2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + RX 470 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3 [kukkis] // sound-fix & chassis mod
Finally got all the parts for my eGPU project. First have to say that without the help found from this forum it would not have been possible, so big thanks to you all!
MacBook Pro 13" non-touchbar, i5 2,0Ghz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Iris 540
First I tried to get the everything to work while eGPU was already connected to the projector but MacBook Pro always hang on boot even though scripts went ok and I heard the "woosh" sound from eGPU. I uninstalled automate-GPU script with -uninstall option and started over. Here are the procedures's how I finally got eGPU to show in macOS with Metal supported:
4. Booted Mac and hot plugged eGPU to Mac
5. Run automate-eGPU.sh v1.0.0 with command: sudo ./
6. Shut down and disconnected eGPU
7. Booted Mac, hot plugged the eGPU and rerun with command: sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh -a
8. Shutdown the Mac and connected an USB-C to USB-A adapter to other TB3 port
9. Booted the Mac and heard the "woosh" sound from eGPU fans. MacOS shows RX470 and Metal is also supported
9. Run script for unlocking all Baffin units to boost OpenCL
10. Shutdown the Mac and booted again. MacOS shows RX470 and Metal is also supported
Now only one thing is unclear, when to connect eGPU to external display, i.e. to projector? Should it be done before booting or should one boot into macOS first and then connect eGPU to external display?
nice! Do you have problem at boot? My setup with RX480 gives me problem at boot, most time i can't boot with eGPU enabled 🙁
Do you boot with eGPU connected to external display?
I didn't have much time to try but what I noticed was that when the eGPu was connected to external display the boot stuck and then mac rebooted couple of times until it got up but then RX 470 was not detected by macOS.
When I booted just eGPU connected to mac everything worked two times in a row but I did not have time to connect it to external display again and actually test it.
I will post updates tomorrow evening when I have time to try more.
@ikir and @kukkis: Would you tell me your Boot ROM and SMC version:
system_profiler SPHardwareDataType | sed -e '/Boot/,/SMC/!d'
Sure, they are the following:
Boot ROM Version: MBP131.0205.B11
SMC Version (system): 2.36f96
The “whoosh” sound is promising, but I’ve observed that it doesn’t guarantee acceleration on macOS 10.12.3 (16D30), MBP131.0205.B11 with an AMD card. Even though the system profiler shows correct information and Metal: Supported.
If you plug in your eGPU monitor after login, or try to run LuxMark v3.0, does the system freeze?
I don't have Luxmark unfortunately. The system freezes if I plug in the eGPU monitor after login. After couple of boots system gets up but no eGPU is detected even though monitor is working through eGPU.
@kukkis: I have a hunch that Apple has blocked AMD eGPUs completely on MBP131.0205.B11 firmware + non-macOS certified TB3 enclosure + direct TB3 connection. No way back.
To confirm, you can download LuxMark:
Damn, really hope that is not the case. Thanks for the link. I will try Luxmark tomorrow. What kind of results should be expected?
Too curious to wait till tomorrow. Didn't notice that Luxmark was expected to freeze the mac and freeze it did.
I booted with eGPU and with USB-C to AV adapter without monitor connected and RX 470 showed in the system information with Metal supported after boot. Started Luxmark and it showed also RX 470, it run some time but then system crashed.
My Devil Box behaves the same way. System freezes and the touchpad doesn’t react, you have to force shut down. Because @ikir reported partial success on 10.12.3, touch bar users still have a little hope. 9to5mac also used the touch bar model. I suppose the Boot ROM version is different.
The only good news is that Nvidia cards still work.
Damn, so the only way to get AMD eGPU to work would be installing older 10.12.2 macOS Sierra version? Is it possible to get older version somehow as my backups happen to be only from 10.12.3 version? I found update version but I don't know if it is the full installer or just an update.
I wonder does AMD cards work any better in hackintosh then with 10.12.3? That would be the next step but quite unreliable and maybe not worth it if FCPX does not work anyway.
Nope. I tried 10.12.2 from a Time Machine backup. The same result. Factory reset (Internet recovery) installs 10.12.3, so no way back. I am not sure whether earlier Boot ROM versions worked with a non-touch model + AMD, but @itsage can confirm this.
