Akitio Node Pro - The perfect eGPU enclosure?  

 

matthewmchang
(@matthewmchang)
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February 4, 2018 7:18 am  

Quick question for the eGPU community.

I currently own a Mantiz Venus + AMD Vega 56 + MacBook Pro (13 inch). I just saw the newly released Akitio Node Pro, and I am tempted to return the Mantiz Venus because the Akitio Node Pro seems like the perfect eGPU enclosure. The build quality of it seems great, too. I really dislike the Mantiz Venus' build. Its metal, but all of the edges are super rough, and feels scratchy and terrible. Is the Akitio Node Pro worth the switch?


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Mymantiz_John
(@mymantiz_john)
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February 4, 2018 8:49 am  

HI, sorry to hear that you dislike the Mantiz Venus, but we do the high quality built on the enclosure with the aluminum anodizing treatment. all the surface and edge are follow the the UL standard. All other eGPU are with its own characteristic and sales point. Thank you.

 

 

Mantiz: ShopFacebookTwitter


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Daelin
(@daelin)
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February 4, 2018 9:31 am  

i have my super ugly devil box hidden in the last corner of my desk. 

tbh i don't think the node pro will satisfy you more then the venus. what i saw in videos the build quality of akitio products is everything else then good, especially the enclosures.

if you look into aesthetics and build quality you probably have to buy a razer core, otherwise get used to a product not fully matured yet! 😉

MacBook Pro 15" 2017, AMD RP560
Devil Box + MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming X

Bricked thanks to rEFInd:
MacBook Pro 15" Late 2013, GT 750M


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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February 4, 2018 3:15 pm  

I like Venus quality, I have an Akitio Node and even if I like Akitio, the build quality is not superior to Mantiz.

technically I think Venus is superior to Node Pro

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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sprober
(@sprober)
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February 4, 2018 9:52 pm  

I have a Mantiz and have really been happy with it, seems pretty bulletproof. As for appearance I have it in a rack on a shelf next to a Thunder 3 quad mini and a stand for my macbook pro, the rack and shelf is black as are the faceplates of the other rack equipment so the aluminum items are kind of a nice contrast. Certainly don't think it looks bad.


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tfindlay
(@tfindlay)
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February 5, 2018 12:04 am  

Hi,

Just my $0.01c worth. I have the old Akitio Node, and whilst it looks ok, there really isnt much to it. I upgraded the PSU and fans in it, so for me, there is no point going to the Node Pro.

As for build quality, I wouldn't rate what I got in the Akitio node very highly. The power coating is rough and just a slap-dash job over the outside, the insides are not coated, the screws are not that nice, the fans are horrible.

The only benefit I see in the Node Pro is the extra ports, and once you budget to replace the fans and PSU, its really not worth it.

I don't know anything about the Mantiz sorry, so cant comment on that.

 


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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February 5, 2018 7:12 pm  

I can't claim to have used either Node but you would be making a mistake going from Node to Node Pro. This is a confusing name scheme from AKiTiO in my opinion. Just by looking at the names and which is newer you might assume anything the Node can do the Node Pro can do better, but this is not the case. From what I can see, the Node Pro is not for eGPU use, it is basically the Node Lite, extended to accept full-length PCIe cards. Also the small amount of room inside the enclosure as compared to the Node and other eGPUs, suggests it was not designed for use with eGPUs. Also the fact they do not list any compatible GPUs is a sign.

[Just found what I was looking for... look down the page (below the table) for the Remarks...

"Graphic cards of any kind are NOT supported." ]

 

I should add I had the exact reaction you did when I first saw the Node Pro on their site; it was only after looking into it more closely I realized this was not an eGPU / not a replacement of the Node.

Edited: 3 months  ago

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Flint Ironstag
(@flint-ironstag)
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Posts: 154
February 5, 2018 7:36 pm  

It's a legal thing.  They cannot advertise them with GPUs, and they will not support this configuration.  

I'm absolutely going to get 2 of these: 1 for office, 1 for home.  They will both have high end GPUs.

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


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Posts: 2281
February 5, 2018 7:44 pm  

@chippy-mcchipset I totally agree with you. The AKiTiO Node Pro is certified as a Thunderbolt 3 PCI expansion enclosure, not eGPU/eGFX enclosure. While there's no restriction to prevent you from installing a graphics card, AKiTiO doesn't support eGPU use with the Node Pro.

Our Buyer's Guide separates TB3 eGFX enclosures from TB3 PCIe ones.

Edited: 3 months  ago

Numerous implementation guides


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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February 5, 2018 9:56 pm  

Flint: it's less about legalities than physics. Look at the amount of space inside the box and think in terms of cooling. Like itsage says, there's nothing preventing you from trying but why not use a chassis designed for our purposes? That's my take anyway. I wouldn't invest $750-$1000+ in a GPU and then stuff it in that box just because the box is a newer design / looks a little more sleek than the Node.


