Gigabyte AORUS GTX 1070 Gaming Box Review - Tiny but Mighty  

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Maven
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September 3, 2017 8:16 pm  
Posted by: nando4
Posted by: papoose02

Anyone seen this ? 

https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N1080IX-8GD#kf

INFO: Just announced Gigabyte GTX1080 mini is a drop in replacement for the Aorus Gaming Box's  GTX1070 mini

 

That *new* Gigabyte GTX1080 mini is a drop in replacement for the Gigabyte GTX1070 mini in the Aorus Gaming Box. They both have these same specifications to make that possible:  same card size, power requirement and 8pin*1 power connector.

No RRP has been released for this Gigabyte GTX1080 mini but can use the $540 Zotac GTX1080 Mini  and US$450 Zotac GTX1070 Mini for comparison. There the GTX1080 has a 20% (US$90) premium over the GTX1070. That matching the 20% FPS improvement on a desktop system a GTX1080 has over a GTX1070. 

Is it worth it?

I wonder if Gigabyte will silently update the gaming box to reflect this new card. Perhaps the will release a "Pro" version of the box at $699.

Knowing I'm in the minority, but I really enjoy and notice the difference in my 1080ti eGPU. Bandwidth limits aside, there is still a huge difference when playing games at 1440p or 4k.

This little Gigabyte eGPU with a 1080 will be sick if you value portability.

Until graphics cards become smaller, or someone figures out how to package laptop series GPU's in a tiny package that could fit in a bag or pocket with a direct thunderbolt plug (Aside from a needed power supply), this is about as good as it gets.


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nando4
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September 3, 2017 8:26 pm  

@Maven the GTX1080Ti is a beastly further 40% CUDA core jump over a GTX1080. It's more of a boost than a GTX1070->GTX1080:

GTX1070: 1920 CUDA cores
GTX1080: 2560 CUDA cores (+33%)
GTX1080Ti: 3584 CUDA cores (+40%)

There is talk in the AKITiO mini eGPU thread of just shoehorning a Zotac GTX1080 mini in the chassis. Turns out Zotac released a GTX1080Ti mini with the same dimensions so could use it instead:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/

 

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
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alone1i
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September 3, 2017 11:04 pm  

Thanks for the review 🙂


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Maven
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September 4, 2017 12:33 am  
Posted by: nando4

@Maven the GTX1080Ti is a beastly further 40% CUDA core jump over a GTX1080. It's more of a boost than a GTX1070->GTX1080:

GTX1070: 1920 CUDA cores
GTX1080: 2560 CUDA cores (+33%)
GTX1080Ti: 3584 CUDA cores (+40%)

There is talk in the AKITiO mini eGPU thread of just shoehorning a Zotac GTX1080 mini in the chassis. Turns out Zotac released a GTX1080Ti mini with the same dimensions so could use it instead:

https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/akitio-thunder2-and-thunder3-gpu-size-to-close-the-akitio/

 

Would be nice!

Unfortunately, the Zotac and Gigabyte cards are too tall to be used in the Akitio without modding the top of the case. I have been down that road with the Zotac 1080 and it was next to impossible to cleanly use in the Akitio chassis. (Not to mention power / DA02 is not an option.

Nando, call Akitio and set them straight on the chassis we need to make this happen. I can think of no better authority in the eGPU space than you. 🙂

Are you referring to using the Zotac 1080ti in the Gigabyte case?

That would be a MUCH easier solution. The only snag is the single 8 pin @450 watt PSU.

I think 450W will suffice, but would we just use a single 8pin to dual 8 pin adapter to power the card?


