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AKiTiO Node Pro: Power Supply Replacement Guide.
 

AKiTiO Node Pro: Power Supply Replacement Guide.  

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

The usual disclaimer applies here:
1. Anything you do if your own responsibility. If you connect something wrong, use a bad adapter, a bad power supply, or whatever, and end up frying your precious Node Pro, video card, your new and shiny SFX power supply or all of them at once, please don't blame me, or anyone else.
2. You are likely going to kiss your AKiTiO warranty goodbye. But that's kinda what I do in this house. I void warranties. 

Anyways, let us begin:

The Node Pro is a very solid PCIe enclosure that moonlights readily as an eGPU: It looks great, it fits large cards, it is well built, it has a 500W power supply with 2x(6+2) pin connectors, but it has one issue: If you actually go ahead and load up the power supply to near max-load, it will let you know about it and in a hurry. That 92mm fan in the power supply gets quite loud. It is not an issue if the Node Pro is away from you, or hiding under the desk, but if you want it on your desk and mind the noise, it can get rather annoying without a headset.

Thankfully, the Node Pro uses a standard-sized SFX power supply, so there is a pretty good candidate to replace the unit AKiTiO provided us with: The Corsair SF600. Not only is it an absolutely amazing power supply, but it will power pretty much any video card under the sun due to its 600W of power. Another reason to prefer what is essentially an overkill unit is that since the PSU is not likely to reach max load (not a lot of video cards pull 500+ watts), there is also less of a chance it will run hot, and thus less of a chance of the fan ramping up to the max it can go. That said, any respectable SFX power supply will work here, such as the lesser brother, the Corsair SF450, or one of the two Silverstone units,  the SX-500G (500W) and the SX-650G (650W), or any other well-reviewed unit. To be honest, though, the 10 year warranty on the Corsair and the comparable price means that the SF600 is likely the better option anyway.

Keep in mind, an SFX-L unit will not fit here, so it must be SFX (up to 100mm of depth, vs up to 130mm for SFX-L). Getting a modular unit is somewhat optional, since the case has room to hide cables underneath the video card in the front.

You will also need a third 6-pin PCIe connector to feed power to the Thunderbolt3 circuitry and the PCIe slot. Most of these power supplies won't have three of them, so you will need a Molex or SATA to PCIe 6-pin adapter. I was a little paranoid about stability and safety so I soldered myself a 1xSATA + 1xMolex to 6-pin connector to spread out the load on the wires (a single SATA connector is not rated for 75W, and Molex quality varies). This means that I used the two peripheral connectors on my SF600 as well (the cable of Molexes and the cable of SATAs). There is plenty of space to tuck away the wires, however.

Now that you have your power supply selected, we need to take the Node Pro apart. You don't need to take apart the whole unit to replace the power supply. Overall, you will need to remove 2 parts (3 if including the PSU itself)

You will need a T8 Torx and a T10 Torx screwdrivers to do this. I highly recommend recording carefully where each screw comes out of: They are not all the same, despite initially appearing as such.

I am using mostly AKiTiO's product photos, and some from the review by @itsage since my camera sucks. Things of interest are marked by red circles.

First, remove the card from the Node Pro, if you've had one installed.

Then you need to remove the bottom fan. The screws you are after are the following:

akitio node pro bottom 1920

Once you remove them, the fan bracket will drop down and you can remove it. Do not tug hard at it, as the fan is connected to one of the two PCBs with a 3-pin connector, and you need to disconnect it. The connector is visible here in the red circle. While you are at it, disconnect the 6-pin power connector from the board as well. It is marked with the red ellipse:

node pro power and fan connectors

With the fan disconnected, you can now pull it out together with its bracket. There is no need to remove the fan from the bracket, unless you wish to replace it. Underneath the bracket there are two more screws. These are two of the eight screws that hold the circuitry assembly inside the case. Open them:

