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VisionTek Unveils Thunderbolt 3 Mini eGFX External Graphics Enclosure at CES 2019  

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theitsage
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January 8, 2019 2:56 pm  

The VisionTek Thunderbolt™ 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure is ideal for creative professionals, IT/enterprise power users, professional users in healthcare, finance, scientific research labs, etc.,and gaming enthusiasts seeking the ultimate GPU performance improvement to Thunderbolt™ 3 equipped laptops. Delivering up to 40Gbps of bandwidth, Thunderbolt™ 3 is the industry’s fastest interface that is rapidly becoming popular on new generation of laptops and mini PCs. VisionTek’s Mini eGFX combined with a graphics add-in card significantly boosts the GPU performance of a Thunderbolt™ 3 enabled laptop, via a plug and play connection to the enclosure.

Sleek, Portable, and Future Proof for the Most Demanding Applications

The VisionTek Thunderbolt™ 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure combines a sleek and portable design that easily fits discretely on a desk, or hidden away, to handle all your graphic intensive applications. VisionTek’s Mini eGFX Enclosure can be plugged into any Thunderbolt™ 3 enabled laptop or mini-PC to accelerate the most demanding 3D intensive software programs. Best of all, the Mini eGFX enclosure can be upgraded to perfectly match the application’s performance requirements. Consumers have the option of selecting from many mini ITX cards or standard compatible graphic card models for the Mini eGFX to optimize GPU processing requirements for each user’s specific needs.

"With the launch of the Mini eGFX external enclosure, users can turbocharge their Thunderbolt™ 3 enabled laptops with cutting edge discrete GPU add-in cards on the fly," said Michael Innes, President, VisionTek Products, LLC. “VisionTek embraces technology innovations from Intel that enhance the way we utilize our GPU technology to increase the efficiency, performance, and resolution of 3D visual PC applications.”  

Expansive Selection of Laptop Compatibility

Thunderbolt™ 3 enabled laptops and mini-PCs connected to the new VisionTek Mini eGFX dock enclosure drives the most demanding 3D graphic intensive applications.Visiontek is proud to announce compatibility and availability with many new Thunderbolt™ 3 equipped laptops and mini-PCs in 2019. The speed, reliability, efficiency and compact size of VisionTek’s Mini eGFX Enclosure eliminates limitations of a laptop or mini-PC environment and opens possibilities for the perfect combination of portability and performance when required. 

Select from a wide performance range of add-in graphics cards certified by VisionTek to improve 3D imaging rendering, 4K HD applications, video editing, run multi-monitor displays, improve PC gaming, and more. The VisionTek Mini eGFX is design to fit most mini ITX discrete graphics cards, as well as select reference card designs. Visit VisionTek’s product pagefor the most current list of graphics cards recommended.

Benefits of the VisionTek Thunderbolt™ 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure for external GPUs include:

  • Compact Design –Form & function collide to create one of the most compact and flexible enclosure designs in the industry to accommodate a variety of graphics cards (enclosure dimensions: 8.5” x 6” x 2.75”)
  • 3D Graphics Performance – Whether you’re rendering complex 3D images or playing intense first-person shooters, the eGFX enclosure supports a wide range of mini ITX size graphics cards.
  • Power – 240W of dedicated power is provided with the VisionTek Mini eGFX Enclosure.
  • Multiple Displays – Supports up to six 4K displays @ 60fps from laptops & mini PC’s. Scalable to the needs of the user with the addition of a graphics card to fit the application’s needs.
  • Maximum 3D Resolution Control –Set limits using the GPU’s proprietary firmware controls to customize resolution settings, enhance 3D performance, and assign multi-monitor layouts.
  • Additional High-Speed USB 3.0, Ethernet Connection, and SATA III Port – The design uses a second Thunderbolt controller with PCIe-to-USB and PCIe-to-LAN controllers to provide Two (2) additional USB 3.0 ports that are conveniently accessible on the front panel of the eGFX enclosure and one (1) RJ45 ethernet Gigabit LAN connection located on the back side of the enclosure.

