Late 2016 MacBook Pro 13" + Thunderbolt 3 eGPU


padaxax

macrumors member
Oct 31, 2015
42
19
Is it possible to use the eGPU (Razer Core e.g.) with rMBP 13 from 2013 with an apple TB3-> TB2 Adapter in Bootcamp ?
 

Zackmd1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
689
356
Maryland US
Is it possible to use the eGPU (Razer Core e.g.) with rMBP 13 from 2013 with an apple TB3-> TB2 Adapter in Bootcamp ?
Just buy the akitio thunder2. IMO the razor core is far to overpriced to be an option. For $600 minimum (razor core + GTX 1050) I could build a very good system (core i5, 8gb ddr4, GTX1050Ti) that will far outperform any dual core laptop, not to mention the bandwidth limitations of thunderbolt 2.
 
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snake007uk

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2008
36
4
Just buy the akitio thunder2. IMO the razor core is far to overpriced to be an option. For $600 minimum (razor core + GTX 1050) I could build a very good gaming system (core i5, 8gb ddr4, GTX1050Ti) that will far outperform any dual core laptop, not to mention the bandwidth limitations of thunderbolt 2.
Are you using this for gaming? or something else?
 

Zackmd1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 3, 2010
689
356
Maryland US
Are you using this for gaming? or something else?
It shouldn't matter. For the same price point you are getting a far better preforming system. And if you picked your components correctly, you can even install Mac OS on the system. eGPUs are cool but unfortunately have a long way to go before being a viable (less expensive) offering then just having a dedicated system IMO.
 

/V\acpower

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
549
370
I see.
So the cpu on the non touch barcis really not comparable with the touchbar version, 2.0 vs 2.9ghz? On everyday use
Technically they are very similar CPU that simply are not clocked the same and doesn't have the same thermal specs. The 2.0 Ghz CPU is 15W, the 2.9 Ghz is 28W. The 2.9 demand a better cooling system, that's why the TB MBP have 2 fans instead of 1 for the nonTB MBP.

They both are able to "turbo boost" to about the same clock speed, (3.1 Ghz and 3.3 Ghz). In theory the 2.9 Ghz should be able to maintain the turbo boost longer than the other one, because of the different cooling system.

HOWEVER. In practice and judging from the reviews.

When stressing only the CPU, both are able to maintain their top speed nearly indefinitely. So the nTB MacBook Pro on a task that mainly use the CPU will perform almost identically than the TB model (a little bit less).

The biggest difference appear when you are also stressing the iGPU. Probably linked to the overall cooling of the machine, the single fan cannot cool enough for both the CPU and GPU. The TB MBP with 2 fans will be considerably faster in situations where both CPU and GPU are used.

However, following that same logic, if you use an external GPU, I assume that the nTB MBP will perform very similar to the TB MBP, since the fan won't have to cool the iGPU.
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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Sorry this is old, but how was your battery the first few days of using it? This is the $1800 USD baseline touch bar model right?
I have the non-touchbar model. I've used it more and unfortunately the actual usage yields much lower time than estimated. On average, I get about 8 hours for doing web browsing and development stuff.
[doublepost=1480440844][/doublepost]
Is it possible to use the eGPU (Razer Core e.g.) with rMBP 13 from 2013 with an apple TB3-> TB2 Adapter in Bootcamp ?
Get a Thunderbolt 2 enclosure for your 2013 MacBook Pro. There's no benefit of getting the more expensive Thunderbolt 3 solution plus the adapter. The AKiTiO Thunder2 is a very popular enclosure in the eGPU community and comes at less than half the cost of the Razer Core.
[doublepost=1480441134][/doublepost]
We should see a lot of eGPU at the next CES. Hopefully, it will finally become affordable.
I hope so too, at least for Windows. Unfortunately Apple shows no interest in eGPU. Apple is actually crippling most Thunderbolt 3 enclosures atm. Razer Core, AKiTiO Thunder3 (and most likely Node) have been confirmed to be unsupported under macOS. There's a workaround but it involves hex editing of system files.

I'm working with DIY eGPU pioneers (goalque, nando4, and Dschijn) to build a community for DIYers. Check us out at eGPU.io.
 

enjoy87

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2016
4
2
iGPU has to be visible AND operational in Windows in order to activate Optimus and use built-in screen with eGPU, but afaik you still can't do it. The reason is proprietary hardware that's implemented by Apple for hard-switching between iGPU and dGPU.

