2011 MacBook pro dead GPU with EGPU?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rschiess, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. rschiess macrumors newbie


    Jul 1, 2017
    Has anyone seen anything where someone has successfully taken one of the famous 2011 macbooks with a bad graphics chip and used it with an external GPU instead? I could really use some tips on how/if that can be done.

    Thank you.
  2. jerryk macrumors 68020

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Interesting thought. My concern would be how do you get a fast enough connection. Even the 2016/2017 TB3 connection bottlenecks model GPUs when compared to a PCIE.
  3. muratura, Jul 2, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2017

    muratura macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2017
    depends on how ****ed up is the 2011 and on how much money you are willing to spend on the external enclosure + gpu.

    If the 2011 doesn't boot into integrated graphics I would say don't do it.
    Also check that 2011 is supported by High Sierra (which will have external gpu support included), if you want to use Mac OS.

    The price for the enclosure + gpu is gonna punch a hole in your wallet. Enclosure around 400/500 USD + gpu another 300-1000 USD depending on what you get.
    I'd say go for it only if you have the components and do not invest in extra hardware to keep alive a dying computer.

    :) Support the economy buy a new MBP 2017 :)
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Feb 20, 2009
    By the time you got done, you'd probably spend 1/3 of the price of a new MacBook Pro, easily.
    Not worth the trouble.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2017
    I would be interested in seeing this myself simply out of curiosity, but my concern would be one would invest so much money that they would spend more doing this than they would on a good conditioned used 2012 retina MBP with the Nvidia 650M GPU that has far fewer issues (not to mention functional improvements.)

    One potential issue would be circumventing the MBP dGPU model requirements that the initial boot use the dGPU (and by default there is no easy way to change this - even deleting the drivers does not work.) Where as one Member here figured out how to force boot with the iGPU, it took nearly half a decade for someone to figure this out - even with appropriate macOS drivers for an eGPU, the first barrier would be installing those drivers, and the second barrier would be updating the OS if those drivers are OS-limited and the 2011 in question no longer works correctly and is running too old a version of the OS to be compatible with those drivers. This would necessitate having a second Mac that can run whatever OS is on that 2011 HD or wiping the 2011 HD and starting fresh. That would be quite a pain. It would be an even bigger pain if the only version of macOS that supports the eGPU officially is High Sierra and Apple drops the 2011 MBP from being officially supported for High Sierra!

    Even if all is successful, with only 1 GB/s capability of TB1, what kind of video performance could we expect with the outcome?

    Ultimately, it seems like a time-consuming and expensive endeavor, although it might be fun for someone with some extra cash just looking for a project who isn't super worried if the results come out poorly. Kind of like fixing up an old car, it's rarely financially or functionally justifiable, but, if you enjoy it, what some may find to be a huge drawn out pain may be one helluva good time to others.
  6. rschiess thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 1, 2017
    I love the last line here!

    I own about 12 Macs between home and our business. I want to buy a new MBP but it feels a bit buggy still. The only reason I posted this is to get input from the real pros out there. I appreciate the help from people like you who really know what's up.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 3, 2017 ---
    No doubt. As I look around online, I'm finding that there is nothing inexpensive about this at all.
  7. yukari macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010

Share This Page