(The dreaded) Early 2015 13" MBP AKiTiO Thunder2 RX 470 Windows 10 and OSX Guide
 
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[Solved] (The dreaded) Early 2015 13" MBP AKiTiO Thunder2 RX 470 Windows 10 and OSX Guide  

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madjester
(@veriestvarlet)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

After a lot of headaches, all is working and here is a guide. For this 13" MBP was "bcdedit.exe -set PCIEXPRESS FORCEDISABLE"

Equipment:

Thunder2 w/ Dell DA-2 & Barrel + Molex Plug Modified Cable (go here for guides.) Occasionally eBay has premade cables.

SAPPHIRE RX 470 (A Gigabyte RX460 will likely work too but the 470 has quite a bit more power to price and the Thunder2 is easy to open up for larger cards.)

Windows 10 (with Code 12 Fix):

Standard Bootcamp Windows install then do one of the DSDT overrides and, if the eGPU is plugged in, make sure Windows doesn't install the Graphics Driver. Confirm Large Memory is there and you have a bunch of PCI Root Upstream/Downstreams. (Note, the fixes here didn't work.)

Edit: You'll probably need the startup.nsh script as well.

Open up an Elevated Command Prompt and run "bcdedit.exe -set PCIEXPRESS FORCEDISABLE" found here.

Restart, the Device Manager should now show PCI-to-PCI Bridges instead. Install drivers and the 470 should work right away.

Mac OSX (with Headless HDMI Adaptor): 

Install is straightforward, guide here, but where Windows accelerates the internal display no problem, OSX needs some help.

Add a Headless HDMI Adaptor, set the second display as Primary, and install Spectacle to easily move windows to the Internal LCD. 

Windows is recommended when using the Internal LCD, OSX doesn't accelerate all programs consistently unless using an External Monitor. 

 

 

Original Text Below:

About 6 months ago I grabbed a Thunder2 thinking an eGPU would be a nice way to upgrade the 2015 13" MBP but in the past 2 weeks I've tried every script and trick between both operating systems and 2 graphics cards to no avail. (May be important, I've been trying to find a compact card that works.) If anyone can help I would be very grateful and would be happy to try and help others, starting with this: The 2015 MBP (the 13" especially) seems to be completely inadvisable for eGPUing. (The rest of the hardware is a DA-2 and custom cord from eBay that is very well constructed, power doesn't seem to be an issue through all of this.)

EVGA m-itx GTX 1060 6GB

The 10X0 cards are definitely the least advisable since they aren't OSX compatible (and may never be?) but as described in other posts, and other forums, it's totally random if Windows will boot with them enabled. Occasionally Windows would boot with the 1060 plugged in! And without and error 12 or other issues. This was seriously cool but only 1 out of 12 or more boots would work and there was no reproducible path to get things working. Looking for a less powerful but more standard approach...

XFX m-itx RX460 4GB

Seeing my mistake in trying to get Windows cooperating I switched to a 460 thinking at least OSX would cooperate but the card never enables. I've tried some manual editing, the short script @goalque had put on "the other" forum as well as the Automatic script but neither seem to work. The card shows up in the system report but just as "Display" and none of the ports work. (Image attached.)

Trying the 460 in Windows (because why not) the OS boots fine unlike the GTX but shows the wonderful Error Code 12. After a DSDT override the Large Memory area shows, the proper PCI root ends up in it, and some Thunderbolt devices end up in it but not the 460. (Can attach further images of this as well. Seriously the most frustrating part, everything for the root is in the Large Memory, what the ....) 

If Setup 1.30 would work for Windows and the 460 I would be happy to try that but I'm mostly interested in getting the 460 working on OSX. Let me know what other logs and screenshots would be helpful and, in turn, I will try and help others with these same issues.

Screen Shot 2017 01 20 at 8.47.47 AM
PCIarrangement

Early 2015 13" MBP with Thunder2 RX 470 on Windows 10 and MacOS 10.1 (Formerly)

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen and 2070 RTX Aorus Gaming Box (Custom)
Web development, Video Editing, 2D + 3D animation


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

Sorry to hear of your issues with getting your eGPU going. Return your XFX GPU for something else. These are known to not work in any Mac (including the Mac Pro tower) because of its custom vBIOS. Try a Sapphire RX 470 in my Thunder2 setup and you'll have better luck.

