Akitio Thunder2/3 Power Draw Help / Dell DA-2 switching
 
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23mrtbone
(@23mrtbone)
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Just wondering something. Backstory: I am planning to use the Thunder2 with a 1060 card. So the card has a 6-pin and from what I understand that is 75 watts. And I know to get the Dell DA-2 adapter to provide power to the card (which is an 8-pin connector) as well as provide power to the 2.5 x 5.5 mm barrel plug. I am planning to get an 8 pin to dual 6+2 pin. So one 6 pin to the 6 pin required on the GPU and one 6 pin (modded to a barrel) for the enclosure power. 

My question is this. Everywhere I see, people connect a 6-pin to Barrel mod to the barrel plug, so that's essentially a 75 watt exchange, which is fine. Okay, but the PCI-E slot itself can draw 75 watts alone, not counting the (what, 20+ watts?) draw for the thunderbolt port PCB? Does anyone know if providing an 8 pin to Barrel mod (which would be up to 150 watts I believe) be of better performance to provide ALL the power necessary for the thunderbolt PCB and the PCI-E 75watt draw? I know these expansions are rated to "accept" up to 120 watts...so would using an 8 pin to Barrel mod be too much or is it really pushing 150 watts to the barrel or not?

I'm just curious if the 75 watts from the 6 pin to barrel mods are degrading performance any since the thunderbolt and the 75 watt PCI-E slot is sharing wattage's.

 

Thanks!

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Yukikaze
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A few things to keep in mind:

1) Note that the 8-pin connector on the Dell DA-2 is not a regular 8-pin plug. The pin arrangement is different, so please take care to wire it correctly.

2) You can easily run 120W of power through a 6-pin connector, so the 6-pin to barrel plug is not an issue. To elaborate: The connector itself is far sturdier than needed for only power delivery simply because it also needs to handle the connection/disconnection stress. As for the wires: A short run of standard 18AWG wires (that is usually what these splitters are built of, in my experience, and it should be marked on the wiring) can also easily handle the 10A of current on three wires, so that is also safe. Note that most Molex to 6-pin adapters, for example, take only two 12v lines to feed the three 12v lines of a 6-pin connector via a 2xMolex to 1x6-pin adapter. These are standard and have been in use for ages, so following that logic you can easily push 75W through only two of your three 12v lines in your 6-pin without any ill effects. Add in a third wire and you can definitely push 50% over that (to be honest, you can also push even more, the cabling for PC components has a lot of safety built in, especially for a cable run of under 1ft like you are going to do here).

3) The Thunderbolt circuitry doesn't eat as much power as you think. The controller itself is rated for only a watt or two. The 120W figure also includes 15W power delivery to an additional chained Thunderbolt device.

4) There is no "degraded performance" - If you don't feed enough power, the card will simple crash your system at some point, or crash its driver.

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23mrtbone
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Posted by: Yukikaze

 

A few things to keep in mind:

1) Note that the 8-pin connector on the Dell DA-2 is not a regular 8-pin plug. The pin arrangement is different, so please take care to wire it correctly.

2) You can easily run 120W of power through a 6-pin connector, so the 6-pin to barrel plug is not an issue. To elaborate: The connector itself is far sturdier than needed for only power delivery simply because it also needs to handle the connection/disconnection stress. As for the wires: A short run of standard 18AWG wires (that is usually what these splitters are built of, in my experience, and it should be marked on the wiring) can also easily handle the 10A of current on three wires, so that is also safe. Note that most Molex to 6-pin adapters, for example, take only two 12v lines to feed the three 12v lines of a 6-pin connector via a 2xMolex to 1x6-pin adapter. These are standard and have been in use for ages, so following that logic you can easily push 75W through only two of your three 12v lines in your 6-pin without any ill effects. Add in a third wire and you can definitely push 50% over that (to be honest, you can also push even more, the cabling for PC components has a lot of safety built in, especially for a cable run of under 1ft like you are going to do here).

3) The Thunderbolt circuitry doesn't eat as much power as you think. The controller itself is rated for only a watt or two. The 120W figure also includes 15W power delivery to an additional chained Thunderbolt device.

4) There is no "degraded performance" - If you don't feed enough power, the card will simple crash your system at some point, or crash its driver.

   

Gotcha, that all makes sense. Was just curious, thanks for the response.

