Unboxing: Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck
 
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Unboxing: Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

 

You may not have heard about Sonnet Breakaway Puck. It's the first macOS compatible handheld eGPU enclosure with an MXM graphics card, and I've been looking forward to checking it out in person. I was fortunate enough to receive one of the first production units for an eGPU.io review. My media sample has a Radeon RX 560. Sonnet plans to offer one with an RX 570 as well. Here are some unboxing photos and initial impressions.

You notice right away that the entire package is smaller than most eGPU enclosures on the market. Sonnet also sent the optional VESA bracket and .5m DisplayPort cable for mounting the enclosure behind a monitor.

Inside is the Breakaway Puck itself, a 160W power brick, power cable, and .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable.

This thing is small, really small. I set one of the smallest-size GPUs, an R9 285 mini ITX Compact, next to the RX 560 Breakaway Puck for scale.

Here's the rear port layout: 3x DisplayPorts, 1x HDMI, 1x Thunderbolt 3, and DC power port.

The Sonnet logo lights up in Blue when there's connectivity with a host. The 160W power brick is fairly large. I have no complaints though because it keeps the eGPU enclosure size minimal.

The VESA bracket has rubber padding on top to keep the Breakaway Puck snugly in place while preventing scratches during insertion and removal.

 

Now it's time to plug it in! A special thank you to Goalque for finding a workaround for unsupported AMD cards in High Sierra. It's easier to enable external graphics functionality in 10.13 with the RX 560 than older AMD cards. Goalque is finishing up a GUI installer and will share his High Sierra automate-eGPU solution soon. After logging out then logging back in, About this Mac showed the RX 560 Breakaway Puck as R9 XXX. It worked with an external monitor as expected.

The enclosure Thunderbolt firmware is version 25.1. Power Delivery is set at 45W.

Here's a quick comparison of Luxmark results between the iGPU, dGPU, and eGPU.

Testing and a full review of this Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck RX 560 are under way. In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions I can answer right away.

November Update: Sonnet announced the official launch of the eGFX Breakaway Puck lineup and pricing:

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]  


ikir, Yukikaze, 3RYL and 5 people liked
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alone1i
(@alone1i)
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Awesome First Impression review.
Could you please do a benchmark with a Game that requires massive power of CPU+GPU together Like Civilization 6 or XCOM 2 with 13" MacBook Pro?
I believe it will be a good way to test any EGPU and give a clear idea to all the gamers like me.
Thank you and please keep making more reviews

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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Martynas Prokopas
(@martynas_prokopas)
New Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Can you please do a side-by-side comparison with Gigabyte AORUS Gaming Box? Thanks!

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

This is amazing! And just as I bought the larger Sonnet... damn in!
Will have to see if Apple brings a small enclosure option to the table this spring before my next purchase.

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

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@Eightarmedpet, this RX 560 Breakaway Puck is geared towards people with needs for multi-display setup (more than 2 displays) rather than gamers. The RX 570 Breakaway Puck is arguably suitable for gaming but I'd still prefer the flexibility of a swappable GPU for gaming needs.

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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Sky11
(@sky11)
Reputable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

This is amazing! And just as I bought the larger Sonnet... damn in!
Will have to see if Apple brings a small enclosure option to the table this spring before my next purchase.

Which Sonnet box did you get - 350W or 550W?

 

Guys and girls, have you seen Sonnet's page?   http://sonnettech.com/product/egfx-breakaway-puck.html

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

ikir liked
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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Aye, pretty shocking Design wise...

I bought the 350w version so can only go up to a 580 if I get another AMD card... would love otl get a Vega 56 but think they draw too much power? Annoyingly a lot of the error 12 fixes have made more sense to me since I have sold the card I had that had the issue (570!).

That makes total sense. I hear what you are saying about swappability, I'm on my 4th GPU in as many months (testing/upgrading) but for me the size of most enclosures is a real issue. I loved my Thunder3 set up but with the case closed things got too hot and loud for my liking. I have my eye on that Thor eGPU but I dont have high hopes for it ever hitting the market.

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

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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chx
 chx
(@chx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

I am slightly disappointed. I liked the slim format of the Acer Graphics Dock (and hopefully the upcoming Lenovo dock) much better. This is easy to transport but not exact use-in-a-coffee-shop sized.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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wimpzilla
(@wimpzilla)
Honorable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Not sure if you are still under NDA, but as always some pictures of the box internal, pcb, components are always welcome!

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

 
2012 15" Lenovo Thinkpad T530 [2nd,4C,Q] + R9 270X @ 4Gbps-mPCIe2 (EXP GDC 8.4) + Win10 [build link]  


itsage liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: wimpzilla

Not sure if you are still under NDA, but as always some pictures of the box internal, pcb, components are always welcome!

I'm taking it apart this weekend for the full review. 😀

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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