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joebain
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September 4, 2017 8:51 am  

Just thought I'd pop back and let others know my experience - I bought the Aorus box along with a new Thinkpad T470. I found it was pretty painless to set up and running a quick benchmark the card does indeed boost the performance way above the integrated graphics. I bought the pair specifically to do VR dev on though, currently with an Oculus Rift. That's unfortunately where I have to report some bad news. Whilst the Oculus setup and demos seemed to run fine, with maybe some very minor FPS drops, when I was using it with Unity and a development build of our app (which is right now very simple - mostly cubes and other primitives with no fancy shaders or anything) I got significant frame skips. The FPS remained high, but I think there is a communication bottleneck and the setup, I found unusable for VR development sadly. I've borrowed a laptop with a built-in 1070 and the performance is fine, no such frame skipping.

It may be that this problem will be fixed if Gigabyte release new drivers with the H2D speed improvement. And I think the box is still quite handy, for regular gaming and probably for consumer VR stuff too. But I'm currently figuring out if I can return mine and get an ugly gaming laptop instead 🙁


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nando4
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September 4, 2017 9:46 am  

@Maven, the Zotac GTX1080Ti will not fit into the Aorus Gaming Box. As for a callout, Zotac showed some eGPU enclosure pre-production units at some shows this year. It would be in there best interest to create an eGPU enclosure to host their dual-fan mini GTX1080Ti card.

@joebain, please re-test and advise VR performance after applying the H2D fixed Aorus Gaming Box firmware that was recently released, available for download at:
https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N1070IXEB-8GD#support-dl

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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dream3
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September 5, 2017 3:05 am  

Hey guys!

I've been waiting to buy an external GPU for my 2015 Retina Macbook Pro for a HUGE time.

Is the Aorus it? Does it tick all the boxes? 

And also, is anything better coming to the market that you guys are aware? 

 

Please please, I need some advice.


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hun
 hun
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September 5, 2017 3:41 pm  

I’m using 15inch MacBook Pro touch bar.

first of week, it worked, however after I boot up with Mac OS, and then tried to use it on windows,

gaming box is no longer detected as video card or extra monitor adapter.

It used to be turned on with RGB lights when windows up, however now it is no RGB lights on when windows up.

it only does charge my MacBook, thats all.

when I turn on Mac OS with attached EGPU, I didn’t try to set up , but I seems working in Mac OS.(I can see RGB lights on, and port recognized.)

why only in windows, it is not detected. I have tried everything I could, fresh reinstalling windows ( 5 times), reconnecting all the cables, or installing thunderbolt driver, disable PCIE slots etc

every ports, (4 ports) can’t recognized my EGPU.

please help me how to figure this out. 

 


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theitsage
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September 5, 2017 4:28 pm  

@hun Try a power reset. With the AORUS attached to your MBP via the Thunderbolt 3 cable, disconnect the power cable to AORUS Gaming Box from the outlet. Leave it disconnected for at least 10 minutes. Reconnect the power cable then boot into Windows.

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hun
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September 5, 2017 8:07 pm  

@theitsage
Thanks for your reply,
I did exactly what you said, but still pretty much same things going on here. I only use external monitor.
I will up load picture that I can see device manager

##update

 

I don’t know what else I should try more.

please help me.


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dream3
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September 5, 2017 10:21 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@hun Try a power reset. With the AORUS attached to your MBP via the Thunderbolt 3 cable, disconnect the power cable to AORUS Gaming Box from the outlet. Leave it disconnected for at least 10 minutes. Reconnect the power cable then boot into Windows.

Hey theitsage, could you give me some advice too?


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Maven
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September 6, 2017 10:10 am  
Posted by: hun

@theitsage
Thanks for your reply,
I did exactly what you said, but still pretty much same things going on here. I only use external monitor.
I will up load picture that I can see device manager

##update

 

I don’t know what else I should try more.

please help me.

 I have had that issue in the past. If disconnecting the thunderbolt cable and power cycling the eGPU box does not work, try booting back into OSX, hot plugging the eGPU and running the eGPU script again.

Those tips should do the trick.

Remember to disconnect the eGPU when the computer shuts down, then plug it in when Windows is selected to boot and right after the wheel start to spin.

Good luck!