I have a similar rMBP and made native UEFI installation of Win 8 on my external SSD three years ago. Windows was able to detect iGPU, but it'd never load after you actually install drivers for it.

And if you use default bootcamp installation with BIOS emulation, then it'd forever hide both multiplexor and iGPU from Windows and leave dGPU as the only graphics card
So finally its fixed, we can use the same way (when he explain) how, to our OLD but gold MACs :)

https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/internal-display-works-on-amd-2016-macbooks/#post-54

I waiting and will follow his post for update and i will post it here!

we will need TB3 -> TB2 maybe!

Also i find this photo, shows that Razer Core work with the new rMBP
 

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enjoy87

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2016
4
2
iGPU has to be visible AND operational in Windows in order to activate Optimus and use built-in screen with eGPU, but afaik you still can't do it. The reason is proprietary hardware that's implemented by Apple for hard-switching between iGPU and dGPU.

I have a similar rMBP and made native UEFI installation of Win 8 on my external SSD three years ago. Windows was able to detect iGPU, but it'd never load after you actually install drivers for it.

And if you use default bootcamp installation with BIOS emulation, then it'd forever hide both multiplexor and iGPU from Windows and leave dGPU as the only graphics card
I found the way to play games on our RETINA Macbook Pro (mid 2012) with NVIDIA GT 650M!

This trick will work also on the new Macbook Pro 15 with 450, 455 and 460 for sure!

Internal display working (no need for external display)

So the two main limitations with this model of Macbook are the fact that you need an external display, and that you have no sound with an EFI Windows instillation. So I got around those limitations with this little device and three resistors:



It's a HDMI to VGA adapter with audio out. You can see the audio out here:



All you need to do is put 3x 75ohm resistors inside the VGA port to create a fake external display. You can see where the resistors need to go with this image:



So the deal with this is, any program started on the 'external screen' (being powered by the eGPU) will use the eGPU. So what you'll want to do is set the fake display as your main display. Then anything started on that display will be running from the eGPU. Now there is a little limitation here; only games that run in windowed mode will work (which is most). You'll want to start the game on the fake screen in windowed mode and then drag it over to your internal display.

So how do you grab from a display you can't see? Well, I found this free program called Dual Monitor Tools (it's free right here: Dual Monitor Tools - Home )
and what you can do in this program is set a keyboard shortcut to move the selected window over to the other display. So you click on the game in the task bar, and hit the shortcut you assigned and it'll pop over to the internal screen, but because it was launched on the fake screen, it'll be powered by the eGPU.

Simple as that, there's no performance hit either as you're just dragging the game to the other screen.

A good tip is to have the internal display set as default first, launch the game, go to options and set the game to windowed mode now, then quit and relaunch after you've changed the fake screen as your primary. Otherwise you might not be able to switch it with the shortcut while it's in full screen.

An issue I have:
I don't know if this will apply to others but I simply cannot boot in to Windows with my GT650M activated. My startup process is very odd, so I'll document it incase others have to do this.

To make my Windows even boot, I must have my GT650M disabled in device manger. But when I do this I cannot boot without the eGPU plugged in at all.
So what I have to do is make sure my GT650M is down (boot in safe mode to do this the first time, no need for eGPU attached when doing this).
Then with the eGPU plugged in, start up my laptop and chose the Windows boot option. The only way I know that Windows has successfully booted is the spinning white dots under the Windows logo on bootup will freeze. When my internal display freezes, I know Windows has loaded (this is when the desktop would appear on the external display) but of course we can't see that because it's a fake display.

So once the bootup freezes, I wait until my keyboard backlights come on, then I know the desktop has loaded on the fake display. (Or just wait about 10 seconds after the freeze). Now the next step is to activate the GT650M in device manger so that my internal screen works. Now for this I did the process on a proper external display to learn the key combination to do it blind. For me it as follows:

(Press START - cmd key)
type: device man
ENTER
TAB
Down arrow x8
ENTER
TAB
ENTER
ENTER

After I have done that, the frozen Windows logo will disappear and the screen will flicker for about 5 - 10 seconds before displaying my desktop.
Success! I can now control Windows from my internal display. Opening up the resolution tool will show 2 displays, the internal, and the fake external.
The only thing to remember is when I'm done, I must deactivate the GT650M in device manager again before shutting down. Deactivating it will not shut off the internal display, so it's not a problem to do that and shut down.

