AKiTiO Node Pro Review - Jack of All Trades
Have had my Node Pro for about a week hooked up to a 13" Spectre X360 (8550U) with an Asus-braded RX 480. So far I have been happy with the performance of the Node Pro, but I have to say the fans are pretty crazy. The case fan (which is an exhaust fan, which seems odd to me) was pretty low quality and runs all the time. I found the sound it made to be, honestly, pretty annoying so I replaced it with an $8 92MM fan. It's bad enough that this fan seems to just run constantly, but it seems like Akitio skimped on the quality of the part as well.
The PSU fan get's what I would consider extremely loud. Significantly louder than my GPU. I'm not sure if the fan speed is controlled by power draw or temps, but my RX480 only seems to pull around 150W max under load, so it's not exactly stressing the power supply. It may get replaced some day with a model that is quieter.
The rest of the case is awesome and the quality / aesthetics of the Node Pro are fantastic, which is honestly the reason I shelled out more for the Node Pro vs the Node. I guess I just expected more for the price, but I suppose it isn't the most expensive case out there.
If anyone is curious, this is the fan I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002KTZJOQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I have had good luck with them in the past. They don't move as much air as some other fans on the market, but the thermals in the Node Pro seem fine. My GPU never gets above 60c and I am venting directly against a wall with about a two inch gap, which is totally not ideal. Switching the bottom exhaust fan didn't seem to affect the situation whatsoever and makes the box much more pleasant at idle.
Other than that, peripherals absolutely do not work on the second TB3 port, which is as expected, and the rest of the enclosure works fantastically. Looks great, great thermal performance, rock solid stability, great performance, etc.
And for the record, I would totally recommend the Node Pro (without any experience with any other eGPU enclosure) - I still have a week or two to return it and I can't see that happening.
What do you mean peripherals don't work on the second port?
I have one and use a USB 3 hub (with a built-in gigabit network adapter) plugged into the Akitio node pro. I used a USB keyboard and mouse for a while on the hub as well (changed to Bluetooth for various reasons). It works fine with no issues, even while gaming
Note the more data you push through the hub, the less data is available for the graphics card. A keyboard and mouse won't really matter, but a gigabit network adapter used at max speed will use a non-insignificant chunk of the 40Gb thunderbolt 3 connection. Normal internet traffic probably won't be noticeable, but transferring huge files at max speed would.
Other than that, peripherals absolutely do not work on the second TB3 port, which is as expected, and the rest of the enclosure works fantastically.
Why is it expected that peripherals don't work on the second TB3 port? The TB3 port should be able to handle chaining a Thunderbolt 3 device, or connecting a USB device, a USB-C dock, or a USB-C display or display adapter.
Is there something wrong with the Spectre X360's BIOS or Windows OS? Maybe not enough resources (I/O memory or whatever) when using a GPU? Is the second TB3 port usable when no GPU is installed?
With a eGPU installed in the Node Pro?
With a eGPU installed in the Node Pro?
Yes, an AMD Radeon RX 580.
But I fear the box itself can become very hot with such a card, since I'm trying it with Venus with is smaller and the heat is worrying.
What do you suggest guys? Do you think Akitio Node can run cooler maybe adding an additional fan?
I have an AMD rx 580 and it stays within a reasonable temp range. I can drop the temp a bit by simply opening the top (of has two thumb screws so it's easy to take on and off).
Bought it off of amazon a few years ago, nothing special.
I use a USB A to USB C dongle to plug it into the Akitio Node Pro.