2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + GTX 1050 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10 [Eightarmedpet]
So I have been hounding this forum, and Discord for months now (oh and Reddit a bit) to try and find the most fool (aka me) proof solution for my eGPU.
I had to buy a laptop for work and will be on the move a fair bit, cycling about 20 miles a day between locations across London so went for the smallest laptop I could - the new MacBook Pro 13inch with Touchbar. I went for the top model and then upgraded to the higher clock speed i5 and 16GB ram because any less would have been foolish. I felt apple asking 400 quid for another 500 GB SSD storage was a bit much so swerved that.
eGPU wise I have been trying to get a Thunder 3 for AGES, but they are near impossible to pick up in the UK. I found a used one on eBay US and bought that forgetting I would get stitched up on import takes, thats another 50 quid please! OH FFS...
The 1050 I grabbed for £75 second hand as this was a bit of an "MVP" set up. I plan on buying the Node Lite as soon as its available and a 570 if they are ever bloody available again (thanks miners!).
Windows set up was even easier than expected, plugged it in and turned it on, no word of a lie, Windows even installed the correct drivers without being prompted. I had a few internet issues but was unsure what was causing that and once everything was settled in I had no further issues.
Oddly, and not something I had heard of, I had no sound. A quick google found a post on this very forum which suggested disabling and enabling the default Cirus or whatever drivers, did that (without reboot) and all fine.
Tested my go to game - DayZ, and holy cow... it ran a treat!
I'll fill this out with benchmarks etc this week but for now I'll sign off with a pic and a MASSIVE thanks to folks on here, nando4 and itsage especially, fantastic work on building and maintaining a great community...
(note: I'm running macOS 10.12.6 and the auto patch TB3 enabler didn't work for me and infact corrupted my TB kext, not trying the manual edit until all the Bitcoin drama settles down and I transfer my coins back to an online wallet)
Just ran some benchmarks, Unigine gave me 5-7 with built in and 22-25 with the 1050 @1080 and Extreme settings which strikes me as a bit low but I have no idea how to run those benchmarks properly...
Also, bonus info: The Thunder 3 appears to charge the MacBook? How is this possible? I havent even upgraded the PSU?
Benchmarked in Windows... strikes me as a tiny bit low but maybe not seeing as I am using a non Ti and the internal (and higher res).
Tried GTA V... sadly FPS counter doesn't show but it was between 55-62. Most things on high...
Fallout 4. Same res as GTA (1920 x 1200) Medium settings, again hovering around 60... considering Macs "can't game" and this budget card will "struggle playing anything decently at 1080" I feel this is pretty impressive...
The Thunder3 provides 15W of power back to the host. For most machines, it is not enough to offset the power drain of running on the battery, so it only slows down your battery discharge. In some rare cases, it might actually be enough (if the system actually consumes under 15W).
"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."
So you are able to boot into Win10 Boot Camp and power the internal display with the eGPU without any additional setup beside the one described in the original post?
Yep. W10 was plug and play apart from the audio issue (which doesn't bother me). Windows even downloaded the drivers for me so after a few mins the 1050 was recognised and I didn't have to do anything.
One slight quirk - sometimes Steam doesn't open but I do have sound, no idea why, if I restart it works.
Have just ordered a 1060 and some custom cables so going to cram some extra power in there and see how things run!
Sorry to be a bother but could you do me a favor and open up HWinfo64 if you have it and see if your SST is red or green. So far I've only found it on 2017 models and I'd like to see if it's only on the 15" or if it spans across both sizes.
Sure thing. How do I do that?
The sure fire way to tell is to download HWinfo64. Once you have that program it will give you detailed statistics about your CPU/GPU. All your going to look for is a bunch of green/grey/red acronyms on the CPU side. See if the one that says SST is red.
Plugged this set up into my TV last night, managed to get Windows playing nicely but macOS wasn't working. The TV was connected and the cursor could vanish on to it but the TV itself was saying no signal... going to try work out whats going on this weekend.
How is the temperature on your MBP while running games?
Tried to search it up online but seems like not many people are concerned about the temperature; hope you can give me a real life result.
Hi, I keep an eye on temps at all times, I didn't game for long but the temp was a little over 60, down from near 80 without the eGPU... I'm in the process of fitting a 1060 in the Akitio and planning an new implementation set up post as I also have it working in macOS now.
Hi, what happens with the 1050 when you try on macOS? Does it lose signal? Does the 1060 act in the same way?