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[Unboxing] Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck
 

[Unboxing] Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 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:

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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alone1i
(@alone1i)
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Joined: 2 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

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


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(@martynas_prokopas)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

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

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
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


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 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.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Sky11
(@sky11)
Reputable Member
Joined: 2 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

Image

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


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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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


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 chx
(@chx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 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)
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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


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itsage
(@itsage)
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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. 😀

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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wimpzilla
(@wimpzilla)
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Posted by: itsage
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. 😀

Nice, thanks you!

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


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

If the card is a standard MXM module, and the cooler is reasonably easy to remove/reinstall, then upgrading to a different card should be doable. Of course, finding MXM cards is not trivial, but not impossible, especially if you do not need the latest/greatest. Looking forward to the disassembly.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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Mymantiz_John
(@mymantiz_john)
Vendor
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Yukikaze

If the card is a standard MXM module, and the cooler is reasonably easy to remove/reinstall, then upgrading to a different card should be doable. Of course, finding MXM cards is not trivial, but not impossible, especially if you do not need the latest/greatest. Looking forward to the disassembly.

All MXM performance  is far away than the standard PCIe. Due to the 2 phase power design, Max will be about 150W or even lower. Enjoy the size but dont expect to have a similar standard NV 1050 performance...

Base on my experience, logic should be like this: 120W for a MXM560 ( De-clock one ) , 580 is impossible Too high Power to solve the thermal. 1060 is also impossible. 

PD: 60W 

Internal: about 20~25W

power lost 8%

Total TDP: 210-220W. so that's why a LARGE Brick is needed. 

Mantiz: ● ●


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Here's the component view of this Breakaway Puck RX 560.

sonnet breakaway rx 560 puck egpu components   1
sonnet breakaway rx 560 puck egpu components   2

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Looks like a standard MXM-A card. That is good. It also looks like a MXM-B should also fit, which is how I guess they plan to get a RX570 class card in there. Overall, this is a very nifty device. Do we have any idea about what the pricing on this is going to be?

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

No word yet on pricing. If we were to start with a mini eGPU using the AKiTiO Node Lite, the total cost for an RX 560 eGPU would be close to $400. The Breakaway Puck is roughly half the metric volume of an AKiTiO Node Lite and has 45W Power Delivery.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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

Thanks you for the pictures.

Really good looking thunder board, packing.

I would have liked Sonet extended the thermal pad, cold plate on the TB controller, even if on half of it to make contact with the heatsink, would have been a must!

Nice piece of hardware!

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


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RimsOnAToaster
(@rimsonatoaster)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Super neat idea from the folks at Sonnet Technology! This is a really elegant way to handle multi-monitor systems using existing technology. I hadn't heard of the MXM format before this, and now I can't help but marvel at the space-savings that something like Sonnet's Breakaway Puck could offer ultrabooks if the idea catches on.

Question from the peanut gallery: How does the noise compare to that of a MacBook Pro 13" or an Aorus Gaming Box?

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


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(@ajay_saklani)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Not working for me with ASUS Radeon RX 580 ROG STRIX. I'm unable to understand what the issue is. Changed the PSU from 350 to 600 as well but nothing happening. My MacBook Pro 2017 (MacOS High Sierra) crashes as soon as I connect the eGPU to it. Anyone here can suggest me any solution?

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(@hugo_lannes_goncalves)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

This would be perfect for my wife's MBPro (depending on price, of course), but I wish it had at least one USB port so you could hook it up to a monitor or USB hub. The way it's designed now, it would still require 2 cables routed to the laptop. I'd buy an Aorus Gaming Box right now if NVIDIAs were already plug-and-play on High Sierra.

