[Unboxing] AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box Thunderbolt 3 eGPU
 
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[Unboxing] AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box Thunderbolt 3 eGPU  

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itsage
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The RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box is finally here! I saw it in person at Gigabyte during CES 2020 and have been anxiously waiting for my sample unit. Here are some unboxing pictures and my first impressions.

Due to an all-in-one liquid cooling system, the 2nd generation AORUS Gaming Box is now larger. It’s no longer the ITX-sized enclosure, but it may still retain its title for the most portable eGPU solution. The retail box is not that much larger than 1st gen Gaming Box.

The packaging feels really solid. Everything was inside a travel case with plenty of foam paddings.

Opening the carrying case reveals the Gaming Box inside more bubble wraps. Accessories are power cords for different regions, .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable, a shoulder strap for the carrying case, manuals, and an installation CD.

The biggest surprise to me was how compact and light this RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box is. While I no longer have the Razer Core X/Chroma to directly compare, my guestimate is this Gaming Box is less than half the weight and volume. Take a look at the RX Vega 64 LC next to it.

Here are more photos of the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box next to the 1st generation Gaming Box, a Logitech mouse, and a tiny gaming controller. This thing is remarkably small for what it contains inside!

Nvidia eGPU does not work in macOS since 10.13 Mojave but can work plug-and-play in Boot Camp on many Macs. I tried it with my 2016 15-in MacBook Pro and everything worked as expected (screen caps soon).

The AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box has a good firmware, no H2D cap. This is thanks to the dual JHL6540 Thunderbolt 3 controllers. Power Delivery is 100W.

My 2016 15-in MacBook Pro has firmware issue with RTX graphics cards. The system would hang at preboot with the eGPU connected. Therefore I need to hot-plug RTX eGPU once Windows fully loads or do a timed hot-plug at the Windows logo spinning circle screen.

I set Unigine and 3DMark synthetic benchmarks to 4K and ran them through the LG monitor. The RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box barely reached 60 degrees Celsius. Noise level is typical for a AIO liquid graphics card.

I will be doing tests for a full review of this eGFX. Please let me know if I left out any information you’d like to know.

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mac_editor
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Wow that’s compact. I was under the impression that its much larger. 

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itsage
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@mac_editor I thought the same. Build quality is much better than 1st gen Gaming Box too. 

 

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DrEGPU
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Would you mind posting a couple more pictures of how its size relates to its little brother (Aorus GB v1)? 

Also, can't wait for the teardown! 😀 

Thanks!

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
2011 13-inch MacBook Pro + Razer Core X@10Gbps-TB1 (Zotac RTX 2080 Ti Amp) + Ubuntu 18.04


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itsage
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@dregpu Will do! I’m waiting for sunshine to take more photos of this new Gaming Box internal components and size comparison with some other eGFXs. It’s been more than a week of cloudy weather here.

 

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omardesu
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Holy sh*tballs!!!  No teardown this time?

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
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tsakal
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@itsage

The 5700xt in a razor x performs scores very similarly to this one, how can this be?

A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Razer Core X, Nitro+ RX5700 xt 8Gb, LG 32UK550
Mac OS Catalina 10.15.2, Ext SSD Windows 10 1903 V1 .295

B. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb, Mac OS Catalina 10.15.2, Ext SSD Windows 10 1803

C. 3.1 GHz I7, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2015 TB2 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb


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DrEGPU
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Posted by: @tsakal

@itsage

The 5700xt in a razor x performs scores very similarly to this one, how can this be?

@tsakal Huh? I'm not familiar enough with the other benchmarks, but Superposition clearly demonstrates some 70-90% improvement of the RTX 2080 Ti over the 5700XT in every comparison I've seen. 

@itsage It'd be interesting to see how much overclocking room there is with this thing, as well. Superposition seems to be over 11K with waterblocked cards. 

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
2011 13-inch MacBook Pro + Razer Core X@10Gbps-TB1 (Zotac RTX 2080 Ti Amp) + Ubuntu 18.04


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itsage
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@omardesu I will tear it down and take photos this weekend!

@tsakal No chance the RX 5700 XT can perform at the same level as RTX 2080 Ti. Make sure you set the resolutions at 4K.

