eGPU on MacBook Pro 4,1 and up with PCIe ExpressCard slot

Discussion in 'macOS Mojave (10.14)' started by Larsvonhier, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #101
    I replied to dosdude1 on the other "unsupported" thread - I´m curious why the SSE4.2 contents in the AMD driver would not crash the boot process as it seems to be the case on certain MacBook Pro models with AMD or even Mac Pro 3,1 with those cards.
    If you boot into the Mojave installer, can you move the mouse pointer to the region of the second monitor?
    My suggestion of trying HS instead of Mojave was only to find out what´s going on, not meant as a permanent solution. Just to reduce some Mojave related problems on top of the driver/kext issues.
    Another thought: Have you tried all possible connector outputs? HDMI, DVI, VGA, DP whatever your RX560 features? Even in combination of adapters (DVI->VGA is sometimes a strange remedy to some boot-related issues).
    Monoton has nothing more to add, I would ask?!
     
  2. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #102
    I saw that, thank you!

    No, it doesn't go to that screen.

    I've tried the only two port supported by my display (DVI and HDMI), and the result is the same.

    Anyway, you can now add to your knowledge base the fact that - according to Dosdude - a Penryn-based Core 2 Duo CPU, like my T9300 (and the one in your iMac 8,1 too, I suppose) can't handle AMD cards like the Radeon RX 560. ;-)
     
  3. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #103
    I´m still not totally convinced, but cannot test it here myself. If you look around, you´ll find many more reports of mac folks using that RX560 card in various machines - might be true that they all use Xeons with SSE4.2 instructions, though. Would be interesting to see if older macOS did not require those - I´m pretty sure of that.
    For me personally the outcome is trivia, sorry, as I am not going to use AMD cards and will stay with Nvidia.
    You can use about any Nvidia card with your setup, but for the time being not with accelleration under Mojave, as only HS has either built-in support or at least you´ll find the latest web drivers for them. Here´s one place to go:
    https://www.tonymacx86.com/nvidia-drivers/

    Side note: After all that hassle (first with sawing plastic pieces out of a not-ready-off-the-shelf housing, then this odyssee with your GPU) it might have been easier with a kit or finished product (tadaah: i.e. from me ;-) that has been tested ready-to-run...
     
  4. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #104
    Dosdude wrote that

    for Maxwell and later cards, you have to wait for nVidia to release the drivers. Kepler cards (GT 6xx series/some 7xx series) and older will work just fine though.​

    Do you mean that "will work just fine" means WITHOUT acceleration?
    But Metal seems to be actually supported by those cards, as you can see in this thread on tonymacX86, for example.

    Actually I was thinking that maybe, for the time being, I could buy one of those older cards, while I wait for the new web drivers (that some people say it could take months to deliver).

    Yeah, you are right! :) But I actually like trying this kind of stuff by myself, because - even if it's risky - it's more fun and "adventurous" (and cheaper, since you wrote that your case is pretty expensive). Also, we have to say that your setup is still not ready for Mojave, and using Mojave was the whole point of my "trip".


     
  5. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #105
    I just remembered that Larsvonhier used exactly a GT 6xx series card (the GTX650) and found that it doesn't have hardware acceleration in Mojave...
    But I also remember that Larsvonhier wrote that his GTX650 shows GPUFamily1 v3 feature set, while in the link above, from tonymacX86, the screenshot shows an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 with "feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v4".
    That card seems to be working in Mojave.
    Does this mean that we have just to find a card compatible with GPUFamily1 v4 feature set?
    And how do we do that?
    I looked at the specs of Kepler cards on this Wikipedia page, but I can't understand how to read that list to guess which card would be ok, and why that difference between, for example, GTX 650 and 670...
     
  6. LuisN macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Location:
    Torres Vedras, Portugal
    #106
    GTX680 and GTX770 work fine. That means WITH acceleration.
    Those I Tried in my MacPro 3,1.
     
  7. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #107
    A little update on this: after I installed the miniPCIe adapter cable in the Airport card slot, as done by Larsvonhier, I (obviously) lost wi-fi connectivity. Since I always use internet through ethernet I didn't care, but I just realized that a Bluetooth dongle alone can't give you Handoff and Continuity since those functions require an active Wi-fi connection.
     
  8. liquidtwitch macrumors member

    liquidtwitch

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    #108
    How would this work with 2011 iMac? My understanding is that the pinout of the pci-e slot on the 2011 isn't standard, though I think it's just missing 2 voltage pins.
     
  9. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #109
    I've bought a GTX 760, and this time - contrary to what happened with the RX560 - at least it's recognized by Mojave (10.14.2), as you can see in the screenshot, and it works with my external monitor (through DVI or HDMI), BUT everything on that monitor is now slower and I can clearly see graphics glitches (like Safari pages that show parts of the desktop image). I read that for some people the GTX 760 worked natively with acceleration in Mojave, but for me it's not working. Also, the Unigine Valley benchmark on the external monitor gives me worst results that my native card (ATI Radeon HD 2600), and this is crazy. Or can this too be justified by the lack of hardware acceleration?
    Also, the Open GL Extension Viewer doesn't see the GTX 760.
    Do you think that going back to High Sierra could fix this?

