Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10 [clarketus]  

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clarketus
(@clarketus)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
April 25, 2018 8:22 pm  

System specs  (model inc screen size, CPU, iGPU, dGPU, operating system)

  • Mid 2012 15" Macbook Pro - "Non Retina" or "Unibody" -  "MacBookPro9,1" Full specs here
  • 2.6GHz Quad Core i7
  • 16GB DDR3 1600MHz (Aftermarket parts)
  • Nvidia GT650M 1GB dGPU / Intel HD4000 iGPU
  • Samsung 850 PRO SSD 1TB (Aftermarket parts)
  • High res 1680 x 1050 internal LCD panel
  • Existing installation of macOS 10.13.4 using APFS with NO Filevault.


eGPU hardware  
(eGPU enclosure, video card, any third-party TB3 cable, any custom mods)

  • RX580 8GB Gigabyte Gaming Box (Same enclosure as the Aorus Gaming Box), no modifications
  • Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 1/2 adapter
  • OWC Thunderbolt 2 cable (2 meters)
  • ASUS MG28UQ 4K/UHD 28-Inch FreeSync Monitor connected over DisplayPort
  • I did not use the USB 3 Hub built into the Gaming Box, I have another USB cable running to the Monitors USB 3 Hub for all USB accessories.


Hardware pictures

 

 

 

 

Updates (9th Oct 2018):

  • I have upgraded the system to Mojave 10.14.0 and everything still works great. It would be safe to assume you can follow everything in this guide using Mojave.
  • I have upgraded the system to Windows 10 October 2018 update (version 1809) and everything still works great. It would be safe to assume you can follow this guide using this version of Windows 10.
  • There is now an Aorus control panel app for macOS that allows disabling the LED lights on the gaming box. So now the LEDs are permanently off for me regardless of my OS. This can be downloaded here.
  • Everything else in this guide remains accurate at this time.


Installation steps (what did you do to get it all going?)


macOS 10.13.4

  • My existing macOS 10.13.4 installation is on APFS with no file vault.
  • For this entire guide, I always have the eGPU plugged in and turned on when the laptop boots. There was no need to hot-plug.
    • The only exception to this was while installing Windows (See below).
  • Installing purge-nvda and purge-wrangler worked perfectly the first time. Super easy to get set up.
  • I can uninstall the purge-nvda script when I want to take the laptop with me. When I want to plug the eGPU in again, I can install purge-nvda again. This has worked very well.


Windows 10

  • This was a lot more complicated.
  • The bootcamp assistant will by default (on this model Macbook Pro) install an MBR/BIOS/Legacy Windows 10 installation.
    • With this type of installation, eGPU starts up on boot, but when booting from windows, the screen stays blank and no blinking cursor appears before the Windows logo.
    • When the eGPU is disconnected, the blinking cursor appears and windows boots fine, but re-attaching the eGPU to the thunderbolt port never starts eGPU.
    • Due to this, I cannot use the eGPU DIY Setup 1.35 tool unless the boot freeze is solved with some kind of timing work around. I decided not to do this.
  • My solution was to use a UEFI installation of Windows 10.


