US$360 AKITIO Node Pro TB3 enclosure (released Dec-2017)  

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DanKnight
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June 4, 2017 4:09 am  

Had an interview today with HDSLR Shooter and we talked more about the AKiTiO Node Pro and Node.

Alias: KnightZero
AKiTiO Employee - Technical Specialist


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Amo
 Amo
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June 13, 2017 4:06 pm  

hey guys, 

I had the opportunity to visit computex 2017 two weeks ago , and I was super stoked to see the unreleased AKITIO Node Pro eGPU enclosure in the flesh.

Straight away you get a really premium feel to it, everything is made out of machined Aluminum, and compared to the previous or I should say current AKITIO Node, this feels a million time better, it’s definitely on another quality level, now when you open this one up it won’t feel wobbly, flimsy and awkward like the AKITIO Node.

this feel much more polished and refined, and I absolutely love the new all aluminum ‘pop in pop out’ handle. It almost feels like an Apple product.

 

 

it’s now easier than ever to remove the cover, just unscrew two spring-loaded thumb screws and that’s it you are done. The screws are not removable they will stay stuck to the case which will avoid many to crawl on their floor looking for the one they dropped.

the inside feels now much more clean and organized, they moved the Fan from the side of the case to the bottom with a recess under the case allowing a better air flow and less noisy too.

 

 

the AKITIO Node Pro will be released sometime this September, and will cost around $369

here a quick look at the AKITIO Node Pro during Computex 2017


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theitsage
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June 13, 2017 4:30 pm  

Thank you for sharing! This AKiTiO Node Pro looks like a great improvement over the Node. The handle makes it look like an ammo magazine. Camouflage paint anyone? 😀

US$369 for the AKiTiO Node Pro is a nice price.

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jim_survak
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June 13, 2017 7:18 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

Camouflage paint anyone? 😀

Why would I want my ammo can eGPU to be difficult to find?   😛

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OSXlifer
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June 15, 2017 11:18 pm  

So help me think this through - the advantage of 2x Thunderbolt 3 Ports is.... so we can attach high-speed RAID back to the laptop through the same single port?


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Yukikaze
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June 15, 2017 11:23 pm  

Yes, it allows you to daisy-chain devices. However, this has the potential to negatively affect your GPU gaming performance if you heavily use the daisy-chained device, because it will compete with the eGPU for the TB3 bandwidth. The actual performance hit very much depends on what you are doing, but I wouldn't recommend running a 10GbE Ethernet device at full tilt when it is daisy-chained to an eGPU and you're trying to game. Obviously, in most sane use cases, it probably won't matter (much).

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Eightarmedpet
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June 19, 2017 1:06 pm  

Why are they making these enclosures so large? This looks the size of a Mini ITX case (thinking EVGA Hadron Air) and for the price you'd be better off just building a Hackintosh based MITX set up?

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Amo
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June 20, 2017 9:01 am  

yes I am also wondering the same thing, if somehow it was possible to have a SLI setup inside using the two TB3 port simultaneously then that would make sense to have a larger box.

I just wish they could make a  Mini Akitio Node Pro, I am sure it is possible to make it quite small especially since companies like Zotac are starting to offer mini GTX 1080Ti.


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Eightarmedpet
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June 20, 2017 11:22 am  

You've jogged my memory... I think ASUS may have shown a small eGPU with a mini 1080 in it... fingers crossed for something small coming out with enough space and power for 1060's/mini 1070's without needing to mod the case/cables/psu.

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DanKnight
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June 27, 2017 3:42 am  

A little update on the Node Pro. It will be a PCIe Box, not an eGPU. Reason is it has 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports. By spec, eGPUs are not allowed to have more than 1 Thunderbolt 3 port. That being said though, the box will be able to utilize anything that uses PCIe.

 

Also, Node Pro is no longer expected to release September. We're looking at hopefully end of this year/early 2018. Reason being we're using newly developed Thunderbolt 3 C-step boards (Current Node has B-step). There's still a lot of issues that Intel, Apple and AKiTiO are working on with the firmware. H2D Bandwidth issue and Hotplug issue has already been brought to our attention.

 

We're also messing around with the enclosure design too. So what you see now may or may not be the final design.

Alias: KnightZero
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Username
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June 27, 2017 5:33 am  

Thank you Dan for the update. 

Will the dual TB3 port PCIe box standard effect its eGPU possibilities as in native OS support etc. Or is it only that it will be certified against another standard for dual port boxes? And with C-step will there only be benefits for us with eGPU in mind or are there any other drawbacks?

We really want to avoid hacking kexts to get these wicked boxes working on the Mac  

Could one guess the Node Lite will be caught up in the same development and certification path as well? 

