2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750m + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [Antharsious]^  

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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
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August 2, 2017 8:59 am  

Hello there!

I finally got my eGPU build working! First, I would want to thanks matthieuv for his very detailed build, enjoy for the great amount of benchmarks he gathered and of course the whole community for the help I receive along my journey in this fantastic eGPU world. This is really a great community and a very great website!

The build is concerning Windows 10 only. I don't need my eGPU on the Mac OS side.


Okay, now, serious things begin!

I will present two builds in this thread:

  • An external screen setup (very easy)
  • An internal screen setup or so-called Optimus setup (less easy but still ok 🙂 )

 

My internal screen setup has nothing really new because I followed the steps described in the video of matthieuv and his thread:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/late-2013-15-macbook-pro-gt750m-gtx106016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win10-offline/

The only differences lie in the starting procedure and the model of MBP. I have the 2014 MBP. matthieuv has the 2013 MBP. We both have the unpopular 750m version of these models. dGPUs resonates like a nightmare in the ears of the eGPU community. This was the case two years ago... I will demonstrate in this thread that it is not much more complicated to install and run an eGPU with the dGPU version than with the corresponding iris only MBPs. 

.


External screen setup:

For the hardware I use:

- Akitio Thunder2 
- EVGA GTX 1060 SC GAMING 6GB
- Dell 220W DA-2 
- (Dell DA-2 Power Supply) Akitio Thunder to 90 Degree 6-Pin PCI-E Cable 
- 2014 15'' Macbook Pro GT750m
- An external monitor

The cable is coming from Kareon Kable. They respond fast and the one I got is really of great quality! The build cost me around 650 euros without the external monitor!

For the software I have:

- Mac OS Sierra 10.12.5
- Windows 10 via Bootcamp (Creators update, UEFI)

 

Procedure to install and run your eGPU setup on the external monitor:

  1. Install Windows 10 via Bootcamp (UEFI)
  2. Install Bootcamp drivers
  3. Shutdown your MBP
  4. Plug everything in (Monitor, eGPU, ...) except the eGPUs thunderbolt cable into your computer
  5. Start your MBP 
  6. Immediately when you hear the startup chime, plug your eGPU into your MBP and hold the Option key (alt)
  7. If your MBP doesn't freeze, boot into Windows 10
    If it does freeze, shut it down and try again from step 5
  8. Open the device manager and check that your eGPU is detected
  9. Install NVIDIA Geforce Experience
  10. Update drivers via NVIDIA Geforce Experience
  11. Shutdown your MBP
  12. Unplug the thunderbolt cable of your eGPU
  13. Repeat steps 5 to 7
  14. You're done. Every apps started on the external screen will be rendered by the eGPU (obviously)...

 

Each time you want to use your eGPU just follow these steps:

  1. Plug everything in (Monitor, eGPU, ...) except the eGPUs thunderbolt cable into your computer
  2. Start your MBP 
  3. Immediately when you hear the startup chime, plug your eGPU into your MBP and hold the Option key (alt)
  4. If your MBP doesn't freeze, boot into Windows 10
    If it does freeze, shut it down and try again from step 2
  5. Play your favorite games, launch your favorite programs 😉

 

Comments:

  • There is no problem regarding updating Windows 10. Pay attention to the Creators update however. You will have to disable fast startup mode. Just follow the procedure mentioned in this thread: 
    https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/win10-creators-update-discussion/#post-7991
  • Using steps (4-7) described above on start may work more often than other options I tested...
  • You can unplug your eGPU at any time (while not using it of course 😉 ).
  • This build is very solid. No issue reported while running the setup...

 

Reported issues:

  • Sometimes, your MBP will freeze on start (step 4). This is known as POST (Power-On Self-Test) issue. Simply shutdown your MBP and try again (50% success rate).

 


Internal screen setup:

For the hardware I use:

- Akitio Thunder2 
- EVGA GTX 1060 SC GAMING 6GB
- Dell 220W DA-2
- (Dell DA-2 Power Supply) Akitio Thunder to 90 Degree 6-Pin PCI-E Cable 
- 2014 15'' Macbook Pro GT750m

The cable is coming from Kareon Kable. They respond fast and the one I got is really of great quality! The build cost me around 650 euros!

