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US$269 AKiTiO Node Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure
 

US$269 AKiTiO Node Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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AKiTiO Node - Finally an affordable eGPU Box

US$249 Amazon 

Firmware update:

Bootcamped Macbook | send-to-AKiTiO

Firmware revision history

Posted by: itsage

As a recap, these are the three different versions of AKiTiO Node firmwares identifiable in macOS:

  • 25.1 - compatibility remains the same as 23.1 with the fix for H2D speed.
  • 23.1 - works with many Thunderbolt hosts, Macs included (in both macOS and Windows).
  • 21.1 - only works with a handful of eGPU certified hosts - not macOS compatible.

Dec-16-2016: Unboxing pics (itsage) ◄ CLICK

akitio node features

Features
  • Thunderbolt™ 3 for lighting fast transfer speeds up to 40 Gbps
  • 1 PCIe (x16) slot supporting full-length, full-height, double-width cards
  • Spacious enclosure for use with standard and large sized graphics cards
  • Built-in 400W SFX power supply to provide extra power to GPU
  • PCIe x16 slot supplying up to 75W of power
  • 4 lane PCI Express 3.0 compliant interface
  • Removable back panel for double-width cards
  • Carry handle to easily transport the device

4 Lane PCI Express 3.0 Compliant Interface

akitio node gpu card

Supports standard and large sized PCIe Gen3 x4 cards

The PCIe (x16) slot accepts full-length, full-height, double-width cards with enough space available inside the enclosure for both standard and large sized graphics cards. The four PCIe Gen3 lanes and the Thunderbolt 3 interface are capable of transfer rates up to 40Gbps, providing enough bandwidth even for the most demanding PCIe cards.

Extra power for graphics cards

akitio node psu

400W SFX PSU

The built-in power supply provides enough power for the AKiTiO Node (~10W) as well as for graphics cards. If the standard 75W through the PCIe slot is insufficient, two extra pairs of 8-pin power connectors are available inside the AKiTiO Node that can be connected to the GPU, providing a total of about 390W.

The power of external GPUs

akitio node benchmark

Thunderbolt™ 3

Thunderbolt 3 brings Thunderbolt to USB-C at speeds up to 40 Gbps, creating one compact port that does it all – delivering the fastest, most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device. In combination with the AKiTiO Node, this makes it possible to instantly upgrade your regular laptop or Mini-PC and achieve a performance that usually requires high-end workstations or specialized gaming computers.

___________________________________________________________________________

The inside hero shot of the AKiTiO Node shows a slightly revised PCIe board to include a 6-pin power cable to power both the PCIe board and the Thunderbolt 3 board. PCIe slot is definitely getting 75W through this power delivery approach.

If you have an AKiTiO Node in hand, please share any additional info you can spot.

Video

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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109 external GPU build guides


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I really hope we can use it with TB3 enabler on macOS

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Correction: After I received the Node and had time to compare the boards, I can confirm they are not the same.

Posted by: itsage

I used the hex mod kid2010 on Netkas provided and my 2016 MBP can communicate with the Thunder3 enclosure. The next challenge is to figure out what other checks within macOS Apple has put in place to prevent the use of a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU.

 

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Posted by: itsage

 

It's the same Thunderbolt 3 board as the Thunder3. I used the hex mod kid2010 on Netkas provided and my 2016 MBP can communicate with the Thunder3 enclosure. The next challenge is to figure out what other checks within macOS Apple has put in place to prevent the use of a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU.

   

Ok thanks for the update!  I've read from reliable sources that RX480 works already with 10.12.2 with Metal support... still waiting for my MacBook Pro 13" i7... never waited so much

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@ikir, are you talking about RX 480 through Thunderbolt 3 eGPU or inside the Mac Pro tower? I'd love to see the source for this. Metal support and graphics acceleration is the last hurdle for Thunderbolt 3 eGPU is macOS.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Posted by: itsage

 

@ikir, are you talking about RX 480 through Thunderbolt 3 eGPU or inside the Mac Pro tower? I'd love to see the source for this. Metal support and graphics acceleration is the last hurdle for Thunderbolt 3 eGPU is macOS.

