2018 13" DELL XPS 1...
 
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2018 13" DELL XPS 13 + NVIDIA 1060 6Go (KFA2 GALAX SNPR Enclosure) + Windows 10  

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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 5, 2018 3:14 pm  

System specs

Dell XPS 13" 
Ultra HD display (3840)
16 Go RAM
1To SSD
Intel i7-8550U CPU @ 1.80GHz (1991MHz) x4
Intel UHD Graphics 620  1Go 
Windows 10

eGPU hardware
 

KFA2 GALAX SNPR 
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Thunderbolt 3 included cable (50cm)

Hardware pictures 

Installation steps 

Nothing special. Just plugged it and waited a long time for everything to be recognized. Finally I installed the latest NVIDIA drivers.

Benchmarks 

Benchmark on internal monitor for Uningine Heaven (after bug fixing firmwire for H2D has been applied). On an external monitor using the same resolution I have a gain and I can reach 101 FPS instead of 89.

Comments 

I am not a real gamer, but it felt so much better that I can only be very happy. Will modify the info in the fly while using it. First use was 4th of August 2018.
My other comments :
- The TB3 cable is short (50cm)
- Its is really quiet and is not hot even at full load.
- Really small (same dimensions of a PSU but a little less tall)
- Cannot power the laptop. I have a message indicating that not enough power from the laptop.
- The galax name (white letters on the black plastic rectangle) on the front panel as seen on the builder website, does not show anything on mine.

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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August 6, 2018 2:25 pm  

Thank you for sharing the very first build with a GALAX SNPR eGPU enclosure. I noticed the H2D speed showed 11XX MiB/s. Dell had confirmed the XPS 9370 has four PCIe lanes and OPI 4 GT/s. It's likely then the Thunderbolt firmware of the enclosure has H2D limit.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

94 external GPU build guides


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 6, 2018 2:58 pm  

Hi, I am no expert so I cannot say more. If you have other tests I can run, I will be happy to try and provide that.
Only thing to keep in mind that I use the internal monitor so maybe there is something to look there as well if the performances are not up to specs.

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 10:08 am  

I checked on other builds here and indeed the H2D is half compared to others. Could it be the included cable?
Also, I have a Dell Dock plugged as Well to handle my Keyboard, mouse etc, but it also has VGA/Displayport outputs. Maybe it is shared between both? Will have to try tonight without it to see if I have full bandwidth.

EDIT : So after I tried, the presence of the Dell Dock barely changes the bandwidth and I still have 1200 Mibs with the enclosure alone on the TB3 port. Not sure what to test next (besides the cable).

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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August 7, 2018 4:18 pm  

It could be the cable. Windows doesn't show Thunderbolt connection speeds for Thunderbolt devices like macOS does so it will be difficult to tell unless you find a cable or device that shows an improvement.

You can at least use HWiNFO to verify that the Thunderbolt 3 controller is 8GT/s and x4.

The Dell Dock shouldn't affect the H2D this much if it has no display connected to it. Even if it did, it shouldn't matter if it's connected to a different Thunderbolt 3 port.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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theitsage
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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 4:30 pm  

So after I tried, the presence of the Dell Dock barely changes the bandwidth and I still have 1200 Mibs with the enclosure alone on the TB3 port. Not sure what to test next (besides the cable). I will have to buy a longer cable anyway so I will be able to test that (OMG the prices  🙁 ).

Here are the HWiNFO results. Seems ok for the TB3 controller as I understand the results window. Maybe as stated before by theitsage, the enclosure is bottlenecking somewhat.

 

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 4:43 pm  

Thanks theitsage for your message. Will check the links  😉

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 5:00 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

Thank you for sharing the very first build with a GALAX SNPR eGPU enclosure. I noticed the H2D speed showed 11XX MiB/s. Dell had confirmed the XPS 9370 has four PCIe lanes and OPI 4 GT/s. It's likely then the Thunderbolt firmware of the enclosure has H2D limit.

Ok, now I understand the content of your first message. It is sadly a recurrent issue that will net be easily fixed. I will shoot an email to KFA2 support to see what they have to say. Who knows, one can have dreams 🙂

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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joevt
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August 7, 2018 5:00 pm  
Posted by: Stéphane Betzi

Here are the HWiNFO results. Seems ok for the TB3 controller as I understand the results window.

It shows CPU and GPU information but not all the PCIe information. PCIe devices are connected in a tree structure. Each branch has a PCIe bridge. Different PCIe devices and bridges can run at different link speeds and widths. You need to check all the bridges starting from the root port, down to the Nvidia card to find the minimum speed. I think we just care about the root port that the Thunderbolt 3 controller is connected to (can ignore the Thunderbolt 3 bridges except the one at the top nearest the root port).

HWiNFO shows 2.5 GT/s for the Nvidia card because you don't have a graphics program running such as what GPU-Z shows when you click the ? button.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 5:12 pm  

Sorry, my knowledge is limited so I am not sure where to look for that in HWINFO (tree stuff).

