2018 AMD X399 Threadripper 1950X [R1K,16C,X] + RTX 2080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core...
 
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2018 AMD X399 Threadripper 1950X [R1K,16C,X] + RTX 2080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 [itsage]  

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

Thanks to the discussion on Titan Ridge and valuable input by @karatekid430 and @joevt3, I decided to try a Gigabyte GC-Titan-Ridge add-in card with my Threadripper desktop. Level1Techs recently showcased a similar setup in Linux. I'm beyond excited to share we can get them working in Windows too. The L1T video indicated there's reverse-engineering involved. Well, all I did was plug-and-pray. With some experience playing around eGPU and Thunderbolt 3 in the past few years, I went for it and hoped for the best.

 

System specs:

OMEN X399 Threadripper 1950x/Radeon Vega FE dGPU/32GB RAM/1TB SSD/GC-Titan-Ridge AIC

 

eGPU hardware:

Razer Core X + Nvidia RTX 2080 FE + 2m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

I believe the crucial component to make this work is the new GC-Titan-Ridge. My ASRock X399M Taichi board does not have a Thunderbolt header.

 

 

Installation steps:

There's no hacking or modding BIOS settings at all. I simply connected 2x 6-pin PCIe power cables and the USB 2.0 header cable to the GC-Titan-Ridge AIC. I proceeded to attach the Thunderbolt 3 device then booted my system up. The only software I installed was Intel Thunderbolt Software version [17.4.77.400] from Gigabyte support website. I tested several TB3 devices and hot-plug seemed to work.

Thunderbolt Software even showed this Threadripper system has support for External GPUs :D. 

 

Benchmarks:

I built this system with no intention of adding Thunderbolt 3. I guess this is now my test bench because the X399 platform is amazing. 66 PCI lanes afford me the ability to connect Thunderbolt 3 devices directly to the Threadripper CPU. Windows 10 currently boots off a RAID0 of 4x NVMe drives. Memory modules are overclocked to 3600 MHz in quad-channel arrangement. I have not found a good CPU cooling solution so I'm leaving the 1950x alone while running the stock OMEN X AIO cooler.

 

Here are synthetic benchmark results in AIDA GPGPU and Unigine (ran through USB-C port from RTX 2080 to AOC portable monitor.

 

Comments:

Titan Ridge is a pivotal controller that has provided features and functionalities not seen in older Thunderbolt controllers. I hope more devices and computers will use this new controller to bring cost down.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

And now, for something truly crazy: Take an m.2 to PCIe x4 adapter. Grab a laptop of SFF desktop with an m.2 slot. Plug the GC-Titan-Ridge into it, and see if the TB3 controller works.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

 
2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430s [3rd,2C,M] + RX 550 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + Win10 [build link]  


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

I will test this AIC with a few non-support systems next. I have a feeling the card has to connect to the CPU rather than the Chipset in order to work.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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quetzacoatl
(@quetzacoatl)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Finally a working TB3 solution on AMD platform. Bravo!

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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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: itsage

I will test this AIC with a few non-support systems next. I have a feeling the card has to connect to the CPU rather than the Chipset in order to work.

I have a crazy idea to get one of these and see if my old NUC with the fried TB1 controller will work with one of these. An academic question, at best, since I only have mPCIe as a possible connection, but the system supports TB of some sort, so I wonder if this would work with it.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."

 
2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430s [3rd,2C,M] + RX 550 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + Win10 [build link]  


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

That would be fun if your NUC works with this AIC. One of the systems I will test is the 2010 Mac Pro tower. 10.14 Mojave installer contains firmware update for this old Mac so my hope is that Thunderbolt 3 may work through the GC-TITAN-RIDGE.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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Flint Ironstag
(@flint-ironstag)
Estimable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@itsage I cross-posted this at MacRumors.  A lot of folks will be interested in the results of your 5,1 testing.  If this works, cMP will finally have the legs it deserved from the factory.

MP 6,1 | 4c | d700
MP 6,1 | 6c | d500


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

I tried pairing with an AMD eGPU. It worked the same way, no error 12.

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

 
2013 Mac Pro (FP D500 x2) [3rd,12C,E] + RX 5700 XT @ 16Gbps-TB2>TB3 (Mantiz Saturn Pro) + macOS 11 [build link]  


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karatekid430
(@karatekid430)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Please get pciutils for Windows and as Administrator, post the output of "lspci" and "lspci -vt". Cheers!

@yukikaze from my testing so far, the indications are that it will work in M.2 - but the real question is can it work in VROC with bifurcation, or on PLX switches.

I guess I could open my Surface Pro 4 again and do it with that (although the pos only has PCIe x2 to the slot) but not until after university semester ends.

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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karatekid430
(@karatekid430)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Yukikaze
Posted by: itsage

I will test this AIC with a few non-support systems next. I have a feeling the card has to connect to the CPU rather than the Chipset in order to work.

I have a crazy idea to get one of these and see if my old NUC with the fried TB1 controller will work with one of these. An academic question, at best, since I only have mPCIe as a possible connection, but the system supports TB of some sort, so I wonder if this would work with it.

itsage just showed it working on a system with no support whatsoever and no awareness or concept of Thunderbolt whatsoever. It will likely work, but it will be ugly until PCIe 5.0 comes with optical cabling, or Gigabyte finally decide to release their TBT3-Bay that runs off U.2 port (product likely canned). But mPCIe is only PCIe x1 so I am not sure it is worth bothering. You can get one of the new 2018 NUCs and repurpose the RAM and SSDs from your old NUC, likely. And then put the old NUC in the oven if it is worth the risk to try to get the controller working again. Or give it to a computer illiterate person who could not comprehend the significance of Thunderbolt.

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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