[Unboxing & Teardown] Blackmagic eGPU Radeon Pro 580 Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure
 
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[Unboxing & Teardown] Blackmagic eGPU Radeon Pro 580 Thunderbolt 3 Enclosure  

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Posted by: itsage

@joevt3 The TB3 controller is JHL7540. I talked to a source at Intel and the primary benefit of the Titan Ridge controller is its ability to dynamically communicate with both Thunderbolt 3 hosts and USB-C hosts.

According to all the Intel press releases, only the JHL7440 has the feature of being able to communicate to a USB-C host (I assume through one of it's Thunderbolt ports). Do all the Titan Ridge chips have the extra USB output port that this eGPU seems to be using? I think that didn't exist in Alpine Ridge. Can your Intel guy verify the pci ids in the pci ids database (which ids belong to the JHL7340, JHL7440, JHL7540)? I'd like to understand why your HWiNFO shows bridges of 15ef (DD) and a USB controller of 15ec (4C).

Posted by: itsage

In terms of eGFX, Thunderbolt has always been a prerequisite so another advantage of the new TB3 controller is the ability to route DisplayPort signal from the GPU through the controller so that there's Thunderbolt 3 monitor output for 5K displays.

All the Alpine Ridge chips had DisplayPort inputs. Maybe those inputs could only be used in a host configuration (motherboards and add-in cards)? Maybe use of those inputs in a peripheral device (e.g. this eGPU) is new to Titan Ridge?

I though of a third test. Imagine this Thunderbolt 3 chain:
computer -> dock 1 -> dock 2 -> eGPU -> dock 3
You could have a display connected to dock 1, another display connected to dock 2, and two displays after the eGPU because displays between the computer and eGPU would get video from the computer and displays after eGPU would get video from the GPU? In this configuration, all the displays can be 4K 60 Hz.

What if there were four displays after the eGPU? A Thunderbolt 3 controller can provide two DisplayPort streams (not counting MST). So maybe two could come from the computer and two could come from the eGPU but you would have no way of deciding which display gets which stream unless they were enumerated in a deterministic manner. In this configuration, the four displays would be limited to 2560 x 1440 @ 60 Hz.

Posted by: itsage

Here are a photo showing the traces from GPU die to Thunderbolt 3 controller then out to TB3 ports.

It's difficult to say that those traces are PCIe or DisplayPort or both (looks like 8 wide traces but could be 8 pairs of narrow traces - maybe there's multiple layers or something on the back side). If they are only PCIe, then graphics can only come from the computer. At least it appears the HDMI 2.0 is coming directly from the eGPU which means HDMI video can't come directly from the computer.

Posted by: itsage

I don't have the LG Ultrafine 5K monitor so I can only test a 4K DisplayPort monitor via a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter (in transit). I'm also waiting on the 2018 13" MacBook Pro to arrive and confirm whether it has the newer Thunderbolt 3 controllers as well. From what I heard there's no performance difference between Alpine Ridge vs. Titan Ridge.

Tests using a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort adapter would be useful. It allows testing both streams with one inexpensive device but it's only useable at the end of the Thunderbolt 3 chain.

Posted by: kotlos

Other than the support of thunderbold monitors, it would be nice to know if there are any other differences. For example if the RX580 is used in another eGPU enclosure should it offer the same performance/ acceleration. I am pretty sure you were planning to test all these anyways...

You mean a different RX580 of the same model, since this eGPU has a RX580 soldered on to the Thunderbolt PCB.

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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nando4
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@joevt3, using this and this image as reference, in the second image we see:

1. top:( 16 wires) = 4 PCIe lanes leading to the GPU
2. left-top (4 wires) = 2 TB3 ports
3. right: (20 wires) = is it even wired? If it is then could be a displayport set of lanes:  DP_1, DP_2, DP_3, DP_4, DP_AUX

Without seeing a direct RP580 GPU DP <> TB3 controller link, it looks like it's simply the same as before:

TB3 display <> TB3 controller <> notebook TB3 controller <> notebook GPU

Only difference here is this new TB3 controller supports DP 1.4 and this RP580 has no Windows AMD drivers.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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wimpzilla
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@TheItSage
Thx for the pictures, can you take one that cover the whole pcb with the heatsink nearby.
To have a general view of the pcb.
I can't say because not leveraged each chip and the circuit in details, but on overall it seems a solid build!

 

I want take the time to explain again how i think TB works and how it is wired. Maybe worth build a dedicated thread for the purpose.
First take some time looking at how the TB IC is connected to other components. Maybe it changed but i think it's a good stating point.

-See here for the TSP65983 configuration.
-See here for the ASMEDIA USB 3.1 configuration.

I draw this little scheme, hope it is right and help explain a bit more what going on.

New Bitmap Image1

 

 

Unfortunately i couldn't find any implementation using the updated JHL7540.
I'm pretty curious how the USB hub works, i mean there is a daughter board with a UBS controller.
There is also an Atmel ARM based microcontroller is suppose, near the daughter board socket, wonder what it is used for.

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ikir
 ikir
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I’m curios about performance too


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

 
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nando4
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@Ikir, this uses the same GPU as found in a RX580 card, eg: Gigabyte Gaming Box, but it is downclocked in this way:

GPU clock: 1200 vs 1340 (-10.4%)
memory clock: 1695 vs 2000 (-15.3%)

Presumably to keep temperature and power consumption in check.

