2015 13-inch Macbook Pro + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.13.6 & Win10 [heydanny] // 220W XBOX One AC adapter driven  

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heydanny
(@heydanny)
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August 23, 2018 7:58 am  

I have read lots of discussions about supplying additional power through the 6 or 8 pin PCIe and I always come across either the Dell DA-2 power adapter or SFX power supply. Some add a barrel power plug to the 12v rail or even modify the DA-2. Those look great however, I want something that won't make me cut the aluminum body just to add another hole for an additional power source or attach a bulky sfx or a second power brick for that matter. 

I wanted simplicity so I did my homework. My Galax GTX 1070 mini eats up about 150w of power and the card inside the akitio is about 60w or less. What I will need is is about 220 to 240 watts of power to be fed through a 12v rail.

Searching through ebay and amazon did not help because it was always giving me the Dell DA-2 but I don't like that. I don't want the 12v rail to look like franken-cable with tapes or heat shrinks all around. I want a OEMish look. 

So searched my stuff and found an Xbox One power brick which supplies 220w of power (12v 17.9A) and an 18Amp cable with 2.5mm diameter barrel plug. 

You can read about turning your Xbox One power brick into a 12v power supply here


Also, I bore holes into the akitio's aluminium casing and went to an auto detailing shop to achieve the BMW space gray look.

Since I don't want additional holes I used the existing 12V port of the enclosure and divided the 8 pins into 2 groups. First group is the 12v wires and the rest are the ground wires.
To achieve this you need to scrape the green outer coating of the PCB to expose the gold layer and prime it so the the tin will adhere when you solder it. The first group must be soldered where the 12V rail is attached and the second group of wires must me soldered to the hole closest to where the 4 pin connect is. That is the screw hole so you won't be needing the screw in that hole. 

Then I used hot glue because I don't want to see a constant reminder that I'm bad in soldering.

Since the enclosure is not that tall, I clipped the plastic pin receptacle to fit. 

Alright. Then I tested the power consumption using my brother's professional power meter (i don't know that's called so don't judge me 🙂 ) and it only consumes 190w when running Unigine Heaven. 

I usually boot in Windows 10 because I play Dota 2 and CS Go and I usually get 40 - 60 fps depending on the render quality. The highest on low would be 70fps.

By the way, I'm not sure if all of you are aware but my Macbook Pro early 2015 is the most problematic variant due to non detection on bootup, freezing bootup etc etc etc. So the quick fix is turn on the macbook while pressing down the option key then wait 5 secs then attach the enclosure. When it boots up to windows for the first time you need to disable the PCIe root port which is being used by the Facetime camera. I read in an article here in one of the forums that it chows up lots of resources preventing the egpu to work and go bananas. 

After doing so, install the latest Nvidia drivers, restart, and enjoy!

Macbook Pro 2015 13inch | Akitio Thunder2 | GTX 1070 mini | Mac OS High Sierra | Windows 10


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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August 24, 2018 4:13 pm  

Very clean build! Thank you for sharing.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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 chx
(@chx)
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August 24, 2018 9:48 pm  

Neat! " the card inside the akitio is about 60w or less" -- I would be... surprised. I mean, what does that card even do? It has a Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt controller,  https://ark.intel.com/products/94031/Intel-JHL6540-Thunderbolt-3-Controller 2.2W, a TI TPS65983 USB C/PD controller according to  http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tps65983.pdf 7.7 Power Consumption Characteristics it eats 0.564A at 3.45 V which we could run up to another 2W. Not much else...

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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heydanny
(@heydanny)
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August 25, 2018 2:47 am  

I don't have a mac with tb3 to test but i guess it will be much faster. What i am sure is that everything in that box consumes more than 120w because before switching to the xbox power brick the card shuts off using the 120w power brick.

Macbook Pro 2015 13inch | Akitio Thunder2 | GTX 1070 mini | Mac OS High Sierra | Windows 10


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Eightarmedpet
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nando4
(@nando4)
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August 31, 2018 8:38 am  

Is the existing 12V DC input port on the AKiTiO Thunder2, with it's max AC adapter spec of 120W, reliable in passing through up to 220W delivered by the XBOX One AC adapter?

Perhaps of interest, there exist a somewhat rare Dell DA-2 with a 2.5mm x 5.5mm DC barrel jack instead of the more common 8-pin jack. Eg:

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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Eightarmedpet
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esatamacmodular
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August 31, 2018 2:26 pm  
Posted by: nando4

Is the existing 12V DC input port on the AKiTiO Thunder2, with it's max AC adapter spec of 120W, reliable in passing through up to 220W delivered by the XBOX One AC adapter?

Perhaps of interest, there exist a somewhat rare Dell DA-2 with a 2.5mm x 5.5mm DC barrel jack instead of the more common 8-pin jack. Eg:

I have this PSU but wasn't sure it was the right size barrel plug for the node lite. I'll dig it out of storage and see... In any case, it would not power anything needing additional 6 or 8 pin power (without additional mod). So a 1050 Ti or an rx 560 might work...