Windows 10 UEFI

  • macOS with purge-nvda active was set up before I started on Windows UEFI, which I think does affect the boot process. I would advise doing this too even though I have not totally experimented with purge-nvda not being active.
    • Another option here could be to use gpu-switch and run integrated.bat which would set the integrated video device to be used at boot. But again I have not experimented with this.
  • I also had the eGPU disconnected until later in the process.
  • Using the bootcamp assistant, create a bootable USB stick
    • You will need a Windows 10 disk image.
    • Using a USB3 compatible USB stick will make this significantly faster.
  • You will also need to download the Bootcamp 6 support software via the bootcamp assistant. I did this and copied the files onto the USB stick for use in Windows later.
  • To install windows 10 as a UEFI installation, do not use the Bootcamp assistant to install Windows. Use disk utility instead.
    • Add a new partition as HFS+ and call it BOOTCAMP. This should resize the boot partition.
    • When this is created, reboot with the bootable USB stick connected, hold the option key, select "EFI boot", this will load the windows setup.
    • When asked, select "Customize installation", this will allow you to modify disk partitions.
    • Find the BOOTCAMP HFS+ partition, and delete it to create free space (DO NOT DELETE ANY OTHER PARTITION, or you could destroy all your mac OS data).
    • Create a new partition in this free space, and use it to install windows.
  • Verify your Windows installation is UEFI
    • Run "msinfo32" in the run dialog.
    • Verify BIOS Mode: is “UEFI”, not “Legacy”
  • Verify in device manager that you can see two display adapters, one will be iGPU, one dGPU.
    • This happens without anything else needed. We do not need to use apple_set_os.efi to see the iGPU.
  • Now you need to prevent the Intel HD4000 adapter from having drivers installed
    • This causes the system to crash if installed.
    • Install the Nvidia drivers ONLY from the bootcamp support folder on the USB stick to allow you to see which display adapter is the dGPU and which is the iGPU.
    • This guide here had a good description of how to prevent the Intel drivers from being installed:
    • See this link for how to prevent driver installation
    • I did not "Uninstall the device" for the Intel adapter. I left the Microsoft display driver installed and this was fine.
  • Now you can install the Bootcamp 6 software using the regular installer on the USB stick.
    • The Audio adapter WILL NOT WORK initially. But will work later. See later in the guide.
  • Once this is done and you have rebooted, you can enable your network connection.
  • At this point, I checked for updates for both Windows 10 and Bootcamp and installed all of them.
    • I also created a restore point just in case.
  • NOW: Plug in eGPU and reboot.
  • The eGPU will not be detected, but there will be an error 35 in your device manager:
  • To resolve error 35, we need to do a DSDT override
    • This was used to fix error 35 even though error 35 is not mentioned in that thread.
    • I used the Intel creation method and it compiled first try with no errors
      • Don't be intimidated here! It was actually super easy.
    • I initially loaded the dsdt-modified.aml as a registry override with Windows test signing mode enabled. This gets things working and can be changed later.
  • Reboot and verify the large memory group as per the DSDT guide
  • Verify error 35 is gone.
    • The eGPU device should now be visible with no drivers installed.
    • Also, your audio device should now be working
      • This was actually a surprise, as there is nowhere else on the internet that I could find that mentioned how to get the audio working on this model macbook in UEFI mode. I even purchased a USB sound card as I was not expecting it to work. But it does!!
  • Install the drivers for the eGPU and reboot.
  • Confirm that the eGPU is installed but has error 12
  • Fix error 12 by disabling PCI-to-PCI bridge devices
    • This is suggestion number 5 here
    • In device manager, sort devices by connection.
    • Find the top PCI-to-PCI bridge above the eGPU device.
    • There is a single PCI-to-PCI bridge device that needs to be disabled, see the attached screenshot:
    • Disable this device.
  • Reboot, verify error 12 is gone 
    • All devices should be working correctly.
    • Only disabled bridge device should be "not working".
    • If error 12 is not gone, try disabling other PCI-to-PCI bridge devices with no children.
  • And thats it!
  • (Optional) Use clover to avoid test signing mode
    • This will need to be done if you want to play games with strict anti-cheat software (PUBG). 
    • Follow the guide on the DSDT guide
    • The config.plist the clover installer gave me caused macOS to freeze on boot. I could still boot by holding down the option key and selecting macOS (bypassing clover).
    • Renaming the config.plist (to config.plist.bak) allowed macOS to boot via clover (with no config).
    • I then generated a new config when booted into macOS via clover:
      • Make sure purge-nvda is DISABLED before creating a new clover config. If you do not, disabling purge-nvda can cause clover to not boot.
      • Command: /usr/local/bin/clover-genconfig > config.plist
      • Mentioned here: https://clover-wiki.zetam.org/configuration
    • I can boot into Windows 10 and macOS via clover with no issues.

 


Benchmarks 
(Include a CUDA-Z or AIDA64 bandwidth pic. Optional: Valley, 3dmark, noting if it's on internal/external LCD )

I am only using an external display, I have not tried using the internal display with the eGPU.

Geekbench Windows 10:
Score: 119267

Geekbench macOS:
Score: 106057

Aida64:

I can run some more benchmarks if requested.

 


Comments 
(eg: how has the eGPU improved your workflow or gaming?)


End Result:

  • Everything works, all devices, including built in audio and discrete graphics.
  • Both display adapters are enabled
  • It doesn’t matter if the discrete card gets re-enabled in macOS with purge-nvda uninstall, as windows can handle it as it is not disabled.
  • Personal reaction
    • This setup is awesome!!!!!
    • I am actually surprised at how fast this system is. I have no need to buy a desktop for gaming now. Equivalent performance to new systems using a 6 year old laptop.
  • Windows gaming
    • I took off the eGPU case for windows gaming due to heat. The primary fan speed is the same as in macOS (And does increase when the eGPU is under load) but the smaller secondary fans are turned off in windows. The heat can make the case pretty warm, so taking the case off seems to make the heat disperse faster.