Ok, thanks for the info. It is good to know that Nvidia still works but I don't know if for example 980 ti open cl performance would be worth the price just for FCPX.
Good question. Apple’s bidirectional adapter seems to work both directions. This AMD issue concerns only TB3-TB3 connection. So in theory... 🙂 I only have one adapter.
Have to find some solution as obviously I cannot return the modded Thunder3 any more😂 but I could swap AMD still to some Nvidia card if this Thunder3 with AMD to TB3 port is going to be permanently disabled by Apple.
Boot ROM Version: MBP132.0226.B11
SMC Version (system): 2.37f19
I'm switching soon to a GTX 780ti thanks for your suggestion, since drivers are much faster and you cn use either Nvidia one or Apple one.
@ikir: Have you experienced system freeze after login? The different Boot ROM possibly explains the different AMD functionality.
It’s not certain that GTX 780Ti would work with Apple’s native driver but there’s a chance.
no, when it works it works! My problem is initialization at boot, most of times "whoosh" sound start when I unplug and replug not during boot! Or maybe my Thunder 3 is crazy.
@ikir: At which point of boot or non boot you get the eGPU to work? When you do the unplug/plug procedure?
The best my non-touch can do is to survive 3/4 of boot until "woosh" is heard from mac and then it is game over.
With connecting just thunder3 I can at least use it as very expencive hub as it has displayport and 2nd TB3 which both work without AMD card and with SIP😂
@goalque how about a bootable usb stick with macos 10.12.2 and installing fresh Sierra that way, would it work or would it still contain newer Bootrom and SMC?
The other option would be installing windows and trying to get AMD work there, no FCPX though then.
I created a new partition but macOS 10.12.2 Combo update doesn’t allow installation if you’ve already upgraded to 10.12.2. I’ve not tried USB stick installation, but I suppose the result will be the same - the Boot ROM stays the same.
Is this the first time in history that Apple prevents installation of the factory build version?
Windows is not the problem - macOS + TB3 + AMD is.
Ok, thank you for the quick reply yet again.
That would be really strange if that really is the case with Apple now. I will try tomorrow how my factory reset goes.
Let's hope @itsage's Boot ROM version clarifies something.
Not planning on updating so I will also give my 2 cents when I finally get my box (ordered from B&H in december).
Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts
@xtube: what does the system profiler say about Boot ROM version on 10.12.2?
Good to know. At least we know that Apple updated the 13" touch-bar MBP’s boot ROM from B08 to B11 (10.12.2 -> 10.12.3).
There really is no way back! Just wiped the disk clean and did factory recovery and macOS 10.12.3 was the version that got installed😂
I wonder is Akitio node with AMD affected as well or does it work as the TI83 chip is supported by macOS?
Could as well continue installing windows now if I want to see the eGPU on action😂
Thank you for the quick clarification @itsage. Apple indeed is making it quite complicated for us but as we've got this far hopefully we can find yet another way to make it work again 🙂
Yes, Akitio Node is affected as well. I found the previous firmwares from the macOS 10.12.2 Combo update dmg. There seems to be some USB-C related binaries for these new MBP models too. I could try downgrading from the Terminal - if it fails, I need a new logic board 😀
That route sounds like it could get quite expensive. Does Thunder2 with RX 470 or 480 still work with 10.12.3? If yes then couple of TB3 toTB2 adapters and TB cable could be the cheapest option to try if Mac could see Thunder3 then as TB2 device.
Yes, Akitio Node is affected as well. I found the previous firmwares from the macOS 10.12.2 Combo update dmg. There seems to be some USB-C related binaries for these new MBP models too. I could try downgrading from the Terminal – if it fails, I need a new logic board 😀
Can you take a quick look and confirm if using firmwares from here is safe? https://github.com/gdbinit/firmware_vault/tree/master/EFI
There is one with the same name as in macOSUpdCombo10.12.2.pkg from Apple: MBP131_0205_B07_LOCKED.fd.
Already tried bless with the undocumented -firmware option and some own scripts but nothing happened. Smcupdater said "No reason to update".
I guess I really have to start considering to install Windows if i want to use my AMD in Thunder3 somehow or just return it. Instructions for installing windows and getting eGPU work seem pretty straight forward luckily. Would the performance drop be too big if windows was installed to external USB3 SSD compared to internal SSD?