2012 15" MacBook Pro Retina (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 1050 Ti @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiT...

2012 15" MacBook Pro Retina (GT650M) [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 1050 Ti @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 & Win10 [thiagon]  


Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Hi guys

well as everyone knows, 5 years is quite a challenging for any notebook to keep its vitality over OS updates, specially when considered the performance of the interfaces/cpu/ram and what bring us together in this forum, graphic cards.

many of you, that own the same macbook as I do, are considering an update not only because of the mentioned above but also because of a "bottleneck" of 10 Gbps. 

I only game dota2 and starcraft II, not such demanding games but pushes my 650M to the limit for a mid/low configuration. The solution for me has been a GTX 1050 ti gigabyte (4GB).

Runs dota2 on 80 fps (all set to highest setting possible) on Win10. (Don't know why on Mac OS the highest fps achieved was 40 fps...)

 I want to share a success story of eGPU running on Mac OS X and Win10 Pro, which I had only because of the people in this Forum.

The instructions for setting on Mac OS X provided by @goalque (automate-eGPU.sh) was more than enough so won't be commented here.

But for win10 Pro has been quite tricky.

I have utilized nando's DIY eGPU 1.35 software and, as what I have observed is that loading Windows10 via that software is the determining factor for success (or failure!)

I've checked other setups, followed the instructions but nothing worked for me..

A GUIDE for the Macbook Retina mid-2012 Windows 10 installation

1. Install win10 pro from scratch with mac os bootcamp assistant
2. Download/Install bootcamp drivers 
3. Utilize Wi-fi to download latest nvidia driver from nvidia website
4. Turn off Wi-fi
5. Open device Manager and uninstall geforce 650M driver
6. Reboot so that the system recognizes the Internal dGPU again and asks for a driver. *if you are with Wi-fi on windows will automatically try to download install again the previous driver.. therefore wifi off.

7. Install nvidia driver downloaded from nvidia website*
*required so that when the eGPU is installed same driver is utilized!
8. Reboot and check if GeForce 650M is displayed in the graphics cards selection, ensure the GeForce 650M is installed with the web downloaded nvidia driver...
9. Shut down macbook 
eGPU hardware setup: 
Consider these steps/instructions when I say "connect the eGPU to the computer":
A. Ensure macbook is off and thunderbolt cable from Akitio Thunder2 is NOT connected to the macbook
B. Ensure your eGPU is connected with the DisplayPort port of the External Monitor
C. Turn on eGPU/Akitio Thunder2 supply
D. Connect the TB cable to the macbook
E. Turn on macbook (with bootcamp setting to boot into windows)
F. Ensure external monitor is ON
Ok, continuing with the steps:
10. Connect eGPU to computer 
11. Install nando DIY eGPU 1.35v considering nando's given instructions *do not reboot the macbook yet.
11. Check in the device manager if eGPU is recognized with an exclamation point (!)
 12. Re-install NVIDIA driver 
Important: click on the eGPU on the device manager, check properties, there will be error code 14 (if im not wrong) which says a boot is required so that this device works.
Windows will ask for reboot to apply changes, Do NOT boot into Windows!!!
 I did this and got black screen, needed to install win10 all over again and initiate from step 1...
13. Execute your (nando given) setup instructions & settings on DIY eGPU 1.35v DOS screen
NOTE: Be aware that in this step, in my case, the windows boot appeared on my external monitor! Ensure you select DIY eGPU 1.35v, if you select Windows 10 boot, black screen as stated before.. requires win10 reinstall
14. Boot into windows executing chainloader from eGPU
15. Verify device manager if graphic card is shown ( as the card itself, this case: GTX1050ti 4GB)
16. If device manager displays "windows graphic blablabla), Re-install nvidia driver and boot windows again, executIng DIY eGPU, selection 2, else: you are ready to go, eGPU should be working. 
17. Enjoy your eGPU Smile

Macbook Pro Retina mid-2012 - Akitio Thunder2 - GTX1050TI 4GB win10/mac os

C rus and itsage liked
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago

I really appreciate you making this post. I'm going to set up an egpu with the non-retina version of your MacBook Pro and I'm sure this would help

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts

thiagon liked
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Hi, thanks for the guide. I see you’ve edited it a month ago. Does that mean the setup still works with High Sierra ? How about Bootcamp latest Creator’s Update?

I’ve been wanting to try an egpu setup like yours for a while. I’m still very happy with my MBP Retina 2012, and game on my Bootcamp with most of my steam library just fine. I even tried installing Steam VR along with my PSVR headset, and to my surprise it “worked” (loud fans, messy setup, but definitely playable...) 

