A Beginner’s Guide to Attending CES

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

For a long time I had wanted to attend CES, the world’s largest technology trade show held every January in Las Vegas. This year I finally had the chance to participate due to developments in external graphics solutions. With Apple’s notoriously underpowered graphics card offerings, external GPU becomes a viable option for underpowered Macs. Mac users can get excited for the possibility of pairing a Mac-certified enclosure with their computer to deliver much-improved graphics performance. As a first-time attendee, the CES experience was exciting and at times overwhelming. There’s nothing that can fully prepare you for the magnitude of CES. …

iMac Pro vs Mac Pro + eGPU

iMac Pro: Salvation after starvation?

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

Today Apple released the highly anticipated iMac Pro. This marks four years since the introduction of the last pro Mac computer. The main selling features are the Radeon Pro Vega graphics card and the Xeon-W workstation processor, all packed in the thin and slick form factor of a 27″ 5K iMac. This beast of a machine starts at a whopping $4,999. iMac Pro The iMac Pro is the most powerful production Mac to date. Apple claims pros love iMac so they went all in and built a “killer iMac.” They weren’t kidding around. You can buy an iMac Pro that’s equipped with …

AMD Radeon RX 480 and USB 3.0 inside Mac Pro for VR

How to: Fix RX 480 & RX 580 sleep issue in 10.13.2

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

AMD Polaris graphics cards have been a blessing for Mac Pro users since their release last summer. My RX 480 macOS installation how-to detailed progress of driver development as early as Sierra 10.12 beta. There was good news and bad news along the way. Overall Radeon RX GPUs have served Mac users well in both the Mac Pro towers and external graphics enclosures. With the release of macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 this week, there’s a sleep issue with RX 480/580. macOS can still detect these cards at boot and most features work well, but sleep and wake-up present problems in …

Best Way to Upgrade Mac OS

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

Ever since Apple made its Macintosh operating system free, a new version comes out every fall. It’s nice to have a predictable upgrade schedule, but what’s the best way to upgrade Mac OS? In my experience starting fresh is the best method. I have often seen account folders migrated through four or five Mac computers spanning more than a dozen years. Convenience is the primary motivation when migrating content to a new Mac or when performing an OS upgrade. With this migration or clickable upgrade, unwanted files, incompatible software and obsolete drivers also make their way to the new system. …

AMD Radeon RX 580 macOS 10.12.4 Sierra how to

How to: Install AMD RX 480 & RX 580 in macOS Sierra

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

June 2017 Update: With the release of mid-2017 iMacs, Apple has officially used Polaris Ellesmere GPUs in its lineup. The wonderful news is 10.12.6 will include drivers for RX 470, RX 480, RX 570, and RX 580. This means starting with 10.12.6 and future macOS version, we don’t need to perform these kext modifications anymore to use these cards in our Mac Pro towers. 😀 April 2017 Update: AMD released Radeon RX 500 series on April 18th, 2017. I received an RX 580 test unit from AMD and can confirm it has the same PCI ID (67DF) as the RX 480. Therefore …

macos updates available notification

How To: Get Rid of Updates Available Notification in macOS

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

Are you plagued by the annoying Updates Available notification? I know I can’t be the only one guilty of clicking “Remind me tomorrow” for days (or weeks…) at a time. Not everyone wants to update the OS on their Mac as soon as a new update is released given the bugs, glitches and instability that are often worked out in the months following. Other times you may not want to update the OS to preserve compatibility with certain software. The Updates Available notification gives you five options – Install, Try in an Hour, Try Tonight, Remind Me Tomorrow, Turn On …

complete guide on external graphics card (egpu) for mac

eGPU for Mac – The Beginner’s Setup Guide

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

You’ve seen an external graphics card (eGPU) working with a Mac and looked into getting one but quickly realized it’s a confusing process. I was in your shoes. I spent hundreds of hours learning everything I could find about external GPU and how to set one up with my MacBook Pro. Through this endeavor, I became acquainted with two renowned eGPU pioneers and experts, Nando and Goalque. Together we built eGPU.io, the first and only dedicated forum for external graphics card. My goal with this post is to provide a comprehensive beginner’s setup guide so that Mac users can build an external GPU for their computers. As new Macs and Thunderbolt eGPU …

