mini-eGPU with AKiTiO Thunder3 & Thunder2 & Node Lite (the best Implementations)  

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enjoy
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February 15, 2017 4:15 am  

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:

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



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


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:

  • 220W from Dell DA-2 – the king of mini-eGPU builds enough for GTX 1070, GTX 1060, GTX 970 and GTX 960

 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

  • 252W from Mean Well 252W – the Dell DA-2 killer with easy mod and 32W more power enough for GTX 1080 – more info

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

  • 120W – without mods (plug and play) for only PCIe powered GPUs like GTX1050Ti, GTX 750Ti, WX 5100 and RX 460

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 <<

Edited: 2 months  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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ikir
 ikir
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February 15, 2017 8:45 am  

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!

eGPU.it | LG 29" curved ultrawide display
MacBook Pro 2016 touchbar i7 3.3Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD + Mantiz Venus with AMD Radeon RX 580


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Raphax
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February 17, 2017 5:52 am  

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 bootcamp and dstd override on Windows TestSigning ON


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enjoy
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February 17, 2017 7:01 am  
Posted by: Raphax

 

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

   

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

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

 

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

Edited: 8 months  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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deplomb
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February 17, 2017 9:38 am  

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.

 
Edited: 8 months  ago

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deplomb
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February 17, 2017 10:18 am  

and here are the dimensions of the cut out 


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enjoy
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February 17, 2017 10:58 am  

@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 🙂 I will add your mod to the main post!

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 17, 2017 11:26 am  

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

"Dire Wolf II" - HP ZBook 15 G4: Core i7-7820HQ, 32GB, M1200 dGPU, R9 Fury@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) eGPU, HP Z27q (5K) + Dell P2715Q (4K).
"Stormcrow" - Lenovo T430s: Core i7-3520M, 8GB, GTX1050Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) eGPU, Sony 4K TV.

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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deplomb
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February 17, 2017 2:49 pm  

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

 

Edited: 8 months  ago

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DBL R
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February 17, 2017 3:24 pm  

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? 


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enjoy
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February 17, 2017 3:33 pm  

@DBLR – This cable comes with 8 pin female for DELL DA-2 and 6 pin male for the video card and 5.5 x 2.5 male for the AKiTiO!

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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itsmikerofl
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February 17, 2017 9:20 pm  

Spectacular work! Haven’t seen a graphically detailed depiction of the cable modding for one of these things yet. Nice! Also, I’m sure I’m not the only one who appreciates the benchmarks! Would be useful to see some at the MacBook Pro’s native resolution instead of 1080p to compare.

 

My only question for you is – given that the Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini somehow got squashed into the AKiTiO Thunder 2/3 enclosure, would it be functional with the modified Dell power adapter? It looks like the adapter only powers the 5.5×2.5 power adapter + one 6-pin PCIe power cable, and the Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini requires an 8-pin PCIe cable.

 

Keep up the great work!


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Yukikaze
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February 17, 2017 10:03 pm  
Posted by: itsmikerofl

 

My only question for you is – given that the Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini somehow got squashed into the AKiTiO Thunder 2/3 enclosure, would it be functional with the modified Dell power adapter? It looks like the adapter only powers the 5.5×2.5 power adapter + one 6-pin PCIe power cable, and the Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini requires an 8-pin PCIe cable.

 

The solution to this is a 6-pin to 8-pin adapter. The two extra pins on the 8-pin connector are both ground, so as long as your 6-pin wires are thick enough for 150W (and for a very short cable run that isn’t a problem with the kind of standard wiring we are dealing with here), you can safely use such an adapter.

"Dire Wolf II" - HP ZBook 15 G4: Core i7-7820HQ, 32GB, M1200 dGPU, R9 Fury@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) eGPU, HP Z27q (5K) + Dell P2715Q (4K).
"Stormcrow" - Lenovo T430s: Core i7-3520M, 8GB, GTX1050Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) eGPU, Sony 4K TV.

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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Yukikaze
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February 18, 2017 3:51 pm  

Here’s the Gigabyte GTX1050Ti pic I snapped.

Edited: 8 months  ago

"Dire Wolf II" - HP ZBook 15 G4: Core i7-7820HQ, 32GB, M1200 dGPU, R9 Fury@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) eGPU, HP Z27q (5K) + Dell P2715Q (4K).
"Stormcrow" - Lenovo T430s: Core i7-3520M, 8GB, GTX1050Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) eGPU, Sony 4K TV.

