mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.12 & Win10 [Xignalio]  

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Xignalio
(@xignalio)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1
September 22, 2017 2:12 pm  

Hello everyone on eGPU.io! I received my Sonnet box in the mail Tuesday and have been fiddling with it for the majority of the week. After a handful of OS reinstallations, I've finally gotten the issues ironed out.

Hopefully you can learn from my mistakes as this is a very simple setup compared to other Macbook models.


With the Mid-2012 Macbook Pros being the last generation to have upgradable RAM and HDD (and a disc drive), it is a favorite of mine for that reason alone. Having an eGPU helps take this laptop to the next level.

My Hardware:

  • Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (Core i7-3520M, MD102LL/A)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box with 350W Power Supply
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 780 (Reference Model)

macOS:

Refer to the automate-eGPU.sh guide here: https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/automate-egpu-sh-is-reborn-with-amd-polaris-fiji-support-for-macos/

1. Install/Have macOS Sierra

The release of High Sierra might make eGPU setup easier, but for now I'm still running Sierra.

2. Disable SIP

Boot into recovery mode (Cmd+R on startup), open a terminal, run 'csrutil disable', then reboot back to macOS. More detailed instructions are in the automate-eGPU.sh guide.

 3. Reboot with eGPU plugged in now

 The script below needs to be able to detect the eGPU.

4. Run automate-eGPU.sh

Download the script from the automate-eGPU.sh guide: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/goalque/automate-eGPU/master/automate-eGPU.sh

Run it according to the directions.

Do not use the -a flag. This option broke eGPU detection for me.

5. Reboot.

Keep the eGPU connected and powered on.

6. The eGPU should now be recognized.

You're done! Be sure to verify that your eGPU is showing up in System Information.


Windows:

Before following this guide please have your data backed up beforehand, there is plenty of room for error and any mistake might result in the loss of your data!

This part was uncharted territory as I've realized there are no Windows guides for Mid-2012 13" MBP models. But after a large amount of trial-and-error, I've determined the following (which only applies to Bootcamp MBR/BIOS installs):

  • If you have an existing Bootcamp installation of Windows (MBR/BIOS installation), forget about getting it to run.
  • I get a black screen when booting to Windows with the eGPU on.
  • If you wait until Windows is booted, then switch the eGPU on, the OS will not recognize the eGPU. Device Manager will not see any new devices.
  • I have attempted to use DIY eGPU Setup 1.35, but was not able to get it to detect the eGPU.

For those who are adventurous, you can attempt the PERST# switch trick here which I haven't tried: https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/mbp-egpu-detection-issues/paged/1/

Because of these issues, I gave up using Bootcamp in favor of a clean UEFI installation, which works fine (for the most part, onboard audio is the only thing that is broken).

    

Here's the problem with doing an UEFI install, if you have ever made a Bootcamp partition before with Boot Camp Assistant, your disk is now a hybrid MBR disk.

That means when you install Windows 10 with an UEFI USB installer, it will refuse to install because the Windows installer detects the drive as MBR.

To fix this, you can either remove the hybrid MBR, or install UEFI Windows 10 on an external drive using these instructions: https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/how-to-install-windows-10-bootcamp-on-an-external-hdd-or-ssd/

 

For this guide, I will be removing the hybrid MBR and installing Windows 10 to the internal disk.

There is a guide here to remove the hybrid MBR: https://superuser.com/questions/508026/windows-detects-gpt-disk-as-mbr-in-efi-boot/508454#508454

I'll summarize the guide below:

 

(skip to Step 3 if your disk is already GPT)

(skip to Step 4 if you already have a UEFI Win10 install, or did the external drive install)

 

IMPORTANT! By removing the hybrid MBR you will be rendering any Bootcamp partitions unbootable. Back up your data and say your goodbyes to your Windows install beforehand.

 

1. Remove the hybrid MBR from your Bootcamped disk

1.1. Download and install GPT fdisk on your macOS installation.

1.2. You will have to disable SIP if you haven't done so already for the macOS eGPU installation.

1.3. Use Disk Utility to get the device name for your disk (mine says disk1).

1.4. Run gdisk like so (where disk1 is your disk name): 'sudo gdisk /dev/disk1'

1.5. Type 'p' and hit ENTER to view your partitions, make sure these look familiar, otherwise you're working on the wrong disk!

1.6. Type 'x' and hit ENTER to enter the experts' menu.

1.7. Type 'n' and hit ENTER to create a protective MBR, which will get rid of the hybrid MBR. Note that there is no text confirmation.

