BlackBeast Pro eGPU - KickStarter Project Exposed
 
Notifications
Clear all

BlackBeast Pro eGPU - KickStarter Project Exposed  

 of  22
  RSS

Lagarhus
(@lagarhus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Admin/Moderator Edits

The following sections were authored/edited by the administrator(s)/moderator(s) post-ban of the original account. We update the main post for visibility and clarity and to maintain a streamlined flow of information regarding topics (another example is the Windows Error 12 issues thread). The section detailing the original post is left unedited and untouched (as is) as posted by @lagarhus when they first joined this forum.

Jan. 27, 2020: Kickstarter Cancelled

As of Jan. 27, 2020, the Kickstarter project was cancelled by Lagarhus Products themselves. Details of the cancellation are here.

Updates from CES 2020

Our community was patient with Lagarhus Products and attended CES 2020 to check the BlackBeast Pro out in person before final judgment (over 6 months). It is nothing more than a large unpolished plastic box to hide unknown Thunderbolt 3 mainboards and components inside. They dodged all relevant technical questions. We have more than enough facts to believe they commercialize @mac_editor's Purge-Wrangler script without authorization (Thunderbolt 1/2 Mac support).

As a welcoming community, we provided them with feedback on what would make an appealing and unique eGPU product. All they seemingly did was to use our suggestions to further deceit the general public on Kickstarter. The account for @lagarhus is now banned to prevent removal/editing of older posts. Below are reports and discussion from CES 2020.

Hands-on eGPU.io Report

First vendor visit was inside Sands Expo at Eureka Park. Lagarhus Products brought the BlackBeast Pro to the show. They had two BBP prototype units. One connected to a Thunderbolt 3 15-in MacBook Pro and the other to a Thunderbolt 2 13-in MacBook Pro.

CES 2020 Lagarhus Products Team

Lagarhus Products BlackBeast Pro + Macbook Pros

Lagarhus Products did a good job preparing for CES 2020 with plenty of marketing materials and hiding all crucial components. There are no visible functional ports from the outside of the enclosure. The power and thunderbolt cables were routed through the port openings. I was neither allowed to check System Information > Thunderbolt tree nor to open the enclosure. I wished them luck with getting Thunderbolt certification. Until then I do not recommend this product.

BlackBeast Pro Dual TB2 Cable to One Controller

BlackBeast Pro + Radeon VII macOS eGPU Icon

BlackBeast Pro System Info Locked

My direct question to Lagarhus Products was how Thunderbolt eGPU on the 2014 13" MacBook Pro was enabled. There were attempts at stating Intel and Apple are helping them, non-direct explanation, and even saying their English was not good enough to fully describe their solution. Body language was very clear to me; they don't have a solution.

Although I was not able to see the inside or check Thunderbolt tree in System Information, my camera captured what looked like the Radeon [R] cube on Radeon VII graphics card. Their claims of Thunderbolt 3 monitor output is wishful thinking. I inquired Thunderbolt 3 partners about this possibility with new Radeon cards and/or eGPU enclosures and they said it would take a lot of work and significant costs. On top of that, Intel has never certified any Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with both eGFX and NVMe in one.

These two photos show the enclosure build quality or lack thereof. They stated aluminum construction but it felt like plastic to me. The I/O openings are as followed:

SD CARD SLOT
 
USB-A USB-A
USB-A USB-A
TB3 TB3 TB3
DP DP
 
ETHERNET

Summarized Promises:

Here's a summary of the main specs and features. Hopefully without the marketing fluff, we can understand what your product aims to deliver.

  • Price range: $300-$350 for eGPU enclosure only, graphics card not included
  • Thunderbolt 3 Controller: 2x JHL7440 that either daisy-chain through 1x TB3 controller connection or run separately through 2x TB3 controller connections
  • Max Bandwidth: x4 PCIe 3.0, TB3 capped at 22Gbps per Thunderbolt 3 connection
  • Certification: starting in November; this process may take over a year
  • Expansion I/O: NVMe M.2, Ethernet and USB-A ports that either share 22Gbps with eGPU (1x TB3 controller) or use separate 22Gbps (2x TB3 controllers)

This is all possible and most of these specs have been implemented by existing eGPU enclosures. Twice the speed of a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure claim is inaccurate. Your approach is to run two parallel Thunderbolt 3 connections to a host computer with two Thunderbolt 3 controllers end-to-end, not combining 2x TB3 controllers to double the eGPU bandwidth. Users have the choices of either one 22Gbps that both eGPU and expansion I/O share or one 22Gbps dedicated to eGPU and another dedicated to expansion I/O.

My recommendation is to be transparent with your development process and you'll gain our community support. I wish you the best with Intel eGFX certification. If you make it to CES 2020, I'll be there to check it out in person and provide hands-on coverage.


Original Post by Tobias Lagarhus

Dear friends.

I am Tobias Lagarhus of the Norwegian company Lagarhus Products. We are presently developing an all new Thunderbolt docking station, named “BlackBeast Pro”. To support the design and development phase, we have received financial support by Innovation Norway, the official Norwegian Government institution for start-up support.

Our vision is a setup where your notebook computer - supplemented by “BlackBeast Pro” - achieves desktop class performance without comprises while giving full flexibility to install your own favorite graphic cards and hard drives. All the necessary ports required to implement your desired workflow are available, and “BlackBeast Pro” even provides simultaneous charging of your notebook computer. All this with a very acceptable price tag.

Our ambition is to create a stunning product -from top to bottom - but we cannot do this without you. Your input and your suggestions are vital in ensuring that "BlackBeast Pro" will be the product we all desire. We strongly believe that you - the potential user - is the crucial element in our strive to make "BlackBeast Pro" the essential supplement we want it to be.