I understand the 8 pin from the Dell DA-2 isn't a typical 8 pin, but in your experience, is it safe to say an 8 pin to dual 6+2 pin would be okay to use? I see people use a 6 pin to dual 6 pin y-splitter, but I was hoping to avoid the paper clip on the Dell's 8 Pin ends like I see in the guides. I also have no problem with taking an 8 pin and converting that to a 6 pin and a barrel if I knew which slots in the 8 pin to connect it all to. I have an idea but I would want to be certain. 

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Yukikaze
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An 8-pin connector actually has only three 12v lines. The difference from a 6-pin connector is two extra ground wires (you can see that on by the color of the wiring, since 12v is yellow). A splitter to two 6+2 will have the extra grounds also connected. But on the Dell DA-2 these two pins are not grounds, so you'll need to snip that off. In that sense a 6-pin splitter is easier to use because it has no extra wires to get rid of.

If you want a really neat solution, you can do something like this:

Buy a 6-pin splitter and an 8-pin extender. Remove the wiring from the female side of both (it is secured by small metal flaps which can be moved with a small thin screwdriver for example: You can google how to do that if you don't know what I am talking about). Then place the wiring from the 6-pin into the 8-pin connector, matching the three 12v lines on the Dell DA-2, each matched by its own ground line. That will give you exactly the power delivery you need. Then all you need to do is to use the leftover cabling to connect from the sense pin on the Dell DA-2 to one of the ground wires. That will power up the power supply when it is plugged into the wall socket. If you place a switch on that connection, then you get an on/off switch too.

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23mrtbone
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@Yukikaze Ahhhh okay, that makes a lot of sense now. So, we are basically mimicking the paperclip idea from this image:  https://imgur.com/MwJTxGm but within the female 8-pin female connector instead of the Dell's 8-pin using the left over cables instead of a paperclip. And heck, this could all happen on the inside the enclosure if I got another 8-pin extender to connect to our custom 8-pin you mentioned and to the dell's 8-pin outside the case?

So, based on the image I attached, in our modded 8-pin we've been talking about, I would have to use one of the left over cables to connect one of the "black" wires of the 6-pin (inside the 8-pin) to the sense-pin, which I assume is the "blue" pin in the image? 

Interesting, thanks for all the feedback!

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Yukikaze
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Yup, you seem to have gotten the hang of it. You can see a pic of my old cabling from when I was using the DA-2 for a GTX960. I used a 6-pin splitter and just added another pin to it for the sense pin.

Here is the build:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/hp-zbook-g15-gtx96020gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-windows-8-1-enterprise-64-bit-yukikaze/

If you want, I could find it and then take some more detailed pictures. Note that I used only two 12v lines for the barrel plug. The third one went off to power up some 120mm fans I had in a home-made cooling pad for the laptop.

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23mrtbone
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Yeah I saw your picture, very handy stuff. I think your picture shows everything out just well Smile

What power switch is that you use for connecting the sense-pin to the ground? Be cool to have a switch so there is no need to unplug the thing every time...unless the Thunder2 does that automatically when no thunderbolt is connected? 

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vava726
(@vava726)
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If you want to remove the original barrel you can solder    a  8 pin MiniFit Jr 5566-8SPFG(45586-FG) male connector, you can obtain it from a 24 pins atx male connector.

You can also avoid the use of the switch connecting the sense pin of dell da-2 to a point powered by the active thunderbolt connector (red arrow)  and connecting the remote pin to ground.

akitio remote

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23mrtbone
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Posted by: vava726

 

If you want to remove the original barrel you can solder    a  8 pin MiniFit Jr 5566-8SPFG(45586-FG) male connector, you can obtain from a 24 pins atx male connector.

You can also avoid the use of the switch connecting the sense pin of dell da-2 to a point powered by the active thunderbolt connector (red arrow)  and connecting the remote pin to ground.

   

Interesting
Hmm, pardon my ignorance; what/where is the remote pin? Could be something I know already but failed to understand the terminology Kappa 

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Yukikaze
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Here is the switch I ordered:

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/cw-industries/GRB066A802BB1/CW100-ND/2349680

 

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$).

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vava726
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http://pinoutguide.com/Power/dell_usff_power_pinout.shtml

pin 5 of this schema. 

sense is the equivalent of green cable in atx.  Sense and remote pilot the power on process. 

  5 is remote and 1 is sense

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23mrtbone
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Posted by: vava726

 

http://pinoutguide.com/Power/dell_usff_power_pinout.shtml

pin 5 of this schema. 

sense is the equivalent of green cable in atx.  Sense and remote pilot the power on process. 

