2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 980 Ti @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.12.4 & Win10 [Anima] // HOWTO: internal LCD mode
Hi, I wanted to share my experience with this setup.
I have had this setup running on macOS Sierra, thanks to Goalque's and FricoRico's automate-eGPU-sh script. And also thanks everyone on the forum sharing their implementation experiences.
Yet reading the forum getting it to work on Windows 10 seemed to be quite another story. I was rather daunted by all the forum posts about DSDT override, firmware updates, error 12, integrated.bat etc. I didn't quite know where to start so I decided to just plug it in and see how far it would take me. I was surprized in Windows 10 the eGPU got detected right away, plug-and-play, without the need of any scripts.
For now it's seems to work fine, the internal display runs on the dGPU and the Cinema Display works on the eGPU.
I have tested Heaven 4.0 which runs slightly faster on directx11 than openGL on macOS and also appears to detect the right temperature sensor unlike in macOS where it shows, I guess, the dGPU temperature sensor.
Also tested with Nvidia Optimus in Windows 10 by disabling the dGPU. See goalque's instructions. The interal display eGPU acceleration is then handled by Optimus. Performance is much better with but a 14% drop.
External Display (macOS):
Internal Display (macOS) 52% performance drop:
External Display (Windows 10):
Internal Display (Windows 10 with iGPU/eGPU Optimus) 14% performance drop:
Interesting, the kind of configuration I am going to have, I have also a 2015 with M370... And plan to get the same GC...
What is your day to day experience with Sierra ?
Well I got this setup to be able to run Octane render, since it doesn't yet run on AMD cards. This works great in Sierra and doesn´t even need an external monitor connected to compute the renders.
Also, I got the EVGA 980 TI Hybrid with the Node because I wanted a quiet setup. However I find both fans, the PSU fan of the Node and the 12" fan of the EVGA rather loud. In Sierra I didn't find any apps yet to control fan speed. But I just had a look in Windows and downloaded EVGA Presision XOC. Here I can read out all sensors and also adjust the fan curve so it's runs at lower rpm.
Would be nice if someone knows an app that can control fan speeds in macOS. Also need to find a way how to get that Node PSU fan more quiet.
Not much of a gamer, working with Macs and their bad GPU's kinda ruined it for me. However I did test League of Legends and this runs crappy on the eGPU, getting around 40-50 fps while on the dGPU it is fairly stable at 120 fps. Will test LoL in Win10 to see how it does in DirectX.
Found out the most noise is coming from the 120mm radiator fan of the EVGA hybrid. When I unplugged it ran very quiet. This 120mm fan has a 2 pin connector that runs on variable voltages (8v-12v) powered by the EVGA card. Read this on the EVGA forum, I didn't actually measure it myself.
Now I am looking for a 120mm fan that supports variable voltages but is more quiet and runs at a lower rpm. And then test the temperatures.
I saw Noctua has fans that support variable voltages but they are all 3 or 4 pins, not sure if they are compatible.
Thanx for the feed-back
My main motivation is to do GPGPU, AI related, TensorFlow and others libs... for my job on my company's MBP.
Gaming, I am more a PS4 player, an old one but I enjoy it with Uncharted, Wipeout... Horizon Dawn is very very nice and it is ok for me.
I replaced the EVGA's 120mm radiator fan and the Node's 120mm case fan with two Noctua NF-S12A FLX's. Connected them both with a y-splitter to the 3pin plug of the Hybrid GPU to create a Push/Pull config around the radiator.
I noticed some people mount the radiator with the tubes on the side preventing the case from closing. Mounting them on the top ensures the case can still close.
Runs way more quiet now. I have tested temperatures with a closed case and during full load on Octane bench the GPU peaks at 37 ºC. With the low noise adapter it's much more silent and temperature is at 41 ºC. I have also tested a single super silent Noctua NF-S12A ULN that peaked at 52Cº.
While I was at it I also replaced the PSU's slim 80mm fan with a SilenX Ixtrema 80mm fan.
All in all a way more quiet setup that no longer distracts while at work. Not sure why AKiTiO chose to equip the Node with such noisy fans. The Node nicely fills in a gap, however a silent eGPU is a must.
Also tested both didn't notice a difference in noise or temp. Put them up because cables got cramped on the bottom, pushing up the card out of the PCIe slot.