   

Talking about eGPU! Calling my source 🙂

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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Ivxy
 Ivxy
(@ivxy)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi,

someone knows if there will be a USB / Sata port in the AkiTiO Node? I would like to install an SSD there. And over the USB port you could build a docking station. What would be great.

 

 

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: Ivxy

 

Hi,

someone knows if there will be a USB / Sata port in the AkiTiO Node? I would like to install an SSD there. And over the USB port you could build a docking station. What would be great.

 

 

   

The Akitio Node will not have a USB/SATA port.

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."


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FricoRico
(@fricorico)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

 

@itsage The source is me, and is actually an RX480 running in an Akitio Thunder 2 under both Windows 10 (dGPU enabled) and Mac OS (dGPU enabled). Supporting all modern graphics APIs, even Metal. Not sure about Akitio Thunder3/Node though as I don't own a 2016 Macbook.

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@FricoRico thank you for clarifying. I wanted to make sure we're aware of a working Thunderbolt 3 eGPU with 2016 MacBook Pro in macOS. I have not seen report of such setup.

The furthest I've been able to do is connecting my RX 470 through AKiTiO Thunder3 to a 2016 13" MacBook Pro. The System Information shows Thunderbolt 3 speed at 40 Gb/s and all supporting kexts loaded with video output to external screen. However, there's no Metal Support or acceleration.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Still no news under 10.12.2? No Metal/OpenGL acceleration with Thunder3?

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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itsage
(@itsage)
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I'm waiting for delivery of the AKiTiO Node this week to test on a vanilla version of 10.12.2 on my 2016 MacBook Pro.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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ikir
 ikir
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Posted by: itsage

 

I'm waiting for delivery of the AKiTiO Node this week to test on a vanilla version of 10.12.2 on my 2016 MacBook Pro.

   

Great!! What about Thunder3? Have you managed to get Metal/OpenGL acceleration on 10.12.2? I'm waiting for PSU, in few days I should be able to do some test if needed with Thunder3 + Rx480

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Just updated the opening post. Noticed bhphotovideo having this enclosure for US$249 with worldwide shipping.  Good price for TB3. The AKiTiO Thunder3 selling also for US$249 there.

US$249 bhphotovideo-US

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


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ikir
 ikir
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EU prices are higher 🙁

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Shipping to Italy is US$40. So US$289+taxes. That's this product: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1303819-REG/

Posted by: ikir

 

EU prices are higher 🙁

   

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


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Shamu
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Posted by: nando4

 

Just updated the opening post. Noticed bhphotovideo having this enclosure for US$249 with worldwide shipping.  Good price for TB3. The AKiTiO Thunder3 selling also for US$249 there.

US$249 bhphotovideo-US

   

I messaged Akitio on FB to confirm that the product is ready for sale... the guy said he isn't sure, if you buy it now it might ship next year, but I doubt that considering it doesn't say preorder or something like that on the page.

Has anyone bought the Node from there and received it? Or those who have bought the node and have it already, where did you buy it from? This is the only link I can find to buy from. Thanks!

 

EDIT: Another question: I want to use the Node with a Sapphire 7850 (along with an XPS 13 9350). Will it work? Has anyone used a AMD gpu that isn't specifically on the compatibility list successfully?

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


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OldPhilosopher
(@oldphilosopher)
New Member
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Anyone in the UK interested in the Node, I emailed the people at Equip and they said they’ll likely ship mid-January. I’m waiting to see when Amazon get theirs though, as they’ve got good customer service.

They’re selling it for £286.80.

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


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1qaz
 1qaz
(@1qaz)
New Member
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What different beetwen Thunder2 and Node PCI-slot PCB?

I see new capacitors and voltage regulator in power part of PCB...

Anybody take and upload photo Node PCB (from back)?

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


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rcarlos243
(@rcarlos243)
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I know the connector for this is Type-C, but I am wondering will this work with laptop that has Thunderbolt 1 & 2 with an adapter like this one?

http://egpu.io/go/amazon/appletb3tb2

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@nando4 and @rcarlos243, the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter does work in Windows with non-Apple computers. The key is having NVM firmware version of 18 or newer. Here's a screen cap of the Intel NUC Skull Canyon working with an AKiTiO Thunder2 through this adapter.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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Excalibur
(@excalibur)
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They are talking about TB2 laptop using TB3 eGPU, not the other way.