  5 is remote and 1 is sense

   

Okay, I think our terminology got swapped around somewhere. Based on @Yukikaze and my above discussion, we've been using the sense pin to describe pin 5 in your picture as noted by the "blue pin" marked in the image from this thread:  https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2013-15-mbpr-iris-only-gtx106016gbps-tb2-akitio-thunder2-win10-internal-display-optimus-enjoy/ (which is this image:  ).

 

So as long as the "blue pin" or "pin-5" or "remote pin in your terms" is connected to one of the three ground pins, then the system will kick on. Knowing that, what is "pin 1" for, or the "sense pin in your terms"? 

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vava726
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Dell DA2 Sense

According to my opinion and to the information provided above and pinoutguide.com the right nomenclature is this one where your blue pin is the "remote" one.

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23mrtbone
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@vava726 Hey, all sounds good to me! So, what is the "Sense Pin (pin-1)" for then?

I mean, What is the function of the Sense Pin? Is it used or can it be used for something?

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vava726
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Power Supply "Remote Sense" 

 

Most medium to high power AC-DC power supplies and some DC-DC converters include "Remote Sense" connection points (+ and - Sense) that are used to tightly regulate the supply's output voltage at the load. Since the output cables that connect a power supply's output to its load have some resistance, as current flow increases, so will the voltage drop across the cables (I x R = Voltage Drop). Moreover, since it's best to regulate the voltage directly at the load, the use of the two Remote Sense wires connected from the supply to the load will compensate for these unwanted voltage drops. Refer to Fig. 1 which shows the typical connections when the Remote Sense function is used.

Fig. 1: Power Supply with Twisted "Remote Sense" Wires Connected to the Load
 
In these case the load (for the sensing) is the pci-e to thunderbolt card of the akitio,  on the nameplate of DA-2 the sense of negative polarity is named remote (5) and the positive one pin is named sense (1) when the load is connected to the thunderbolt of the pc   the psu is turned on.
 
If you use a switch (connecting 1-5) to turn on your psu, it looses any feedback for voltage regulation... it's not a big problem but it isn't the best way to connect the psu to the load.
 
Bizon that rebrands akitio thunder 3 has adopted the solution I propose to power its Bizon 3. 
 
 

bbox2
boxrear
 

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23mrtbone
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Now that makes more sense why you suggested connecting the sense pin to that particular pin on the pci-e to the thunderbolt card! 

 

Thanks for all the info! 

 

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Barts
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Hi guys I was wondering if it would be ok to connect asus dual rx 480 8gb (8pin) with 6pin 

I got akitio thunder 2, graphic card that i mentioned above dell da-2 and 6 pin splitter

thanks 

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Yukikaze
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It should be fine if you use a 6-pin to 8-pin adapter from one side of the splitter and you do not run long cable runs (over 2ft). The standard 18AWG wiring most splitters come with should have no problem carrying 50W per 12v line (6-pin has three, and 8-pins are rated for 150W). The only thing to keep in mind is that some RX480 cards can be overclocked heavily by BIOS voltage increases. In such a case your 220W power brick might not cut it. You might want to take a look at reviews for the specific card to see its power consumption. If you don't provide it with enough power, you will end up with crashes under load.

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Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

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Barts
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Posted by: Yukikaze

 

It should be fine if you use a 6-pin to 8-pin adapter from one side of the splitter and you do not run long cable runs (over 2ft). The standard 18AWG wiring most splitters come with should have no problem carrying 50W per 12v line (6-pin has three, and 8-pins are rated for 150W). The only thing to keep in mind is that some RX480 cards can be overclocked heavily by BIOS voltage increases. In such a case your 220W power brick might not cut it. You might want to take a look at reviews for the specific card to see its power consumption. If you don't provide it with enough power, you will end up with crashes under load.

   

Thanks for the answer and yeah, you was right, my system was crashing under load so I had to underclock my gpu but that was just delaying the crash at the end.

So I bought new psu ATX 500B which is 500 watt and I thought it will be overkill for small akitio and rx 480

It doesn't have 8 or even 6 pin so I bought 2 molex to 8 pin converter but since that's on the way I thought I might try to plug it in differently

What I did was removing all the pin from my 6 to 8 pin adapter to get 8 pin plastic plug

Then I removed 2 yellow and 5 black cables from 24 pin in my psu, plugged them in into 8 pin end, also took another 12v yellow cable from molex, soldered cable with the pin at the end and plugged it in so I got 3 12v cables and 5 grounds

I also snapped the 4 pin end on my psu and made barrel plug from it (2 yellows, 2 black)

and voila!

still got crashes...

without any underclocking it even crash straight away under heavy load   

is it another shitty psu that I got or something else?