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Flint Ironstag
(@flint-ironstag)
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February 6, 2018 6:03 am  

Chippy, There's plenty of space for any dual slot GPU I've encountered.  If you have evidence of Node Pro being less capable of housing a hot GPU than a Node, I'd sure love to see some links.  There's a snippet floating around the web where Akitio stated they designed the Pro around air cooled cards.  I can't think of another concession made.  Per Akitio's own handy reference chart, the Node Pro is an upgrade in every way.  Your legalities vs. physics argument makes absolutely no sense here.

https://www.akitio.com/product/compare?cid[]=58&cid[]=63

I'll say it again.  Legally they can't call it eGFX or eGPU, but this stuff works in all kinds of enclosures - whether it has the shiny sticker on it or not.

Now some folks will require support and I'm not knocking that.  But this is an enthusiast site, and marketing speak that would prevent folks from exploring a whole other range of enclosures is just wrong.

You want eGPU prices to come down?  Let these generic PCIe expansion boxes catch on and undercut them in price.  Node Pro is a damn good thing for the market, and we're going to see more action in this space.

 

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


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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February 6, 2018 4:13 pm  

The AKiTiO Node Pro has a lot of room inside. It can easily fit a 3-slot wide GPU. As seen in this top-view photo you have plenty of space.

Numerous implementation guides


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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February 6, 2018 6:26 pm  

Not saying a double-width card won't fit, I'm saying it will be tougher to cool a high-end card (especially under heavy loads) in a more constrained space, with less airflow than the Node, or other manufacturer designs like those from Sonnet. 🙂

To me that makes perfect sense but again nothing to prevent someone from trying if they don't care about support, possibly ruining a card, etc. By all means any who wants to buy one should have at it. Whoever uses this chassis with a Vega / GTX 1080Ti / Titan card, let us know how it goes under heavy workloads (like rendering something overnight, etc).

If enough people confirm that there's no problem, I'll buy one myself just to show I have an open mind. 😉

Edited: 3 months  ago

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matthewmchang
(@matthewmchang)
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February 9, 2018 11:39 pm  

@chippy-mcchipset, I own an Akitio Node Pro, and pair it with an AMD Vega 64 GPU. As you know, the card runs crazy hot. I mainly use it for Final Cut Pro X, and BruceX benchmarks put me at or below 10 seconds. I can tell you that the Vega 64 runs slightly cooler in the Akitio Node Pro, than in the Mantiz Venus. The difference is actually so minimal, that you could technically say that the Vega 64 runs at the same temp in both enclosures. I think the only reason the Akitio Node Pro runs the Vega 64 a bit cooler, is that it has a bigger case fan (92mm) compared to the Mantiz Venus (80mm), and that the Akitio Node Pro's fan connector is a 3 pin (No PWM, so it runs at full speed all the time).

Edited: 2 months  ago

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matthewmchang
(@matthewmchang)
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February 9, 2018 11:52 pm  

@Mymantiz_John, @Daelin, @ikir,: The Mantiz Venus is great, I didn't mean to say that it was a bad enclosure. In my experience, all the ports and the look of it was quite outstanding. My only issue is with the edges of the metal being extremely rough. That is why I ended up switching. Also, the Aktio Node Pro build quality is far, far, far superior to the Akitio Node. Its as if it was made by a different company. Slightly better build than the Mantiz Venus, imo. 

The rough edges of the Mantiz Venus I described:

IMG 0265
IMG 0268

And some comparison shots of both. (They both look great, much better than the other enclosures using cheap black plastic):

IMG 0281
IMG 0257


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Chippy McChipset
(@chippy-mcchipset)
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Joined:7 months  ago
Posts: 163
February 12, 2018 11:09 pm  

Matthew: Do you have Blender or similar app where you can run a massive OpenCL render on your rig for a few hours? Curious to know if without a temperature-controlled fan, whether that would work or if it would overheat and cause a kernel panic, something like that.


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matthewmchang
(@matthewmchang)
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Posts: 14
February 13, 2018 12:22 am  

@chippy-mcchipset, I don't have Blender, but I did FCPX Bruce X tests on both eGPU enclosures. Given that the fan in the Akitio Node Pro runs permanently at 100%, it is literally impossible for it to overheat before the Mantiz Venus, which runs a much slower temperature most of the time. In fact, using the Akitio Node Pro for the past week, at normal usage it seems to consistently run slightly cooler than the Mantiz Venus, even at idle.


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rickey
(@rickey)
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Posts: 7
February 15, 2018 6:59 pm  

I have both a Node and a Node Pro. The pro is an excellent upgrade. The fan runs largely silent and seems to have much better airflow. I'm running it with a Titan Xp because my Titan V is still in want of Mac drivers to support it. I've even used the popup handle to carry the unit home from work. I can confirm it works beautifully with a GPU.


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