1.8. Type 'w' and hit ENTER to write the changes to the disk.

1.9. Done. Your Bootcamp partition (if you had one) is now unusable and can be removed in Disk Utility.

2. You are now ready for a UEFI Windows installation

Partition your disk accordingly using Disk Utility so there is room for your Windows install.

3. Install Windows 10 using a UEFI USB installer

I used the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to download an ISO and burned it using Rufus to a bootable USB with a GPT partition scheme. These are both Windows-only programs.

I had a Windows computer available for this task. I am uncertain if Boot Camp Assistant can create a EFI bootable Windows installer. Other tools like UNetbootin and Etcher cannot create Windows installers.

4. Download Boot Camp Support Software from Apple

For MacBook Pro (13-inch & 15-inch, Mid 2012) models, we need version 5.1.5621 which is available here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/dl1720?locale=en_US

Since the Macbook has no network drivers installed, you should copy this .zip to your Windows installer USB for convenience.

 5. Install Bootcamp software

Extract the .zip and run setup.exe.

 6. Reboot with eGPU plugged in now

Without the Bootcamp Thunderbolt drivers, the eGPU enclosure won't be recognized. Rebooting after finishing the Bootcamp driver installation should fix that issue. Make sure your eGPU is plugged in before booting into Windows.

NOTE: Audio drivers are broken in UEFI Windows installations due to a bug that doesn't occur on a CSM-BIOS install, there is currently no way around this besides using a USB audio device.

7. Install Nvidia drivers (or AMD)

Grab the latest GeForce drivers from the Nvidia website and install it. If you didn't plug in the eGPU before booting Windows, the installer can't detect the card and will refuse to proceed.

 8. Reboot after installation is finished

The Nvidia installer required a reboot upon completion for me, your results may vary.

9. The eGPU should now be recognized

Congratulations, your eGPU should now be visible in Device Manager.

Getting programs to use the eGPU on the main display with Optimus is a hit-or-miss so far. I can't seem to force the eGPU to work when it doesn't want to. Running programs on an external monitor will get around this issue of course. PUBG actually does run with the eGPU on the Macbook display, but everything else I've tried won't. Might have to revisit this issue at some point.

That concludes this guide, hope you found it useful.

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


Eydawn and renekaigen liked
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mirage
(@mirage)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 2
November 6, 2017 4:33 am  

Thank you for the post.

I have same Macbook, but use AORUS Gaming Box GTX1070.

Had same issues with Win10 bootcamp. Didn't try DIY eGPU Setup 1.35.

So I converted Win10 bootcamp to UEFI mode by  https://www.reddit.com/r/mac/comments/3dlu2g/convert_a_bootcamp_bios_windows_installation_to/

And I think it's less stable than bootcamp mode.

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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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1814
November 6, 2017 4:44 am  

@mirage, if your eGPU was detected in bootcamp mode (BIOS/MBR) but had error 12 or 35, then DIY eGPU Setup 1.35 can help. If not, then stick with UEFI mode as the issue here is getting the eGPU detected which is controlled by the MBP firmware.

FYI: when I did a eGPU implementation on a 2012 13' MBP using a BPlus TH05 TB1 adapter (now no longer available) , I too found a difference in UEFI vs BIOS initialization and detection of a Thunderbolt eGPU.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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renekaigen
(@renekaigen)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 1
December 23, 2017 10:49 pm  

@Xignalio

Hello I think i have the same macbook pro that you, 

Can you confirme me ,please

This is my mac

MacBook Pro . 13 inch, Mid 2012

2.9 GHz Intel Core i7

Intel HD Graphics 4000 1535 MB

8GB RAM 1600 MHz DDR3

non Retina 

Model Name: MacBookPro9,2 A1278

It is the same ?

 

Also, I have some questions :

Where can I buy the hardware

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box with 350W Power Supply
  • EVGA GeForce GTX 780 (Reference Model)

???

The Sonnet Box need an external power supply or is integrated ? only connect to mackbook pro ???

Currently , I have a GTX 1050 Ti with Akitio Thunder2 PCIe Box , Do you think this works ??

Which others grapic cards are compatible with Sonnet Box and this mac ??

Best Regards

 

 

 

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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MasterOnion
(@masteronion)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 3
December 27, 2017 8:02 pm  

I'm unable to see my node in the device manager. Thoughts?

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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lwcutter
(@lwcutter)
New Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 1
January 7, 2018 7:38 pm  

I am curious if you, or anyone for that matter, were able to get this setup to run in macOS 10.13 high sierra.

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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jamesking
(@jamesking)
New Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 4
March 14, 2018 5:40 am  

Which thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 1 do you use?

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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