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mini-eGPU with AKiTiO Thunder3 & Thunder2 & Node Lite (the best Implementations) // Xcellon Little Brother as replacement  

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enjoy
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

April-2020 >> Use a similar/same Xcellon Little Brother when cannot source a AKiTiO Thunder3 / AKiTiO Node Lite


July-20-2017 nando4>> Just released! The US$599 Aorus Gaming Box with a GTX1070 is a factory mini eGPU.  It betters the Thunder3/Node Lite DIY mini eGPU in this thread by offering power delivery and USB ports. See comparison.


mini-eGPU is the best way to get rid of your BIG Desktop PC and to have the same gaming performance. With AKiTiO Thunder2 and AKiTiO Thunder3 you can have only 20% performance drop of your Video Card and you can still play games with your old Laptop or your new Laptop that have only iGPU! In this thread i want to show you the best Video Cards that can fit in the Thunder2 and Thunder3 and the best Implementations from a users, because we want to make our desks clear and good looking! In this thread you can see that these small and good looking boxes can provide a great GPU power inside:

oi65.tinypic.com/25f7uiq.jpg

Lets start with the size of the AKiTiO Thunder3 & Thunder2 & Node Lite (all have the same size):


oi68.tinypic.com/2mz9jqq.jpg


The size of video cards that can fit in the AKiTiO Thunder3 & Thunder2 & Node Lite:

oi67.tinypic.com/2en3lus.jpg


Comparison vs. all other BIG eGPU Chassis

Thunderbolt Enclosures mini-eGPU AKiTiO 
Node
 
Sonnet  Breakaway
Box 350 & 500  
PowerColor
Devil Box
Mantiz 
Venus
Razer 
Core
Asus ROG
XG Station 2
Appearance
Price US$
$220-$260 $269-$300
$287-$316  $450 ~$469shipped $499 ~$699 &
Lenght 233mm 428mm 340mm 400mm 334mm 340mm 456mm
Width
76mm
145mm 185mm 172mm
164mm
105mm
158mm
Height 149mm 227mm 202mm 242mm 216mm 218mm 278mm
Graphics max power
25W 375W 375W 375W 375W 375W 500W
Charging power
15W 15W 87W 60W 87W 45W 100W
USB-C controller2
TI82 TI83 TI83 TI82 or TI83 TI83 TI82 TI83
Max GPU len (in/cm)
7.87 / 20.0  12.60 / 32.0 12.20/31.0 12.20 / 31.0
13.00 / 33.0
12.20 / 31.0
12.20 / 31.0
Shipping weight (kg/lb) 2.89/6.35 6.25/13.75 5.00/11.00 ~7.50/16.50 7.50/16.50 6.82/15.00 8.80/19.36

  


AKiTiO Node vs. mini-eGPU (AKiTiO Thunder3 & Thunder2 & Node Lite)


The Best Implementations of mini-eGPU: 

1. GALAX/KFA2 GeForce® GTX 1070 OC Mini 8GB (Length: 181.00mm / Height: 116.00mm)

1.1 Akitio Thunder3 feat. GALAX GeForce® GTX 1070 OC Mini 8GB - @Username /you will need only to replace front fan with the thinner 60x15mm fan/

1.2 Akitio Thunder3 feat. GALAX/KFA2 GeForce® GTX 1070 OC Mini 8GB - @Maven /you will need only to replace front fan with the thinner 60x15mm fan/

 


2. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC 6GB (Length: 172.72mm / Height: 111.15mm)

2.1 Akitio Thunder2 feat. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC 6GB - @enjoy

2.2 Akitio Thunder3 feat. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC 6GB - @dsaul & @noler

 

 3. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6GB (Length 174mm / Height 111.15mm)

3.1 Akitio Thunder2 feat. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6GB

3.2 Akitio Thunder3 feat. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6GB

 

4. EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 SC 3GB (Length: 172.72mm / Height: 111.15mm) @fireheadman


5. EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING, 4GB (Length: 144.78mm / Height: 111.15mm)

5.1 Akitio Thunder3 feat EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING, 4GB

5.2 Akitio Thunder2 feat. EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti SC GAMING, 4GB


6. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mini, 4GB GDDR5 (Length: 144.78mm / Height: 111.15mm) 


7. Gigabyte Geforce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB (Length: 172.72mm / Height: 114.30mm) - @Yukikaze


8.  GALAX GEFORCE GTX 970 GAMER OC 4GB (Length: 193mm / Height 111.2mm)


9. KFA² GeForce GTX 970 Gamer OC, 4GB (Length: 193mm / Height 111.2mm)

Design courtesy of @deplomb >>  here and here | CNC machine file - Akitio Thunder 2 ventilation grill cnc lines.dxf.zip


10. ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 4GB (Length 204mm / Height 111mm) You will need to remove the Akitio fan and the Video Card metal cover* @ikir

10.1 ZOTAC GeForce GTX 970 4GB (Length 204mm / Height 111mm) You will need to remove the Akitio fan and the Video Card metal cover*


11. EVGA GeForce GTX 960 SC ACX 2.0 4GB (Length: 172.72mm / Height: 111.15mm)


12. KFA2 GeForce GTX 960 2GB OC Short PCB (Length: 193mm / Height 111.2mm)


13. EVGA 750TI SC 2GB (Length 170.18mm / Height 111.15mm)

 


14. Gigabyte RX 460 WF2 OC 4 GB (Length 191mm / Height 111mm) You must remove the Akitio fan only* 


15. MSI RX 460 2GB OC (Length 172mm / Height 117mm) @SeeTheBridges


16. Radeon™ Pro WX 5100 8 GB GDDR5 (Length: 172.72mm / Height: 111.15mm) @Mehenn

 


Can i play games with these tiny video cards? The answer is YES you can:

(It's a laptop chart but with Thunderbolt we lose some performance either)


What about GTX 1080 mini?