    (I'm on iMac 7,1 with Dosdude Patch and the external GDC Beast we talked about in this thread)

    Screenshot 2018-12-11 13.05.21.png
     
  10. Larsvonhier, Dec 11, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018

    Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #110
    HS definitely works. I´ve tested acceleration on various eGPU cards there very successfully, including OpenGL and Metal.
    Whenever I try new cards (and still being disappointed about Mojave) I also boot from my old HS external drive and check.
    So if you need fast graphics on your eGPU, go back to HS for the time being - until Apple and NVidia settle their childish dispute and release Web Drivers from NVidia.

    The various patches for old (HS) Web Drivers for usage with Mojave do not enable acceleration.

    Edit: If you run Valley (or other OpenGL stuff) on your un-accelerated card, the calculation will take place on the internal fully supported card (in your case the HD 2600) but the results will have to be transferred to the monitor output (possibly in even higher resolution than the iMac has onscreen). That´s behind your even-worse-than-original scores and fps rates in this setup. Again: No problem under High Sierra.
     
  11. kautame, Dec 20, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018

    kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #111
    Thank you, Larsvonhier. I've rolled back to HS (it took time because I had to reinstall everything by hand since this is my main Mac), but it was something I had planned to do for a while. But…

    …Now IT WORKS! I'm writing this from my 4K iMac late 2007 (6 GB)! I've bought a used 27-inch 4K LG monitor, connected via mini-DP to the GeForce GTX 760 and the resolution I'm using now, which I'm comfortable with, is 2304 x 1296! (In the screenshots you can see the Valley results before and after the change, both at Ultra settings, but at different resolutions, because my previous external monitor was 1920x1080). That's the main reason I wanted to build this eGpu: so that I can read and work at a much better resolution, on a bigger screen, without having to pay for a 5K iMac.

    Apart from that, there's not much that's accelerated (for example, I can't encode video faster or something like that). But video playback of H264 HD video is clearly
    better.

    There's only one (big?) problem. While I was using HS 10.13.6 (17G65), the NVIDIA web driver was working better than the default MacOS driver, but after I updated to HS 10.13.6 (17G4015), with the Security Update 2018-003, the new drivers are both bad: there is some lagging, and sometimes I'm suddenly logged out (it doesn't restart the Mac, but it puts me back to the login window). This happened sometimes in HS 10.13.6 (17G65) too, but only with the Apple driver.

    Is there a way to try to use the previous web driver with this version too? If I try to install it from the .pkg it just says that it's not the right driver for my MacOS version. Anyway, apart from this, that I hope to solve someday, I'm pretty happy with my "new" Mac. Thanks again to Larsvonhier, Monoton, obviously Dosdude, and all the other people that helped me to achieve this!

    1 - System profiler.png 2 - Before.png 3 - After.png
     
  12. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #112
    Yes, there is a way to patch the drivers. Will have to find the link or files again this evening.
    Congrats so far.
    For video encoding it depends mainly on the software you use whether you get GPU computational support or not.
    I‘ve read that i.e. with Final Cut X you can set it via the info/attributes dialog by selecting the App and the „info about“. There‘s a checkbox to enable/disable this.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 20, 2018 ---
    Found it again. Try this - see DL links below video and follow instructions.
    Did this for Mojave with no effect, but it most certainly works for HS latest security patch...

     
  13. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #113
    Thank you! It works. For now, I reverted to the previous web driver, as it seems more stable, but I will also experiment with older ones since there is still some lagging (for example when using Spaces, watching YouTube or scrolling through iTunes albums) and there are some glitches when I write in Pages (sometimes a little portion of the page near the cursor becomes white for an instant, like a flash).
     
  14. druide macrumors newbie

    druide

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    #114
    hi
    is the EXP GDC work with the MacBook Pro 17"?
    Any one tested yet with AMD card?
     
  15. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #115
    Yes, it works in both my tested MB Pro 4,1 and 5,2.
    Also tried some AMD cards instead of Nvidia, but with Mojave had no acceleration and the 10bit color inverted problem (that could be solved with various tools by setting color depth to 8bit x RGB). Had no metal capable AMDs here for testing.
    Another issue is that once the system was patched with dosdude1´s tools for internal legacy graphics, it seems to cause problems on eGPUs that you add later...
    (As for now: Best would be to stay with High Sierra for eGPU usage, as there the situation is way better at the moment).
     