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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August 7, 2018 5:18 pm  

@stephane_betzi If it's an older firmware that restricts H2D bandwidth, KFA2 should be able to request Intel to certify a newer firmware. Once that becomes available, you can update the SNPR enclosure's firmware.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

94 external GPU build guides


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 6:09 pm  

Ok thanks. Amazing forum  😉

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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August 7, 2018 7:14 pm  
Posted by: Stéphane Betzi

Sorry, my knowledge is limited so I am not sure where to look for that in HWINFO (tree stuff).

In the HWiNFO64 main window (the one containing the menu), click the [+] button next to "Bus" in the left pane, then again for "PCI Bus #0" and each of the "Root Port"s and each of the "Bus"es for the Root ports until you come to one that says "Thunderbolt 3 Bridge". Then click on the Root Port containing that bridge to see the current Link Speed in the right pane.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 7, 2018 7:35 pm  

Ok, 

I checked on every lane. It's written the same thing all other the place (Max 8, Curr 2.5) except on the main one i.e (Max 8, Curr 8). 
Here is a screenshot of the lane where the graphic card appears.
Not sure it what is expected there.

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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August 8, 2018 12:44 am  

I don't know why, but bridges inside the Thunderbolt controller ("Downstream Port of PCI Express Switch") do not show correct link speeds (2.5 GT/s x4 is only 1000 MB/s which is much less than the bandwidths you've seen). You just want to look at Root Port #5 and the top Thunderbolt bridge (under Bus #3) which is the "Upstream Port of PCI Express Switch".

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 8, 2018 3:34 pm  

Both, the Root port 5, and the top bus under BUS 3 indicate the same thing i.e. :

Maximum Link Width: 4x
Current Link Width: 4x
Maximum Link Speed: 8.0 GT/s
Current Link Speed: 8.0 GT/s

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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joevt
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August 8, 2018 4:28 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@stephane_betzi If it's an older firmware that restricts H2D bandwidth, KFA2 should be able to request Intel to certify a newer firmware. Once that becomes available, you can update the SNPR enclosure's firmware.

A screenshot of the Thunderbolt details for the Thunderbolt controller will tell us the firmware version ("NVM Firmware version")
https://us.answers.acer.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/45779/~/check-thunderbolt-firmware-version
http://www.caldigit.com/KB/index.asp?KBID=204&viewlocale=1

I don't know how informative the version number will be though. But we can at least compare it with similar eGPUs using the same Thunderbolt 3 controller.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 8, 2018 7:00 pm  

It says 23.00 but I guess this is only related to the laptop not the egpu ... Sorry it's in French bit I guess it does not matter :

BTW I got an answer from the KFA2 support and they will transmit my question to R&D... let's see where this goes ...

Oh, and another (probably a silly) question ...

Do I need to eject the enclosure like we do on windows for a USB Thunbdrive? 
It appears when I click on the USB icon in the tray.

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 14, 2018 7:03 pm  

Just to add that I just bought a 2m Active TB3 40Gs cable from Belkin (Belkin 5K).
So far working fine. 

Also sometimes if I play with it (plug/unplug the unit for exemple), the unit won't boot. Have to unplug the electric plug, turn it on unplugged to discharge the capacitor (old trick from my 90s computers) then replug and then it will boot (green light).

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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Alan49
(@alan49)
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Posts: 6
August 21, 2018 3:26 pm  

Hello,

I have the same confirguration as you, have a return of kfa2 to update the firmware of the controller? This case has the error H2D, I have contact support but for now no response.

I think I'll have to send it back to take akit akitio + gpu but it costs double. It is really a pity that KFA2 does not update the product because technically everything is good.

Thank you

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@stephane_betzi)
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August 21, 2018 4:49 pm  

No answer yet. I will come here as soon as I have anything.
For me, even with the bandwidth limit, it is soo much better than the intel GPU that I will stick with it for this price 😉

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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jangoloti
(@jangoloti)
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November 8, 2018 2:25 pm  

As I have said elsewhere, Galax seems to have issued the patch.

Would anybody be so kind to see if it works on a Mac with Mojave?

Mac Mini 2012 i7, Mac book Pro 2016 15" with TB, eGPU Galax/KFA2


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(@stephane_betzi)
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November 9, 2018 3:00 pm  

That's a good piece of news.

I will try it on PC to compare the performances after I come back from holidays end of November.. Unfortunately I won't be able to check on MAC.

Sorry

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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jangoloti
(@jangoloti)
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November 21, 2018 2:13 pm  

I have applied the patch and I am at 1660 MiB/s from 1160 before. I am probably limited by some PCIe bug due to the script I have used I have been told.

I will not look further, it is working very stable like this, it is very silent and not hot at all, 63º inside the enclosure.

Find below a FLIR picture with my FLIR ONE device:

20181120T204818
20181120T204625
20181120T204614

Mac Mini 2012 i7, Mac book Pro 2016 15" with TB, eGPU Galax/KFA2


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joevt
(@joevt3)
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November 21, 2018 6:25 pm  
Posted by: jangoloti

I have applied the patch and I am at 1660 MiB/s from 1160 before. I am probably limited by some PCIe bug due to the script I have used I have been told.

