Help! M.2 eGPU ADT-Link R43SG with 2014 Macbook Pro Problem
 
Notifications
Clear all

Help! M.2 eGPU ADT-Link R43SG with 2014 Macbook Pro Problem  

  RSS

pixxelpusher
(@pixxelpusher)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I’m attempting to do a M.2 eGPU build with an ADT-Link R43SG but have hit a problem that I can’t work out. I’ve read through most of the similar builds on here and haven’t seen anyone report a similar problem to what I’m seeing. Basically when I plug it all in and boot the Mac it’s fans come on, the PSU and R43SG eGPU and GTX 1070 all turn on and light up, but the Mac screen stays black and never reaches the boot options menu (holding down Option).

IMG 1991s

 

My System Specs are:

2014 15” Macbook Pro, 2.8GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB Ram, 1TB drive, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M dGPU, Intel Iris Pro iGPU, macOS 10.14.6

 

 

Build parts are: 

ADT-Link R43SG

NGFF M.2 nVME adapter purchased here: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000265941706.html

SilverStone 450W PSU (from existing build)

eVGA GTX 1070 SC (from existing build)

 

 

Setup:

I installed Windows 10 Home (version 20H2, OS build 19042.746) onto an external USB SSD (WinToUSB method) and test booted it. It ran fine and did some Windows updates, installed Mac Bootcamp drivers.

I then removed the internal Mac SSD, installed the NGFF M.2 nVME adapter and cable of the R43SG. Triple checked all the connections were secure. 

Plugged the GTX 1070 into R43SG and connected the PSU into both of them. Plugged the USB SSD Window 10 drive into Mac and (Option) boot.

 

 

Observations:

If I remove the J1 jumper cap so it’s open then the Mac does boot up to the boot menu. The R43SG also turns on, the green lights come on (3V, 12V) and GPU turns on with fans spinning.

IMG 1993s

 

By selecting EFI Boot I can continue into Windows. However, in Windows it doesn’t show any eGPU hardware is connected (from what I can tell) and running the Nvidia installer tells me that no compatible hardware is found. So as far as I can tell the ADT-Link R43SG hardware isn’t being detected by the system properly.

IMG 1994s

 

The other thing I noticed is that if I put the J1 jumper back in place so it’s closed and remove the GTX 1070, then I could also boot up to Windows fine. However I still don’t think the R43SG hardware is being detected as I can’t see it listed anywhere.

IMG 1987s
IMG 1989s

 

Lastly, in all situations when I shutdown the Mac, or did a force shutdown, both the PSU and R43SG / GTX 1070 also turned off as well, so it seems like it is getting some kind of communication from the Mac.

 

As mentioned the 450W PSU and GTX 1070 are from my other Thunderbolt 2 build and are working fine there so I know they aren’t the problem.

 

So does anyone have any ideas what’s going on here, I’m completely stumped as to what to do next. Is there a way in Windows to see if the R43SG is being recognized by the system? I’m guessing from the PCI tree it should show up as device #5 - 8C18 as that’s where the Apple SSD is located when it’s in that internal slot.

Device Manager Mac SSD Internal
Device Manager eGPU Connected

 

This topic was modified 8 months ago

2014 15" MacBook Pro (2.8Ghz i7, 16GB Ram, 1TB SSD, Geforce GT 750M)
eGPU: AKiTiO Thunder2 + GTX 1070


ReplyQuote
nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Pls test a AMD card to eliminate the possibility of the Apple firmware getting stuck when it sees a Nvidia eGPU alongside the Nvidia dGPU.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M.2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 // compares M.2 vs TB3 performance inc unoptimized H-CPU BIOS [build link]  


ReplyQuote
pixxelpusher
(@pixxelpusher)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Thanks @nando4, unfortunately I don't have a AMD card, the 1070 is the only one I own. If I was to buy one, what's a cheap AMD model that's compatible to test with?