 

Things that don’t work:

  • Windows 10
    • The USB hub on eGPU enclosure (But they do in macOS).
    • The Lights on eGPU enclosure (But they do in macOS).
    • The secondary fans on the eGPU enclosure do not work in Windows (but do in macOS).
    • The Aorus control panel software doesn’t work in windows (and therefore at all, as there is no macOS version). This means that there is no way to control the fan speed or the LED color. It was mentioned in a post somewhere on this forum that it will only work on a Thunderbolt 3 machine.
    • Brightness control on internal LCD.
    • Most other bootcamp guides seem to mention these issues with the Aorus enclosures.
  • macOS
    • Brightness control on internal LCD when purge-nvda is active.
    • Sleep when closing lid when purge-nvda is active.
    • Can uninstall purge-nvda when unplugging laptop to restore this functionality when on the go.
    • I am hoping future versions of macOS will remove the need for purge-nvda.
      • This will make usability a lot nicer if this is not needed.

 

Things I am not doing:

  • Installing the Intel display driver
  • Installing thunderbolt drivers
    • During experimentation, installing these made my windows install freeze on boot. They weren’t needed in the end.
  • Using apple_set_os.efi
  • Using rEFInd with OS spoofing
  • Using a regular bootcamp install
    • On this model macbook pro, a regular bootcamp install uses MBR.
    • Egpu starts up on boot, but when booting from windows, screen stays blank, no cursor appears.
    • Egpu disconnected, cursor appears and boots fine, but re-attaching port never starts egpu.
    • So cant use eGPU DIY Setup 1.35
    • Couldn’t get past this.
  • Leaving the discrete card disabled
    • Disabling the discrete card can result in a freeze on boot for windows if the discrete card gets set for use on boot by OSX.
    • The discrete card can be left enabled and everything works.
  • Using automate-egpu -a
    • This wasn’t used even though lots of guides mention this.


A massive thank you to all the people who contributed to the information on this forum. I am very happy with the result.

 

Guides:
Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


Neo302, PsyPryss, Zetthard and 3 people liked
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Wesley
(@wesley)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 19
May 4, 2018 11:01 pm  

I also have this gaming box and noticed the PSU fan does not spin down when the computer is off. Only when there is nothing connected to the enclosure's TB port, it is off. Can you confirm?

Do you ever work in clamshell mode for OSX with this setup? I cannot get Valley and Heaven benchmark to work after pressing Run. The app goes unresponsive in clamshell mode.

Late 2011 15" MBP - Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box - 10.13.4


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clarketus
(@clarketus)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
May 8, 2018 2:06 am  

I just checked, and the PSU fan does not turn off unless I remove the thunderbolt adapter from the port on the enclosure. So it's the same as what you said. But I honestly did not notice this until you pointed it out as the PSU fan is so quiet.

Regarding clamshell mode, this does not work for me at all. I believe its a limitation of purge-nvda that clamshell does not work properly (or sleeping when closing the lid). I have to use purge-nvda due to having an Nvidia dGPU. Hopefully newer versions of macOS remove the need to use this script.

Your laptop has an AMD Radeon dGPU, which is why clamshell works. But I cant help you with any questions regarding that sorry.

Guides:
Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


Wesley liked
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PsyPryss
(@psypryss)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 49
May 23, 2018 4:03 am  

Thanks for the amazing guide! I finally got Win10 working thanks to your guide. I got stuck at Error 35 and couldn’t find ppl with similar error. Thanks! Even sound works! Thanks so much!

Mid 2012 15" (Non-Retina) MPB GT650M + RX580 (AKiTio Node via TB3 -> TB2/TB1 Adaptor) macOS 10.13.4/Win10


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anse
 anse
(@anse)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 4
May 25, 2018 3:33 pm  

Thank you man, so much! I finally got it working on Windows. My setup is the same, except of Mantiz Venus(also no hdd, no usb ports, no ethernet working under Win) and 1080Ti. The only difference from the guide that I didn't have to cure it from Error 12 and disable PCI-to-PCI bridge.  

Great guide!

Macbook Pro 15" 2018 + Mantiz Venus + NVIDIA 1080Ti + MacOS 10.14/Windows 10


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NobodyKnowsYourName
(@nobodyknowsyourname)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 4
October 2, 2018 8:58 am  

can you use the internal display with egpu enabled? i have the same macbook pro, so this would be very nice to know if it is possible to use this setup to power the internal display...