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switch
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September 6, 2017 10:57 am  

About unplugging the power: if doing it to power cycle an unresponsive Aorus, make sure to leave it unplugged for a new good minutes. Doing it only for a few seconds IS NOT ENOUGH to reset the box. Damn big capacitors aka good PSU 🙂

2016 15" HP ZBook 15 G3 [Xeon E3-1545M, Iris Pro p580, no dGPU] + [email protected] (Aorus Gaming Box) + Win10pro


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theitsage
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September 6, 2017 12:14 pm  
Posted by: switch

About unplugging the power: if doing it to power cycle an unresponsive Aorus, make sure to leave it unplugged for a new good minutes. Doing it only for a few seconds IS NOT ENOUGH to reset the box. Damn big capacitors aka good PSU 🙂

I totally agree. While I have had success with 15 seconds unplugged before on this enclosure, I always recommend letting it sit for at least 10 minutes to make absolutely sure those big capacitors are fully discharged.

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hun
 hun
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September 6, 2017 4:24 pm  

@theitsage

thank you for your advice.  basically what you are asking is

attach thunderbolt Cable to MBP and disconnect power cord from gaming box, and wait for 10 mins.

after that, reboot and press option key to choose os that I want to boot up with,

and connect the power of gaming box, then when gaming box spins, I select to boot up with windows?

As I said before, gaming box seems working in Mac OS, so I won’t need to do any EGPU scripts, right?

and I actually tried and it is working perfectly fine with Mac OS.

however, windows doesn’t even detect my gaming box. I can’t find an display adapter or graphics card with no RGB light on.

For more information about what I tried, I have a friends who has  laptop 2016 MBP touch bar, and exactly same model as me.

I tried with his laptop right after I check mine isn’t working, and it was working. his laptop detected my gaming box as an another display adapter, which just requires installing drives. So what I’m thinking is it is not about battery. As you said, if it is not charged enough or whatever, It shouldn’t work fine (friends laptop MBP) right after trying mine. But it is also not about hardware problems, because it is working just fine in Mac OS. 

So I will try again, reinstalling windows via bootcamp, and installing drives only from apple, and I will try power reset.

and then will see whether it detects or not.  

If I can’t find any solution, should I go to apple store and ask them? 

please let me know any ideas,

thank you for your help!

 


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theitsage
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September 6, 2017 4:42 pm  

@hun The recognition issue then is with the Windows installation on your MacBook Pro. If you have a restore point, you can revert it back. Otherwise, do a clean install of Windows and see if that helps.

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hun
 hun
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September 6, 2017 5:07 pm  

Can you explain me how to do a clean install of windows? Do you mean reinstalling windows via bootcamp?


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theitsage
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September 6, 2017 5:13 pm  

Use Windows Recovery to reset your PC. Choose to remove everything to have a clean Windows install.

Settings > Update & security > Reset this PC > Get started > Remove everything

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hun
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September 6, 2017 5:44 pm  

Okay will do later on today.

But just wondering that, will reset help to solve the problem, even though fresh reinstalling windows didn’t  help ?


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nando4
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September 6, 2017 6:02 pm  

GTX1080 version in the works

At AORUS Gaming Box: The Portable Gaming Dream! (massdrop),  GBT.BRIAN writes:

We are always looking to better help and offer the best of what we have to the community.
Last ,but not least we do have a GTX 1080 version in the works =)

This will be easy to accomodate given Aorus just released GTX1080 mini is a drop-in replacement for the current GTX1070 mini card.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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dream3
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September 6, 2017 6:12 pm  
Posted by: nando4

GTX1080 version in the works

At AORUS Gaming Box: The Portable Gaming Dream! (massdrop),  GBT.BRIAN writes:

We are always looking to better help and offer the best of what we have to the community.
Last ,but not least we do have a GTX 1080 version in the works =)

This will be easy to accomodate given Aorus just released GTX1080 mini is a drop-in replacement for the current GTX1070 mini card.

Hey nando, do you think it is worth waiting for the 1080 instead of picking up the Aorus 1070 now? I really need an eGPU for 3d modeling on a MBP but I can wait. If the jump is not by much I'd be better off picking up one now though.


