Successful build NUC7i7BNH + Asus XG Station Pro + GTX 1660
I have an Intel NUC NUC7i7BNH with Core i7 processor and 16 GB RAM. I purchased the Asus XG Station Pro and MSI Gaming GeForce GTX 1660 128-Bit HDMI/DP 6GB. It works very well, but it took me quite a while to get it to work. I didn't keep a log, so unfortunately I don't have a lot of specifics to share. I needed to update the Thunderbolt driver and then somehow I launched the Thurnderbolt software. This was critical. You have to authorize the use of the Asus enclosure. Once I did that, Windows could see the graphics card.
I had a really difficult time finding the most current driver. I thought I had to register the MSI card first. That was a royal pain in the ass. If you do want to register the card, write down the serial number from the board before you install or have the box handy. You have to enter a three-character value from the board as well (I forget what it's called). I have no clue why they make this so hard to do.
I got the driver from the Nvidia site. That wasn't easy either. My card is based on the GFX 1660. They refer to this on the driver list as Model 16. Again, I simply don't understand why this can't be more simple.
Once I went through all the headaches, everything is great. I really like the enclosure. Very high quality. The size is very nice. All the other ones were huge by comparison. I don't have any point of reference to say that the card is great or not. There are plenty of YouTube videos with gobs of benchmarks. I bought this to speed up my photo editing workflow. It certainly is blazingly fast for that.
I hope this helps someone save some time.
@emmgee Thank you for sharing your experience. The Asus XG Station Pro is an excellent choice for your NUC. I bet the NUC sits comfortably on top of the eGPU enclosure and the setup is running nice and quiet. Regarding Thunderbolt 3 device detection in Windows, I agree with you it can be confusing. The requirement for Intel Thunderbolt Software is poorly implemented. I’m using a NUC7 and had upgraded the software/drivers to the latest version. Intel changed the name of this software to Thunderbolt Control Center now.
Yes, I forgot to mention how quiet it is. That was a huge reason why I bought it. Most reviews don't mention how quiet/not quiet the fans are. Of course you have fans on the card and the enclosure. I have the computer and enclosure under my desk. I see some light coming from the enclosure but because it's out of the way it's hard to tell exactly what the source is. I don't want any lights, so I searched for the Asus utility that controls lights. This is another science project... I found something but it doesn't work (yet) on my NUC.
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