Turn your Macbook Pro to a Gaming laptop with AKiTiO Thunder2  

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enjoy
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December 2, 2016 11:04 am  

nando4>> The solution to solving Windows egpu error 12 on this system is posted later in this thread here

I post all parts you need to turn your Akitio T2 with retina Macbook Pro for  $524.96:

  1. 4-Pin Male Molex Connector to 12V DC 5.5mm x 2.1mm Plug 16" LED Power Cable 
  2. Akitio Thunder2 PCIe Box
  3. XSPC ATX PSU Bridge Tool (24 Pin), Black 
  4. EVGA 500 W1, 80+ WHITE 500W, 3 Year Warranty, Power Supply 100-W1-0500-KR 
  5. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING, ACX 2.0 (Single Fan), 6GB GDDR5, DX12 OSD Support (PXOC), Only 6.8 Inches Graphics Card 06G-P4-6161-KR

I have Macboo Pro Retina 15 mid-2012:

  • 2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache
  • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L
  • 256GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5

And with that setup you play all games out right now 1920x1080 HD with 60 frames!

I wait untill Apple shows the new Mac Book with 460 but i saw that i can upgrade my laptop for $524.96, and my laptop will be better than the new rMBP 2016 on gaming for sure even with TB 1 port!

i can play only on external display but if i found the way or someone here can help me to play on my internal RETINA display i will very very happy! 

I think soon to buy Macbook Pro Retina 15 LATE 2013 with TB 2 and no internal GPU that will double my results now for sure + i will play on the my Retina display!

* the video card fit perfect in the AkiTio box!

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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enjoy
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December 2, 2016 11:40 am  

Update #2 - Internal display working (no need for external display)So the two main limitations with this model of Macbook are the fact that you need an external display, and that you have no sound with an EFI Windows instillation. So I got around those limitations with this little device and three resistors:post-36358-14495001014919_thumb.jpgIt's a HDMI to VGA adapter with audio out. You can see the audio out here:post-36358-14495001015321_thumb.jpgAll you need to do is put 3x 75ohm resistors inside the VGA port to create a fake external display. You can see where the resistors need to go with this image:post-36358-14495001015822_thumb.pngSo the deal with this is, any program started on the 'external screen' (being powered by the eGPU) will use the eGPU. So what you'll want to do is set the fake display as your main display. Then anything started on that display will be running from the eGPU. Now there is a little limitation here; only games that run in windowed mode will work (which is most). You'll want to start the game on the fake screen in windowed mode and then drag it over to your internal display.So how do you grab from a display you can't see? Well, I found this free program called Dual Monitor Tools (it's free right here: Dual Monitor Tools - Home )and what you can do in this program is set a keyboard shortcut to move the selected window over to the other display. So you click on the game in the task bar, and hit the shortcut you assigned and it'll pop over to the internal screen, but because it was launched on the fake screen, it'll be powered by the eGPU.Simple as that, there's no performance hit either as you're just dragging the game to the other screen.A good tip is to have the internal display set as default first, launch the game, go to options and set the game to windowed mode now, then quit and relaunch after you've changed the fake screen as your primary. Otherwise you might not be able to switch it with the shortcut while it's in full screen.An issue I have:
I don't know if this will apply to others but I simply cannot boot in to Windows with my GT650M activated. My startup process is very odd, so I'll document it incase others have to do this.To make my Windows even boot, I must have my GT650M disabled in device manger. But when I do this I cannot boot without the eGPU plugged in at all.So what I have to do is make sure my GT650M is down (boot in safe mode to do this the first time, no need for eGPU attached when doing this).Then with the eGPU plugged in, start up my laptop and chose the Windows boot option. The only way I know that Windows has successfully booted is the spinning white dots under the Windows logo on bootup will freeze. When my internal display freezes, I know Windows has loaded (this is when the desktop would appear on the external display) but of course we can't see that because it's a fake display.So once the bootup freezes, I wait until my keyboard backlights come on, then I know the desktop has loaded on the fake display. (Or just wait about 10 seconds after the freeze). Now the next step is to activate the GT650M in device manger so that my internal screen works. Now for this I did the process on a proper external display to learn the key combination to do it blind. For me it as follows:(Press START - cmd key)type: device manENTERTABDown arrow x8ENTERTABENTERENTERAfter I have done that, the frozen Windows logo will disappear and the screen will flicker for about 5 - 10 seconds before displaying my desktop. Success! I can now control Windows from my internal display. Opening up the resolution tool will show 2 displays, the internal, and the fake external.The only thing to remember is when I'm done, I must deactivate the GT650M in device manager again before shutting down. Deactivating it will not shut off the internal display, so it's not a problem to do that and shut down.So that's it. I hope you don't have to do that process, but for me, that's the only way to do it. it's a slight pain but not too much bother, and it's certainly great not to have to use an external screen!

