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Akitio Node/Thunderbolt 3 problems on Windows 10 custom machine
 

Akitio Node/Thunderbolt 3 problems on Windows 10 custom machine  

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Supaiku
(@supaiku)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hey guys,

I recently bought a new custom built PC and decided after much back and forth to finally switch back from OSX to Windows (I will always love OSX but Macs are just too damn expensive for the amount of graphics power that I need). The machine is loaded with dual GTX 1080s, a Core i7 7820X 3.60GHz 8 core processor, 32 gb of DDR4 RAM, and an ASUS Prime X299 Deluxe motherboard. I made sure to have a motherboard installed which supports Thunderbolt 3.

So when I plug the Node into the T3 port and power it on, the installed GTX 980Ti whirs to life just like it did when I was using the Node on my 2013 iMac. The little "ding" sound occurs letting me know that a device has connected to windows. The Node appears in Device Manager, and I was able to install the T3 firmware from Intel's site. However, when I run the T3 tool, it says that no devices are connected. And when I try to update the T3 firmware via the Intel NUC driver or whatever it's called or try to update the Node's firmware, I get error messages. Inside Octane render, the GTX 980Ti doesn't appear, just the dual GTX 1080s.

I'm attaching some screenshots here so you guys can see that my system does indeed recognize the Node as an attached device, along with the error messages that I'm getting. Any idea what I need to do to get this thing fully recognized?

AkitioNodeScreenshot

The above image shows the Node in Device Manager.

Thunderbolt Installed

This image shows that I've got Thunderbolt firmware installed, but it isn't the most up-to-date. But it is there.

Node Error
Thunderbolt Firmware Update Error

Lastly, these images show the error messages that I get when trying to update the T3 firmware and Node firmware.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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henrygrins
(@henrygrins)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hey there Supaiku. Did your MB come with the TB3 PCIe card? The USB type-c on that board is just that -- USB type-c, not TB3. If I understand correctly, it comes with an expansion TB3 card which plugs into a TB3-specific header on the motherboard. I ask because I see in Device Manager it shows up as being a USB device.

NYC-based motion/UX designer.
XPS 15 9560 | 2016 15" rMBP | Skull Canyon NUC | Akitio Node/GTX 1070 | Aorus Gaming Box 1080


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drax392
(@dieseldrax)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

As the above poster pointed out, your Node is connected to a USB-C port, not a Thunderbolt port.  Looking at your screenshots, you don't have any Thunderbolt controllers installed, so in order to get Thunderbolt connectivity with that motherboard you need to buy and install one of these cards...

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboard-Accessory/ThunderboltEX-3/

Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) - 1TB Samsung 960 EVO NMVe SSD, 32GB memory
Apple Mac Pro 2013 - Deca-core 3GHz Xeon, 32GB memory, 1TB Apple SSD, D700 dGPU, eGPU shared with above NUC.
AKiTiO Node - EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 Gaming, Corsair SF600 PSU, Cougar Vortex HDB 120 case fan
2013 17" ASUS G750JS (TB2) + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via Apple TB3->TB adapter) + Win10


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Supaiku
(@supaiku)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: henrygrins

Hey there Supaiku. Did your MB come with the TB3 PCIe card? The USB type-c on that board is just that -- USB type-c, not TB3. If I understand correctly, it comes with an expansion TB3 card which plugs into a TB3-specific header on the motherboard. I ask because I see in Device Manager it shows up as being a USB device.

Thanks for the response henrygrins. I'm going to contact the company that custom built the PC and inquire about this, but I am quite certain the MB is set up for TB3, not just USB-C. When I was putting together the components for the machine and discussing it with the company, I specifically told them that I needed a MB that supports TB3, and I was told that this was the case.  Also on the outside of the port it actually says "Thunderbolt 3." I had tried plugging the Node into a USB-C port on another laptop of mine which I thought was TB3 enabled and it never turned on, while on my custom built PC the Node does turn on and the graphics card fan starts up so it is getting power. Also if you look at the 2nd image I posted, that shows that I have some kind of TB3 software installed on my machine, though maybe that is something that can be installed even if you don't have a TB3 port?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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drax392
(@dieseldrax)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Supaiku
Posted by: henrygrins

Hey there Supaiku. Did your MB come with the TB3 PCIe card? The USB type-c on that board is just that -- USB type-c, not TB3. If I understand correctly, it comes with an expansion TB3 card which plugs into a TB3-specific header on the motherboard. I ask because I see in Device Manager it shows up as being a USB device.