I was also thinking that, cause rx 480 had problems with drawing too much power from the pcie port, that might be also the problem but I don't know

apparently they sorted that out in the drivers but I think I might still spike over 75watts from pcie and I don't know if akitio would like that

I really appreciate any advice and thanks so much for any help !  

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Barts
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Right so I thought that atx 500b is just shitty psu and 500w is just peak-rated performance so I swapped today for evga 430w 80 plus and it still crashes my system, holds much better on manufacturer settings (1305mhz) but eventually it will crash

I'm getting tired of it cause it can't draw that much power? there is huge difference in wattage between dell da 2 and evga 430w

can anyone please tell me what else I can do?

 

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nando4
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@barts, check your PSU's power label to see power rails. These are often shown as 12V1/12V2.

If it has multiple rails then ensure you are not exceeding the total power draw there. eg: your 6+8pin PCIe is 300W (25A) max power draw.

Often the CPU PSU connector will be on another rail.Wiring that to the barrel connector being a mechanism to load balance across the rails, eg: 12V1 - 75W/6.25A, 12V2 - 225W/18.75A.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

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Barts
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it looks like there's only one rail for 12v

my barrel plug is connected to the molex connector

evga 430w

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nando4
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 WPosted by: Barts

 

it looks like there's only one rail for 12v

my barrel plug is connected to the molex connector  

 

Single rail PSU. Good.  We've seen the Thunder2 has had problems with R9 2xx/3xx cards that seemingly continue to the RX series you have. Consider the following mods to stabilize power:

INFO: Slot power bypass mod here , alternate here  (eg: stabilizing AMD cards)

INFO: Dell DA-2 on/off using SENSE wiring here

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (6th,4C,H) + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 // compares M.2 vs TB3 performance


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Barts
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Oh wow that soldering from gaolque is a challenge for me, but i'll try!

any advice with that?

 

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Barts
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that soldering was hard but I did it somehow, then I put everything back together, turned it on and I had no green/blue light and the psu didn't even wanted to work so I removed my soldering and I realised I forgot to remove cable connection from thunderbolt board right? yeah, so I failed and I'm really tired of it and I'm thinking that I'm really wasting my time and money on this setup...

is there anything else that I can do the help with this power draw issue or should I just give up on it? Would powered rised pcie cable solve this issue?

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vava726
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@Barts

2 Questions :

1) Are you able to test your gpu in a desktop system ? are you sure it is not damaged ?

2) Why did you modify your 24 pin connector ? If you use a 500 watt power supply you only need to turn on your psu with a short-circuit on green and black cables, you can use the default gpu connector and create a barrel from a 4 pin connector.... (if you don't want the short-circuit solution there are button switch solution)

 to...

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Barts
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Unfortunately I can't test this card on any desktop pc cause I don't have any :/ I'm pretty sure it's not damaged and the problem comes from drawing too much power from pcie. 

I don't use that 500w, I modified it only to test it cause I didn't had 8 pin adapters for it. It did work though but I changed it for evga 430w for safety reasons anyway

big thumbs up to nando4 for all the advices 

changing pcie power management settings did help by the look of it but did not cut off the crashes completely:/

amd power saving option doesn't help at all I think 

I'll still be testing 

Any more ideas are always welcome

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markus.fuger
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Hello everyone,

I am working on a Akitio Node Lite + Inno3D RTX 2070 build. So far everything works quite well (will add some report when I am finished with the case mod)

Before finishing I would like to add the additional sense/remote line from the Akition PCB.

Since there is some confusing information here https://egpu.io/forums/psu-cables/akitio-thunder23-power-drawl-help/#post-7650

You can also avoid the use of the switch connecting the sense pin of dell da-2 to a point powered by the active thunderbolt connector (red arrow)  and connecting the remote pin to ground.

and here: https://egpu.io/forums/psu-cables/akitio-thunder23-power-drawl-help/#post-7688

In these case the load (for the sensing) is the pci-e to thunderbolt card of the akitio,  on the nameplate of DA-2 the sense of negative polarity is named remote (5) and the positive one pin is named sense (1) when the load is connected to the thunderbolt of the pc   the psu is turned on.

