Life-extension of 2012 nrMBP (w/ Thunder2+GTX970). [email protected] feasible?  

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nepumuK
(@nepumuk)
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August 29, 2018 6:55 pm  

Hi chaps,

I want to keep on using my beloved 15" 2012 non-retina MacBook Pro at all costs, especially for its non-reflective screen (no other more modern MacBook has) and because I want to avoid buying new and basically non-repairable hardware... I am sure you know what I mean 😉

At the moment I am running an AKiTiO Thunder2+GTX970 eGPU-setup (via TB1) to accelerate the laptop's internal display.

To step up the image quality game I want to upgrade to a 4k display (presumably the AOC U3277PWQU). I am aware that the laptop is technically limited to 2560x1600px and with workarounds [email protected] is possible. But the new display only would make sense to me if [email protected] would work...

So, do you reckon the following would work to achieve [email protected]?: 15" 2012 nrMBP --> TB1 --> AKiTiO Thunder2 w/ GTX970 --> DisplayPort 1.2 --> AOC 4k display (with no MST support as far as I know).

Your quick help will be much appreciated!! Kind regards from Germany!!

15" 2012 nrMBP i7 2,3GHz dGPU 650M (TB1) + AKiTiO Thunder2 w/ Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini SC


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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August 29, 2018 7:03 pm  

It should work in 4K @ 60Hz. Make sure to use DisplayPort connection as HDMI can be finicky.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

94 external GPU build guides


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
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August 29, 2018 10:15 pm  

Yea it will work with your setup, using the workarounds provided here.  There will be significant compromises though, I can tell you as a fellow 2012 nrMBP owner.  Especially if you mean 15" with nVidia gpu.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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nepumuK
(@nepumuk)
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August 30, 2018 9:56 am  

Awesome guys, thank you for your quick reply!

@MarkieG84, would you be so kind and could you explain what kind of compromises you mean? Some kind of performance issues because the 2012 nrMBP isn't powerful enough in driving a 4k display at 60Hz whilst running power-hungry apps?

15" 2012 nrMBP i7 2,3GHz dGPU 650M (TB1) + AKiTiO Thunder2 w/ Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini SC


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
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August 30, 2018 2:26 pm  

No, I mean there will be many hurdles and glitches if you mean the 15" with 650m dGPU.  Having a nvidia dGPU makes it more trouble than its worth imo.  If it is the "13 I imagine it should be pretty easy and enjoyable using one of the install solutions provided on this site.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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nepumuK
(@nepumuk)
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September 2, 2018 7:53 pm  

I understand, thanks again!! 😀
I will try it anyways and give you guys an update.

15" 2012 nrMBP i7 2,3GHz dGPU 650M (TB1) + AKiTiO Thunder2 w/ Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini SC


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nepumuK
(@nepumuk)
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October 5, 2018 5:12 pm  

++ UPDATE: [email protected] works ++ Life of 2012 nrMPB extended! ++

It was quiet a bit of a hustle but I am now able to run a AOC U3277PWQU 4k display with my eGPU setup on my 15" nrMPB 2012 (which has a 512 MB Nvidia 650M dGPU) at 60Hz. MacOS version is Sierra 10.12.6.

I installed the software and driver with the excellent automate-eGPU.sh instructions on this site. Then I installed all the hardware components and connected the 4k display via DisplayPort as recommended by @theitsage. Booting up and running! But then, after a couple of minutes I experienced severe lags and glitches such as choppy animations and a nonresponsive UI. Unusable for serious photo and video editing...

To make it short I did the following to achieve a smoothly running system at 60Hz without any lags and hickups:

#1: Fresh Install of MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 (probably not really nescessary).
#2: Installation of automate-eGPU.sh
#3: 4k display connected to the eGPU via DisplayPort not HDMI.
#4: Setting of the 4k display as the system's primary monitor ( --> System Preferences --> Displays --> Arrangement --> move the small white bar on the external screen)
#5: Installation of DisableMonitor to switch off the MacBook's (internal) display after bootup.
#6 Uncheck "Displays have seperate Spaces" in Mission Control ( --> System Preferences --> Mission Control --> uncheck "Displays have seperate Spaces"

Nor more glitches, @markieg84 😉

I also ran some Heaven benchmarks. Note that the maximum resolution of the 15" nrMBP 2012 is 1680x1050px.

An increase from 2 fps to around 45 fps is not too shabby, I guess. I am happy with the results 😀

non-retina MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012)

Nvidia GT650M = without eGPU:

 

 

AKiTiO Thunder 2 + Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini 4GB SC / non-retina MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) - Thunderbolt 1 @10Gbps

Accelerated Internal Display (with HDMI Adapter in eGPU to create a "ghost display"):

 

 

AKiTiO Thunder 2 + Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini 4GB SC / non-retina MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2012) - Thunderbolt 1 @10Gbps

External Display:

15" 2012 nrMBP i7 2,3GHz dGPU 650M (TB1) + AKiTiO Thunder2 w/ Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini SC


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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October 5, 2018 8:17 pm  

@nepumuk Congrats on the successful build! This is a very nice performance boost.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

94 external GPU build guides


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nepumuK
(@nepumuk)
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October 5, 2018 8:25 pm  

Thanks @itsage! The only thing I haven't been able to do was to properly lay out the screenshots in my post 😀

15" 2012 nrMBP i7 2,3GHz dGPU 650M (TB1) + AKiTiO Thunder2 w/ Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini SC


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Posts: 341
January 1, 2019 3:57 pm  

It's amazing how weak the Geforce 650M/750M dGPUs in those macbooks are. Actually, the Intel iGPU 5200 is almost as powerful, which has been nearly a scandal in those days 🙂
I hear the 650M makes 2FPS in Heaven Benchmark.. I see, it's in this article. Great post, @nepumuk!

GPUUserBenchmark:

  Benchmark
nVidia Geforce 650 M 8.87
Intel HD 5200 8.51

 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

2018 15" MBP & 2013 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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