20180418 003917

Now take a look at the rear of the Node Pro and remove the following six screws:

akitio node pro back 1920

At this point, go ahead and carefully lift the circuitry assembly out of the case. It is this whole thing containing the PCIe slot and the shielded Thunderbolt3 PCB. When you remove it, note the LED power connector and the wires leading out. You will need to carefully disconnect this in order to fully separate the circuit assembly from the case:

20180418 000916

Here it is removed (and upside down):

20180418 000721

Now remove the five screws securing the power supply:

akitio node pro back 1920 psu removal

At this point the PSU will be loose inside the case, but you will not be able to get it out past the top cover rails. Turning it sideways so that it can be pulled out of the case seems like a great idea, but the fit is still too tight. This is when we cheat. Open the next two screws:

20180418 003831

This detaches the top side (and only the top side) of the side wall. What you can do now is carefully push it out a tiny bit (about 2-3cm, or about 1 inch). This will create enough room to turn the PSU sideways and remove it if you lift it to just under the cover rails. Pull out the old PSU. If your new power supply is modular, don't forget to connect all the required cables to it. It will be a lot more difficult to manage when it is inside the tight case. The same also applies to the paperclip trick to start the PSU, do it before you install the unit.

Here is the unit AKiTiO used and the replacement SF600:

20180417 233110

Then put your replacement unit into the case, turning it via the same method as we used to remove the original and secure it with the five screws in the rear. You did make sure to note which ones they were, right? Good.

Now secure the side panel back to the case, the cheatcode did its trick and is no longer needed. These screws are rather easy to tell apart.

Go ahead and reinstall the circuit assembly above the power supply, don't forget to connect the front LED connector, unless you want to get rid of the blue light the unit emits around the AKiTiO logo on the front. Make sure to use the right screws. Hint, they are the shorter ones on the back.

Reinstall the fan and don't forget to connect it to the 3-pin connector on the circuit assembly. That said, if you are running a lower-power card, you can probably just remove the fan entirely. You can also replace it with a different fan for quieter operation. The power connector is a standard 3-pin fan header, so any case fan of the appropriate size (92mm) will fit.

You're done! Install your card of choice and give your quieter Node Pro a whirl.

Here is my GTX980Ti Strix. You can see the extra cabling tucked away under the card:

20180418 003740

This kills (most of: I still need to replace the 92mm fan) the noise, even with the GTX980Ti overclocked as far as it will go. I am quite happy with the result.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

How do you get it to turn on?  I attempted this with an Enermax Revolution and it doesn't turn on when connected.

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


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: MarkieG84

How do you get it to turn on?  I attempted this with an Enermax Revolution and it doesn't turn on when connected.

@markieg84 - Sorry for not seeing this sooner. You need to do the "paperclip trick" on the power supply before installing it. If you do that, the card will power on once the TB3 board powers on following a signal on the TB3 cable.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thanks for finally replying!  I've never done the "paper clip trick" before.  The stock node pro psu actually works fine with my vega fe anyways.  Just to clarify though, does the "paper clip trick" keep the psu off when the eGPU is not connected?

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


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I think it works in a low-power mode, just like the original unit. It needs to provide some power to the circuitry so that when a TB3 cable is detected it will power the card up, after all.

The SF600 has a power switch, so I typically switch it to off, just in case, when I am not docked to it.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Okay thanks for filling me in.

I own both the Node Pro and the Breakaway box.  At first I thought the Node pro would be ideal because of its second tb3 port, but using a kilowatt, I have noticed that while in standby mode the node consumes about 6 watts with stock psu, while the Breakaway consumes none!  Also, the usb3.1 hub in the second port stays on in standby and gets warm.  The breakaway box accepts my aftermarket psu plug and play.  Looks like my node pro is going on the shelf for now.

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


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

It should be the same with Enermax SFX Revolution 650W, right?


MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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MarkieG84
(@markieg84)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Are you asking me?  I am using the Enermax SFX Revolution 650W in my breakaway box and it is flawless.  It is interesting that this psu does not have a power switch, but when the tb3 cable is unplugged it draws 0 watts.

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


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 chx
(@chx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Couldn't we use  https://www.ebay.com/itm/263247907375 or https://www.ebay.com/itm/263283316420 one of these cable to convert the 4+4 pin on the PSU to another PCIe 6 pin?  https://www.ebay.com/itm/263739129272 or this to take a molex plus a 4 pin.

Ignore these provide two PCIe 6 pins, I do not care about that.

Edit:  https://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=762&area=en seems to have four PCIe connectors.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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cmm
 cmm
(@mois)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@chx, which extra cable and which PSU did you end up using in your Akitio Node Pro, did it all work out well? (@yukikaze's homemade cable solution would be a bit too exotic for me I think.)

@MarkieG84 @ikir @Yukikaze , should I expect the Radeon Vega 64 / FE to work excellently in the Node Pro?

The Node Pro has the same, more recent TB3 controller chip (JHL6540) as the recent Razer Core X eGFX box, so Node Pro is top of the line with respect to chips.

I like the idea of having an extra Thunderbolt 3 port (i.e. the Node Pro's daisy chain port) as the Lenovo Thinkpads offer only TWO (or even ONE) Thunderbolt 3 connector, not like Macbook Pro:s which can have four.

Therefore if the Node Pro (with PSU mod) is a highest-performance and silent solution, I should choose it rather than Razer Core X. Comments, thoughts?

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


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Yes Vega 64 / FE will work great if you changed PSU


MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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anuraj1
(@madmartigan1)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I'm about to do this with a Corsair SF600. Will I need to do the paperclip trick or is that only for PSUs that don't have a power switch?

Thanks for the guide, by the way!

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


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ed_co
(@ed_co)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@Yukikaze
It looks like one of the best eGPU outthere, easy to insert any card, no matter how big could be... (I have mantiz, and it is not easy...).
The only problem I see is the power delivery... it is a pity, 87W should be perfect instead 60W (even just in one of the ports...).

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX 1080Ti Gaming [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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igerard
(@igerard)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

For the record, I put an SF600 Platinum in my Akitio Node, and it works perfectly with a Vega 64, silent and efficient. The good side is no running fan if no serious power drain from the card, if no game run, no noise, the same with the Vega 64 Asus Strix with 3 fans, not running if no serious load.

MBP 2018, Touch Bar, i7 2.6 GHz, 32 GB RAM, 1T SSD, Radeon 560X... very nice!
eGPU : Akitio Node + RX 580 + GTX 980 Ti + Vega64


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willian
(@willian)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

I'm about to try SF750, for preparation to migrate my from 1080ti to 2080ti, any suggestions?

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(@michael_lu)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

I recently follow the spec. I bought a Cosair SF600 and wanted to connect with my akitio node. My card is Asus gtx1080ti

For the connection, I use two 8pin for the card and a molex(4pin to 6pin) for tb3 connector, but it can’t really work out. 

Anyone gets recommendation for the connect?
should I try to get a 8+6 pcie cable for the tb3 connector, or I can use the molex came with the card which is 4pin to 8 pin?

thanks

2017 iMac 5k
2x gtx 1080ti
2x akitio node pro
Os 10.13.3
fr34’s macOS-egpu.sh


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

I used the 4+4 cpu connector, cut the two piece 8 pin side off and spliced the solid (the one that plugs into the power supply) 8 pin side to a 6 pin pcie power connector to power the Akitio's internal board.  It is much cleaner than an adaptor.  No extra wires.
I used what was left of one of the 4 pin connectors to make a loop that plugs into the pins that keep the power supply on.
I'm running an MSI Vega56 in mine.