Late 2016 13" MacBook pro with AKitTiO Thunder3 eGPU

Update: Thunderbolt 3 eGPU for Late 2016 MacBook Pro

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

As a follow-up to my post on Thunderbolt eGPU for Macs back in September, this post details the next generation of Thunderbolt connectivity for most laptops including the Late 2016 MacBook Pro with Thunderbolt 3. It is now integrated to the same physical port as USB Type C. The whole industry and Intel itself touted USB-C as the connector that does it all. So much so that Apple decided to drop all existing I/O in favor of USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 in its newest MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops. Apple announced the redesigned MacBook Pro at its October event. With …

eGPU Build with Radeon RX 470 in AKiTiO Thunder2

Beefing up Skinny Macs with Thunderbolt eGPU

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

Fresh off the heels of the iPhone 7 launch, many Apple users can’t help but feel neglected that similar updates haven’t been made to the Mac lineup. With Apple building its products thinner and thinner, something has to give. The most notable compromise of skinny Macs is the lack of graphical computing power. As of fall 2016 every Mac is in dire need of a refresh. While there are rumors updated Macs are coming, more powerful GPU options are likely limited. External graphics card enclosures (eGPU) via Thunderbolt ports may be the only solution going forward. Thunderbolt is a standard input/output in every …

Virtual Reality on Mac with RX 480 & Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift VR – Making Virtual Reality a Reality on a Mac

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

Are you a Mac user who’s intrigued by the idea of Virtual Reality (VR) gaming? I was too but quickly realized there’s currently no support for VR on the Mac platform. The biggest name in Virtual Reality right now is the Oculus Rift VR headset and sensor. Oculus’ founder said he would have liked to make the device compatible for Mac users but that unfortunately none of the Mac computers in Apple’s current lineup has the graphical horsepower to run it. He’s right. Apple has always taken the safe and arguably low-cost route when it comes to graphics cards, also …

Free up Disk Space on your MacBook or iMac

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

Running out of disk space on your MacBook Pro or iMac? You may notice a slowness when running programs, accessing files or saving documents. You may begin to see warning messages that “Your startup disk is almost full”. Your startup disk or internal hard drive is a lot like your house. It’s a place where you store your things, your digital belongings. Just as you can outgrow your house, so too can you outgrow your laptop’s hard drive. So how can you find out if you are running out of space? The first step is to know how much space …

Custom Mac Pro Modifications

Custom Mac Pro. Built for the Pros.

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

The last time Apple refreshed its Mac Pro was nearly three years ago. Even back then, the components Apple used to build its halo Mac were not the latest and greatest. As longtime fans and pro users, you and I know this is the typical offering from Cupertino. For many years, this wasn’t a big deal because you could simply upgrade the internal components as faster hard drives, newer graphics cards and more powerful processors became available. That was the appeal of the Mac Pro for hardcore Mac users. That upgradability ended with the Mac Pro trashcan design. Almost every component …

Inside view of a traditional spinning hard drive and a solid state drive

Sluggish MacBook Pro? Revive with a Solid State Drive

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

“My MacBook is sluggish and unresponsive.” “My MacBook Pro is insanely slow!” “I can barely use my Mac laptop. It’s crawling and takes forever to get anything done.” I hear these comments from customers all the time. Many deal with a sluggish MacBook for months, even years. If your MacBook or Macbook Pro is more than three years old, the hard drive is most likely to blame for the slowness you’re experiencing. The good news is that the hard drive can be replaced. MacBooks produced prior to 2013 typically contain a traditional spinning hard drive. A traditional spinning hard drive …

imac dual ssd upgrade

Apple 27″ iMac Dual SSD Upgrade

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

One of the most effective upgrades for an aging Mac is an SSD (solid state drive) upgrade. I received an inquiry from a freelance video editor in St. Paul about speeding up his Apple 27″ iMac. This iMac had gotten so slow that it was used as a glorified display to a MacBook Pro retina. We both agreed an SSD upgrade was the right path to take. Having worked on these iMac before, I know there’s a hack to mount a second hard drive which I proposed could be used as a scratch drive – very beneficial in video post editing …

jon music studio

Jon’s Music Studio

Truong Nguyen Mac Upgrade Insights

One of the best perks for doing my kind of work is the many creative people I get to meet. Jon Erickson, owner of Ultimate Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning is a prime example. Besides running his successful business, Jon spends most of his free time with family and pursue his passion of music production. His MacBook Pro was in need of an upgrade to make use of Logic Pro X and Jon hired me for the job. We put a 240GB SSD (solid state hard drive) and 8GB of RAM in his laptop. We then updated the software to Mac …