Macbook pro 2014 and MSI GTX970 eGPU

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Ichkamo, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Ichkamo, Feb 13, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016

    Ichkamo macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #1
    Hi everyone,
    I was thinking about upgrading my macbook pro 15' mid2014 (quad 2.5ghz i7, 16GB ram, NVidia GT750m)
    with a thunderbolt eGPU. I read there is a config for my mac and the GTX970. I also read that most of the times you need a windows bootcamp OR an external screen in order to use it.
    I NEED IT ON OSX NOT WINDOWS.
    My questions are :
    • How to do this? What is best to buy? What price?
    • Can it work on my mac's built-in screen? (Without external sreen)
    • Can it work with any GTX970 model?
    Edit : I also found this (500$ config) but not sure if it'll work.
    -AKiTiO Thunder2
    -Inno3D Geforce GTX 970 4GB


    Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated! ;):apple:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #2
    check out the forums here and you should get all the answers you need.

    I'm doing an Akitio + GTX980Ti and the parts should be in sometime tomorrow

    You're still going to need a decent power supply for both the Akitio and the Video Card.
    Most of the issues I read about come from underpowering either the Thunder2 box or the GPU or both.

    Search for Akitio molex -> barrel plug. Almost all reports are that this works much more reliably than a powered PCIE riser.
    You'll need this due to the stock power supply for the Akitio doesn't output enough wattage to power the PCIE slot in the box reliably.
     
  3. Ichkamo thread starter macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #3
    Well thank you very much! I looked over the internet for quite a while but surprisingly I didnt find :
    I didn't quite get the barrel plug stuff, guess I'm gonna have to do more reading about this manual electrical-component-hack. Is this a way to plug both the akitio and the GPU to the PSU?
     
  4. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #4
    If you do the barrel plug, then both the Akitio and GPU are powered by the PSU.

    I'll do my best to get a picture of my plug so that you have a better idea of how that works.

    When I ordered my parts I wanted them fairly quickly and I have Prime shipping so I went through Amazon so I got everything within 2 days.

    Here is the barrel plug I ordered. It's actually a 5 pack. The most important part is to make sure it is a 2.5mm x 5mm plug. A lot of companies sometimes send out 2.1mm x 5mm plugs and they won't fit in the Akitio power port.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016IGA60S?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

    Then I already had a few of these lying around but these are the cheapest I found on Amazon.
    You'll need 2 of the 4 pin Molex female connectors. The sata end can be removed if you happened to order this particular part.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009YFTI?keywords=4 pin molex&qid=1455739325&ref_=sr_1_5&sr=8-5

    But this is essentially all you need to create the barrel plug mod. That and either electrical tape or some decent soldering/heat shrinking skills but electrical tape when wrapped properly will be good.

    I'll get a photo later and draw up some directions that should be fairly simple to follow.

    Here's my total write-up on techinferno
    https://www.techinferno.com/index.p...hunder2-osx10113win10-mmomega/#comment-138231

    I verified everything worked in OSX first then proceeded to install Windows just because I wanted to do some Folding@Home to try out the new eGPU setup, just because GPU's aren't utilized under OS X yet. So my computer has been in Windows just crunching Work Units for 2 days with no hiccups yet and Folding can keep the GPU pegged at 80% or more nonstop so I figured this could be a good stress test and it has been doing great.
     
  5. Ichkamo thread starter macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #5
    Thanks for your quick and precise answer!

    You mean 2.5mm x 5.5mm? I can only find this size.
    Just a recap, if I buy the five items from the pic, I'll have everything good to go for my eGPU?
    - Small GPU
    - PSU
    - Akitio
    - and the two pieces for the barrel plug

    And by the way, if I buy another GPU, say the 980ti you have, if I just swap it with the 970 in the akitio box it'll still work right?

    Thanks again you're really helping a lot!
     

    Attached Files:

  6. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #6
    No, you can't use your MacBook's screen, you can only do that if you don't have a discrete GPU.
     
