2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Duo) ...
 
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2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2060 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Duo) + Win10 2004 [itsage]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

The AKiTiO Node Duo doesn't receive enough interest due to the x2 PCIe slots and power supply complications. It does have two slots that share one single Thunderbolt 3 connection to the host computer so it can be convenient for some applications. I recently got a 3.2TB PCIe solid state drive (retired enterprise equipment sales). The SuperMicro Fusion ioScale drive has an x4 PCIe 2.0 controller so its max speed is 1,5XX MB/s read and 1,3XX MB/s write. Installed inside an x2 slot of the AKiTiO Node, the speed drops to half but it's still faster than SATA SSD. Here's the 2019 13" MacBook Pro's internal 512GB PCIe SSD vs the Fusion ioScale 3.2TB PCIe SSD.

 

System specs:

2019 MacBook Pro – i7-8569U/Iris Plus Graphics iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

AKiTiO Node Duo + RTX 2060 Super + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

Had the PCIe power connector of the RTX 2060 Super FE was on top rather than in the side, it could fit very tightly with the intake fan in place. I removed to front fascia (T8 Torx screws) in order to get the 120mm fan out of the way. Power arrangement is through a 8-pin to dual 6+2-pin PCIe power splitter. One 6-pin power connector goes to the AKiTiO Node Duo's mainboard, the other 6+2-pin goes to the RTX 2060 Super. The PSU was a 650W SFX unit.

My 2019 13" MacBook Pro is running the latest Windows 10 2004 Insider. This latest version has remedied error 12 for Radeon cards in my testing. Nvidia eGPUs has no issues in Boot Camp as always. I was able to hot-plug the RTX 2060s and it just worked. For the 3.2TB PCIe SSD, I needed to install drivers from Dell's website before the Storage Controller could be recognized by Windows. I have not tested in macOS but it's unlikely to have native drivers/support. AIDA64 and HWiNFO64 confirmed the x2 PCIe connections for both the eGPU and SSD.

 

Benchmarks:

So how does a 2-lane Thunderbolt 3 eGPU perform with the latest graphics cards? I think it has a lot to do with drivers and game/app optimization rather than the connection bandwidth. I ran this RTX 2060 Super eGPU recently with the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth Ice Lake [build link] and these synthetic benchmarks look very similar.

RTX 2060S Internal Display RTX 2060S External Monitor

 

Comments:

I was inspired to put this build together because of Kickstarter projects that claim they can provide multiple x4 PCIe 3.0 connections through as many Thunderbolt 3 cables. The reality is there are always trade-offs. Unless you have full control of piecing together your host computer, eGPU enclosure, add-on components, and software optimization things won't be performing the way you hope they would.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

This is a cracking build! I have just grabbed an anniversary edition RX 5700XT for my SFFPC build as I plan on hacking it at some point but every time I see these founders edition cards I wish I had one too, such nice product design.

This of course would be a great combo with a TB3 add in card for folks like me stuck with the too-nice-to-sell-too-hard-to-use Ultrafine 5k's. Did you test it with a TB3 add in card, I know you have before but m ore the merrier right?

This coupled with a 14inch MBP might be my next purchase.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet,  I can definitely do TB3 AIC for you. I have a proper Thunderbolt 3 monitor now (Samsung CJ791 FreeSync 100Hz). Will test with both RTX 2060S and RX 5700 XT in the same enclosure with GC-ALPINE-RIDGE. These cards can provide gaming performance at 100Hz FHD and 60Hz QHD so it may be the perfect match for LG UltraFine 5K running at 2x scale.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage,  oh boy, that would be amazing, will defo keep my eyes peeled for that.

Your posts always make me want to buy new toys, which is a bad thing....

 

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet,  I put the GC-ALPINE-RIDGE in the second PCIe slot and Thunderbolt 3 monitor output worked immediately with the Samsung CJ791 34" ultrawide monitor. Resolution was at native 3440x1440 @ 100Hz and G-Sync compatible was working too. I played an hour of PES19 and everything was smooth sailing.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Ana-Satsujin
(@ana-satsujin)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

@itsage, May I ask about the temps of the cpu and how would a MBP 13" do in temps while gaming with an egpu and if there are anyways to make it cooler?

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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triumph_013
(@triumph_013)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

This is a very interesting post for me.  I recently purchased the latest Razer Blade Stealth, Mercury Edition.  I plan to run this with an eGPU, but was also looking at upgrading the small SSD that comes with it.  Since upgrading the SSD would void the warranty, this enclosure seems to be a good option.  I will always be using an external monitor, so from what I read it doesn't seem to matter if I have x2 or x4.

In your opinion, should I stick with a x4 eGPU (Razer Core X) and upgrade the internal SSD (voiding warranty), or go with the Node Duo and place an SSD in the enclosure (possibly reducing performance)?

Razer Blade Stealth - 25W i7-1065G7 - Razer Core X Chroma - ASRock AMD Radion RX 5700 XT Taichi OC+

 
2019 13" Razer Blade Stealth [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@triumph_013, It's a conundrum for sure. If you didn't have any enclosures already, I would say to go with the AKiTiO Node Duo. Through an external monitor and a GPU like RTX 2060 Super, it should be a minimal loss. The timing is pretty surreal when you raised this question because I just returned the Razer Blade Stealth Mercury Edition due to a hardware issue with the display. I'd highly recommend not to break your warranty with Razer because it's likely you'd need it. I did replace the internal NVMe drive with a 1TB and also repasted the CPU in the process [RBD + RTX 2080 Ti build link] [RBS + RTX 2060 Super build link].

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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triumph_013
(@triumph_013)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

@itsage, Yes, I read those two posts from you as well.  So you were able to get Razer to honor the warranty even after the SSD swap?  Or did you use some sort of retailer warranty?

 

Razer Blade Stealth - 25W i7-1065G7 - Razer Core X Chroma - ASRock AMD Radion RX 5700 XT Taichi OC+

 
2019 13" Razer Blade Stealth [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@triumph_013, I returned it to a retailer (Best Buy). 

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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