This means you can review any of these TB3 RX580 build's benchmarks and subtract ~10% to get it's performance level.

https://egpu.io/builds/?date?table_filter ="-TB3 "RX 580""

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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joevt
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Posted by: nando4

@joevt3, using this and this image as reference, in the second image we see:

1. top:( 16 wires) = 4 PCIe lanes leading to the GPU
2. left-top (4 wires) = 2 TB3 ports
3. right: (20 wires) = is it even wired? If it is then could be a displayport set of lanes:  DP_1, DP_2, DP_3, DP_4, DP_AUX

Without seeing a direct RP580 GPU DP <> TB3 controller link, it looks like it's simply the same as before:

TB3 display <> TB3 controller <> notebook TB3 controller <> notebook GPU

Only difference here is this new TB3 controller supports DP 1.4 and this RP580 has no Windows AMD drivers.

Oh, right. I should have seen that the zoomed in picture clearly shows the 8 wide traces as 8 pairs of narrow traces.

It would be sad if there's no DisplayPort connection to the GPU. The "Graphics/Displays" screenshot shows a wide screen display (32:9 3840 x 1080) connected to the eGPU's GPU as a Television. I had originally thought it was connected as DisplayPort and that it might be a clue that video was coming directly from the eGPU's GPU. But since it says "Television" and itsage said he's waiting for a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter, does that mean the display is connected to the HDMI 2.0 port which does seem to be connected directly to the eGPU's GPU? The refresh rate is only 59 Hz (HDMI 1.4?) instead of the max 120 Hz (HDMI 2.0). Do you need a macOS AMD pixel clock patch (I don't know if one exists)? I am assuming C49HG9x refers to the C49HG90DMM?

Posted by: wimpzilla

I want take the time to explain again how i think TB works and how it is wired. Maybe worth build a dedicated thread for the purpose.
First take some time looking at how the TB IC is connected to other components. Maybe it changed but i think it's a good stating point.

-See here for the TB IC configuration. 
-See here for the TSP65983 configuration.
-See here for the ASMEDIA USB 3.1 configuration.

I draw this little scheme, hope it is right and help explain a bit more what going on.

 

Unfortunately i couldn't find any implementation using the updated JHL7540.
I'm pretty curious how the USB hub works, i mean there is a daughter board with a UBS controller.
There is also an Atmel ARM based microcontroller is suppose, near the daughter board socket, wonder what it is used for.

The PD IC shows USB 2.0. Isn't that just for the Billboard Device and that when the Billboard Device is not needed then USB 2.0 comes from the TB controller along with the USB 3.1? I didn't look too closely at the documentation or I don't understand it all so I'm not sure. There does appear to be USB2 signals from the TB controller, and the PD IC has a lot of muxing going on. 

The Alpine Ridge in your motherboard schematic has these main parts:
1) TBT Port A
2) TBT Port B
3) DP Sink Port 0
4) DP Sink Port 1
5) DP Source Port
6) PCIe 3.0 x4

From the HWiNFO screenshot, we are assuming that Titan Ridge has another part:
7) USB 3.1 port

We don't know for sure if the Titan Ridge is using the DP Sink Ports. It appears the HDMI is coming from the GPU directly, and not the DP Source Port. As an example, the GC-ALPINE RIDGE uses all 6 parts (DP Source is used in DP++ dual mode for HDMI 1.4 output).

The Titan Ridge USB port must then be connected to a USB 3.0 hub somewhere. Is the USB hub on the daughterboard containing the four USB ports (there is a picture but it's not zoomed in)? The daughterboard connector seems to have more wires than a single USB connection requires. Maybe the connector has signals for all four USB ports, meaning that the USB hub is on the main board with the TB controller. Maybe the hub is the ATMEL chip (I can't read the markings - I think it says USB near the end)?

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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wimpzilla
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To be honest i do not know how an USB Hub controller could be linked to the TB controller, if i take the example of all the enclosures using docking feature without doubling the TB controller.
Also bear in mind that the TB controller is also an USB 3.1 controller on it'sown.

I would suppose that an USB IC Hub need a PCI-E lane connection to be linked to the TB controller, however all the lanes are already occupied by the gpu.
I did not understood how the TB controller accept accept additional USB Husb without doubling the TB scheme.

I would suppose, as you said, some data muxing must occur either between the IC PD chip or the TB controller and the USB IC Hub.
In any case there are a lot of possible implementation, mixing a lot of protocols, hard to tell whats going on, especially because i did not spent time on this.

The only thing that i would check, is the usual issue when using USB devices meanwhile playing or heavy gpu loads.
To verify that no issues occur and works as a featured double TB controller. 

2012 13-inch Dell Latitude E6320 + R9 [email protected] (EXP GDC 8.4) + Win10
E=Mc²

 
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itsage
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I did more testing this morning. To get Thunderbolt 3 monitor output, I connected the Mantiz Titan TB3 dock to the second TB3 port then run a DisplayPort cable to a LG 4K monitor. The monitor is accelerated by the Radeon Pro 580 eGPU. Thunderbolt tree in System Information also showed the nice arrangement 20 Gb/s upstream to the nMP and 40 Gb/s downstream to the Mantiz dock.

Here are two photos I took of the Blackmagic eGPU PCBs.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Username
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It’s beginning to evolve into a really bright future. 
Now we need a aggregated TB3 solution and more CPU lanes. Smile

Present: 2012 Mac mini + PowerColor RX 56 Vega Nano @10Gbps-TB1 + PowerColor Mini eGFX 180F via Apple TB3 to TB2 + macOS Catalina 10.15.4

Previous: 2012 Mac Mini + GTX1070 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder3 via Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter) + macOS

 
2012 Mac Mini [3rd,4C,Q] + GTX 970 @ 10Gbps-TB1>TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + macOS 10.12.4 [build link]  


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nando4
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@itsage, if you boot Windows and run an app like Unigine Heaven off the Mantiz Titan attached LG 4K LCD, does performance reflect it being eGPU accelerated?

That's a test outside of macOS as Apple may be applying some tweaks to make the TB display appear attached to the eGPU.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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