PCI Express vs. Thunderbolt - How much performance drop of your GPU you will have if you put it in eGPU  

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enjoy
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Joined:12 months  ago
Posts: 373
February 25, 2017 12:11 am  

This is the question that many users wants to know: How much performance drop of my Video Card i will have if i put it in the eGPU with Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt 3? I will give you the answer in this thread!

In all benchmarks we can see that, if we play games with FULL HD 1920 x 1080 Resolution (1080p) on External Display the Thunderbolt Number is not a big deal, BUT if we use the laptop Internal Display – the best Thunderbolt we have, the less performance drop we will get and also if you have better video card you will have more performance drop because – better FPS will make more bandwidth, if you use higher resolution than 1080p on External Display you will have less performance drop because of lower FPS: 

THUNDERBOLT #PCIE SPEEDEXTERNAL DISPLAY 1080PINTERNAL DISPLAY 1080P
    
Thunderbolt 332Gbps-TB3~20% performance drop~20% 1060 | ~28% 1070 | ~30% 1080 & 1080Ti
Thunderbolt 216Gbps-TB2~20% performance drop~24% GTX 1060 | ~40% GTX1080 & TITAN X 
Thunderbolt 110Gbps-TB1~20% performance drop~50% performance drop
PCI Express126Gbps-PCIe  

Thanks to @theitsage we finally have result with the same CPU in the same Desktop PC with attached to the motherboard Thunderbolt 3 port eGPU (AKiTiO Node with GTX 980Ti 6GB Hybrid) and the results shows the same close to ~20% percent performance drop with External Display for Thunderbolt 3 (32Gbps)! 

GTX 980Ti 6GB Hybrid in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 980Ti 6GB Hybrid in eGPU (Thunderbolt 3 32Gbps) External Display – 16% performance drop

So after that test we can confirm that all results we saw so far in this thread are true story even they are with different CPUs and some GPUs are overclocked! 

BENCHMARKSDESKTOP PC (126 GBPS)
GTX 980TI 6GB
EGPU THUNDERBOLT 3 (32GBPS)
EXTERNAL MONITOR | GTX 980TI 6GB
   
Unigine Valley3807 (91.0 FPS)3250 (77.7 FPS)
Unigine Heaven2279 (90.5 FPS)1918 (76.1 FPS)
Unigine Superposition3806 (28.5 FPS)3653 (27.3 FPS)
3DMark Time Spy5878 (38.0 FPS)5342 (34.4 FPS)
3DMark Fire Strike15997 (49.7 FPS)13233 (49.2 FPS)
   
Metro Last Night Redux138.1 FPS93.5 FPS
Rise of the Tomb Raider59.9 FPS58.1 FPS
Tom Clancy’s The Division59.8 FPS46.8 FP

UPDATE: Again thanks to @theitsage we have complete benchmarks for 1080p (15% performance drop), 1440p (8% performance drop) and 4k (5% performance drop) with the same CPU in the same Desktop PC with attached to the motherboard Thunderbolt 3 port eGPU (Razer Core with GTX 980Ti 6GB Hybrid)

 
Test Bench @ 1080pPCI EXPRESS (DESKTOP PC)THUNDERBOLT 3 EGPU
   
Unigine Valley95.1 FPS83.7 FPS
Unigine Heaven90.7 FPS79.0 FPS
Unigine Superposition93.2 FPS86.9 FPS
3DMark Time Spy36.0 FPS33.5 FPS
3DMark Fire Strike88.2 FPS71.7 FPS
   
Rise of the Tomb Raider60.0 FPS58.5 FPS
Tom Clancy’s GhostRecon87.9 FPS56.6 FPS
Shadow of Mordor128.5 FPS97.3 FPS
 
Test Bench @ 1440pPCI EXPRESS (DESKTOP PC)THUNDERBOLT 3 EGPU
   
Unigine Valley58.1 FPS53.9 FPS
Unigine Heaven57.1 FPS52.2 FPS
Unigine Superposition62.5 FPS59.7 FPS
   
Rise of the Tomb Raider60 FPS58.3 FPS
Tom Clancy’s GhostRecon66.0 FPS45.9 FPS
Shadow of Mordor89.2 FPS73.6 FPS
 
