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OWC Helios FX eGPU - Mac Compatible  

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SaturnV
(@zach)
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April 25, 2017 7:47 pm  

There is hardly any information on this as of yet, but there is another eGPU box on the horizon. 

Helios FX

I reached out to the company asking for more information, and didn't get much:
"At this time we are not ready to release any shipping date but it will be Mac compatible!" - OWC 

Helios FX

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


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theitsage
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April 25, 2017 7:57 pm  

After I unboxed and took photos of the Sonnet Breakaway Box, I can now see a lot of similarities in the only photo OWC has for its Helios FX.

It looks as if the enclosure is being placed on its side to give us a top view. These are a couple photos of the Sonnet eGPU inner cage. You can see the TB3 board, GPU slot, PSU location and fan mounting bracket match.

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SaturnV
(@zach)
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April 25, 2017 7:59 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

 

After I unboxed and took photos of the Sonnet Breakaway Box, I can now see a lot of similarities in the only photo OWC has for its Helios FX.

It looks as if the enclosure is being place on its side to give us a top view. This is a photo of the Sonnet eGPU inner cage. You can see the TB3 board, GPU slot, PSU location and fan mounting bracket match.   

Keen observation!!! Not so new perhaps as once thought...

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


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nando4
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April 25, 2017 8:00 pm  

I was tracking this device too. The OWC Helios was a rebadged AKiTiO Thunder2 with a rotated chassis. So what do we see here? It's a Sonnet Breakaway Box with, you guessed it, a rotated chassis. You can see the screw holes, PSU, caps, SFX PSU cabling, FC symbol, Thunderbolt port of the Breakaway Box below all line up with the OWC Helios FX blurry pic.

Moving right along then for a TB3 enclosure that offers at least 60W USB-C charging power.

EDIT: theitsage beat me to it.

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2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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theitsage
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April 25, 2017 8:03 pm  

If OWC actually positions the GPU at the bottom as shown, how effective is cooling?

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nando4
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April 25, 2017 8:17 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

 

If OWC actually positions the GPU at the bottom as shown, how effective is cooling?

   

The video card will be face down trying to draw cool air between a very small space between it and the ground/base. A constricted cooling solution. That's based on what we know now about the Sonnet Breakaway Box. I'd bet that OWC FX Helios blurry pic was a quick promotional pic that has little to do with the final product. Or at the very least it was a non-working unit they rotated around to take a photo of. Basic cooling physics tells us it's a flawed orientation.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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ikir
 ikir
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April 26, 2017 2:44 pm  

this is indeed an exiting time to be a Mac user and eGPU enthusiast. this could be the first eGPU box with official Mac compatibility.

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MacBook Pro 2018 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.7Ghz - 16GB RAM - 512GB PCIe SSD
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theitsage
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April 26, 2017 3:03 pm  

Mac compatibility and Mac certified is a huge difference. We know with the AKiTiO Node's firmware change on January 6th, 2017 that all TI83 enclosures are Mac compatible. This change in Thunderbolt 3 firmware also enables non-eGPU certified hosts work with external graphics cards.

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ed_co
(@ed_co)
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April 27, 2017 12:53 am  

How many of them are going out now?? It is incredible. And yes, it looks really near to the Sonnet one...

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DanKnight
(@danknight)
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April 27, 2017 6:35 am  

Tried to look for this at the OWC Booth at NAB. They're not showing it unfortunately. A rep told me they're not showing it cause it's not the final design and they're still deciding if it's still worth it.

Alias: KnightZero
AKiTiO Employee - Technical Specialist


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Mymantiz_John
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April 27, 2017 7:37 am  
Posted by: theitsage

 

Mac compatibility and Mac certified is a huge difference. We know with the AKiTiO Node's firmware change on January 6th, 2017 that all TI83 enclosures are Mac compatible. This change in Thunderbolt 3 firmware also enables non-eGPU certified hosts work with external graphics cards.

   

Itsage is correct. There's no any eGPU hv to pass through Mac Certification. because there's no such Certification process exist.

Mac Compatible only means= an extension PIC-e Device are recognized by MacOS. 

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Greg LaPorte
(@glaporte)
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May 10, 2017 3:38 pm  

The Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box is actually Thunderbolt Certified for Mac and Windows and is macOS compatible in that it there are not hacks, updates or other workarounds required - it just works out of the box. This is not to imply that a workaround isn't still required to get macOS to recognize the GPU card. Also, the support for hot-plug and surprise disconnect, which is a hallmark of the Thunderbolt experience (especially on Macs) does not yet exist for GPU cards connected over Thunderbolt - this is a compatibility issue between GPU card drivers and macOS. 

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


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theitsage
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March 12, 2018 1:37 pm  

Here's the landing page for OWC Mercury Helios FX. This seems like a rebadged Sonnet Breakaway Box 550.

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nando4
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March 31, 2018 8:17 am  
Posted by: theitsage

Here's the landing page for OWC Mercury Helios FX. This seems like a rebadged Sonnet Breakaway Box 550.

Costs US$30 less and gets a superior 3yr warranty as opposed to Sonnet's 1y:

US$319 OWC Mercury Helios FX 
US$349 Sonnet Breakaway 550

Just curious what firmware is on the OWC unit.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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slhdsnet
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January 15, 2019 1:05 am  

Why is the OWC Helios FX not listed in the "Best eGPU Enclosures Reviewed - External GPU Buyer's Guide 2019" and why is there no dedicated hardware review of this eGPU enclosure either, i.e. this even if very similar or identical to the Sonnet Breakaway 550 unit ?