Trusted Name Brand in Graphics for over 30 Years

VisionTek has been a leading PC hardware brand based in the USA for over 30 years.  VisionTek's brand and personifies our "Built to Last" product slogan. As the company moves to the future, VisionTek will continue to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of our evolving technology market.

Availability

VisionTek’s New Thunderbolt™ 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure will launch at Dell* and Lenovo*, with expanded availability to follow at leading resellers and distributors across North America.  For more information on the new line of eGFX enclosures from VisionTek, visit  https://www.visiontek.com/products/thunderbolttm-3-devices.html .

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Eightarmedpet
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theitsage
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January 8, 2019 8:36 pm  

@eightarmedpet I hear you. There are certain requirements TB3 vendors need to meet in order to get their enclosures certified. Smaller enclosures have a harder time due to power supply and thermal management. I believe it's why this mini eGPU enclosure took a year to get the green light. Here are some photos I took of the VisionTek mini eGFX (paired with 2017 13" MacBook Pro + RX 580 ITX).

The enclosure is incredibly light due to its miniature footprint and aluminum construction. The L-shaped side cover comes off aftering removing three Phillips screws. All ports are on the main board. As seen in the prototype, there are two Thunderbolt 3 controllers to ensure expansion port stability. The only other eGPU enclosure with this feature is the Razer Core V2.

Update: Oversight on my part, thinking the VisionTek mini eGFX is the same as the prototype I didn't check over Power Delivery. After running Valley for nearly two hours I saw the battery was still sitting at 100%. Well, the VisionTek enclosure has 45W PD! This was a nice surprise for sure.

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Jyin
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January 9, 2019 7:02 am  

Is that power connector a molex?
If so, it might be possible to use ATX PSU to supply it and the GPU.
This eGPU may have very promising modding potential. 

J

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2017 iMac 5k 27inch RP580 TB3 + Vega FE/LC + Sonnet 550 + EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 ULTRA GAMING + Sonnet 550 + Mac/Win10


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Eightarmedpet
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 chx
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January 12, 2019 12:51 pm  

According to  https://www.techpowerup.com/251440/powercolor-shows-off-new-thunderbolt-3-egpu-enclosures-at-ces-2019 "175 x 131 x 38 mm" is the maximum and the Gigabyte 2060 is L=170 W=121.3 H=36.4 mm so if that's correct then we have the first RTX 2060 Mini enclosure. Power is the question, I do not quite understand, at first I thought the enclosure only provides a six pin but  https://www.visiontek.com/visiontek-thunderbolt-3-mini-egfx.html mentions "Add in up to a Vega 56 8GB card" and the Vega 56 Nano is a 210W card...  or is the 240W mentioned in the news the GPU power and the brick shipping is a larger one to accomodate for Thunderbolt and PD? Like, a 330W brick would do.

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theitsage
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January 12, 2019 7:22 pm  

@chx I don't think the claim of RX Vega 56 Nano is valid in this version of the VisionTek mini eGFX (240W). The firmware provides 45W Power Delivery, accounting for overhead it's approximately 175W to the graphics card. There are only two versions of this TUL mini eGPU. One with a 180W power adapter with 15W PD, and the one VisionTek commissioned with a 240W power brick.

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 chx
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January 12, 2019 7:51 pm  

Hrm, I see, the prototype  https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/has-anyone-seen-something-like-this/#post-52084 had a 8 pin but possible this version only has a 6 pin? Well, we will see once someone plonks down 350 🙂 Or asks Visiontek.

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theitsage
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January 12, 2019 8:02 pm  

@chx I have this VisionTek mini eGFX and it's the same power cable arrangement. 8-pin end runs from the main board to 6+2-pin end. I will install the R9 Nano into it and let you know.

