2015 15" MacBook Pro Retina M370x + [email protected] (AORUS Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.5 + Win10 [bardamatic]  

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bardamatic
(@bardamatic)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 4
June 24, 2018 2:08 pm  

System specs 

MacBook Pro Retina Mid 2015, 15", 2.5Ghz Intel Core i7, M370X

 

eGPU hardware 

AORUS GTX 1080 Gaming Box
Apple Thunderbolt Cable (2.0 m) - MD861LL/A
Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter - MMEL2AM/A
fit-Headless GS - high resolution display emulator for game-streaming and VR - For using the internal Display

 

Installation steps

This was very straightforward:
High Sierra 10.13.5
Followed instructions here -  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/script-fr34ks-macos-egpu-sh-one-script-all-solutions-fully-automated/paged/1/
Thats it.  It worked.

Win10 Pro (fully updated):
Booted into Bootcamp Windows 10
Made sure Windows and Boot Camp were fully updated
Attached the Aorus Gaming Box.
First time it blue screened and I rebooted.
Second time I hot plugged at boot.
It was recognized, but no drivers were automatically installed.  I downloaded the latest drivers from NVIDIA and installed.
Rebooted and hot plugged the eGPU and it worked.  I updated the drivers to the latest version via the GeForce Experience application.

 

Benchmarks

Win10 external Win10 internal

 

macOS external macOS internal

 

Comments
For now, I am no longer hotplugging the eGPU in when Windows boot.  I power down the computer, attached eGPU, then power on the computer and boot to Windows.  So far I haven't had any problem.

Something else important to note:
As the 2015 MacBook Pro Retina has a dGPU (AMD m370X), whenever an application started that would normally use the dGPU, such as Chrome or Valley Benchmarking, the internal screen would go black and then everything on the external monitor would slow to a crawl.  I figured out that it is because the dGPU was switching on.  I found a solution on this page:
https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/script-fr34ks-macos-egpu-sh-one-script-all-solutions-fully-automated/paged/5/

Download and install:
https://github.com/codykrieger/gfx.io/blob/gh-pages/downloads/gfxCardStatus-2.2.1.zip

Then set it to use only the iGPU and this solved the problem.

For using the internal display on MacOS it was a bit difficult even when following the instructions from goalque:

1) Download Spectacle: https://www.spectacleapp.com

2) Download DisableMonitor: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor

3) Go to macOS System Preferences -> Dock -> Position on screen -> Left

4) Set the ghost display as the primary

5) Set the resolution to match internal screen in DisableMonitor

6) Launch the app (Valley benchmark for example) from the Dock (there you see its child windows).

Then you can easily switch “Next Display” or “Previous Display” with a keyboard shortcut. Spectacle moves apps in full screen mode as well (therefore, step 5 is recommended).

I found it is easier to have a VNC server on my computer and then to access the computer with my phone with a VNC viewer and start the wanted application which is on the headless monitor and then to use the above instructions.

 

After 1 week:
I wanted to come back with an update after using the Aorus Gaming Box 1080 for 1 week.

While it is usable in 4 different ways (internal and external on both Windows 10 and MacOS 10.13.5), I really only use it with an external display with Windows 10. I don't have a 4K or gaming monitor, but just a regular screen that I set for games at 1920x1080 via HDMI. For all the games that I have tested so far, I can set all of them on ultra while getting 60fps. Titles include Far Cry 5, Quake Champions, Plants Vs. Zombies: GW2, Wreckfest, Overwatch.

I would love to try this on a higher resolution or high Hz monitor via DP but I don't have access to that at the moment and at this point, it is already such an upgrade from my m370X.

 

Internal Display:
Also another point, I have been trying more in depth on running games on the internal display in Windows. I kept thinking that whatever game I played should run the best on the native resolution of the screen (or a factor of). Windows has been set at 2880x1800 (scaling set at 200%) on the internal screen. So I have looked at factors of this 16x10 resolution: 1024x640, 1280X800, 1440x900, 1680x1050, 1920x1200 to see what would work best. What I found is that games run best on the native resolution of the fitheadlessGS which is 1920x1080, not the native reslution of the display. For best results, I set the internal display at 1920x1080 and the fitheadlessGS display at 1920x1080. I also set games as borderless, start the games on the fitheadlessGS display (1080 card), look at it in VNC and then us the trick to get it onto the internal display. I am still able to play most at ultra with this setup. It is a bit labor intensive to use it like this, but it is possible for the occassions of needing high portability.

