Enclosure & Hardware Discussions
[Help!] Akitio Thunder2 and Power Overload: A Cautionary Tale
 

[Help!] Akitio Thunder2 and Power Overload: A Cautionary Tale  

 of  2
  RSS

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

Unfortunately I have to report that due to my stupidity, I managed to fry one of my two Akitio Thunder2 enclosures. I suspect it was caused by me trying to overclock my GTX750Ti and pushing it way too far. Since my GTX750Ti does not have a 6-pin PCIe input, I must've caused an overload on a specific Akitio PCB component by exceeding the max slot power by some amount (my GTX750Ti has an increased TDP BIOS). As a result, one of the components on the Akitio PCB have fried, magic smoke and all.

The cautionary tale here is that if you have a card that does not receive additional power from a 6-pin/8-pin connector, you can cause the card to pull more power through the slot than the Akitio can provide, with the result being damage to your Thunder2. Be careful! The corollary here is that the RX480, without the driver fix to the PCIe slot power over-draw, is also dangerous to use. If you are running such a setup, make sure your driver is updated.

While I do have access to a micro-soldering station, and I should be able to replace the component, I need some help figuring out what that thing is first. It is labeled "5HAF" and sits just above the 4-pin yellow/black power connector crossing between the two Akitio PCBs, and the PCB position is marked with "03". You can see the picture below (the picture is from my other, functional, Thunder2 - In the fried one, the component is deformed).

Can someone help me out to figure out what this thing is, and where I can get a replacement? It doesn't look like any other damage has occurred, as the Akitio powers up without any issue, displaying both the power LED and the TB link LED, but the video card sitting in the slot no longer receives power. I suspect this broke the power circuit.

What is this thing? Where can I get a new one?

20161203 143106

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


3RYL liked
ReplyQuote
nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Looks like a SOT-8 SMT chip. "5HAF" not googling anything. Voltage regulator? The huge square chip above it looks like a fuse. Did you check if perhaps it's blown? ie: high resistence across it instead of minimal resistence showing up on a multimeter.

If no leads there, then may AKiTiO support can help explain what that chip is.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10


ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Sorry to hear man. Have you swapped the thunderbolt 2 boards around? I tried an R9 Nano a while back and it shut down my Thunder2 abruptly. I couldn't power it back on so it took the whole thing apart to check. Didn't find anything abnormal. After I put it back together it started working again.

Worst case scenario you can contact Digikey to inquire about getting a replacement component. http://www.digikey.com/

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


ReplyQuote
nkh004
(@nkh004)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Its a transistor, identified by the Q next to the component.

I looked at mine and see 58AS written on the top. As for where to get one, your guess is as good as mine. I tried to google '58AS Transistor' but didn't get an easy and clear option. 

5HAF got even less results. Good luck! Let us know what you find. 

Mid 2011 iMac / Akitio Thunder 2 / GTX1060


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

I'll take a picture of the blown one when the light is a bit more favorable tomorrow, my cellphone camera sucks as it is. That thing is all bloated and deformed on the blown one.

I contacted Akitio with the hopes they'll tell me what it is. If they'll do, I'll pass it along 🙂

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


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

Okay, I've gotten a reply from Akitio support. The fried part is a MOSFET, with part number: FDC610PZ.

 

I ordered a couple from Digi-Key. Here's to hoping that replacing it will get my poor Thunder2 back up and running.

 

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


Leeroy, itsage and nkh004 liked
ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Famed Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Very good to know you got a response from AKiTiO with the answer on which component that was. This will be very useful when we burn those suckers.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

Update: It is dead. The heat damaged the PCB itself as this thing fried and it pretty much fell apart at that spot.

Crap. Expensive overlocking session, right there.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


ReplyQuote
Plastixx
(@plastixx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

So follow the blown traces and use small pieces of wires to bridge the connections. Shouldn't be too difficult unless it's more than a 2-layer PCB.

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


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

I looks like following the leads would be very, very difficult, even if I could even figure it out in the first place.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


ReplyQuote
Plastixx
(@plastixx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

You have the benefit of being able to look at your other working PCB. Use a meter to ohm out the connections so you know where to run wires on the dead board.

