BlackBeast Pro eGPU - KickStarter Project Exposed
 
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BlackBeast Pro eGPU - KickStarter Project Exposed  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

The sad thing is Tobias has not only deceived others but also his family. They were at the CES booth to support him. I could see genuine excitement in their eyes.

Most people don't fully understand the total cost of producing a Thunderbolt 3 eGFX. OWC for example is a very well established name in Mac accessories market. They have several Thunderbolt products prior to eGPU support on macOS. In order to be more competitive in external graphics offerings, they bought out AKiTiO.

Products from Gigabyte, Razer, and TUL (Mantiz, PowerColor, Sonnet, VisionTek) own 80% of eGFX marketshare. They have partnerships with Intel in Israel, engineering departments in Taiwan, manufacturing facilities in China, and distribution networks across the US and EU. I would not expect a low cost, top of the line feature product to come from Norway.

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igerard
(@igerard)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I don't understand, it cost money to get a stand in this kind of event ... Deception investment ?

It remind me a good movie with Newman and Redford. 😉

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Username
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Posted by: @igerard

I don't understand, it cost money to get a stand in this kind of event ... Deception investment ?

It remind me a good movie with Newman and Redford. 😉

They applied for grants from a Norwegian innovations fund and received $80k...

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jonwatso
(@jonwatso)
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Posted by: @lagarhus

They dodged all relevant technical questions. We have more than enough facts to believe they commercialize @mac_editor's Purge-Wrangler script without authorization.

It's really disappointing to read this. Especially after receiving constructive criticism from the forum. 

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: @eightarmedpet

There are some amusing replies from the team behind this on their kickstarter... one of which talks about keeping the internals secret for fear of copycat companies ripping off the Blackbeast Pro.

There's only like three ways to wire up a Thunderbolt controller. There is nothing new here.

1) one controller, with or without USB devices connected to the downstream Thunderbolt port.
2) two controllers with USB devices connected to second Thunderbolt controller which is connected to the first controller through the first controller's downstream Thunderbolt port.
3) Titan Ridge controller, with USB devices connected to Titan Ridge's USB port (which doesn't exist on Alpine Ridge), DisplayPort inputs of Titan Ridge connected to GPU, and downstream Thunderbolt port exposed for connecting downstream Thunderbolt displays (primarily) and devices.

Let me know if I missed one.

#1 and #2 have been done to death. The BlackBeast Pro is like #2 except the GPU is connected to the second Thunderbolt controller which can be connected to the computer or the first Thunderbolt controller.

Only the Blackmagic eGPU does #3 but it's horrible for not having an upgradable GPU. This is the frontier of eGPUs (at least it's the only remaining missing feature - to be able to drive a Thunderbolt display). If other manufactures can't do this because of Intel or lack of original design capability, then we can only hope that USB4 will ease development of that feature.

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craftsman
(@craftsman)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: @jonwatso
Posted by: @lagarhus

They dodged all relevant technical questions. We have more than enough facts to believe they commercialize @mac_editor's Purge-Wrangler script without authorization.

It's really disappointing to read this. Especially after receiving constructive criticism from the forum. 

This whole project 'could' be a charade to cover up corruption. For example, admins at a fund give 80k for a project. The project gives the admins 20k back under the table and nobody asks what happened to the 80k. But money has to be spent on CES and a shit prototype to make the whole project look legit. 

That's a strong possibility because we have seen throughout history and across the world funds being misappropriated by corruption and fake projects called 'white elephants'.

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Eightarmedpet
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@craftsman I don’t think that’s the case here. I think this was started with the best intentions and the chaps heart is prob in the right place but the whole project has been artificially accelerated by the cash injection from people who bought into a pitch.  I imagine it’s gone too far now so they are just having to run with it despite being wildly out of their depth.  
the last kickstarter eGPU was a scam by a known con artist, this feels more like a young lad out of his depth being supported by people who know no better.

 

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craftsman
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Posted by: @eightarmedpet

@craftsman I don’t think that’s the case here. I think this was started with the best intentions and the chaps heart is prob in the right place but the whole project has been artificially accelerated by the cash injection from people who bought into a pitch.  I imagine it’s gone too far now so they are just having to run with it despite being wildly out of their depth.  
the last kickstarter eGPU was a scam by a known con artist, this feels more like a young lad out of his depth being supported by people who know no better.

 

Of course, that too. If the young man has a conscience he should be open about what is going on here otherwise his name is mud for his kids to read about in the future. He should start by refunding everyone, cancelling the Kickstarter and think about a new business idea that won't attract ridicule.

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motoic
(@tsh3721)
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I did email Apple about this. If these guys are making vaporware people deserve to know.

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jangoloti
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Posted by: @craftsman
Posted by: @itsage
Posted by: @mac_editor

We definitely trust your judgement. Since you shared images of the eGPU icon being detected, it is likely that they have used purge-wrangler specifically (or in modified fashion) - as that's the only script as of now that has a patch for 10.15.1+ with eGPU icon. I don't think they are capable enough to retrieve the patch from that script, add it to automate-eGPU EFI config.plist and apply it (its easy to do, but still I doubt those guys could). If they had used automate-eGPU EFI as is, they would have a working eGPU but without the icon in the menubar.

Thank you for the CES coverage @itsage. The Lenovo enclosure looks very compelling. That Zotac lineup of mini-PCs is awesome. Looking forward to see what Mantiz have up their sleeve (edit: cool).

I agree they're using your script. My direct question to them 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 describing 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 Mantiz and TUL about this possibility with new Radeon cards and eGPU enclosures and they said it would take a lot of work and significant costs.

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

If we ignore the terrible marketing and amateur knowledge of the technology inside, just the design itself is such a laugh. Heat rises yet the only visible vents are at the bottom. They certainly don't have the kind of cooling solution that the Mac Pro 6,1 had and for off-the-shelf cards the cooling solution requires a lot of airflow. Look how badly Asus Rog XG Station suffered from not enough air.

It is also a legal and safety requirement that power cables must be detachable since the the last 20-30 years, but there is no PSU socket here.

It takes two dumb brain cells to create something like this and less than 1 brain cell to offer money on Kickstarter for it.

If you look carefully in the pictures the Thunderbolt cables seem to get into the plastic enclosure, the connectors are not even flush with the panel. It is evidently hiding something else.

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