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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deplomb
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February 19, 2017 8:01 am  

@enjoy Here are some images of the real enclosure modified according to the drawings.
As you can see in reality it looks less shiny and precise than in the renderings, but works well.

Akitio Thunder 2 housing mod design
Akitio Thunder 2 housing mod realisation

Specs: – Akitio Thunder 2 with housing mod for proper cooling
– Dell DA-2 PSU (unchanged)
– Cable mod with some soldering, plastic cutting and glueing so all extra wiring (apart DA-2) is inside the enclosure
– KFA2 GeForce GTX 970 Gamer OC – Front fan flipped to blow out
– Macbook pro mid 2012 Unibody with 2,3ghz Core i7, Nvidia GeForce GT 650 512 MB, 16GB Ram

the egpu is working with OS X and Bootcamp Windows 7 The windows 7 installation was difficult due to error 12
but thanks to nandos software (EGPUsetup 1.2) and support I got it up and running two times.

 

Edited: 8 months  ago

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Mehenn
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February 19, 2017 1:01 pm  
Posted by: deplomb

@enjoy Here are some images of the real enclosure modified according to the drawings.

Nice work! A couple of questions:

  • What tool did you used to cut the enclosure?
  • How did you fixed the 8 pin female connector inside the enclosure?

Thanks!


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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theitsage
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February 19, 2017 6:07 pm  

@deplomb Amazing work!

Numerous implementation guides


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itsmikerofl
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February 20, 2017 1:23 pm  

Hi Enjoy! I figured I’d quote you on your own thread regarding the AKiTiO THunder2/3 and Mini GPUs in order to keep things organized.

Posted by: enjoy

 

Posted by: itsmikerofl

Hey Enjoy! I’ve been following your post in your other thread, but I didn’t see you post about that specific card! Didn’t know GALAX made an x70 Mini line. This makes me think:

I’m looking at the dimensions of the GALAX GEFORCE GTX 970 GAMER OC vs. the GALAX GeForce® GTX 1070 OC Mini and I’m thinking that maybe it’s worth a shot to see if the 1070 Mini fits within the enclosure!

Really trying to push the limits of the AKiTiO Thunder3 here, because 3840×1600 is my desired resolution! 😎

   

The Galax 1070 Mini will fit in the Akitio Thunder leght if you remove the fan but you can’t close the Akitio cover because the Galax 1070 Mini is just a bit too tall like Gigabyte 1070 Mini:

Galax 970 Gamer OC – Dimensions (with Bracket): Length=193 / Height=124.3mm

Galax 1070 Mini – Dimensions (with Bracket): Length=195 / Height=130mm

Gigabyte 1070 Mini – Dimensions (with Bracket) Length=169mm / Height=131 mm

EVGA / Zotac – 1060 is the best video card that fit and you can close the Akitio for Windows

Galax 970 Gamer OC is the best video card that fit and you can close the Akitio for macOS

The thread with the best closed Akitio Thunder2 and 3 Implementations: https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/

   

First, to address our previous discussion regarding the GALAX GTX 1070 Mini:

This is the 1070 that you showed would not fit, the Zotac GTX 1070 OC Mini: http://imgur.com/a/3O5Eh

This is the 1070 that I suggested, the GALAX GTX 1070 Mini:  http://imgur.com/a/FmokT

 

From this, it looks like the dimensions you got off of the GALAX website are confused. They list:

  • Dimensions(with Bracket): 195 x 130 x 41.5 mm

  • Dimensions(without Bracket): 181 x 116 x 38.6 mm

I believe all that matters is the “without bracket” portion for the height of the card. The “with bracket” dimensions create an offset that shoots the card’s height up past what is being measured. We are measuring the height from the top of the PCIe slot, not from the bottom of the PCIe bracket.

This in mind, simply looking at where the GALAX GTX 1070 Mini’s PCIe Bracket is corresponding with the top of the card, it looks like the height of the card is only slightly taller than the standard PCIe bracket. This leads me to believe that the dimensions “without bracket” are what should be used in this case.


