BlackBeast Pro eGPU - KickStarter Project Exposed
 

BlackBeast Pro eGPU - KickStarter Project Exposed  

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craftsman
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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.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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mac_editor
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Posted by: @lagarhus

We have successfully completed our first working prototype with eGPU, M.2 SSD, ports, daisy chain and charging capabilities. The result is above our expectations and the prototype is fully working with both Mac (MacOS and Bootcamp) and PC supporting, and with both Thunderbolt 3 and Thunderbolt 2 (still need to disable SIP and run script).

I am quoting this to save it from being edited in the original post and to make a note of this. I see you’ve been going hard at ‘working with Apple and Intel’ - haven’t you, violating my script’s license terms and Apple’s software license agreement simultaneously - on stage, at CES. 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

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Username
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Adding the CES 2020 coverage report to this thread as a lot of their "product, claims and promises" are discussed there as well.

https://egpu.io/forums/feedback-suggestions/ces-2020-egpu-io-coverage/

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

HA, great phrase!

Judging by those pics it's just a random companies TB3 board put inside a plastic case, and a lot of marketing waffle.

I'm pretty sure I am capable of producing a move convincing fake product than this, might even give it a bash next wet weekend....

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itsage
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I updated the OP with findings from CES 2020. Please post all BlackBeast Pro discussion in this thread to help future visitors.

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Eightarmedpet
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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.

 

God that name is awful.

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itsage
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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
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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...

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

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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
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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
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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'.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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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.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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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_1)
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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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Username
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These findings should be brought to the attention over at Kickstarter for the folks to read and understand. 

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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@username

And to the Norwegian innovation funds/governmental organisation that gave them the grant...

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mac_editor
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I have reported this project on Kickstarter for prototype misrepresentation, though I also mentioned copyright infringement. I also linked to this thread and coverage.

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Username
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Posted by: @jangoloti_1

@username

And to the Norwegian innovation funds/governmental organisation that gave them the grant...

Done. 

Apple: Done.

Intel: Done.

 

They either act on it because it’s needed. 
Or not because Apple and Intel suddenly have decided to enable TBT support on legacy platform because a small startup asked them. 

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
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mac_editor
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Unfortunately Kickstarter has deemed that this project does not violate their community guidelines and are taking no action. Not sure if they even read this entire thread which I linked to. They suggested I file a DMCA takedown for copyright infringement (in another email) but I don’t want to do this. All it would do is take down the project for 10 business days, during which they are sure to file a counter claim, after which I would require taking legal action and provide proof of said action. Simply not worth the mess in my opinion. As much as I hate seeing things like this, I suppose it’s time to move on. Over 100k$ has already been pledged.

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itsage
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@mac_editor Ultimately we can’t protect people from themselves. We will take a stronger approach when these new crowdfunding type of ideas get posted on the forum.

In the meantime, it would be a good idea to link back to this topic whenever you find discussion of this project.

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ikir
 ikir
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About the plastic case, they state the final product will be in aluminium not these prototypes which indeed are made of plastic

 


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Eightarmedpet
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@ikir

thats a minor issue... I believe they were claiming this one was aluminium, but more importantly there are 0 functioning ports - the cables just go inside to some unknown hardware.

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Username
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Further news regarding BlackBeast Pro production development

 

Dear friends!

Thanks for a massive support! Today we had an important meeting regarding the final production version of the BlackBeast Pro.

In the meeting, which was with the leading supplier of Thunderbolt solutions, we discussed PCB matters, certification, details and time schedule. 

The conclusion we arrived at after the meeting is that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome in an acceptable time period. Further more, the feedback from the supplier regarding the BlackBeast Pro, clearly make us even more confident in our strive for an outstanding product.

More specific details will be released shortly.

This is the latest marketing email that just went out. 