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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heydanny
(@heydanny)
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November 13, 2018 8:02 am  

The barrel size of that model is very narrow. Akitio's barrel is 2.5

Macbook Pro 2015 13inch | Akitio Thunder2 | GTX 1070 mini | Mac OS High Sierra | Windows 10


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heydanny
(@heydanny)
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November 13, 2018 8:04 am  
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

I think this is the ultimate small egpu... the build quality of the Akitio Thunder/Node lite is so much better than the Gaming box and the Dell PSU is a bit of a POS. Top work.

Hows the noise and heat?

The noise is coming from the Akitio stock fan and is annoying. Without it, the gtx 1070's noise is acceptable.
I bore holes on the side for air intake. Prior to that, it reached 83 degrees Celsius . Now around 60-70

Macbook Pro 2015 13inch | Akitio Thunder2 | GTX 1070 mini | Mac OS High Sierra | Windows 10


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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November 14, 2018 12:48 am  
Posted by: heydanny

By the way, I'm not sure if all of you are aware but my Macbook Pro early 2015 is the most problematic variant due to non detection on bootup, freezing bootup etc etc etc. So the quick fix is turn on the macbook while pressing down the option key then wait 5 secs then attach the enclosure. When it boots up to windows for the first time you need to disable the PCIe root port which is being used by the Facetime camera. I read in an article here in one of the forums that it chows up lots of resources preventing the egpu to work and go bananas. 

I have a build with this notebook, too and while all seems to be perfect (plug'n'play on fully loaded windows always successful) I still have the booting problem. It won't boot with the eGPU attached. Your hack with the facetime camera, does it solve this problem?

macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-asus-xg-station-pro-evga-gtx-1080-ti
2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-rtx2080ti32gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-gtx1080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-rtx2080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-vega5632gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro
macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-razer-core-x-evga-gtx-1080-ti-2
macbook-pro-15inch-2018-aorus-gaming-box-gtx1080


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heydanny
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November 16, 2018 3:49 pm  
Posted by: OliverB
Posted by: heydanny

By the way, I'm not sure if all of you are aware but my Macbook Pro early 2015 is the most problematic variant due to non detection on bootup, freezing bootup etc etc etc. So the quick fix is turn on the macbook while pressing down the option key then wait 5 secs then attach the enclosure. When it boots up to windows for the first time you need to disable the PCIe root port which is being used by the Facetime camera. I read in an article here in one of the forums that it chows up lots of resources preventing the egpu to work and go bananas. 

I have a build with this notebook, too and while all seems to be perfect (plug'n'play on fully loaded windows always successful) I still have the booting problem. It won't boot with the eGPU attached. Your hack with the facetime camera, does it solve this problem?

Hi Oliver,

Disabling the the pci root port where facetime cam is connected will only free up some pcie lanes which can be used by the egpu. That solves detection issues upon booting to windows. Sometimes it takes two tries before I can boot to windows. This is not an issue if your egpu uses an amd polaris graphics card because they have a mac compatible bios unlike newer nvidia cards.

Macbook Pro 2015 13inch | Akitio Thunder2 | GTX 1070 mini | Mac OS High Sierra | Windows 10


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OliverB
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December 8, 2018 1:42 am  
Posted by: heydanny

 

Hi Oliver,

Disabling the the pci root port where facetime cam is connected will only free up some pcie lanes which can be used by the egpu. That solves detection issues upon booting to windows. Sometimes it takes two tries before I can boot to windows. This is not an issue if your egpu uses an amd polaris graphics card because they have a mac compatible bios unlike newer nvidia cards.

Hi @heydanny, thank you for you reply. How can I find out under which pci root port the faceimte cam is? The device manager looks different under my windows, there is nothing under the root devices, but the camera under "Imaging devices":

macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-asus-xg-station-pro-evga-gtx-1080-ti
2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-rtx2080ti32gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-gtx1080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

early-2015-13-macbook-pro-rtx2080ti-11gb16gbps-tb2-asus-xg-station-pro-via-tb3-tb2-adapter

2018-15-macbook-pro-rp560x-vega5632gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro
macbook-pro-15-2018-i7-razer-core-x-evga-gtx-1080-ti-2
macbook-pro-15inch-2018-aorus-gaming-box-gtx1080


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heydanny
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December 11, 2018 2:17 pm  

Go to Device Manager > System Devices

Then on top menu select View > Devices by Connection

Then you'll see the facetime camera. Disable the PCI Root hub where facetime is connected. 

I recently switched to Sapphire RX 570 mini itx card because i transferred the gtx 1070 to my desktop. 

Macbook Pro 2015 13inch | Akitio Thunder2 | GTX 1070 mini | Mac OS High Sierra | Windows 10


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