Thanks for the response henrygrins. I'm going to contact the company that custom built the PC and inquire about this, but I am quite certain the MB is set up for TB3, not just USB-C. When I was putting together the components for the machine and discussing it with the company, I specifically told them that I needed a MB that supports TB3, and I was told that this was the case.  Also on the outside of the port it actually says "Thunderbolt 3." I had tried plugging the Node into a USB-C port on another laptop of mine which I thought was TB3 enabled and it never turned on, while on my custom built PC the Node does turn on and the graphics card fan starts up so it is getting power. Also if you look at the 2nd image I posted, that shows that I have some kind of TB3 software installed on my machine, though maybe that is something that can be installed even if you don't have a TB3 port?

I feel like you didn't listen to anything we said.

  • Your motherboard does support TB3, it does not have on-board TB3.  You DO NOT have a TB3 controller in your system, it is obvious in the device manager image you posted.  There is no Thunderbolt controller listed.
  • You have the Node plugged into a USB-C-only port as evidenced by the Node showing up under the USB controller.  Thunderbolt is not USB.
  • If the port has the TB lightning bolt logo then the motherboard/case is mislabeled.  A quick visit to ASUS' website will show you that neither of the Prime X299 boards they offer have on-board TB3, the Prime X299-Deluxe comes with the TB3 add-on card included.  If your PC has the X299-Deluxe but no TB3 add-on card then whoever built your PC didn't install it.  If you didn't get the X299-Deluxe then it didn't come with the add-on card and that will need to be purchased in order to add TB3 to your system.

 

I know it's frustrating when you ask for and expect certain things, but plain and simple...your system does not currently have any Thunderbolt support because the needed card is not installed.  Below is a screencap from ASUS' website explaining how TB3 is supported with the Prime X299 board.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 4.32.29 PM

Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) - 1TB Samsung 960 EVO NMVe SSD, 32GB memory
Apple Mac Pro 2013 - Deca-core 3GHz Xeon, 32GB memory, 1TB Apple SSD, D700 dGPU, eGPU shared with above NUC.
AKiTiO Node - EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 Gaming, Corsair SF600 PSU, Cougar Vortex HDB 120 case fan
2013 17" ASUS G750JS (TB2) + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via Apple TB3->TB adapter) + Win10


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Supaiku
(@supaiku)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: DieselDrax
Posted by: Supaiku
Posted by: henrygrins

Hey there Supaiku. Did your MB come with the TB3 PCIe card? The USB type-c on that board is just that -- USB type-c, not TB3. If I understand correctly, it comes with an expansion TB3 card which plugs into a TB3-specific header on the motherboard. I ask because I see in Device Manager it shows up as being a USB device.

Thanks for the response henrygrins. I'm going to contact the company that custom built the PC and inquire about this, but I am quite certain the MB is set up for TB3, not just USB-C. When I was putting together the components for the machine and discussing it with the company, I specifically told them that I needed a MB that supports TB3, and I was told that this was the case.  Also on the outside of the port it actually says "Thunderbolt 3." I had tried plugging the Node into a USB-C port on another laptop of mine which I thought was TB3 enabled and it never turned on, while on my custom built PC the Node does turn on and the graphics card fan starts up so it is getting power. Also if you look at the 2nd image I posted, that shows that I have some kind of TB3 software installed on my machine, though maybe that is something that can be installed even if you don't have a TB3 port?

I feel like you didn't listen to anything we said.

  • Your motherboard does support TB3, it does not have on-board TB3.  You DO NOT have a TB3 controller in your system, it is obvious in the device manager image you posted.  There is no Thunderbolt controller listed.
  • You have the Node plugged into a USB-C-only port as evidenced by the Node showing up under the USB controller.  Thunderbolt is not USB.
  • If the port has the TB lightning bolt logo then the motherboard/case is mislabeled.  A quick visit to ASUS' website will show you that neither of the Prime X299 boards they offer have on-board TB3, the Prime X299-Deluxe comes with the TB3 add-on card included.  If your PC has the X299-Deluxe but no TB3 add-on card then whoever built your PC didn't install it.  If you didn't get the X299-Deluxe then it didn't come with the add-on card and that will need to be purchased in order to add TB3 to your system.

 

I know it's frustrating when you ask for and expect certain things, but plain and simple...your system does not currently have any Thunderbolt support because the needed card is not installed.  Below is a screencap from ASUS' website explaining how TB3 is supported with the Prime X299 board.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 4.32.29 PM

Hi DieselDrax,

So it turns out that I do actually have a TB3 board installed on my machine. I called tech support of the company I purchased the computer from, and they walked me through removing the graphics cards so I could gain access to the TB3 card. It is clearly a TB3 card. If you'd like I can attach a photo that I took of the inside of my machine, but I don't think that is necessary. The tech support guy had me unplug and then replug the cable connecting the card to the MB. Once I got everything back into place, I tried plugging the Node back in and it appears now in Device Manager as a "Base System Device." So please do not use rude language like "I feel like you didn’t listen to anything we said." I listened to everything that was said and responded accordingly. I can 120% GUARANTEE that I have a TB3 card connected to my motherboard.

