US$269 AKiTiO Node Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure  

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ikir
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February 7, 2017 5:09 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

 

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.

   

I've based my idea on this:

https://forums.geforce.com/default/topic/956855/geforce-drivers/nvidia-macos-web-drivers-for-geforce-gtx-1080-release-time-/

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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goalque
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February 7, 2017 7:11 pm  

A string "GP100" is the only sign.

Binary file /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartup.kext/Contents/MacOS/NVDAStartup matches
Binary file /System/Library/Extensions/NVDAStartupWeb.kext/Contents/MacOS/NVDAStartupWeb matches

It will be unofficial if we see some sort of support. A good example is natively supported GTX 780 which outperforms GTX 980’s web driver in Valley benchmark on macOS 10.12.3:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/unboxing-powercolor-devil-box-thunderbolt-3-egfx-enclosure/#post-2303

automate-eGPU.shapple_set_os.efi
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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
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wondermike
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February 7, 2017 11:38 pm  
Posted by: FricoRico

 

 

@theitsage 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.

   

@FricoRico - how are you powering the Graphics Adapter on the Akitio Thunder 2? Do you have an external PSU hooked up to it? Which one? How did you connect it? I'm planning to run a HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 with it on a Mac Mini 2014 (TB2 ports) - would that work? I'm using El Capitan (10.11.6).

Edited: 1 year  ago

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Mehenn
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February 8, 2017 2:57 pm  
Posted by: goalque

 

 

It will be unofficial if we see some sort of support. A good example is natively supported GTX 780 which outperforms GTX 980’s web driver in Valley benchmark on macOS 10.12.3:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/unboxing-powercolor-devil-box-thunderbolt-3-egfx-enclosure/#post-2303

   

So, if i read your information correctly, some AMD gpus should outperform 900 series nVIDIA gpus just because they have native support (R9 M380/M390/M395/M395X, Pro 450/455) ? Because I would like not to overpay for a 980 to get the same result as a RX 460. I looked for some benchmarks but I could not find any.

I found this thread by @ikir where his RX 480 (1080p 2AA score of 1837) is heavily outperformed by the GTX 980 (2463/same settings) or even by the GTX 970 (2209/same settings) - although according to GPUboss GTX 970 < RX 480 < GTX 980

I also found this thread by @theitsage but sadly there is no Valley benchmark for the RX 470. But instead I found this benchmark which puts the R9 Nano (1080p 8AA score of 1630) below yje GTX 980 (2231/same settings) and the GTX 970 (1822/same settings) - although according to GPUboss GTX 970 < GTX 980 = RX Nano

So, maybe the RX series suffers from the same issues as the GTX 900 series? Not native drivers? Compared to GTX 700 native drivers?

 

How about this series: https://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-R9-380-Gaming-Graphics/dp/B010BNACE4  (or any GPU from the same family) It looks like the same GPU used in the 5K iMAC right? If that is natively supported by Apple, I would switch gladly.

It will be unlikely to ever run out of GPU power on normal day usage of my setup, but always aim higher no? 😀


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (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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ikir
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February 8, 2017 3:11 pm  
Posted by: Mehenn

 

Posted by: goalque

 

 

It will be unofficial if we see some sort of support. A good example is natively supported GTX 780 which outperforms GTX 980’s web driver in Valley benchmark on macOS 10.12.3:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/unboxing-powercolor-devil-box-thunderbolt-3-egfx-enclosure/#post-2303

   

So, if i read your information correctly, some AMD gpus should outperform 900 series nVIDIA gpus just because they have native support (R9 M380/M390/M395/M395X, Pro 450/455) ? Because I would like not to overpay for a 980 to get the same result as a RX 460. I looked for some benchmarks but I could not find any.

