I need some help, regarding eGPU + chassis + rMBP selection.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by arnamak, May 29, 2014.

  1. arnamak macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    I like to think of myself as reasonably tech savvy, but some of the stuff in this process goes straight over my head.

    Recently I bought the upgraded 15" rMBP, with hopes that the 750m would suit my gaming needs under Windows. Unfortunately, I just want more out of it now. =<30fps at low/medium settings for last years games isn't doing it for me, so I think I'm going to return this one for the base model 15" retina (I hear using an eGPU with the 750m needs some workaround each time you boot).

    Anyway, before someone tells me to just build a gaming PC, it's just not an option for me.

    Right then, down into the nitty gritty.

    I'm looking at the Sonnet Echo Express SEL (http://store1.sonnettech.com/product_info.php?products_id=498) along with something like a GTX 770.

    My issue is, I don't know what that chassis looks like when I open the box. Is there anything else I need to order? Power supply? Cables? Risers? Do I just order those two things and plug everything in?

    Perhaps my biggest issue is not understanding the whole PCIe 3.0 16 lane deal-y. From my understanding, Thunderbolt 2.0 is incapable of transferring data as quickly as a direct PCIe connection (somewhat obvious). But at the same time, until you get to a certain point, a GPU won't utilize all of the speed available to it via a PCIe connection, right?

    What I mean is, a lower end card probably wouldn't even transfer data at full PCIe 3.0 potential, whereas a GTX Titan Black might.

    The reason I'm asking about this is because I'd like to know where the "sweet spot" is before Thunderbolt starts to bottleneck a video cards performance. Should I get the 770? Will I get more out of it than a 760?

    I'm doing my best to understand how this whole process works, I'd really appreciate if someone could explain what I'm not getting as if I were a small child. The last thing I want is to order $700 worth of non-refundable gear and realize that in order to get everything working I'm going to need to start reconfiguring kernel-level stuff on my computer.

    Many thanks to whoever responds.
  2. Zmyslony macrumors newbie

    May 15, 2014
    First of all, I would suggest upgrading the Drivers for GeForce. Second the Sonnet is not a mobile platform and it's expensive. You need some more stuff, everything is explained in the guide:

    Performance is quite amazing, as you can see in the numbers.

    I won't tell you to go buy a gaming PC or PS4, cause I neither like it, but you should really think about Razer Blade. If money is not an issue, then this notebook might be what you're looking for. Before you say it's not a Mac, you should know you can install OSX on PC.

    Although I'm shocked that 750M is not enough for you.
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Did you download the latest drivers from NVIDIA's website directly?

    On my 2.6/16/1TB/750M machine, I can play BF4 at 1680x1050, mix of high and ultra, FXAA and 16xAF and get 47-50 fps on average, with the lowest being 35 fps and easily shooting past 60 fps in quite a number of situations.

    So I'm somewhat surprised that a 750M wouldn't suit your needs.

    As for an eGPU, how about a Sonnet III-D chassis? That one allows for plug-and-play usage.
  4. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    hmm.. sounds like a lot of peeps are getting on the eGpu band wagon. (me included :p ) from the reading I've done over the last month…

    unless your going to run Windows 8/7 in Uefi mode, your going to need a bit more hardware, or a hell of a lot of luck, when plugging in the egpu. Pretty much Nado or Stu are the guys to ask probably, and just make sure you try to read most of the stuff that is out there before jumping in.

    from what I've read, Uefi (for me is the way to go) for windows applications and gaming, i haven't really looked into the OSX side of this yet as I am not too fussed at this stage as i would like only to use the Egpu in windows when docked on my desk out putting to my big screen.

    I too bought the Sonnet echo express.. (box states it does not come with the Thunderbolt cable) so you gotta buy one of those too. I also bought a Pcie riser as the connection is only 8x in the chassis, and even though you can cut the end, i wanna see if i can leave it in tact, initially anyways.

    external PSU is required unless your going to run a wimpy card, and then you may aswell use the internal dedicated gpu :)

    pretty sure thats all thats required.. Uefi mode anyways :)

    not too sure yet as some of my parts are not in yet (still waiting on the thunderbolt cable and pcie riser) but thats where i am at at this stage. Both Stu and Nando are pretty friendly and open to questions, just please read before jumping in.


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