mid-2011 27" iMac HD6970M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS10.12.4&Win10 [nkh004]^  

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nkh004
(@nkh004)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 43
December 3, 2016 7:32 pm  
  1. See the pictures and benchmarks here:   http://imgur.com/a/KSN6I

    Meet "Walter White" 

    The Build:

    Akitio Thunderbolt 2 (Amazon)

    Zotac GTX 1060 6gb mini (NewEgg)

    Dell DA-2 / Custom Adapter (eBay)

     Total Cost: ~$460

    Already Have:

    Mid 2011 27" iMac, I7 2600 

    27" AOC Monitor

     

     

    Tools / Supplies: (all things I had already)

    Masking Tape

    Metal File

    Dremel Max - Cutting Blade

    Rust-Oleum Spray paint - Satin White

    Old Wire Magazine Holder 

    Sanding Sponge 

     

    The Process:

     

    1. After Receiving all the pieces I tested the box. It went off pretty much without a hitch.
    2. Disassemble the Akitio (all the way, all the screws, everything)
    3. Cutting the box. (Masking Tape / Dremel)
      1. Taped up the spots on the outer box, and inner tray and drew the rectangle that would be cut out.
      2. Cut a hole with the dremel in the side for ventilation. 
      3. Cut a small slot in the back of the tray and case (to run cables through)
      4. File all the freshly cut edges  
    4. Painting (Sanding Sponge / Spray Paint)
      1. Sand all the surfaces to be painted. You don’t have to get down to the metal. It’s just so the paint will adhere. (Main box, front of the tray)
      2. Paint the enclosure and front panel. I gave they tray a very thin coat as you can’t really see it 
      3. Let dry  (duh)
    5. Re-Assemble

       

      1. Put the PCIE board back in.
      2. Run the cable through the cut slot.
      3. Assemble the rest of the box. I rotated the fan (sticker facing out) so it pulls air out of the box.
      4. Tape the screen to the inside of the box.

    Notes:

    1. I'm still working on getting the 6pin connector modified so I can close the box. 
    2. I didn't have to do any kind of startup sequence. 
    3. Tested the eGPU on my late 2015 15" mbp, it's working with the latest drivers. Haven't changed the iMac yet (too skured)
    4. Connect the eGPU to the external monitor. 

    Troubleshooting: 

    1. iMac Black Screen of Death: I tried installing the drivers using the akitio 60w but was getting a blackscreen when booting into windows. Using a proper PSU solved that.
    2. Err 43: If using driver 372.70 a proper power helped resolved this also. If you're using another version install 372.70. (I also had luck with 376.09 on my Late 2015 15" MBP)
    3. Games open on iMac screen: Switch your main display to the external. 
 
Just wanted to make a quick update. Now running on the iMac egpu on the macOS side as well via external monitor.
Ran the goalque automate-eGPU.sh v1.0.0 and it was all good to go. 
 
Ran the Unigine Benchmark at Med / High / Ultra
 

Mid 2011 iMac / Akitio Thunder 2 / GTX1060


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 3075
December 4, 2016 3:52 am  

Awesome build!

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

82 external GPU build guides


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kxplus
(@kxplus)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 10
December 8, 2016 7:25 am  

This is hands down the most beautiful setup I have ever seen. I congratulate you. Really liking the color and cutout; it looks just like a miniature NZXT desktop case, shrinked down. Also love the clean cable management. This is literally the dream, except that I neither have the technical skills nor equipment to do the cutouts 😛

Nonetheless, really amazing work!


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nkh004
(@nkh004)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 43
December 8, 2016 3:07 pm  

Thank you!! I had a lot of fun making it. 

Very little technical skills involved, haha. I'd say borrow a dremel from someone and a get cutting wheel from home depot or lowes there ~$8. Draw where you want to cut first and take your time cutting and you won't have any problem. 

Mid 2011 iMac / Akitio Thunder 2 / GTX1060


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radumalica
(@radumalica)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 8
March 12, 2017 8:30 am  

I am not able to make it work on Late 2013 iMac, 21.5" with only iris pro graphics. Using latest driver from Nvidia (378.78) . Black screen of death and bSOD all the time. I have GTX 1050 Ti, no power issues as it consumes max 75W in load and 7W in idle , with default Akitio2 power supply. Same config on Late 2013 Macbook pro works with no problems.

 


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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eddie
(@eddie)
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April 12, 2017 12:32 am  
Posted by: nkh004

Troubleshooting: 

  1. iMac Black Screen of Death: I tried installing the drivers using the akitio 60w but was getting a blackscreen when booting into windows. Using a proper PSU solved that.
  2. Err 43: If using driver 372.70 a proper power helped resolved this also. If you're using another version install 372.70. (I also had luck with 376.09 on my Late 2015 15" MBP)
  3. Games open on iMac screen: Switch your main display to the external.

  

Nice job! I also have a Mid 2011 iMac 27. However, there’s something wrong with AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB (more details in https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5594740?start=30&tstart=0).

According to your experience, can I use eGPU instead of the original internal one? (still use internal display)

Now I disable GPU by moving AMD*.kext out from “Extensions” directory.

For macOS only because I have Parallels Desktop for Windows.


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nkh004
(@nkh004)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 43
April 24, 2017 3:41 pm  
Posted by: eddie

 

Posted by: nkh004

Troubleshooting: 

  1. iMac Black Screen of Death: I tried installing the drivers using the akitio 60w but was getting a blackscreen when booting into windows. Using a proper PSU solved that.
  2. Err 43: If using driver 372.70 a proper power helped resolved this also. If you're using another version install 372.70. (I also had luck with 376.09 on my Late 2015 15" MBP)
  3. Games open on iMac screen: Switch your main display to the external.

  

Nice job! I also have a Mid 2011 iMac 27. However, there’s something wrong with AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB (more details in https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5594740?start=30&tstart=0).

According to your experience, can I use eGPU instead of the original internal one? (still use internal display)

Now I disable GPU by moving AMD*.kext out from “Extensions” directory.

For macOS only because I have Parallels Desktop for Windows.

   

To the best of my knowledge, and at the time of my building (i've stopped researching the topic) you can only use an eGPU/iMac set up with an external screen. 

Though, this may have changed recently. Perhaps someone may be able to provide updated info. 

Mid 2011 iMac / Akitio Thunder 2 / GTX1060


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nkh004
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exoticspaces
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June 16, 2017 2:20 pm  

Is it at all possible to use your external GPU setup (fantastic build btw) and connect it's external thunderbolt port and return it to the iMac's 27" thunderbolt connection, as if connecting to an external monitor from the perspective of your external GPU setup? It seems in theory similar to using Target Mode: 'Use an old mac as a second monitor' . Ref:  http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/use-imac-display-as-monitor-for-another-mac-3596055/  


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theitsage
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June 16, 2017 3:18 pm  
Posted by: exoticspaces

Is it at all possible to use your external GPU setup (fantastic build btw) and connect it's external thunderbolt port and return it to the iMac's 27" thunderbolt connection, as if connecting to an external monitor from the perspective of your external GPU setup? It seems in theory similar to using Target Mode: 'Use an old mac as a second monitor' . Ref:  http://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac/use-imac-display-as-monitor-for-another-mac-3596055/  

While this is very cool if possible, I don't believe it would work. The iMac can either be in Computer mode or Target Display mode, not both at the same time.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

82 external GPU build guides


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