2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 10.15.7 [sunday-afternoon]
I chose to upgrade to the Saturn Pro for 3 reasons:
- 100W power delivery: my work MacBook Pro has just been upgraded to a 2019 16" from the 2017 15".
- Native Ethernet drivers - I've been worried by the warnings about the AX88179 controller in the Venus. There's a comment by @mac_editor to the review about limited speed - working 500Mbps is better than not working at all.
- I'm wondering if I'm experiencing the occasional drop-out with my keyboard with the Mantiz Venus? Nothing too terrible, but just an occasional annoyance. I occasionally have to unplug and reconnect the Logitech receiver.
- Oh, and Amazon only had a few left - I grabbed one before they ran out...
- The build quality of the Saturn is a step up from the Venus - the slide-out-the-gubbins design is perfect. All eGPUs should follow this design as it makes working on them far easier - no special tools required.
- The full ATX PSU is nice, but the bundle of cables blocks a lot of the fan.
- The location of the 2.5" drive mount is a huge improvement, though access to the SATA port on the board is tight given the full ATX PSU.
- The fan, as is tradition, isn't the quietest.
I've added a peripheral since the Venus build. I use 2 additional USB ports to host a nice camera for teleconferences: one for the USB control, the other for the Elgato Camlink4k capture card. Getting an eGPU with USB ports was a great investment and extremely useful in covid times.
- To give more space inside, I substituted the full ATX PSU with the Corsair SF-600 SFX from the quiet modded Venus
- I moved the RX580 from the Venus build to the Saturn
- I gave the fan a try, I really did. I lasted about 3 minutes before I ordered a Noctua replacement...
Workshop build pics
I decided I don't need the SSD and there's that silent Noctua fan - it's silent bliss with this thing behind my centre monitor on my desk!
Update: Nov 15th
There's one annoyance to report with the Saturn Pro now that I've used it for a couple of weeks. The Audioengine 2+ speakers connected by USB have their own power source. I leave these powered on - the power switch is incorporated into the volume knob, conveniently located on the back of the left speaker.
- With the Venus, there was always a soft "THUMP" as things powered up when the TB3 cable was connected to my computer.
- However, with the Saturn Pro this is now a huge "THUMP" which causes me to wince and worry about damaging the speakers.
Exchanging emails with Mantiz support suggests that this is due to an increase in the power being provided by the Saturn Pro over USB (now 7.5W, was 4.5W for the Venus).
Given my setup, it's easy for me to have the speakers disconnected from the Saturn Pro USB when connecting the TB3 and only make the connection once the THUMP event has passed.
Did you perhaps run some performance tests/comparisons in terms of graphical performance with and without additional USB accessories attached to the enclosure? I'm curious how it is wired and how much it limits the performance whenever you have other data flowing through that Thunderbolt port.
I use the eGPU as a docking station to use multiple monitors for software development while working from home. I often run with 6 USB devices switched on, several of them (including the Logitech receiver) through a USB 3.0 hub in my central monitor. I haven't run explicit performance comparisons, but the Venus with its single TB controller worked well for me. The Saturn has a pair of controllers as outlined in itsage's review so I expect performance will be better, quoting:
The dual Thunderbolt 3 controller design remedies I/O stability issues on first-generation eGPU enclosures.
I'm suspecting that the keyboard drop-outs I've experienced are more to do with the device as the mouse would still work fine and uses the same transceiver.
My priorities in using the Saturn Pro are providing the full 100W power delivery to my work's 16" MacBook, reliable wired Ethernet and lack of noise.