Test Bench @ 4kPCI EXPRESS (DESKTOP PC)THUNDERBOLT 3 EGPU
   
Unigine Valley26.6 FPS25.6 FPS
Unigine Heaven24.5 FPS23.8 FPS
Unigine Superposition31.9 FPS31.2 FPS
   
Rise of the Tomb Raider46.8 FPS46.0 FPS
Tom Clancy’s GhostRecon37.8 FPS30.1 FPS
Shadow of Mordor51.4 FPS46.3 FPS

We have full tests with GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU on all Thunderbolt ports vs. Desktop PC and also a Gaming Laptop:


1. Thundebolt 3 (32 Gbps) vs. PCI Express (126Gbps)

1.1 GTX 1080Ti 11GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 3 (32 Gbps)

Most of the eGPU users wants GTX 1080Ti, thanks to @konceptz we can see that we have -20% performance drop of the GPU on external display, on the Internal Display we have  -30% performance drop thanks to @ryokun6 post:

GTX 1080Ti 11GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

AKiTiO Node + GTX 1080Ti FE 11GB / MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016) Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) External Display: -20% performance drop

Mantiz Venus + GTX 1080Ti FE 11GB / MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016) Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) Internal Display: -30% performance drop


1.2 GTX 1080 8GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 3 (32 Gbps)

Another test with EVGA GTX 1080 Hybrid 8GB with 2016 MacBook Pro 13″ (i5-6360U) with eGPU with Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps):

GTX 1080 8GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps) 

 GTX 1080 8GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) External Display: -20% performance drop


GTX 1080 8GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) Internal Display: -30% performance drop


1.3 GTX 1070 8GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 3 (32 Gbps)

Another test with AKiTiO Node eGPU with GTX 1070 8GB with ASUS UX501VW (i7 -6700HQ) – Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) Test:

GTX 1070GB 8GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1070GB 8GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) External Display: -20% performance drop

GTX 1070GB 8GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) Internal Display: -28% performance drop


1.4 GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 3 (32 Gbps)

Another test with GTX 1060 6GB eGPU (late-2016 13″ MBP + GTX1060@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) ) snow us 21-22% perfromance drop if you using Internal Display and External Display with Thundebolt 3 (32Gbps)

GTX 1060 6GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) Internal Display: -22% performance drop

GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) External Display: -21% performance drop

So we can see from all benchmarks that with Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) with better Video Card we will get more performance drop, its because again of FPS and bandwidth! Also with GTX 1060 6GB will give us the same 21-22% performance drop thanks to Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) on Internal and External Display!


2. Thundebolt 2 (16 Gbps) vs. PCI Express (126Gbps)

2.1 GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 2 (16 Gbps)

After i buy new laptop (15′ Macbook Pro Retina late-2013 Iris Pro Only) with Thunderbolt 2 (16Gbps) – the performance drop is great even on Internal Display with Optimus vs. Thunderbolt 1 (my old laptop) 

GTX 1060 6GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16 Gbps) External Display: -16% performance drop

 GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16 Gbps) Internal Display: -24% performance drop


2.2 GTX 1080 8GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 2 (16 Gbps)

Another test with 1080 eGPU (2015 15″ Dell Precision M7510 + GTX1080@16Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) ) snow us 43% perfromance drop if you using Internal Display with Thundebolt 2 (16Gbps)

GTX 1080 8GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1080 8GB in eGPU with Thunderbolt 2 (16Gbps) Internal Display 43% perfromance drop

1488265666-Screenshot-from-2017-02-28-14-37-57.png


2.3 GTX TITAN X 12GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 2 (16 Gbps)

Another test with one of the best Video Cards: TITAN X 12GB, Akitio Node and 2015 Macbook Pro 15′ – Thunderbolt2 (16Gbps) Test: 

TITAN X 12GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

TITAN X 12GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16Gbps) External Display: -20% performance drop


TITAN X 12GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16Gbps) Internal Display: -42% performance drop

 


3. Thundebolt 1 (10 Gbps) vs. PCI Express (126Gbps)

3.1 GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 1 (10 Gbps)

I tested my eGPU performance drop and put my EVGA 1060 6GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps) and I get 20% performance drop on External Display and 50% performance drop of Internal Display on my eGPU with Thunderbolt 1 (10Gbps):

