I've seen a lot of discussion about how to get an eGPU working on the internal display, but I'd like to find a bit more information on the opposite: using an eGPU *only* for an external display.
Here's my current setup: 2012 MBP. Close the machine, it goes to sleep. Plug in the Magsafe and Thunderbolt cables from my Thunderbolt Display, and suddenly I have a 27" monitor, a backup drive, an optical drive, a mouse+keyboard, and more, working instantly. I can work comfortably at my desk, and I can reboot into Windows and do a bit of gaming (as much as can be done with a GT650m). Crucially, when I put the machine to sleep, a script unmounts all eternal drives, so I can easily unplug the Thunderbolt cable and just go. This is important because my wife's MBA can do all the same stuff; we can share the backup drive and everything - plug in, work, unplug, go. It's great... but it means putting the machine to sleep is kind of an important part of the workflow.
I'd like to bring this setup into the modern age. Prospectively, I will downsize to the 13" 2016 MBP with two Thunderbolt 3 ports. One TB3 port can connect to an Akitio Node with, say, an RX 480 in it (because I read somewhere that AMD cards can be hot-swapped...?), which will in turn connect directly to a monitor via DisplayPort or HDMI or something. The other TB3 port can connect to a docking station + charger like the one form OWC.
So the big question is, will the Akitio Node + eGPU support this kind of thing? Laptop closed and in sleep mode, plug in the docking station and plug in the Node, and have it wake up and use the external display via the eGPU? Crucially, I only want to use ONE display - the internal display should be off.
Thx in advance for any/all info!
Does that mean no clamshell mode at all? Or can you connect the eGPU while awake and then close the lid, and have it work on the external display?
I suppose that single-slot enclosures can’t handle power state changes very well, this is a problem especially with R9 200 and R9 300 series cards via TB2. I don’t know if TB3 changed this situation. For example, Netstor NA211TB uses 89HPES24T6G2 PCIe switch, providing better power management (supports all link power management states D0, D3hot and D3cold).
Hot-plug and surprise removal is not supported on macOS, it works only on Windows (and Macs released after Late 2014).
Ah. But (sorry to keep pulling on this thread, but I gather some people have this kind of setup right now and either have tested it ro could easily test it, so I'm going to keep asking 😛 ), what about this potential workflow:
Again I'll use my computer as an example: it contains an iGPU and a dGPU. On an ordinary boot, it starts up using the iGPU. Sometimes I plug it into the Thunderbolt while the laptop is off, and I press the power button to turn it on, and then immediately close the lid. The result is pretty seemless: the machine boots using the dGPU and the external display. In other words, the MBP is capable of booting up with its lid closed. The only constraint is that the physical button is under the lid; but if you press the button and close the lid fast enough, the internal display never even comes on. The laptop basically acts like a headless desktop, a Mac Mini or something.
Does that work with an eGPU? If you plug the eGPU and display into a powered-down 13" 2016 MBP, turn it on and immediately close the lid, do you end up with a closed laptop and a functioning external display? Or does it crap out?
Also wanting to know the answer to this. I'm all about clamshell mode.
Also wanting to know the answer to this. I'm all about clamshell mode.
I gather from this:
...that clamshell mode is a no-go.
BUT I still wonder about it. Has anyone tried to disable Sleep-on-lid-close? I'm pretty sure there are utilities for that... though maybe it would require something low-level, in the efi? Seems like it might be worth investigating...
Has anyone tried to disable Sleep-on-lid-close? I'm pretty sure there are utilities for that... though maybe it would require something low-level, in the efi? Seems like it might be worth investigating...
Hmm, apparently this capability is already baked into OS X - sorry, I mean macOS.
I wonder if anyone running an eGPU would mind running caffeinate and closing the lid and seeing what happens... (obviously the use case here is, you are using the eGPU and you using the external monitor only, or having it mirror the internal display)
If that works, I wonder whether there is a way to also do it on Windows 10 (on boot, ideally)
I think caffeinate won't do the trick, InsomniaX is the application needed to disable sleep on lid close. I have a video card coming soon to go with my Akitio Node, I will give it a try.
I commented on one of itsage's front page articles asking him to give it a go but I think he's forgotten to give it a try. In theory it should work no problem. On my 2016 macbook with InsomniaX, peeking into underneath the lid as I'm shutting it, the screen/keyboard LED still turns off but the functionality doesn't change, it doesn't go to sleep, so this is good. My touchbar, however, stays on and I hope that's not problematic.
Hopefully itsage takes a gander thru this thread and gives it a go, if not it'll be a week or so until I can report back.
Nice, very good to know. But of course, InsomniaX is an app that is run in the OS, post-boot, correct? So the follow-up question for any experimentation is, can something similar work for booting into Windows?
I have a 960 in a Core with my tbMBP15 and when I close the lid in macOS the system stays awake. The internal display turns off, but doesn't disable, so windows can still be dragged off that edge.
You can create a new power management profile in windows settings that'll allow you to disable sleep on lid close. At that point you'd just turn your brightness all the way off and then close the lid.
Just wanted to report that I got my Akitio Node + GTX Titan X running in Sierra and clamshell mode works great with InsomniaX. I'll make a write up about it in the next week or two once I get my windows partition done so I can include clamshell info there too. The laptop is designed to run in clamshell mode soaslong as you don't block any of the vents on the sides or where the hinge is. Keep these open and everything runs wonderfully. I've been working on a video editing project for 2 hours and my laptop hasn't gotten hot, just the usual warmth I typically get from it.
As I stated before, the touchbar illumination doesn't seem to go off when the lid is shut, but there appears to be a hardware trigger that turns off the display when you shut the screen (which is nice so I don't have to turn the brightness off myself in MacOS), but as long as you have "Disable lid sleep" checked in InsomniaX your macbook won't sleep 🙂 I also turned my keyboard LED's all the way off before shutting.
I have just one question, regarding working with clamshell mode. There is any performance leak in our external eGPU setup, when disabling the internal screen? Or it will be the same? Cheers.
Please remember all that High Sierra probably will have this feature.
MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64
Not now though... and in the meantime...
So with the new work around from Yinfalu in High Sierra 10.13.1, clamshell mode is working perfectly in MacOS.
Is there any way of running clamshell mode with Bootcamp? I tried it once and it crashed my system, any suggestions?
... work around from Yinfalu in High Sierra 10.13.1 ...
Lukicharms, any way you could link to this workaround for clamshell mode? I’m trying to search for it without luck. Thanks!