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SteevCo
(@steevco)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi there. New to the community and definitely new to eGPU. Apologize if this has been answered elsewhere, but if it has I haven't been able to find it.

I've got a 27" 2015 I7 Retina iMac w/ the upgraded Radeon GPU. I've got a video production company and I'd like to drive more than 2 external monitors with my setup but the iMac is limited in that regard. I've got a 1050TI in an OWC Helios that I've had great success getting rolling on an old I5 Mac Mini/Boot Camp setup so I thought since the NVIDIA Pascal drivers were released today I'd try and attach the Helios to the iMac and attempt to get it to work in OS X to drive more monitors.

Long and short, it ain't happenin'. Despite running automate_eGPU.sh, disabling protection, and downloading the NVIDIA drivers the iMac just won't see the card. It sees the Helios just fine, and I can even see devices downstream from the Helios if I daisy chain some to it, but the 1050TI simply doesn't show up. What's worse, the machine won't reboot with the Helios attached, (I can only hot plug it) and after several reboots/attempts the internal 5k display won't even work. Only an external Thunderbolt Display I left attached. I had to do a clean system reinstall to get the primary display back. (THAT was a clench-worthy couple of minutes, let me tell you...)

A couple of weeks ago I attempted to get a Razer Core working with my new 15" MacBook Pro (with the Radeon 460) and a Radeon 480. Basically did the same thing. Saw the Razer Core but didn't see the graphics card. I assume that since all of this stuff basically DID work with the I5 Mac Mini, (with just the Intel Iris graphics) that getting eGPUs to work with Macs that already have devoted internal GPUs in them isn't an easy thing to do? What exactly am I doing wrong here? 

BTW, got the Core working with a Skull Canyon NUC, the 480, (and even a newly purchased 1080TI) and am VERY impressed with the Premiere Pro/After Effects and gaming on that machine, especially for the $$$ investment. So, the Core definitely works. 

Note that this is a different issue than the "Error 12" thing in Boot Camp/Windows. I've experienced that and fixed it. This is purely when you try to run an eGPU in OS X on a Mac with an existing internal GPU. What am I doing wrong here?

Thanks very much in advance! Great forums and users. Glad to have found you all!

S.

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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SteevCo
(@steevco)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

**SLIGHT UPDATE**

After re-running the script and various plugging and unplugging I was able to get the iMac to recognize the 1050TI. The problem is, when it sees the 1050TI the main 5k display stays dark. The Thunderbolt Display stays on, along with another display I have chained to it, but the Retina display is disabled. I know Apple has done a lot of behind-the-curtain shenanigans to get that 5k display working and I am guessing that the display and card are so ingrained that it probably doesn't like the other driver/card butting in. 

Ah well, maybe I can find an I7 iMac with a broken display on eBay and try that! LOL

Any commentary would still be much appreciated, especially if you've read this and said, "That moron! He should do XXXXX". 

S.

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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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

You experience rather mirrors what people with the 5K iMac have reported. You can run a search on the forums and see. The 5K iMacs are very tricky systems, unfortunately.

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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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Yukikaze

 

You experience rather mirrors what people with the 5K iMac have reported. You can run a search on the forums and see. The 5K iMacs are very tricky systems, unfortunately.

   

 

Tricky blighters for sure! I gave up on mine. Waiting for someone smarter than me [not difficult!] to come up with an elegant solution. See my experience here:  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/help-imac-27-now-thinks-it-is-18-after-egpu-install/ .

2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

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SteevCo
(@steevco)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I read through that, Dan! So weird! Thanks for sharing your experience. It was definitely an eye opener when I was having my issues. I kinda gave up for the moment, too. Sad, but I haven't given up hope! Fingers crossed we all find somebody smarter than us, (amen to that comment, btw...) to figure this out.

Either that, or Apple releases that mythical "iMac Pro" they hinted at a few weeks ago with a Pascal card in it. Smile

We can dream!

S.