GTX 1060 6GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 1 (10Gbps) External Display: -20% performance dropGTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 1 (10Gbps) Internal Display: -50% performance drop


3.2 GTX 1070 8GB in eGPU with Thundebolt 1 (10 Gbps)

Another test with GTX 1070 in eGPU with MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2012) for Thunderbolt 1 (10Gbps)

GTX 1070 8GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1070 8GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 1 (10 Gbps) External Display: -22% performance drop


To us eGPU users, the performance loss compared to a desktop is negligible. 

With eGPU we have 20-50% performance drop on Internal and External Display and this is great, because with GTX 1060, GTX 1070, GTX 1080 & GTX 1080Ti even with this performance drop – we can play all heavy games with 60FPS:

  • GTX 1060 6GB – HIGH/ULTRA gaming with 1080p on External Display (TB1, TB2, TB3) or Internal Display (TB2, TB3)
  • GTX 1070 8GB – ULTRA gaming with 1080p on External Display (TB1, TB2, TB3) or Internal Display (TB2, TB3)
  • GTX 1070 8GB – MID/HIGH gaming with 1440p on External Display (TB1, TB2, TB3)  or Internal Display (TB2, TB3) 
  • GTX 1080 8GB & 1080TI 11GB – HIGH/ULTRA gaming with 1440p on External Display (TB1, TB2, TB3) or Internal Display (TB2, TB3)
  • GTX 1080 8GB & 1080TI 11GB – MID/HIGH gaming with 4k only External Display (TB1, TB2, TB3)

  • PCI Express provides you a 126Gbps
  • Thunderbolt 3 provides you a 32Gbps (x4 3.0)
  • Thunderbolt 2 provides you a 16Gbps (x4 2.0)
  • Thunderbolt 1 provides you a 10Gbps (x4 2.0, but Thunderbolt 1 channel limited to 10Gbps)

Q: Why There is a performance drop by using Internal Display compared with External Display (Monitor)

A: In case of using Internal Monitor, CPU will send data to the eGPU for graphic processing and then eGPU will send processed data again to the laptop to display it on the Internal Display. In this case Thunderbolt bandwidth will be used in two ways and this will waste bandwidth and cause performance drop compared to using External Monitor. By Using External Display (Monitor) CPU will send data to eGPU for processing and then eGPU will forward processed data directly to the External Display (Monitor)

Edited: 5 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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enjoy
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Posts: 373
February 27, 2017 11:39 pm  

@JayzTwoCents Retesting with 1080 on Internal vs. External Display vs Laptop with 1080 inside PCIe:


Rise of the Tomb Raider 1080p / DX12 – Preset Very High

1080 with Thunderbolt3 (32bps) on Internal Display: 59FPS / Laptop with 1080 with PCIe (126Gbps) : 94FPS

– 37% performance drop on Internal Display with eGPU with Thunderbolt3

1080 with Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) on External Display: 62FPS / Laptop with 1080 with PCIe (126Gbps) : 94FPS

– 35% performance drop on External Display with eGPU with Thunderbolt3


Metro Last Light 1080p / DX11 Ultra Settings no SS

1080 with Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) on Internal Display: 98FPS / Laptop with 1080 with PCIe (126Gbps) : 157FPS

– 35% performance drop on Internal Display with eGPU with Thunderbolt3


1080 with Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) on External Display: 112FPS / Laptop with 1080 with PCIe (126Gbps) : 157FPS

– 28.6% performance drop on External Display with eGPU with Thunderbolt3


Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0

1080 with Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) on Internal Display: 2182 / Externla Display: 2411 /  Laptop with 1080 with PCIe (126Gbps) : 3178

– 30% performance drop on Internal Display with eGPU with Thunderbolt3

– 24% performance drop on External Display with eGPU with Thunderbolt3

Edited: 9 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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Antharsious
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Posts: 90
February 28, 2017 4:08 pm  

Very interesting thread here…

I gathered the benchmarks of this thread as well as on the forum to illustrate the score and loss (in Heaven 4.0) as a function of the bandwidth compared to a Desktop…

This may give a visual idea about what is happening 😉

Edited: 9 months  ago

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + GTX1060@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

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


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t0panka
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Posts: 4
February 28, 2017 9:30 pm  

@enjoy don’t you think there is something wrong with Jay setup? How is he getting so low numbers with eGPU? How is Dave2D getting 10-15% drops even with this tablet?

