[GUIDE] How to update an eGPU / Gigabyte Aorus Gaming Box Thunderbolt Firmware on newer (Thunderbolt 4) Laptops.
Just a guide for anyone who might have run into the same trouble as I did updating or downgrading the firmware of an eGPU or other Thunderbolt Device.
I purchased a Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box 1080 second hand, and while I had excellent performance, I was only managing ~1600MB/s in Cuda-Z Host to Device. I fixed this by updating my firmware, which was not as easy as I would have liked, but hopefully my troubleshooting will help anyone with the same issue.
Each model of the Gaming Box has several firmware versions available to them. In my case I had two options: Version F1.0 and Version F1.0H2D. The two firmware versions come with an Intel Thunderbolt Firmware Upgrade Tool and a .BIN firmware file. The problem is this utility was designed to run on older Thunderbolt controllers / software and would not recognise the Thunderbolt hardware in my system. Intel does not actually provide a generic Thunderbolt Firmware Update Tool that is cross-platform but releases different versions for each model of their own hardware.
The solution to this problem is to download a version of the Intel Thunderbolt Firmware Upgrade Tool from an Intel system that uses the same Thunderbolt Controller / Version as your own. In my case, I was able to download and run the Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update Tool for Intel NUC 9 Extreme Laptop Kit, which contains the same CPU as my laptop (1165G7). Running this version enabled me to select and install the firmware file included in the Aorus Gaming Box driver package, which resolved my host-to-device bandwidth issue.
Do not have an external monitor or peripherals running while updating the firmware. It can cause error's during the final stage of the firmware flash. Unplug any external monitors running through the eGPU and restart your system as soon as the firmware is done.
You do not have to use older Thunderbolt Driver Software. I successfully updated my firmware using the latest Thunderbolt Driver Software, and did NOT need to roll back to an older version. This makes sense, as the driver software for the laptop should match the driver software in the update tool, as they are from the same hardware generation.
I believe this could potentially be used for other Thunderbolt devices that require firmware updates, but do not have a Thunderbolt 3 Firmware Update Tool directly available.
@boltoway, well done, brilliant. I've been mulling over this same kind of issue and just now reading the Intel FW upgrade tool instructions and came to the same conclusion that I can try to update the TB FW in my GB Z390 Designare (on board TR controller) using this tool (and your clearly written review of the issue again makes me think this is possible)
The Designare comes with FW33 for the TR Controller. There is no TB FW update provided by GB for the Z390 Designare.
I've tested the Designare using a TB4 Hub and the Designare is the only hardware(TR) that balks at allowing the hub to connect. TR AIC (FW50) in any other GB board works, the TR onboard with the Z490 Vision D works (FW 50) and that led me to think that an upgrade of the Designare TR controller to FW50 might work with the hub.
Perhaps I'll get lucky.