For the software I have:

- Mac OS Sierra / Mac OS High Sierra
- Windows 10 via Bootcamp (Creators update, UEFI)
- rEFInd + apple_set_os.efi 
- GPU-switch
- Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU)

 

Procedure to install and run your eGPU setup on the internal monitor:

  1. Install Windows 10 via Bootcamp (UEFI)
  2. Install Bootcamp drivers
  3. Shutdown your MBP
  4. Boot Mac OS to install rEFInd. Use this link  http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/sip.html and follow the using recovery mode section
  5. Boot Mac OS through the rEFInd screen
  6. Type the next 2 commands in the Terminal :
    sudo mkdir /Volumes/efi
    sudo mount -t msdos /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes/efi
  7. Open a Finder window, navigate to EFI/efi and create a custom Folder there
  8. Download apple_set_os.efi from this thread  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/how-to-keep-mbps-irisiris-pro-activated-when-booting-into-windows-boot-camp/#post-1458 and copy it into your custom Folder
  9. Restart
  10. On the rEFInd screen run apple_set_os.efi (press enter) and then boot Windows 
  11. Download GPU-switch following this link : https://github.com/0xbb/gpu-switch and extract the files
  12. Install Microsoft C++ Redistributable (version x64 and version x84)
  13. Download DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller) using this link http://www.guru3d.com/files-details/display-driver-uninstaller-download.html and extract the files
  14. Open the folder GPU-switch and run integrated.bat
  15. Open the folder DDU, click on launch and choose the option Clean and Shutdown (For installing a new graphic card)
  16. Plug everything (eGPU) in except the thunderbolt cable into your MBP
  17. Start your MBP
  18. When you hear the startup chime, plug your eGPU into your MBP
  19. If your MBP doesn't freeze (the rEFInd screen will appear), run apple_set_os.efi (press enter) and then boot Windows
    If your MBP does freeze (the rEFInd screen won't appear), shut it down, unplug the thunderbolt cable and try again from step 17 
  20. Open the device manager and check that your eGPU is detected
  21. Install NVIDIA Geforce Experience
  22. Update drivers via NVIDIA Geforce Experience
  23. Run integrate.bat in the GPU-switch folder and shut down
  24. Unplug your eGPU 
  25. Follow steps 17-19
  26. Run integrate.bat 
  27. Open the device manager and disable your dGPU
  28. Shutdown your MBP and unplug the thunderbolt cable
  29. Follow steps 17-19
  30. Open the NVIDIA control panel, go to PhysX and set it to your eGPU
  31. You're done

 

Each time you want to use your eGPU just follow these steps:

  1. Start your MBP
  2. On the rEFInd screen run apple_set_os.efi (press enter) and then boot Windows 
  3. Run integrate.bat in the GPU-switch folder
  4. Open the device manager and disable your dGPU
  5. Shutdown your MBP
  6. Plug everything in (Monitor, eGPU, ...) except the eGPUs thunderbolt cable into your computer
  7. Start your MBP
  8. When you hear the startup chime, plug your eGPU into your MBP
  9. If your MBP doesn't freeze (the rEFInd screen will appear), run apple_set_os.efi (press enter) and then boot Windows
    If your MBP does freeze (the rEFInd screen won't appear), shut it down, unplug the thunderbolt cable and try again from step 7
  10. Play your favorite games, launch your favorite programs 😉

 

Warning!

  • "At the end of your gaming sessions, open the device manager and reactivate your dGPU. If not, you risk a black screen at startup" matthieuv.
    Personally, I forgot several times to reactivate it. Sometimes it doesn't lead to any problem, sometimes it does. Problems I encounter can be a black screen or Windows getting stuck on start. Reset NVRAM, reinstall reEFInd (step 4) and boot Windows without apple_set_os.efi. Then you can open the device manager and reactivate your 750m...

 

Comments:

  • There is no problem regarding updating Windows 10. Pay attention to the Creators update however. You will have to disable fast startup mode. Just follow the procedure mentioned in this thread: 
    https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/win10-creators-update-discussion/#post-7991
  • Using the steps described above on start may work more often than other options I tested...
  • Both thunderbolt ports work.
  • This build is solid once installed.