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

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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madjester
(@veriestvarlet)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Ah, I have been very good at choosing things that don't work 🙂 

In keeping with the compact approach would the Gigabyte Radeon 460 work? That's the one that is mentioned in the other post. (Thanks for all your help!)

Early 2015 13" MBP with Thunder2 RX 470 on Windows 10 and MacOS 10.1 (Formerly)

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen and 2070 RTX Aorus Gaming Box (Custom)
Web development, Video Editing, 2D + 3D animation


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padams35
(@padams35)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I have the Gigabyte. It works but is 1/4" too long to fit inside the Thunder2 without removing the Thunder's fan.

The shorter MSI RX 460 might work better. I can't personally vouch for it but I've seen a couple MSI success stories.

2011 iMac w/ Sierra, 2015 MacBook Air w/ HS, 2018 Mac Mini w/ Mojave
eGPU #1: AKiTiO Thunder 2 w/ RX 460-2GB + 120W PSU
eGPU #2: Sonnet Breakaway Box 350 + RX 570-4GB

 
2015 13" MacBook Air [5th,2C,U] + RX 460 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.13 [build link]  


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madjester
(@veriestvarlet)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Gigabyte 460 is working like a charm on OSX, and with a much smaller adapter of course. Good call @padams35

Question, have you managed to get it working on Windows 10? Stuck on Code 12 issues. Tried a DSDT override and various tricks to shove the right PCI downstream into the Large Memory space to no avail.

Maybe time to try @nando's Setup 1.3? 

(Edit, Setup 1.3 is not for UEFI, right, I knew that..)

Early 2015 13" MBP with Thunder2 RX 470 on Windows 10 and MacOS 10.1 (Formerly)

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen and 2070 RTX Aorus Gaming Box (Custom)
Web development, Video Editing, 2D + 3D animation


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madjester
(@veriestvarlet)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Updated with guides for both Windows and OSX. Here "bcdedit.exe -set PCIEXPRESS FORCEDISABLE" fixed Windows where nothing else would fix the Code 12 issue.

Early 2015 13" MBP with Thunder2 RX 470 on Windows 10 and MacOS 10.1 (Formerly)

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen and 2070 RTX Aorus Gaming Box (Custom)
Web development, Video Editing, 2D + 3D animation


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SeeTheBridges
(@seethebridges)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Did you ever try running your RX 460 in Windows? Im having trouble getting mine running. I followed all of your steps, but Im still getting a Code 12 error

Early 2015 13in MacBook Pro (MacOS High Sierra 10.13.6)
Akitio Thunder2 w/ EVGA GTX 1050 SC and (MSI RX460 2GB presumed dead)

 
2015 13" MacBook Pro [5th,2C,U] + RX 460 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 & Win10 [build link]  


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madjester
(@veriestvarlet)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Linking over to @SeeTheBridges post where there might be more details on the sequence. Both the 2016 15" startup.nsh script and the FORCEDISABLE are needed together (plus likely disabling 1st+2nd PCI Roots.) 

Early 2015 13" MBP with Thunder2 RX 470 on Windows 10 and MacOS 10.1 (Formerly)

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Tablet 3rd Gen and 2070 RTX Aorus Gaming Box (Custom)
Web development, Video Editing, 2D + 3D animation


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samupetho
(@samupetho)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hey @veriestVarlet,

So if I understand everything right, by doing the DSDT override"bcdedit.exe -set PCIEXPRESS FORCEDISABLE" in your 2015 13" rMBP, everything should work fine, even in my case, with the EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in windows?

Would you please help me with the bcdedit.exe thing?

early 2015 MacBook Pro Retina, 13-inch (CTO - Core i7, 3.1 GHz, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD)
Akitio Thunder2
EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming


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

These methods won't help you. Early 2015 13" MBP blocks Nvidia cards in firmware level.

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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