Connecting MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) to LG 22MD4KA
 
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Connecting MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) to LG 22MD4KA  

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Rob Thiemann
(@rob_thiemann)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

Hey All,

I'm new here. I bought the LG monitor recently in an effort to get some dual-monitors going. I did a bit of research before I went ahead and got it, thinking an eGPU box would help bridge from now until the day when I upgrade my MBP (probably in a year or so).

I thought I got the right stuff, but it's not working.

I'm currently working with:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) running Catalina
Akitio Thunder 2
Gigabyte GC-Alpine Ridge
LG 22MD4KA (Running latest firmware, updated from work computer)

When I plug the Thunder 2 in, it powers up, but no signal gets to the monitor.

I also have the Apple Thunder 2 to Thunder 3 adapter, but plugging it in doesn't work.

Anyone have any advice on the most cost-effective way for me to get from where I am to a working monitor?

Thanks.

This topic was modified 6 months ago

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

You have the GC-ALPINE RIDGE in the Akitio Thunderbolt 2? The Akitio Thunder 2 should be connected to the MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt 2 cable so it will power on.

You can't use the USB features of the display with the GC-ALPINE RIDGE method.

One of the following should work:

  • A Thunderbolt 3 device with two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Belkin Charge and Sync Cable for Huawei VR Glass
  • Huawei VR 2 Computer Connection Cable
  • Wacom Link Plus
  • Sunix UPD2018
  • Delock 89582

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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Rob Thiemann
(@rob_thiemann)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 
Posted by: @joevt

You have the GC-ALPINE RIDGE in the Akitio Thunderbolt 2? The Akitio Thunder 2 should be connected to the MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt 2 cable so it will power on.

Yes. That's how I have it connected. The Akitio powers on (you can see the light inside), but no signal gets to the monitor.

You can't use the USB features of the display with the GC-ALPINE RIDGE method.

I'm not worried about that so much as just wanting an image on the screen.

One of the following should work:

  • A Thunderbolt 3 device with two Thunderbolt 3 ports

No offense, but I read that as "A different laptop." Which isn't in the budget right now.

  • Belkin Charge and Sync Cable for Huawei VR Glass
  • Huawei VR 2 Computer Connection Cable

From the looks of this, I'd need one of these cables, and a DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 2 adapter of some sort, and not the breakout box?

  • Wacom Link Plus

So, I'd use this instead of the breakout box?

  • Sunix UPD2018
  • Delock 89582

I read through these forums before buying and looked for these online. They're all either out of stock, or generally unavailable. If you know of a place still selling them, I'm happy to look into it.

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @rob_thiemann

No offense, but I read that as "A different laptop." Which isn't in the budget right now.

No, I mean connect a Thunderbolt 3 device to your laptop using the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter. Then you can connect a USB-C display (up to 4K in size) to the second Thunderbolt 3 port.

Any Thunderbolt 3 device with two Thunderbolt 3 ports will work. Get a Thunderbolt 3 dock if you like additional USB ports, Ethernet, etc.

Posted by: @rob_thiemann

From the looks of this, I'd need one of these cables, and a DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 2 adapter of some sort, and not the breakout box?

You need a Mini DisplayPort (male) to DisplayPort (female) adapter. Don't call it Thunderbolt 2 if you're using it for DisplayPort instead of Thunderbolt.

Posted by: @rob_thiemann

So, I'd use this instead of the breakout box?

Yes. The Wacom Link Plus would take the place of the Belkin/Huawei cables. Connect the Mini DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cable and USB 2.0 to USB micro B cable between the Mac Book Pro and Wacom Link Plus. Connect USB-C power from somewhere (maybe from the LG display or a USB charger or a USB port of a computer). Then connect the USB-C display.

I guess the Belkin cable is most like the Wacom Link Plus because they both have two USB inputs - one for data and one for power. At least with the Wacom Link Plus it's easy to tell which is which (unless the Belkin has some labeling I haven't seen yet?). Wacom Link Plus also adds the ability to support HDMI 1.4 (4K 30Hz) input.

The Huawei cable only has one USB input which might not be good enough for some USB-C displays.

While the Wacom Link Plus and Belkin/Huawei cables support USB-C DisplayPort alt mode with USB 2.0 + four lanes of DisplayPort, the Sunix and Delock also support USB-C DisplayPort Alt Mode with USB 3.x + two lanes of DisplayPort which is used by many USB-C docks.

I think a GC-TITAN RIDGE could work in the Akitio Thunder 2 and give you access to USB functions of the display. It has the benefit of providing two USB-C ports and could allow Thunderbolt display (without PCIe tunnelling for USB functions of the display). You just need a single wire to enable Force Power.

With the GC-ALPINE RIDGE, to enable USB functionality you need some pci commands before macOS startup or during early startup. This can be done in EFI or as a kext. you may also need a 3.3V source and three resistors to enable Force Power and disable sleep.

I haven't tried the last two options in an external Thunderbolt enclosure yet but they do work for my 2008 Mac Pro (both USB and DisplayPort out the Thunderbolt 3 port).

The Thunderbolt enclosure should have 3.3V somewhere - required for the PCIe slot.

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I tried a GC-ALPINE RIDGE in a Sonnet Echo Express SE I. I got DisplayPort + USB working. I need to make a kernel extension so that it can work after hot plug. I think GC-TITAN RIDGE wouldn't have this problem since it has USB enabled by default.

I got 3.3V from the PCIe slot (there's some tiny holes in a PCIe slot that you can put a thin wire into). I'll show pictures after I finish the kext.

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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