First daisy-chainable, upgradable eGPU
 
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First daisy-chainable, upgradable eGPU  

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karatekid430
(@karatekid430)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

First eGPU with replaceable GPU and daisy chaining. The BlackMagic ones are daisy-chainable but not upgradable.

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/product/pradeon-linkx

If you click "Product Website", it takes you here: https://item.jd.com/53646219518.html#none

This would be my dream come true, except that it only has 60W and 15W PD. I always wanted a daisy-chainable eGPU with 100W PD so that I could power my laptop with that, and then add bad devices after the eGPU that have poor power delivery (most of Thunderbolt products). 60W is okay for a Dell XPS 13, but not enough for beefier laptops. I like to be future-proof.

The site where you can buy it clearly fails web accessibility standards - most of the text is in images and cannot be machine translated. Using the Google Translate with the camera on my screen produced garbage. Even something about eating chicken.

However, if somebody who is bilingual can order one and review it, it will be an extremely interesting review.

It is unclear if it uses Titan Ridge, but if it is, we should get a slight bump in bandwidth to 24 Gb/s, over the 22 Gb/s for Alpine Ridge.

It appears that they think the tiny Flex-ATX PSU is capable of Vega 64, even when much bigger Sonnet 550 fails. I would not be so sure, but if it can handle it, then that is great. I believe in small form factors, and that small form factors do not have to be any less powerful. The concept of these eGPU enclosures taking up the space of a whole ITX or small MicroATX system makes no sense to me - why not just buy a whole system? If I am using an eGPU with my ultra light laptop, I also expect the eGPU to be on the compact side. Although this Pradeon LinkX is long enough for massive graphics cards, it seems to be smaller than most enclosures by using a smaller PSU and keeping things tight in the other two dimensions. So it appears to be like the compact Gigabyte Gaming Box, but longer.

The last thing I want to discuss is whether it is wise to invest in Thunderbolt products with USB4 coming. USB4 does not mandate Thunderbolt support, but they optimistically think most vendors will do so (with the exception of mobile phones). But I believe that hardly any of them will do it because of the need to put it in ACPI and get Intel certification to advertise Thunderbolt support.

I believe there are a number of possible outcomes:
1. For PCIe tunnelling, Thunderbolt support is required, and manufacturers actually implement it and get certification (this outcome is pretty good)
2. For PCIe tunnelling, Thunderbolt support is required, and manufacturers rarely implement it (this outcome is pretty bad)
3. For PCIe tunnelling, Thunderbolt support is required, and manufacturers actually implement it but do not advertise it or get the certification required to use the Thunderbolt logo, meaning we get support, but have to go off reviews to determine which products work (this outcome is okay, but less ideal)
4. For PCIe tunnelling, Thunderbolt support is not required, i.e. USB4 devices can tunnel PCIe. It means existing Thunderbolt devices will not be widely supported, but we can buy USB4 versions which are only a few percent slower due to slightly lower signalling rate 20 Gb/s vs 20.625 Gb/s. This means we may see more problems with poor implementations and lack of certification, but if we only buy from reputable manufacturers, it means we are totally free of Intel's control
5. Something else? Discuss.

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

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nu_ninja
(@nu_ninja)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Looks similar in design and specs to the Node Pro, except with eGFX certification of course. I wonder if the main thunderbolt board has any relation or not.

Maybe this brand is better known in China, but it's surprising to me that a relatively unknown brand would be able to get Intel to certify a enclosure like this. Maybe Intel is allowing more novel implementation of thunderbolt enclosures? Or this company just has good contacts at intel?

For intel cpu powered devices, I think they'll push for outcome 1. For AMD cpu devices, I'm not sure. One thing I'll be keeping my eye on is if the ARM-Macbook rumours come true and if those have Thunderbolt. ARM + Thunderbolt could be a big step forward Apple could push through and while they're at it, they could finally put a usb-c port on the iPhone and give it thunderbolt support 😀 .

Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (MacBookPro9,2) TB1 -> RX 460/560 (AKiTiO Node/Thunder2)
+ macOS 10.15+Win10 + Linux Mint 19.1

 
2012 13" MacBook Pro [3rd,2C,M] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.14.4 [build link]  


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Mini i5
(@mini-i5)
Honorable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

The USD price comes out to $371. Maybe other enclosure manufacturers will begin to add TB3 daisy chaining.

2018 Mac Mini i5 / 6-core 3.0-4.1 Ghz / 32GB / 256GB / Intel UHD 630 / PowerColor Gaming Station / PowerColor dual-fan RX 5700 XT / Mac OS 10.15.6 Catalina / Windows 2004 😏 / Dual LG 27" 4K displays


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jangoloti
(@jangoloti_1)
Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: @nu_ninja

Looks similar in design and specs to the Node Pro, except with eGFX certification of course. I wonder if the main thunderbolt board has any relation or not.

Maybe this brand is better known in China, but it's surprising to me that a relatively unknown brand would be able to get Intel to certify a enclosure like this. Maybe Intel is allowing more novel implementation of thunderbolt enclosures? Or this company just has good contacts at intel?

For intel cpu powered devices, I think they'll push for outcome 1. For AMD cpu devices, I'm not sure. One thing I'll be keeping my eye on is if the ARM-Macbook rumours come true and if those have Thunderbolt. ARM + Thunderbolt could be a big step forward Apple could push through and while they're at it, they could finally put a usb-c port on the iPhone and give it thunderbolt support 😀 .

The European Union will force them to go to USB-C on the iPhones sooner than later you will see...

Mac Mini 2018 i7 16 GB 512 GB SSD, Mac Book Pro 2016, HP Z31x, Sonnet Breakaway Box 550 W, Nitro+ RX5700 XT, KFA2 SNPR 1060 6GB eGPU,...


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

@karatekid430, Thank you for sharing this new eGPU enclosure. There's something not right with the specs. I'm not sure how the 400W PSU can handle RX Vega 64. The footprint and component layout remind me of the Sapphire GearBox [review link].

 

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@karatekid430, USB4 spec says the following about Thunderbolt and PCIe tunnelling support:

  1. USB4 hosts (PCIe controller is optional): Thunderbolt support is optional.
  2. USB4 peripherals (PCIe switch is optional): Thunderbolt support is optional.
  3. USB4 hubs (must contain a PCIe switch): Thunderbolt support is required for DFP.
  4. USB4 docks (subset of hubs so these must contain a PCIe switch): Thunderbolt support is required for UFP and DFP.

With that information, we might conclude the following:

  1. A USB4 eGPU can be connected to a Thunderbolt host but some may require connection to a USB4 dock.
  2. A Thunderbolt eGPU can be connected to a USB4 host but some may require connection to a USB4 dock or hub
    (only if the USB4 host has a PCIe controller).

Your #4 seems most correct (where the USB4 host does not necessarily support Thunderbolt but does support PCIe tunnelling) but my #2 has a work around (by using a USB4 dock or hub).

Removing the need for Intel Thunderbolt certification allows the possibility for USB4 eGPUs or hubs to have externally accessible DisplayPort In Adapters (like the Blackmagic eGPUs have internally).

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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zovc
 zovc
(@zovc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

@joevt,

 

Has there been any clarification or testing of whether or not this is legit?

 

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

.

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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@zovc, we only have what is documented in the USB4 spec. Who know how real devices will behave? I don't know of any real devices yet. OWC has a Thunderbolt 4 hub with 3 downstream facing ports. It will be interesting to see how/if that works with USB4 or Thunderbolt 4 or Thunderbolt 3 or whatever the M1 Macs have.

 

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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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I like the case very much


MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar M1 8-core CPU 8-core GPU - 16GB unified memory - 512GB PCIe SSD
MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.3Ghz - 16GB RAM - 1TB PCIe SSD

my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15 [build link]  


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zovc
 zovc
(@zovc)
Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

@joevt, understandable. Sorry for being out of the loop... are there at least release dates announced for the key pieces we'd need to start learning about that?

 

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

.

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