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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(@ro650)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
Posts: 1
October 3, 2018 8:37 pm  

Hey Clarketus great build!

I have the same macbook pro and I'd like to try that build too, but my only concerns are:

Once I order that gaming box, will it work with no issues with my macbook pro? I mean, it is a 6 years old laptop and as I've seen in other guides it requires a lot of configuration before finally using the egpu  😐 

or if it is better to buy a budget PC with that money cause it is almost the same and because the only game I'm planning extensively to play is World of warcraft BFA hahah

What do you recommend me according to your experience? btw I have the mac os 10.13.6 so I hope the script that unlocks TB1 and TB2 still works for that version  😕 

Thanks in advance!  🙂

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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clarketus
(@clarketus)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
October 9, 2018 5:20 pm  
Posted by: NobodyKnowsYourName

can you use the internal display with egpu enabled? i have the same macbook pro, so this would be very nice to know if it is possible to use this setup to power the internal display...

I am using the internal display as a dual display setup as per the pictures in the first post. The internal display in my setup is accelerated by the integrated graphics and not the eGPU. I have not tried accelerating the internal display with the eGPU at this time, but I assume it would work fine. The issue would be the bottleneck of the thunderbolt 1 bus causing performance problems, and I also only want to play games using the external display, so I have not considered it worthwhile to attempt this yet. 

But, as the internal display is a significantly lower resolution than the external display, perhaps the thunderbolt 1 bottleneck would not be an issue.

Guides:
Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


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clarketus
(@clarketus)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
October 9, 2018 6:36 pm  
Posted by: ro650

Hey Clarketus great build!

I have the same macbook pro and I'd like to try that build too, but my only concerns are:

Once I order that gaming box, will it work with no issues with my macbook pro? I mean, it is a 6 years old laptop and as I've seen in other guides it requires a lot of configuration before finally using the egpu  😐 

or if it is better to buy a budget PC with that money cause it is almost the same and because the only game I'm planning extensively to play is World of warcraft BFA hahah

What do you recommend me according to your experience? btw I have the mac os 10.13.6 so I hope the script that unlocks TB1 and TB2 still works for that version  😕 

Thanks in advance!  🙂

If you have the same hardware as I do, then you should be able to follow my guide and have a working setup with no issues. Before I wrote this guide, I investigated all the other suggestions of how to get this model laptop to work and they all failed when it came to bootcamp due to not using Windows with EFI. This is why I wrote my own guide after taking the risk to buy hardware and trialing my own approach. If you have the same laptop model and the same eGPU as me, then follow this guide. If anything is different, you can still try this guide and others, but nothing is guaranteed.

What I can tell you is that once this is set up, it's as solid, reliable and performant as buying a new desktop. I used to have a separate gaming desktop, but having multiple computers means you have more OS installations to maintain and more hardware to worry about going out of date. Having one machine which works great for work and for gaming makes life a lot simpler. It's also a lot cheaper getting an eGPU than buying a new desktop.

In the end its up to you to read what is posted on this site and make your own decision! Since everything here is at your own risk.

Good luck!

Guides:
Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


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ruttit
(@ruttit)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
Posts: 1
November 9, 2018 11:31 am  

Hi clarketus,

Awesome writeup! I do have the same Macbook Pro (9,1) abeit with a 2.3ghz processor instead. It keeps restarting on its own after the first restart during the installation process. Same USB stick work fine if i use bootcamp to install windows, so faulty usb stick or corruption is ruled out.  One thing i did notice was i didn't have the custom install option, but only presented me with a window showing all teh partitions, etc. and i did delete the HFS+ partition and click new to make  a new one and continued to insall windows 10,etc. 

eGPU is working fine on Mac OS X using purge-nvda and purge-wrangler Running OSX 10.13.6.

What do you think is causing the Windows install to fail?

MBP spec:

Model Name: MacBook Pro

  Model Identifier: MacBookPro9,1

  Processor Name: Intel Core i7

  Processor Speed: 2.3 GHz

  Number of Processors: 1

  Total Number of Cores: 4

  L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

  L3 Cache: 6 MB

  Memory: 16 GB

  Boot ROM Version: MBP91.00DA.B00

  SMC Version (system): 2.1f175

NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M:

  Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M

  Type: GPU

  Bus: PCIe

  PCIe Lane Width: x8

  VRAM (Dynamic, Max): 512 MB

ntel HD Graphics 4000:

 

  Chipset Model: Intel HD Graphics 4000

  Type: GPU

  Bus: Built-In

  VRAM (Dynamic, Max): 1536 MB

  Vendor: Intel

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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sonicart77
(@sonicart77)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
Posts: 1
November 21, 2018 1:40 pm  

I have a MacBookPro 10,1 (Mid 2012 Retina) with the exact same RX580 Gaming Box and can confirm everything working!  There are a few differences though, like I only got Error 35 and not Error 12, and also when I partitioned the bootcamp partition I had to format it as FAT32 instead of HFS+ (otherwise for some weird reason it would give me BSOD in the middle of windows install.  I also had to unplug everything except the installer usb stick and the power cable.  Seems to help with the install.