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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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Well, literally out of the blue I stumbled on this:  https://egpu.io/forums/pro-applications/imac-egpu-simply-for-3d-accelleration/#post-3756

I got this working on my iMac and it all looked peachy. However, when running a 3D game I've experienced some crashing after a few minutes usage, which I don't see from using the same app and same eGPU on my MacBook Pro. The other minor issue with this setup is that you have to put the iMac to sleep then wake it to bring your screen back to life. This isn't a big deal, it keeps all the resolutions that you wanted (which was a big problem using goalque's script).

It still needs a bit more testing/analysis, but this could be a winner.

2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

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Supaiku
(@supaiku)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hey guys, I am new to the community myself and came across this thread and thought I would run some questions by y'all in here, since I am also planning/hoping to get an eGPU running on my 2013 iMac.

I've got the model that comes with the Nvidia GTX 780M card, its Retina resolution but not 5k. So basically the model that came out before the 5k iMac. I haven't seen much documentation for eGPUs on iMacs, and no videos or tutorials on Youtube. Seems to all be for MBPs mainly, so I'm hoping I can get some answers here.

My plan is to use the Akitio Node as the casing since it comes with the integrated 400W PSU. I'm on the fence about which card to purchase. Initially my plan was to get a GTX 980ti, but now that the Pascal drivers have been released, I started thinking about the GTX 1080ti. Do you guys think it is wise to get a 1000 series card instead of a 900 series at this early stage in the release of the drivers? Also I am running Mac OS 10.11. Do I need to upgrade to 10.12 for the 1000 series cards to work?

Next question deals with the Thunderbolt cables. What is the best option here? Should I do Thunderbolt 3 from the Node into a Thunderbolt 3>2 converter and then converter into my iMac? Or Thunderbolt 3>2 converter from the Node into a Thunderbolt 2 cable into the iMac? I can't seem to find a definitive documentation about which method is better in this case.

Lastly, I have a second monitor but definitely want to be able to run the iMac's internal monitor as well. It seems that SteevCo was having issues here due to some stuff going on with the 5k iMacs. Do any of you guys know if these issues will happen with the 2013 iMac? Anything I should watch out for or specific steps to take to make sure the internal monitor will work? Sorry if my questions have been answered elsewhere or if I'm being redundant, I'm new to all of this and would like to minimize as many potential issues before I start purchasing hardware. Thanks!!!

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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DANgerous25
(@danfalconar)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Supaiku

 

Hey guys, I am new to the community myself and came across this thread and thought I would run some questions by y'all in here, since I am also planning/hoping to get an eGPU running on my 2013 iMac.

I've got the model that comes with the Nvidia GTX 780M card, its Retina resolution but not 5k. So basically the model that came out before the 5k iMac. I haven't seen much documentation for eGPUs on iMacs, and no videos or tutorials on Youtube. Seems to all be for MBPs mainly, so I'm hoping I can get some answers here.

My plan is to use the Akitio Node as the casing since it comes with the integrated 400W PSU. I'm on the fence about which card to purchase. Initially my plan was to get a GTX 980ti, but now that the Pascal drivers have been released, I started thinking about the GTX 1080ti. Do you guys think it is wise to get a 1000 series card instead of a 900 series at this early stage in the release of the drivers? Also I am running Mac OS 10.11. Do I need to upgrade to 10.12 for the 1000 series cards to work?

Next question deals with the Thunderbolt cables. What is the best option here? Should I do Thunderbolt 3 from the Node into a Thunderbolt 3>2 converter and then converter into my iMac? Or Thunderbolt 3>2 converter from the Node into a Thunderbolt 2 cable into the iMac? I can't seem to find a definitive documentation about which method is better in this case.

Lastly, I have a second monitor but definitely want to be able to run the iMac's internal monitor as well. It seems that SteevCo was having issues here due to some stuff going on with the 5k iMacs. Do any of you guys know if these issues will happen with the 2013 iMac? Anything I should watch out for or specific steps to take to make sure the internal monitor will work? Sorry if my questions have been answered elsewhere or if I'm being redundant, I'm new to all of this and would like to minimize as many potential issues before I start purchasing hardware. Thanks!!!

