2017 Intel NUC7i5BNH [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Zotac AMP Box Mini) + Wi...
 
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2017 Intel NUC7i5BNH [7th,2C,U] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Zotac AMP Box Mini) + Win10 1809 [itsage]  

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

The NUC7i5 is my main TV streaming box. It runs NordVPN so that I can watch live soccer matches from EU and Vietnam. It also runs Plex and HDHomeRun for local and other TV watching activities. Once in a while it's most comfortable to play PES on the TV rather than computer monitor. Pairing an eGPU to this NUC serves this purpose very well.

NUC + eGPU sits in the bottom drawer of the TV stand. After swapping the RX Vega Nano into the RX 580 Gaming Box, this RX 580 graphics card found a perfect home inside the Zotac AMP BOX mini. The large 130mm cooling fan and no PSU nearby allows this eGPU to run very cool and quiet. In fact the noise I heard most often is from a Raspberri Pi in this drawer. It runs Pi-Hole and UniFi Controller for my home network. I installed a PoE hat on the RPi so that it could run off the Ethernet cable but the tiny fan is loud when it runs.

 

System specs:

NUC7i5BNH - i5-7260U/Plus Graphics 640 iGPU/8GB RAM/256GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

Zotac AMP BOX mini + RX 580 + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

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.

Other than TBT firmware update, it was plug-and-play with the RX 580 eGPU. From previous testings there's marginal performance difference between loopback vs external monitor so I left the TV connection to the NUC's HDMI port rather than the eGPU. This simplifies cable management because I don't always need eGPU acceleration.

 

Benchmarks:

The NUC systems have 4 PCI lanes for their Thunderbolt port. Here are the screen captures for AIDA64 and HWiNFO64.

 

Comments:

This NUC + eGPU is great for PC gaming on TV. Might not be cost effective vs console but for those who have more streaming needs, adding an eGPU to streaming PC is a good option.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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steve4332
(@steve4332)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Nice to see an other Zotac Mini setup! The RX 580 from the Gaming Box is indeed a perfect fit, AMAZING! I envy you. Smile I hacked a 14cm fan into my Zotac unit (onto a Sapphire 570 ITX card with fan and shroud removed) but that is definetly not a perfect fit although super quiet (the top cover bulges a bit if I try to force shut it on top of the 14cm fan - I will replace it with a lower profile one soon).

Apple Mac Mini 2018 + Zotac AMP Box Mini + Sapphire RX 570 ITX

 
2018 Mac Mini [8th,6C,B] + RX 570 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Zotac AMP Box Mini) + macOS 10.14.5 [build link]  


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NazNaz
(@naznaz)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hi there can you please explain how you managed to install the fan

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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amusiccale
(@amusiccale)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@itsage, Sorry to revive this old thread, but I was curious which version of the box you have? (180 / 230 W). I picked up a secondhand Zotac box with the 180, but it does have the 6/8-pin connector, so I was wondering if one of the ITX RX480s would work in there (150W).

 

2017 4k iMac (3 Ghz i5, Radeon Pro 555 dGPU), Zotac Amp Box Mini, Gigabyte RX560 4GB OC


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

@amusiccale, I have the 180W power adapter. I have installed a few different RX 580 and GTX 1060 and they all work. ITX RX 480 should definitely work in this Zotac AMP Box mini 180W.

 

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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amusiccale
(@amusiccale)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@itsage, Thanks! Right now, it's working pretty much out of the box in both W10/Mojave with a lower-end card. It didn't come with a cable - will pretty much  any 6-pin M to 6-pin M cable work? I saw yours had just the 6 pin plugged into the 8 pin F connector.

 

2017 4k iMac (3 Ghz i5, Radeon Pro 555 dGPU), Zotac Amp Box Mini, Gigabyte RX560 4GB OC


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

@amusiccale, The PCIe power header on the mainboard is 8-pin but my unit came with a 6-pin cable. It worked fine and I think most PCIe cable should work the same as long as the installed GPU doesn't need more than 150W.

 

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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