 

There is a recent similar build here with a 2014 Macbook Pro and a RTX 3070 that's working but it doesn't have a dGPU:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2014-15-macbook-pro-4th4ch-rtx-3070-16gbps-m2-adt-link-r43sg-win10-mbp2014ftw/

 

Is there any way to disable the dGPU in the Apple firmware so the Mac doesn't see it? (i.e trick it into thinking it's iGPU only?)

 

2014 15" MacBook Pro (2.8Ghz i7, 16GB Ram, 1TB SSD, Geforce GT 750M)
eGPU: AKiTiO Thunder2 + GTX 1070


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@pixxelpusher, I would second @nando4's point of the Mac having a firmware compatibility issue. If you don't have a different GPU, try a timed hot-plug. Due to the connector being under the computer, hot-plug may be achievable through the power connector to R43SG board or PSU. Power the laptop on with eGPU off. As soon as you Option Boot into Windows, power on the eGPU.

 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
pixxelpusher
(@pixxelpusher)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@itsage, thanks for the advice! I’ve made some progress, but not all good news.

I came across another post of testing the ADT-Link R43SG and NGFF M.2 nVME adapter with a USB 3 PCIe card. ( https://egpu.io/forums/postid/76266). I then remembered that I had a similar Inateck card in my old Mac Pro desktop, so I put that in the slot, attached a USB drive and powered it up. It worked! The drive I attached was actually my external Windows 10 SSD and it booted up to Windows no problems. I was actually amazed that Windows recognized it all without any driver updates or anything.

Inateck USB3 PCIe card connected to R43SG
EFI Boot screen from SSD Drive attached to the R43SG through Inateck USB3 PCIe card
Windows 10 booted off R43SG   Inateck   USB SSD combo

 

I went and checked Device Manager and HWiNFO64 and I was right, Port #5 8C18 is where the R43SG is connecting to, and now shows up like it should with the USB 3 card and the SSD drive chained off it in the tree.

Inateck USB3 PCIe card connected to R43SG PCIe Adapter

 

So now at least I know both the R43SG and NGFF M.2 nVME adapter are working as supposed to.

However, once I connected the GTX 1070, no matter how I tried to hot-plug the R43SG I couldn’t get it to show up in Windows, Port #5 was always missing. The fans on the GTX 1070 never reached full spin, they would just sit there twitching. The only time they would fully spin up is if I plugged in the R43SG before turning on the Mac, but then like before results in a black screen. I also tried every possible switch combination on the R43SG as well, but that didn’t seem to do anything. I did notice in the HWiNFO64 screenshot I attached it states Hot-Plug is Not Capable, not sure if that or any info there helps?

So I guess I’m still stuck. I keep going back to my initial though, it would work if this was the Macbook Pro model with only an integrated GPU (MacBookPro11,2 / EMC 2876), so would it be possible to trick mine (MacBookPro11,3 / EMC 2881) into thinking it was that model? As far as I can tell they are identical other than the dGPU in mine: https://everymac.com/ultimate-mac-comparison-chart/?compare=all-intel-macs&highlight=0&prod1=MacBookPro087&prod2=MacBookPro085

Or would you have any other ideas to get it booting?

 

This post was modified 8 months ago

2014 15" MacBook Pro (2.8Ghz i7, 16GB Ram, 1TB SSD, Geforce GT 750M)
eGPU: AKiTiO Thunder2 + GTX 1070


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
pixxelpusher
(@pixxelpusher)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@nando4 With this new information would you have any further suggestions to getting my mac egpu configuration to boot to Windows? I'm going to have another go at it this weekend.

Do you think something like your eGPU Setup 1.35 software  ( https://egpu.io/egpu-setup-13x/) or rEFInd is needed to make it boot?

This post was modified 8 months ago

2014 15" MacBook Pro (2.8Ghz i7, 16GB Ram, 1TB SSD, Geforce GT 750M)
eGPU: AKiTiO Thunder2 + GTX 1070


ReplyQuote