The MOSFET only has three connections you need to trace out. Pins 1,2,5,6 are the drain pins (connect them all together), pin 3 is the gate, and pin 4 is the source.

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


ReplyQuote
Plastixx
(@plastixx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I was on my phone earlier, but looking at your pic on my PC I can clearly see the connections. The two large drain and source traces are very obvious. The gate looks like it goes to that thin trace near it going diagonally,  but double check it with a meter.

You can run wires from the 4 drain pins to the right side of that large ceramic capacitor if you need to. If the pad near the source pin is blown out, you can scrape some of the green resist off the trace and put a jumper wire in the middle of those 4 vias (the line I drew). Use the largest gauge solid copper wire as you can fit. It will take a lot of heat from the iron to get solder to flow on that thick trace.

 

 

connections

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


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

Thanks for the detailed overview. I'll try to see if I can make some sense out of this tomorrow, but I am not keeping my hopes up too much.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


ReplyQuote
Plastixx
(@plastixx)
Trusted Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Post a close-up pic of the damaged area if you can.

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


ReplyQuote
FricoRico
(@fricorico)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I'm not sure if the power relay modification might actually help you, but I think it does protect users from frying their Akitio boxes with more demanding GPUs that suck a lot of power through the PCIe slot. This is not actually a mod I came up with and is something people have been experimenting with over at the other forums.

This particular setup has been advised by Goalque to me. I don't think that Akitio's advice to only have a bigger power source into the barrel plug is very wise, because you basically run out of spec of the board.

In my setup I don't do any taping tricks and the board is not powered by the J4 cable bridge any longer. It involves some difficult soldering though.

First I remove the cable going from J4 to J2 on the Thunderbolt board, this cuts the power from the boards MOFSET.

I also soldered in C3 and C4, which are basically to stabilise incoming power from the barrel plug. Not really needed, but for some cards it can make a difference in stability.

Now for the hard part, where I connect two thick wires from the underside of J6 to A1, A2, B1, B2 on the PCIe slot. My cables came from a donor power supply that was broken, they are really thick making it hard to not overlap two pads and getting enough heat in them without melting the insulation. I created a bridge between A1 -> A2 and B1 -> B2 with some solder, but it is not particularly required.

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


3RYL, Yukikaze and goalque liked
ReplyQuote
Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

To be honest, I gave up on this piece of PCB.

I bought a 199$ open-box Thunder2 to replace the fried one, and due to a lucky twist of fate got it for really cheap. It was advertised with all peripherals, but was missing the TB cable, and I ended up being refunded nearly 50$ for the cable and its potential shipping, making the whole thing around 150$ minus the cable, which I obviously have from the dead one. I am going to mod the dead casing into a shell for larger cards, and move PCBs around as needed depending on the card(s) I run.

As for my investigation: The thing is that the GTX750Ti's, at stock, power draw under Furmark is 66W. Since my card is modded to increase TDP, it is not surprising that I managed to pull over 75W through the slot and fry the Akitio's power-circuitry into a crisp.

The conclusion of the story here is that people should be very careful with Furmark (which is already documented as dangerous to video cards themselves) in the Akitio, especially with cards that have no other means of power but pulling power through the slots. Assuming you overclock, you should use non-max-stress stability testing, such as running 3DMark or other engine benchmarks and just don't overclock as aggressively, unless you know how your card draws power. Tom's Hardware GPU reviews sometimes provide information on the power draw of cards from the slot 12v and 3.3v rails as well as the extra 6/8-pin power-cabling, so that is something you can rely on. From what I've seen, higher end cards, with good voltage delivery systems, and multiple 6/8-pin power connectors, tend to draw most of their power from these connectors, often drawing only a token amount through the slot itself. It is the cards that lack external power, or are skimpy on the external connectors that are the riskiest. Unfortunately, often times they are the most useful cards for eGPU because they can be run in the enclosure as is. Someone who might overvolt, overclock, or BIOS mod theirs is likely putting their Thunder2 at heightened  risk of fiery failure.

For example, this Asus GTX950, lacking external power, draws 75-76W through the slot at gaming loads. Overclock it and you're out there in the twilight zone. I suspect the GTX1050/1050Ti are also in this risky category.

It is also interesting to note that the GTX1080FE and the GTX1070FE are actually drawing quite a bit of power through the slot. The Titan X (GP102), in comparison, is actually pretty tame in this regard.