@dregpu I ran it completely stock without any tuning software. I will install AORUS ENGINE and see how it performs with OC. Temperatures were barely reaching 60 degrees Celsius. 

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tsakal
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@itsage

You are right I had in mind my 1080 score. However the 4k score of 6909 of the 5700xt is not slouch. 

8684 SuperpositionBenchmarkv1169091579652588

Why heaven and valley do not run on w10 1903 .295 version ? 

Redownloaded visual studio but still no luck. 

A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Razer Core X, Nitro+ RX5700 xt 8Gb, LG 32UK550
Mac OS Catalina 10.15.2, Ext SSD Windows 10 1903 V1 .295

B. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb, Mac OS Catalina 10.15.2, Ext SSD Windows 10 1803

C. 3.1 GHz I7, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2015 TB2 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb


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itsage
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@tsakal You’d need Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package (x86).

 

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bootz
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Any chance we can see how it performs on a TB1 or TB2 connection 😈 ?

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tsakal
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@itsage

Do I need to remove it and reinstall it. Or reinstall it on top of the existing one?

When I run the installer it asked whether to repair the existing installation. 

 

Just run the same benchmarks on the Mac side , interesting results. Is open gl more efficient than direct11

Screen Shot 2020 02 02 at 20.39.17
Screen Shot 2020 02 02 at 20.44.48

 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Razer Core X, Nitro+ RX5700 xt 8Gb, LG 32UK550
Mac OS Catalina 10.15.2, Ext SSD Windows 10 1903 V1 .295

B. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb, Mac OS Catalina 10.15.2, Ext SSD Windows 10 1803

C. 3.1 GHz I7, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2015 TB2 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb


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itsage
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I took the AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box apart yesterday. There are a lot more screws and components holding this 2nd gen Gaming Box compared to 1st gen version. Started with the top panel then I removed dust filter inserts on the side panels.

Front fascia, rear panel, and bottom base eventually need to be removed to access the inner cage.

The power cables are neatly tucked at the front while the rear has all the connection ports.

The 450W fATX power supply is longer than the 1st gen Gaming Box. It has a 40mm cooling fan but airflow is better (intake through the bottom base) and there’s a 70mm side cooling fan.

Another improvement related to the PSU is a power switch in the rear of the enclosure. There are one 24-pin ATX plug and one 4-pin EPS plug going to the Thunderbolt 3 mainboard. The two 2+2-pin PCIe power plugs going to the RTX2080 Ti graphics card.

The 240mm radiator and its two fans are secured in place with screws from the two side brackets as well as the top frame. The side with 70mm fan comes off while the other side stays attached to the bottom frame to which the TB3 mainboard is mounted. Intel JHL6540 controller hosts the eGPU and the secondary TB3 controller, Intel JHL6340 hosts expansion ports.

Last but certainly not least is the AIO liquid cooled RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. It’s very compact and the two hoses are just long enough to go from the pump to radiator. It’s

@tsakal That’s what @Mac_editor has observed too with Navi cards.

@bootz I tried this AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box with the 2015 15-in MacBook Pro in Boot Camp this morning. It was able to work through the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter (Thunderbolt 2 speed). I ran a few tests through internal display mode and the RTX 2080 Ti eGPU would run initially but then crashed shortly. The Nvidia Optimus notification indicated the Nvidia eGPU was disconnected. This same 2015 15-in MBP worked great with the RX Vega 56 Nano inside the 1st gen Gaming Box.

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Username
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That is one heck of a package. 
thanks for picking it apart. 

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 +
PowerColor eGFX Mini 180F via TB3->TB2 adapter + macOS Mojave

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3 via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS


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Eightarmedpet
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Brave man taking that apart! Looks like a complicated SFFPC build with proprietary layout and components, hope it goes back together ok.

Really impressed with the size of this thing, will be interested to hear a9excuse the pun) about the noise levels, also whether the 2080ti is overkill due to TB3 limitations and if a 2080 may have been a smarter (and cheaper) choice.

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

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itsage
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@eightarmedpet I was a bit hesitant with such new gear but everything came back together nicely. It was 49x Phillips screws holding those enclosure components together. The rear panel uses another set of 5x PH screws for GPU ports and 3x hex screws for PSU. 1st generation Gaming Box has around a dozen screws in comparison.

