2013 15" MacBook Pro Retina (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.12 [addosolutions]
Just wanted to update this awesome community from my last endeavor with running an eGPU on the late 2013 MBP. Reason: I learned that the Apple TB2>3 adapter is BiDirectional (poor reading on my part when I ordered!). In my mind, I know that at some point I will be upgrading my computer and it will have a TB3 connection so I would rather have the latest hardware so when my laptop gets upgraded I will be back on the cutting edge.
In my last post I used an Akitio Thunder2 box and it worked great. The problem (in addition to the aforementioned problem) was that it looked completely ridiculous having the AC/DS PSU for the Akitio and a second PSU for the GPU since the Thunder2 neither had the power nor the PCI-E connector for my 1070.
So here is my updated rig:
- Late 2013 Retina MBP 15" with 750M running MacOS Sierra and on 2.6GHz i7
- Using Akitio Node
- Thunderbolt 2>3 Adapter (apple official) and Thunderbolt 2 Official Apple Cable
- EVGA/Nvidia 1070
- 2x Dell P2415Q Monitors (4k, 60hz, Full sRGB, IPS) via DisplayPort
To get it working, I did the steps posted here:
- When I bought the Node and re-produced the steps posted at that link it no longer worked. I needed to run the following command in addition to make it boot properly:
sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -a
The nice thing there is that once that is set up it will boot with the device plugged in
- You cannot daisy chain at any point with this device. I had originally MBP -> Belkin TB2 Dock -> TB2>3 Adapter -> Akitio Node. That does not work with the Node (but does with the Thunder 2). To make it work you must go MBP -> TB2>3 -> Akitio Node. Bummer, but probably for the best for performance reasons.
Two other recommendations:
- There is a bit of lag if you allow the man display to remain on (this can probably be fixed, but I prefer clamshell mode). To do this this worked successfully for me: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor
- The Akitio Node fans are obnoxiously loud. I have not yet received them but have ordered quiet 80mm and 120mm fans (the Node PSU fan and the Node Front Fan).
Other than that, no complaints at all. Very pleased with the speed and performance of these bad boys.
- Illustrator CC
- FinalCut ProX
- Davinci Resolve
What does NOT work:
- Messages - The messages pane itself is completely black. I think this is a known issue, but not a huge deal. When not in clamshell mode you can drag the messages window to your MBP screen and it will work there.
This is an update but a different implementation than my last post which was here.
If you care only about macOS, then using the -a mode in the script is fine. Doing so, however, prevents any chance of detection in Windows. Additionally, at least in my personal experience, this mode was a hit-or-miss -> it booted successfully into macOS with eGPU once, but failed to accelerate on the eGPU in subsequent boots. Yet another indication that Maxwell cards (no 10 series drivers at the time) are the worst choice for 750M notebooks.
Good to know! I have found after further use a few things:
- Anything that needs metal (like the app store) will not work on any display that is using the eGPU
- I accidentally unplugged my eGPU while the system was running once, and had to remove (-m) and then re add the services to get it to work again. Big bummer there
- If you plug the eGPU in while the Mac is running, and just leave it, it will eventually/randomly crash
- Booting up with the eGPU in Mac has proven to be almost flawless so long as you have it plugged in to begin with.
- Little to no lag with the two 4k monitors. Pretty impressed there.
I'm particularly concerned and interested in your first issue of no Metal acceleration. This is odd - with driver support probably being the culprit? No issue with Metal on AMD - which has, in a sense, native support (Polaris). So probably is driver support. The case is the same for the 780 Ti - works well.
Does this mean that, say, F1 2016 (uses Metal) won't run on your eGPU?
Hi, I have the same mac as you with Akitio Thunder2Box and GTX 1070 connected to Dell U2415, was wondering how much an improvement will I have if upgrade to Akitio Node. I mainly use Final Cut Pro X to rendering video. Thanks.
I would love to know that too. Mainly use is final cut for me.
How is this setup working with games in Windows 10? Have you tried?