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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theitsage
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January 15, 2019 2:10 am  

@slhdsnet This is because it has the same components as Sonnet Breakaway Box. Second of all, there's currently no build guides with the OWC Helios FX.

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slhdsnet
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January 15, 2019 2:53 am  

@itsage Thank you for the explanation.  Given I am successfully running an AMD Sapphire RX 580 eGPU via the OWC Helios FX, I would be very pleased to write a relevant build guide based on my experiences thus far.  I guess I simply need to follow the build template to begin with but how does one insert a picture in a reply such as this one ?  Have been unable to post any picture at this point.

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nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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nando4
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January 15, 2019 3:12 am  

@slhdsnet, the build guide template cues you in about attaching pictures:

Hardware pictures (note: require 5+ posts for "attach files" button to appear. Or can link from say http://imgur.com )

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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slhdsnet
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January 16, 2019 12:35 pm  

@nando4 This is perfect, thank you.  I will have my build guide made available shortly for moderator's review.  Cheers.

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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PizzaPino
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January 16, 2019 3:27 pm  

Is the just announced (CES2019) and released FX 650 different from a Sonnet 550 though?
https://www.owcdigital.com/products/mercury-helios-fx-650

Nobody has even mentioned this enclosure here, yet.

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


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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January 16, 2019 3:53 pm  

@pizzapino It's the same as Sonnet Breakaway Box 650. All components are the same except for the Enermax 650W SFX power supply to handle RX Vega 64.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

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slhdsnet
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January 17, 2019 12:52 am  

@nando4 Just a quick glimpse for the records, i.e. my eGPU build comprising the OWC Helios FX enclosure with Sapphire NITRO+ RX 580 up and running !!
(Testing picture insertion)

OWC Helios FX & Sapphire NITRO+ RX 580

This post was modified 4 months ago

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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slhdsnet
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January 20, 2019 8:45 pm  

@nando4  Quick question in regards the Build template.  Can one start a draft of his own build guide and then save as "draft" to finish at a later time or does a build guide have to be fully completed before submitting for moderator review ?  Thanks.

 

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nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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nando4
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January 20, 2019 11:07 pm  

@slhdsnet, you can use the editor to edit your post, click the {;} source code toolbar, copy the code and save it locally as a txt file. Once you exit your post editting, the post will be lost. When ready, create a new post & paste that source code for either a new editting session or to submit the post.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2018 14" HP Elitebook 840 G5 i5-8350U 16GB 512GB + GTX 1080Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT R43SG) + Win10


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slhdsnet
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January 21, 2019 1:11 am  

@nando4  Perfect, thank you Sir.   😉 

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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mwo21
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January 24, 2019 11:39 pm  

I noticed the Helios FX eGPU enclosure is not in the buyer's guide.  Any reason why?  Any reviews?

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


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slhdsnet
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January 25, 2019 2:19 pm  

@mwo21  See @itsage reply of January 14, 2019 9:10 pm to me for the very same question.  Cheers.  🙂

This post was modified 4 months ago

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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slhdsnet
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January 29, 2019 12:50 am  

eGPU.io members | Not sure what to think of the score but here is the result while running a LuxMark v3.1 benchmark on my nMP with eGPU RX 580 set-up.

nMP LuxMark v3.1 OpenCL GPUs

This post was modified 4 months ago

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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January 29, 2019 1:16 am  

@slhdsnet An RX580 typically does 13-15K on that test alone. Check that. A single RX Vega 64 is more powerful than all 3 combined.

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----
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Command Line Swiss Knife
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----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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slhdsnet
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January 29, 2019 2:20 am  

@mac_editor  Yup and indeed, an RX Vega 64 is pretty tempting !!  What would be the average benchmark for the same test with the Vega 64 ?  Given I'm a newcomer to the eGPU world, it appears my current set-up score of 28580 is thus pretty good.  Can you confirm or am I missing something here ?  Thanks.

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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mac_editor
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January 29, 2019 4:15 am  

@slhdsnet A Vega 64 can exceed 30K+ on Mojave if it doesn't throttle. Your benchmark is good, but only apps that are built to utilize multiple GPUs will benefit. For example, since I use Final Cut, which doesn't have support for eGPU (needs Prefer eGPU checked in Mojave - still uses one GPU primarily), it would not be too helpful. On the other hand, with something like DaVinci Resolve, we might have similar performance numbers vs. V64. Objectively the benchmark numbers in summation are pretty great for you, given how cost-friendly/effective the 580 is, and makes for a good setup IMO (especially with the right apps).

You can look at one of my build guides for V64 benchmarks.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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OliverB
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January 29, 2019 8:51 am  

I had an RTX2080Ti that made easily 40k+ (on Windows), but the rest wasn't too impressing and of course doesn't work with MacOSX. If you want it higher, go for nVidia cards which simply have more power (that is not a synonym for better).

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2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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slhdsnet
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February 8, 2019 9:17 pm  

eGPU.io members | Installed the latest Mojave 10.14.3 (18D109) update yesterday and for reference, my latest benchmark while running LuxMark v3.1 on my nMP with eGPU RX 580 set-up has improved a little.  My best was 28580 before (~28300 on average) and is now 28652 after the update (~28600 on average).  I guess, moving in the right direction !!

nMP LuxMark v3.1 OpenCL GPUs

This post was modified 3 months ago

nMP-Mac Pro (Late 2013) with AMD FirePro D300's (x2)
✧ macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (18E227) ✧
✧ automate-eGPU EFI (v1.0.5) USB ✧
✧ OWC Mercury Helios FX eGPU / AMD NITRO+ Radeon RX 580 8GB / Apple TB3-TB2 Cable Adapter ✧
✧ NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Adapter ✧


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