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RMBP eGPU

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 13, 2012 3:48:09 AM

Hey guys! After consistently questioning myself for weeks and going back and forth between sticking with a MBP or going to a custom built PC, I think I'm going to stick with the MBP as I just know and understand OSX so much better than windows. The only thing making me hesitant about the rMBP is its mobile graphics card. To deal with this, I was wondering if I could use a Thunderbolt eGPU. Is there any way I could do this? I know it won't be extremely fast, but could I hook up a GTX 670? If not, what is another way to boost gaming performance and 3d animation on it? Thanks for the feedback! :) 

BTW: I will be using bootcamp to use steam and game on and OSX for everything else.

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August 13, 2012 4:45:04 AM

You do know steam works on mac right, and you could always go with a windows system and use virtualbox to run mac in a virtual machine.
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August 13, 2012 4:56:30 AM

vegettonox said:
You do know steam works on mac right, and you could always go with a windows system and use virtualbox to run mac in a virtual machine.


OSX in a virtual machine is against the ToS. It also virtualizes horribly.

Anway, Thunderbolt is a brand new technology and so far as I know there are no eGPUs yet. Even if they did exist, they would be constrained by the multiple BUS hops since thunderbolt pulls its PCIe lanes from the PCH.
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August 13, 2012 5:41:35 AM

vegettonox said:
You do know steam works on mac right, and you could always go with a windows system and use virtualbox to run mac in a virtual machine.


Yeah, I would just rather bootcamp windows so I can get access to all the other games and not have to deal with loading OSX on for everything else
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August 13, 2012 6:21:13 AM

Pinhedd said:
OSX in a virtual machine is against the ToS. It also virtualizes horribly.

Anway, Thunderbolt is a brand new technology and so far as I know there are no eGPUs yet. Even if they did exist, they would be constrained by the multiple BUS hops since thunderbolt pulls its PCIe lanes from the PCH.


OK, so is there any way I could DIY it? Or is there another way I could set up an eGPU with OSX and Bootcamp? Also, I was planning on using the GTX 670, 680 or maybe in the future 700 series. Could I do this?
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August 13, 2012 3:09:26 PM

DJHaximus said:
OK, so is there any way I could DIY it? Or is there another way I could set up an eGPU with OSX and Bootcamp? Also, I was planning on using the GTX 670, 680 or maybe in the future 700 series. Could I do this?


Honestly, if you want the capabilities of a Windows PC then you should buy one. If you want a compact PC, buy a Windows laptop. If you want OSX, buy a macbook.

Thunderbolt is a good technology but there are other considerations which means that there are no eGPUs like there were a decade ago on the AGP and PCI bus. DIY would not be possible without a Thunderbolt demuxer and given the different power constraints it may not be possible at all.
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