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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theitsage
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December 13, 2016 2:09 pm  

Awesome work with that external display workaround!

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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nando4
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January 12, 2017 3:42 pm  

Solving error 12 on GT650M 2012 15" Macbook Pro

 

In case other users experience error 12 with their GT650M 2012 15" Macbook Pro, the solution is:

From now on you'll be able to boot your system with a working eGPU by selecting:

  • At Windows Boot Menu select Setup 1.35
  • Select eGPU setup 1.35 -> automated startup via startup.bat (default option )
  • At Windows Boot Menu select Windows

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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dream3
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January 17, 2017 3:31 pm  

Enjoy, did you try running that setup with the interal display in macOS? 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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esatamacmodular
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January 19, 2017 4:28 pm  

So I thought this was a solution for getting accelerated internal display on OSX. But I'm stuck on this step... "So how do you grab from a display you can't see? Well, I found this free program called Dual Monitor Tools"   It appears this is a windows only program. So is egpu.io implying to use virtual windows or is there and OSX equivalent of Dual Monitor Tools to get past this?

iMac 2013 10.14.1, Macbook Air 2013 10.11, MBP 2016 13" 10.13.6 , HP 4530s 10.11, node lite, DA-2 PSU w/mod, PE4L 2.1b expresscard34, GTX460,1050Ti,1060,1070/Ti RX470,560,580


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goalque
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January 19, 2017 6:25 pm  

1) Download Spectacle: https://www.spectacleapp.com

2) Download DisableMonitor: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor

3) Go to macOS System Preferences -> Dock -> Position on screen -> Left

4) Set the ghost display as the primary

5) Set the resolution to match internal screen in DisableMonitor

6) Launch the app (Valley benchmark for example) from the Dock (there you see its child windows).

Then you can easily switch “Next Display” or “Previous Display” with a keyboard shortcut. Spectacle moves apps in full screen mode as well (therefore, step 5 is recommended).

I use fit-Headless GS and 4K, but there are similar products:

Fueran Headerless Ghost Emulator
http://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + [email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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dream3
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January 19, 2017 7:07 pm  
Posted by: goalque

 

1) Download Spectacle: https://www.spectacleapp.com

2) Download DisableMonitor: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor

3) Go to macOS System Preferences -> Dock -> Position on screen -> Left

4) Set the ghost display as the primary

5) Set the resolution to match internal screen in DisableMonitor

6) Launch the app (Valley benchmark for example) from the Dock (there you see its child windows).

Then you can easily switch “Next Display” or “Previous Display” with a keyboard shortcut. Spectacle moves apps in full screen mode as well (therefore, step 5 is recommended).

I use fit-Headless GS and 4K, but there are similar products:

Fueran Headerless Ghost Emulator
http://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php

   

Thanks for that, really great!

What's the difference between the 4k and GS adapter?

Do I need to perform those steps only for games or every single software I want to use with the GPU, like Photoshop?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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goalque
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January 19, 2017 7:38 pm  

GS has high refresh rate, HDMI 2.0 compliant and audio support.

You need these steps for OpenGL/Metal apps and games. OpenCL/Metal calculation does not require any display. However, keep in mind that apps don’t become magically accelerated. Crash can happen. OS X/macOS supports multiple GPUs, it’s Adobe’s task to make Photoshop compatible with external GPUs. 

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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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dream3
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January 19, 2017 7:57 pm  

So you have any idea if Photoshop works with eGPU? I'll be getting a 980 TI probably.

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goalque
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January 19, 2017 8:09 pm  

Sorry, I don’t use Photoshop. I don’t know. I guess you won’t see much difference in Photoshop, in video rendering and editing more likely.

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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + [email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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dream3
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January 19, 2017 8:14 pm  

What about 3D modeling apps, same thing? Depends on how each handles the eGPU despite the fact macOS will recognize it?

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goalque
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January 19, 2017 8:34 pm  

It depends on the application how it is optimized, and if the eGPU is selectable.

