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Thunderbolt eGPU for Mac - 2017 Update - macOS Sierra
 

Thunderbolt eGPU for Mac - 2017 Update - macOS Sierra  

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itsmikerofl
(@itsmikerofl)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

After much time spent comparing, I've finally found this post... And thank you for sharing!

Judging by the Heaven/Valley benchmarks, it looks like the CPU is not as much of a "bottleneck" as the ThunderBolt 3 PCIe x4 connection itself can provide.

Is it safe to say that in this scenario, the upgrade from the dual-core 13" model to the quad-core 15" model is not going to yield a higher eGPU performance?

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


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CudaPowerMacPro
 CudaPowerMacPro
(@CudaPowerMacPro)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I really need cuda power for 3d rendering

Would it work using, say, an OWC Mercury Helios TB2 box ( Already have one) + external 400w pus + pcie 16x riser cable (gnu outside the box) + say a evga 980 ti or similar


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Most likely not much of a difference in terms of eGPU performance.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

PCIe riser card is not reliable. I’d recommend modifying the case to mount the GPU directly to the PCIe slot.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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itsmikerofl
(@itsmikerofl)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Sounds right.

Went out today and exchanged my 15" base model for the 13" with the i7-6567U with 16GB RAM - more comfortable form factor for the same eGPU performance.

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


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NCPFMP
(@neecudaformacpro)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

ok thanks for the heads up on that

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


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Ribby
 Ribby
(@Ribby)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I have an Early-2015 MBP 13" (Intel Iris 6100 1536 MB) and want to get an eGPU set up. Because my laptop does not have Thunderbolt 3 ports, I thought I was only limited to Thunderbolt 2 eGPU enclosures. But reading your post, TB3 enclosures (like the Akitio Thunder 3 and Node) seem to work with older Macbooks with TB2 ports with the use of Apple's TB3 to TB2 adapter. I was wondering if the Akitio Thunder 3 or Akitio Node would work for my Macbook Pro with the use of Apple's adapter. If yes, will other TB3 enclosures like the Razer Core work with the adapter?

FYI, I don't want to use the Akitio Thunder 2 because I have a full size card (Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti) that won't fit in the Thunder 2.


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

The AKiTiO Thunder3 and Node will definitely work with your 2015 13″ MacBook Pro using the Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Ribby
 Ribby
(@Ribby)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Ok thanks. How about the Razer Core?


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Barry
 Barry
(@Barry)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Small update on UK stock, I ordered my Node on 12th Jan when it was out of stock everywhere in the UK and it has just showed up today (8th Feb) much earlier than I was expecting it.


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

The Razer Core should work the same way.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

That’s great to hear! Can you update us whether you need to run firmware upgrade on your AKiTiO Node?

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Barry
 Barry
(@Barry)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Will do, waiting on my Thunderbolt 2 to 3 adaptor so I can connect the node to my MacPro, should be here tomorrow.


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

If you don’t currently have a Windows partition/drive, do so while you wait for the adapter. Have fun and let us know if you find something new or encounter any issues.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

We still waiting for internal tests, i hope you will have time to make the test and update the table, it will be great!

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
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


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Barry
 Barry
(@Barry)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Quick question, does the Akitio firmware updater work on Windows 7? On their website it mentions only windows 10, but I only have a windows 7 ISO. dont want to go through the process of bootcamp if it isnt going to work on 7.


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Barry
 Barry
(@Barry)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Ok, I've hit a wall. My boot camp install won't see the node. Even with the Intel thunderbolt drivers. Is there something I'm doing wrong?


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Barry, which version of Intel Thunderbolt Software are you running?

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Barry
 Barry
(@Barry)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I'm using this version of the software. When I run the updater I just get a message telling me there is no thunderbolt software installed.
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23742/Thunderbolt-Intel-Thunderbolt-driver

I'm not too worried, It seems that my Node was shipped with the most recent drivers anyway as I am able to get everything working in Mac OS. Akitio also more or less confirmed this to be true for most people getting the device now: https://twitter.com/akitio/status/833488962274545664


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Greg
 Greg
(@Greg)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thanks for all the support here! I have three questions:
1) Can I use the Node with a Nvidia GTX 1060 Card on macOS Sierra? I am asking because the mac driver situation doesn't seem to be clear but Nvidia now released their own drivers for mac, I think.
2) Would the same setup in bootcamp windows 10 work?
3) Is it possible to power the LG UltraFine 5K Display with this Setup? Do i just connect both (display and egpu) directly to my mac?


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Daniel Perez
 Daniel Perez
(@Daniel Perez)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Sierra only ?? ... or is there eGPU support in El Capitan ??


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P-Mac
 P-Mac
(@P-Mac)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

1) nope, no pascal drivers for macOS yet
2) yes
3) ideally you would want to connect the display to the eGPU (because if you connect it to the laptop directly, the laptop's GPU will drive it)


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Zach
 Zach
(@Zach)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I have a late 2014 5k iMac, and could really use the GPU to drive Cinema 4d and After Effects plugins that rely on the GPU. Would this setup work with an iMac?