  7. Ichkamo thread starter macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #7
    Now thats bad news... Thank you for the info.
     
  8. Acronyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #8
    Some people have had success using an egpu with the internal screen on a MBP with a dgpu. Here's one account.

    I just set up an egpu for my 2014 mini. I don't need a crazy amount of power so I went with the Zotac GeForce GTX 750 TI 2GB. It only requires 60 watts of power and doesn't have an extra six pin power connection. The Akitio Thunder2 can actually handle more power than comes with the standard power supply.

    All I needed was the Thunder2, GTX 750 TI, and a 120 watt power supply. It was basically plug and play and has made my mini vastly more powerful than it was.

    I also got it working on my 2012 15" rMBP, but only on an external screen. I haven't had time to try and get the internal screen working and I don't really need it so no rush.

    Also, my egpu works both in Windows and OSX.

    Good luck!
     
  9. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #10
    That's Windows. OP wants OS X.
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #11
    You can just swap out the gpu's and be fine, the only issue is the 980 cards and some of the 970's are much longer than the Akitio box. This isn't a deal breaker you just have to bend the rear of the box. The only way around doing this is to get a powered PCIE riser and this puts the gpu outside of the box.
    This sometimes adds more problems as a lot of powered risers are made very cheaply and don't work properly so it adds an extra level of difficulty if the card doesn't power up properly or show within the OS. It can add something else in the mix to troubleshoot if for whatever reason the card isn't showing up in OS X/Windows.
     
  11. Acronyc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    #12
    Ahh, yeah sorry that is indeed Windows. Not sure if it's been done on OS X yet. FWIW, external display does work in Windows and OS X.
     
  12. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #13
    I am getting more confident that my internal iMac 5k is being powered by my GTX 980 Ti eGPU. The only reason I even think this for the moment is:
    1. The 980TI only outputs to 4k and when my eGPU is connected, either in Windows 10 or OSX 10.11.3 my iMac monitor resolution will not go above 4k, I don't even have the option for 5k resolution with the eGPU connected.
    2. The iMac screen is much slower with the eGPU connected than the external 1080p display.

    It may not be powered by the eGPU but it is just strange, on my end, that resolutionon my 5k drops to only 4k and performance drops significantly.
     
  13. steve23094 macrumors 68000

    steve23094

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    #14
    I'm not sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying the eGPU is powering your iMac 5K display? It would be much faster in that case, not slower.
     
  14. v3nom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #15
    I never heard of any Mac with using the eGPU on the internal display!
    Currently you can use it to do some rendering on the internal, but not using it for games. Also internal displays get "laggy" with an eGPU in OSX (not really sure why). So the best way is to disable the internal display and only use an external display with the eGPU.

    Why do you want to use OSX that bad? Most games run much better in Windows and Windows 10 isn't that much a pain in a$$ anymore.

    I upgraded my eGPU with an GTX970 2 weeks ago to an GTX 980 Ti as well and am pretty happy. But I only use it in Windows to play games and reboot into OSX to work without it.
     
  15. Ichkamo thread starter macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #16
    I want it to use the Unreal Engine 4 side to side with Xcode. That said, the game choice on OSX is wide enough for me (even if I lose a couple of titles) and I really don't like windows enough to have it running outside of a VM.
     
  16. v3nom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #17
    You could start the game on an external display, make it window mode and drag it on the itnernal screen and keep the window mode.
     
  17. Ichkamo thread starter macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #18
    Window mode isn't optimised for performance, can't I just run the game in fullscreen on the external display?
    Oh btw, how do I connect it, is there a port for external displays on the akitio?
     
  18. v3nom macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #19
    If Window mode is no option, you need the external display! The external display has to be the primary display for that!!!
    The GPU you are using has some ports, right? Like HDMI, DVI, DP...
     
  19. Ichkamo thread starter macrumors member

    Ichkamo

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    World Wide Web
    #20
    Didn't buy it yet, but I'll make sure it has ports that are compatible with the screen I must buy now...
     

Share This Page