2016 15" MBP RP460 + Vega56@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS10.13.2 [shikhirarora]^ // modded Node with SFX-L 800W Titanium PSU, Noctua front fan
Hey guys. Just had a chance to setup my modded Akitio Node. I went with the Node because I was going to do modifications to this anyway, and it was a large, well-known product that doesn’t have any other I/O — just what I wanted.
I am only using a Vega 56 card (for now), but I decided to futureproof this enclosure and made two major changes:
I posted quite a few of the photos with some captions of the build here: https://imgur.com/a/q69Y2
– The SFX-L PSU is a perfect fit for the Node; it’s a tad bigger with a 120mm fan versus the normal 80 or so but the same height and length as SFX. However, the fan cover on the PSU is not flat like the default with the Node, so I removed the front grille (just four screws) and it is a drop-in replacement. The Node chassis has a fan cover outside, so it’s not a big deal, but one can buy a 120mm flat cover if you wanted. Again, see the pics on that imgur link 🙂 But this thing is a Titanium rated supply and has PLENTY of power for any GPU, plus it has a lot of expansion and comes with all the cables.
– The fan provided with the Node is just a two-wire basic fan. Replacing it with the Noctua which is a three-pin fan is very easy. There is a provided 4 pin molex adapter that lets one plug into a peripheral slot on your PSU. The power supply that I replaced comes with a **ton** of wiring, including 8-pin PCIe to dual 8 (6+2) pin PCIe. I used some red and white flex cables for organization. All the cables you need and more are included with the PSU, however.
– I did use a simple bridge from the 24-pin ATX motherboard cable but one can simply do this with a piece of wire.
– This thing is quiet! The Noctua fan is very quiet, pushes more air with less power consumption than the Node default fan. And you can keep the fan 2-pin on the motherboard of the Node unused/unplugged (just the two-pin LED cable stays), as this mod plugs the fan directly into the PSU with the Molex adapter included. It’s the same thing essentially, it just powers on when you power on the PSU vs. plug in the TB3 cable. However, those are likely both at the same time for most users.
I posted pictures on the imgur link about my exact macOS build, as well as it working perfectly with my LG 32UD99-W monitor. Running the latest developer beta of 10.13.2.
– I am working on getting this setup on Windows, but things are going smoothly so far. Here are some macOS benchmarks where it is plug-and-play:
(running all three – high, low, medium tests, stock Vega):
(in comparison, here’s the RP460 that’s built-in the Mac, on Medium: http://www.luxmark.info/node/5081 )
Geekbench 4 – See post below
Pretty happy with the scores, especially LuxMark, considering the drivers for the Vega 56 aren’t fully supported. You can see that it does quite well in comparison with other cards of the caliber.
Geekbench 4 just released an update for Metal benchmarking on AMD GPUs.
Here’s my Vega 56 Metal result: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/compute/1350442 — pretty happy! 😀
(I was only getting like 35-40000 before this update on Geekbench)
You can see my other results under the “Geekbench 4 Compute” tab: https://browser.geekbench.com/user/141291
I am running the latest macOS Beta [10.13.2 Beta (17C67b)]
Is Vega plug and play with High Sierra now? I tried messing with a 1080 and Sierra and I can’t be bothered with all the hoops I have to jump through. Looking for the easiest setup I can find with my Mantiz so if a Vega 56 + High Sierra is easier then I’ll try that.
Aside from fan noise (it’s spun all the way up it seems) and the fact that Cinebench doesn’t seem to use the eGPU (and under MacOs it says Radeon RXxxx 8GB as the identifier), it’s been PnP for me on a late 2016 15″ MBP (RP460) in a Sonnet 550 box connected to a Dell 5K dual DP monitor under High Sierra 10.13.2 B6. I can’t seem to break it, though I did have one KP when I just pulled the plug.
I tested and benchmarked Heaven, Valley, Dirt Rally, FCPX… all show consistent 2-3x speed increases (or more) vs internal 480. I suspect it’ll get even better over time.
Producer/Editor - Anticipate Media - www.anticipatemedia.com | Late 2016 15" MBP / Sonnet 550 / Vega 56