I found this thread by @ikir where his RX 480 (1080p 2AA score of 1837) is heavily outperformed by the GTX 980 (2463/same settings) or even by the GTX 970 (2209/same settings) - although according to GPUboss GTX 970 < RX 480 < GTX 980

I also found this thread by @theitsage but sadly there is no Valley benchmark for the RX 470. But instead I found this benchmark which puts the R9 Nano (1080p 8AA score of 1630) below yje GTX 980 (2231/same settings) and the GTX 970 (1822/same settings) - although according to GPUboss GTX 970 < GTX 980 = RX Nano

So, maybe the RX series suffers from the same issues as the GTX 900 series? Not native drivers? Compared to GTX 700 native drivers?

 

How about this series: https://www.amazon.co.uk/MSI-R9-380-Gaming-Graphics/dp/B010BNACE4  (or any GPU from the same family) It looks like the same GPU used in the 5K iMAC right? If that is natively supported by Apple, I would switch gladly.

It will be unlikely to ever run out of GPU power on normal day usage of my setup, but always aim higher no? 😀

   

My benchmark is in 4k, i can rerun it in fullHD

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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Mehenn
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goalque
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February 8, 2017 3:28 pm  

@Mehenn: I didn't mention AMD. They all perform poorly in OpenGL - the max frame rate is stuck at ~40FPS in Valley.

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Mehenn
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February 8, 2017 3:33 pm  

@golaque: that sucks 😀 I was hoping we can get more out of Apple native drivers. So by now only the GTX 970 will be the best native supported GPU (to bad I didn't found any with 2++ DP ports)


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (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
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goalque
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February 8, 2017 3:49 pm  

I guess you meant to say GTX 780. It is supported natively, you can use -skip-web-driver option. Remember that we have Metal API and OpenCL as well. 

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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
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Yukikaze
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February 8, 2017 4:07 pm  

Am I right in assuming that the GTX780Ti is also natively supported (since the 780 is)? If so, the best OS X video card that you can commonly find is a used eVGA GTX780Ti Classified Kingpin Edition. It sells for around 200$ on ebay (a bit higher on buy-it-now listings) and there seems to be a lot of them around. With its 23% overclock over the stock GTX780Ti it should rival a GTX980 for sheer horsepower, but with the better driver support it should blow it out of the water.

Edited: 1 year  ago

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.

"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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theitsage
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February 8, 2017 4:10 pm  

@Yukikaze, and no headache following Mac OS updates.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

56 external GPU build guides


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Mehenn
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February 8, 2017 4:23 pm  

Do you guys know any 780 with 2 or more DP? It also uses 250W, so bye bye Dell DA-2. I guess is to much for me to change...

Edited: 1 year  ago


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (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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Yukikaze
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February 8, 2017 4:30 pm  

Every single GTX780 or GTX780Ti on the Techpowerup GPU Database has 1xDP, 1xHDMI, 2xDVI. So I'd have to say it simply doesn't exist.

EDIT: The same is true for the GTX Titan and GTX Titan Black, so it looks like it is simply not possible to drive two 60hz 4K displays off a Kepler-based card.

Edited: 1 year  ago

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.

"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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goalque
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February 8, 2017 5:31 pm  

I’ve seen misleading information that GK110B wouldn’t be supported by default OS X drivers. My GTX 780 is the rev. 2 with GK110B chip and it works without the web driver. The performance difference (GTX 780 native / GTX 780 web) was not significant in Valley benchmark. Not sure if 6GB makes any difference.

https://www.techpowerup.com/gpudb/b3285/evga-gtx-780-sc-w-acx-cooler-6-gb

Yes, TITAN BLACK and and GTX 780 Ti may work natively too as they have the same chip. I don't own either of these, so cannot confirm.

This may go off-topic...

Edited: 1 year  ago

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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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ikir
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February 8, 2017 10:13 pm  
Posted by: Mehenn

 

Please! - I always run my benchmarks in retina 1080 (3840x2160)

   

Extreme HD preset

Foto01

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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goalque
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February 8, 2017 10:47 pm  

Here's my result: MBP11,1 -> Apple 2m Thunderbolt cable -> Apple TB2-to-TB3 adapter -> Devil Box -> RX 480 -> DP-DP cable -> U28D590 monitor:

So TB3 does not bring more speed in Valley bench.

