2012 15" MacBook Pro Retina (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO ...
 
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2012 15" MacBook Pro Retina (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [enjoy] // includes videos  

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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I dont like the new retina MacBook Pro 2016 and choose to spend my money for the eGPU setup

you can see new thread here - 2013 15" Macbook Pro Iris Pro + GTX1060@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [enjoy]^ // Optimus Internal Display

I read a lot of info before i start my project! Now i have more then 5 times better laptop just for 633 EUR!


MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012) / Windows 10 64 Bit (BIOS) / Bootcamp

2.3 GHz Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" (I7-3615QM) (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache

8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB / Intel HD Graphics 4000 1536 MB

256GB SSD + 1TB WD My Passport Ultra Metal Edition (Silver)


I. PARTS

1. Akitio Thunderbolt2 PCIe Expansion Box 290 EUR

2. 2 x Startech.com 6 inch PCI Express Power Splitter Cable 20 EUR

3. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Super Clocked (1607 /1835)  GAMING 6GB  275 EUR

4. Dell 220W DA-2 35 EUR

5. DC Barrel 5.5mm x 2.5mm 1 EUR

6. HDMI to VGA adapter from Bulgaria 12 EUR - to play on the retina internal screen

TOTAL: 633 EUR


II. DELL 220W DA-2 SETUP: 


III. Uninstall GT650M Drivers from Device Manager and Download and install 327.70 NVIDIA Drivers http://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/107012/en-us


IV. ERROR 12 FIX

Obtain nando4's DIY eGPU Setup 1.35 and install per supplied instructions

Restart and load eGPU Setup 1.35 and select 2 with your keyboard:

1. 

post-14517-14494996352174.jpg

2.

post-14517-14494996352865.jpg

3.

post-14517-14494996353189.jpg


V. Install again 327.70 NVIDIA Driver when you with the two GPU's in Windows


VI. UPDATE THE DRIVERS

Update to latest NVIDIA Drivers378.66


VII. DONE

I can play all games - FULL HD / 60 FPS (all to MAX + AA) on External Display

I can play all games - 1680x1050 / 30-40 FPS (all to MAX + AA) on my Internal Reitna Display

allgames.png

 I also made a custom Windows 10 theme aka macOS Gaming 10.10.10 Smile


PLAY ON INTERNAL RETINA MONITOR 

So the main limitations with this model of Macbook is the fact that you need an external display. We can got around this limitation with this little device and three resistors:

post-36358-14495001014919_thumb.jpg

It's a HDMI to VGA adapter. 

All you need to do is put 3x 100ohm resistors inside the VGA port to create a fake external display. You can see where the resistors need to go with this image:

post-36358-14495001015822_thumb.png
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.


HOW TO START THE SETUP (when i want to play games):

1. Power the laptop and hold alt opt key

2. Click on Bootcamp

3. choose eGPU Setup 1.35 from boot menu and select 1 with your keyboard

4. choose again Windows 10 from boot menu

5. Start the game i want

6. Press the combination for Dual Monitor Tools to show the game on my Internal Display (i use Borderless Gaming so i run my games fullscreen on my retina display)


 PICTURES:

Akitio TB2 Case Mod + EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 Super Clocked (1607 /1835)  GAMING 6GB


VIDEOS:


BENCHMARKS:

Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Score EXTERNAL DISPLAY 1920x1080:

Unigine Heaven 4.0 Benchmark Score INTERNAL RETINA DISPLAY 1680x1050:

3DMark Fire Strike v.1.1 Benchmarks Score:

6584 in Fire Strike (V1.1) - External (fake display) - the basic test (for example only 1522 with dGPU - GT 650M)
Graphics score: 7 210 
Graphics test 1: 32.47 FPS
Graphics test 2: 30.30 FP

FOR EXAMPLE: This user have 8556 in Fire Strike (V1.1) (  http://www.3dmark.com/fs/9689714  ) with the closer CPU to mine so there is 20% performance loss because of TB1 but I still can play all games Very High or Ultra FULL HD!

1680 x 1050 - External (fake display) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics score: 9 089
Graphics test 1: 46.98 FPS
Graphics test 2: 34.11 FPS

1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display  (Borderless) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics score: 7 852  - the score is enough to play all games VERY HIGH/ULTRA with 1680 x 1050 on the Internal Retina Display  (Borderless)
Graphics test 1: 33.96 FPS
Graphics test 2: 34.32 FPS
 

1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display  (Windowed) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics score: 8 377 
Graphics test 1: 37.83 FPS
Graphics test 2: 35.12 FPS


HOW TO CLOSE THE AKiTiO

1. I made by myself 90 degrees 6 pin i use one of my  Startech.com 6 inch PCI Express Power Splitter Cable to close the Akitio

123455.jpg

 2. I buy 6-pin to 6+2-pin PCI-E power cable (you can use 6pin to 6 pin but i cant find here in Bulgaria), cut him and put him in the Akitio original hole close to Akitio Barell plug

qwrqwrrq.jpg

3. I remove the Akitio back panel (also help for the Air)


enjoy Smile

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


thor203, deplomb, Antharsious and 2 people liked
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samklee
(@samklee)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: enjoy

 

I read a lot of info before i start my project! Now i have more then 5 times better laptop just for 633 EUR!