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theapplemaniac
(@theapplemaniac)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

This may sound stupid and unreasonable but is it possible to replace the rx 560 mxm-a card and switch it with a 1050ti MXM-a card or even a 1060 MXM-b card? Thanks

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nando4
(@nando4)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

theapplemaniac, why not just get an Aorus Gaming Box with a GTX1070 from the get go, saving yourself the trouble and expense of swapping out an expensive MXM module? It offers the smallest eGPU enclosure with a powerful GPU. See https://egpu.io/external-gpu-buyers-guide-2017/#tb3-enclosures

Size comparison: Aorus Gaming Box vs Sonnet Puck

Aorus Gaming Box vs Sonnet Puck  Sonnet Puck plus it’s PSU

 

We can see this comparison above the Puck is smaller but once the PSU’s size is factored, their total combined volume starts edging towards the Gaming Box’ size.

The Gaming BoxGTX1070 can drive 3 LCDs. The Puck can drive 4 LCDs.

Working against the Puck is the Gaming Box’ significantly more powerful GTX 1070 GPU. We expect this given Nvidia has been able to extract more performance per watt from it’s silicon.

Mounting the Puck on the back of a LCD with say the VESA mounts would make it’s size attractive. For a standalone & powerful compact desk unit, the Gaming Box is difficult to look past.

An even more powerful GTX 1080 Gaming Box will be available in the coming month in the same compact enclosure.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10


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nando4
(@nando4)
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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Well. Sure, it is small, but the price sucks.

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.
Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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

Touch over priced IMO too considering you can get he Aorus box with 1070 for the same price... still kinda tempted if you could get them in the UK...

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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theapplemaniac
(@theapplemaniac)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thanks. I was considering that as well.

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(@grant_davis)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

i have my eye on one of these. my MacBook Pro early 2011 has the dead GPU issue and have it running only on intel hd 3000 at the moment. will this be a short term solution for this machine, which i can transfer to a better one later on?

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


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@Grant Davis , yes, this enclosure can be paired with your system. Pls see here for how.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10


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 chx
(@chx)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I am going back and forth every day thinking on buying this but I am hesitating a lot because of that monstrosity of a power brick :/ the whole thing is horribly oversized for the RX560, they should've put the display connectors parallel and had a thinner heat sink + fan... eh. :/ Where's the Lenovo dock teased when we need it so badly :/

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


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bad_strategist
(@bad_strategist)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I am dying to know how Civ VI works with a 2017 13" MBP in OSX with one of these pucks.  I haven't been able to play since I started traveling last year and I get the shakes really bad lately (especially with Christmas coming up).  I'm torn between the 570 puck and the 1070 AGB.  I need something with the minimum of fiddling so I'm leaning toward the 570 puck if it is "native" under OS X - as long as it can push Civ reasonably, I'll be good to go!

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(@grant_davis)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

thank you very much for the link, I feel more confident at buying one when I'm ready, cheers!

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cmm
 cmm
(@mois)
Trusted Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hi, I like to know if the Puck 560/570 will work well with the 8K display Dell UP3218K. I made a thread of it here https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/drive-the-8k-display-dell-up3218k-fed-via-two-dp1-4-using-sonnet-puck-560-570-or-other-solution-thoughts-comments/ . Sonnet's support say it's not supported and not even in warranty however I thought 8K via two DP1.4 cables is a standard usecase? Do you have any thoughts?

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(@ricardo_figueira)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

Hi,

Anyone using on Bootcamp (Windows 10) ? If yes, what you have done do work ?
Thanks

Macbook Air (1,3 GHz Intel Core i5 mid-2013) | Memory: 8GB, High Sierra | eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 570


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@ricardo_figueira I had the Breakaway Puck 560 running well in Windows 10 1803 with the 2018 Mac mini recently. I connected the eGPU prior to boot and it worked that way (Intel iGPU was deactivated by firmware). If you're experiencing error 12, I'd recommend looking into eGPU EFI Boot Manager.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide


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(@ricardo_figueira)
Active Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

I connected the eGPU prior to boot and it worked that way (Intel iGPU was deactivated by firmware). 

You didn't have to do anything ? You just plug-in (eGPU connected) on you mac before boot start and then on windows was detected ?
Can you explain better this (Intel iGPU was deactivated by firmware) ?

Thanks

Macbook Air (1,3 GHz Intel Core i5 mid-2013) | Memory: 8GB, High Sierra | eGFX Breakaway Puck Radeon RX 570


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