2012 MBP - external GPU enclosure

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Craigy, May 2, 2018.

  1. Craigy, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 2, 2018

    Craigy macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2003
    New Zealand
    Hi all - I've had a look around the web but I am a little confused that what eGPU enclosures I can use with my mid 2012 MBP - I know Apple recommend the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box but this is listed as TB3. I think my MBP is TB1 compliant and can't make out if it will work with this external eGUP enclosure. I plan to put an RX580 in it.

    The Akito Node is readily available here in NZ - so that would be the easiest route.

    Just wondered if anyone out there has done the same with their 2012 MBP - or if anyone could pass on their experiences / advice to a) if this is at all possible with a 2012 MPB with TB1 and b) if so what they have found works well.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    It will be severely limited by thunderbolt one bandwidth, it will provide a small boost but probably not worth enough to make it worth spending money on an eGPU when that money could be put towards a new computer with the graphics power you need.
  3. Craigy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2003
    New Zealand
    Yep - looks like I'll do that instead. In fact I might build a quick Hackintosh with the 580 and then when I can afford to spend 4k on a new mac - I don't want to buy a new one until they are upgraded to 6 core - I can then put the 580 in an external GPU for that. Thanks again.
  4. iGobbleoff macrumors regular


    May 2, 2011
    If its any consolation, i have an eGPU on my 2010 17" MBP, and it works fine (with some caveats I guess), but with the system monitor showing the GPU history on my desktop, I can see how much it gets used. I used the TB1/2 to TB3 adapter from Apple to connect the Mantiz eGPU with an AMD Vega 56 card in it.

    I'm waiting on the 2018 MBP if it comes, so thats why its there now being used on my MBP. I had it connected to my 2014 Mini but it wasn't the best, so swapped out the MBP and its fine.
  5. Anarchy99 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2003
    as someone with that same macbook pro and a eGPU heres the low down.
    while it is true thunderbolt 1 is severly limited badwidth thats only really true feeding graphics back to the internal display.
    on a external display you loose about 15% or so performace over the card being in a mac pro tower or hackintosh etc.

    for me thats fine i game and work on a 27" 1440p panels.
    in my experiance anything above a gtx1070 or AMD equivelent is overkill as the performance doesnt gain as much as it would do to bandwidth

    if you really need to use the internal monitor a "hack" i use while i want to game on the road is:
    i bought a elgato HD60S usb3 capture card (needs to be the S model as it has low latency live playback)
    I then set the capture cards window full screen and it shows me the video its capturing
    so technically its not rendering on the main screen im just "playing" a video of whatever the GPU outputs on the main sceen.
    it may sound convoluted but its basically a glorified video loopback device, downside it only captures 1080p so i really only find it useful for gaming.

    As for a eGPU I went with the aorus gaming box mainly do to the fact it contains a GTX1070 (or 1080 depending on the model)
    and isnt marked up that much considering how cryptomining has inflated GPU prices.

    if i had a card already I would go with the Akitio Node (or node pro depending on your needs) as they appear to be the best price for what works.

    as your noticing these enclosures are thunderbolt 3 so you need apple's adapter

    and yes it works with thunderbolt 1 im using it right now infact :)

    if you bootcamp you need this bootloader

    there are no free hacks for the bootcamp side like newer macbook pro's (believe me i looked)

    if you just care about th mac side its as simple as a script in terminal and possibly drivers depending on GPU
    id recommend you go to eGPU.io forums for more details

    long story short, its worth it on thunderbolt 1 don't give in to the nay sayers :D

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