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
(@enjoy)
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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 SPEED EXTERNAL DISPLAY 1080P INTERNAL DISPLAY 1080P
       
Thunderbolt 3 32Gbps-TB3 ~20% performance drop ~20% 1060 | ~28% 1070 | ~30% 1080 & 1080Ti
Thunderbolt 2 16Gbps-TB2 ~20% performance drop ~24% GTX 1060 | ~40% GTX1080 & TITAN X 
Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps-TB1 ~20% performance drop ~50% performance drop
PCI Express 126Gbps-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! 

BENCHMARKS DESKTOP PC (126 GBPS)
GTX 980TI 6GB
EGPU THUNDERBOLT 3 (32GBPS)
EXTERNAL MONITOR | GTX 980TI 6GB
     
Unigine Valley 3807 (91.0 FPS) 3250 (77.7 FPS)
Unigine Heaven 2279 (90.5 FPS) 1918 (76.1 FPS)
Unigine Superposition 3806 (28.5 FPS) 3653 (27.3 FPS)
3DMark Time Spy 5878 (38.0 FPS) 5342 (34.4 FPS)
3DMark Fire Strike 15997 (49.7 FPS) 13233 (49.2 FPS)
     
Metro Last Night Redux 138.1 FPS 93.5 FPS
Rise of the Tomb Raider 59.9 FPS 58.1 FPS
Tom Clancy's The Division 59.8 FPS 46.8 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 @ 1080p PCI EXPRESS (DESKTOP PC) THUNDERBOLT 3 EGPU
     
Unigine Valley 95.1 FPS 83.7 FPS
Unigine Heaven 90.7 FPS 79.0 FPS
Unigine Superposition 93.2 FPS 86.9 FPS
3DMark Time Spy 36.0 FPS 33.5 FPS
3DMark Fire Strike 88.2 FPS 71.7 FPS
     
Rise of the Tomb Raider 60.0 FPS 58.5 FPS
Tom Clancy's GhostRecon 87.9 FPS 56.6 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 128.5 FPS 97.3 FPS
 
Test Bench @ 1440p PCI EXPRESS (DESKTOP PC) THUNDERBOLT 3 EGPU
     
Unigine Valley 58.1 FPS 53.9 FPS
Unigine Heaven 57.1 FPS 52.2 FPS
Unigine Superposition 62.5 FPS 59.7 FPS
     
Rise of the Tomb Raider 60 FPS 58.3 FPS
Tom Clancy's GhostRecon 66.0 FPS 45.9 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 89.2 FPS 73.6 FPS
 
Test Bench @ 4k PCI EXPRESS (DESKTOP PC) THUNDERBOLT 3 EGPU
     
Unigine Valley 26.6 FPS 25.6 FPS
Unigine Heaven 24.5 FPS 23.8 FPS
Unigine Superposition 31.9 FPS 31.2 FPS
     
Rise of the Tomb Raider 46.8 FPS 46.0 FPS
Tom Clancy's GhostRecon 37.8 FPS 30.1 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 51.4 FPS 46.3 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 + [email protected] (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 + [email protected] (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)

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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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

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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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 😉

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder2) + Win10

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


MeValonicAcid and enjoy liked
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t0panka
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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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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 (1600x900) 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 🙂

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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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!

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...

 

2014 15" Macbook Pro GT750M + [email protected] (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:

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

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

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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April 22, 2017 9:40 pm  

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

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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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 + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via TB3 to TB2 adapter) + Win10


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enjoy
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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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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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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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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:

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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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?

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13.5 & 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 % .... 

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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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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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 [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13.5 & Win10


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enjoy
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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:

 

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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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. 

2016 15" MacBook Pro RP460 + RX Vega64 @32Gbps-TB32 (Asus XG Station 2) + macOS10.13.4
---
AG241QX 1440p 144hz FreeSync // 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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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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nando4
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May 3, 2017 2:30 am  
Posted by: nkh004

 

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. 

   

The second TB2/TB3 port on the AKiTiO Thunder/3 is for daisy chaining additional devices down a TB2/3 channel.  There is no performance benefit in attaching the second port to your iMac. If anything, it may be an invalid configuration preventing the TB channel from working.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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enjoy
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May 3, 2017 8:47 am  
Posted by: P-Mac

 

Food for thought. 

We must wait @theitsage to test with the same processor in this thread, and then we can compare the final results, but it's seems that for External Display (Monitor) [->] we have 20% performance drop for 1080p & 1440p and 10% performance drop for 4k, on Internal Display [<->] we will have big performance drop with higher resolution for sure! 

The performance drop is down when we up the resolution because we have lower FPS... But we need tests with the same CPU - to attach Thunderbolt3 eGPU to Desktop PC with Thunderbolt3 motherboard and test the real performance drop, because here we don't have real stats because we have different CPUs models and speeds!

Posted by: rhodesy22

With 15" 2016 MBP with AMD RP 460 At 3440 x 1440 on Battlefield 1 I'm getting 55 - 60 FPS on Ultra compared to 86 - 92 FPS when I had it inside a gaming rig 6600k OC'd to 4.6Ghz. It's a shame I can't test the same setup while keeping the same processor.

and:

Posted by: edwardsean

 

I’d like to add that, for 1080p gaming, I think Enjoy is bang on. I think the situation changes somewhat though for 4K Gaming and gets more complex. When you go from 1080p to 4K on a desktop GTX1080 fps is going to plummet obviously. For example, Rise of the Tomb Raider (at max. settings) goes from ~100+fps down to~47fps. On an eGPU GTX1080, the fps at 1080p shows a huge loss against the internal GPU at ~59fps, but at 4K, I’m also getting ~47fps on an eGPU. So, as you go up in resolution things start to even out—somewhat.