6th Gen X1 Carbon + MSI Air Boost Vega 56 +Sonnet Breakaway 550 on Pop! OS Linux


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(@michael_lu)
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Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: shadethegrey

I used the 4+4 cpu connector, cut the two piece 8 pin side off and spliced the solid (the one that plugs into the power supply) 8 pin side to a 6 pin pcie power connector to power the Akitio's internal board.  It is much cleaner than an adaptor.  No extra wires.
I used what was left of one of the 4 pin connectors to make a loop that plugs into the pins that keep the power supply on.
I'm running an MSI Vega56 in mine.

Thanks shadethegrey,

I did found a post showing the same trick, but I’m really confusing how to do it correctly.
would you might show me a pic of what you did?
really appreciated.

2017 iMac 5k
2x gtx 1080ti
2x akitio node pro
Os 10.13.3
fr34’s macOS-egpu.sh


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(@michael_lu)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: shadethegrey

I used the 4+4 cpu connector, cut the two piece 8 pin side off and spliced the solid (the one that plugs into the power supply) 8 pin side to a 6 pin pcie power connector to power the Akitio's internal board.  It is much cleaner than an adaptor.  No extra wires.
I used what was left of one of the 4 pin connectors to make a loop that plugs into the pins that keep the power supply on.
I'm running an MSI Vega56 in mine.

Is it like this? Which one you cut it off? The red or the green? And plug it to the PSU? Then put the original psu side to the 6pin power? 
[img] [/img]

Thank agian

2017 iMac 5k
2x gtx 1080ti
2x akitio node pro
Os 10.13.3
fr34’s macOS-egpu.sh


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shadethegrey
(@shadethegrey)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

That end with the red and green I completely cut off, and used the other end of that cable.  You will notice this 8 pin end has a smaller snap keeper at the top, the other end has a double snap keeper.

IMG 0024

I used the PCIe power cable from the old PSU and spliced it onto the 8 pin cable from the new power supply.

This post was modified 8 months ago

6th Gen X1 Carbon + MSI Air Boost Vega 56 +Sonnet Breakaway 550 on Pop! OS Linux


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

This is where I plugged it into.
I used one of the 4 pin connectors I cut off ( The green one in your previous pic), connected the two pins and put heat shrink on them so that the power supply will power on when you flip the switch.  These pins are PWR_ON and GND.  

IMG 0025
This post was modified 8 months ago

6th Gen X1 Carbon + MSI Air Boost Vega 56 +Sonnet Breakaway 550 on Pop! OS Linux


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shadethegrey
(@shadethegrey)
Active Member
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Here the 8 pin to 6pin is plugged in.  The 6 pin side goes to the Akitio Node Board power connector.

IMG 0026
This post was modified 8 months ago

6th Gen X1 Carbon + MSI Air Boost Vega 56 +Sonnet Breakaway 550 on Pop! OS Linux


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shadethegrey
(@shadethegrey)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Reinstalled.

IMG 0029

6th Gen X1 Carbon + MSI Air Boost Vega 56 +Sonnet Breakaway 550 on Pop! OS Linux


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(@michael_lu)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 
Posted by: shadethegrey

Reinstalled.

IMG 0029

Thanks mate. That is very detailed and useful!!!

2017 iMac 5k
2x gtx 1080ti
2x akitio node pro
Os 10.13.3
fr34’s macOS-egpu.sh


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sxr71
(@sxr71)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

I want to give everyone fair warning. I did this with an sf600 gold about 4 months ago. Now the PSU is clicking off randomly and needs to be switched off and then you wait for a click and then it will work for a random amount of time before clicking off. I have been using it like this for about two months with random switch offs. Every product has bad apples but this one seems to have a bit of a track record of failure. Even the Platinum if you look around has reports.  I also read the in depth review of the platinum. Basically the improvements are just in efficiency not in reliability. The same design issue exists  

I even added an external fan to push more air through it. 

If you google this PSU with the word “failure” you will see I am not the only one. The speculation is that it just doesn’t like the repeated load switching of powering just a GPU. Maybe it would be better with a baseline CPU/MB load. 