Anyhow, I did see you mentioned that the new Zotac GTX 1080 Mini has potential:

 

Posted by: enjoy

 

You can get Akitio Thunder3 with DA-2 and ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1080 Mini –  https://www.amazon.com/ZT-P10800H-10P-GEFORCE-GDDR5X-DisplayPort-DL-DVI/dp/B01N11KVI8/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1486684996&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=ZOTAC+GeForce+GTX+1080+Mini

180W for GTX 1080 Mini + 25W for the Akitio = 205W / 220W from Dell DA-2 😉

This is the best BEAST small setup! You will need soldering. But if you want to invest in small eGPU setup this is the best right now! 

If you want plug and play (only software tweeks) wait for Node 😉

 

Are you sure this would end up fitting inside the AKiTiO Thunder2/3? If so, I have NO desire to fit a GTX 1070 in, I’d rather opt for the GTX 1080. What are your thoughts on actually pulling this off?

Edited: 8 months  ago

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enjoy
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February 20, 2017 1:58 pm  

@itsmikerofl – I don’t think you can close the Akitio with Galax Mini 1070 (without Bracket: 116mm), we have closed only with 111.15mm – without Bracket. (Gigabyte GTX1050Ti is 114.30mm without Bracket but we don’t have 6 pin it is powered via PCIe)

About Zotac 1080 Mini – again you can’t close – its too tall and also you must remove the fan and the front of the Akitio!

For now EVGA/ZOTAC 1060 are the best, for our MINI eGPU projects 🙂

Conclusion: WE CAN’T CLOSE THE AKITIO IF THE VIDEO CARD IS MORE THAN 111.15mm (without bracket) TALL and have 6 or 8 pin power connection!

1060 vs. 1070 vs. 1080:

Edited: 8 months  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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itsmikerofl
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February 20, 2017 11:00 pm  

Thanks for the detailed reply. 👌 I think I see what you’re saying now, my bad.

 

Until someone figures out a way to run something more powerful than a GTX 1060 in the Thunder3, I’ll throw my EVGA GTX 1080 Hybrid into something that fits it. Looks like NewEgg has the PowerColor Devil Box in stock again, (albeit for $449 as opposed to when it used to be $349), I just pulled the trigger on that.😎

 

Let me know once we get the Thunder3 working with GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 Mini’s! 😁

Edited: 8 months  ago

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deplomb
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February 22, 2017 8:34 am  

@Mehenn:

The side ventilation grill was done with a cnc machine,
the openings in backplate, inner backplate and PCI bracket with drill an file.

The 9pin connector snaps into the opening with plastic brackets.
Its a panel mount connector.
http://www.molex.com/molex/products/datasheet.jsp?part=active/0039012081_CRIMP_HOUSINGS.xml


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Mehenn
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deplomb
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February 23, 2017 8:13 am  

For everybody running into trouble with tall cards have a look at Mavens mod:

https://egpu.io/forums/implementation-guides/macbook-pro-2016-tb3-akitio-thunder-3-case-mod-zotac-1080/#post-3323


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enjoy
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February 27, 2017 3:34 am  

BIG UPDATE: With mod we can fit ZOTAC GeForce® GTX 1080 Mini 8GB (211mm x 125mm) and ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini 8GB (210mm x 122mm) in the Aktitio length if we remove the fan and the front side piece half removed. (Top side part) Only need to remove half of the side. But the Akitio front will be there and we will have a closed Akitio with 1070 and 1080 inside – the best video cards on the market right now! Both Video Cards are too tall but with new Cover or Cut the Akitio Cover we can have the best mini eGPU with the best power inside!

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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Piqudo
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February 27, 2017 8:58 am  

Hello everyone!

 

First of all, thanks for the fantastic briefing and info on which cards do the job on the Akitio Thunder 2. I currently use a Macbook Pro 2015 (with AMD integrated GPU) with my Akitio Thunder 2 + Dell 220W DA2 PSU +  GALAX GEFORCE GTX 970 GAMER OC 4GB DDR5 256-bit+ Windows 10 and it works just fine, never giving me issues.

Since newer games are coming out, I am thinking about making the jump to a GTX 1070 (since I believe a 1060 the performance jump is not that high compare to what I have at the moment), so I am really interested into knowing more on cutting the upper part of the Akitio case. Do any of you guys know how could I cut the metal part? Which tools would I need? I am not particularly skilful on these tasks. Also, even though it is mentioned before, I am not sure my PSU could handle the GTX 1070 mini.