Edited: 1 year  ago

automate-eGPU.shapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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goalque
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February 8, 2017 11:13 pm  

@ikir: It’s worth to see if you’ve "Displays have separate spaces" checked under Mission control. It was turned on in my test. All other apps closed. It may have some effect, especially when testing internal screen performance. If there are other apps and windows open across both displays, it will yield a lower score.

automate-eGPU.shapple_set_os.efi
--
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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ikir
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February 9, 2017 6:52 am  
Posted by: goalque

 

@ikir: It’s worth to see if you’ve "Displays have separate spaces" checked under Mission control. It was turned on in my test. All other apps closed. It may have some effect, especially when testing internal screen performance. If there are other apps and windows open across both displays, it will yield a lower score.

   

@goalque
No other apps running, but "display have separate spaces" is turned on (and very handy). Do you suggest to turn it off?

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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ed_co
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February 9, 2017 9:28 am  

Guys, have you notice they changed the price from 249 to 269 since more than a week?? I was about to order one (even that I live in Europe and the customs are superhigh... and the costs was more than USD400) but now...

Would love that amazon could sell it too here... and I would be more than happy to get one of  this or a Core... but nothing here.

Very disappointing.

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING X@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13.5 & Win10


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ikir
 ikir
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February 10, 2017 11:15 am  

Still waiting for Node to become available in italy... any more rumors about the new AKitio box with 60-80w PD?

Edited: 1 year  ago

eGPU.it | LG 34" 4K 34UC88 curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2017 touchbar i7 3.5Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD --> my complete setup video


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Eightarmedpet
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goalque
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February 10, 2017 7:53 pm  

@ikir: The setting didn't make any difference in my TB2-to-TB3 test (no other apps).

Posted by: ikir

 

Still waiting for Node to become available in italy...

 It's not in stock but can be ordered:

http://www.blitzmicro.com/epages/990252024.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/990252024/Products/1264

 

automate-eGPU.shapple_set_os.efi
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late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + Vega64@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS & Win10
late-2016 13" Macbook Pro nTB + GTX980/RX580@32Gbps-TB3 (Netstor HL23T) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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ed_co
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February 11, 2017 6:58 am  
Posted by: goalque

 

@ikir: The setting didn't make any difference in my TB2-to-TB3 test (no other apps).

Posted by: ikir

 

Still waiting for Node to become available in italy...

 It's not in stock but can be ordered:

http://www.blitzmicro.com/epages/990252024.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/990252024/Products/1264

 

   

Yeah, for a fortune now, they increased the price 50 gbp... Scammers...

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING X@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13.5 & Win10


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Mehenn
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February 11, 2017 8:20 am  

 (hopefully not one of those why you like something I don't like posts)

 

I think Node is a great add-on to the family. But I like more the Thunder2/3 with an external 120W and a short GPU.

I mean... if you really need that more GPU power, get a desktop/MacPro. Not just get yet another desktop sized device to sit on your desk. You will end up eating space for a laptop and a desktop. The only real usage I see for the Node is if you are using an iMac (display only computers). Then yes, maybe a desktop sized device on your desk would fit. But then again, buy a Desktop/Mac Pro (and I have a rather generous desk 160cm/80cm space is not an issue). If you really need the 'power' surplus offered by the double size GPUs over the mini/nano GPUs, then maybe you won't like the well known 10-20% 'power' loss offered by those external devices. Once again go for a desktop.

 

If anyone would have asked me 4 weeks ago how to eGPU, I would have pointed towards the Node. (or other devices offering the PSU and space for a bigger GPU). But now, I would just tell them to get a Thunder 2/3 and an 120W adapter. Small, sleek and offers the extra GPU power for everyday needs.

