eGPU mac thunderbolt 1 help
I have a MacBook pro 13 inch 2012 and wanted to get an egpu to boost my graphics. I believe there is a similar topic about this but I wanted to ask my own questions
What eGPUs will work will with my mac(Thunderbolt 1)? Will it work with a razer core x or any other of razers eGPUs? Do the Graphics cards I put in it matter to the mac?
Which eGPUs are cheapest and will work ok with my mac?Do I just need to get a normal eGPU and a thunderbolt 1 cable?
Hi! Yes, I have one and it works, you can read the build linked in my signature. You can use a thunderbolt 3 enclosure like the razer core x by connecting it with the apple tb3->2 adapter (specifically the apple one, not other brands) and any tb1 or 2 cable (tb1 and 2 cables are the same). For bootcamp windows (or linux) any gpu should work but for macos only specific cards have drivers so to ensure compatibility, you may want to stick with an AMD card from 2016 (rx 400's) or later.
TB1 is too slow when using an eGPU to drive the built-in display.
An external display could work okay.
@mini-i5, you say tb1 is not enough for the built-in display but the guy above you says its fine? can you explain or do you just not know?
@nu_ninja, thank you for the help im going to use it, but the guy under you says "TB1 is too slow when using an eGPU to drive the built-in display" is this only true for some cases or what? thanks
I does technically work. I use the internal display from time to time. The problem is you get hit with around a 50% performance decrease at least when using the internal display over TB1. So it's not ideal and you might not be able to break ~40fps at any resolution in some games just due to bandwidth and latency constraints, though it depends highly on the game and lots of other factors. For example, I don't have hard numbers but I seem to see way better internal display performance in Bioshock infinite when using bootcamp windows, rather than macOS or linux. All that said, the eGPU is still a big uplift from the intel HD 4000 even on the internal display, but it's a far bigger and better boost if you can find an external display to connect.
@rcpl_426, I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro 17” with thunderbolt 1. My internal AMD graphics card was failing so I had to run some terminal commands to shut it down in order to even be able to boot up properly. I still had the internal Intel video card but lacking a graphics card I decided to go eGPU before sending my MacBook Pro to pasture. I purchased the Razer Core X and Radeon RX 580 black edition with the Apple thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter. I soon realized I had to go even deeper into terminal and run purge-wrangler. Finally I was up and running but the external monitors were super laggy - lots delays - windows would look sluggish moving them across the screen. I tested the system on a late 2013 MacBook Pro 15” with thunderbolt 2 and it was blazing fast - had two HD cinema displays connected and everything was smoooooth. By the way - that computer had me go even further into terminal and run purge-nvda to disable the conflicting nvdia card - external monitors would display black until I ran that purge-nvda.
lots of explanation here - my question for anyone that made it through all that is if they were having success with the thunderbolt 1 - is there something I’m missing? Another trip to the terminal??