A Beastly MacBook (4,1)

LightBulbFun

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Does this seem like it might be feasible on a 2007 Mac Mini?

This has a mPCIe slot for the AP card, as well a CPU that is technically supported by up to 10.11.
I know at least one person who did this with a Mac Mini 1,1/2,1 and a ATI Radeon 5xxx card of some kind in SL IIRC :)

so I think it should be feasible!

obviously keep in mind this is all though a PCIe 1.1 1x link, so dont expect amazing performance!
 
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Amethyst1

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I know at least one person who did this with a Mac Mini 1,1/2,1 and a ATI Radeon 5xxx card of some kind in SL IIRC :)

so I think it should be feasible!

obviously keep in mind this is all though a PCIe 1.1 1x link, so dont expect amazing performance!
https://www.journaldulapin.com/2012/12/05/une-carte-graphique-externe-sur-un-mac-mini/
[doublepost=1561641767][/doublepost]
its very interesting to see the weird name that SL gives the Auto inted AMD Radeon HD 6870, I suspect that's due to early drivers for the card etc looking at the driver code 10.6.8 might actually ID a AMD Radeon HD 6970 properly, if you have one of those lying around as well might be worth a quick test :) (although it's worth noting no mac ever shipped with that GPU so the drivers may be buggy esp in later OS X versions)
Would a 6950 also work? I might be able to borrow one.

does anything show up under PCI devices?
Nothing at all.

its a shame the card does not have a reference port layout as those have 2 display ports :)
Yeh, unfortunately I didn't pay attention to that when I bought it.

Here's what Lion, Mavericks (and Yosemite) make of the card - I noticed that ATM shows the X3100 in Lion and Mavericks whereas it shows the 6850 in Yosemite. However, with the 660, Mavericks also features that one in ATM.

6850-10.7.jpg


6850-10.9.jpg
 
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LightBulbFun

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interesting stuff :)

I think what shows up in about this mac is down to A: what GPU your main monitor is on and also what screen you bring up the about this mac dialog box on

as for the 6950 im not sure, if you can borrow it without any fuss, its always worth a try :)
 

Amethyst1

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I think what shows up in about this mac is down to A: what GPU your main monitor is on and also what screen you bring up the about this mac dialog box on
Making one of Bertha's stripes the main monitor causes the Radeon to be shown in ATM - thanks for clearing that up :)

More experiments - the newer DGP does indeed accept three 1280×2400 stripes, thus I can now get 46 Hz on it from the 6850 :)

6850-10.6-46hz.jpg


I'll have to admit that seeing the fourth DVI just dangling is slightly... odd :p

UPDATE: 46.7 Hz at 165.00 MHz pixel clock.
 
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MisterBiro

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I'll add to this to note that I can't get this to work on Mac Mini 2,1.

When the mPCIe adapter (Beast 8.5c) is attached, it won't boot at all, there is no video from the 'external' graphics card or the onboard video.

I tried with every combination of delay and PSU on/off and it doesn't seem to want to work.

The same setup works fine on a D830 with both mPCIe and ExpressCard.

I tried 4 different graphics cards on the MM (including two genuine Apple cards, a flash and a PC card) with no difference.

Shame really, as it would have been pretty cool to have better graphics on the Mini.

I guess I could try a different mPCIe adapter, but I'm struggling to see others that have DA-2 compatibility AND PCIE power output.

If anyone has any suggestions...
 

Amethyst1

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I'll add to this to note that I can't get this to work on Mac Mini 2,1.

When the mPCIe adapter (Beast 8.5c) is attached, it won't boot at all, there is no video from the 'external' graphics card or the onboard video.

I tried with every combination of delay and PSU on/off and it doesn't seem to want to work.

The same setup works fine on a D830 with both mPCIe and ExpressCard.

I tried 4 different graphics cards on the MM (including two genuine Apple cards, a flash and a PC card) with no difference.

Shame really, as it would have been pretty cool to have better graphics on the Mini.

I guess I could try a different mPCIe adapter, but I'm struggling to see others that have DA-2 compatibility AND PCIE power output.

If anyone has any suggestions...
First of all, welcome to the eGPU on pre-Thunderbolt Macs club! :)

I'll try...

Which PSU are you using - a Dell DA-2? Can you try with an ATX PSU?

Which GPUs have you tried? Did you connect external power if they require it? Does the GPU's fan spin when you power up the mini or PSU?