Also TB1, 2, 3 all have same loss on external monitor? How is that even possible?


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enjoy
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Posts: 373
February 28, 2017 9:55 pm  

@t0panka It’s because he used slower Video Card in the eGPU and he gets lower FPS, i will update the first post with that! The post is about heavy games performance drop.

For example users with 1050TI have only 5% perfromance drop on External Display and only 10% performance drop on Internal Display with Thunderbolt 1 and with Thunderbolt 3 – because of low FPS and because the more FPS you get the more Bandwidth you will have:

eGPU with EVGA 1050TI 4GB via Thunderbolt3 (1080p) on late-2016 13′ Macbook Retina TouchBar:

eGPU with Gigabyte GTX 1050Ti 4GB with Thunderbolt 1 (1600×900) on Lenovo T430s (Left External Display / Right Internal Display)


About why Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3  have the same performance drop on External Display, the test are only on FULL HD 1080p Resolution, If you up the resolution the best Thunderbolt you have, the less performance drop you will get 🙂

Edited: 9 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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t0panka
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Posts: 4
February 28, 2017 10:17 pm  

@enjoy thank you very much for explaining!


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enjoy
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March 1, 2017 2:37 pm  

EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC – in Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 eGPU vs. PCIe:


– EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in Akitio Thunder3 with MacBook Pro (13-inch Late 2016)Intel Core i7-6567U @ 3.3 GHz (2 cores) – Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) – /Geekbench 4 score – 4016/  – EXTERNAL DISPLAY 

-20% performance drop


 – EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in Akitio Thunder2 with MacBook Pro (13-inch Late 2016)Intel Core i7-6567U @ 3.3 GHz (2 cores) – Thunderbolt2 (16Gbps) /Geekbench 4 score –  3489/  – EXTERNAL DISPLAY 

-20% performance drop


– EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in Akitio Thunder2 with MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012) Intel Core i7-3720QM @ 2.6 GHz (4 cores) – Thunderbolt1 (10Gbps) /Geekbench 4 score – 3576/ – EXTERNAL DISPLAY 

-20% performance drop


– This is what happen if we put EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps):


Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3 all have the same -20% performance drop vs. PCIe on External Display with eGPU on 1080p! 


On Internal Display is where the problems of Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 comes. I show you why….


On Internal Display the same video card (EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC) with Thunderbolt 3 on the Same laptop MacBook Pro (13-inch Late 2016)Intel Core i7-6567U @ 3.3 GHz (2 cores) – Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) – /Geekbench 4 score – 4016/ will give us the same score on Heaven 4.0 like on the Internal Display – still 20-22% performance drop vs. PCIe!

While the Thunderbolt 1 (10Gbps) and Thundderbolt 2 (16Gbps) will have 45-50% performance drop vs. (PCIe slot 126Gbps) on Internal Display

– EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in Akitio Thunder2 with MacBook Pro (15-inch Mid 2012) Intel Core i7-3720QM @ 2.6 GHz (4 cores) – Thunderbolt1 (10Gbps) /Geekbench 4 score – 3576/ – INTERNAL DISPLAY

– EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC in Akitio Thunder2 with MacBook Pro (13-inch Late 2016)Intel Core i7-6567U @ 3.3 GHz (2 cores) – Thunderbolt2 (16Gbps) /Geekbench 4 score –  3489/ – INTERNAL DISPLAY


This test with the same Video Card show us that, Thunderbolt 3 is the best right now if you want to use Internal Display, but Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 are still in the game if we lower the resolution or just use External Display!

Edited: 9 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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Antharsious
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March 2, 2017 8:29 am  

I gathered the benchmarks of this thread concerning the gtx 1060 and displayed the score in Heaven 4.0 for quad-core and dual-core processors…

The score obtained with a dual-core processor is indeed lower than the score obtained with a quad-core processor (as enjoy mentioned).

