Macbook Pro, Serious Gaming Option If You...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DryEyez, May 3, 2011.

  1. DryEyez macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I'm sure there are others out there like me trying to get rid of their Windows PC completely. Hopefully someone can help me out with my question.

    So, I'm curious if anyone has set up something like this, MBP + External GPU + External monitor. Basically a desktop for when you want to game on your MBP whatever size. The latest MBP have great specs, including the 13", so if you were to hook up an external graphics card with an external monitor this might be a solution for a gaming machine, instead of having a separate gaming rig. Has anyone else done this?

    From searching the internet, I've not had much luck finding any external GPU, has anyone else had experience or any luck in finding these?
     
  2. ///KM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    #2
    What you're looking for is a DIY Vidock - currently this is only available via Expresscard slot or mPCIE, and the current MBP doesn't have either available. The older MBP models had an Expresscard slot, and there have been a few people that have successfully ran external desktop graphics with it.

    That said, hwtools is said to be working on a Thunderbolt-based DIY Vidock adapter, which will be kick@$$. It should have more bandwidth than Expresscard solutions, so theoretically you could run desktop graphics at close to maximum potential.
     
  3. DryEyez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    well, I did have a 2011 13" i5 mbp, but returned it and bought a refurbished 2010 15" i5. So could I run an external gpu on my 2010 mbp?
     
  4. ayeying macrumors 601

    ayeying

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Location:
    Yay Area, CA
    #4
    I have a ViDock and ran it successfully with an external video card. I still have the ViDock, but I got rid of the 17" Core Duo MBP that I had to run it.

    However, the project itself was expensive and in the end, not worth it.

    There are only specific MacBook Pro models thats compatible with the ViDock. The Core Duo (1st Generation) and 4th generation (Penryn). The unibodies aren't compatible because their express 34 doesn't have some sort of video capability.

    Secondly, from the tests I've done, you'll need use a "Mac-Blessed", aka, the same video cards that come on the Mac Pros, if you want to use the video card under OSX. For Windows, theres a little bit more options, however, I've only gotten up to a nVidia GT240 512MB and anything above that just either won't load or crashes.

    There was another hassle of even making the video card run. For me, I got it to run after Windows is booted up, then you connect the expresscard then you wait until everything goes though, then finally, you're able to use the video card. To reboot into OSX, you need to disable the external, reenable the internal, then reboot or you'll run into different problems.

    Story short, it was too much of a hassle and in the end, it would've been cheaper and easier to buy a $399 desktop and outfit it with a higher end video card.
     
  5. Gold89 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    It will be interesting to see what uses Thunderbolt ends up with :)
     
  6. DryEyez thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Yeah, I was secretly hoping that one of thunderbolts uses would be to have some external GPU maybe? For now I'm going to be without thunderbolt though and stay in 2010 with my MBP, I figure, by the time anything like that gets released, the 2012 MBP will be out anyway.
     

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