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Macbook Pro, GTX970 as eGPU, and DK2 -SUCCESS-

pjennesspjenness Posts: 665
Neo
edited December 2014 in General
Hiya

This thread was a question, now its more informational

The goal was to get the macbook as a portable vr solution, with DK2.
I have macbook, viDock, GTX970 and DK2. I have blogged the majority of the setup here, it would be worth reading if interested, especially in eGPU like viDock.

It has taken a few weeks, but finally success, and getting 75fps (on Tuscany demo) on macbook

Sadly the viDock thrad is gone s they keep screwing their site. So this thread has a few photos etc




Hope this is useful

-P
Drift VFX Visual, Virtual , Vertical

Want 970GTX on Macbook for good FPS?
https://forums.oculus.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17349

Comments

  • pjennesspjenness Posts: 665
    Neo
    edited November 2014
    Just update this one as managed to get success.

    Also, Iev read to not do it in ClamShell mode as your macbook can overheat badly . They are designed to be open to allow nice airflow. (Tho now Ive read that it is ok...oh well..jsut keep it in mind)

    Hope the blog info is useful for people here.

    Cheers

    -P
    Drift VFX Visual, Virtual , Vertical

    Want 970GTX on Macbook for good FPS?
    https://forums.oculus.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17349
  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    I'm impressed that even works at all.
    AMD Ryzen 7 1800X | MSI X370 Titanium | G.Skill 16GB DDR4 3200 | EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 | Corsair Hydro H110i
    Gigabyte RX Vega 64 x2 | Samsung 960 Evo M.2 500GB | Seagate FireCuda SSHD 2TB | Phanteks ENTHOO EVOLV
  • WadeWattsWadeWatts Posts: 60
    Hiro Protagonist
    Very impressed you were brave here with this rig and that it worked! Good news as I have the same Mac Book you do... So will follow your lead. Thanks!
  • pjennesspjenness Posts: 665
    Neo
    WadeWatts wrote:
    Very impressed you were brave here with this rig and that it worked! Good news as I have the same Mac Book you do... So will follow your lead. Thanks!

    Hi. Thanks
    Yeah its a bit expensive and untidy solution, but it seems to work.

    I recommend your main VR unit be a Windows Desktop (or Recent Win Laptop). As MAC OS is not well supported in this area. And the (working) demos forMacOS are few.

    But if you really need to go this way, it does work.
    Also Village Instruments are releasing a new viDock system soon. More capable and better connection options. Might be worth waiting if not in a hurry

    Cheers

    -P
    Drift VFX Visual, Virtual , Vertical

    Want 970GTX on Macbook for good FPS?
    https://forums.oculus.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17349
  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 26,156 Oculus Staff
    @pjenness: Would you mind taking a few photos of your setup? I'm interested in seeing this.
    AMD Ryzen 7 1800X | MSI X370 Titanium | G.Skill 16GB DDR4 3200 | EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 | Corsair Hydro H110i
    Gigabyte RX Vega 64 x2 | Samsung 960 Evo M.2 500GB | Seagate FireCuda SSHD 2TB | Phanteks ENTHOO EVOLV
  • WadeWattsWadeWatts Posts: 60
    Hiro Protagonist
    Yes that would be great. Could you post photos here of your rig? I am tempted to wait if they are coming out with a new version soon. Have you gotten this to work with BootCamp? I read the forums and it seems to work fine with it.

    I wonder if that would work. If so you would have a true mobile dual boot laptop that would achieve 75FPS. This is tempting for a developer who uses Unity on the Mac but needs to compile/test to windows,
  • pjennesspjenness Posts: 665
    Neo
    @pjenness: Would you mind taking a few photos of your setup? I'm interested in seeing this.
    WadeWatts wrote:
    Yes that would be great. Could you post photos here of your rig? I am tempted to wait if they are coming out with a new version soon.

    OK yea will next time Im on it....and have tidied up my work area so it looks less amateur ;)
    WadeWatts wrote:
    Have you gotten this to work with BootCamp? I read the forums and it seems to work fine with it.
    I wonder if that would work. If so you would have a true mobile dual boot laptop that would achieve 75FPS. This is tempting for a developer who uses Unity on the Mac but needs to compile/test to windows,

    Im fairly sure it will work. It was instantly working with my win desktop. So as long as boot camp can use the thunderbolt port should be fine.

    However my goal is to not need bootcamp, would love the MacOS to get better support, Cyber whats the future for Mac?