So that's it. I hope you don't have to do that process, but for me, that's the only way to do it. it's a slight pain but not too much bother, and it's certainly great not to have to use an external screen!

- full post here - https://www.techinferno.com/index.php?/forums/topic/8088-2012-15-mbpr-gt650m-gtx97010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-win10-lukehero/&page=1
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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Thank you for sharing @enjoy87. It's a much different situation with the Late 2016 MacBook Pro to get Thunderbolt 3 eGPU to work in macOS.

Many Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosures were announced but are yet available due to Intel and its certification process. None has support for macOS.
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for Late 2016 MacBook Pro in macOS is getting close to fully functional. I've been able to connect RX 470 GPU through AKiTiO Thunder3 to a 2016 13" MacBook Pro.

System Information shows Thunderbolt 3 speed at 40 Gb/s and all supporting kexts loaded with video output to external screen. However, there's no Metal Support or acceleration.
2016-macbook-pro-rx-470-thunderbolt-3-egpu.png


I was also able to daisy-chain the Thunder2 with a stick SSD to the Thunder3 eGPU.
TB3-TB2.png

late-2016-thunderbolt3-thunderbolt2-daisy-chain.jpg
 
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theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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These are a couple of screen captures showing the performance boost the RX 470 Thunderbolt 3 eGPU provides. I'm running it on my Dell XPS 13 with an Iris 540 - very similar in specs to the 2016 base 13" MBP. I haven't got time to replicate the driver install under Windows 10 in my 2016 MBP yet.

Intel-Iris-540-Valley-1080.png
Radeon-RX-470-eGPU-Valley-1080.png

eGPU support in Windows is getting very good. It's almost plug-and-play on this XPS 13. Once Thunderbolt 3 software and GPU drivers are installed, the eGPU can power the internal display as well as hot-plugpable (Xconnect for AMD GPU).

Safe-Removal-External-AMD-Radeon-Graphics.PNG
 

sneak3

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2011
534
78
Guys, two quick questions. Hope you can enlighten me!

1- Can I get a razer core+gpu combo and use an adapter to connect it to a retina 2015 macbook pro with tb2? Will it work?

2- Regarding the 2016 15" macbook pro, does the razer core+gpu combo work in bootcamp WITHOUT an external monitor?
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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Guys, two quick questions. Hope you can enlighten me!

1- Can I get a razer core+gpu combo and use an adapter to connect it to a retina 2015 macbook pro with tb2? Will it work?

2- Regarding the 2016 15" macbook pro, does the razer core+gpu combo work in bootcamp WITHOUT an external monitor?
I wonder, will MacBook 12 2016 work with external GPU?
The Razer Core has TI82 controller which is officially unsupported in macOS. There's a workaround to make it compatible (search for TB3-enabler script). It should work with both TB2 Macs through the Apple adapter and 2016 MBP in Windows only.

Newer Thunderbolt 3 enclosures will have the TI83 controller which is officially supported in macOS. However, Apple has software blocks in macOS to prevent external GPU through Thunderbolt 3 connection. There's no successful solution I'm aware of atm.

TI83 controller box such as the AKiTiO Node works in Windows. Here's my early testing using a Node with a 13" non-touchbar MBP. The eGPU is able to power the internal display.

Time Spy results - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/16739069

 
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tongefactor40

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2010
190
39
I wonder, will MacBook 12 2016 work with external GPU?
Technically it will i believe, but the USB c port on the 12 is not TB3 so you would get bottlenecks from that and a fairly slow CPU.
[doublepost=1482601687][/doublepost]
The Razer Core has TI82 controller which is officially unsupported in macOS. There's a workaround to make it compatible (search for TB3-enabler script). It should work with both TB2 Macs through the Apple adapter and 2016 MBP in Windows only.

Newer Thunderbolt 3 enclosures will have the TI83 controller which is officially supported in macOS. However, Apple has software blocks in macOS to prevent external GPU through Thunderbolt 3 connection. There's no successful solution I'm aware of atm.

TI83 controller box such as the AKiTiO Node works in Windows. Here's my early testing using a Node with a 13" non-touchbar MBP. The eGPU is able to power the internal display.

What version of the nTP did you get - ram, CPU, etc.?
 

theitsage

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Aug 28, 2005
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Technically it will i believe, but the USB c port on the 12 is not TB3 so you would get bottlenecks from that and a fairly slow CPU.
[doublepost=1482601687][/doublepost]

What version of the nTP did you get - ram, CPU, etc.?
Base $1,500 MBP.