[advice] Plugging in a graphics card

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Darkjenso, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Darkjenso macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2007
    So long story short, I won one of these at CCP's fanfest and it just showed up in the post today.

    I just really want to know if there is any way to hook it up to my MBP, either with bootcamp or not (prefferably not) or even to hook it up as a bitcoin miner at the very least. any advice on this would be appreciated
  2. Darkjenso thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2007
    well thanks for the informative answer.

    So there is no way to use it externally or something?
  3. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Oct 19, 2011
    I believe your best option for making money is selling it. Mining bit-coins with a GPU these days doesn't even recover the cost of electricity that is burned in this process.

    There were supposed to be some external enclosures for graphics cards connecting via thunderbolt... I don't think any of them made it to the market.

    Finally you could buy some used desktop or build a new desktop around that GPU.
  4. Laco macrumors 6502

    Apr 23, 2008
    Yes, you can use it with your laptop but only with windows (in bootcamp/parallels). I believe that it should work with a Vidock but check to make sure that it is compatible.

  5. laurihoefs macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2013
    There are Thunderbolt PCIe enclosures, but they are very expensive and often can't power a higher end graphics card. Sonnet is one of the companies making those, but even the top of the line enclosure only supports up to 150W cards, and is a whopping $500 piece of equipment. You might find one that is cheaper and has a better power supply, but so far I haven't seen any.

    Then there is the DIY option, like the one reported on MR a little while ago: 11" MacBook Air Owner Connects High-End Graphics Card With Complex Thunderbolt Setup

    Neither option is going to let you use the full potential of the card though, the current version of Thunderbolt is a bit too limited in bandwith.
  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

    Mar 4, 2013
    For all practical purposes, an eGPU should only be used on a machine that has Intel HD graphics, so that limits you to the MacBook Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro (classic or Retina). In the grand scheme, this is not a project that's worth the time, effort, or expense.
  7. Darkjenso thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2007
    thanks for the informative information everyone,

    Im considering cannibalising the case of an old Powermac G4 and make a hackintosh or something :cool:
  8. Zeov macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2011
    you're wrong.
  9. quasar~ macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    Magma has a thousand dollar pcie 2.0 three slot thunderbolt external enclosure. Bad thing though the gpu is pcie 3.0 which I think is about 15 gbits/s whilst thunderbolt is 10 gbits/s. I looked into this and it's very expensive; you wouldn't even get to use the gpu to its full potential.

    I would either wait for thunderbolt 2 and see if they will release a product that would support pcie 3.0, or build a pc with the gpu.

    If you do wait, you'd have to buy a computer that supports thunderbolt 2 ( when it comes out ) and you'd also have to buy a very expensive external enclosure.
  10. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Thunderbolt is indeed 10 Gb/s but PCIe 3.0 is 15 GB/s (~120 Gb/s). So Thunderbolt is _really_ slow compared to x16 PCIe 3.0.

    Granted, GPUs don't fully use PCIe 3.0 but still..
  11. quasar~ macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2013
    It's still nice to have the full bandwidth though. Like if there came a day when you can actually use the external gpus to their full potential.
  12. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Hence the "but still..". And Thunderbolt reaching the capabilities of PCIe 3.0 is far far far away. But yes, it would be nice.
  13. nickandre21 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2012
    flash the card to a mac efi. Buy a current mac pro and enjoy it.:D

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