2017 Intel NUC7i5BNH [7th,2C,U] + RX [email protected] (Gigabyte Gaming Box) + Win10 [itsage]
My local MicroCenter is clearing out these previous generation NUCs so I picked one up. I have read about the i7 version running too loud and hot for this tiny form factor. Therefore I went with the i5 model. Accessing the internal was straight forward. I was up and running Windows 10 1803 within an hour.
NUC7i5BNH - i5-7260U/Plus Graphics 640 iGPU/32GB RAM/512GB SSD
Prior to installing the eGPU, I checked and upgraded the Thunderbolt firmware of this NUC. It came with NVM firmware 12. The newest one released in April 2018 is 33. Intel Thunderbolt Software is a requirement for this firmware upgrade. The Thunderbolt FW Update Tool also needs an active connection to a Thunderbolt device.
I installed Nvidia graphics drivers to use the AORUS GTX 1080 Gaming Box first. The software installation went smoothly. The HDMI port from the NUC connected to an LG 4K monitor. I tested internal display mode with this GTX 1080 eGPU by not connecting the LG monitor to any of Gaming Box's video ports. That did not work.
Next was the Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box. AMD XConnect worked much better. Internal display mode worked right away with the LG monitor connected through the NUC's HDMI port. Connecting the LG monitor directly to the RX 580 Gaming Box for external display mode yield very minimal performance gain.
|RX 580 eGPU||GTX 1080 eGPU|
This NUC has great build quality and a tiny footprint. It's a pity Apple has yet to make a Thunderbolt 3 Mac mini because this NUC would be a great platform for it.
Interesting build, i things this particular nuc and this particular eGPU are perfect match, better and cost effective than the Hades Canyon NUC. Wondering how it performs with mining and Hackintosh?
Lucky me that I found this post while still struggling to get my eGPU (Sonnet 550/GTX1080Ti) working reliably with my MacBook Pr0. It just happens that I have a recent NUC7i7BNH with Windows 10, and getting this eGPU working as per your description was a breeze.
The difficult part was finding the right MSVCP100.dll for Unigine Heaven 4.0 in the 2010 version of Visual C++ redistributable (x86). With standard settings: FPS = 202, Score = 5090, temperature < 70 deg C.
"Next was the Gigabyte RX 580 Gaming Box. AMD XConnect worked much better. Internal display mode worked right away with the LG monitor connected through the NUC's HDMI port. Connecting the LG monitor directly to the RX 580 Gaming Box for external display mode yield very minimal performance gain."
That is super interesting, if it is possible to build a SFF PC with 2x TB3 ports then I could connect my LG 5K to one, an eGPU to the other, and let the AMD software pipe the GPU through to the screen.
Does someone know if the NUC8i7HNK, has 4 lanes too? Thanks!!
Sorry for digging that thread up another time.
@itsage, you're using an second PSU for the NUC on the build, right? Is this really necessary? The block diagram indicates that (obviously) the TB3 port is connected to the power controller, just like the DC input, is there no way of using the Aorus Box' PD for powering up the NUC?
@the_livy Can you share the block diagram of the NUC7? I'd love to use my NUC7i5BNH by getting Power Delivery through the eGPU enclosure. Currently I need to use the NUC's own AC power adapter.
Oh sorry, it seems the diagram I found was from the NUC8 only, I didn't think it would have changed between the two.
Sadly they are different though, see 1.1.4 for the diagrams in both:
NUC7 (Page 21) / NUC8 (Page 6)
to me, it looks a lot like power supply over TB3 should be possible on the NUC8?
edit: Chapter 1.8 sadly only states 5V 3A output on the Thunderbolt port: "The boards support ThunderboltTM 3 with up to 40 Gbps of data throughput, one 4k (60Hz) monitor output, USB3.1 (Gen 2) connection and charging capabilities up to 5V at 3A via the back panel USB Type C connector." (see page 16 for the NUC8) – that's a real bummer, would have been nice to have, I wonder why they didn't make the NUC's capable of that, especially with the misleading block diagram of the NUC8. Sorry for bringing up false hopes!
Thank you for sharing the links to the block diagrams. I agree it looks misleading in the NUC8. There should be arrow/s showing the flow of current. The Block Power provides charging to USB peripherals through the rear USB-C port and the yellow USB-A port in the front.
I tried connecting my NUC7 to the AKiTiO Node Pro's 60W PD Thunderbolt 3 port. It was not able to power on without the AC adapter connected through the DC input port. I even tried again when the Node Pro was fully active while connected to a MacBook Pro through the 15W Thunderbolt 3 port.