My interpretation is that they do not have a prototype of their own yet.
They are not developing one themselves. 
They or their supplier have not even begun putting one together. 
They have a long time before it can happen. 
They will have to wait quite some time for Intels certification. 
They will not meet their shipping dead line  

 

They are now trying to buy themselves time.

I have a bad feeling that this is the beginning of the end - dressed as the end of the beginning.

 

As before they have more questions to answer then they have answered so far. 
And if they actually have met with their manufacturer it should be a simple thing to explain the official legacy hardware support, the dual thunderbolt 3 controller implementation and 6K over thunderbolt etc. 

I would love to be wrong and see them surprise me with all this. But I do not have high hopes unfortunately. 

They are complaining that their account here was locked so they can not get a fair chance of replying to the questions. 
So perhaps the account could be unlocked. I have everything saved to PDF so they would only hurt themselves if the tried to alter their previous replies. 

This post was modified 6 days ago

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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jefniro
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You all are wasting your time... 😉 

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itsage
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@username It’s unreasonable to say we didn’t give them a fair chance. We gave them more than 6 months and plenty of feedback. I was there at CES to ask the questions we needed to know. They didn’t use that opportunity to earn our trust. They used CES for marketing. Like @jefniro said, we’re done wasting our time.

Some of our members have used way more developed eGPU prototypes from Thunderbolt 3 vendors in the past. The certification process took one year on average. This BBP won’t be certified and ready to ship by June 2020. On top of that, it’s a configuration [one TB3 for expansion w/ NVMe, and one TB3 for eGFX] that Intel never certified before.

Also let’s not forget their claim of Apple assisting them to provide native eGPU support on Thunderbolt 1/2 Macs. The only known eGPU support for TB1/2 Macs in 10.15 Catalina come from our community [thanks to @goalque and @mac_editor].

This post was modified 6 days ago

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Username
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True.

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
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craftsman
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Posted by: @itsage

@username It's unreasonable to say we didn't give them a fair chance. We gave them more than 6 months and plenty of feedback. I was there at CES to ask the questions we needed to know. They didn't use that opportunity to earn our trust. They used CES for marketing. Like @jefniro said, we're done wasting our time.

Some of our members have used way more developed eGPU prototypes from Thunderbolt 3 vendors in the past. The certification process took one year on average. This BBP won't be certified and ready to ship by June 2020. On top of that, it's a configuration [one TB3 for expansion w/ NVMe, and one TB3 for eGFX] that Intel never certified before.

Also let's not forget their claim of Apple assisting them to provide native eGPU support on Thunderbolt 1/2 Macs. The only known eGPU support for TB1/2 Macs in 10.15 Catalina come from our community [thanks to @goalque and @mac_editor].

 

If they profit from the work of @goalque and @mac_editor then these two contributors should crowdsource funds for legal action and compensation. The profits from this can be paid proportionally to those who contributed funds. It's like owning shares in legal action.

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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itsage
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This video illustrates their idea of internal component arrangement. A quick glance suggests the Thunderbolt 3 mainboard should be sitting up against the rear port openings. What I saw in person at CES 2020 and the photos I took suggest otherwise. Also there’s all that room and they place the NVMe next to GPU and seemingly blocking the rear ports. The cylindrical shape mimics 2013 Mac Pro and Blackmagic eGPU as we’re all aware. Those use a horizontally placed cooling fan. The BBP engineering team decided it’s much better to place the cooling fan vertically. Intel and Apple must be absolutely thrilled by such marvel engineering that they said “Fuck it, let’s do whatever you want!”

This post was modified 5 days ago

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mac_editor
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Posted by: @itsage

We gave them more than 6 months and plenty of feedback. I was there at CES to ask the questions we needed to know. They didn’t use that opportunity to earn our trust. They used CES for marketing.