As a side note, the Fury X barely needs slot power at all.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


ReplyQuote
FricoRico
(@fricorico)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Other than that you can often also modify the behaviour of the GPU power consumption with BIOS changes. I investigated this endeavour hoping to fix power issues that the RX480 had without the driver fixes that were implemented later on.

Still I'm curious if my changes to the PCB made any difference to protect the PCB from power overloading. I believe that the PCB is no longer responsible to supply the GPU of power, which is now done by the PSU directly because of the mod.

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


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

You can probably check this with a multimeter, tracing the load on the different components. That is definitely beyond my realm of knowledge, however.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


ReplyQuote
goalque
(@goalque)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Here’s my latest power bypass mod, without the cable bridge. One thick wire soldered to three +12V corner spots from J6 +12V. I used a piece of heat shrink tubing.

 

AKiTiO power bypass

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


Barts, Leeroy, ikir and 1 people liked
ReplyQuote
Leeroy
(@leeroy)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I fried the same module just less than two hours ago. Fortunately the PCB was not burnt and I'm able to power the GPU with a powered PCI-E riser.

I'm wondering if the power bypass mod will do the same job...

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


ReplyQuote
Leeroy
(@leeroy)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: goalque

 

Here’s my latest power bypass mod, without the cable bridge. One thick wire soldered to three +12V corner spots from J6 +12V. I used a piece of heat shrink tubing.

 

AKiTiO power bypass

   

I tried the same soldering and it works! I still have to keep the cables from J4 to J2 on the board to provide power to the Thunderbolt port.

This setup is still a bit unstable under heavy load, I guess I need a thicker cable for the power hungry RX480.

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


ReplyQuote
Leeroy
(@leeroy)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: FricoRico

 

Other than that you can often also modify the behaviour of the GPU power consumption with BIOS changes. I investigated this endeavour hoping to fix power issues that the RX480 had without the driver fixes that were implemented later on.

Still I'm curious if my changes to the PCB made any difference to protect the PCB from power overloading. I believe that the PCB is no longer responsible to supply the GPU of power, which is now done by the PSU directly because of the mod.

   

From what I'm seeing - yes! I fried the same chip mentioned in OP and the power stopped routing between the TB board and the PCI-E board. I believe this mod bypassed the power going through the chip hence prevented it (and potentially the PCB itself) from getting fried.

My board is not working without this mod or a powered riser. I'm yet to find a right cable to provide stable power for this mod though.

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


ReplyQuote
goalque
(@goalque)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@Leeroy: Means that your TB card isn’t capable of drawing power from the PCIe x4 slot anymore. Be very careful with powered risers. It’s important to know which direction the power flows.

Those people who use Akitio without an auxiliary power connector on the GPU or GPUs such as reference RX 480, and feed over 75W through the DC jack and TB board, take a huge risk.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


ReplyQuote
Leeroy
(@leeroy)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: goalque

 

@Leeroy: Means that your TB card isn’t capable of drawing power from the PCIe x4 slot anymore. Be very careful with powered risers. It’s important to know which direction the power flows.

Those people who use Akitio without an auxiliary power connector on the GPU or GPUs such as reference RX 480, and feed over 75W through the DC jack and TB board, take a huge risk.

   

Exactly. That's how I fried the chip in the first place.

I'm no longer using a powered riser, and the PCIe is powered by your power bypass mod. The mod is not providing stable power for me hence causing reboots under high load for my RX480.

Thank you @goalque for the power bypass mod! Now I wish I had done it earlier...

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


goalque liked
ReplyQuote
crowsodown24
(@crowsodown24)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I am having similar issues, the fan powers on but not the green LED or the Blue on. Have tried the solder trick to no avail. Any ideas?

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


ReplyQuote
crowsodown24
(@crowsodown24)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

So it seems this popped off the board any help in identifying it would be appreciated 

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


ReplyQuote
exam23
(@exam23)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

So I did download the latest driver from AMD for the RX480, for my pair to be exact.  I edited the following video with the dual gpu-s and have been up and running for almost two weeks now.  Thoughts and concerns?