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nando4
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September 6, 2017 7:03 pm  

@dream3, the Gigabyte GTX1080 mini was just announced without pricing or availability. It stands to reason if you need a mini eGPU now then grab the Aorus Gaming Box with a GTX1070. When the GTX1080 mini is released can weight up your options, eg: swap out the cards or swap the whole enclosure.

If can sit it out them the guestimate is the GTX1080 Aorus Gaming Box will be ~$100 more than the GTX1070 version.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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September 6, 2017 7:03 pm  

I am sorry to say I have had a hard time with this eGPU. I really liked this review, and I was already leaning toward the Gigabyte box to begin with, but your review confirmed my opinion.
I think I got unlucky, so I am in the process of exchanging the box. I have a 2017 Razer Blade Stealth 13.3" laptop, and the box worked great for the first week, but after I unplugged it one day to go to a meeting it never worked right again. The connection to the eGPU "flickered" on and off every few seconds after that and after uninstalling and reinstalling the thunderbolt 3 software, firmware, and Aorus software ten or fifteen times, I have just given up. You can see a video of the problem in an Amazon comment I left. Please wish me luck with the replacement eGPU!


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dream3
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September 7, 2017 1:21 am  
Posted by: nando4

@dream3, the Gigabyte GTX1080 mini was just announced without pricing or availability. It stands to reason if you need a mini eGPU now then grab the Aorus Gaming Box with a GTX1070. When the GTX1080 mini is released can weight up your options, eg: swap out the cards or swap the whole enclosure.

If can sit it out them the guestimate is the GTX1080 Aorus Gaming Box will be ~$100 more than the GTX1070 version.

Thanks, that makes sense! Buying the 1070 + Box now and then later replace it for the 1080 mini only sounds good.

However I was under the impression the price would remain unchanged between the two versions. Do you think the extra $100 are worth the upgrade for the performance boost?


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nando4
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September 7, 2017 5:40 am  

@dream3, please see my previous comment evaluating the extra price & performance a Gigabyte GTX1080 mini has over the GTX1070 mini. It may help you decide if that solution is one to aim for.  One thing is for sure, the Gigabyte GTX1080 is the fastest Nvidia card that fits perfectly in the tiny Aorus Gaming Box.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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dream3
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September 7, 2017 3:00 pm  
Posted by: nando4

@dream3, please see my previous comment evaluating the extra price & performance a Gigabyte GTX1080 mini has over the GTX1070 mini. It may help you decide if that solution is one to aim for.  One thing is for sure, the Gigabyte GTX1080 is the fastest Nvidia card that fits perfectly in the tiny Aorus Gaming Box.

Nice, that is helpful indeed. Seems to be worth the price then. Now I just need to figure out if I personally need the extra power or not 😛

Another thing I've realized though is that I will be using it with a 2015 rMBP, that is TB2. Would TB2 limit the performance boost of the 1080 compared to the 1070, in real world usage? If so, then case closed for me 😀


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nando4
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September 7, 2017 5:11 pm  

TB1/TB2 users via the TB3->TB2 adapter - no automatic fan control under Windows?

 

offline user>> 15" MBP Retina GT650M + Aorus Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter

Both the LEDs and the fans work under macOS. The leds are on constantly and the fans run at say, 80%. + every USB port work. (I have not tried the high speed charge port though).

On Windows those fans run at say, 10-20% and the LED-lights doesnt work.  When I plug in a USB device into the Aorus' USB ports it does not appear in Windows but it  does cause the LED-lights to flash for a second or two.

Its like the board inside the gaming box isnt recoqnized under Windows, but the card itself does.  The fan on the gpu runs normally.

