Help! M.2 eGPU ADT-Link R43SG with 2014 Macbook Pro Problem
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).
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:
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?)
@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.
@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.
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.
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?
@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.