We have created a website to showcase “BlackBeast Pro”, and hereby solicit your suggestions, ideas and opinions. We also stand ready to answer questions to the best of our ability. Day or night - we want to hear from you..!

Website: https://www.blackbeastpro.com/

Innovation Norway has requested that we further investigate the level of interest in a product with the capabilities such as “BlackBeast Pro". Positive results will open the doors for even more support, enabling us to bring "BlackBeast Pro” to market at an even more aggressive price. Therefore, if you find “BlackBeast Pro” of interest to you, please click the "notify me" button.

Thank you in advance; we need your support.

Best regards

Tobias Lagarhus

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lagarhus/blackbeast-pro-worlds-first-all-in-one-docking-station

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

.

Username and ikir liked
ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I’m always interested in new enclosures, but first thing you need to do is change the name.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 560 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
Lagarhus
(@lagarhus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Thanks for your reply! May I know why you think we should change the name? We are always looking for feedback and suggestions. 

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

.

ReplyQuote
itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I'm seeing a lot of elements from the Mac Pro trashcan in your prototype. As a matter of fact the rear I/O view is almost identical. Also confusing is Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt 3 ports in one device. This is not a configuration Intel would certify for production. Last but not least you cannot double Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth by combining ports/controllers on the device. Your product website makes many exaggerated statements. My recommendation is to do more research on Thunderbolt 3 and eGFX or red flags will raise.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RX 5700 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Prototype eGPU Enclosure) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 1903 [build link]  


craftsman, Eightarmedpet, odin and 1 people liked
ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@lagarhus BlackBeast Pro claims “8.0x” faster performance versus “traditional” Thunderbolt docks. What do you mean by this? Thunderbolt 3 PCIe performance tops at 32Gbps (down to 22Gbps per PCIe device). Are you saying your enclosure can do 256Gbps (or 176Gbps)? See reply below.

Just for reference, 16 lanes of PCIe 3.0 is about 128Gbps (the standard for most desktop systems). Notwithstanding the primary concern with thunderbolt latency and the maximum capability of a single thunderbolt cable to be 80Gbps for both directions simultaneously, your performance claim is impossible to accomplish over Thunderbolt.

Besides the obvious flags @itsage raised, to me this seems yet another concept destined to remain just that - a concept. Unless the marketing team/whoever designed the website is misinformed of course.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


itsage and craftsman liked
ReplyQuote
Lagarhus
(@lagarhus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Thank you for the reply. Currently we are working on a minimum viable product to better understand the capabilities of BlackBeast Pro. I understand you have concerns about certifications and performance and we take your advice by researching more on Thunderbolt 3 and eGFX.

It's twice as fast as traditional TB3 docks and 8x times as USB 3.1 gen 2. As mention earlier we are currently working on a minimum viable product to showcase proof of concept and better understand the capabilities of our Thunderbolt dock.

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

.

ReplyQuote
mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Famed Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@lagarhus Thank you for the clarification. Seems I misinterpreted the graph, apologies. This would mean claimed 80Gbps performance. Don't think this is doable (strictly within Intel specification) still, but my understanding of low-level hardware is well, low.

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 64 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.14.6 & Win10 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
odin
 odin
(@odin)
Trusted Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

How exactly is it twice as fast as traditional TB3 docks? Every TB3 port maxes out at 40Gbps, you can't invent twice as fast when the interface does not exceed that speed. As well, the page claims 8x traditional thunderbolt dock speed? Can you elaborate on what that means specifically? You can't just come in here to an enthusiast community claiming these things and not expect to have to explain it in detailed technical terms.

LG Gram 17 | Sonnet Breakaway Box 550 | Asus Strix RTX 2070 OC Edition | Win 10 Pro 2004 + Ubuntu 20.04 Dual Boot
Build Link

 
2018 17" LG Gram 17 [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + Win10 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
Lagarhus
(@lagarhus)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Thanks for your reply. We are combining two Thunderbolt controllers to exceed 40gbps. If you want the maximum performance you must use 2x TB3 cables. This feature is only for the high end computers which supports Two Thunderbolt controllers like the MacBook Pro 15 inch and iMac Pro. For the laptop only feature one Thunderbolt controller they are limited to 40gbps. We are working on a prioritize system to optimize the operation. We will update our website with tech specs when we have completed our first prototype.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask.

Best regards

Tobias Lagarhus

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

.

nando4 liked
ReplyQuote
Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Ok, have digested the site and concept a bit more, love the idea... but that's all it is atm. I don't mean to poke holes in anything but it looks fairly apparent that whoever is uncharge of the concept has a very limited knowledge of technology. Putting a GPU into a sealed enclosure with no apparent holes for airflow is the first massive error. 

The ports look to be cheery picked at random, TB and TB3, loads of them, and what better than 1 ethernet port? 2! Why? I am sure there are use cases but in my 20 plus years working in Design I have never seen one. You've posted somewhere about TB3 passthrough for TB3 monitors, thats not easy, cheap or needed by most people (although I need it) so thats an additional unnecessary cost conflicting with your idea of making it cheap.

You talk of MVP, but this isn't anywhere near even that, this is pitch level concept work, which it sounds like what you've done to achieve funding.

It sounds like a great idea once you get a better grasp of the technology, I feel there is a desire for a high end egpu/docking station, this could be it, but you need to work out what's possible first.

 

Apologies if that sounds negative, I don't mean it to be, I hope you manage to make it to production, the concept is one that appeals to me. And please, if you do, make it beautiful (the current render looks like an asset swap from a Trashcan Mac Pro into a squarer shape). 

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 560 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 [build link]  


ReplyQuote
 of  22