Indigo Renderer is a great example, doesn't require any external (or "ghost") display.

http://www.indigorenderer.com

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/[email protected] (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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jefniro
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January 29, 2017 9:25 pm  

Hello, I'm little bit confused... I have ordered the Akitio Node in order to connect it to my MacBookPro 13" Late 2016, I would want to use the Node with XFX RX AMD 480 GTR... with this configuration I need the Fit-Headless GS if I want acceleration goest to my internal display? 

Thank you!!

Jef

late-2016 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node) + macOS & Win10


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nff
 nff
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March 30, 2017 1:29 pm  
Posted by: goalque

 

1) Download Spectacle: https://www.spectacleapp.com

2) Download DisableMonitor: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor

3) Go to macOS System Preferences -> Dock -> Position on screen -> Left

4) Set the ghost display as the primary

5) Set the resolution to match internal screen in DisableMonitor

6) Launch the app (Valley benchmark for example) from the Dock (there you see its child windows).

Then you can easily switch “Next Display” or “Previous Display” with a keyboard shortcut. Spectacle moves apps in full screen mode as well (therefore, step 5 is recommended).

I use fit-Headless GS and 4K, but there are similar products:
http://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php
https://headlessghost.com

   

Isn't it easier just to "Mirror Display" when using the Fit-4K, instead of using the Spectacle setup ?

Here is my config and the results >> Macbook Pro 15" Retina Mid 2015, RX 480 8GB,  Akitio 2, EVGA 600W

 

Here you can see the R9 XXX powering both displays on Mirror Display, using "Optimized for FitHeadless4K"

---

Here is the setup without the Ghost Adapter. You can see the R9 XXX is idle and the discreet (R9 R370X) card doing all the pushing.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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zz2k9
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April 7, 2017 9:02 pm  

Hello,

I am also wondering how the egpu will handle apps.

In your setup, when you have the mirrored display, is the egpu being used as the primary gpu for all tasks? The fps and score seems a little low unless I'm wrong about the R9 performance. 

If you had the egpu powering an external display, how do apps like Adobe CC and GPU accelerated apps decide? Or is it that it simply drives external displays while the internal gpu does the work as normal?

How does your solution differ in performance compared to the one by goalque?

Also, when you mirror your display, why does your screenshot show such a low res for the FitHeadless4K?

If I were to copy this setup with a Node and future 1080ti with a 2013 27inch iMac, will it be possible to use yours or goalques solution to only use the egpu to drive the internal and external displays, and does that make it the primary gpu for apps and compute?

 

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nff
 nff
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April 11, 2017 1:44 pm  

Hi.

Its seems that MacOS can handle the 3 cards and pick the best for a given task. I have not tested Photoshop, but I do run UnrealEngine and on the mac, it delivers quite good results. Without the eGPU, I get about 25fps on "Particle Effects" scene from Epic, while when the GPU is attached I get a solid +60fps on the editor and an even better result while on play mode.

I am not sure why the resolution on the FitHeadless4K goes to that value, but it does not affect the internal display.

About the internal vs external being powered by the eGPU, I cannot say now, but can give you an answer in the next few days, since I am moving office.

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goalque
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April 14, 2017 5:18 pm  

@nff: Display mirroring replicates your desktop and is mainly meant for displaying photos or videos on a larger display. This makes the content blurry. Furthermore, iGPU-only Macs can't utilize this hardware mirroring.

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ariksaja
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August 10, 2017 4:00 pm  
Posted by: goalque

1) Download Spectacle: https://www.spectacleapp.com

2) Download DisableMonitor: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor

3) Go to macOS System Preferences -> Dock -> Position on screen -> Left

4) Set the ghost display as the primary

5) Set the resolution to match internal screen in DisableMonitor

6) Launch the app (Valley benchmark for example) from the Dock (there you see its child windows).

Then you can easily switch “Next Display” or “Previous Display” with a keyboard shortcut. Spectacle moves apps in full screen mode as well (therefore, step 5 is recommended).

I use fit-Headless GS and 4K, but there are similar products:
http://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php
https://headlessghost.com

I'm curious with macbook... i'll try it with my friend's MacBook Air. Just bought "Fueran 4k Hdmi headless dummy" for 9$. If it's working perhaps i'm gonna buy macbook also. 😀

late-2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS & Win10


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OxoTHuk
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October 4, 2017 6:10 pm  
Posted by: goalque

1) Download Spectacle: https://www.spectacleapp.com

2) Download DisableMonitor: https://github.com/Eun/DisableMonitor

3) Go to macOS System Preferences -> Dock -> Position on screen -> Left

4) Set the ghost display as the primary

5) Set the resolution to match internal screen in DisableMonitor

6) Launch the app (Valley benchmark for example) from the Dock (there you see its child windows).