    Cheers

    -P
    Drift VFX Visual, Virtual , Vertical

    Want 970GTX on Macbook for good FPS?
    https://forums.oculus.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17349
  • pjennesspjenness Posts: 665
    Neo
    Ok.
    Here are a few photos of my setup. Sorry its a bit of a mess. Couldnt be bothered cleaning up.

    I have 2 DK2. Once new one second hand. The new one will be with my desktop for dev, and the second hand one will go with more portable setup to sites/clients etc.

    The Portable setup will fit into the Black Plastic case you can see on the left.

    The desktop is a Asus RampageV MB , with 32GB and a 980GTX. Can play anything 75FPS at the moment
    The 2 monitors conenct to it also.
    It also has a viCard from Village Instuments that can attahc to the viDock so I can have an additional 970GTX for cuda intensive stuff like Photoscan



    Here is a closer look at the setup. Its a bunch of cables connecting stuff. You can see on the screen the macbook utilising the external 970gtx. It connects from the thunderbolt, thru the sonnet to an expressCard interface, to the viDock containing the GTX970. The Dk2 is plugged into the 970GTX via the HDMI-> DVI adatper.
    The Powered USB hub has a bunch of stuff plugged in since there are only 2 USB ports on the macbook pro
    2x Oculus
    1x mouse
    1x USB fan base that the macbook sits on for extra cooling.




    Cheers

    -P
    Drift VFX Visual, Virtual , Vertical

    Want 970GTX on Macbook for good FPS?
    https://forums.oculus.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17349
  • WadeWattsWadeWatts Posts: 60
    Hiro Protagonist
    Thanks very much for these pictures :) I can see how you have set it up. I'm thinking of doing this now. Get the 970 now and upgrade later maybe. Nice setup!
  • Nice! How much did this workaround cost? I really don't want to spend $1000 building a PC. Would MUCH rather keep my MBP!
  • pjennesspjenness Posts: 665
    Neo
    vrinfinity wrote:
    Nice! How much did this workaround cost? I really don't want to spend $1000 building a PC. Would MUCH rather keep my MBP!

    The pieces you need for external

    Thunderbolt cable ~ $30
    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD861ZM/A/apple-thunderbolt-cable-20-m

    viDock 4++ (or maybe its their new "nano") ~ $280
    http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=ViDock
    http://www.villageinstruments.com/tiki-index.php?page=Store

    sonnet express ~$155
    http://www.amazon.com/Sonnet-ExpressCard-Thunderbolt-Adapter-Reader/dp/B0080MQJJ6/

    Powered USB Hub (cheap anywhere)

    GPU card ~$370 (Mines the gigabyte 970GTX G1 4GD gaming. But you'd need one anyway if you went desktop.
    www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GeForce-Graphics-GV-N970G1-GAMING-4GD/dp/B00NH5T1MS

    So its not super cheap ... looking around $565-$600 (+ chosen GPU) depending on shipping,taxes or unforseen expenses.
    Drift VFX Visual, Virtual , Vertical

    Want 970GTX on Macbook for good FPS?
    https://forums.oculus.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=17349
  • HAWKEYE481HAWKEYE481 Posts: 759
    Brain Burst
    Good work OP ;-)
    "Some people say VR can take you anywhere in the world, I say VR can take you anywhere in your imagination"

    Intelligent-Visuals

    http://www.ivvr.uk
    http://www.intelligent-visuals.com
    https://www.facebook.com/intelligentvisuals
  • WadeWattsWadeWatts Posts: 60
    Hiro Protagonist
    This is a really great setup... however it has the PCIe 2.0 x1 Bus Interface. Expresscard is PCI-e 1x.

    I evaluated it and came to several conclusions. There is also this solution but untested:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/PCIe_Chassis/Mercury_Helios_2 (PCIe 16x chassis to add your gpu to) then connect it directly to the thunderbolt port on your MBP).

    I like what you have done but I looked at using this setup which is basically turning a MacBook Pro into using a PC graphics card. So I thought... well... what about using a PC to drive the GTX970... So I went that route. I am looking into dual booting this as well so it would work well for development by letting it play nicely in both worlds ;)

    This solution works great if you want to stay Mac based. As an Oculus developer I have to develop for both platforms and this allows me to write code for interface inputs for both PC and Mac. Also I looked at the throughput of the Mac 3rd party peripherals and the current bus setup of the MacBook Pro (Mid-2012). With this MacBook Pro it was before they went to PCI-e ssd the next model after...

    So ultimately the hacker in me wanted to build this... but the logical person in me made me custom build a PC and hack that! I appreciate your work here and it is still a great solution!
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