HowTo?: MacBookPro5,1 (Late 2008) + macOS Catalina 10.15.7 (19H2) [DosDude1 Patched] + ExpressCard34 Exp Gdc Beast 8.5c + Nvidia GTX 770
Hello dear eGPU members,
I am new to this board and I couldn't find any information depending my aspiring setup combination.
For many years I am upgrading my machine (MacBookPro5,1). Some weeks before, I was looking into if I could upgrade the processing power of my laptop and stumbled upon videos like this one where someone were showcasing that he successfully got an eGPU to work with a MacBookPro4,1:
I got inspired on setting things up by that example via the ExpressCard34-Slot (EXP GDC Beast). Since some weeks now I am trying to get everything to work properly but I still keep failing at it. Then I found this forum here and wanted to ask if there is someone with a similar setup or who would know how to help.
At this moment I got macOS Catalina 10.15.7 (19H2) working on my MacBookPro5,1 from Late 2008 by using DosDude1's Patcher. Everything is running smoothly except for some bugs here and there which go away after some time (mainly only coming up after freshly booting the system). I already got the EXP GDC Beast version 8.5c that I wanted to hook up with the Gainward Phantom (GeForce) GTX 770 working as eGPU. The GraphicCard seems to be natively compatible with Catalina because of the KeplerChip, but the machine doesn't recognize it - although it's juiced up via the ATX-Power module. The fans are also running on full speed. I installed the latest CUDA Driver from NVidia but there are no WebDrivers from NVidia that would work. When trying to install them it only says "Mac OS X version is not compatible // Mac OS X version 10.15.7 (19H2) is not supported with this package. Please see NVIDIA’s website for further driver information."
Then I read that the NVidia drivers are only supported up to High Sierra which led me to try and install a dual boot with Catalina for my main tasks and High Sierra for cutting video and other intensive work. But that didn't workout fine. It seems like the HighSierra Patcher from DosDude1 only allows one EFI and so my Catalina EFI got deleted and I only could get into HighSierra. But even there I couldn't get the eGPU to work/being recognized by the system. So I had to reinstall the functioning Catalina system back from my TimeMachineBackups.
Now on the MacRumors Forum somenone (who also got older machines working even with Catalina) mentioned that he and/or his colleague from work still got DosDude1's Catalina to work fine with an eGPU Nvidia GraCa which means that it should work out in some way. [ https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/egpu-on-macbook-pro-4-1-and-up-with-pcie-expresscard-slot.2135898/post-28610330 ]
Is there any solution? One thing I found is Lilu and the WhateverGreen Kexts which seem to need a Clover based EFI and as far as I know DosDude1's Patcher does not utilize Clover, right? But then I read that one could implement Boot Arguments from the Terminal and so the CloverConfigurator would become obsolete. Do you have some suggestions? Or do you think it would be a better choice to go with an AMD card? And if so which would you recommend?
Really appreciating your dedication, work and help to keep old hardware alive and running macOS with more graphical power.
Sorry if my English is not that good. I tried to keep it helpful for others that might search the web for similar answers 😀
Did you install High Sierra as APFS or HFS+? If it's installed on HFS+ then it doesn't need the EFI and it should work with Catalina.
For Catalina, you can remove the need for the EFI stuff by adding the apfs.efi driver to the Driver#### and DriverOrder nvram variables.
But the nvram variables can be reset with Command Option-P-R. So it may be useful to create a small HFS+ partition (for example: "Catalina Boot") and copy the Catalina EFI files their so they won't be overwritten when you install a new OS. Use the bless command to bless the bootx64.efi file in the new location. You need three files:
apfs.efi ShellX64.efi (renamed from bootx64.efi because it is the EFI shell app) startup.nsh
You can put the files in a folder (for example: "macOSCatalinaPatcher"). Then bless the efi file with the following command:
sudo bless --folder "/Volumes/Catalina Boot/macOSCatalinaPatcher" --file "/Volumes/Catalina Boot/macOSCatalinaPatcher/ShellX64.efi" --setBoot --label "Catalina"
Once you have High Sierra and Catalina working then you can do your eGPU experiments.