What I did fail to mention is that the two internal GTX 1080s are linked together via SLI. The tech support guy said that if I removed the SLI bridge, then only one card would be recognized. He had never been asked about setting up an eGPU before, so he wasn't very helpful with that and his only advice was to contact ASUS (the manufacturers of my 2 internal cards). So do you guys think that SLI is the problem? I technically don't need my machine to think of the two internal cards as one card. Ultimately, I just want more CUDA cores for Octane Render. That's literally all I care about. Is it not possible to set up an eGPU with two internal cards, or two internal cards connected via SLI? Or is there some TB3 firmware/drivers that I am missing?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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drax392
(@dieseldrax)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Supaiku
Posted by: DieselDrax
Posted by: Supaiku
Posted by: henrygrins

Hey there Supaiku. Did your MB come with the TB3 PCIe card? The USB type-c on that board is just that -- USB type-c, not TB3. If I understand correctly, it comes with an expansion TB3 card which plugs into a TB3-specific header on the motherboard. I ask because I see in Device Manager it shows up as being a USB device.

Thanks for the response henrygrins. I'm going to contact the company that custom built the PC and inquire about this, but I am quite certain the MB is set up for TB3, not just USB-C. When I was putting together the components for the machine and discussing it with the company, I specifically told them that I needed a MB that supports TB3, and I was told that this was the case.  Also on the outside of the port it actually says "Thunderbolt 3." I had tried plugging the Node into a USB-C port on another laptop of mine which I thought was TB3 enabled and it never turned on, while on my custom built PC the Node does turn on and the graphics card fan starts up so it is getting power. Also if you look at the 2nd image I posted, that shows that I have some kind of TB3 software installed on my machine, though maybe that is something that can be installed even if you don't have a TB3 port?

I feel like you didn't listen to anything we said.

  • Your motherboard does support TB3, it does not have on-board TB3.  You DO NOT have a TB3 controller in your system, it is obvious in the device manager image you posted.  There is no Thunderbolt controller listed.
  • You have the Node plugged into a USB-C-only port as evidenced by the Node showing up under the USB controller.  Thunderbolt is not USB.
  • If the port has the TB lightning bolt logo then the motherboard/case is mislabeled.  A quick visit to ASUS' website will show you that neither of the Prime X299 boards they offer have on-board TB3, the Prime X299-Deluxe comes with the TB3 add-on card included.  If your PC has the X299-Deluxe but no TB3 add-on card then whoever built your PC didn't install it.  If you didn't get the X299-Deluxe then it didn't come with the add-on card and that will need to be purchased in order to add TB3 to your system.

I know it's frustrating when you ask for and expect certain things, but plain and simple...your system does not currently have any Thunderbolt support because the needed card is not installed.  Below is a screencap from ASUS' website explaining how TB3 is supported with the Prime X299 board.

Screen Shot 2017 12 11 at 4.32.29 PM

Hi DieselDrax,

So it turns out that I do actually have a TB3 board installed on my machine. I called tech support of the company I purchased the computer from, and they walked me through removing the graphics cards so I could gain access to the TB3 card. It is clearly a TB3 card. If you'd like I can attach a photo that I took of the inside of my machine, but I don't think that is necessary. The tech support guy had me unplug and then replug the cable connecting the card to the MB. Once I got everything back into place, I tried plugging the Node back in and it appears now in Device Manager as a "Base System Device."

The cable that goes to the card isn't for TB3, so disconnecting and reconnecting that cable wouldn't fix your issue.  If Device Manager doesn't show a Thunderbolt controller and the Thunderbolt software doesn't see any devices connected then you haven't fixed the issue.

TB1
DM

So please do not use rude language like "I feel like you didn’t listen to anything we said." I listened to everything that was said and responded accordingly. I can 120% GUARANTEE that I have a TB3 card connected to my motherboard.

I'm sorry if you think that was rude language, it was an honest comment.  It was my assessment after it was explained how TB works with your motherboard and you replied with "Well, the company said..." and you didn't make it clear that the TB card was even installed, so we were left with what you had posted before; The Node showed connected to a USB-C port, not a Thunderbolt port.