I certainly fail to understand why people/backers don’t see the significance of this. @itsage has seen the unit in person - how are people still backing this.. even their CES updates express ‘amazement’ at improving performance of the 2013 MacBook Pro - something that isn’t their accomplishment (used community solution - which they’ve admitted here and then changed their mind) and the fact that people have been running eGPUs on these machines for probably more than half a decade before official support (pre-High Sierra and pre-forum too). I think first attempts (on Mac) were in 2012.

Probably as @craftsman said before - it takes less than a brain cell.

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Posted by: @itsage

This video illustrates their idea of internal component arrangement. A quick glance suggests the Thunderbolt 3 mainboard should be sitting up against the rear port openings. What I saw in person at CES 2020 and the photos I took suggest otherwise. Also there's all that room and they place the NVMe next to GPU and seemingly blocking the rear ports. The cylindrical shape mimics 2013 Mac Pro and Blackmagic eGPU as we're all aware. Those use a horizontally placed cooling fan. The BBP engineering team decided it's much better to place the cooling fan vertically. Intel and Apple must be absolutely thrilled by such marvel engineering that they said "Fuck it, let's do whatever you want!"

Getting 500W watt of heat out of that case with fans placed like that with such an airflow restriction from lower intake to upper ventilation of output air will be everything but silent. 
I would say not even possible.

I first thought they would use at least one 180mm fan at the lower intake to produce an over pressurised case pushing the heat out through the space around the top plate. But not according to that video.
Perhaps they plain and simply forgot about it or suck at 3D modelling and heat management.

I have a hard time believing Intel would certify a design as shown in their video.

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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joevt
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Posted by: @username

And if they actually have met with their manufacturer it should be a simple thing to explain the official legacy hardware support, the dual thunderbolt 3 controller implementation and 6K over thunderbolt etc. 

6K might be more difficult than just allowing the GPU to be connected to the Titan Ridge controller (like only the Blackmagic eGPU does currently - no-one else has even tried or Intel won't allow it). Initially, the Apple Pro Display XDR would not work with the Blackmagic eGPU at 6K because the two DisplayPort 1.4 connections would only work at HBR2 speed instead of HBR3 speed. People are having a similar problem with the GC-TITAN RIDGE. When I try to connect two HBR3 displays, one connects at only HBR speed. Blackmagic released a firmware update to fix that problem (the firmware was probably made by Apple since Blackmagic support wasn't even initially aware that they had a firmware update or there was some initial confusion from tech support). Who knows if the BlackBeast Pro's third party Thunderbolt developer has the know-how to implement DisplayPort input and the firmware to support that plus 6K... probably not, because of the difficulty (amount of work and cost) as Mantiz and TUL have stated to @itsage.

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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Username
(@username)
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If they placed a 180mm fan in bottom, placed the graphics card on the opposite side of the case or rotated it 180° to draw air from the case center and the direct air intake from below and then ventilate everything up and out through a meshed top - it might work.

Or keep their current card position and place a non restricted air intake along the whole side of the case - still with a decent fan in the lower section to dra cool air in and push the hot air out of the unit.

Their current design display a graphics card with a serious shortness of breath trying to suck cool air from the case wall. And the internal fan will simply circulate an ever increasing hotter air inside of the case. Disrupting any chance of cool air getting in and hot air being pushed out. The graphics card will not be able to handle that alone.

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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mac_editor
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Seems an article was published here: https://www.digi.no/artikler/tobias-21-svarer-pa-anklager-om-svindel-og-lureri-med-egpu-losning/483089

Google-translated title is: Tobias, 21, answers charges of fraud with eGPU solution.

My github (script) was getting traffic from here so was wondering.

Would love to read those "answers." If anyone has full access to the article, please share a translation. 

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purge-wranglerpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + RX 5700 XT (Mantiz Venus)

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


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@mac_editor I’ve seen traffic from that article as well as another article from a different Norwegian news website (bt.no). They both are behind paywall. They are doing damage control. However it’s not for the Kickstarter backers because they’re definitely would like to read those answers.

 

This post was modified 4 days ago

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


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