DIY eGPU MacOS Experiences

Discussion in 'e-GPU (External Graphics) Discussion' started by timohour, May 1, 2012.

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  1. timohour

    timohour Notebook Consultant

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    [​IMG]

    Mac OS Experiences

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]


    After the successful implementations in Windows by so many users on DIY eGPU Experiences (counts now almost 1000 pg) and after users' request it's time to explore if an eGPU can be connected on a MacBook (or a Hackintosh) running OS X. Macbook with Windows 7 help will be given on the DIY eGPU Experiences thread.This thread is focused on which cards can be used with OS X, and what performance results can we expect @ Open GL applications and games.




    archivedSHOULD I TRY? >>>



    Q: Can I attach an eGPU on my Macbook?



    A:There are some successful implementations so far on the older 15.4" C2D unibody with dGPU 8600GT which were shipped with EC slot, but older MacBooks (or Mac Mini) can run a eGPU from an internal minipci-e port using a PM3N-PE4L adapter on the wifi slot. On current 2011 MacBooks with a thunderbolt adapter you can either use Sonnet Echo Pro ExpressCard/34 Thunderbolt Adapter (PCIe 2.0) adapter plus a PE4L 2.1 or a PE3A-R modded adapter to achieve x1 2.0 or wait for Thunderbolt combatible adapter to achieve either x2 2.0 (MBA 11.6" & 13.3" and MBP 13.3") or x4 2.0 (MBP 15.4" & 17")



    Successful impl. with OS X 10.6.4 was also reported on macrumors pairing a flashed HD4870 with a 15.4 C2D MacBook Pro with a PE4L-EC2C



    Q: What do you gain?



    A: Acceleration in Open GL apps and games and Open CL support. Integrated graphics solutions such as Intel HD 3000 do not support OpenCL. You can turn your 13' Macbook pro (or Intel HD3000 hackintosh) to an ~$1800 Macbook pro. Also you can connect 2560x1440 resolution screens to non apple hackbooks!



    Q: Are all cards compatible with OSX?



    A:HD 48XX 58XX HD57XX HD56XX HD68XX GTX4XX GTX5XX and older Nvidia Cards should work with minor mods or flashed bios.A list of all the available cards that have drivers working with OS X will be completed here either from user implementations on this thread or cards tested on a Mac Pro found on the web. Most cards will need some kind of tweak like adding Device ID on a specific kext or a GPU BIOS flash for less hassle. Note that if you want to use your card with OSX you should choose it carefully, otherwise you may end up spending hours to make it work. Cards coming originally with a Mac Pro are the ones that are going to work without issues at all on Macbooks but their price is a bit high.



    My suggestion is ATI Radeon HD6870. In my opinion this must be the easiest card to work with.



    Q: Is there Error 12 or similar issues? Do I need any special bootloader?



    A: From my knowledge there are no PCI Allocation issues on OS X like in Windows so there is no maximum memory you should have for a eGPU to work, even if you have such problems in Windows.




    archivedIMPLEMENTATIONS SO FAR >>>























































































































    Card

    System

    How to?

    OpenGL

    OpenCL

    Port

    OS X

    CR11.5

    Uni3.0

    LuxMar

    ideas?

    @ x1.1 HD 4870

    Macbook Pro 2007 C2D @ 2.5GHz

    Flashed the card with Mac Pro 4870 image





    EC

    10.6.4

    @ x2 HD 5870

    Dell Studio 1557 i7-720QM

    kizwan[/I]

    30.20 fps

    885​

    203​

    EC
    10.7.3

    @ x1 HD 5870

    Dell Studio 1557 i7-720QM

    kizwan[/I]

    23.76 fps

    632​

    98​


    EC

    10.7.3

    @ x1 HD 6970

    Acer 5920G C2D

    netkas.org[/I]


    </td



    EC

    10.8


    @ x1.2 HD 5850 Extreme

    HP Probook 4530s i7-2630QM

    OOB (using Chimera bootloader 1.6.4)

    27.42 fps


    169​


    EC

    10.7.2

    @ x1.1 HD 5850 Extreme

    HP Probook 4530s i3-2310M

    OOB (using Chimera bootloader 1.6.4)

    21.72 fps


    89​


    EC

    10.7.0

    YOUR CARD

    YOUR MACBOOK/HACKBOOK

    LET'S FIND OUT!






    iGPU Intel HD3000

    Macbook Pro 13'' i5 2011


    11.49 fps


    NA




















    iGPU Intel HD3000

    Mac Mini i5 2011


    11.69 fps


    NA












    dGPU HD6490

    Macbook Pro 15 i7 2.0 GHz 2011


    20.81 fps














    dGPU HD6750

    Macbook Pro 15 i7 2.2 GHz 2011


    35.83 fps


















    OpenGL Test from Cinebench R11.5 using external screen.
    OpenCL Test from LuxMark 2.0 using either screen [settings Scene=Sala / Mode=OpenCL GPUs only]
    Unigine Heaven v3.0 Basic for Mac test 1080p on external screen.
    The OpenGL Results of the 2011 Macbook Pro and MacMini are just for reference
    [/div]




    Still under construction...