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 chx
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January 12, 2019 8:26 pm  

Huuuuh what , 240W minus 75W slot minus 150W 8 pin minus 45W Power Delivery minus a little for Thunderbolty things, Visiontek invented the Perpetuum Mobile 😀 

The whole thing reeks because 240W is quite exactly the 75W slot plus 75W 6 pin plus 45W PD plus 15W thunderbolt things (and then how do you power the USB ports??) and such numbers don't come up randomly...  I just don't get it.

A 330W brick would be totally sensible.

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theitsage
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January 12, 2019 8:38 pm  

I agree. I heard TUL was pushing for a 330W power adapter but there was complications.

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nando4
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January 12, 2019 11:27 pm  

The OEM Powercolor/TUL's pricing of the mini (not Pro) standalone enclosure will be set for US$199. There is a US$149 increase in Mini to Mini Pro RX570-equipped enclosures price so maybe Visiontek's US$349 is right on the mark?

 

https://www.techpowerup.com/251440/powercolor-shows-off-new-thunderbolt-3-egpu-enclosures-at-ces-2019

The Mini Pro with RX 570 is expected to cost $499, while the regular Mini is listed for $359. Later on, a standalone enclosure with no GPU will be released for $199. As for GPU support at this time, PowerColor had a short list that consisted of various GTX 1060, GTX1070, and RX 570 cards, however, all of them were Mini or ITX versions since any graphics cards larger than 175 x 131 x 38 mm (6.88 x 5.15 x 1.49 inches) in size will not fit. The same goes for any graphics card that has a TDP higher than 150-watts.

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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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nu_ninja
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January 12, 2019 11:37 pm  

Given the small PCB size and somewhat less attractive enclosure, this would be a good candidate for a custom enclosure build. Especially if we see a price drop.

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theitsage
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January 13, 2019 12:02 am  

@nando4, I think VisionTek is matching PowerColor's pricing structure. Here are the differences between the variants:

  • TBX-180FU: Single I/O, single Thunderbolt 3 controller, 180W PSU, 15W Power Delivery
  • TBX-240FU: Expansion I/O, dual Thunderbolt 3 controllers, 240W PSU, 45W Power Delivery

The only other eGPU enclosure with dual Thunderbolt 3 controller setup is Razer Core V2. That option is $499. Its advantages are 60W PD, full-length GPU fitment, and better looking. The TBX-240FU is 43% less costly with a much more portable footprint, and quieter operation. As @nu_ninja brought up, it's mod-friendly with the standard 6-pin PCIe power receptacle.

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OliverB
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January 13, 2019 1:30 am  

"Quieter Operation" is very good.
Number #1 and #2 at buyers guide, Razer Core X and Aorus Gaming Box are just loud. I had them both and it's surprising they are the first positions with all this noise.

I am looking for a second, small enclosure, but there are very few options. Akitio Thunder* only does 75 Watt unless you want to create a Frankenstein monster out of it.

I find this enclosure very interesting, especially when you say it's quiet.

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 chx
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January 14, 2019 3:36 pm  

On https://www.facebook.com/VisionTekProducts/posts/1831699410268100 we got the weirdest answer, ever

Up to 150W total when combining the 75W PCIe provided power and then also utilizing the 6+2 pin connector. So, the 6+2 provides an addition 75W to the card.

So, there's a 6+2 but it behaves like a 6 pin.

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hans-st.
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January 15, 2019 5:37 pm  

Today I contacted VisionTek Products asking where I can purchase the VisionTek Thunderbolt™ 3 Mini eGFX Enclosure in Germany or Europe. 
They provided me with the link https://www.visiontek.com/where-to-buy.html  and stated:
"Unfortunately we only ship to the US but you may be able to find that product for sale from one of our authorized distributors (see link above). 
I checked some of the distributors listed but I could not find yet an offer.
So my question to the US mates in the forum: Can you already buy the enclosure in the US ?
TX

Mac Mini 2014 + Apple TB2/TB3 adapter + AKiTiO Node Lite (modif) + EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB


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theitsage
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January 16, 2019 8:05 pm  

@chx I've been running the R9 Nano in this VisionTek mini eGFX in the past week. There's no power issues so far in both macOS and Windows 10. Regarding power concerns, I believe the standard 6-pin PCIe power receptacle opens up a lot of options. @nando4 touched on this possibility. Last but not least, you can always extract the mainboard and do a crazy build with it.

