Does a TB3 add-in card require a CPU with iGPU?
 
Notifications
Clear all

Does a TB3 add-in card require a CPU with iGPU?  

 of  2
  RSS

turns2stone
(@turns2stone)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Hi guys,

I'm pretty comfortable with the ins-and-outs of TB3 eGPU, as I've run one for a while.

But I've ordered a new PC that has an i5-11400F (no iGPU). The motherboard is a Gigabyte Aorus Z590 UD, which has a TB3 header, and I just got an ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 add-in card (I tested, it works) for $19.

So, will this card work with a CPU with no iGPU? Obviously I usually connect DP-to-DP from the TB3 card into the motherboard DisplayPort, but what if I have no iGPU in the i5-11400F? Will it still work? Will my Razer Core X Chroma still work, connected with a GPU inside?

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

.

ReplyQuote
Topic Tags
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Thunderbolt add-in cards will work without connections to its DisplayPort inputs.

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


ReplyQuote
turns2stone
(@turns2stone)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: @joevt

Thunderbolt add-in cards will work without connections to its DisplayPort inputs.

Great! So is the purpose of the DP in/injector on the add-in card only to support a TB connection (from the card) to a TB monitor?

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

.

ReplyQuote
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@turns2stone, any display that is connected to the Thunderbolt chain (via Thunderbolt, USB-C, DisplayPort, or HDMI).

The Thunderbolt controller in the computer or add-in card converts up to two DisplayPort inputs to Thunderbolt.

A Thunderbolt controller converts the Thunderbolt DisplayPort packets back to DisplayPort. The Thunderbolt controller might be in a Thunderbolt dock which might have a DisplayPort port, or an HDMI or VGA port that is provided by an internal DisplayPort to HDMI or VGA adapter. A Thunderbolt dock could have multiple ports provided by an internal DisplayPort MST hub connected to the DisplayPort port of the Thunderbolt controller. The Thunderbolt controller might be in a Thunderbolt display which uses the DisplayPort output of the Thunderbolt controller for the display. A 5K or 6K Thunderbolt display may use two DisplayPort outputs from the Thunderbolt controller - in that case the downstream Thunderbolt port is used for the second DisplayPort output so the display cannot have a downstream Thunderbolt port for the user (LG UltaFine 5K or Apple Pro Display XDR). Any Thunderbolt 3 controller can have two DisplayPort outputs - the second must be from the downstream Thunderbolt port. I think Thunderbolt 2 controllers can only do one DisplayPort output - a second DisplayPort output would need to be performed by another downstream Thunderbolt device.

The Blackmagic eGPUs and the new Sonnet 5500XT and 5700 Pucks are interesting because they have Thunderbolt controllers with DisplayPort inputs connected to their GPUs. A Thunderbolt chain including those GPUs might have four DisplayPort streams (two from the computer and two from the eGPU) but I haven't seen anyone test if it's possible to use more than the two DisplayPort connections provided by the eGPU. I have seen one case where the eGPU is not support (an M1 Mac) so that the DisplayPort source is the M1 Mac and not the eGPU which means the eGPU's Thunderbolt controller is able to pass the DisplayPort signal from the computer.

 

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


ReplyQuote
turns2stone
(@turns2stone)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: @joevt

@turns2stone, any display that is connected to the Thunderbolt chain (via Thunderbolt, USB-C, DisplayPort, or HDMI).

The Thunderbolt controller in the computer or add-in card converts up to two DisplayPort inputs to Thunderbolt.

A Thunderbolt controller converts the Thunderbolt DisplayPort packets back to DisplayPort. The Thunderbolt controller might be in a Thunderbolt dock which might have a DisplayPort port, or an HDMI or VGA port that is provided by an internal DisplayPort to HDMI or VGA adapter. A Thunderbolt dock could have multiple ports provided by an internal DisplayPort MST hub connected to the DisplayPort port of the Thunderbolt controller. The Thunderbolt controller might be in a Thunderbolt display which uses the DisplayPort output of the Thunderbolt controller for the display. A 5K or 6K Thunderbolt display may use two DisplayPort outputs from the Thunderbolt controller - in that case the downstream Thunderbolt port is used for the second DisplayPort output so the display cannot have a downstream Thunderbolt port for the user (LG UltaFine 5K or Apple Pro Display XDR). Any Thunderbolt 3 controller can have two DisplayPort outputs - the second must be from the downstream Thunderbolt port. I think Thunderbolt 2 controllers can only do one DisplayPort output - a second DisplayPort output would need to be performed by another downstream Thunderbolt device.