  16. kautame, Feb 10, 2019 at 3:16 AM
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019 at 7:42 PM

    kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #116
    Hi again, Larsvonhier.
    As you might remember, thanks to your advice I'm using the GDC Beast (now with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB) on an iMac 7,1 (mid 2007) with High Sierra 10.13.6. I've connected the Beast to two external monitors, and my main screen now is a 27'' LG 4K monitor. It generally works well, but sometimes there is some slowness and glitches that I think are due to my CPU: a Core 2 Duo is probably too slow for my new setup. So, I'm thinking of buying a used i5 or i7 iMac. I just wanted to know if I'm right in thinking that the late 2011 iMac is the last iMac with a mini PCIe port (for WiFi card), and so the best iMac I could buy for my setup. Can somebody confirm this?

    Update (feb 10th): judging from posts like this one, iMacs from 2009 on don't have a standard mini PCIe slot. Does this mean that there is no i5 or i7 iMac that can be connected to a GDC Beast?

    Update 2 (feb 11st): since iMacs from 2009 (again, according to the link in my previous update, but I still have to confirm the date) have an Apple proprietary stripped down version of mini PCIe slot (the same one we can find in MacBook Air, Mac mini and so on), there was a version of EXP GDC Beast that had that cable, that they just called "mac version", this one. I think it's out of production because it's sold out everywhere, but judging from the review on that page, it worked. I don't know why they don't make it any more (it had some problems? it just didn't sell well?), but if I only could find that cable…!
    Does anybody know if there's some kind of adapter from mini PCIe (or NGFF, this one) to the Apple connection?
     
  17. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #117
    I´d first verify the existence of miniPCIe sockets in various newer iMacs with fixit and their disassembly-instructions. I think if you follow those photo series you can easily find which iMac has which internal I/O configuration, independently of forum posts and rumors...

    Then, if it really boils down to MGFF (M.2) connectors in i5/i7 iMacs, there should also be the possibility to use such an adapter (provided you can find the correct keying type) in combination with the beast miniPCIE cable. See screenshot, found this on ebay...
     

    Attached Files:

  18. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #118
    I've done a little research, and this is what I've found:
    this is the wifi card for an iMac mid 2011, and it's a mini PCIe card.
    The photos from iFixit also show the mini PCIe socket on the board, here.

    This is the wifi/bluetooth card for iMac late 2012-Early 2013.
    It's not a mini PCIe card. It's an Apple proprietary 12+6 connector, something similar to M.2, but with fewer pins. The "Mac version" cable for the GDC Beast had this 12+6 connector.

    Anyway, the problem is that the mini PCIe socket in iMacs like mid 2011 seems to work in a different way from previous models. For example: in my iMac mid 2007 I replaced the old wifi card with a combo card and I just needed an adapter to have fully functional wifi+bluetooth. But iMacs from 2009, 2010 and 2011 need an adapter AND an USB cable, like this one. That's because the mini PCI-E does NOT have the USB D+/D- signals.
    In this thread, Czo explains that

    This iMac (Mid 2011 27") removes the power from the MiniPCI-E slot when the wifi turning off. The slot is not powered when the computer starting (unable to press cmd to open boot menu)​

    and, again

    iMac Mid 2011, sometimes remove the power from the miniPCI-E slot.​

    It seems that the difference is related to the lack of "USB D+/D- signals on the socket".

    What I don't understand is if this could affect the GDC Beast. For example, the fact that the slot is not powered when the computer starts could be a problem?

    Those cables can't work because they have a regular NGFF (M.2) connector, and not the Apple 12+6 pins one.
    If iMacs had the regular NGFF (M.2) connector we could directly use the NGFF (M.2) version of the GDC Beast (this one), but it's a completely different connector.
     
  19. panwato macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #119
    D68A93A0-4691-4947-8D61-08555D5789EC.jpeg 5DFD45DA-EF99-4018-8071-3A1641B4C076.jpeg B329B0C8-222F-4E6B-AC20-50B807B0AD06.jpeg Hi! I have a problem with my setup.
    When I boot HS, login screen is showing fine, but when login all crashes... I upload a few images.
    Any advice?
     
  20. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #120
  21. panwato macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #121
    Yes!
    iMac 11,2 2010
    i3 3,06
    12gb ram
    Egpu GDC EXP (mPcie)+ GTX 550 Ti
     
  22. Larsvonhier thread starter macrumors 6502

    Larsvonhier

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2016
    Location:
    Germany, Black Forest
    #122
    what power supply for the GDC do you use?
     
  23. panwato macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #123
    Dell d220p da-2
     
  24. kautame macrumors member

    kautame

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    #124
    Which version of High Sierra are you using? Is it the latest one? (10.13.6 with security update 2019-001)
    And which version of Nvidia web driver?
    Is your GDC connected to the external monitor? Which port do you use?
     
  25. panwato macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2012
    #125
    Latest version (17G5019)
    Latest web drivers (the apple ones doesn't work either)
    Yes, HDMI (Vga don't work, and I don't have DVI cable)
     

Share This Page