2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO N...
 
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2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 [motoic] // PERST# delay use may apply to other MacBooks  

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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
IMG 2577

Mid 2015 MacBook Pro with Radeon M370x on Akitio Node GTX 1070 and Thunderbolt LED Cinema Display

On Windows 10 have a Thunderbolt  LED Cinema Display (via thunderbolt) running on GTX 1070 through Akitio Node. Thunderbolt Display  LED Cinema Display is on one TB port and Akitio Node is on the other one with a TB3->TB2 adapter.

I am not using Optimus because it refused to work and the "EFI trick" with the integrated.bat to attempt to get it to work was a complete mess. Bootable USB drive did not work, etc. I don't recommend messing with that until it's a last resort.

Instead I have disabled the dGPU in device manager and I am running my Thunderbolt Display LED Cinema Display on the Akitio Node's GTX 1070 only and prior to doing anything I disabled my internal MacBook display on display settings. This is the only way I was able to get this setup to work.

Capture

Note since I disabled my MacBook pro display in display settings and only allowed display on the Thunderbolt Display LED Cinema Display prior to following all of these steps: display settings doesn't even seem to recognize that I have a MacBook pro display anymore. That's fine with me because I have no intention of using Windows 10 bootcamp when I'm mobile. This is a gaming partition only. This could be an accident, but it's fine with me. I need nothing more than the Thunderbolt Display on this partition.

Installation was simple once I stopped messing with all of the different hacks being recommended. Simply booted with the Node plugged in. Initial boot showed an "unidentified driver". Tried hot plugging. This time I saw a driver named GTX 1070 but still has error because no software installed for the driver. Went to Nvidia's site and installed Geforce Experience which installed the GTX 1070 driver. Now GTX 1070 showed code 12 error ("not enough resources"). Restarted computer and the code 12 error went away. Now both GTX1070 and RadeonM370x were active but Optimus was not able to get the computer to run the card. I tested in Borderlands 2 and on Unigen Heaven 4.0 and GPU-Z showed clearly that the GTX 1070 was receiving 0% load, meaning Nvidia just didn't want to allocate processing to the 1070.

device manager

So I went in device manager and disabled the dGPU M370x. Instantly the green icon on taskbar lit up showing "GTX 1070 is now active" and GPU-Z showed the 1070 taking a load. Now I was able to benchmark in Heaven. However, for whatever reason, DX11 API is throwing an error so I benchmarked OpenGL. Attached are benchmark results. One more thing. The Nvidia driver's settings panel still does not work:

nvidia driver error

So this is not a perfectly 100% functioning setup but it's close enough that I don't care. Here's benchmark on 1440p with everything ultra, no AA, no AF.

unigen becnhmark

2018 15" MBP w/ Radeon Pro 560x
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Mojave, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 [build link]  


nando4 and itsage liked
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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Thank you for posting your implementation. It presents a new puzzle. How are the Thunderbolt Cinema Display DP signals being routed?  It would seem it is being accelerated by the eGPU but how given Optimus is not running AND there is now cable between the GTX1070 and the Cinema display?

If the NVidia control panel would run then it would show graphically the LCDs attached to video cards.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: nando4

Thank you for posting your implementation. It presents a new puzzle. How are the Cinema Display DP signals being routed?  It would seem it is being accelerated by the eGPU but how given Optimus is not running AND there is now cable between the GTX1070 and the Thunderbolt display?

If the NVidia control panel would run then it would show graphically the LCDs attached to video cards.

I assume that the GTX 1070 is basically directly accelerating the Cinema Display now that the MacBook Pro's internal display is out of the picture (hehe). Not sure if that makes sense. See the screenshot. This very browser shows as accelerated.

accelerated browser

After firing up Heaven, it shows as accelerated. Basically can confirm that the GTX 1070 is handling things and not the Radeon. (Especially since it's disabled via device manager).

heaven accel

In spite of all of that, NVidia control panel still won't play nice.

nvidia driver error

I tried terminating all AMD Catalyst processes and that didn't help. I would try uninstalling the Radeon drivers to see if it's a conflict in the future but for now I want to use this setup until I actually need that control panel for something.

Is there a way I can compare performance with others? I'm not sure how good these benchmarks are. 40 fps at 1440P with ultra settings (no AA/AF) seems pretty good to me though.

2018 15" MBP w/ Radeon Pro 560x
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Mojave, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@timothyov I believe by disabling the internal display, the Cinema display becomes the primary screen. I'm not exactly sure how it's working for you. Perhaps it's two Thunderbolt devices under the same bus?

You can compare performance with my 2017 iMac 4k GTX 980 Ti eGPU in Windows. It's running at Thunderbolt 3 speed so I would guess it's slightly faster than yours at Thunderbolt 2 speed.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Update: While the Heaven benchmarking seems good and presents no issues, every game I've tested is lagging like crazy and I can't even properly play to see an FPS. I have tried Borderlands 2, Half Life 2 and Bioshock Infinite. My guess is that they're attempting some sort of software emulation or something and thus loading up the CPU and lagging but I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm puzzled why Heaven 4 benchmarked it fine but the games are all crashing.

Will have to mark this as a dysfunctional setup for now

The videogames in question do not show up under "applications using this GPU." Thus they are attempting to either use some sort of software emulation or they're running somehow else. Regardless, I need to figure out a way to get them to run on the 1070 or this setup won't work.

2018 15" MBP w/ Radeon Pro 560x
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Mojave, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Try a headless display adapter attached to eGPU.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

The NVidia GPU Activity app is typically available when running Optimus.  It's as if you are running an Optimus of sorts (re-routing the eGPU output to your TB display without an interconnect wire) but without an iGPU active.  The iGPU was a requirement for Optimus to activate. An interesting configuration you've got there.

The obvious answer to your performance issues is to connect an external LCD to the GTX1070 DVI/HDMI output ports to route display data directly out from the eGPU.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I found this: https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-DisplayPort-Female-Adapter/dp/B014DV2RGG/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1498076641&sr=8-8&keywords=mini+displayport+female+to+dvi. What do y'all think?

Reviews state it will output Apple's Cinema display to displayport successfully. Interesting.

2018 15" MBP w/ Radeon Pro 560x
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Mojave, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

timothyov, would you mind capturing and posting the hwinfo64 PCI BUS section like shown here? I'd like to see if perhaps an Intel iGPU is active on your system explaining some Optimus functionality you appear to be having. Ignore the red outlined section. This is just  sample from one of itsage's recent articles.

 

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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motoic
(@tsh3721)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I did some more digging and the TB monitor with the radeon card disabled is running a "Microsoft Basic Display Driver."

monitor running

I also tried to drill down into where the GTX 1070 is allocated and you can see it here on the table. Lots of nesting... Kind of weird.

where it is

 

The question is that if this setup is improper why is Heaven 4.0 able to use and be accelerated by the 1070 and if so, perhaps I can force the games to do the same somehow?

2018 15" MBP w/ Radeon Pro 560x
Nvidia GTX 1070
Akitio Node
32" LG 32UD99-W at 4k
macOS Mojave, Bootcamp Windows 10

 
2015 15" MacBook Pro (R9 M370X) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + Win10 [build link]  


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