It’s possible to swap the RTX 2080 Ti with another GPU but everything else is a downgrade atm. I think Gigabyte wanted to send a message to go big or go home. My hope is there’s a Radeon version of this 2nd generation Gaming Box.

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DrEGPU
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@itsage Nice work! I wonder if a RTX Titan would fit with that water block? 😆 

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
2011 13-inch MacBook Pro + Razer Core X@10Gbps-TB1 (Zotac RTX 2080 Ti Amp) + Ubuntu 18.04


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itsage
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@dregpu There’s only one way to find out. 🙂 

 

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DrEGPU
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@itsage I don't have watercooled GPU's. I'm guessing this is significantly quieter than the other GB's?

MBP 2018 15 inch + 2X Aorus gaming box 1080 in BootCamp and MacOS 10.13.6
2011 13-inch MacBook Pro + Razer Core X@10Gbps-TB1 (Zotac RTX 2080 Ti Amp) + Ubuntu 18.04


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itsage
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@dregpu It’s definitely quieter than the 1st gen Gaming Box. The pump does make noises like most water coolers I’ve used. It’s not a silent cooling solution.

When the power cable is connected to the Gaming Box, you’d immediately hear a rush of liquid flowing through the hoses and radiator. It settles down quickly and the next noise you’d hear is the 40mm fan inside the PSU.

 

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ishikawa_goemon
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@itsage, great content and thank you for the thorough tear-down. What are your thoughts on any temperature improvements from replacing the radiator fans with Noctua fans? Have you found that the greater hydro-static pressure produces notable reductions in temperature on any of the models you have used or dealt with in the past?

Also, the 70mm intake fan appears to be a 70x10mm model. Was there enough clearance to place a 70x15mm fan for slightly greater airflow?

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itsage
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@ishikawa_goemon I have not changed any components inside the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box. I simply took it apart to learn about component arrangement and to share with the community. I don’t find the noise from this gaming box to be a concern at all. You can hear the water pump working but it doesn’t bother me.

Cooling with all stock components has been great. The eGPU barely gets above 60 degree Celsius. I’m not sure there’s enough space to fit a thicker fan. You can see in these two photos it’s fairly tight at the top of the GPU. 

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itsage
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@eightarmedpet I did screw up when putting this Gaming Box back together. There was a mysterious crashing symptom following the tear-down. Whenever I would put a load on the RTX 2080 Ti eGPU,  games/apps would crash within 5 minutes. There was no detection issue though so my first guess was something with the cooling system. I took the side panels off and there was the culprit, a dislodged fan connector on GPU board. 😀 

All is well now after securing that fan connector in place. I’m running the AORUS RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box with Raze Blade Stealth Ice Lake [i7-1065G7] and the HP Z27q 5K monitor. First impression on performance is that you can play FHD @ 120Hz, QHD @ 100Hz, and 4K @ 60Hz. Internal display performance is surprisingly good too. This is thanks to TBT integration on the Ice Lake. AIDA64 GPGPU shows H2D at 2,4XX MB/s which is not achievable on older CPUs paired with Nvidia cards

Razer also did some fine tuning on the RBS to make eGPU connection more seamless. They set Thunderbolt Security same as Macs, no approval needed so Thunderbolt devices will automatically connected. NVM Firmware version of 72.0 is the newest I’ve seen.

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omardesu
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Posted by: @itsage

The two 2+2-pin PCIe power plugs going to the RTX2080 Ti graphics card.

Just for accuracy, I think you meant 6+2 (I can see it in the picture :mrgreen: ).

I can imagine how that 40mm fan in the PSU sounds like...  After building my Velka 3 sffpc which also uses a fATX PSU, that 40mm fan noise did start to get to me.  That's when people start swapping the fan to a Noctua, myself included.  I just scanned through all the photos again, and I just realized how all the eGPU and sffpc case panels are starting to look eerily similar.  I guess when you go so small, you only have a few options to not hinder cooling.  The only difference is if you're able to fit in an entire system vs a GPU only.

As for the performance in gaming, can you get anything higher than 120Hz?  Or would this be a limitation of TB3?

Edit: forgot to give my props for an amazing teardown as per usual!

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

1070 Ti: 2014 Mac mini / 2016 MBP 15"
Mini ITX Build in Dan A4 Case


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