late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + m...
 
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late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3 [mehenn]^  

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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I can report a mission success. I managed to build not one, but 3 compact eGPU. All 3 had 2 items in common:

As GPUs I've used:

  • GTX 750 1GB
  • nVidia Quadro M2000
  • AMD FirePro 5100

All 3 options worked. But I failed to find one that I am actually happy with. Bang per buck ratios su*ked. I wont pay more than 700GBP for a solution slightly better than my integrated Iris Pro 550. At that level of performance the iGPU gives me more bonuses than the eGPU. Especially the hot-plug.

With sadness I report that I won't persuade this quest anymore. I am returning the M2000 to Amazon and selling my Thunder3 enclosure. 

The End


03/13/2017 edit

Running some tests with the M2000 resulted some disappointing scoring...

Screen Shot 2017 03 12 at 11.29.56 AM

?raw=1

?raw=1


03/08/2017 edit

I've returned the WX5100 since I could have not make it work properly and I am running on a GTX 750Ti right now. By Friday I will get an M2000. Hope will work better than the AMD counterpart. 

Meanwhile the 750Ti works adequate. My both monitors run in retina [email protected] one connected in the GPU and one connected in the DP port of the enclosure.

Screen Shot 2017 03 08 at 11.42.03 PM

03/05/2017 edit

The WX5100 arrived and I managed to make it work. On the 4th reboot. Just because my monitors do not autoselect the input source and I switched from DP to miniDP. Anyhow, steps:

  • plugged the enclosure, booted mac, ran TB3 enabler and rebooted. I got a link error, but the enclosure is recognized
  • hot plugged the enclosure with the WX5100, ran automate-eGPU. rebooted. repeated 3-4 times - last time ran with -a (because I was dumb and didn't selected the input signal port on my monitors)
  • tweaked enbale-baffin script (added option for 28 cores - I might got it wrong) and ran it; after reboot reported 28 CUs
  • ran some benchmarks (way way lower than the GTX 9800. 2200 on Valley with [email protected] vs 833) which puts the setup right near a RX460...

TODO:

  • see if 14 cores is the max I can have enabled since techpowerup reports 28...

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Screen Shot 2017 03 06 at 5.55.03 PM

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systeminfo

Original post:

Hey guys!

My Thunder3 enclosure arrived for a while, so I am gonna start building my compact eGPU. I already have:

What I am missing is the actual GPU. Since I would like to abuse my Amazon Prime UK subscription I am planning on testing every GPU I can that fits the requirements (I don't need that much power since I am only using it to power up my 2 4K monitors and play some easy on GPU games - Diablo2, SC2, Dota, etc):

  • fits in the enclosure (with/without fan)
  • uses 75W or 110W (but I need a way to draw power from the board/barrel plug socket to power up the card via 6/8 pin cables - suggestions?)
  • works with MacOS (I don't mind AMD)
  • has 2 DP - not mandatory since maybe my HDMI cable might not have been 2.0 ready. I found this one that specifically supports [email protected], will try it.
  • can be actually purchased in UK

Please let me know my options (I am leaning for a 750Ti) - since I would really want to use a more powerful card.

I might need to find a way send more than 120W through the barrel plug and draw some wires (6/8pin) for the GPU. Can I use an Asus ROG adapter that outputs 180W but 19V? How can I draw some power from inside the box?

Thanks!

late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)

 
2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Definitely try an RX 460 if you could find one that fits inside the Thunder3. It would be interesting to compare performance numbers with a 15" MBP  Radeon Pro 460.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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goalque
(@goalque)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@Mehenn: Take a look at this, you can enlarge the photos by right clicking and opening to a new window:

http://forum.51nb.com/thread-1651813-1-1.html

~100W GPU is the maximum because the TB controller and PCIe board circuitry consume at least 20W.

https://www.akitio.com/faq/270-thunder2-pcie-box-what-s-the-maximum-power-output-through-the-pcie-slot

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi

Mid 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro eGPU Master Thread

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@goalque that is a nice cable. Will that provide the needed boost to power up the GPU? All I need is that 4pin to 6pin cable? How can I get one?

This one is ok? Or can I build one from this one and a 6pin PCIe male?

late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)

 
2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3 [build link]  


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goalque
(@goalque)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I suppose this 4-pin to 6-pin cable is capable of delivering up to 75W, if you use thick 12V wires (AWG 22).

A 4-pin floppy connector might have the same pin pitch, but it’s not the same housing. JST XHP-4 is likely the correct one:

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/pcb-connector-housings/3531636/

I am not aware of any ready-made 4-pin to 6-pin cables...

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi

Mid 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro eGPU Master Thread

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Ok. I've ordered the 3s version of this cable. I'll solder it to a 6pin male and see if I can power it up. The RX460 seems to go for 90W while this 950 will use 110W. Should I stretch for the 110W version (if I can find it...)?


Later edit 

I have found this GPU. But the specifications says that is way to high (12cm) to be able to close the enclosure. But doing some crude image manipulation it looks like it could fit perfectly (without the fan) inside the box. First 2 images are from the two 970 that I actually had in my other enclosure and was able to close it (with the front cut off) and the last one is the RX460 I'm looking at.

How about the HDMI 2.0 cable I linked? Will that handle [email protected]?

Any ideas?

Thanks!

 

Screenshot 2017 02 21 12.07.33

late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)

 
2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3 [build link]  


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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

You must remove the Akitio Fan, you can close the Akitio Cover, just remove the front fan! 

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


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goalque
(@goalque)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

It relies on the PCIe slot power only. This might be a problem:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/help-akitio-thunder2-and-power-overload-a-cautionary-tale/

Posted by: Mehenn

 

How about the HDMI 2.0 cable I linked? Will that handle [email protected]?

Any ideas?

Thanks!

 

Your Dell P2715Q supports only [email protected] (HDMI 1.4).

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi

Mid 2015 15-inch MacBook Pro eGPU Master Thread

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 1809 [build link]  


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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Thanks guys...

Damn, 2 bad news. Only good one is that the 460 can fit inside the enclosure. Back to drawing board. 


Later edit

How about using a HDMI 2.0 cable and one of those adapters? The GPU will output [email protected] while the monitor will receive the signal through the adapter in a mini DP port.


Later later edit

I also found this cable. I've read here that this MSI RX460 might fit with no modifications. But that guy has only 2 posts and no pictures, I could not find that GPU somewhere I can return and I am concern about the hump it has above the fan. Anyone seen it?

late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)

 
2016 13" MacBook Pro [6th,2C,U] + GTX 980 @ 16Gbps-TB3>TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3 [build link]  


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

mDP/DP to HDMI adapters are typically unidirectional ONLY, and work in the DisplayPort to HDMI direction ONLY.

EDIT: There is a relatively simple way to know if the GPU is too high or not. If its highest point above its mounting bracket is lower than the height of the thumbscrew that the Akitio uses, then it fits. Since some of the GPU components always have the same height, such as the DVI connectors, you can always scale the image as to make this check against the screw size.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

 
2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430s [3rd,2C,M] + RX 550 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + Win10 [build link]  


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