 

2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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Eightarmedpet
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June 27, 2017 8:18 am  

Hi Dan, also interested in the Node lite and wondering if that too is delayed? It's not too easy to get Akitio thunder3s/Nodes in the UK either, do you have any plans to sell on Amazon (which would be great).

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DanKnight
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June 28, 2017 5:43 am  
Posted by: Username

Thank you Dan for the update. 

Will the dual TB3 port PCIe box standard effect its eGPU possibilities as in native OS support etc. Or is it only that it will be certified against another standard for dual port boxes? And with C-step will there only be benefits for us with eGPU in mind or are there any other drawbacks?

We really want to avoid hacking kexts to get these wicked boxes working on the Mac  

Could one guess the Node Lite will be caught up in the same development and certification path as well? 

Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Hi Dan, also interested in the Node lite and wondering if that too is delayed? It's not too easy to get Akitio thunder3s/Nodes in the UK either, do you have any plans to sell on Amazon (which would be great).

Node Lite has already been certified as a PCIe box and looking to be on market end of July. The Node Lite will not have an eGPU firmware and will not support GPUs, same as previous PCIe boxes. Not sure if editing kexts will be needed to support GPUs. We have our hands tied, so it'll be up to the community to find out unfortunately.

Alias: KnightZero
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Eightarmedpet
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June 28, 2017 7:19 am  

Cheers for the reply Dan, really appreciate it, had hoped to use it as a mini eGPU setup as other enclosures just look too big to me. Fingers crossed there is an alternative or the community manages a simple fix/patch.

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adrianr
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June 28, 2017 8:58 am  

Hi Dan,

Stefan at [email protected] kindly replied to a query from me regarding sale of the PCIe or eGPU boards only, as I really don't need to buy another case and PSU from what I already have available at home (and my project is to also house some USB-connected blu-ray and HDD drives powered by my old PC's PSU), but the answer was a clear "no". From your messages above am I correct to assume that recently announced changes to TB licencing by Intel are not affecting your freedom to sell hardware in different configurations? I think many here would be really pleased to buy the PCBs only, and whilst I don't have any evidence outside of custom projects reported here my judgement is that the market will only grow. If you see no signs of ever being able to do that, do you have any "scrap" but functioning testbed B-step or other cards than can be released without warranty etc?!

Perhaps an alternative could be to certify and sell an enclosure with a really cheap and flimsy case, and the most basic PSU you can find, for targeting at DIY-ers in the knowledge and expectation that they will void their warranty by removing what they don't need - a Node Lite-lite or PCIe-lite. I think you'd be able to sell a lot of them through a group sale here on egpu.io, if nowhere else, but I do expect it will be a question of economics and strategy for you. Still worth my asking, though..!

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Username
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June 28, 2017 9:14 am  

Thanks a lot for the reply Dan!

Lets hope we can find some engineuity to unleash the raw power in the Lite's small form factor. 🙂

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DanKnight
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June 28, 2017 7:50 pm  
Posted by: adrianr

Hi Dan,

Stefan at [email protected] kindly replied to a query from me regarding sale of the PCIe or eGPU boards only, as I really don't need to buy another case and PSU from what I already have available at home (and my project is to also house some USB-connected blu-ray and HDD drives powered by my old PC's PSU), but the answer was a clear "no". From your messages above am I correct to assume that recently announced changes to TB licencing by Intel are not affecting your freedom to sell hardware in different configurations? I think many here would be really pleased to buy the PCBs only, and whilst I don't have any evidence outside of custom projects reported here my judgement is that the market will only grow. If you see no signs of ever being able to do that, do you have any "scrap" but functioning testbed B-step or other cards than can be released without warranty etc?!

Perhaps an alternative could be to certify and sell an enclosure with a really cheap and flimsy case, and the most basic PSU you can find, for targeting at DIY-ers in the knowledge and expectation that they will void their warranty by removing what they don't need - a Node Lite-lite or PCIe-lite. I think you'd be able to sell a lot of them through a group sale here on egpu.io, if nowhere else, but I do expect it will be a question of economics and strategy for you. Still worth my asking, though..!

We are not allowed to sell the boards by themselves. They must be sold in an enclosure that's certified with the board.

 

Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Cheers for the reply Dan, really appreciate it, had hoped to use it as a mini eGPU setup as other enclosures just look too big to me. Fingers crossed there is an alternative or the community manages a simple fix/patch.

I believe in the community. Y'all been doing it since like 2008. 😉 Just wanted to point out though, the firmware is still in the works even though it's certified. We're still improving it and you may see a firmware update on or after the box hits the market.