Can you try turning on the Mini with the external GPU powered off, holding the Alt/Option key so the boot selector appears, turning on the GPU and then selecting the partition to boot from?

The delay setting has no effect for me in Mac OS X, but I need to have it set to on for Windows to boot via BIOS emulation, otherwise I just get a black screen. My PSU setting is on which, I believe, means that the Beast automatically turns on the PSU as soon as the system it's attached to powers up.

FWIW, when I tried this on a MacBookPro2,1 (945 chipset and 32-bit EFI like the Mini but with a discrete Radeon X1600), it didn't work - the machine booted up fine but OS X didn't correctly recognise the GeForce GTX 660 or Quadro K600 I was using, showing them as "NVIDIA Chipset Model" and never outputting anything on them. Windows XP recognised the cards and the generic/failsafe VESA driver worked but after installing the NVIDIA drivers, I got a black screen as soon as they were loaded. I couldn't come up with a solution to this so eventually gave up on the MBP.

EDIT: What happens if you have the adapter connected to the Mini but no a PCIe card plugged into it? Can you check with other (non-GPU) PCIe cards?
 
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MisterBiro

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First of all, welcome to the eGPU on pre-Thunderbolt Macs club! :)

I'll try...

Which PSU are you using - a Dell DA-2? Can you try with an ATX PSU?

Which GPUs have you tried? Did you connect external power if they require it? Does the GPU's fan spin when you power up the mini or PSU?

Can you try turning on the Mini with the external GPU powered off, holding the Alt/Option key so the boot selector appears, turning on the GPU and then selecting the partition to boot from?

The delay setting has no effect for me in Mac OS X, but I need to have it set to on for Windows to boot via BIOS emulation, otherwise I just get a black screen. My PSU setting is on which, I believe, means that the Beast automatically turns on the PSU as soon as the system it's attached to powers up.

FWIW, when I tried this on a MacBookPro2,1 (945 chipset and 32-bit EFI like the Mini but with a discrete Radeon X1600), it didn't work - the machine booted up fine but OS X didn't correctly recognise the GeForce GTX 660 or Quadro K600 I was using, showing them as "NVIDIA Chipset Model" and never outputting anything on them. Windows XP recognised the cards and the generic/failsafe VESA driver worked but after installing the NVIDIA drivers, I got a black screen as soon as they were loaded. I couldn't come up with a solution to this so eventually gave up on the MBP.

EDIT: What happens if you have the adapter connected to the Mini but no a PCIe card plugged into it? Can you check with other (non-GPU) PCIe cards?
I'm using a Dell DA-2... Unfortunately I don't have any ATX PSUs around anymore to try. I could probably pick up a cheap one from Goodwill though.

GPUs I've tried are: 8800 GT (PC flashed to Mac... might be 64bot EFI, I can't recall). A genuine X1900XT from a Mac Pro 1,1. A GT120 from a Mac Pro 3,1 and a PC HD 7770.

I haven't tried booting and then turning it on. I will give it go. If I try booting with it turned on, it won't boot at all (i.e. no display).

I didn't try a non GPU card, but I have a spare SATA to PCIe card laying around somewhere I can try.
 
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MisterBiro

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To provide a short update, I tried turning on the GPU at a variety of times during and after the boot process (ranging from 1-2 seconds, through to the login screen appearing) with no success.

Although the Mac Mini will now boot the card(s) do not appear in the system info / profiler. They aren't listed under display, or under pci cards.

I haven't yet located my PCIE SATA adapter, so I haven't tested a non-GPU.

Unfortunately I'm going to be traveling with work, so I'll have to pick back up in a week or so.

Disappointed really, I'd hoped the delayed power-on would help.
 

Amethyst1

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Although the Mac Mini will now boot the card(s) do not appear in the system info / profiler. They aren't listed under display, or under pci cards.
Do you get nothing in "Graphics/Displays" or just a generic "Display"? If it's the latter, the GPU hasn't been initialised. The 7770 should self-init, but the older cards don't. For them, you'll need an enabler. I used ATY_Init for my 2600, the link is somewhere in this thread iirc.
 

MisterBiro

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Do you get nothing in "Graphics/Displays" or just a generic "Display"? If it's the latter, the GPU hasn't been initialised. The 7770 should self-init, but the older cards don't. For them, you'll need an enabler. I used ATY_Init for my 2600, the link is somewhere in this thread iirc.
I get nothing in the Graphics/Display at all, other than the built-in GMA950.