 

 

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


ReplyQuote
lifecom
(@lifecom)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I had the same problem with the transistor FDC610PZ. But this position was not on sale in my city (need to wait for 2-3 weeks).
And I ordered an analogue from the availability: IRFTS9342TRPBF. Resolder and working perfectly. I think available for use any P-channel 30V MOSFET in TSOP-6 housing.

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


ReplyQuote
lifecom
(@lifecom)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

It's also interesting to compare a part of power PCIe bus between Akitio Node and Thunder2 PCB's:

Akitio Node:

Screenshot 1

Akitio Thunder2:

Screenshot 2

 

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


ReplyQuote
fireheadman
(@fireheadman)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@lifecom, Add this picture to your group...  (from @FricoRico's post above)

It has 4 capacitors, unsure of which enclosure it comes from.  I've been noticing the differences as I learn/see more of the enclosure guts.


DAILY DRIVER: ⚡cMP 2010 (ⓄⓈ:DualBoot macOS 10.13.6/Windows 2016 [1803]) | ⒸⓅⓊ:3.47GHz Xeon X5690 (x12 core)
ⓇⒶⓂ:64GB 1333MHz DDR3 | ⓈⓈⒹ:1TB SSD (LiteON 512 -x4 - RAID1) w/Marvell Raid Controller | ⒼⓅⓊ:
Nvidia GTX 1080 TI 11GB Founders Edition
⚡ Previous was MacMini 2011 w/AKiTiO Thunder2 | ⒼⓅⓊ:EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC Gaming


ReplyQuote
ricky
(@ricky)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Leeroy
Posted by: goalque

 

@Leeroy: Means that your TB card isn’t capable of drawing power from the PCIe x4 slot anymore. Be very careful with powered risers. It’s important to know which direction the power flows.

Those people who use Akitio without an auxiliary power connector on the GPU or GPUs such as reference RX 480, and feed over 75W through the DC jack and TB board, take a huge risk.

   

Exactly. That's how I fried the chip in the first place.

I'm no longer using a powered riser, and the PCIe is powered by your power bypass mod. The mod is not providing stable power for me hence causing reboots under high load for my RX480.

Thank you @goalque for the power bypass mod! Now I wish I had done it earlier...

So you fried the chip like the OP? And your compuer cant detect the eGPU am i right? And you are able to solve this by using the power bypass or the riser with power? Am i right

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


ReplyQuote
ricky
(@ricky)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I just fried mine and the computer doesnt detect the GPU but detect the box.

IMG 1325

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


ReplyQuote
John_Petrucci
(@john_petrucci)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: ricky

I just fried mine and the computer doesnt detect the GPU but detect the box.

IMG 1325

Do you use it to play?

It was overclocked?

STAFF


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

Let me ask: if you just replace the power brick so it feeds more power but you do not overclock then you can run a GTX 1050 or such safely?

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


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

Yes, there should be no issue. I am running a GTX1050Ti for quite a while now in such a configuration. I'd stay away from Furmark in any case, but nobody needs to run that thing anyway.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
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."


ReplyQuote
ricky
(@ricky)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: FricoRico

I'm not sure if the power relay modification might actually help you, but I think it does protect users from frying their Akitio boxes with more demanding GPUs that suck a lot of power through the PCIe slot. This is not actually a mod I came up with and is something people have been experimenting with over at the other forums.

This particular setup has been advised by Goalque to me. I don't think that Akitio's advice to only have a bigger power source into the barrel plug is very wise, because you basically run out of spec of the board.

In my setup I don't do any taping tricks and the board is not powered by the J4 cable bridge any longer. It involves some difficult soldering though.

First I remove the cable going from J4 to J2 on the Thunderbolt board, this cuts the power from the boards MOFSET.

I also soldered in C3 and C4, which are basically to stabilise incoming power from the barrel plug. Not really needed, but for some cards it can make a difference in stability.

Now for the hard part, where I connect two thick wires from the underside of J6 to A1, A2, B1, B2 on the PCIe slot. My cables came from a donor power supply that was broken, they are really thick making it hard to not overlap two pads and getting enough heat in them without melting the insulation. I created a bridge between A1 -> A2 and B1 -> B2 with some solder, but it is not particularly required.

After doing this, how do you power the board? Is it still by using molex or?

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


ReplyQuote
 of  2