MP 6,1 Is an eGPU a fix for a 6,1 with dead AMDs?

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 4, 2008
4,353
3,751
Hi all. Bought a 6,1 the other day and then returned it as I was a bit worried about a failed GPU in the future leaving me with a brick.
So have any 6,1 owners found that they can use an eGPU and still have an otherwise fully functional Mac if that Dual DX00 set up goes south? I'm assuming that a problematic GPU won't affect filevault.
The PurgeWrangler patch now that allows you to use an eGPU over TB2 so I'm exploring options.
Just as I think some of you may well already be wondering, I'll answer some Q's in advance.......

Mac Mini - No. Don't like the Mini and never have. Relatively speaking, I think its more overpriced than all the other options.
iMac - No. Don't want an overheating all in one.
2019 Mac Pro - No. Far too expensive and extremely poor value to me.
Don't want anything with a T2 . Want something slightly older to give a me a wide range of current and past OS to choose from. Want to use built in encryption.
I like MacOS and not Windows, (they are both very good OS).

Thanks.
 

Flint Ironstag

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2013
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Houston, TX USA

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
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I'd go the hackintosh route before I'd lay out $2000+ for a trashcan, myself. Maybe you have reasons for wanting genuine Apple hardware.

But PurgeWrangler is itself a hack. No one knows what its fate will be in 6 months or a year from now. Even if eGPU would work in the absence of functional built-in GPUs you're still pinning your hopes for that machine's future onto a third-party modification that Apple could easily disable in a future macOS update.

If you've got your heart set on the 6,1, buy one directly from Apple and get AppleCare. That will get you at least three years' use out of it. After three years you can sell it and buy a used 7,1 (or maybe Apple will have a low-tier version for enthusiasts by then).
 
Last edited:

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
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The Sillie Con Valley
iMac - No. Don't want an overheating all in one.
And you're looking at the 6.1? Really???????

Back to your question. The Mac OS from 10.13.4 does not support eGPU over anything except Thunderbolt 3, unavailable on the 6.1. Yes, there are some card makers working on re-enabling TB2 and Mojave reinstated some of the functionality but I haven't kept up on the progress. Supposedly, AMD and Apple got things squared away but the 6.1 gets very hot inside.

Patches come and go. As those of us found out in 10.13.4–6, when Apple disables certain functionality, it can stay disabled.

Anyway, the iMac Pro squashes the 12 Core 6.1 in many (all?) tests—especially involving GPU. A recent real-world test had 300 instances of Kontakt in Logic with a convo reverb on each track in a iMP 10 Core—the same project with 150 tacks was choking a 12 Core 6.1. Until the 7.1 arrives, the iMP is the brute on the block—with a cooling system to match. Scroll down and see:
https://www.apple.com/imac-pro/

There are good prices on 8, 10 and 18 Cores in the Refurb Store at the moment.
https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/imac-pro

I recently bought a 14 Core with a Vega 64 at a great price used. They're out there and the prices aren't bad if you are patient. With Mojave 10.14.4, Apple fixed the T2/USB 2 audio issue. In any case, I was able to add AppleCare to mine and couldn't be happier.
 

H2SO4

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 4, 2008
4,353
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Good question. Some of the folks in this thread probably have experience booting with missing or non-functional GPUs.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/nvme-with-st-ngff2013-c-vega-internal-gpu-mac-pro-2013-6-1.2085886/

Firmware updates could be tricky, and there could be a few of them left in the machine's support lifetime. If you can find one cheap enough, and have another mac to manage it remotely, it might be worth a gamble.
Ok, that is a fantastic read. That guy who started it has mad skills.
[doublepost=1561756929][/doublepost]
And you're looking at the 6.1? Really???????

Back to your question. The Mac OS from 10.13.4 does not support eGPU over anything except Thunderbolt 3, unavailable on the 6.1. Yes, there are some card makers working on re-enabling TB2 and Mojave reinstated some of the functionality but I haven't kept up on the progress. Supposedly, AMD and Apple got things squared away but the 6.1 gets very hot inside.