The Blackmagic eGPUs and the new Sonnet 5500XT and 5700 Pucks are interesting because they have Thunderbolt controllers with DisplayPort inputs connected to their GPUs. A Thunderbolt chain including those GPUs might have four DisplayPort streams (two from the computer and two from the eGPU) but I haven't seen anyone test if it's possible to use more than the two DisplayPort connections provided by the eGPU. I have seen one case where the eGPU is not support (an M1 Mac) so that the DisplayPort source is the M1 Mac and not the eGPU which means the eGPU's Thunderbolt controller is able to pass the DisplayPort signal from the computer.

 

 

I think I'm following Smile

BTW, I'm BeatCrazy over at the MacRumors forum. I've added an ASUS TB3 card (it's Alpine Ridge) to my PC w/TB header. It works just fine connecting to an eGPU + Intel CPU w/iGPU (using DisplayPort injector), just as you'd expect.

So I suppose my real question: Will I be able to get video out of an eGPU (with a GPU inside, of course!) if I'm using the TB3 add-in card inside my PC, in combination with an Intel CPU with no iGPU, i.e. i5-11400F?

 

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

.

ReplyQuote
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: @turns2stone

So I suppose my real question: Will I be able to get video out of an eGPU (with a GPU inside, of course!) if I'm using the TB3 add-in card inside my PC, in combination with an Intel CPU with no iGPU, i.e. i5-11400F?

Connect DisplayPort Out from GPU of eGPU to DisplayPort In of TB3 add-in card then displays can be connected to Thunderbolt and they will be driven by the GPU in the eGPU

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


ReplyQuote
turns2stone
(@turns2stone)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: @joevt
Posted by: @turns2stone

So I suppose my real question: Will I be able to get video out of an eGPU (with a GPU inside, of course!) if I'm using the TB3 add-in card inside my PC, in combination with an Intel CPU with no iGPU, i.e. i5-11400F?

Connect DisplayPort Out from GPU of eGPU to DisplayPort In of TB3 add-in card then displays can be connected to Thunderbolt and they will be driven by the GPU in the eGPU

Thanks, will do! 

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

.

ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@joevt, I think there's a miscommunication is this configuration. The motherboard in the OP does not have DP IN. The ASUS TB3 AIC only has 1x TB3 port and 1x Mini DP IN port. In an arrangement where the CPU has no iGPU and there's no dGPU, we may be able to get monitor output from eGPU through the ASUS AIC. When that single TB3 port is in use for eGPU to PC, there's no other port for TB3 monitor output. OP can only have monitor outputs through the eGPU directly.

 

LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube | Instagram
 
external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 6700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (CM MasterCase EG200) + Win10 1903 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
turns2stone
(@turns2stone)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@joevt, I think there's a miscommunication is this configuration. The motherboard in the OP does not have DP IN. The ASUS TB3 AIC only has 1x TB3 port and 1x Mini DP IN port. In an arrangement where the CPU has no iGPU and there's no dGPU, we may be able to get monitor output from eGPU through the ASUS AIC. When that single TB3 port is in use for eGPU to PC, there's no other port for TB3 monitor output. OP can only have monitor outputs through the eGPU directly.

 

These things are indeed tricky Smile

For clarity, here is the exact hardware I have/I am inquiring about:

i5-11400 (has iGPU)

ASUS ThunderboltEX 3 (one TB3 output, one mDP input). mDP input connected to motherboard DP output.

Gigabyte Z590 UD (has TB3 header)

Razer Core X Chroma Core eGPU (with a 5700XT, or various GPUs), 

^^^^^^ This combination works just fine

 

So, if I swap the CPU for an i5-11400F (no iGPU), will I still get video output from the eGPU and will I need to pump back DP into the TB3 AIC via the eGPU?

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

.

ReplyQuote
joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Why use an eGPU with the Z590 UD? Just put a GPU in the GPU slot of the motherboard. It will perform much faster than an eGPU connected with Thunderbolt.

There is no reason to connect DisplayPort input of add-in card if you're not connecting a display in the Thunderbolt chain. A display connected to the GPU of the eGPU is not in the Thunderbolt chain.

If you want to use a Thunderbolt connected display and an eGPU then you either need a new Thunderbolt add-in card with two Thunderbolt ports, or you need a Thunderbolt 4 hub (I don't know if a Thunderbolt 4 hub works with a PC that just has Alpine Ridge and I don't know if a PC will let an eGPU work while connected to a Thunderbolt 4 hub).

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


ReplyQuote
 of  2