...though from those posts the information is consistant.

@vava726
I would like to get a final confirmation of what to do (only including pin numbers since I found that both colors as well as the given names have been misleading)

Dell DA-2 Pin 5 --------- Akitio-Board Connector J11 Pin 1
Dell DA-2 Pin 1 --------- Ground

with kind regards,
Markus

2018 Lenovo T480s/Intel NUC8i7BEH + Inno3D RTX2070 in an Akitio Node Lite


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Riss
 Riss
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Posted by: @vava726

Power Supply "Remote Sense" 

 

Most medium to high power AC-DC power supplies and some DC-DC converters include "Remote Sense" connection points (+ and - Sense) that are used to tightly regulate the supply's output voltage at the load. Since the output cables that connect a power supply's output to its load have some resistance, as current flow increases, so will the voltage drop across the cables (I x R = Voltage Drop). Moreover, since it's best to regulate the voltage directly at the load, the use of the two Remote Sense wires connected from the supply to the load will compensate for these unwanted voltage drops. Refer to Fig. 1 which shows the typical connections when the Remote Sense function is used.

Fig. 1: Power Supply with Twisted "Remote Sense" Wires Connected to the Load
 
In these case the load (for the sensing) is the pci-e to thunderbolt card of the akitio,  on the nameplate of DA-2 the sense of negative polarity is named remote (5) and the positive one pin is named sense (1) when the load is connected to the thunderbolt of the pc   the psu is turned on.
 
If you use a switch (connecting 1-5) to turn on your psu, it looses any feedback for voltage regulation... it's not a big problem but it isn't the best way to connect the psu to the load.
 
Bizon that rebrands akitio thunder 3 has adopted the solution I propose to power its Bizon 3. 
 
 

bbox2
boxrear
 

Hello @vava726,

I’ve got Bizon 2S box w 400W PSU but would like to use Dell’s DA-2 PSU (have a low powered GPU that needs only 75w). Since the Dell’s and BizonBox connectors don’t match, could you kindly advise what kind of adapter/custom cable to get to connect them?

 

Thanks a lot in advance!

 

 Richard

mid 2014 MBP 15" GT750m | Mac mini 2012 | Akitio Thunder 2 & 3 | GTX 780 3GB (flashed) | GTX Black Titan 6GB (stock) | Quadro P2000 (stock)


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lifecom
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Posted by: @riss

I’ve got Bizon 2S box w 400W PSU but would like to use Dell’s DA-2 PSU (have a low powered GPU that needs only 75w). Since the Dell’s and BizonBox connectors don’t match, could you kindly advise what kind of adapter/custom cable to get to connect them?

 

Thanks a lot in advance!

 

 Richard

If you bought BizonBox with 400W PSU, then BizonBox has 8-pin PCI-e female connector.
If you bought BizonBox with Dell DA-2, then BizonBox has 8-pin connector, ADAPTED to DA-2.
Conclusion: BizonBox power connector depends on included PSU.
It is not possible to use both power supplies (at least, without some wiring work).
You can see PSU wiring (pinout) and power-wiring inside Bizon and make an adapter.

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Riss
 Riss
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Posted by: @lifecom
Posted by: @riss

I’ve got Bizon 2S box w 400W PSU but would like to use Dell’s DA-2 PSU (have a low powered GPU that needs only 75w). Since the Dell’s and BizonBox connectors don’t match, could you kindly advise what kind of adapter/custom cable to get to connect them?

 

Thanks a lot in advance!

 

 Richard

If you bought BizonBox with 400W PSU, then BizonBox has 8-pin PCI-e female connector.
If you bought BizonBox with Dell DA-2, then BizonBox has 8-pin connector, ADAPTED to DA-2.
Conclusion: BizonBox power connector depends on included PSU.
It is not possible to use both power supplies (at least, without some wiring work).
You can see PSU wiring (pinout) and power-wiring inside Bizon and make an adapter.

Found someone online that makes custom cables for these eGPU boxes and have the Dell PSU now connected to the BizonBox . Maybe I’ll find a new quiet 400W PSU in the future and will revert back to it using GTX780

mid 2014 MBP 15" GT750m | Mac mini 2012 | Akitio Thunder 2 & 3 | GTX 780 3GB (flashed) | GTX Black Titan 6GB (stock) | Quadro P2000 (stock)


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