Akitio Thunder2 & 3 Price-to-Performance Build Guide [Working Numbers]
 
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Akitio Thunder2 & 3 Price-to-Performance Build Guide [Working Numbers]  

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23mrtbone
(@23mrtbone)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

 

To try and answer my own former questions from:  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/2013-15-mbp-w-750m-egpu-enclosure-guidance/ I have come up with an APPROXIMATED Price-to-Performance Guide for what the basic requirements would be to build an eGPU with Akitio Thunder2 or Thunder3 for either Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3 systems based on my extensive research!

The point of this guide is to help anyone, like me, who has been fumbling on the best GPU to buy for the Thunder2 or Thunder3 for your particular Mac that is going to benefit you the best results per dollar of your budget...if you have one. This guide is based on the price of a complete minimal build needed for these enclosures while showing you the approximate fps per gpu you are getting with the loss for TB3 & TB2 throughput factored in.

At the time of this guides implementation (March 28, 2017), here are the prices (based on Amazon) of the equipment I have found to be needed to get a system going.

Enclosures:

Akitio Thunder 2 = $219

Akitio thunder 3 = $229 - $259 (will use avg. of $244 for scoring)

Cards:

1050 ti SC mini = $139  (4GB, 192-bit, 75 watts)

1060 SC mini = $239 (6GB, 256-bit, 120 watts)

1070 mini = $374 (8GB, 256-bit, 150 watts)

1080 mini = $539 (8GB, 256-bit, 180 watts)

Power:

Dell 220 watt DA-3/DA-2 Adapter = Approx. $20

A 120 watt Adapter = Approx. $23 - $34 (will us $23)

Assorted Pins for connections = Approx. $10

Connections:

Apple TB3 - TB2 Adapter = $30

 

Before Showing the Price-To-Performance of the builds, let's take a look at the average performance each GPU will give you based on several forum members posts and other benchmarks listed across the web:

Chart below is based on:

1)  15 game average via PCGamer Reviews at "1920 x 1080" resolution on MAX settings

2) Averages of fps and % loss via:  https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/pcie-slot-dgpu-vs-thunderbolt-3-egpu-internal-display-test/  between TB3 & TB2 as well as internal & external displays.

CARD FPS (MIN-MAX) "DESKTOP" % LOSS PER CARD FOR EGPU 

FPS (MIN-MAX) PER % LOSS 

AVG FPS OF LEFT COL.

1050ti SC mini 30 - 42.4 5% - 15% 5% (28.5 min - 40.3 max) - 15% (25.5 min - 36.1 max) 32.6
1060 SC mini 52 - 71.5 15% - 20% 15% (44.2 min - 60.8 max) - 20% (41.6 min - 57.2 max) 50.9
1070 mini 80 - 111.9 20% - 25% 20% (64 min - 89.5 max) - 25% (60 min - 83.9 max) 74.4
1080 mini 85 - 132 25% - 35% 25% (63.8 min - 99 max) - 35% (55.3 min - 85.8 max) 75.9

Now that we know the performances each card will give you ON AVERAGE (Based on the Right Column), let's look at it in the builds:

Thunder2:

CARD & ITEMS NEEDED

1050 ti SC mini

120 watt adapter

1060 SC mini

220 watt adapter

Pins

1070 mini

220 watt adapter

Pins

1080 mini

220 watt adapter

Pins

PRICE $381 $488 $623 $788
$ / GB $95.25 / GB $81.33 / GB $77.88 / GB $98.50 / GB
AVG. $ / FPS $11.69 / fps $9.59 / fps $8.37 / fps $10.38 / fps
AVG. FPS / GB 8.15 fps / GB 8.48 fps / GB 9.3 fps / GB 9.5 fps / GB

Thunder3:

* means an Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter is used for TB2 systems.

 

CARD & ITEMS NEEDED

1050 ti SC mini

120 watt adapter

1060 SC mini

220 watt adapter

Pins

1070 mini

220 watt adapter

Pins

1080 mini

220 watt adapter

Pins

PRICE

$406

* $436

$513

* $543

$648

* $678

$813

* $843

$ / GB

$101.50 / GB

* $109.00 / GB

$85.50 / GB

* $90.50 / GB

$81.00 / GB

* $84.75 / GB

$101.63 / GB

* $105.38 / GB

AVG. $ / FPS

$12.45 / fps

* $13.37 / fps

$10.08 / fps

* $10.67 / fps

$8.71 / fps

* $9.11 / fps

$10.71 / fps

* $11.11 / fps

AVG. FPS / GB 8.15 fps / GB 8.48 fps / GB 9.3 fps / GB 9.5 fps / GB

I hope these charts help anyone like myself that is fumbling with what system to buy. 