@MisterBiro what OS are you running?

also worth noting IIRC the HD 77xx cards can be a bit problematic so I would try something else there
I'm running 10.7.5.

I tried with the other cards as well, but got the same results of nothing appearing.

I'm thinking that when I get back, I'll try booting with Windows 7 and also with a later OSX version, probably 10.8 or 10.9 if I can install it with MacPostFactor.
 

Amethyst1

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Got a reference design 6870 with two DVIs, HDMI and two mDPs so I can finally bring out the big guns.

41hz.png


Four stripes using two straight DVIs and two active mDP-to-DVI adapters :D

DSC_0529.JPG


(This is using the earlier rev T221 that tops out at 41Hz and needs four DVIs to get there, and the stripes are of course acting as independent monitors, I just happened to have the "Change Background" window pulled up)
 

LightBulbFun

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Not worth starting its own thread (for now anyway)

but a while back I got a cheap Mini PCIe to PCIe adapter, and finally got round to strapping it to my AppleTV1,1 for the LOLs

sadly while the GPU (a GeForce 8500) is seen in system profiler, trying to int it with ATY_init or NVEnabler results in a system hang or just not working (built in GPU goes blank external one does not int)

it was pretty cool to see it just show up tho :)

(I did try an Apple Radeon HD 5770, but it looks like the AppleTV1,1 wont load option ROMs from the Airport slot)

might have a rummage around and see if I have any other PCIe cards I can throw at it

and I might also swap out its Leopard install for a snow leopard install (which sadly does not run properly on an AppleTV1,1 but does add auto-int support for my 5770 for example so might be interesting to see what happens there)

I also need to see what firmware my Quadro FX 4500 is currently running and try that as its the same generation as the built in GeForce Go 7300 of the AppleTV1,1

(I flash the Quadro FX 4500 between Intel and PowerPC firmwares depending on what im using it for)
 

Amethyst1

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but a while back I got a cheap Mini PCIe to PCIe adapter, and finally got round to strapping it to my AppleTV1,1 for the LOLs

sadly while the GPU (a GeForce 8500) is seen in system profiler, trying to int it with ATY_init or NVEnabler results in a system hang or just not working (built in GPU goes blank external one does not int)
Sorry if this is a silly question but can you run Windows or Linux on an AppleTV1,1? If so, it might be worth trying the setup in another OS to see what you get.


(I did try an Apple Radeon HD 5770, but it looks like the AppleTV1,1 wont load option ROMs from the Airport slot)
My MacBook4,1 doesn't init an Apple Radeon 2600 in that slot either, ATY_Init is still necessary.
 
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LightBulbFun

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Sorry if this is a silly question but can you run Windows or Linux on an AppleTV1,1? If so, it might be worth trying the setup in another OS to see what you get.




My MacBook4,1 doesn't init an Apple Radeon 2600 in that slot either, ATY_Init is still necessary.
you can run linux on an ATV1,1 :)

and indeed I plan to test things out there and see what happens

sadly you cant run windows on an AppleTV (only in a virtual machine)

apple has the AppleTV firmware locked down quite a bit, it will only boot apple signed EFI boot loaders AFAIK, so you cant boot windows

tho I do plan to try and hack the firmware or at least have a poke around see whats what i need linux on it anyways to dump the firmware :)
 

Amethyst1

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Played some more with Bertha tonight.

I wondered whether her inputs were limited to a pixel clock of 165 MHz as them being single-link DVI would suggest. Turns out the older DG3 will cope with 172.56 MHz, allowing a refresh rate of 17.8 Hz at 3840×2400 or 34.015 Hz at 1920×2400 using CVT-RB timings (she doesn't like the tighter CVT-R2 timings). Testing was done using one input for simplicity, and the 6870's DisplayPort going into an active DP-to-DVI adapter. I tried two adapters, results were the same.

Just for the LOLs I also tried DVI but as the second TMDS transmitter engaged above 165 MHz the poor girl only got half the signal. ;) I wonder if there's a patch for OS X to prevent that. Alternatively, using HDMI adapted to DVI may just do the trick.

Next on my list is retrying this with the more tolerant DGP :) Not sure I would feel confident about permanently overclocking the input(s) tho...