   

Hey there, welcome to the fun! I can only speak about the iMac 5k so I have to make an assumption that if it works for the 5k, there's a good chance it will work for other versions. Using goalque's great script I didn't have a great result, but I think this is because my external monitor is 4k and the internal monitor is 5k (after using the script you lose the ability to get 5k and 4k doesn't render too well on the screen). However using the solution I mention earlier in this thread I don't have this problem but I have crashing... that could be due to a number of things, and I'm hoping it's the nVidia Pascal driver I'm using.

As for the card, I'm using the 980 Ti. I haven't tried the 10 series. However the performance improvement of using the 980TI in eGPU versus the internal AMD Radeon R9 in my system is staggering. 

And most interestingly, after updating the firmware on my Akitio Node, the performance I get on my iMac via eGPU (using the TB3 -> TB2 converter, converter in the node) is even better than what I get over TB3 from my late 2016 MacBook Pro TB 13" via TB3, which wasn't the case before the firmware upgrade.

So... if I can get this crashing issue sorted, then iMac with eGPU will be almost perfect. You just have to sleep/wake the mac once to get both screens working. Then it's all good.

2017 27" iMac Pro (Vega64) [7th,10C,W] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.13.2 [build link]  

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Rastafabi
(@rastafabi)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: SteevCo
[…]
Any commentary would still be much appreciated, especially if you've read this and said, "That moron! He should do XXXXX".    

[You] moron! [You] should check this out. 😉 

Creator of the update-redundant macOS 10.12 eGPU enabler package for NVIDIA

AKiTiO Thunder 2 PCIe Expansion Box
NVIDIA GTX 750Ti
MacBook Pro 9.2 ••• until being stolen.
Thanks to the community for helping getting me going again.


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Supaiku
(@supaiku)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: DANgerous25

Hey there, welcome to the fun! I can only speak about the iMac 5k so I have to make an assumption that if it works for the 5k, there's a good chance it will work for other versions. Using goalque's great script I didn't have a great result, but I think this is because my external monitor is 4k and the internal monitor is 5k (after using the script you lose the ability to get 5k and 4k doesn't render too well on the screen). However using the solution I mention earlier in this thread I don't have this problem but I have crashing... that could be due to a number of things, and I'm hoping it's the nVidia Pascal driver I'm using.

As for the card, I'm using the 980 Ti. I haven't tried the 10 series. However the performance improvement of using the 980TI in eGPU versus the internal AMD Radeon R9 in my system is staggering. 

And most interestingly, after updating the firmware on my Akitio Node, the performance I get on my iMac via eGPU (using the TB3 -> TB2 converter, converter in the node) is even better than what I get over TB3 from my late 2016 MacBook Pro TB 13" via TB3, which wasn't the case before the firmware upgrade.

So... if I can get this crashing issue sorted, then iMac with eGPU will be almost perfect. You just have to sleep/wake the mac once to get both screens working. Then it's all good.

   

Thanks for the tips! I did stumble across your other thread the other day. Glad to hear you where able to get your internal 5k iMac screen working, even though you are having some resolution issues. I have a 5k iMac at work but actually prefer the screen on my 2013 iMac at home. 5k is actually a bit too much for me haha. I'm going to do some more research, but I am leaning towards the GTX 980ti over the 1080 at the moment due to compatibility and it being somewhat early in the lifecycle of these cards. I also was looking at a lot of benchmarks, as my purpose for this upgrade is more so for heavy graphics and video editing work as opposed to gaming. Seems like the GTX 1080 does not benchmark that much higher than the 980ti in this realm. Gaming is another story though, 1080 seems to benchmark much higher than the 980ti here.

That is odd about the crashes you are getting from gaming with your 5k iMac. Do the crashes happen when you have the external screen plugged in as well? And to get the eGPU to work, do you need to have the external screen turned on, or can it be just plugged in but turned off? 

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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