2014 15" MacBookPro GT750M + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box 350D via TB3->TB2 adapter) + Win7 [egpurunner]  

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egpurunner
(@egpurunner)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 2
December 2, 2018 5:52 am  

System Specs:

  • Mid 2014 15" MacBookPro Retina (11,3) 16GB, 512GB SSD, Intel Iris Pro 5200, Nvidia GT750M
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
  • Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4870HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz, 2501 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
  • BIOS Version/Date Apple Inc. MBP112.88Z.0146.B00.1804111138, 4/11/2018
  • SMBIOS Version 2.4
  • GT750M Driver Version: 9.18.13.3228, Date: 12/24/2013
  • RX580 Driver Version: 25.20.14011.5005, Date: 11/16/2018

eGPU Hardware:

  • Sonnet Breakaway Box 350D (Developer Edition) Saphire PULSE Radeon RX580 8GB
  • Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter
  • Cable Matters [Certified] Thunderbolt Cable/Thunderbolt 2 Cable Black 6.6 Feet

Other Hardware:

  • Dell U2518D Monitor connected via DP
  • Razer Mouse

Hardware pictures (note: require 5+ posts for "attach files" button to appear. Or can link from say http://imgur.com )


Installation steps
(what did you do to get it all going?)

 

Background:

  • I was able to do pretty much a Plug and Play installation of the Sonnet Breakaway Box DE under n UEFI Windows 10 that was running on the same laptop via an external drive (Windows 10 on external drive), and that got me thinking about trying to see how far I could get under an existing legacy (BIOS) Windows 7 installation on the local Bootcamp partition of the MacBookPro.

Prep the MacBookPro:

  • MacBookPro should not be connected to the eGPU for the following steps.
  • Turn off automatic updates for Windows 7 under Control Panel -> Windows Update -> Change Settings. Don't want the system doing funky things while working with the Display Adapters. 
  • Create a backup/restore point just in case since the driver for the built in dGPU will be uninstalled and deleted.  Recommend Winclone.

Remove current NVIDIA display driver for GT750M:

  • In Device Manager under Display Adapters select NVIDIA GeGorce GT 750M, then bring up Properties by right clicking. 
  • In the new window titled Nvidia GeForce GT 750M Properties click the Driver Tab. 
  • In the Driver Tab, click the Uninstall button. 
  • In the Confirm Device Uninstall window also check the box that states: Delete the driver software for this device, then click OK.
  • The display should blink several times and the display resolution should go down to 800 x 600.
  • Device Manager should list a generic Microsoft Display Adapter under Display adapters.
  • Restart.
  • After restarting confirm that Device Manager still lists the dGPU as a generic Microsoft Display Adapter under Display adapters.
  • Again bring Properties for the Microsoft Display Adapter, this should bring up a window and the General Tab should indicate this device is working properly.
  • Shut down.

Check compatibility of RX580 on Sonnet Breakaway Box with Windows 7:

  • While the MacBookPro is powered off connect the TB2 cable that is connected to the TB3<->TB2 adapter that is connected to the Sonnet Breakaway Box.
  • Power on the Sonnet Breakaway Box (the Power Supply fan should be audible but the front blue LED light on the Sonnet Breakaway Box should be off)
  • Power on the MacBookPro, hold the Option Key to bring up the Boot Manager screen, the Boot Manager should have scanned the available boot devices, as well as any devices connected via TB2 on the MacBookPro. 
  • At this point the fans on the RX580 on the Sonnet Breakaway Box should have spun at least once or twice during the Boot Manger scan that accessed the PCI-E bus on the Sonnet Box via TB2.
  • Select to Boot from Windows.  Windows should be able to start without any freezing or any BSOD issues.
  • Once Windows is up and running, click on Device Manager.
  • Under Device Manager Display adapter there should be two Microsoft Display Adapters corresponding to the dGPU and the eGPU corresponding to the GT750M and the RX580. 
  • Check Properties and the General Tab on the windows that opens up and makes sure that both devices are working properly.
  • Shut down.

Install legacy GT750M driver:

  • Disconnect the TB2 cable from the MacBookPro
  • Power on the MacBookPro, let it boot straight into Windows 7.
  • Open Device Manager, Under Display adapter click the Microsoft Display Adapter and bring Properties.
  • On the Microsoft Display Adapter Properties windows select the Driver Tab.
  • In the Driver Tab, click on Update Driver.
  • Make sure that the laptop is connected to the Internet and select: Search automatically for updated driver software.
  • It should take a while for Windows 7 to search and install the drivers for the built in GT750M.
  • The screen should blink several times as the driver is installed.
  • Once the driver has finished installing, the system will ask you for a reboot to make the driver install effective. 
  • Reboot.
  • Once Windows 7 is up and running again, under Device Manager Display adapters it should show NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M.
  • Right click and bring the Properties window. Make sure that the device is working properly. 
  • Click on the Driver Tab, and verify the version. 
  • The version that is working for my particular installation is 9.18.13.3228 with a Driver Date of  12/24/2013
  • Once verified shut down the MacBookPro.