 

Reported issues:

  • The ethernet to thunderbolt connection adapter is not detected if the eGPU is also plugged on start. Since hot-plugging is not supported for both of them, you won't have access to ethernet while using your eGPU. An ethernet to USB adapter could be a solution to the problem (need testing)...
  • Brightness cannot be changed anymore if you run apple_set_os.efi before booting Windows. You have to adjust it on the Mac OS side.
  • Sometimes, your MBP will freeze on start (step 9). This is known as POST (Power-On Self-Test) issue. Simply shutdown your MBP and try again (50% success rate).
  • If you get a black screen or if Windows gets stuck on start, try to reset NVRAM and "reinstall" rEFInd (step 4). Boot Windows through the rEFInd screen without apple_set_os.efi and reactivate your 750m. This should solve the problem...
  • If you have detection problems, you will need to uninstall your drivers again and rerun the procedure from step 14 (might not happen)...

 

Benchmarks:

 

 

enjoy already published a lot of benchmarks with a build close to mine. His MBP is not equipped with the 750m dGPU but he is using a Thunderbolt 2 connection and the same graphic card than mine (the GTX 1060 6GB). His thread can complete my own series of gaming benchmarks:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2013-15-mbpr-iris-only-gtx106016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win10-internal-display-optimus-enjoy/

 

Quick notes about gaming benchmarks:

  • Tests were done using FRAPS. FPS were sampled in game during 300 seconds 3 times and averaged unless an in-game benchmarks tool was available. 
  • Although I tried to be as consistent as possible in my tests, gaming benchmarks can be influenced by a lot of things (hardware and software). So, they should only give an idea about the performance loss caused by a limited thunderbolt 2 bandwidth...
  • As a general rule of thumb, the more fps you will display, the more performance loss you will have due to the limited thunderbolt bandwidth.
  • The Desktop benchmarks I present don't take into account the CPU. Benchmarks I gathered for Desktop performances are all done with better CPUs than the one of my own MBP). So, the performance loss I show here can be interpreted as the worst possible scenario... 😉

 


 Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level

If you want to reduce the noise level of your MBP fans while gaming or rendering, this section is for you! After I had built my eGPU setup and taken the principal source of heat away (the dGPU), my MBP fans were still running at high speed. I decided to tackle the second principal source of heat, the CPU, and this, by disabling turboboost. Since the aim of turboboost is to increase performance, disabling it might not be the best idea you can have. However, my experience tends to show that the performance hit is not so terrible as you might expect. Moreover, disabling turboboost does indeed lead to a lot quieter MBP with its fans running at lower speeds.

You can look at this thread for more details...

https://egpu.io/forums/pc-gaming/impact-of-turboboost-on-performance/

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 1474
August 2, 2017 9:40 am  

Glad to see you have your system up and running.

Quick note on your issues with booting -> it is probably the POST issue we all know about. While the Thunder2 works far better than TB3 enclosures on this notebook, it is not entirely free of this either. For macOS-only setups, the script's -a mode should resolve this entirely.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.sh
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
----
Multiple Build Guides


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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 94
August 2, 2017 11:56 am  

Yeah. I read about this. I meant I would not encounter this problem seeing the experience of enjoy, matthieuv and others with this model. Anyway, it works! Thank you for your support! 🙂

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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gabetjh
(@gabetjh)
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Joined: 1 year  ago
Posts: 12
August 15, 2017 1:34 am  

Would need a little bit of help in regards to this.

So im looking to make a eGPU with my late 2013 15” MBP with dGPU750M

Are this the correct components?

So the circular connector will be inserted to the barrel of Thunder2, the DELL 220W DA-2 (8-pin) will be inserted with the 12-pin, and the 6 pin will be inserted directly to the graphics card?

Thank you

 

edit: apparently the Kareon cable isnt enough. so do i just follow this? 

late-2013 15'' Macbook Pro Retina GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10


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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
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Posts: 94
August 20, 2017 6:24 am  

It seems you have the right parts...

Why do you mean the Kareon cable isn't enough? The picture you linked is a DIY solution but with the same results. The Kareon cable should do the trick (working flawlessly on my side)...

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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gabetjh
(@gabetjh)
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Joined: 1 year  ago
Posts: 12
August 20, 2017 6:32 am  

Hi everything is alright. I contacted with Kareon and he clarified my issue.