   

great write up!  This will, for sure, be incredibly helpful anyone looking to incorporate a TB2 egpu in their setup.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I install 3DMark and run the Fire Strike 1.1 here are the results:

 

6584 in Fire Strike (V1.1) - External (fake display) - the basic test
Graphics score
7 210 
Graphics test 1
32.47 FPS
Graphics test 2
30.30 FP

 

FOR EXAMPLE: This user have 8556 in Fire Strike (V1.1) (  http://www.3dmark.com/fs/9689714  ) with the closer CPU to mine so there is 20% performance loss because of TB1 but I still can play all games Very High or Ultra FULL HD!

 

1680 x 1050 - External (fake display) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics score
9 089
Graphics test 1
46.98 FPS
Graphics test 2
34.11 FPS

1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display  (Borderless) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics score
7 852  - the score is enough to play all games VERY HIGH/ULTRA with 1680 x 1050 on the Internal Retina Display  (Borderless)
Graphics test 1
33.96 FPS
Graphics test 2
34.32 FPS

 

1680 x 1050 - Internal Retina Display  (Windowed) - just change the resolution i don't touch any settings
Graphics score
8 377 
Graphics test 1
37.83 FPS
Graphics test 2
35.12 FPS

 

Here is also a video of the setup

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


itsage liked
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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Between i just buy Far Cry Primal, and this is the first game that have a menu to choose the video card you want to play!

 

1. So to play the game I made my Retina display as my main display

2. Start the game

3. Choose GTX 1060 6GB

4. set Borderless Windowed

5. Restart the game

6. DONE, i can play without   Borderless Gaming and  Dual Monitor Tools - Home

 

If in future more games have that options, it will be easy for us, because Retina display will be Primary always,

 

Not big problem for me now because i drag the taskbar from primary display (fake display) to my Retina display and i have fake main display but i must use Dual Monitor Tool or Shift + Left + CMD to move programs to my Retina display and Borderless Gaming app   

 

And again Far Cry Primal with Far Cry Primal HD Texture Pack and all set to ULTRA Setting with 1680x1050 I can play the game with 30-50 FPS on my retina display   Its look amazing!

 

4.jpg

1.jpg

2.jpg

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


itsage and nando4 liked
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enjoy
(@enjoy)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

And again, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 

 

Ultra preset with 1680x1050 I can play the game with 30-40 FPS on my retina display   Its look great!

 

deus2.jpgdeus.jpg

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


itsage and nando4 liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

When my AKiTiO Thunder2 grows up, it wants to be like yours. Awesome build and documentation!

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


enjoy and nando4 liked
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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Need For Speed

Ultra + TAA with 1680x1050 I can play the game with 30-40 FPS on my retina display... 

nfs3.jpg

nfs2.jpg

nfs4.jpg

 

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare

Ultra + all to MAX with 1680x1050 I can play the game with 30-40 FPS on my retina display... 

COD3.jpg

cod4.jpg

COD.jpg

CODSETTINGS.jpg

Crysis 3

Very High (all to MAX) + FXAA with 1680x1050 I can play the game with 30-40 FPS on my retina display... old but GOLD...

crysis.jpg

crysis2.jpg

crysis3.jpg

Project CARS

Ultra (all to MAX) + SMAA with 1680x1050 I can play the game with 30-40 FPS on my retina display... the best racing game for me, with the most detailed cars!

projectcars2.jpg

projectcars4.jpg

projectcars.jpg

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


nando4 liked
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enjoy
(@enjoy)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

For everyone who is interested:

Here is the deference between Thunderbolt™ 1,Thunderbolt™ 2 and Thunderbolt™ 3

In my case, my eGPU have TB1 (PCIe x4 2.0) so we have only 5% drop vs. TB2 and TB3, so no reason to update to TB2 or TB3 laptop and Akitio Node or Akitio TB3   I will have only 5-10% better performance from what i read or 5 FPS increase in games with other words!

 

 

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: enjoy

 

For everyone who is interested:

 

Here is the deference between Thunderbolt™ 1,Thunderbolt™ 2 and Thunderbolt™ 3

 

In my case, my eGPU we have TB1 (PCIe x4 2.0) so we have only 5% drop vs. TB2 and TB3, so no reason to update to TB2 or TB3 laptop and Akitio Node or TB3   I will have only 5-10% better performance from what i read.

 

@enjoy, you have a x4 2.0 electrical link (16Gbps) but your TB1 channel is constricted to 10Gbps. With an external LCD TB1 to TB3 can do OK.

Its when you drive the internal LCD that bandwidth requirements increase. A lot. Running 4k internal @ 60Hz requires 15Gbps, more than your entire 10Gbos link can supply. Hence these new XPS/Macbooks with high res screens want TB3 for good eGPU performance on the internal LCD (NVidia Optimus or AMD X-Connect).

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@nando4

Yes but with the "fake display" we removed that limits, I speak for my case.

I just add the post for people that maybe want to buy TB2 or TB3 laptop and use the same method as mine, for now i don't have a reason to update my laptop, because for example - Macbook Pro 2016 with Akitio Node or Akitio TB3 and my EVGA 1060 SC 6GB will have the same permormance like me (or close) if they run the games with NVidia Optimus on the internal dipslay right ?

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


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