What I did fail to mention is that the two internal GTX 1080s are linked together via SLI. The tech support guy said that if I removed the SLI bridge, then only one card would be recognized. He had never been asked about setting up an eGPU before, so he wasn't very helpful with that and his only advice was to contact ASUS (the manufacturers of my 2 internal cards). So do you guys think that SLI is the problem? I technically don't need my machine to think of the two internal cards as one card. Ultimately, I just want more CUDA cores for Octane Render. That's literally all I care about. Is it not possible to set up an eGPU with two internal cards, or two internal cards connected via SLI? Or is there some TB3 firmware/drivers that I am missing?

Before you go messing with SLI you need to get the Thunderbolt software/drivers working.  If the Node is plugged into the USB-C/TB port on the TB card but you still don't see a Thunderbolt controller in Device Manager then it is still not working right and the port is USB-only, using the cable you have connected to the card (That cable is to link the card to an internal USB port so that the port will function as USB as well as Thunderbolt).

If you haven't done so, I would download the TB Firmware update tool and the latest Thunderbolt driver from ASUS' website.  Uninstall the existing Thunderbolt drivers, reboot, install the new drivers, and see if there's any difference.

Firmware update tool - http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Accessory/ThunderboltEX_III/TbtFwUpdate_1.0.0.15_release.rar
Thunderbolt driver - http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Accessory/ThunderboltEX_III/Intel_Thunderbolt_Win7-81-10_V16359250_20170623_RS2.zip

Even if there is a problem with SLI that won't prevent the Node from showing up as connected when looking at the Thunderbolt software, which is failing because it doesn't see any TB controllers.

So, fix your TB issues first, then worry about the graphics card.

Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) - 1TB Samsung 960 EVO NMVe SSD, 32GB memory
Apple Mac Pro 2013 - Deca-core 3GHz Xeon, 32GB memory, 1TB Apple SSD, D700 dGPU, eGPU shared with above NUC.
AKiTiO Node - EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 Gaming, Corsair SF600 PSU, Cougar Vortex HDB 120 case fan
2013 17" ASUS G750JS (TB2) + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via Apple TB3->TB adapter) + Win10


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Supaiku
(@supaiku)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
 

If you haven't done so, I would download the TB Firmware update tool and the latest Thunderbolt driver from ASUS' website.  Uninstall the existing Thunderbolt drivers, reboot, install the new drivers, and see if there's any difference.

Firmware update tool - http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Accessory/ThunderboltEX_III/TbtFwUpdate_1.0.0.15_release.rar
Thunderbolt driver - http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Accessory/ThunderboltEX_III/Intel_Thunderbolt_Win7-81-10_V16359250_20170623_RS2.zip

Even if there is a problem with SLI that won't prevent the Node from showing up as connected when looking at the Thunderbolt software, which is failing because it doesn't see any TB controllers.

So, fix your TB issues first, then worry about the graphics card.

 Thank you DieselDrax! That did the trick! The Node is up and running properly now. It looks like the issue had to do with downloading the wrong Thunderbolt drivers. I must have downloaded a generic driver from Intel that wasn't specialized for my Asus motherboard. I was also able to finally update the Node's firmware as well, so I'm good to go 🙂

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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drax392
(@dieseldrax)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Supaiku
 

If you haven't done so, I would download the TB Firmware update tool and the latest Thunderbolt driver from ASUS' website.  Uninstall the existing Thunderbolt drivers, reboot, install the new drivers, and see if there's any difference.

Firmware update tool - http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Accessory/ThunderboltEX_III/TbtFwUpdate_1.0.0.15_release.rar
Thunderbolt driver - http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Accessory/ThunderboltEX_III/Intel_Thunderbolt_Win7-81-10_V16359250_20170623_RS2.zip

Even if there is a problem with SLI that won't prevent the Node from showing up as connected when looking at the Thunderbolt software, which is failing because it doesn't see any TB controllers.

So, fix your TB issues first, then worry about the graphics card.

 Thank you DieselDrax! That did the trick! The Node is up and running properly now. It looks like the issue had to do with downloading the wrong Thunderbolt drivers. I must have downloaded a generic driver from Intel that wasn't specialized for my Asus motherboard. I was also able to finally update the Node's firmware as well, so I'm good to go 🙂

Excellent!  Glad it ended up being an easy fix.

Intel Skull Canyon NUC (NUC6i7KYK) - 1TB Samsung 960 EVO NMVe SSD, 32GB memory
Apple Mac Pro 2013 - Deca-core 3GHz Xeon, 32GB memory, 1TB Apple SSD, D700 dGPU, eGPU shared with above NUC.
AKiTiO Node - EVGA GTX 1080Ti SC2 Gaming, Corsair SF600 PSU, Cougar Vortex HDB 120 case fan
2013 17" ASUS G750JS (TB2) + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node via Apple TB3->TB adapter) + Win10


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