Also, seems random, but sometimes the eGPU would hang the computer during boot, and I have to hotplug them sometimes.  Doesn't seem to be consistent, though.  When it doesn't get picked up I have to unplug it, boot into OS X, and then hot plug it in.  If that doesn't start it, then I have to keep it plugged in and do a software shutdown.  Sometimes the shutdown times would be really long.  Then afterwards when I power up again it would then work.  But then... sometimes it doesn't and I have to do it 3 or 4 times in order to get it working.

UPDATE:  I plugged the eGPU into the thunderbolt port next to the USB port (not the one to the right of the maglock) and everything is fine now!  Boots, restarts, and shuts down like it should every time now!

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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clarketus
(@clarketus)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
November 25, 2018 2:45 am  
Posted by: ruttit

Hi clarketus,

Awesome writeup! I do have the same Macbook Pro (9,1) abeit with a 2.3ghz processor instead. It keeps restarting on its own after the first restart during the installation process. Same USB stick work fine if i use bootcamp to install windows, so faulty usb stick or corruption is ruled out.  One thing i did notice was i didn't have the custom install option, but only presented me with a window showing all teh partitions, etc. and i did delete the HFS+ partition and click new to make  a new one and continued to insall windows 10,etc. 

eGPU is working fine on Mac OS X using purge-nvda and purge-wrangler Running OSX 10.13.6.

What do you think is causing the Windows install to fail?

Sorry for the late reply. The only thing I remember causing Windows to freeze or reboot was if the Intel HD4000 driver was allowed to be installed when using Windows in UEFI mode. The only way to fix this if it was installed was to use a system restore to get back to before the driver was installed.
As you say that the rebooting is occurring during the installation of Windows, this is before the HD4000 driver is available, so this can't be related.

Speculating on an actual solution, when you are booting the USB stick, is the boot option you select called "EFI boot"? or is it something else? One guess I am making is that if you somehow boot from the USB stick in a non-EFI mode, then it could affect the windows installation that is being installed. When turning on the laptop and holding down the option key, make sure it says "EFI boot" on the option you are selecting. Maybe verify this and get back to me?

Guides:
Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


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clarketus
(@clarketus)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 16
November 25, 2018 2:57 am  
Posted by: sonicart77

I have a MacBookPro 10,1 (Mid 2012 Retina) with the exact same RX580 Gaming Box and can confirm everything working!  There are a few differences though, like I only got Error 35 and not Error 12, and also when I partitioned the bootcamp partition I had to format it as FAT32 instead of HFS+ (otherwise for some weird reason it would give me BSOD in the middle of windows install.  I also had to unplug everything except the installer usb stick and the power cable.  Seems to help with the install.

Also, seems random, but sometimes the eGPU would hang the computer during boot, and I have to hotplug them sometimes.  Doesn't seem to be consistent, though.  When it doesn't get picked up I have to unplug it, boot into OS X, and then hot plug it in.  If that doesn't start it, then I have to keep it plugged in and do a software shutdown.  Sometimes the shutdown times would be really long.  Then afterwards when I power up again it would then work.  But then... sometimes it doesn't and I have to do it 3 or 4 times in order to get it working.

UPDATE:  I plugged the eGPU into the thunderbolt port next to the USB port (not the one to the right of the maglock) and everything is fine now!  Boots, restarts, and shuts down like it should every time now!

One thing I remember reading about your machine (MacBookPro10,1) is that although the hardware specs are identical, the logic board has a few differences, one of which is that it actually installs Bootcamp as UEFI by default when using the Bootcamp Assistant. This should mean that a lot of my guide isn't relevant to your machine.

If everything is working great then don't worry about it. But if you want to try and fix some issue, consider just doing a regular Bootcamp Assistant install and verify if it is a UEFI install as per how I mention in the guide above.

Guides:
Mid 2012 15" MBP GT650M Non Retina + [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS 10.13.4 / Win10


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