Current: Thinkpad W540 - i7 4900MQ - 32 GB DDR3L - Quadro K2100M - Akitio Thunder2 - GTX 660 OEM
Retired: Thinkpad W520 - i7 2860QM - 32 GB DDR3L - Quadro 1000M - EXP GDC Beast - GTX 560 Ti - GTX 660 OEM


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Mark
 Mark
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Just letting everyone know that I ordered from the UK site and the company has delayed the delivery because it's been backordered! I am getting an estimated shipping time around the second week of February so it's due to arrive in pretty much 4-5 weeks.

2016 13" MBP with Touch Bar
Sonnet III-D modified with Sonnet SE1 TB3 Upgrade Card and 600W PSU
MSI RX Vega 56 Air Boost OC
OS X 10.12.4


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nando4
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Guys, I moved the Apple TB3 -> TB2 adapter discussion to the thread about it https://egpu.io/forums/psu-cables/apple-thunderbolt-3-usb-c-to-thunderbolt-2-adapter/#post-1318 . As forum has no thread merge capability, I've just quoted the posts.

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


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Excalibur
(@excalibur)
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We should have the firmware update link in OP. It just went to 1.0.0.4 yesterday.

https://www.akitio.com/firmware/node-firmware

Current: Thinkpad W540 - i7 4900MQ - 32 GB DDR3L - Quadro K2100M - Akitio Thunder2 - GTX 660 OEM
Retired: Thinkpad W520 - i7 2860QM - 32 GB DDR3L - Quadro 1000M - EXP GDC Beast - GTX 560 Ti - GTX 660 OEM


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rolfl
(@rolfl)
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Any news on Node release date?

Mac Mini 2018 + AKiTiO Node (Corsair SF600 PSU) + Gigabyte Vega RX 64


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Posted by: rolfl

Any news on Node release date?   

Last I heard, AKiTiO will have limited quantity in early February to fulfill orders already placed. Then more units become available in March.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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109 external GPU build guides


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Leeroy
(@leeroy)
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Node is on sale in China already, but they wouldn't be shipped until the beginning February because of the Chinese New Year.

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


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ikir
 ikir
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Barefeats article

http://barefeats.com/rmbp2016node.html

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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0xPCP
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Subscribing. Just ordered from B&H with estimated ship date in March.

 

Plan is sell the gaming rig and do a 2016 MBP 15 w/ a 980 TI (sadly going to sell my 1080 due to lack of drivers) and an external Ultrawide monitor. Looking forward to any issues/advice anyone might have. My big worry is gaming limitations vs a desktop (I expect 10% - 15% decrease in performance with the slower laptop quad-core CPU and external enclosure). For example, something intensive like Witcher 3 (intensive in CPU and GPU).

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


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ikir
 ikir
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@0xPCP

1xxx Nvidia series driver is theorically coming

eGPU.it
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
Testing Radeon VII on macOS 10.14.5 beta


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0xPCP
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Posted by: ikir

 

 


@0xPCP

1xxx Nvidia series driver is theorically coming

   

Theoretically sounds like a long way off. 

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


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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
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Posted by: 0xPCP

 

Posted by: ikir

 

 


@0xPCP

1xxx Nvidia series driver is theorically coming

   

Theoretically sounds like a long way off. 

   

We all pray... we all...


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)


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itsage
(@itsage)
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At this point in time, it's unlikely Nvidia will release driver support for Pascal GPUs. Web drivers with Maxwell support came right around the 7-month mark of GTX 980 release date. GTX 1080 was released in late May 2016.

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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The only way I see these drivers becoming available is if Pascal GPUs become standard in some Mac variety, but with the Apple-AMD affair that we have going on, I don't think this is very likely.

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."


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harkonnen
(@mehenn)
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I know, that's why I went for the 980. Next one will be an AMD (such a blasphemy for my inner nVIDIA self - long live 3dfx Voodoo Graphics). But not this year. I believe that the 980 will serve me well for 2017. 


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + [email protected] (TB3 to TB2 adapter) (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12.3
late-2016 13" MBP + Quadro M2000/FirePro WX5100/GTX750-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + macOS 10.12.3
(Custom Thunder cables)


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