This behavior is visible on both internal (~ 25% lower) and external (~ 15% lower) screens…

 

Edited: 2 months  ago

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + GTX1060@16Gbps-TB2 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

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


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enjoy
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March 5, 2017 11:49 am  

After tons of results i saw online, the better video card you get the more performance drop you will have due to the bandwidth and better FPS, for example:

  • GTX 1050 4GB – 10-15% performance drop /eGPU with Thunderbolt 1, 2 or 3 vs. Desktop PC PCIe (126Gbps)/
  • GTX 1060 6GB – 15-20% performance drop /eGPU with Thunderbolt 1, 2 or 3 vs. Desktop PC PCIe (126Gbps)/
  • GTX 1070 8GB – 20-25% performance drop /eGPU with Thunderbolt 1, 2 or 3 vs. Desktop PC PCIe (126Gbps)/
  • GTX 1080 8GB – 30-35% performance drop /eGPU with Thunderbolt 1, 2 or 3 vs. Desktop PC PCIe (126Gbps)/

 

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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enjoy
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March 15, 2017 11:35 pm  

TITAN X 12GB, Akitio Node and 2015 Macbook Pro 15′ – Thunderbolt2 (16Gbps) Test:

TITAN X 12GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

TITAN X 12GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16Gbps) External Display: -20% performance drop


TITAN X 12GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16Gbps) Internal Display: -42% performance drop

 

VIDEO from i get the results:

 

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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Gotsche
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April 12, 2017 7:20 am  

Thanks for the tests! So with an iMac late 2013 with TB1, a GTX 1060 should have the same Performance like a GTX 1080?


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enjoy
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April 12, 2017 8:29 am  

@Gotsche – No, 1080 will performance better, here we test the performance drop of the GPUs!

With your iMac you will use External Display (Monitor) so go with 1080 if you can 🙂

01. 1060 (eGPU) vs. 1080 (eGPU) Internal Display test on 2016 MacBook Pro 13″

02. 1060 (dGPU Laptop) vs. 1080 (eGPU) External Display test with 2016 14″ Razer Blade

GTX 1060:

 

GTX 1080:

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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Gotsche
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April 13, 2017 7:17 am  

I want to use the internal display of the iMac because of no room for another Display… – the iMac is placed (removeable) at the dining table. No own room anymore since the child was born.

So – with the many problems and internal/external Display barriers (I’ll Need to run windowed-mode games to get the eGPU Performance without an external Display – because I don’t have an iGPU), I’ve a new plan:

If the external displaymode of my iMac works with TB3<->TB2/TB1 Adapter between iMac and a TB3-PC, I’ll buy a gaming mini-PC with USB-C Interface to connect it to the Display of the iMac. If this  is working, I’m done. Advantages: full Performance of the PCIe Interface of the GPU. No bad Drivers and crazy modes… A mini-gaming-PC is not much bigger as the Akitio Node. Only the displayportinterface between the iMac and a PC. I’ll test it…

 

 

 


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enjoy
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April 18, 2017 10:24 am  

AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC + MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) – Thunderbolt2 (16Gbps) Test:

GTX 1060 6GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16 Gbps) External Display: -16% performance drop

 GTX 1060 6GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16 Gbps) Internal Display: -24% performance drop

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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vava726
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April 18, 2017 12:43 pm  

According to my opinion the gap is less then 17% because the difference in terms of cpu performance between desktop environment and laptop one affects this kind of benchmark.

 


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enjoy
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April 19, 2017 5:38 pm  

Most of the eGPU users wants GTX 1080Ti, thanks to @konceptz we can see that we have -20% performance drop of the GPU on external display, on the Internal Display we have only macOS benchmarks but -35% performance drop was expected even for Thunderbolt 3!