On the market we have one 1080 mini video card: ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 1080 Mini 8GB (Length: 211mm / Height 125mm)

With mods we can fit ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 1080 Mini 8GB (211mm x 125mm) in the AKiTiO length if we remove the fan and to cut the metal plate where the fan is. The problem is that ZOTAC GTX 1080 Mini is too tall and we can't close the cover without mods, but with new custom cover or to cut the AKiTiO cover we can have one of the best video cards inside AKiTiO Thunder2, Thunder3 or Node Lite!

   

 


You will need only external PSU power:

About external PSUs without fan we have 3 options for mini-eGPU:

 Shopping list cables for DELL DA-2 220W:

1 x Barrel 5.5mm x 2.5mm

1 x Startech.com 6 inch PCI Express Power Splitter Cable

1 x 6 pin (F) PCIe to dual 8pin (6+2) (M) cable

Shopping list cables for Mean Well 252W:

1 x Barrel 5.5mm x 2.5mm

1 x Startech.com 6 inch PCI Express Power Splitter Cable 

1 x 6 pin (F) PCIe to dual 8pin (6+2) (M) cable

You will need only to replace the original AKiTiO Thunder2, Thunder3 or Node Lite 72W adapter with 120W and plug dimensions: 5.5*2.5 mm like this 120W AC Adapter Charger (£23) or eFreesia 12V 10A 120W ($22)

 

 

If you think Dell DA-2 220W or Mean Well 252W are too big, you can always hide it under your desk with cable manage like SIGNUM from IKEA ($12):

 

Of course you can opening up an Akitio Thunder2 or Thunder3 to fit unlimited length cards:

>> Click picture below to view album with step-by-step opening guide <<

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

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


mintroini, 3RYL, itsage and 6 people liked
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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Very very very interesting thread. I will create a small eGPU with one of these for an another Mac in the future. 1050ti seems nice!


MacBook Pro 2020 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.3Ghz - 16GB RAM - 1TB PCIe SSD
my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15 [build link]  


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raphax
(@raphax)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Note: ZOTAC 1050TI work with default akitio thunder3 power supply! 😀

Macbook Pro 13" 2016 (Two Thunderbolt Port)
Akitio Thunder3 (Default)
ZOTAC NVIDIA GTX 1050TI 4GB

eGPU working with macOS High Sierra and Windows 10 Bootcamp.


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enjoy
(@enjoy)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: Raphax

 

Note: ZOTAC 1050TI work with default akitio thunder3 power supply! Grin

   

Yes, i know but to prevent Blue screens etc, i recommend 120W AC Adapter Charger (£23) or eFreesia 12V 10A 120W ($22) Smile

  • Zotac 1050TI - Power Consumption 75W
  • EVGA 1050 TI - Max Power Draw 75 W

 

Akitio Thunder2 and Thunder3 comes with - 72W Power Supply! 

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

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


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deplomb
(@deplomb)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

here is one example with a GTX970 in the Akitio thunder 2
I went with the dell DA2 PSU and built the 8pin PCIe connector into the Akitio backplate right underneath the PCI bracket.
Very tight but it fits. The power supply for the Akitio itself is wired inside the Housing and soldered to the PCB tight underneath the Barrel connector.
So no barrel plug on the outside needed.

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

enjoy, nando4 and itsage liked
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deplomb
(@deplomb)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

and here are the dimensions of the cut out 

03 Akitio Thunder 2

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

itsage and enjoy liked
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enjoy
(@enjoy)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@deplomb can you post better pictures of  your Akitio Thunder2 Chassis. One with and one without Akitio cover and what is your GTX 970 brand Smile I will add your mod to the main post!

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

 
2012 13" MacBook Air [3rd,2C,U] + GTX 1060 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.12 [build link]  


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

The Gigabyte GTX1050Ti D5 also fits the Thunder chassis nicely. I'll snap a few pics later.

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."

 
2012 14" Lenovo Thinkpad T430s [3rd,2C,M] + RX 550 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (Atto Thunderlink) + Win10 [build link]  


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deplomb
(@deplomb)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I'll post some more pics tomorrow with the case open.

some Images from the design process (all renderings) are uploaded,
photos of the real thing will be following

DIY Akitio Thunder 2 housing mod for eGPU with KFA2 GeForce GTX 970 Gamer OC and Dell DA-2 PSU

 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

ikir, nando4, itsage and 1 people liked
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DBL R
(@dbl-r)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Thank you for the write up. I will admit I am very new to the world of eGPU's so I've been slowly doing research and piecing together my build...which has turned into a lot of what you have. Looking at the kareonkables.com link provided, it is labelled as a 4+4 w/psu power cable, but looking at the pictures it looks like an 8pin to 6pin w/psu cable. Am I missing something here? 

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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