 

If only it were that simple. The thing is these performance deltas seem to vary a lot over different titles and applications. So, for ROTR, I think I’m getting somewhere around the numbers that a desktop GTX1080 is getting at 4K. Well optimized games like Battlefield 1 have me approaching 60fps at 4K, maxed out! I think that’s insane for an eGPU. I have to be clear, that I’m heavily overclocking, and also that this can only be done with a really good power supply. But, nevertheless, this all makes me feel the GTX1080 was worth it. On the other hand….

 

Badly coded titles bring the dream of a GTX1080 in an eGPU down to a depressing slog. Enjoy showed graphs for Andromeda. Andromeda is just the worst, for so many reasons (and yet, I still want it to be good). Just as Enjoy was writing his post I was trying to get Andromeda in 4K-3D to be playable at any settings, and I couldn’t. Seeing 12fps come out of a GTX1080 really takes the wind out of your sails. In the end, I had to use med. settings and scale resolution to 80% just to get it to 20-24fps. In this case, I’m sure I could do way better if I just threw my components into a mini-ITX build. So, if you’re thinking of a GTX1080, you really have to consider your specific application. 

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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May 4, 2017 12:26 pm  

Devil Box eGPU with GTX 980GB with MacBook Pro without Touch Bar (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2016) – Thunderbolt3 (32Gbps) Test:

GTX 980GB 4GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps)

GTX 980 4GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) External Display: -13% performance drop

GTX 980 4GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 3 (32 Gbps) Internal Display: -16% performance drop


Devil Box eGPU with GTX 980GB with MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) – Thunderbolt2 (16Gbps) Test:

GTX 980GB 4GB in Desktop PC (PCIe slot 126Gbps) 

GTX 980 4GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16 Gbps) External Display: -10% performance drop

GTX 980 4GB in eGPU Thunderbolt 2 (16 Gbps) Internal Display: -20% performance drop

Thanks to @goalque 🙂

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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May 4, 2017 12:37 pm  

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: -22% performance drop

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

Thanks to @Jave

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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May 4, 2017 1:02 pm  

Finally we have and GTX 1070 8GB results and we can finish here, after tons of benchmarks I see we can told that with Thunderbolt3, Thunderbolt2 and Thunderbolt1 for 1080p we have the same 20% performance drop on External Display for top GPUs (slower GPUs have less performance drop). The difference comes when we run our Internal Laptop Display. We have full benchmarks for all top GPUs from NVIDIA:

  • with GTX 1060 we have 20% performance drop on Internal Display with Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt2
  • with GTX 1070 we have 28% performance drop on Internal Display with Thunderbolt 3
  • with GTX 1080 we have 30% performance drop on Internal Display with Thunderbolt 3
  • with GTX 1080Ti (one of the best GPU now) we have 30% performance drop on Internal Display with Thunderbolt 3

 

THUNDERBOLT # PCIE SPEED EXTERNAL DISPLAY 1080P INTERNAL DISPLAY 1080P  
         
Thunderbolt 3 32Gbps-TB3 ~20% performance drop ~20% 1060 | 28% 1070 | ~30% 1080 & 1080Ti  
Thunderbolt 2 16Gbps-TB2 ~20% performance drop ~24% GTX 1060 | ~40% GTX1080 & TITAN X   
Thunderbolt 1 10Gbps-TB1 ~20% performance drop ~50% performance drop  
PCI Express 126Gbps-PCIe      

 

We know that GTX 1060 is the king of eGPU as with it we have the same performance like top brands gaming Laptops because mobile GPU inside Razer Blade for example are down voltage and have slower performance from Desktop PC GTX 1060, the question is - Is it worth to have 1070, 1080 and 1080Ti in eGPU?.... and the answer is YES if you use External Display (Monitor) you will have only 20% performance drop on your GPU vs. if you put it in Desktop PC.

For 1440p and 4k with External Display (Monitor) we have even less performance drop, because the FPS is slower maybe something about only 10% performance drop for 1440p and 4k. So YES eGPU and high end GPUs can life together. If you want mobile Laptop for travel and work and to have eGPU at home for gaming- eGPU is for you.

 

I hope that this thread will help users to understand the performance drop it is 20% performance drop on External Display at 1080p and more than 30% performance drop if you use your Internal Laptop Display at 1080p based of your Thunderbolt number and GPU - we can finish with that conclusion.

 

The next step is that we at eGPU.io will test Thunderbolt3 with the same CPU so be ready for more clear 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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ozzy
 ozzy
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May 5, 2017 1:31 am  

This is super interesting.  If I read that right, a TB3 computer with quad-core i7 6700 2.6GHz processor and 1070 got 73.7 FPS in 1080p on Windows.  My TB1 mid-2012 Retina MacBook Pro 15" with quad-core i7 3720 2.6GHz processor (same clock speed but much earlier and therefore should be lower version) got 73.2 FPS.  That basically means the new CPU and TB3 vs TB1 makes basically no difference on an external monitor.

2012 15" Macbook Pro Retina GT650M + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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