mini-eGPU with AKiTiO Thunder3 & Thunder...
 

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

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enjoy
Posts: 373
(@enjoy)
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Joined: 3 years ago

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:

 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

  • 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 <<

263 Replies
7 Replies
Rayhan96
(@rayhan96)
Joined: 2 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 6

Hello, I'm new here. So if I just buy the barrel thing you mention, the power splitter, and a dell power 220, i should be able to use a 1070? (with the akitio case open)

If so how do i buy these in the UK, because they are only available in $. Also what are the dimensions of the freesia power brick, is it much smaller than the dell one? Because this is the only one i can find in £ so i may have to go with the 1050ti.

On a different note have anyone tried the new 1080 ti yet?

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Edward.Che
(@edward-che)
Joined: 2 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 9

Hi. I'm very new in the eGPU field. Thank you very much for the really detailed introduction! I learned a lot. One question. In your external PSU supply, the shopping list for the 220w one shows a 6 pin (F) PCIe to dual 8pin (6+2) (M) cable. but in your picture it shows a second 6 pin (F) PCIe to dual 6pin (M) cable. Which one should I use, or it doesn't matter? Also, why can't I just connect that 6 pin (M) from the first cable to the 1060 directly, instead of using a second adaptor? It's still 6 pin anyway... Thanks a lot!

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vitas_TS
(@vitas_ts)
Joined: 2 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 14

How can I plug this into my gtx 1060?

Please help, thanks!!

WechatIMG67

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Joined: 2 years ago

Noble Member
Posts: 1577
theBLUPRNT
(@thebluprnt)
Joined: 2 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 5

Great post very helpful! I have a few questions as a newbie:

  • What is the difference between the thunderbolt 3 or 2 version vs. the node lite? Is it just that the lite needs an external psu?
  • Also can you not just buy the thunder3 version and use an adapter to work with an older thunderbolt port e.i. MacBook 2013? If so what's the point of having both models.
  • Lastly, I have a mini-itx model graphics card: Gigabite GeForce gtx 1060 3gb mini. ( https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N1060IXOC-3GD#kf) Will this fit in these models?

Again great post I have more questions but I'll probably create a thread of my own. 

 

Thanks !

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(@aiy_jey)
Joined: 1 year ago

New Member
Posts: 2

Hi, 
I went for the Akitio node Lite + GeForce GTX 1050 Ti build with an additional 120W power supply as suggested but it seems its not enough. I get an error in the Windows device manager with the error code 43. It seems the recommended power supply for it is 300W. Has anyone got it to work with 120W? What are my options here? 

Thanks for your help ! 🙂

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Edward.Che
(@edward-che)
Joined: 2 years ago

Active Member
Posts: 9

Hi @enjoy, very nice instructions. I learned a lot. Now i'm having a problem. I have a Akitio Thunderbolt 2 box and a GTX 1070 with a 2013 macbook pro. I tried to follow exactly the steps, but the eGPU is still not detected by my computer. No black screen, no compatible issues. Just not detected. I searched online, and some people said it's because the eGPU is not correctly powered. But when connected with my macbook, the fan is actually running and the light of PCIe box is on (see attached picture). I am really poor into computer knowledge. I tried to give you a clear image of my set-up. Could you give me any suggestions of what I might do wrong with it? Thanks a lot!

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ikir
Posts: 794
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 3 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!

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raphax
Posts: 8
(@raphax)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago

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

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enjoy
Posts: 373
(@enjoy)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
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! 

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deplomb
Posts: 56
(@deplomb)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 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.

 
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