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ozzy

Member Since 16 Aug 2002
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 09:16 PM
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Topics I've Started

eGPU on 2012 MacBook Pro makes it faster than any current Mac

04 May 2017 - 07:41 PM

Hi all,

I just finished getting my eGPU setup work in both Mac OS 10.12.4 and Windows 10.  You can read more about it here (https://egpu.io/foru...e-mac-oswin-10/).  I bough an Akitio Node, Apple Thunderbolt 3 -> 2 adapter, Apple Thunderbolt 2 cable, and Nvidia 1070.  For ~$700 this has turned my 5-year old MacBook Pro into a gaming beast that is far faster than anything Apple is making today.  I can play Mad Max silky smooth in 1440p with all settings on their highest in both Windows and Mac OS.  I must say it's pretty awesome.  Once I'm done with that I plan on catching up on a few other games I haven't been able to play in the last 2-3 years because my machine couldn't handle them (Shadow of Mordor is next).

In Mac OS it is very simple to setup (about 5-10 minutes).  It's obviously not officially supported by Apple, so it could break with OS updates, but hasn't yet and for me the risk is worth it.  Only real downside is you have to restart to connect/unconnect the eGPU, and the eGPU doesn't support sleep.  In Windows the setup is a bit more complicated (and depending on your model very complicated) - it's worth doing a bunch of research on the egpu.io website to understand for your specific model which are the best cards, eGPU boxes, and instructions to get it to work.

For a sense of the benchmarks, I used the Unigine Heaven benchmark in both Windows and Mac.  All the screenshots are in the thread linked above.

Mac OS 10.12.4:
Heaven at 1080p on external screen: 66 FPS
Heaven at 1440p on external screen: 42.3 FPS
Heaven at 1080p in windowed mode on internal MBP screen: 26.6 FPS
Heaven at 1680×1050 on internal MBP powered by 650m: 6.0 FPS

Windows 10:
Heaven at 1080p on external screen: 73.2 FPS
Heaven at 1440p on external screen: 47.8 FPS
Heaven at 1080p in windowed mode on internal MBP screen: 35.7 FPS
Heaven at 1680×1050 on internal MBP powered by 650m: 10.2 FPS