Ordered all the items already! Spent 814AUD approx 645USD. Bad currency and limited items allowed to be shipped to OZ. e.g. Dell-DA2 costs 50AUD approx 40USD for me

Probably will receive them in 3 weeks time so playing the waiting game now!

Thank you for your post! Its a good update in regards to Matthieuv's thread since apple_set_os.efi should be used now instead of the spoof version. Probably gonna reinstall my windows 10 in UEFI mode to get it prepared before the items arrive! Do you think its possible to do rEFind too?

 

Thank you for your reply!

late-2013 15'' Macbook Pro Retina GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10


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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
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Posts: 94
August 20, 2017 9:33 am  

To install rEFInd? Yes, you can. But be careful about your Mac OS version. 

From the rEFInd page:

Warning: OS X 10.11 ("El Capitan") implements a new feature called System Integrity Protection (SIP; aka "rootless" or "CSR"). When enabled, SIP prevents the final step of rEFInd installation—registering the boot loader with the firmware. Thus, to install rEFInd, you must either disable SIP or perform the installation from something other than your regular OS X installation.

I would advise to install rEFInd using recovery mode (worked flawlessly on my side) ... 😉

http://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/sip.html

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
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Posts: 94
August 22, 2017 12:51 pm  

Finally I updated my build Macbook Pro GT750m + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10
It needed some fresh air! 😉

It contains now an external screen setup besides the internal screen one. Again thanks to matthieuv for the internal screen build!

I also described the procedure carefully and added a comments and a reported issues section...

Benchmarks will follow... 🙂

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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gabetjh
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Posts: 12
August 22, 2017 1:23 pm  

awesome! Looking forward to my setup! Everything should be coming latest by 7 Sept!

I have already done until step 12! Thank you for the very clear step by step procedure!

late-2013 15'' Macbook Pro Retina GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10


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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
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Posts: 94
August 29, 2017 10:18 am  

I just added the first series of benchmarks for the internal display...

Keep in mind that gaming benchmarks can be influenced by a lot of things (hardware and software). So, they should only give an idea about the performance loss caused by a limited thunderbolt 2 bandwidth…

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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gabetjh
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September 17, 2017 11:22 am  

I am trying to use an external monitor instead. Do you connect the monitor do the eGPU or to the laptop (HDMI-HDMI)?

late-2013 15'' Macbook Pro Retina GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10


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Antharsious
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September 17, 2017 12:03 pm  

The monitor has to be connected directly to the Akitio Thunder2 (eGPU) for maximising performances.

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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gabetjh
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September 17, 2017 12:23 pm  

what monitor are you using? my monitor is not displaying very well. fonts are not smooth etc. apparently there's some issue in relation to displays and retina screens. the brightness can't be changed too right?

late-2013 15'' Macbook Pro Retina GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10


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Antharsious
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September 17, 2017 7:56 pm  

I use an old monitor with a resolution of 1600x1200 🙂

Brightness can be changed but only manually, I mean on the monitor itself. What do you mean with "in relation to displays and retina screen"?

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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Antharsious
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September 20, 2017 5:37 pm  

If Tomb Raider or Rise of the Tomb Raider periodically crash in heavy fight sequences, try to disable turboboost. This solved the problem for me. 🙂

More information about turboboost issues and performance in this thread:

https://egpu.io/forums/pc-gaming/impact-of-turboboost-on-performance/

 

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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Antharsious
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October 17, 2017 8:57 pm  

I finally upgraded my Mac OS partition to High Sierra. I can confirm that this build (with Bootcamp) is working well after the upgrade. You will only have to "reinstall" rEFInd...

I also take advantage of this post to publish some new benchmarks. I wanted at first to create a large list of benchmarks, but this is really time consuming and makes little sense to test games released years ago. From now on, I won't publish any news regarding benchmarks but directly edit the main post with new games performance tests 😉

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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Antharsious
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December 23, 2017 5:34 pm  

I can confirm that the Fall Creators Update is working very well with this build. Installing this update may help if you encounter issues with drivers of your graphic card like I did...

 


I also recommend to install EasyUEFI on the Windows side, because Windows tends to reset itself as the default boot program. It is very easy to configure and make this build even more stable :

https://www.easyuefi.com/index-us.html

https://www.rodsbooks.com/refind/bootcoup.html

 

 

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)


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