I dont really care about LED-lights and that stuff anyway. My only concern is overheating

 

Enclosure USB ports do not work under Windows in this configuration as also found by theitsage here.  While LED lighting doesn't affect functionality, fan control does. Both appear to be controlled by hidden USB devices as found by DA_Blitz here:
 
The AORUS exports a USB keyboard and mouse which I believe is a configuration error in the hardware and suppressed in the Gigabyte drivers for windows. Due to Linux's use of a generic usb-hid device these devices are visible. I believe these controlling devices for changing the LED settings and potentially turning them off via normal HID commands.

 

The offline TB1 user is now concerned about overheating due to no fan rampup with temperature. This will require a temperature sensor controlled fan circuit or hardwired fan solution as a workaround.

Can any other TB2/TB1 verify if this occurs on their systems as well?

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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moonbuilt
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September 7, 2017 6:32 pm  
Posted by: nando4

TB1/TB2 users via the TB3->TB2 adapter - no automatic fan control under Windows?

 

offline user>> 15" MBP Retina GT650M + Aorus Gaming Box via TB3->TB2 adapter

Both the LEDs and the fans work under macOS. The leds are on constantly and the fans run at say, 80%. + every USB port work. (I have not tried the high speed charge port though).

On Windows those fans run at say, 10-20% and the LED-lights doesnt work. When I plug in a USB device into the Aorus' USB ports it does not appear in Windows but it does cause the LED-lights to flash for a second or two.

Its like the board inside the gaming box isnt recoqnized under Windows, but the card itself does. The fan on the gpu runs normally.

I dont really care about LED-lights and that stuff anyway. My only concern is overheating.

 

Enclosure USB ports do not work under Windows in this configuration as also found by theitsage here. While LED lighting doesn't affect functionality, fan control does. Both appear to be controlled by hidden USB devices as found by DA_Blitz here:
 
The AORUS exports a USB keyboard and mouse which I believe is a configuration error in the hardware and suppressed in the Gigabyte drivers for windows. Due to Linux's use of a generic usb-hid device these devices are visible. I believe these controlling devices for changing the LED settings and potentially turning them off via normal HID commands.

 

The offline TB1 user is now concerned about overheating due to no fan rampup with temperature. This will require a temperature sensor controlled fan circuit or hardwired fan solution as a workaround.

Can any other TB2/TB1 verify if this occurs on their systems as well?

 

I have been using the AORUS for a few days now in W10 on an iMac 5k late 2015/TB2->TB3 adapter/external monitor and haven't encountered a situation yet where the fan didn't ramp up under higher loads. Especially while benchmarking the increase in fan speed was noticeable. I can confirm that the RGB lights don't work (neither in Windows or macOS). Haven't tested the USB ports. 


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nando4
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September 7, 2017 7:18 pm  

@moonbuilt, can you confirm it's the Aorus gaming box's 2 x 40mm internal fans as opposed to the GPX1070 fan that ramps up in speed as the internal chassis temps increase due to GPU load? 

There are 4 fans inside the Aorus gaming box noted below that can be seen in theitsage's teardown pic below:

  • 2 x 40mm fans inside the chassis
  • 1 x large fan on the GTX1070 mini card
  • 1 x 40mm flex ATX PSU fan

 

 

It's the topmost 2 x 40mm fans that the offline user is saying are not ramping up with increased GPU load when using this enclosure on a TB1 15" MBP under Windows. MSI Afterburner's GPU fan control allows quietening the large GPU fan to help identify if the others are ramping up.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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moonbuilt
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September 7, 2017 8:42 pm  
Posted by: nando4

@moonbuilt, can you confirm it's the Aorus gaming box's 2 x 40mm internal fans as opposed to the GPX1070 fan that ramps up in speed as the internal chassis temps increase due to GPU load? 

There are 4 fans inside the Aorus gaming box noted below that can be seen in theitsage's teardown pic below:

  • 2 x 40mm fans inside the chassis
  • 1 x large fan on the GTX1070 mini card
  • 1 x 40mm flex ATX PSU fan

 

 

It's the topmost 2 x 40mm fans that the offline user is saying are not ramping up with increased GPU load when using this enclosure on a TB1 15" MBP under Windows. MSI Afterburner's GPU fan control allows quietening the large GPU fan to help identify if the others are ramping up.