Once again, my choice


Later edit: One might say I have a bulkier setup myself. Yes. I do. I chopped the front of the Thunder2 and I have a bigger Dell DA2 under my desk (the same the Node offers but way smaller - unless you want > than 210W for your GPU when you need to go for ATX PSU). But when I started I didn't had the knowledge/guts to go for an non modded enclosure with 120W PSU. I already ordered a Thunder3 and an 120W PSU with 5,5/2,5 barrel plug. All I am searching now is an GPU that fits, runs on iOS (700, 900 or AMD) and has 2 DP ports/or the means to connect 2 DELL p2715q monitors in 4k - because the HDMI (even 2.0) lowers the 3960 x 2160 resolution to 30Hz.

Edited: 1 year  ago


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (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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enjoy
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February 11, 2017 11:53 am  
Posted by: Mehenn

Later edit: One might say I have a bulkier setup myself. Yes. I do. I chopped the front of the Thunder2 and I have a bigger Dell DA2 under my desk (the same the Node offers but way smaller - unless you want > than 210W for your GPU when you need to go for ATX PSU). But when I started I didn't had the knowledge/guts to go for an non modded enclosure with 120W PSU. I already ordered a Thunder3 and an 120W PSU with 5,5/2,5 barrel plug. All I am searching now is an GPU that fits, runs on iOS (700, 900 or AMD) and has 2 DP ports/or the means to connect 2 DELL p2715q monitors in 4k - because the HDMI (even 2.0) lowers the 3960 x 2160 resolution to 30Hz.

You can get EVGA GTX 750TIhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/EVGA-1020MHz-1085MHz-5400MHz-Graphics/dp/B00IDG3PRI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486813897&sr=8-1&keywords=EVGA+GeForce+GTX+750Ti

No soldering, fits in the Akitio Thunder3 - clean and small setup 🙂 You can connect your monitors - one via DP and one via HDMI!

Requirements

  • Minimum of a 300 Watt power supply.
  • Total Power Draw : 60 Watts

Resolution & Refresh

Max Monitors Supported: 3

  • 240Hz Max Refresh Rate
  • Max Analog : 2048x1536
  • Max Digital : 4096x2160

Dimensions

  • Height: 4.376in - 111.15mm
  • Length: 6.7in - 170.18mm
  • Width: Dual Slot
Edited: 1 year  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU


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Yukikaze
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February 11, 2017 6:12 pm  

Mehenn, As far as I see it: You can take a Thunder2/3, remove the front like we did, stick a blower card into it with the blower part sticking out and then use a Dell DA-2 to power it all. The setup is still very compact, and you get a massive amount of performance. This is also very similar to your GTX980 setup, which is still pretty darn small. What I do agree with is that the eGPU solutions out there are just too big, they are indeed (nearly) desktop-sized, where they should really be the size of a mid-sized video card and use an external power brick that can be hidden away under the desk.

In any case, the most powerful video card that fits into the Akitio Thunder2/3 without any modification and does not require an additional power plug, while still having OS X drivers, is the RX 460 4GB. You can even get the XFX single-slot version for a 20$-ish premium that will not suffocate inside a closed Thunder enclosure simply because the box will be half-empty and well ventilated. Of course, that price assumes US prices, and if I remember right, you are in the UK, but a RX460 that fits the Thunder should definitely still be available in general.

In lieu of the RX 460, you are left with the GTX950 or GTX750Ti, both of which have versions that do not require external power and can fit the Thunder enclosures.

Honestly, though, if I were you, I'd just keep the GTX980 setup. It is small enough as is, and the performance is by far superior.

Edited: 1 year  ago

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.

"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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ed_co
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February 12, 2017 12:15 am  

Should be great to pressure bhphotovideo in order to low the price again... 😉

Dunno why they increased it... and if you count the customs, in order to buy it from europe, you could get amazed with the final price...

