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Netstor Hercules HL23T Review - Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick
 

Netstor Hercules HL23T Review - Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick  

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I too like the look of these, but the graphics on the case make it a non starter for me... give me plane Space Grey please... (love your mod btw!)

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: goalque

They are aware of your feedback and would be happy to hear suggestions how to improve. What kind of color would you like?

I guess none of these.

I would prefer minimalistic color appearance and paintings as well. Stay tuned, something new may be coming 😉

Just all black or solid color eh eh or anything but not a Warrior with an hammer.


MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Anyone tried plugging an LG/Apple display into the additional thunderbolt port? Would that even work?

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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goalque
(@goalque)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Anyone tried plugging an LG/Apple display into the additional thunderbolt port? Would that even work?

I've only tried out with an USB-C-to-DP adapter, and it worked. The DP 4K monitor is then accelerated by the iGPU/dGPU.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
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2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Sorry, I'm confused... you used an adapter to plug the 5k display into a display port of a GPU and it worked, but was powered by the laptops GPU? And the eGPU powered the internal laptop screen? Are you able to power the LG screen with the eGPU?

 

Ahh.. you were not using the LG 5k display.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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goalque
(@goalque)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Yep, sorry for the confusion. I am using Samsung 28" 4K UHD monitor.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
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2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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AlainR
(@alainr)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@Goalque: congratulations to your invaluable help to the eGPU community. In one of your replies you wrote "I’ve successfully daisy chained RX 580 and RX 480 but officially Apple supports just a single Sapphire RX 580 Pulse at the moment." and as I understood, the TB3 port between Mac-HL23T runs at 40 Gbit/s, but the second one between HL23T-Other_eGPU_Enclosure should run only at 10 Gbit/s ? Am I wrong ?
Q1: Am I Wrong ?
Q2: did you succeed in Daisy-chaining 2 enclosure with both nVidia cards
Q3: I remember you tested the DevilBox Enclosure. I have one. By chance, could you could Daisy-chain like that : MacHL23TDevilBox (with external display or without : it is for eGPU computing-3D rendering only)

For the interested readers, working setups for DevilBox enclosure:
- under macOS Sierra 10.12.06, with a "Zotac GTX 980 AMP! edition", connected to a MacBook Air mid-2014 (build-in TB2 port : use the official Apple TB2 to TB3 adapter)
- under macOS Sierra 10.12.06, with a "Zotac GTX 980 AMP! edition", connected to a iMac 2017 (TB3)

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


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goalque
(@goalque)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@AlainR:

You're welcome.

Q1: They both run via 40Gbps link:

PCIe transfers are limited up to 22Gbps in reality, in both directions.

Anyway, M samples/s speed doubles in IndigoBench. With two cards, the rendering time cuts in half.

Nvidia cards are peculiarly more bottlenecked on macOS.

Q2: Yes.

Q3: My DevilBox is in pieces, not sure if it works anymore.

By the way, it's in stock: 341,1€

http://www.atreid.com/netstor-hl23t.html

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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AlainR
(@alainr)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thank you for these precisions ! 

Alain 🙂

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


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ondert
(@ondert)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Why is this removed from the recommended list?

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


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: ondert

Why is this removed from the recommended list?

The Netsor HL23T was dropped temporarily due to the lack of width space in the table. TB3 enclosures are now separated into eGFX and PCIe TB3 enclosures accessible by different tabs. Hover over each tab to see their differences:

https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2018/

 

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Upgraded to macOS10.13

From [APP] NVIDIA eGPU support for High Sierra (NVIDIAEGPUSupport)

Posted by: goalque

Yes, my 2016 13″ MBP (non-touch) and HL23T is nearly plug-and-play 🙂

 

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table


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goalque
(@goalque)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Keep in mind that HL23T is under PCIe expansion category, now also listed at Intel's Thunderbolt site:

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/product/netstor-hl23t

Interestingly, Intel has published a video of imaginary eGFX box which has dual TB3 ports, but AFAIK, all eGFX certified enclosures should be with just one TB3 port.

(at 0:25)

eGFX vs PCIe expansion:

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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 D G
(@d_g)
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So I am confused...  It doesn't support hot-plugging?  So how much does it take to set it up every time I would want to use it?  Doesn't the Razer Core v2 have two thunderbolt connections which make it the or one of only enclosures that don't lose bandwidth due to ports' use?

What are the performance differences between eGFX and PCIe?

14" Lenovo Yoga 920+ (a video card)@32Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Win10+ThrottleStop+Nekteck TB3 Cable 100W 6ft


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goalque
(@goalque)
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Posted by: D G

So I am confused...  It doesn't support hot-plugging?  So how much does it take to set it up every time I would want to use it?  Doesn't the Razer Core v2 have two thunderbolt connections which make it the or one of only enclosures that don't lose bandwidth due to ports' use?