Patches come and go. As those of us found out in 10.13.4–6, when Apple disables certain functionality, it can stay disabled.

Anyway, the iMac Pro squashes the 12 Core 6.1 in many (all?) tests—especially involving GPU. A recent real-world test had 300 instances of Kontakt in Logic with a convo reverb on each track in a iMP 10 Core—the same project with 150 tacks was choking a 12 Core 6.1. Until the 7.1 arrives, the iMP is the brute on the block—with a cooling system to match. Scroll down and see:
https://www.apple.com/imac-pro/

There are good prices on 8, 10 and 18 Cores in the Refurb Store at the moment.
https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/imac-pro

I recently bought a 14 Core with a Vega 64 at a great price used. They're out there and the prices aren't bad if you are patient. With Mojave 10.14.4, Apple fixed the T2/USB 2 audio issue. In any case, I was able to add AppleCare to mine and couldn't be happier.
One thing I have never done is bought an all in one and I'm not about to start now. If anything I'll either keep my 5,1 or go the 6,1 route, or leave the Apple stable altogether.
Can't see myself buying the 7,1.
[doublepost=1561756974][/doublepost]
I'd go the hackintosh route before I'd lay out $2000+ for a trashcan, myself. Maybe you have reasons for wanting genuine Apple hardware.

But PurgeWrangler is itself a hack. No one knows what its fate will be in 6 months or a year from now. Even if eGPU would work in the absence of functional built-in GPUs you're still pinning your hopes for that machine's future onto a third-party modification that Apple could easily disable in a future macOS update.

If you've got your heart set on the 6,1, buy one directly from Apple and get AppleCare. That will get you at least three years' use out of it. After three years you can sell it and buy a used 7,1 (or maybe Apple will have a low-tier version for enthusiasts by then).
Yeah was wondering about this. Don't mind a little maintenance but I'm thinking the hack will require a lot.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
302
140
germany
My advice would be to check the manufacturing date of any 6,1 you bought (via serial number) and make sure it's not from their GPU-gate days. 2016+ would seem reasonable to me.

Secondly, if worried about temperatures - use a fan control utility and up the RPM from the default 800 to something like 1000 or even 1200. You'll see it run a lot cooler but not get noisy (I'm not an engineer but by default it stays at 800 for too long IMO, making some parts of the machine warm up into the 70's in idle and I find that unreasonable).

And you should ask about the GPU and booting capabilities over on eGPU.io - search for 6,1 builds and contact their owners directly. Feel free to post any answer here for future reference. :)

The 6,1 otherwise would seem like it would fit your bill best among Apple's current lineup.
 
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Selsk

macrumors member
Mar 18, 2017
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And you're looking at the 6.1? Really???????
Back to your question. The Mac OS from 10.13.4 does not support eGPU over anything except Thunderbolt 3, unavailable on the 6.1. Yes, there are some card makers working on re-enabling TB2 and Mojave reinstated some of the functionality but I haven't kept up on the progress. Supposedly, AMD and Apple got things squared away but the 6.1 gets very hot inside.
I know this is what everyone says, "oh the 6,1 heatsoaks and throttles". I have a 6,1 and in Mac OS, it never gets hot. I don't use my machine for rendering. In Win10 while gaming all day in crossfire things can get hot unless you set the fans yourself using the MacsFanControll app. I just max my fan at 1200 rpm and temps are fine. I swear the whole nMP heat issue is just software based, favoring low noise over fan speed.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,600
390
The Sillie Con Valley
Would regressing back to 10.12.X Sierra make it possible to use eGPUs again with TB2 without any hacks?
Yes. Regressing to OS 10.13.3 will do it also. There are no hacks for 10.13.4–6.

Mojave restored some of the functionality so you might try it. It won't be supported by Apple but who cares about that? Check with the eGPU vendor first and look at any users' board so that you aren't wasting time.

Apple was fixing the 6.1 GPUs long after the program was officially over. You might want to check directly with them.