I will not look further, it is working very stable like this, it is very silent and not hot at all, 63º inside the enclosure.

You can try my pcitree.sh script (discussed at #223 )  to view the link speed/width of all PCIe devices to see if the bottleneck is PCIe related. Be sure to download the latest pciutils which has a fix (added 9 days ago) for the required setpci command. I've attached my latest pcitree.sh script.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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jangoloti
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November 21, 2018 8:41 pm  

Thanks.

I am a bit wary just in case I destabilise my setup. I am probably not hitting the max speed of the TB3 anyway.

I will use the eGPU mostly with the MacMini I am buying soon, if I do not get the full TB3 throughput I sure will troubleshoot.

Mac Mini 2012 i7, Mac book Pro 2016 15" with TB, eGPU Galax/KFA2


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(@stephane_betzi)
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November 30, 2018 10:56 am  

Updated benchmark on internal monitor for Uningine Heaven. On an external monitor using the same resolution I have a gain and I can reach 101 FPS instead of 89.

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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jangoloti
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December 15, 2018 1:10 pm  

Stéphane

With what file did you flash the firmware? I succeeded with one KFA2 enclosure but not with the second.

Mac Mini 2012 i7, Mac book Pro 2016 15" with TB, eGPU Galax/KFA2


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(@stephane_betzi)
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December 16, 2018 10:23 am  

Hi,

I used the files you provided yourself on the other thread !?
Or maybe I don't understand the question.

The file name was : 410600-0003-000.bin

I even found a french blog (no link with kfa2) explaining the procedure :

https://www.journaldulapin.com/2018/11/21/galax-kfa2-firmware/

He mentions that the files were taken on this forum. He also compared the speed of a nvme ssd mounted inside the enclosure before and after the update.

Here is the post (in french as well) where he explains what he did : 
https://www.journaldulapin.com/2018/11/13/kfa2-egpu/

This post was modified 3 months ago

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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jangoloti
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January 6, 2019 1:41 pm  
Posted by: Stéphane Betzi

The file name was : 410600-0003-000.bin

It is the same I posted and worked with my first eGPU. The second one did not accept the flashing (said it was for another product) but later I realised the unit had the good speeds already. Well, limited to 1600 on Mac but 2200 on Bootcamp, like the first unit. Maybe they repaired my button and sent me the unit back on a new box...

Posted by: Stéphane Betzi

I even found a french blog (no link with kfa2) explaining the procedure :

https://www.journaldulapin.com/2018/11/21/galax-kfa2-firmware/

He mentions that the files were taken on this forum. He also compared the speed of a nvme ssd mounted inside the enclosure before and after the update.

Here is the post (in french as well) where he explains what he did : 
https://www.journaldulapin.com/2018/11/13/kfa2-egpu/

The "personne" is me. It is amazing that KFA2 does not have a download section for support issues. I have told them three times, they do not seem to care.

This post was modified 3 months ago

Mac Mini 2012 i7, Mac book Pro 2016 15" with TB, eGPU Galax/KFA2


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(@stephane_betzi)
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January 6, 2019 4:52 pm  

Heureusement que j'ai rien dit de mal sur ton blog :p

Yes, sad that they don't have a proper website to help us users -_-

Dell XPS 13 v2018 - 1To SSD - 16Go RAM
KFA2 GALAX SNPR NVIDIA 1060 egpu
Belkin - Thunderbolt 3 cable USB-C 3.1-40 Gbit/s, 5K, 100 W - 2M


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jangoloti
(@jangoloti)
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January 12, 2019 9:44 am  

It is not my blog, I just said that the person the Lapin said had posted the drivers was me.

No time for blogs... 😉

Mac Mini 2012 i7, Mac book Pro 2016 15" with TB, eGPU Galax/KFA2


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c_henriques
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January 31, 2019 9:48 pm  

Hi,

This is my first post in this forum. 

I have a HP spectre x360 with two TB3 ports (4 lanes).
This TB3 enclosure + Nvidia 1060 is ridiculously cheap, so I'm considering to buy it (if I can get it shipped to Portugal).

I'm new to this field, hence I have some basic questions, I hope someone can help me.

I would like to start with some cheap egpu, but I intend to upgrade the graphic card in the future. 
Would I be able to exchange this NVIDIA 1060 card for new one in the future, for instance a nvidia 2060 or even a 2070?
If the box is not large enough to fit other cards I don't mind to use the system without the external enclosure, I just want it to be fully compatible with other graphic cards.
will be the power delivered by the GALAX SNPR Enclosure enough for newer cards? if not, is it possible to get an additional power supply and bypassed it for the card?

regarding the general performance of this GALAX SNPR Enclosure +  1060.  After performing the firmware upgrades described in this thread, will be this egpu performance comparable to other enclosures when pared with a similar card? 

thank you very much

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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