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dmsaudio
(@dmsaudio)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I have a 2012 i7 Mac Mini running Sierra 10.12.4 and Sonnet IIID expansion chassis. And I have run the popular automated script. I've tried an older GT120 card...no luck...black screen. And no drivers for the 2 ATI cards I have. Wondering what GPU(s) might work for me and stay within the 300w of power limit the chassis has on board. Thanks!

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


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Dirk vdB
 Dirk vdB
(@Dirk vdB)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hello from Berlin and thank you so much for this post and the further insight in the comments. I am a documentary director, in our ongoing project we have just switched to 4K video (Sony a7s II) so my old "mule", the MBP 2011 2,5 GHz with 16GB Ram for the first time EVER reached its limits.
Until yesterday I felt stupid that I still had not bought the new MBP 2016 done it, decision to wait came from the RAM limitation of the current Apple CPUs. Today (April 4) Apple announced that they "will do more for Pro users, which is good to know finally but my film can't wait.
Now after reading all this here, I almost decided to go the eGPU way instead of buying any new hardware. I have just one question that might seem foolish but I want to ask it: I need my MPB to perform better in Final Cut Pro X and with 4K video in general. I know that as to the CPU (i.e. for proxy creation) there are no options to accelerate my "mule". But will an external eGPU card (inside of an Akitio Node) really boost my workflow? And if the answer is generally yes, what graphics card would you recommend for this?
VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR ANSWERS AND FEEDBACK!!!


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi Dirk vdB,

While an external GPU with a powerful GPU such as R9 Fury/X definitely helps, Thunderbolt 1 connection on your 2011 15″ MBP may be a limiting factor. It does not hurt to try it though because the eGPU setup (AKiTiO Node + R9 Fury) can be used with newer Macs as well.

I tested the AKiTiO Node with both R9 Fury and R9 Fury X on a Mac mini 2011. The CPU in the Mac mini is a lot less powerful. You can see some benchmarks at this post to get an idea whether it’s worth a shot for your workflow.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Dirk vdB
 Dirk vdB
(@Dirk vdB)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thank you ITSAGE for the quick answer. Have looked at the other post, but am not really able to compare the benchmarks there for my purposes (4K Final Cut Pro). I don't want you do have too much a burden to answer my questions - but could you maybe direct me to another website or forum where I could find answers? The R9 Fury costs about 600 -650 Euros in Germany, so together with the Akitio the investment would be around 1000 Euro… THANK YOU!!!


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Dirk vdB
 Dirk vdB
(@Dirk vdB)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I did check the specs on the implementation's table, and found that you tested the MBP 2011 / 17" with a GTX 980TI. Now what I see on the web is that there are at least two versions (and tons of different types) of that card. I found one on Amazon Germany, it is the ASUS GeForce MATRIX GTX 980TI Platinum 6GB GDDR5 P (the 6GB version), here and a 4GB version here on eBay - now I am more than confused, to be honest, which one to pick…


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prjkt
 prjkt
(@prjkt)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Dirk VDB: From what I can tell, Apple's software, Final Cut especially, requires/prefers AMD GPUs for hardware acceleration.
I may be wrong, but you may want to look into this before going the nVidia route


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Atilla
 Atilla
(@Atilla)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thank you for this great overview. I loved the idea of eGPU from the beginning!
Until now I was happy with my MacBook 15" Late 2013 with a 750m graphics card because I mainly do design stuff.

I recently started with 4k video editing in FCPX and use plugins which heavily rely on GPU power.
Question is: What is the best affordable eGPU for my system? I know that I can't use the internal display of my MacBook since i only have TB2. I use a Dell 4k display anyway.

Any recommendations for us 2013 mac "oldies" with TB enclosure + graphics card?

Thank you!


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

A good pairing is an RX 480/580 + AKiTiO Node or Sonnet Breakaway Box. You will also need the Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt adapter.

750M dGPU in these MacBook Pro laptops seems to be a pain to get eGPU going. I’d recommend reading our Mac Thunderbolt Setup forum.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Mike
 Mike
(@Mike)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hi, I have a late-2012 iMac (thunderbolt 2) - is there any way I can connect my machine to thunderbolt 3? Would that be some kind of adapter? Will it work? I know it will decrease transfer speed but I just want to take advantage of the eGPU and I guess choosing usb-c is making the eGPU future proof. Let me know! Thank you!


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Yes, TB3 enclosure connectivity using a TB2/TB1 host Mac is possible via the Apple TB3-to-TB2 adapter. See examples.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) (6th,4C,H) + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + macOS 10.13.6 & Win10


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Quizza
 Quizza
(@Quizza)
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Just saw your July 17, 2017 update, and am very interested applying the eGPU to my 2017 iMac (27", i7).

Does the signal run from the iMac to the eGPU and back into 27" monitor or does the signal only goes to an extended 2nd monitor? I notice much of the discussion revolves around the Macbooks, but haven't seen much regarding compatibility and usability with USBC enabled iMacs.


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