Update of NVIDIA Driver in MacOS 10.13.5:
I updated to the latest driver 387.10.10.10.35.106 within the NVIDIA Driver Manager in System Preferences. It continues to work. I noticed no difference in benchmark score.

 

PSU Fans:
The PSU fans are not spinning in Windows 10 (40mm x 2, not the 120mm GPU fan).  They are working fine in MacOS, but in Windows they stay completely still.  Reading on this forum, there are some guesses that because they are internally USB powered, the drivers for the fans in Windows are not present or loading.  Same for LED lights in Windows.  Using the MSI Afterburner software to watch the GPU fan and temp, I see that the GPU temp does not get particularly hot even with a torture test.  And the GPU fan does spin up accordingly.  But as the PSU fans are not working, I have used MSI Afterburner to turn up the GPU fan to 100% to push more air through the box.

I will probably get another USB powered 120mm fan and attach it on the outside on the 40mm fan side to help pull more air out of the box.

Update to the Aorus Gaming Box firmware:
As I am using a tb2 macbook pro, not a tb3, I am not able to update the firmware of the box.  I don't know that it is necessary as I am not sure the latest firmware fixes the PSU fan issue, but I won't be able to check until I find a tb3 enabled windows 10 machine.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3228
July 5, 2018 3:08 pm  

Nice build. Do you rely on the headless HDMI adapter for internal display mode in Windows as well?

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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bardamatic
(@bardamatic)
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Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 4
July 14, 2018 2:49 pm  

Hi theitsage,

Yes, that is correct.  I am using the fit-Headless GS for both MacOS and Win10.  For both I do find it easier to have a VNC server running so I can see the eGPU powered "screen".

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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hockeyplayer323
(@hockeyplayer323)
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Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 2
October 2, 2018 4:26 pm  

Hey, got the same build you got. Was wondering if you have the usb hub working in Win10. It works in macOS surprisingly.
Also, pretty new to the whole eGPU scene.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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bardamatic
(@bardamatic)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 4
October 3, 2018 5:32 pm  

Hey hockeyplayer323,

I read, wrote an answer and then re-read you question.  I tried to get the USB ports to work in Windows (10) and when they didn't, I didn't even bother trying in macOS.  So now I just tried in macOS and they do work!  I have to thank you for that.  But as for your real question:  No I have not been able to get the USB ports recognized in Windows (10).  Same as for the PSU fans mentioned above in my original post.  Theory I read somewhere is that the PSU fans and internal USB ports don't have the necessary drivers in Windows (10).
If you ever figure it out, let me know!

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Hao Zhao
(@hao-zhao)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
November 14, 2018 3:04 am  

Hi. I am also a 2015-mid MacBook user. i saw you have this build and i really want to have the same as you. I have the gaming box 1070, but i don't know how to make it useful to my laptop. I have both windows(10-64-bit) and macOS  system(10.14). So could you explain a little bit detail about how did you start, what app you download and how did you go throw the steps? Thank you so much and I appreciated.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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bardamatic
(@bardamatic)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 4
November 15, 2018 12:38 pm  

Hao Zhao,

My setup no longer works in MacOS because I upgraded to 10.14 which is not supported currently.  The script that worked before worked only for 10.13.  NVIDIA has not yet released the new drivers for 10.14 which is required to work with metal.  Might be a while.  In the meantime as I really only use it in Windows, I decided that I would upgrade to 10.14 anyway.

As for Windows 10, there really is nothing to tell.  Turn off your computer, plug in the TB2->TB3 adapter connected to your TB3 cable connected to your egpu and turn it on holding down option.  Select windows and it should be working.  If you have an external monitor attached to your egpu you will see it.  If not, well you need the dongle as described above.

Good luck!

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Hao Zhao
(@hao-zhao)
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Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 3
November 17, 2018 2:48 am  

thank you for your reply. I didn't check it will work on monitor or not. Just a quick question, should I connect the cord with the gaming box and the monitor or the laptop with monitor? If I connect to the monitor(let's say I already success connected.), i don't need to download anything else right? It will work automatically?thanks.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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