I also wonder the usefulness of an expensive/ higher-end card such as the Nvidia 1070/1080 on a MBP Retina with thunderbolt 1, and haven’t really figured out whether it’s something that’s viable as a price/performance proposition. Yet there’s a few working examples on this site... Is there really a considerable performance increase considering the machine’s bottleneck?

I also hear that FCPX’s recent update may not work with egpus... in the end there’s so many things to navigate that I find myself lost every time I consider biting the bullet and buying the parts... 

Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated, many thanks.


(I thought I’d post here since it refers to your guide, but I can do so in a general area if that’s more appropriate, I apologize in advance if that’s the case...)

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts

Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Congrats on the success, I think I have the same setup (1070 instead of 50) working in Windows 10 as well, thanks to you and others in the community for the info. The 1070 is recognized alongside the 650M and are listed in device manager as working. After some confusion on my part, and some convoluted instructions here and there it seems to be running fine. I am downloading some games/benchmark software to further test, and will post a guide upon success.

This has been a nice, gentle reintroduction back in the operating system I grew up on (starting on Win95). I guess I have had it easy for 6 years with Mac OS, and should expect some learning curve coming back. The lesson learned is- to be patient.

To answer your question @creekgeek  the 2012 MBPR was the greatest MacBook ever created Smile Steve Jobs still has about 20 on his yacht today. The only laptop that is of better lasting build quality would arguably be the newer MBPs. I had a friend try and trade me his newer touch bar, usb-c everything, 13 inch MacBook for my 6 yr old, few dead-pixelated MPBR; I think he was joking but I have heard mixed reviews on the new ones. As far as support and speed goes, I guess it's a matter of time for this old gal, but an eGPU, even a throttled 1070 makes me remember the glory days; and look forward to my next MacBook utilizing the 1070 fully.

I have very few gripes about the 1070 in OSX Sierra and it should run more efficiently, with more game options in Windows. Most games I play are run at high or max settings, with some tweaks to shadowing.

Harriet C. Pooter

New Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Dear Harriet C Pooter (haha) thanks for your reply! I missed it when you first wrote it, and am still wondering about what setup is best for me. I agree that the 2012 MBPR is a beauty, I pre-ordered it and since then it remains my main computer, with its maxed out 16 GB RAM and an upgraded 1TB SSD (and a newer network card, all being easy upgrades in spite of Apple's initial promise of not allowing us to upgrade anything...)

I run everything from games on Mac and bootcamp, to Final Cut Pro X, to Adobe CC, to more recently Da Vinci Resolve (although it can get taxing on the poor baby using the latter for too long...)

Do you use your setup with Mac's apps? I would definitely like something I could use with FCP, (the new update introduced VR editing...) as well as Windows 10... You think something like Nvidia's 1050 Ti would would be a good upgrade? (I'm still not sold on buying a 1070/1080 given the uncertain performance I may get out of it with my laptop's thunderbolt one...

In any case I don't mean to be a pain to all the helpful peeps on this great site and forum. (I might be burning myself as a whiny thousand questions kinda douche, and it's not my intention!) I intend to come back and post about my upgrade and be more active in this community, it's just that I'm still gathering info slowly, and have no experience to help even myself, let alone anyone else, haha!

Thanks again for your helpful info! And of course thanks to the OP thiagon!

The geek from the creek

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts

Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Hey, sorry for my incredibely Late reply.
I needed to give up Gaming and moved accross the globe to attend a Master Course in Switzerland... anyway, I have upgraded the gpu to a 1070ti 8gb and there was a noticeable increase in Performance.  I'm 100% sure that the thunderbolt is the bootleneck in thw 1070 configuration. I have Tried an "overclock" in the 1070 and utilized a Software to Check the usage of the gpu, as Soon as I got to about 70% , windows crashed (probably because the gpu was Processing more than the thunderbolt 1 could carry..? I assume). I suggest you to buy a 6GB gpu (At max). as I have utilized the Setup only for Gaming (and could only Profit from it in Bootcamp), i can't Comment in improvement in Different softwares... and about Mac OS, it has been recognized in Mac OS Setup, But I Couldnt make Steam utilize the Egpu for Running the Games... 
the booting in Mac OS was ALWAYS flawless, Really beautiful to See, in the bootcamp config sometimes a Reboot was Required.

Macbook Pro Retina mid-2012 - Akitio Thunder2 - GTX1050TI 4GB win10/mac os