What are the performance differences between eGFX and PCIe?

I don't remember what the reviewer said but PCIe expansion does not rule out hot-plugging. The differences are explained here:

https://thunderbolttechnology.net/blog/external-graphics-egfx-vs-generic-pcie-expansion-enclosures-explained

Intel just won't allow PCIe expansion to be advertised as "external graphics".

Razer Core V2 has only one TB3 port, the PCIe lane count stays the same at the end (x4).

PCIe stream and DP stream are packetized into Thunderbolt protocol, giving full ~40Gbps connection but only ~22Gbps is reserved for PCIe data. This applies to all TB3 enclosures. Because Netstor uses a single-slot PCIe board without any PCIe switches, there is no bottleneck. I do have a special "eGFX" firmware but didn't observe performance difference. I've not tried dual use of the TB3 ports much yet, but works well with the Apple keyboard, and adapters that I have.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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Eightarmedpet
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goalque
(@goalque)
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Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Would it be possible to plug an LG Display into the second port?

As per their advertisement, it may work:

Display traffic should not consume the PCIe data but if it exceeds ~20Gbps, the DP is prioritized over PCIe data, and you have less PCIe bandwidth. One 5K display takes up to 18Gbps downstream and 22Gbps upstream, not much off from the 2 x 22Gbps PCIe data bandwidth. Remember that in this scenario, the 5K display is driven by the dGPU or iGPU, unless the app is designed to route accelerated graphics between framebuffers (which would not be optimal, as with internal screen acceleration).

I just wish they would provide a single color option soon. Little roughness matches to my Olympus OM-D E-M5 black magnesium body. The build quality is noticeable in the price tag, though.

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2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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goalque
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Eightarmedpet
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goalque
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Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Still the awful graphics!

If you don't like, put tape or your favourite sticker on hercules text, remove the front panel and slide in the side green grill (you are able to bend the material by hand, the thickness is under 1mm). This small modification provides better air ventilation, a 3rd Noctua fan can be placed to the front.

This is still one of the lightest and slimmest enclosures on the market that supports full length graphics cards. The material cannot be compared to non-portable enclosures such as Aktio Node, the difference is like day and night.

There are many SFF enthusiasts paying ~230€ for high quality empty enclosures:

https://www.dan-cases.com/dana4.php

I would love to see an eGPU enclosure from DAN cases.

HL23T Pro costs 341€

http://www.atreid.com/netstor-hl23t-pro-egpu.html

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
--
2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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goalque
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Eightarmedpet
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goalque
(@goalque)
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This is rule by Intel for an eGFX certified enclosure. They could have done HL23T-PRO with one TB3 port and one USB 3.1 Gen2 similarly as in Asus XG-STATION-PRO. However, from the performance point of view it is always better to use just the eGPU.

automate-eGPU EFIapple_set_os.efi
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2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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joevt
(@joevt)
Honorable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

The Blackmagic eGPU is an exception to Intel's single Thunderbolt port rule for eGPUs because of one or more of the following:
1) the GPU is not removable
2) it's only supported by macOS
3) because Apple
4) because the Thunderbolt ports get video from the GPU and not from the computer (this is facilitated by #1 as the DisplayPort connections are internal, but I suppose they could be made external as with a Thunderbolt 3 add-in card)
5) the extra Thunderbolt port (with the feature of #4) is necessary for proper acceleration of Thunderbolt 3 displays like the LG UltraFine 5K

I think #4 is the most probable reason. With that feature, PCIe bandwidth to the GPU cannot be affected by video from the computer when a display is connected to the Thunderbolt 3 port of the eGPU because video cannot come from the computer - it will only come from the GPU in the eGPU.

Maybe Intel will change its eGFX certification to support this feature on other eGPUs.

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


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goalque
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Good point. The blackmagic eGPU is very exceptional but ruins the whole idea of upgradability. As mini-ITX enclosures are evolving to the same size (Dan Case and its cheaper copy Kolink Rocket), including all PC components and even AIO water cooling, the question is why not to make a mini-ITX TB3 board that can work as a standalone PC (full x16 lane) and at the same time being able to switch to "eGPU mode" and accelerate the internal screen of the laptop when you are on the go? Would it be possible?

It is interesting to see which direction the eGPU market takes. ASRock Z370 Gaming-ITX comes with TB3 Titan Ridge but not sure of its purpose.

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2018 13" MacBook Pro + Radeon [email protected] + Win10 1809


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