Then you can easily switch “Next Display” or “Previous Display” with a keyboard shortcut. Spectacle moves apps in full screen mode as well (therefore, step 5 is recommended).

I use fit-Headless GS and 4K, but there are similar products:
http://www.newertech.com/products/hdmi_headless_video_adapter.php
https://headlessghost.com

Hi

thank you for great info

does this setup work in High Sierra as well?

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ricosuave0922
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November 15, 2017 8:13 pm  

Any updates on High Sierra support?

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LowKnee
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December 4, 2017 12:15 pm  

I did exactly what was posted by: goalque

So nothing really new. High Sierra works well with both my systems below.

High Sierra on a 13″ MacBook Air (2012) with:

  1. Sonnet GPU-550W-TB3
  2. Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB
  3. OWC HDMI Headless
  4. Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter

 

High Sierra on a 15″ MacBook Pro (2015) with:

  1. Sonnet GPU-550W-TB3
  2. Sapphire NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB
  3. OWC HDMI Headless
  4. Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Thunderbolt 2 adapter

 

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(@norman_kws)
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December 5, 2017 5:41 pm  

@  LowKnee

So the OWC plugs into the RX580 and wat about the T3 to T2 adaptor? where does it go.?

 

Thanks

 

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LowKnee
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December 9, 2017 1:20 pm  

Just updated to 10.13.2 my MBP.

I plugged in the egpu and nothing works any more, system hangs, resets with error etc.! 

the same egpu with my MBAir with still has 10.13.1 works fine!

Be careful.

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LowKnee
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December 9, 2017 1:28 pm  

The MBP 2015 has TB2 ports and the Sonnet a TB3 port.

The TB3-side of the adapter has to be plugged into the Sonnet TB3-port.

The TB2 cable into the TB2-side of the adapter and into the TB2-port of the MBP.

MBP with TB2-port > TB2 cable > TB2-TB3 adapter > TB3-port Sonnet

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LowKnee
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December 18, 2017 10:25 am  

According email to me from Sonnet Support from today:

‘….We have one of those Macs in the lab. When we tested under 10.13.1, it tested OK. We went back and retested under 10.13.2 and it doesn’t work for us either.
Do you have a time machine backup that you can use to go back to 10.13.1?
Your case has us concerned. We have temporarily pulled our compatibility information for all non-Thunderbolt 3 Macs until we can understand better what 10.13.2 did to Thunderbolt 2 Macs...’

Be careful 10.13.2 and TB2 MacBooks does not work right now 🙁

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nff
 nff
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December 18, 2017 6:24 pm  

Just installed High Sierra on my:

  • Macbook Pro 15 2015 R9 M370X
  • Akitio TB2
  • Shappire RX480 8GB
  • 2 External Dell Monitors + the macbook display

The results:

  • MacOS recognized the "external GPU" , but then all hell broke loose.
  • Everytime the mouse moved to the internal macbook display the system would freeze.
  • Trying to jump into display preferences via spotlight search would crash the system.
  • IF I maintained the mouse only on ONE of the external monitors, the system would work normally, but anything that involved the second or the third monitor, the system freezes.

Now it's back to Sierra I guess.

 

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LowKnee
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December 19, 2017 12:48 pm  

Today I used a cloned macOS 10.13.1 on an external HDD and proofed it on my MacBook Pro with TB2 and guess what, it works excellent.

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LowKnee
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December 19, 2017 12:49 pm  

I just send Apple feedback. Maybe they won’t answer, but at least they will know there is a problem or a suggestion for change. If enough people send feedback, it may get the problem/suggested change solved sooner.

https://www.apple.com/feedback/

 Click here to send Feedback

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Nacolis
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December 20, 2017 6:04 pm  

I am new to egpu modifications but eager to get my own setup. I have read around as much as I can but still a bit confused about a couple of things - hope you wanna help me out!

i have a MBP 2012 with no mods (10.13.2, 8 GB ram, GT650M graphics) and always use my external Apple Thunderbolt display. Now when I wanna play my Company of Heroes 2, it lags badly 😥 

Q1: can I egpu boost my Mac without using Windows?

Q2: is the akitio thunder 2 with a 1050/1060 card a good solution for my setup? (considering the High Sierra egpu support)

Q3: would BisonBox3 be another good alternative?  https://bizon-tech.com/us/bizonbox3-egpu.html

Q4: does the egpu setup work with my Apple Thunderbolt display?

thanks!

br. Nicolas

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