From these results, it seems the 1050 ti builds are the best Price-to-Performance "budget with no modding" builds; the 1060 SC builds are the best Price-to-Performance "budget with some modding" builds; and the 1070 is the best Price-to-Performance "high-end" builds. The jump from 1070 to 1080 doesn't seem worth the extra cost, but your mileage may vary. This is because, due to several posts on it, the higher GB and bandwidth needed to run the higher tier cards, the higher the performance loss percentage is.

 **Update: Please see this thread by @enjoy  https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/paged/1/ for guidance on fitting the 1070 and 1080 cards in the thunder2/3 enclosures!

 

** I am open to any suggestions on these charts and will for sure be updating these as time goes on! **

Hope this helps! 

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

.

Price Fox, nando4, Antharsious and 1 people liked
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Antharsious
(@antharsious)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Considering your post I think I will go for a 1070 mini. From the point of view of an economist, it doesn't make any sense to go for a gtx 1080...

Thank you 😉

Impact of Turboboost on performances and fan noise level (MacBook Pro)

 
2014 15" MacBook Pro (GT750M) [4th,4C,H] + GTX 1060 @ 16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [build link]  


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23mrtbone
(@23mrtbone)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Antharsious

 

Considering your post I think I will go for a 1070 mini. From the point of view of an economist, it doesn't make any sense to go for a gtx 1080...

Thank you 😉

   

Yeah I agree! The only 1070 mini that I know of is the Zotac one, and don't take my word on it, but I believe if you remove the front fan of either Thunder2 or Thunder3 the Zotac 1070 mini will fit? Might be an uber tight fit! Since the Zotac 1070 mini is 210mm in length (according to their website) and on the Builders Guide Page:  https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2017/ the Thunder(s) allow up to a 214mm card...so if anyone else can verify that then it'd be a sweet mini-egpu for sure! 

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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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@23mrtbone, 210mm length is when mms will start to count. See the Thunder2 chassis measurements below:

@enjoy has a collection of tight fitting video cards shown in a Thunder2/3 for browsing in the threads at:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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23mrtbone
(@23mrtbone)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: nando4

 

@23mrtbone, 210mm length is when mms will start to count. See the Thunder2 chassis measurements below:

@enjoy has a collection of tight fitting video cards shown in a Thunder2/3 for browsing in the threads at:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/

   

Thanks for the info @nando4 !  

@Antharsious I have browsed down the list of the above thread; here is a conclusive post on the 1070/1080(s) fitting in the Thunder2/3 setup with a few modifications needed:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/#post-3580

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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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Akitio Thunder2 and Akitio Thunder3 feat. EVGA 1060 6GB SC - are the best price/performance right now. You will have ready for all games FULL HD eGPU all to the max with 30-60FPS based on game and TB2 or TB3 even or your Internal Display.

For example you must read my threads:

PCI Express vs. Thunderbolt

- and my eGPU setup -  2013 15" Macbook Pro Iris Pro + GTX1060@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [enjoy]^ // Optimus Internal Display

The best example of Performance of 1060 vs. 1070 (100$ more) in eGPU (Only 10% better performance for 1070):

my result: Late 2013 15" Macbook Pro Iris Pro + GTX1060@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2)

vs. user with GTX 1070 8GB in Razer Core with late-2016 13' Macbook Pro TB with Thunderbolt 3:

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


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23mrtbone
(@23mrtbone)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: enjoy

 

Akitio Thunder2 and Akitio Thunder3 feat. EVGA 1060 6GB SC - are the best price/performance right now. You will have ready for all games FULL HD eGPU all to the max with 30-60FPS based on game and TB2 or TB3 even or your Internal Display.

For example you must read my threads:

PCI Express vs. Thunderbolt

- and my eGPU setup -  2013 15" Macbook Pro Iris Pro + GTX1060@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10 [enjoy]^ // Optimus Internal Display

The best example of Performance of 1060 vs. 1070 (100$ more) in eGPU (Only 10% better performance for 1070):

Yup, had read all of it, most of your results provided me the info to make these charts to begin with! Thanks for all the info! And yes, I do agree the 1060 is the best choice for the Thunder2/3 enclosures for the performance! For me a $488 1060 build vs the $623 1070 build is best improvement for the price over my 2013 MBP w/ 750m dGPU! 

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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