2017 15" HP ZBook 15 G4 (Q M1200) [7th,4C,H] + RX [email protected] (Powercolor Gaming Station) + Win10 [Yukikaze]
So, the PowerColor Gaming Station is 200$ on Newegg, and this time it doesn't look like a "sale" - The price has no time limit, so it might be the new permanent price for this enclosure. Considering the internals are essentially identical to the Mantiz Venus for 200$, complete with an expansion board and 87W power-delivery, this is a very attractive option. It might actually be the single most attractive eGPU on the market right now.
I picked one up to replace my AORUS Gaming Box as the noise finally drove me nuts. I did not have time to setup lighting to take half-decent pictures, but I can take some tomorrow or next week. Since there are no implementations with the Gaming Station on the Implementations Table, this might be of interest. I also got my hands on a GTX690 to see if I could get a dual-GPU card to play nice with an eGPU setup.
Overall, the Gaming Station is very well built. It is not Aluminum like the Mantiz Venus, using steel instead, but the shape is pretty much identical as far as I can tell. The finish is a black powder coat covering both the inside and the outside of the case. The end result looks very nice, aside of the red "Gaming Station" lettering on the front. It isn't awful, as the logo is plain red-on-black and with a decent aesthetic to it, but it would look much more "professional" is this wasn't there. A black sticker with a more subdued logo on top of it would quickly solve that issue, however, as would simply placing the box sideways behind you monitor setup so that the front isn't (as) visible. Compared to my Node Pro, it is a little wider from the front, and shorter in both other dimensions. While not under load, it is silent, and when loaded, I could hear the video cards before I could hear the PSU, which is a good sign, even if not quite a scientific comparison.
There isn't much to say about getting this to work: The setup was plug and play with the following three system and card combinations. I used the latest AMD and NVidia drivers available for each of the cards used.
System 1: Lenovo T430s (i7-3520M, 8GB DDR3 RAM), over TB1 using the Apple TB-to-TB3 adapter and a 0.5m Apple TB cable. The OS is Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, build 1809.
Card 1: XFX RX460 4GB Single Slot.
Card 2: PNY GTX690 - This resulted in SLI being disabled as shown by GPU-Z, with no option to enable it, and only a single GPU operational in Benchmarks (hence me mentioning a "GTX680" in the title, which is essentially what I ended up with. Both GPUs appeared in the Device Manager as operational, however, and I could dedicate the second one to PhysX, for example, or run separate programs on each Kepler chip.
System 2: HP ZBook 15 G4 (i7-7820HQ, 32GB DDR4 RAM, Quadro M1200 4GB dGPU, iGPU disabled), using the 0.5m passive cable the Gaming Station arrived with. The OS is Win 10 Enterprise 64-bit, build 1803.
Card: PNY GTX690 - Interesting enough, SLI showed up as enabled both in GPU-Z and in the NVidia Control Panel, but benchmarks (I tried Valley and FFXV) would only utilize a single GPU.
System 3: HP Spectre x360 (i7-8550U, 16GB of RAM), using a 2m CalDigit 40Gbps TB3 cable. The OS is Win 10 Pro 64-bit, build 1809.
Card: Sapphire R9 285 Compact.
To summarize, I highly recommend this enclosure to anyone looking for an eGPU. The price is pretty much unbeatable for what you get: The other options in the price range (AKiTiO Node, Sonnet Breakaway 350, or an empty AORUS Gaming Box) lack the power-delivery capability, the expansion ports, PSU capacity, or the compatibility with pretty much any sized card.
My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).
"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."