. I've only upped the graphics on WoW to about half 5/10 and after a few minutes of being on that setting the game crashes and I get a blue screen telling me there was a problem with windows. I'm at a loss and really upset since I've payed 400-500$ for this and it's not working and has given me a lot of trouble. There has to be someone out there who has this set up and dealt with this issue. I can't be the only one. I think the graphics card tends to crash around 60 degrees celsius and even using msi afterburner I've tried to increase the fan speed but even at 100% the fan just tilts a little bit when I look at it and never takes off. When the system first turns on though the fan seems to spin at 100% but after about 20 seconds the fan stops even though the graphics card is detected. So if anyone has dealt with this issue or knows how to overcome it please let me know. I shouldn't have to buy anything else to make this work since the guy in this video seems to have his set up working just fine. Thanks in advance everybody.
Ps. Please help!