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.
depends on how fked 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
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.
I have a MBP 15" early 2011 with a broken AMD GPU. I have managed to disable the AMD GPU and force the Mac to use the iGPU vi this post: https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ntel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/
I have also bought an eGPU setup: Aorus Gaming Box with GTX1080. So for I haven't been able to make it work. Seems like my mac is struggling to "see" the enclosure (Nothing shows up in systems info when plugged in). I believe there is a problem with my cables somehow, and will update this post if I am able to make it work!
I am not sure if early or late 2011 makes any difference. I followed this procedure to get mine to work:
Start in Recovery Mode (Command + “R”)
go to terminal
type csrutil disable
in Terminal type: cd ~/Desktop && curl -o automate-eGPU.sh https://raw.githubusercontent.com/goalque/automate-eGPU/master/automate-eGPU.sh && chmod +x automate-eGPU.sh && sudo ./automate-eGPU.sh
enter "yes" to both queries.
Make sure NVIDIA Web Driver is SET
Most of the process is explained here: https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/automate-egpu-sh-is-reborn-with-amd-polaris-fiji-support-for-macos/
I have tried that, but when running the script I get the message: "Hot-plug the thunderbolt enclosure and run the script again". It basically means it is not able to detect my Aorus box. I have tested the box with a 2015 13" MBP and it worked without a problem. So there seems to be a problem with my Mac. I will update you if I get it to work!
I'm in a similar situation. Recently had my Late 2011 dGPU disabled, now looking into a possible eGPU. Did you ever get your 2011 MBP to work?
No I wasn't able to make it work, so I returned the eGPU. I believe the Thunderbolt port is hardwired to the dGPU. When the dGPU is disabled the mac will not be able to use any thunderbolt equipment.
Interesting as I have disabled by dGPU using https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ntel-integrated-gpu-efi-variable-fix.2037591/ and eGPU still works on my 2011 MBP.
What OS are you using? I am using Sierra and will NOT upgrade OS for fear of losing eGPU usage.
The thunderbolt port is completely independent from the dgpu. In my case there is no more internal dgpu. Thunderbolt still works without any problems.
If you disabled the internal dgpu, connecting an external monitor will no longer work. Only the dgpu provides external monitor support for this macbook model.
Be aware: If you disable the internal dgpu, with upgrading to osx high sierra you will loose brightness control for the macbooks native display and it will stay very dark. Same goes for osx mojave.
It works perfectly well. I am using a MacBook Pro 15 (2011) with an AMD RX560 in a Sonnet 550 eGPU case. I did deactivate the internal DGPU of the Macbook Pro via NVRAM command and then physically desolder a resistor which powers it off completely. Basically the MacBooks system information shows the Intel 3000HD GPU as only active internal GPU and an external GPU, in my case a RX560.
The thunderbolt bandwidth limitation is no hindrance at all. The egpu is about 5x-10x faster, depending on the workload, than the former internal dgpu. It gives a tremendous speedboats for Final Cut C, DaVinci Resolve and DxO, which all can utilize egpu acceleration.
You need an AMD RX or WX based graphiccard for best performance. The RX560 is a good and cost effective entry, but choose according to your budget. The RX580 is great and roughly doubles the performance compared to my RX560.
There are different egpu thunderbolt cases to choose from, all perform quite well with the scripts. The choice of GPU is more important.
When you choose to use the resistor mod and dectivate the egpu completely, Sierra is the OS to use. Stay away from Mojave.
High Sierra (purewrangler.sh): https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/script-enable-egpu-on-tb1-2-macs-on-macos-10-13-4/
Sierra (automate-egpu.sh): https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/automate-egpu-efi-egpu-boot-manager-for-macos-and-windows/
1. Restart your Macbook pressing Command+Alt+R (recovery mode)
2. Type csrutil disable
3. Reboot and press Command+S (single user mode)
3. Type sudo nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00
4. Switch off the macbook
5. Attach the egpu box via thunderbolt 2/3 adapter and a monitor to the ogpu, then restart your macbook
5. Run the script fitting our OS X version
6. Reboot and enjoy.