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.
NUC7i5BNH - i5-7260U/Plus Graphics 640 iGPU/8GB RAM/256GB 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.
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.
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.
Nice to see an other Zotac Mini setup! The RX 580 from the Gaming Box is indeed a perfect fit, AMAZING! I envy you. 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).
@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).
@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.
@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.