External Video Card Mid 2012 rMBP

ahall52

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 3, 2013
30
22
Disclaimer: I am quite aware that I could take this $500 and build a gaming PC and get more bang-for-my-buck. I have built many gaming PCs in my decades of working with computers. Thank you!

Hi MacRumors friends!

Very soon I'll be getting an apartment in a different city and splitting 50% of my time between my current home and my new "job home". My Mid-2012 rMBP travels with me (I can't believe it's already 3 years old) and I do a bit of light gaming on it in addition to quite a lot of work. I think I want to spend a few bucks on a "fun" project that I've been thinking about for a while.

I don't work or goof around with hardware much any more and would like some feedback from anyone here who might have some experience. I would like to utilize an external video card with my rMPB using the following:

Expansion Chassis:
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpressse1.html

Video Card:
newegg link

Power Supply (External from the Chassis):
newegg link

Two questions...

1) Will this work?
2) If so, can I then feed a Thunderbolt Display or an ACD?

I'm not married to the video card or the project for that matter, but if this would work I'd like to try it. Thoughts?

Thanks in advannce!

Edit: I didn't pass link school...
 
Last edited:

Eightarmedpet

macrumors regular
Dec 23, 2013
157
147
London's famous London
Disclaimer: I am quite aware that I could take this $500 and build a gaming PC and get more bang-for-my-buck. I have built many gaming PCs in my decades of working with computers. Thank you!

Hi MacRumors friends!

Very soon I'll be getting an apartment in a different city and splitting 50% of my time between my current home and my new "job home". My Mid-2012 rMBP travels with me (I can't believe it's already 3 years old) and I do a bit of light gaming on it in addition to quite a lot of work. I think I want to spend a few bucks on a "fun" project that I've been thinking about for a while.

I don't work or goof around with hardware much any more and would like some feedback from anyone here who might have some experience. I would like to utilize an external video card with my rMPB using the following:

Expansion Chassis:
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpressse1.html

Video Card:
newegg link

Power Supply (External from the Chassis):
newegg link

Two questions...

1) Will this work?
2) If so, can I then feed a Thunderbolt Display or an ACD?

I'm not married to the video card or the project for that matter, but if this would work I'd like to try it. Thoughts?

Thanks in advannce!

Edit: I didn't pass link school...
Right, I've been looking into this for a bit and have found a better way... Atikio thunderbolt 2 enclosure, 750ti, and an upgraded PSU. It's pretty much just plug and play and will cost nearer $300...
 

saturnotaku

macrumors 68000
Mar 4, 2013
1,924
51
I'm going to copy and paste what someone from another forum wrote on this subject:

To be honest, external GPUs are kind of a waste of time and money.

You're going to spend $100's on the external enclosure, plus the cost of the GPU. It's going to take a lot of effort to get everything recognized and working. And then you need to deal with loading drivers. And even when drivers get loaded, you won't be running the GPU at full speed, because external GPUs typically run at PCIe 4x. And even if you get all of that working, you're out-of-luck once something goes wrong, because running an eGPU over Thunderbolt is unsupported, and you'll be stuck on your own trying to troubleshoot whatever may go wrong in the future.

And even if ALL of that works, you'll be stuck using the eGPU on a desk, connected to an external monitor. And at that point, you might as well just buy yourself an inexpensive gaming desktop for the amount of time and money you put into trying to get an eGPU working.

So unless you really know what you're doing (which I'm guessing that you're relatively new to eGPUs), or unless you have a lot of money to burn on an experimental project that may or may not fail, I'd say just skip the eGPU idea. It's nowhere near ready for consumer use yet.