I bought a Evga 650gm and I’ll be installing it today. Ideally it would have been the Seasonic SFX but it is not SFX it is SFX-L. The evga has poorer reviews but that is due to efficiency reasons. I really hope this one lasts. 

This post was modified 6 months ago

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


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sxr71
(@sxr71)
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I went ahead and did it. Every time it seems I need to do it twice. Those screw heads seems like they strip easily. Lost two of them. 

So if anyone knows the sizes please post here. I want to change them all out with new screws. 

The EVGA 650GM didn’t seem to work with the paper clip mod at all. I thought it was DOA. 

It turns out it comes with a “tester” in the box. This means you don’t need to do the paper clip mod. The tester does it for you. However it means you need to attach the huge 24 pin modular cable to the PSU and then attach the tester to the other end. This means a bunch of unnecessary cabling. 

The SF600 also required unnecessary cabling in that I had to draw power for the Node Pro board using adapters that converted peripheral power to GPU power. 

Overall it’s a bit cleaner but I would have preferred it just let me use the paper clip mod. It seems it has a switch associated with having the 24 pin cable plugged in. It doesn’t seem to want to work without it plugged in. I would have preferred the tester be male and just plug in directly to the PSU. Instead it is female and needs the cable plugged in. 

Otherwise it’s working great. The fan runs and puts out some amount of heat. 

The SF600 barely ran its fan and I suspect that was the problem. It would just overheat and shut off. Maybe putting that fan profile solved noise complaints but now the unit is unreliable. This is all speculation. But those are the differences I noticed. 

Maybe you could argue it is more noise but really if you have a 2080ti in a box air cooled, it can never be quiet. I have two 180mm fans blowing into the side of the case. They do reduce the need for the GPU blower to turn on. The whole thing ends up quieter. But true “quiet” requires at least AIO. 

If they had designed the internals tighter by moving the card as close to the side panel as possible maybe a radiator could be modded in. Then again the heat coming off the back of the card being too close to the EGPU board wouldn’t be great either. It’s so much heat there is an argument to put another fan on the side panel (not the mesh side - the solid side) to blow right on the back of the card. It’s so much heat that Nvidia could have put a finned backplate there. Not just a flat aluminum plate.

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


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(@banda_banda)
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Joined: 5 months ago
 

I attempted this with an Enermax Revolution and it doesn't turn on when connected.

This post was modified 5 months ago

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sunstarfire
(@sunstarfire)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

OK, here is a very clear recommendation. Against this particular mod. Do not do it. Like sxr71 I had the issue of the PSU switching off. But let me tell you step by step.

First, the OP was correct about soldering an adapter and not using an off the shelf one. At least half. I ordered an ots-Molex adapter with the Corsair, and that one started melting and short circuiting, causing the whole thing to shut down. Nothing broke, but it smelled weird, and the adapter went into the trash.
I then soldered an adapter from the supplied modular cables, I also modified the huge Motherboard-cable and just did the paper-clip trick by soldering and heatshrinking two cables together. What no one tells you is that the paper clip thing is something you need to do permanently, not just once. So the paperclip 8or whatever you chose to use) needs to stay in place.

That worked for a while, until yesterday the PSU just switched off. No indications, nothing. It is running now, so it must have been a heat issue.

I now ordered an SF750, and will see how that works. The SF600 is going back to amazon. Sad, it is nice and quiet, especially with the Noctua fan I have in the enclosure, too. But switching off in the middle of a game is not good.

So, do not do this mod with the SF600. It DOES have issues, and they are not funny.

[EDIT]P.S. Same goes for the SF750. It will not ramp up the fan fast enough and thus shut down under high loads, which means the Akitio will just turn off and the monitor go black. Very nice.[/EDIT]
This post was modified 3 months ago

Apple MacBook Pro 15 Touchbar
Akitio Node Pro eGPU with Noctua fan
AMD Vega 64


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