Early-2015 13" Macbook Pro Retina + GTX950@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + Win10 [Macnoob]
Have been doing some research and messing with the Akitio node for my MacBook, I was finally able to boot into windows with my eGPU. My success rate currently is at a 90% chance of success.
- 13″ MacBook Pro Retina from early 2015
- Windows 10
- AKiTiO Node
- EVGA GTX 950
- Apple official TB3 ->TB2 adapter
- Apple official TB2 cable
- Akitio node
Thanks to @jumpingsalad for his help and his implementation of windows with his Aorus gaming box, I was able to get this working.
- Reinstall windows 10
- Don't install bootcamp drivers. (this will come up after you load into windows for the first time)
- Go into your bootcamp drivers folder and manually install the wifi, ethernet, trackpad, keyboard, and camera. Depending on if its your first time loading into windows or not the location of the drivers will be different. Heres some screen shots to help you guys locate it. I have not tested any other drivers as I dont need anything else but those:
If by chance you can't find the drivers, you can go back to MacOS, go into the bootcamp application and install it there. Heres where to find it:
- After loading in the driver, you will need to hot plug into windows. Restart windows after downloading all the drivers. Plug in your Thunder bolt 2 cable once the windows logo comes up with the Akitio node turned on. (keep in mind at this stage you will be on your internal display as there isn't any Nvidia driver installed yet) Once windows finish loading go into device manager -> display adapter. You should now see your IGPU and "basic display adapter". Right click "basic display adapter and click scan for driver, then hit search online. Once Nvidia drivers have been install, shut off computer.
- This will be the hardest part as you will need to hot plug into windows. Turn on the computer, wait for the windows logo to appear, once it comes up wait for the spinning dots to appear, just as the dots appear wait until the dots reach the top, then as quick as possible plug in your thunderbolt cable with your eGPU turned on. here is exact location to where the first dot needs to be as you plug in your cable:
- Heres a video of how I did it. Keep in mind I had my computer set up where it boots straight into windows but you can always just hold option and wait to select windows. In the video if you have noticed, I leave the thunderbolt cable right on the port, as this will make sure I plug in at the proper time.
Haven't done any benchmarks yet, but I have played a few games and if you guys want to see benchmarks you can head over to @jumpingsalad post which has his benchmarks and also confirms that this method also works for the Aorus gaming box https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/early-2015-macbook-pro-retina-13-aorus-gaming-box-still-in-progress-need-help/#post-29883
Edit: I have also tested this out on a GTX 1050, and it works the same.
Edit 2: I recently switched to a GTX 970, seems to work fine. only issue with the driver is the mouse pad not being able to right click or scroll with 2 finger. I figure out the problem, as the features for those commands can only be access once you download bootcamp manager, which I have yet to locate on the driver folder unless I install the whole thing.
Edit 3: I have now a fully set up eGPU running off an external ssd which holds my windows partition and is running off the SSD with my AKITIO node, if you have any questions on how to get that set up, feel free to message me. As you know 128gb harddrive is very limiting when trying to run an eGPU set up with bootcamp.
Feel free to message me if you guys have any question or need any help.
i just did the similar as you did
I also have done my egpu!
I just want to add 2 things
It is goid to plug cable to Just like you
When you plug to the other side, another tb2 port just doesn't work.
I have installed apple sdi device driver. And it works fine to ke(i think it is kind of chipset driver. You can find the driver on intel folder of bootcamp folder)
I'm going to be trying this tonight. Is it still working for you? I was trying over the weekend but I'm running into issues installing windows 10 via Bootcamp Assistant. I'm hoping it is just this known issue with Time Machine. I'll post my specs and success/failures on here.
Question: I'm using an Akitio Node Pro, it has two on-board Display Port jacks - it doesn't look like the regular Akitio Node has those? So is that just an HDMI cable running from your actual GPU to the display? HDMI to HDMI? I'm curious if I need to be doing this similarly or if I can use the Display Ports.
Early 2015 MacBook Pro 13"
Akitio Node Pro
Gigabyte GTX 1070 (NOT the TI)
Using the Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter, same as yours.
I was able to do everything you did up until step 4. I hot plug the eGPU at the same time you do, and it looks like the gpu is detected, because I see the "basic display adapter". The problem is I can't update the drivers. I get "windows ran into an issue while trying to install driver software for your device". In that error prompt you can see a little image titled "Nvidia Geforce 1070". I tried disabling driver signature enforcement, which I was able to do, but I get the same error message.
So then I just go to nvidia support and download the latest drivers for that GPU, when trying to install that I get a compatibility error. It's like the first step of the installation, it says something like "this driver is not compatible with this version of Windows.". So what I'm trying now is running windows update. Not sure if that is the right move or not.
For me, I didn't install the driver using Nvidia experience. To go about installing the driver try right clicking on basic display adapter and click check for update and let it load. This will install the drivers and will prompt you to restart your computer. You can then update your driver using Nvidia experience after downloading from device manage.
Alright, I got it working. Really surprisingly plug-n-play for me. Here is what I did:
- restored my system via Time Machine
- disassociated my Time Machine Drive and thinned local snapshots in order to install Windows 10 via Boot Camp - details for this in this video
- when windows is running through it's install I choose Custom Installation and disable every option (not sure if this is relevant at all, but may as well state it)
- when windows finishes installing you see the Boot Camp installer window sitting there on the screen. I ignore this for the time and installed ONLY the WiFi adapter driver from the Broadcomm folder. I'll edit with the file path this evening. It's the one that has Windows 8 or something in the title (will edit). I chose this because there did not appear to be one labeled as Windows 10. This allowed me to connect to the internet via WiFi
- from there I re-boot the machine and hot-plug the eGPU, just as you did in your video. .
- run Device Manager, and I see the two different Microsoft Basic Display Adapter. One has a little sort of warning symbol on it, an "!". This one is the GTX 1070 - the other is the onboard GPU and is labeled the same at this time because no drivers have been installed except the WiFi adapter.
- this is the step that for some reason works for you, but not for me. right click or double click the proper display adapter and choose the update driver option that searches the internet for drivers. Here I get the same error message I was getting earlier: "Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software for your device".
- I decide to try running through that bootcamp installer that launches on the first time you startup windows. This just installs all those drivers. I let that install, then try installing that driver again - same error message.
- I try running windows updates - this takes like 2 hours at least. I come back after fully updating, reboot, hot plug the GPU per your video - freakin' thing is just working now.
I ran heaven benchmark, installed some games. It's working amazingly well. It seems like for the 1070 you either can't get the proper driver when trying to update with your method or there is just something stopping it from installing. I don't know Windows well enough to have any idea what the actual problem is.
So my basic steps are
- install windows via boot camp
- choose custom install, disable all options
- run the boot camp install prompt that you see on first windows launch.
- update windows
- hot plug eGPU
- play video games
I'm actually going to take notes when I run this same install on an external hard drive, and will post how that goes in a much more detailed fashion.