GTX 1080Ti 11GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

AKiTiO Node + GTX 1080Ti FE 11GB / MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016) Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) External Display: -20% performance drop

Mantiz Venus + GTX 1080Ti FE 11GB / MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016) Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) Internal Display: -35% performance drop

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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enjoy
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Posts: 373
April 22, 2017 9:40 pm  

We have full tests with GTX 1060 6GB on all Thunderbolt ports vs. Desktop PC & Gaming Laptop:

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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Fred.
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Joined:7 months  ago
Posts: 51
April 23, 2017 9:13 am  

Even on TB1 – External display it’s still preforming great. Nothing to worry about!

mid-2012 11" Macbook Air + GTX1080Ti@10Gbps (AKiTiO Node via TB3 to TB2 adapter) + Win10


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enjoy
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Joined:12 months  ago
Posts: 373
April 23, 2017 9:42 am  

I want to add some videos that confirms my tests:

This is a comparison between eGPU with GTX 970 (External Display) performance vs. desktop performance (GTX 970):


eGPU Internal vs External display comparison – GeForce GTX 1060 – Star Wars Battlefront

eGPU Internal vs External display comparison – GTX 970 –  The Division


eGPU with GTX 970 VS eGPU with GTX 1060 VS eGPU with GTX 1070 (External Display)

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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vava726
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Posts: 139
April 23, 2017 10:04 am  

An other interesting thing to explore is the performance drop is influenced by architecture (Pascal vs Maxwell).

Is worth to buy an old 980 or a 1060 ? The amount of dram vram is a variable that increases the drop ?


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enjoy
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April 23, 2017 9:10 pm  
Posted by: vava726

 

An other interesting thing to explore is the performance drop is influenced by architecture (Pascal vs Maxwell).

Is worth to buy an old 980 or a 1060 ? The amount of dram vram is a variable that increases the drop ?

   

I think right now that EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC is the best GPU (performance and price) for eGPU if you want FULL HD gaming like me. Also all benchmarks shows that with EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC you can use Internal Display without problems if you have at least Thunderbolt 2 as we have 20% performance drop that is typical for eGPU for External Display. I don’t think less VRAM will help you in gaming it will help you only to have less performance drop as you will have less FPS….

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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konceptz
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Posts: 11
April 26, 2017 10:57 pm  

Regarding the 1080ti tests.  

 

I sent you you a message but if you inspect the heaven benchmark you will see that the desktop implementation should not be considered reference. 

 

There is an over clock on the gpu core and the memory. 


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enjoy
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Posts: 373
April 27, 2017 10:22 pm  

I add some EXTRA info. It is duel of Hackintosh with 1080TI vs. MacBook Pro 2016 15″ with eGPU with 1080TI

Hackintosh with 1080TI (PCIe slot 126Gbps) /Intel Core i7 6700K @4.60 GHz CPU, 16GB DDR4 DRAM/

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016) Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) External Display:

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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ed_co
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Posts: 268
April 27, 2017 10:31 pm  
Posted by: enjoy

 

I add some EXTRA info. It is duel of Hackintosh with 1080TI vs. MacBook Pro 2016 15″ with eGPU with 1080TI

Hackintosh with 1080TI (PCIe slot 126Gbps) /Intel Core i7 6700K @4.60 GHz CPU, 16GB DDR4 DRAM/

MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2016) Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) External Display:

   

Huge gap man, more than expected… the % difference is really high in external (35% approx and not 20%). I am a little bit dissapointed. There is anything that can be improve in order to stretch the gap?

Edited: 7 months  ago

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING X@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS & Win10


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enjoy
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April 27, 2017 11:06 pm  
Posted by: ed_co
 
Huge gap man, more than expected… the % difference is really high in external (35% approx and not 20%). I am a little bit dissapointed. There is anything that can be improve in order to stretch the gap?

The Hackintosh CPU is overclocked to 4.60GHz and this made a huge difference for sure…

IMO after all benchmarks and tests – GTX 1060, RX480, RX580 and GTX 1070 are the best GPUs on the market for eGPU, because its just not worth to spend big money for 1080 and 1080Ti and to have huge performance drop….

All benchmarks here are for FULL HD 1080p resolution, you must know that if you up the resolution to 1440p or 4k even on the External Display 1080 & 1080Ti will UP the performance drop with big % …. 