    [​IMG]


    Use this thread to add your impl. or ask questions regarding pairing your eGPU with OSX. Enjoy!!!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  2. timohour

    timohour Notebook Consultant

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    archivedBENCHMARKING &gt;&gt;&gt;


    Tested on a HP Probook 4530s running OS X 10.7.2 equiped with a Quad i7-2630QM 8GB DDR3 RAM and Intel HD as primary graphics card paired with an eGPU with an HD5850 Extreme. Open GL test (Cinebench R11.5) showed 130% performance gain when running @ x1 1.0 (~21fps) while 200% gain when running @ x1 2.0 (~27fps) compared to iGPU (Intel HD3000 ~9 fps). [Tests @ x1 1.0 were made using a PE4L-EC kit and tests @ x1 2.0 were made using a PE3A-R.]


    [​IMG]



    The above result was achieved with an i3-2310M Intel HD3000, while you can see that a with a 5850 (@ x1.1) the external screen result is ~21fps.


    More results will be added

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
  3. EpicBlob

    EpicBlob Notebook Evangelist

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    Awesome that this thread has started :).

    I have a 2011 macbook pro with intel hd 3000 and nvidia gtx 560. I have searched online for drivers, but there are some sites that say downloading chameleon for example causes your macbook to stop functioning. Any idea how to get os x to recognize my card without causing any problems?
     
  4. Ctusk01

    Ctusk01 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Great job timohour for getting this thread started!:)

    well, '11 MBP has decent dgpu as default, and bandwidth-limication seems to make other cards much weaker, making egpu not much benefitial...
    Hope other mods or thunderbolt connection will solve this problem..!
     
  5. timohour

    timohour Notebook Consultant

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    Nice to hear you finally made it! Congrats, you are the first to use Sonnet TB to EC adapter successfully. However this is a thread specified on the products produced by the DIY eGPU forums communities. I can't provide info or help on other products other than I have used. Pls refer to Vidock community

    Villagetronic's own support is at Village Instruments : Support .


    The cheapest 2011 15-inch MBP costs only $1799 while my setup will cost ~$449 for the probook, + ~$100 for the eGPU gear + ~$100 for my 5850 extreme... Totals ~$649 and you have ~$1150 to buy an 27'' external screen + plus CPU SSD MEM upg. for your hack book.
    Considering the fact that a 2011 13-inch MBP starts @ $1199 adding ~$200 for eGPU gear still have money to buy an external screen and enjoy games @ home and 13-inch portability.
     
  6. EpicBlob

    EpicBlob Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes it is a Vidock, but they are both egpus. I think that as a community with a common goal, shouldn't we all be trying to help each other out? They both function the same way so I don't see how there would be a difference.

    BTW, borealiss has gotten his mba to work with a PE4L and Sonnet adapter. So this adapter does seem like a worthy purchase for 2011 macbook users. Sonnet has also released a pro adapter, having a 5.0gt/s compared to the current2.5gt/s.
     
  7. timohour

    timohour Notebook Consultant

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    Villagetronic ViDock setup/driver support goes to Villagetronic

    While they may have very similar functionality, it is important to recognise that the DIY eGPU community supports the DIY eGPU hardware as a voluntary service in return for a very low hardware cost. People like nando4, Khenglish, SimoxTav, kizwan, Palda and others spending a lot of their free time to support it.

    The current Villagetronic offerings are a much higher 'for-profit' piece of hardware and so comes with support as part of that cost. That is available at http://www.facebook.com/VillageViDock

    Of which, can I ask did you buy the product or did you get a freebie for advocacy of it with your Sonnet TB-to-expresscard adapter?
     
  8. EpicBlob

    EpicBlob Notebook Evangelist

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    I don't want to sound like I'm whining or anything but come on...

    What negative comes from putting out your information to the community? It is a DIY macos discussion thread that is meant to aid users who are wanting to use their egpu setups with mac os x.

    For me, I have gotten the Sonnet echo adapter to be recognized under mac os x, but the the card does not appear in system report. It has to be that I have not downloaded the drivers for the gtx 560, but there have been threads cautioning people about downloading them on non-hackintoshes. Then again it was probably my fault for purchasing a card that wasn't known for being compatible with os x :p (probably should have bought a 5850 or 6870).

    And I do not see how if purchasing or receiving the Vidock changes anything. I solely came here to seek information about mac os x egpus :l
     
  9. Ctusk01

    Ctusk01 Notebook Enthusiast

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    It's just that EGPU developers once suffered something close to piracy from villagetonic. So they do not like villagetonic very much...
     
  10. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    .. and you are most welcome to peruse the the information has been volunteered and volunteer your own experiences. Only limitation is when you ask for assistance for your ViDock it is a for-profit product so don't be offended if you are directed to your vendor for support. Why? If Villagetronic want to get free support then it would be fair for them to provide low cost hardware to meet DIY eGPU requirements that are unaffiliated with their for-profit ViDock products. See most recent request here. timohour has helpfully referred you to right place to get support for 'for-profit' Villagetronic gear at Villagetronic support.
     
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