Thanks for the clarification Nando. You are correct, the topmost 2x40mm fans do not ramp up with increased load under Windows.

I just ran some tests and it seems like the best way to keep the card/chassis relatively cool would be by manually adjusting the fan speed (of the GPX1070) to a higher speed in Afterburner. E.g. fan speed set to 80% results in a 58C max temp while running Superposition (1080p, high), whereas ‘automatic mode’ results in a 75C max temp and a much hotter chassis. Not sure if this is a reasonable workaround/compromise in the long term. Any thoughts on this? 


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remiadf
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September 7, 2017 8:46 pm  

Hi, I am the "offline user". I can add a bit more to this.

I have a MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012). 2,3 Ghz Intel Core i7, 8 GB, Intel HD 4000, GT 650M. 

I'm running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and Windows 10 Pro (latest version installed with Boot Camp).

I am using the Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Box GTX 1070 8GB as my eGPU.

During boot (after I've pressed "alt" and selected macOS) the LED-lights turn on, and the PSU fan + the 2 x 40 mm fans starts ramping up. The GPU fan isn't ramping up at all this time, only spins occasionally. During heavy load like benchmarking and gaming the GPU fan spins as expected. All ports on the back of the gaming box works.

But,

during boot (after I've pressed "alt" and selected Windows + engaged Nando's eGPU setup 1.35) theres no LED-lights. I can hear the PSU fan + the 2 x 40 mm fans run, but it's very subtle. The GPU fan spins occasionally just like in macOS. During heavy load like benchmarking and gaming the GPU fan spins as expected, but the other fans stays the same. The USB ports do not work, but if I connect a iPhone charging cable etc. the LED-lights flashes for a second or two and then dies. The iPhone doesn't charge and windows does not recognize it.

Remi

Edit: I am not 100% sure about the PSU fan. That fan may be running identically in both macOS and Windows (It's hard to hear because the 2 x 40 mm fans are quite noisy).


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theitsage
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September 8, 2017 3:19 am  

The two 40mm fans are pulling hot air from inside the enclosure out. If you put your hand near where they at, you can probably feel whether the speed increases.

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nando4
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September 8, 2017 7:34 am  

@Remi, your other course of action to get those 2 x 40mm fans ramping up is to log a support call with Aorus/Gigabyte.

It is conceivable that the firmware was not tested in a TB2/TB1 Windows test case and may have a fan control algorithm that is buggy as a result. eg of such an algorithm: 1. initialize fan 2. seek USB-HID connection to allow future/hidden software fan control  3.  then do fan ramp up taking internal temp sensor input. The firmware may have had a problem at (2).

I suggest vendor involvment  because @Mantiz_John shared firmware tweaks for his Mantiz Venus enclosure's fan control.

Without a fix or workaround here,  TB2/TB1 users will need to be warned about GPU thermal throttling from unvented chassis high temperatures under load.

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remiadf
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September 8, 2017 9:05 am  
@Nando, I’ll contact them about the issue later today. 
Thanks again fot the great support.

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remiadf
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September 8, 2017 10:13 am  

After some more testing I figured out how to get those 2 x 40 mm fans to run at full speed in Windows 10.

I ran heaven benchmark in macOS until the temp peaked at 68 c. Then when I restarted, the fans immediality went from around 70-80% to 100%. I am now running heaven benchmark in Windows 10. The temp peaks at around 70c and the fans are still going at 100%. This is not optimal of course, but now it wont overheat at least.

Edit: after I turned off heaven benchmark, the GPU temp went down to 48c and the GPU fan stopped. Those 2 x 40 mm fans where still running at 100%. I ran heaven benchmark again and the temp peak at around 70c. The GPU fan work as expected.


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dream3
(@dream3)
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Joined: 2 years  ago
Posts: 107
September 8, 2017 6:33 pm  

So does it work 100% fine with TB3>TB2 under macOS?


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