@oliverb Quiter operation is relatively to the Razer Core V2. Due to the miniature footprint, most ITX cards that would work inside this enclosure would be fairly loud under load. There's a 80mm enclosure cooling fan as seen in one of my previous posts above. You can remove it if you'd like to. In my observation the ASUS XG Station is quieter.

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OliverB
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January 16, 2019 10:57 pm  
Posted by: theitsage

@chx I've been running the R9 Nano in this VisionTek mini eGFX in the past week. There's no power issues so far in both macOS and Windows 10. Regarding power concerns, I believe the standard 6-pin PCIe power receptacle opens up a lot of options. @nando4 touched on this possibility. Last but not least, you can always extract the mainboard and do a crazy build with it.

@oliverb Quiter operation is relatively to the Razer Core V2. Due to the miniature footprint, most ITX cards that would work inside this enclosure would be fairly loud under load. There's a 80mm enclosure cooling fan as seen in one of my previous posts above. You can remove it if you'd like to. In my observation the ASUS XG Station is quieter.

@itsage, thank you for this information. Actually some noise under load is ok, the Asus XG Station has this, too. What's really annoying is constant fan noise, even when idling or during normal work.

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tsakal
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January 16, 2019 11:07 pm  

@itsage  @oliverb

Hi there a quick question.

i have a choice of the Vega 56 Saphire ref / Saphire nitro / msi air boost. And I am considering going for the sonnet 550 box. Based on your experience Which of the three would you recommend for the most trouble free and quite performance on macOS through a mbp 13 2018?

thank you in advance 

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A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb

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


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Wind-of-Death
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January 20, 2019 2:59 am  

@theitsage

Hi, I really need to know the maximum dimensions for this on card width, is anyone for sure about the 38mm if that's it I guess I'll try the gigabyte rtx2060 and not wait for the msi to become available as it's listed at 43mm which would be too wide.  Thanks for anyone who can confirm.

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tsakal
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January 20, 2019 3:02 pm  

@itsage  @oliverb

Hi there a quick question.

i have a choice of the Vega 56 Saphire ref / Saphire nitro / msi air boost. And I am considering going for the sonnet 550 box. Based on your experience Which of the three would you recommend for the most trouble free and quite performance on macOS through a mbp 13 2018?

thank you in advance

A. 2.7 GHz I7 4 Cores, 16Gb, 1TB MBP 13 2018 TB3 , EGPU Gigabyte Gaming Box RX580 8Gb

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


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Wind-of-Death
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February 1, 2019 12:42 am  

Umm, how do we post pics here?

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theitsage
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February 1, 2019 10:14 pm  

@wind-of-death To attach a picture to the forum you'd need at least 5 posts [this is a filter to prevent spam]. Otherwise you can host pictures on other services then link them in your posts.

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Wind-of-Death
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February 2, 2019 12:35 am  

So, this is post 3 and I have 3 pics to post. First question, does anyone know what all the lights on the board are for? Looks like 7 green and yellow.

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Wind-of-Death
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February 2, 2019 12:37 am  

Getting a msi gtx 1070 in the box is a tight fit, broke off the plastic guard in the front trying to cram the wires in it.  Couldn't bring myself to go with the gigabyte rtx 2060 because of quality of gigabyte products.

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Wind-of-Death
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February 2, 2019 12:40 am  

The weird lights, wow what a tight fit this is.

DSC 0005
DSC 0006
DSC 0007

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Thinkpad Yoga 370 I5-7200U
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theitsage
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February 2, 2019 1:05 am  

I believe they are status/diagnostic lights. It is indeed a tight fit. There's no wasted space inside this enclosure.

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