 

Thanks again for spreading the eGPU world!


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enjoy
Reputable Member Moderator
Joined:11 months  ago
Posts: 373
February 27, 2017 10:07 am  

@Piqudo –  Gigabyte GeForce® GTX 1070 Mini ITX OC 8G (Length 169mm / Height=131) and ZOTAC GeForce GTX 1070 Mini 8GB (Length 210mm / Height=122mm) both will work wit DA2 220W external PSU that you have! You will need only 6pin to 8 pin cable and to cutting the upper part of the Akitio case, for ZOTAC you will need to remove the fan and also to cut the metal where is the fan!

If you don’t know how to cut metal parts, it’s better to ask a friend that can do it for you!

About 970 vs. 1060, right now for FULL HD gaming – with 1060 you can play all games on external display all to the max + MSAA and with 1680×1050 on your internal display again all to the max + MSAA! 

1060 with 6GB is around 30% better than your 970 4GB GPU!

1070 and 1080 are just better if you UP the resolution. So my advice is – EVGA 1060 6GB you can see my mod with Thunder2 and DA2 here – https://egpu.io/forums/implementation-guides/2012-15-mbpr-gt650m-gtx106010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-win10-enjoy/

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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bookatechie
New Member
Joined:8 months  ago
Posts: 3
February 27, 2017 10:29 am  

I just joined this site. Got the Akitio Thunder 3 and 1050 GTX ti SC 4GB in the mail for my HP Spectre x360 2016. Will post some pictures and video if everything works out well. Question:

I saw people reporting performance drop from what they see on desktop benchmarks vs over Thunderbolt 3. Does the penalty increase with the graphics card performance? Meaning for example 1050 is a 10% drop but 1070 is 20% due to the bandwidth limitations etc. of the T3? Meaning you would get less of a boost in performance when upgrading in the future when the 1080 mini’s come out?


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enjoy
Reputable Member Moderator
Joined:11 months  ago
Posts: 373
February 27, 2017 10:34 am  

@bookatechie – Yes this is true, after tons of results i see online, the better video card you get the more performance drop you will have, for example:

  • 1050 – 10-15% performance drop (eGPU vs. Desktop)
  • 1060 – 15-20% performance drop (eGPU vs. Desktop)
  • 1070 – 20-25% performance drop (eGPU vs. Desktop)
  • 1080 – 30-40% performance drop (eGPU vs. Desktop)

 

Its not only about Thunderbolt1, Thunderbolt2 or Thunderbolt3 – Better Thunderbolt just allow you to up the resolution and to use your Internal Display again with better resolution IMO!

Edited: 8 months  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
Honorable Member Moderator
Joined:11 months  ago
Posts: 530
February 27, 2017 10:52 am  

The penalty does not increase with the video card. It increases with frame rate. Since a more powerful video card will, in general, generate more FPS, it will see a greater performance reduction, but if you were to run a higher resolution, or with higher settings, then the loss will not increase. To elaborate: If a 1060 gets 70 FPS at certain settings, and a 1080 gets 70 FPS at a higher resolution (or with higher settings), then your loss will be similar for both. At the same resolution and settings, the 1080 will get a bigger loss due to it driving more FPS. That is why you should be aiming for an eGPU that will drive your selected resolution at 60-70fps, and not aim for 100+ fps in your selected games and resolution, as you start hitting diminishing returns.

"Dire Wolf II" - HP ZBook 15 G4: Core i7-7820HQ, 32GB, M1200 dGPU, R9 Fury@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) eGPU, HP Z27q (5K) + Dell P2715Q (4K).
"Stormcrow" - Lenovo T430s: Core i7-3520M, 8GB, GTX1050Ti@10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) eGPU, Sony 4K TV.

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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enjoy
Reputable Member Moderator
Joined:11 months  ago
Posts: 373
February 27, 2017 10:57 am  
Posted by: Yukikaze

 

The penalty does not increase with the video card.

   

Yes it is increase with better video card because with better video card you get more FPS 😉

But this does not mean that 1060 will show better results in games vs. 1070 and 1080 of course 🙂

Edited: 8 months  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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