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eGPU mac thunderbolt 1 help  

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(@rcpl_426)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

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?

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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nu_ninja
(@nu_ninja)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

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.

Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (MacBookPro9,2) TB1 -> RX 460/560 (AKiTiO Node/Thunder2)
+ macOS 10.15+Win10 + Linux Mint 19.1

 
2012 13" MacBook Pro [3rd,2C,M] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.14.4 [build link]  


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@rcpl_426

TB1 is too slow when using an eGPU to drive the built-in display.

An external display could work okay.

You would need the  Purge-Wrangler script.

An AMD RX580 8GB card at $170 plus a Powercolor Gaming Station at $250 would be a lower priced combo with good performance. 

 

2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 6600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 650) + macOS 12.1 & Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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(@rcpl_426)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@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

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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nu_ninja
(@nu_ninja)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@rcpl_426

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.

Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (MacBookPro9,2) TB1 -> RX 460/560 (AKiTiO Node/Thunder2)
+ macOS 10.15+Win10 + Linux Mint 19.1

 
2012 13" MacBook Pro [3rd,2C,M] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.14.4 [build link]  


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(@randall_cajthaml)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@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??  

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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echida
(@echida)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

I'm a content creator, and have been using my Mid 2012 Retina 15" MacBook Pro like crazy since I got it in 2013. While editing, it gets up to 100 degrees Celsius most of the time, mostly daily.

You can probably tell that I'm up for an upgrade. I've been looking around for years now what to get concerning getting an eGPU, but only just found out that my MacBook has Thunderbolt 1, instead of 2.

I wonder if the performance will be mediocre, and not worth it (although anything will be an upgrade at this point). Also, what graphics card do you guys suggest? Up in the Nvidia 10 series, or staying around the 9xx series?

I'm running Bootcamp (Windows 7, making content) on it, but plan to use it for the Mac side as well (editing). Perhaps an AMD card would be better then?

Anyways, thanks for reading, I hope to find an answer soon.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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(@grant_d)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

Hi there,

I am also in a similar situation as I have a MacBook Pro from 2011 with thunderbolt 1.

I did a search and found this:
https://egpu.io/forums/which-gear-should-i-buy/egpu-mac-thunderbolt-1-help/

Seems to be doable and using AMD cards.

Good luck with it!

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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