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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gtosi
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Posts: 33
April 28, 2017 2:12 am  

 Maybe we should not compare the same graphics card in different machines. A quick search shows that for the same desktop graphics card it is normal to see up to 20-30% differences in Unigine performance depending on the rest of the computer (especially CPU). (e.g.  https://www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/unigine-heaven-4-0-benchmark-scores.198888/)  


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ed_co
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Posts: 268
April 28, 2017 8:41 am  
Posted by: enjoy

 

Posted by: ed_co
 
Huge gap man, more than expected… the % difference is really high in external (35% approx and not 20%). I am a little bit dissapointed. There is anything that can be improve in order to stretch the gap?

The Hackintosh CPU is overclocked to 4.60GHz and this made a huge difference for sure…

IMO after all benchmarks and tests – GTX 1060, RX480, RX580 and GTX 1070 are the best GPUs on the market for eGPU, because its just not worth to spend big money for 1080 and 1080Ti and to have huge performance drop….

All benchmarks here are for FULL HD 1080p resolution, you must know that if you up the resolution to 1440p or 4k even on the External Display 1080 & 1080Ti will UP the performance drop with big % …. 

   

I see. Nice argument. Should be great to analize it as well for 1440p and 4k resolutions, in order to see, what is the best price/performance and is worth it…

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING X@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS & Win10


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enjoy
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Joined:12 months  ago
Posts: 373
April 28, 2017 10:43 am  
Posted by: ed_co
 
I see. Nice argument. Should be great to analize it as well for 1440p and 4k resolutions, in order to see, what is the best price/performance and is worth it…

We have some benchmark with Razer Blade (TB3) with dGPU 1060 feat. eGPU with GTX 1080 (you can see that on Internal Display GTX 1080 in eGPU shows the same results as the dGPU 1060 inside Razer Blade… on External Display GTX 1080 shows not bad results at all but also shows us 20% performance drop vs. if the GTX 1080 is in Desktop PC :

Rise of Tomb Rider 2k and 4k in eGPU:

 

Rise of Tomb Rider 4k in Desktop PC:

 

Rise of Tomb Rider 1440p (3k) in Desktop PC | Rise of Tomb Rider 1080 (2k) in Desktop PC:

 

Edited: 7 months  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 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


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P-Mac
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Posts: 19
May 2, 2017 10:57 am  
Posted by: enjoy
 
you must know that if you up the resolution to 1440p or 4k even on the External Display 1080 & 1080Ti will UP the performance drop with big % …. 

It’s actually the opposite…the higher the resolution and the more stressed the card is, the smaller the performance gap becomes compared to the same card installed in a desktop. The bottleneck starts to shift from PCIe bandwidth back to raw GPU performance.

In your Tomb Raider benchmarks above, at 1440p, the desktop’s 1080 performs 24% faster than the eGPU one, but at 4K, the gap narrows to 22%. 

I use a TITAN Xp (2017) in my Thunder2 along with a 1080p 144Hz monitor, and I’ve noticed similar quirks; the Thunderbolt connection becomes a significant bottleneck when trying to achieve 144fps average (by slightly lowering graphics settings), and is made apparent by the GPU utilization being below 99% and the framerate not reaching 144, despite not having any reason to be lagging (CPU isn’t throttling, etc.)

For a few games, I’ve targeted 60fps and simply raised image quality as high as it could go, even invoking DSR in games that don’t have a native supersampling setting. I have a lot of my games rendering to 3K, sometimes 4K resolutions to then be downsampled to the 1080p monitor…not only does this look crispy as hell, it reduces the apparent performance gap when compared to the card in a desktop. 

Another case in point, in Unigine Superposition (1080P extreme preset…a very compute-heavy benchmark), my TXp eGPU performs within 7-10% of desktop TXp results. 

Food for thought. 

> 2014 MBP15 GT750M / i7-4980HQ + TITAN Xp / Akitio Thunder2
---
- VG248QE 1080p 144hz & Logitech G231 Prodigy headset
- Logitech G602 / SteelSeries QcK+ & Drevo Gramr TKL, Blues
- Scarlett 2i4 + JBL Linear Spatial Reference 305's


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nkh004
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Joined:12 months  ago
Posts: 43
May 3, 2017 2:11 am  

This is probably a dumb questions.

Can you utilize both TB ports at the same time? TB2 box has two ports, as does my iMac. 

Mid 2011 iMac / Akitio Thunder 2 / GTX1060


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