Alias: KnightZero
AKiTiO Employee - Technical Specialist


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Eightarmedpet
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June 29, 2017 6:59 am  

I do too, although I am very new to all this! Thanks again for the reply, it's great having direct contact with someone who works on the product in question. What's the goal of potential firmware updates? Would they have an impact on eGPU compatibility? Not sure if you can/would answer this but, does Intel have some sort of rule reg size of enclosures? It looks to me as if companies are being forced to make eGPU enclosures larger than they need to be, theres a decent number of people who would love a Node Lite sized box capable of 1050/460 - mini 1070 GPU's but most enclosures are the size of MITX PC cases. Feel free to entirely ignore that question as any answer would prob breach an NDA.

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adrianr
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June 29, 2017 8:58 am  

Thanks for the confirmation, Dan - what I feared. I hope Intel remove that restriction some time soon, but doubt it will be soon enough for me. Hopefully, not an early sign that the industry will not move in the opposite direction, so that it's no longer possible to buy a mobo, CPU or GPU etc without being a certified functioning device;-)

I still think there's an opportunity to market a really bad case with good PCBs, to the DIY market, if some vendor is interested!

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DanKnight
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June 29, 2017 8:16 pm  

Potential firmware update would include increased performance and increased support for more PCIe cards.

Alias: KnightZero
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theitsage
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June 29, 2017 8:58 pm  

Fingers crossed for 28 to 32 Gb/s on the new firmware. 🤞

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Eightarmedpet
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topherfangio
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July 2, 2017 9:49 pm  

Based on the little card in front of it; looks like it will only provide 60 watts of power to the machine? Such a shame if so; I would really have loved to use this with my 15" MacBook Pro.

Looks like the Mantiz Venus is the only one that does this currently?


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jefniro
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November 9, 2017 8:29 am  

The new Akitio Node Pro has his official web page on the Akitio web site!

 

https://www.akitio.com/expansion/node-pro

 

  • Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Computer with Thunderbolt™ 3 port
  • macOS 10.12.4 and later
  • Computer with Thunderbolt™ 3 port

 

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Chippy McChipset
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November 28, 2017 11:41 pm  

Not sure how long this page has been up, but new Node design is online with larger PSU, official Mac support (10.12.4) and some other changes including chassis design. Not available yet but didn’t see it mentioned anywhere lately; posting for general discussion. Surprised they start with 10.12.4 for Mac support, given Apple’s stance. Wonder if it will ship with custom software to enable that.

https://www.akitio.com/expansion/node-pro


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CappyHamper
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December 21, 2017 7:52 pm  

Looks like it's available for purchase now:

https://www.akitio.com/expansion/node-pro


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goalque
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December 21, 2017 8:25 pm  
Posted by: Chippy McChipset

Not sure how long this page has been up, but new Node design is online with larger PSU, official Mac support (10.12.4) and some other changes including chassis design. Not available yet but didn’t see it mentioned anywhere lately; posting for general discussion. Surprised they start with 10.12.4 for Mac support, given Apple’s stance. Wonder if it will ship with custom software to enable that.

https://www.akitio.com/expansion/node-pro

https://www.akitio.com/information-center/pcie-card-compatibility-chart

Remarks:

"Graphic cards of any kind are NOT supported"

Intel warns again:

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/blog/purchasing-tips-–-new-pc-paired-thunderbolt™-3-external-graphics-egfx

"Thunderbolt 3 certified generic PCIe expansion enclosures are not meant for eGFX usage and vendors of such enclosures are not allowed to market them for graphics use. You should avoid using these enclosures with graphics cards."

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Flint Ironstag
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December 21, 2017 8:38 pm  

Akitio, I like this direction.  Call it PCIe expansion and feel free to add relevant features, like dual TB and dedicated display port.  I love it.  Would have liked $300 better as a price point.

Anyone try this with Vega 64 yet?

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goalque
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December 21, 2017 9:00 pm  

@flint-ironstag: Me too. PCIe expansion certification for macOS goes through Apple but Intel owns this technology and they set the rules. Artificial barriers.

The egpu community can spread out the word if manufacturers cannot. Surprise, it works with graphics cards 🙂

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Flint Ironstag
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December 22, 2017 12:26 am  

Probably need to put money where mouth is and get one of these.  Somebody make me an offer on this Mac Mini quad core i7 server:

https://egpu.io/forums/for-sale-wanted/us-ft-mac-mini-server-2011-quad-core-i7-for-turnkey-egpu/

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nando4
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January 19, 2018 3:39 am  

AKiTiO has posted a AKiTiO Node Pro walkaround video:

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
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