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Author Topic: Building your own eGPU - How To coming  (Read 11344 times)
Rominator
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« on: June 06, 2015, 08:11:21 AM »

Hey guys,

Courtesy of Netkas' help I have been playing Far Cry 4 on a 2014 Mini at 4K 60Hz.

Amazing to see that little computer able to run latest games at full res.

And my nMP can be used as a CUDA powerhouse in OSX.

The problem is that between Apple and Intel the choices for an eGPU setup have been rather slim.

They have intentionally kept available choices to a minimum. And even worse, the setups that COULD work well, have a TB case that is $1,000 or so.

An Akitio TB2 case can work, but you have to be ready to get your hands dirty. I will be making a TB enclosure and taking pictures to help everyone out.
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mysticalos
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 09:06:25 PM »

Isn't bandwidth of TB still a choke point? Only having like 8 lanes for the entire bus, shared with the 4k display no?
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netkas
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 10:52:06 PM »

Not exactly, you loose like 5% in 4K
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YocYoc
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2015, 10:10:09 AM »

Is there a way to aggregate two TB ports to double the bandwidth ? I read this is possible to aggregate two ethernet adapter plugged on two TB ports. But the ethernet protocol is certainly the reason it works. What about PCIe ?

I really want to build an AKiTiO eGPU. I've found some useful informations on another forum, but I would be very pleased to see some here, on a Mac forum. To make it short, you'll need :
- the AKiTiO box
- a Mini-ITX nvidia card (960, 970, 980....) to be able to close the box
- an ATX PSU (450w) and some soldering iron to plug the box and the card on the same power source.

I hope Rominator you'll post more details soon.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 10:23:35 AM by YocYoc » Logged
Rominator
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 10:18:53 PM »

Is there a way to aggregate two TB ports to double the bandwidth ? I read this is possible to aggregate two ethernet adapter plugged on two TB ports. But the ethernet protocol is certainly the reason it works. What about PCIe ?

I really want to build an AKiTiO eGPU. I've found some useful informations on another forum, but I would be very pleased to see some here, on a Mac forum. To make it short, you'll need :
- the AKiTiO box
- a Mini-ITX nvidia card (960, 970, 980....) to be able to close the box
- an ATX PSU (450w) and some soldering iron to plug the box and the card on the same power source.

I hope Rominator you'll post more details soon.

Most ITX cards are too tall to allow Akitio to close. I will try to get some pix up, but just booked a commercial so my already busy schedule just got busier.
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OmegaVision
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 06:12:51 PM »

Hey Rominator,

Are you still working on a guide with pictures? I know you're busy, but I'm just wondering if any progress has been made.

Also, have you had chance to play around with getting an eGPU working through Windows on a nMP?

Cheers. Hope you're doing well.
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YocYoc
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2015, 11:38:41 AM »

Done ! I've build my eGPU with :
- the AKiTiO box
- Inno3D GeForce GTX 970 4GB OC - Compact
- 250 W DELL DA-2 AC Adaptor found on eBay
- cable from ebay to plug everything without any soldering

The card fits in the box, but the 6 pins cables linked into the graphic card are too high (don't want to break anything, I'll see how I could manage this.

For now I just want to make it work with Windows 10. And it works ! I've got now a new powerful computer to play games !

But, the difficulty is to power on the card at the right moment : just after the emulated BIOS loads. To early : the mac hangs, to late : the card is not detected. I need to do more tests :
- install Windows in EFI mode
- try to activate F8 menu and power on the card during the menu
- power on the card during refind menu

 I'll do that in a few days, I'm away from home at the moment.

By the way, I've seen somewhere recently that this issue doesn't exist with EVGA cards.

[EDIT] What I have done and what are the results :
- install Windows in EFI mode : done, without any improvement
- F8 menu : done, without any improvement
- power on the box in the refind menu : done, the mac hangs.

So, the more "reliable" way to activate the card is to removing refind, choose Windows as the startup disk, power on the mac, count to 1, and power on the nvidia... I really hope for a better and more reliable way.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 08:00:14 AM by YocYoc » Logged
OmegaVision
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 02:31:53 AM »

Hey Rominator,

I'm still interested in an eGPU solution for a nMP. Hope you're still working on it. Thanks for all the hard work.
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Rominator
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« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2015, 03:11:28 AM »

Easy in OS X

Not so easy in Windows
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OmegaVision
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2015, 03:00:00 AM »

Easy in OS X

Not so easy in Windows

Are you still working on it though? It would be an awesome achievement. You'll see some more money from me too if you can get it up and working.
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Rominator
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2015, 11:38:14 PM »

Yes, in a TB2 Mini we have Maxwell EFI (980Ti) cards that can get to Windows desktop 100% of the time with no hot plugging (hit power, it boots twice, gets to desktop)

Still Error 12 in nMP.

But the same card boots beautifully into OS X on nMP, boot screens, etc.

So, yes, work continuing though likely not much progress for next month.
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OmegaVision
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2015, 12:00:20 AM »

Yes, in a TB2 Mini we have Maxwell EFI (980Ti) cards that can get to Windows desktop 100% of the time with no hot plugging (hit power, it boots twice, gets to desktop)

Still Error 12 in nMP.

But the same card boots beautifully into OS X on nMP, boot screens, etc.

So, yes, work continuing though likely not much progress for next month.

Hopefully you will be able to crack the Windows problem eventually. It would breathe all new life into these machines, especially once the new version comes out. Thanks again for all your efforts. Cheers!
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