Install the RX580 drivers:

  • Connect the TB2 cable to the MacBookPro, make sure that the Sonnet Breakaway Box is powered on.
  • Also if there is an external monitor make sure that it is connected to the Sonnet Breakaway Box and that it is powered on (my setup used a DP cable)
  • Power on the MacBookPro and hold the Option Key to bring up the Boot Manager.
  • The Boot Manager should have scanned the available boot devices, as well as any devices connected via TB2 on the MacBookPro. 
  • At this point the fans on the RX580 on the Sonnet Breakaway Box should have spun at least once or twice during the Boot Manger scan that accessed the PCI-E bus on the Sonnet Box via TB2.
  • Select to Boot from Windows.  Windows should be able to start without any black screen or any BSOD issues.
  • Once Windows is up and running, click on Device Manager.
  • Under Device Manager Display adapter there should be a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M as well as a Microsoft Display Adapter.
  • Make sure that there are no warning signs, no yellow exclamation marks on either device. 
  • Check Properties and the General Tab on the windows that opens up and makes sure that both devices are working properly.
  • Open Device Manager, Under Display adapter click the Microsoft Display Adapter and bring Properties.
  • On the Microsoft Display Adapter Properties windows select the Driver Tab.
  • In the Driver Tab, click on Update Driver.
  • Make sure that the laptop is connected to the Internet and select: Search automatically for updated driver software.
  • It should take a while for Windows 7 to search and install the drivers for the RX580.
  • The screen connected to the Sonnet Breakaway Box should blink several times as the driver is installed.
  • Once the driver has finished installing, the system will ask you for a reboot to make the driver install effective.
  • Instead of a reboot, do a shutdown.

Verify RX580 driver install:

  • Leave all the cables connected then proceed to power on the MacBookPro.
  • Power on the MacBookPro and hold the Option Key to bring up the Boot Manager.
  • The Boot Manager should have scanned the available boot devices, as well as any devices connected via TB2 on the MacBookPro. 
  • At this point the fans on the RX580 on the Sonnet Breakaway Box should have spun at least once or twice during the Boot Manger scan that accessed the PCI-E bus on the Sonnet Box via TB2.
  • Select to Boot from Windows.  Windows should be able to start without any black screen or any BSOD issues.
  • Once Windows is up and running, click on Device Manager.
  • Under Device Manager Display adapter there should be a NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M as well as a Radeon RX 580 Series listed.
  • Make sure that there are no warning signs, no yellow exclamation marks on either device. 
  • Check Properties and the General Tab on the windows that opens up and makes sure that both devices are working properly.
  • Under Display adapter click theRadeon  RX580 Series and bring Properties.
  • On the Radeon RX 580 Series Properties windows select the Driver Tab.
  • My current configuration has a Driver Version of: 25.20.14011.5005, Driver Date: 11/16/2018
  • Under Control Panel -> Display select how you want to use the displays. Mirror, Desktop on 1, Desktop on 2, etc.

Finish up:

  • If everything is up and running and if you have disabled automatic updates re enable again via the Control Panel.
  • Make backup copy of the working version of Windows 7.

Notes:

  • The addition of the Sonnet Breakway Box adds multiple instances of standard PCI-to-PCI bridges that are listed under device Manager.  Due to the large number of bridges that are listed I have one device that has a question mark, and has a Device Status of: This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12)If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system.
  • That been said this particular issue does not affect the RX580 that is sitting on the PCI-E bus on the Sonnet Breakaway Box, not really sure what other peripherals might be sitting on the PCI-E/PCI bus behind the TB3<->PCI-E chip, but so far it has not impacted the use of the RX580.
  • This install was pretty straightforward, no messing around with DSDT, no special boot loader or batch files to run prior to bringing up Windows 7.  I can boot straight into Windows 7 with the Sonnet Breakaway Box connected, and so far out of 20 or so reboot/shutdown cycles it has recognized the RX580 that is in the Sonnet Breakaway Box 100% of the time.  No black screens or BSOD.
  • Hope this helps some folks who have not migrated into Windows 10 who are still on Windows 7 and have no desire of doing any kind of re-install of Windows 7 or using workarounds via scripts or EFI bootloaders, etc. 

Benchmarks

  • 9854 3DMark Fire Strike external monitor

Comments

I was not expecting this to be a Plug and Play scenario under Windows 7 but surprised that it worked out so well. 

Instead of transitioning into Windows 10 on this laptop I will keep the existing Win7 installation and enjoy the eGPU setup.  So far the BW of the TB2 interface has been sufficient when driving an external monitor from the RX580 at 2680x1440 resolution for most of the titles.  

My 15" 2017MBP will be relegated to work duties(although I have a Sonnet Breakaway Box 500 with a GTX-1070Ti for that system as well) 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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