Is amazing how difficult is to get one of this in Europe!! And what a price!! We are not rich!!

Edited: 1 year  ago

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING X@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13.5 & Win10


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Maven
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February 13, 2017 1:39 am  

Will the Node 3 and the Thunder 3 carry/use the same firmware?

It seems that the Node 3 works great in OS X and Windows after updating the firmware. Wondering if the Thunder 3 works the same with updates or if they are going to block things like Apple.

Thanks!


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Mehenn
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February 13, 2017 11:24 pm  
Posted by: Yukikaze

 

Honestly, though, if I were you, I'd just keep the GTX980 setup. It is small enough as is, and the performance is by far superior.

I am keeping it and building a thunder 3 enclosure (not modded), I was just saying that Node is way to big for what it offers we can either chop the thunder 2/3 or use a smaller card. And yes, I would love to go for the RX 460 but the drivers on MacOS kill me. I think I will squeeze a 960 or a 950 inside. Sorry again for stealing the thread about the Node.

Screen Shot 2017 02 13 at 11.26.39 PM
Edited: 1 year  ago


late-2016 13" Macbook Pro + GTX980@16Gbps-TB2 (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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ExecuteError
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February 20, 2017 9:57 pm  

Are there reasons to not get a 1050(Ti) besides the lack of OS X drivers? £320 for a Node is way too much, for that price I'd rather buy a PS4/Switch or build a new PC for the same amount of money

Edited: 1 year  ago

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jefniro
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February 28, 2017 12:34 pm  

I have Ordered mine from bhphotovideo.com (249$) in mid january when the date of availabity was the 21st february, one again delayed from 21 to 25 february and now to early march... very disappointed from a device that was expected for the end of 2016! 

 

Someone else has some experience with bhphotovideo.com? It's my first time that I order from this seller.

 

 

late-2016 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + XFX-RX480@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS & Win10


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Natasha
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February 28, 2017 12:36 pm  
Posted by: jefniro

I have Ordered mine from bhphotovideo.com (249$) in mid january when the date of availabity was the 21st february, one again delayed from 21 to 25 february and now to early march... very disappointed from a device that was expected for the end of 2016! 

Someone else has some experience with bhphotovideo.com? It's my first time that I order from this seller.

If you want - I can  sell you my Node (unpacked 1 day ago). And gtx 1080 -  if needed. 

Reason - doesn't work on my 2013 MBA.


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jefniro
(@jefniro)
Estimable Member
Joined:2 years  ago
Posts: 109
February 28, 2017 1:39 pm  
Posted by: Natasha

 

Posted by: jefniro

I have Ordered mine from bhphotovideo.com (249$) in mid january when the date of availabity was the 21st february, one again delayed from 21 to 25 february and now to early march... very disappointed from a device that was expected for the end of 2016! 

Someone else has some experience with bhphotovideo.com? It's my first time that I order from this seller.

If you want - I can  sell you my Node (unpacked 1 day ago). And gtx 1080 -  if needed. 

Reason - doesn't work on my 2013 MBA.

   

Thank you! Unfortunatelly I can't cancel my pre-order on bhphotovideo.com :o(

 

late-2016 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + XFX-RX480@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS & Win10


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TuringPointSoft
(@turingpointsoft)
Active Member
Joined:1 year  ago
Posts: 17
February 28, 2017 5:37 pm  
Posted by: Natasha

 

Posted by: jefniro

I have Ordered mine from bhphotovideo.com (249$) in mid january when the date of availabity was the 21st february, one again delayed from 21 to 25 february and now to early march... very disappointed from a device that was expected for the end of 2016! 

Someone else has some experience with bhphotovideo.com? It's my first time that I order from this seller.

If you want - I can  sell you my Node (unpacked 1 day ago). And gtx 1080 -  if needed. 

Reason - doesn't work on my 2013 MBA.

   

How much are you willing to sell for? The node and the pair?


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