Why is there so little about the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650 OC?
 
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Why is there so little about the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650 OC?  

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Magalainen
(@magalainen)
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Joined: 2 weeks ago
 

I've recently purchased a used Razer Core X based on the reviews and information available here, however I'm not happy with the noise (from the PSU) and I looked into replacing the PSU, but it's not an easy affair.

Despite being an ATX form factor PSU, the mounting is exclusive to the Razer Core X and a drop-in replacement isn't possible. The best options the community has found to be compatible are SFX PSUs, such as the Corsair SF750 or SilverStone SX800-LTI, which tend to be expensive and need to be mounted with double-sided tape or other DIY ways.

Looking into alternatives, I came across this bit from Sonnet's FAQ ( http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=524&expand=_a2&action=b907#b907):

Sonnet has Thunderbolt certified the eGFX Breakaway box including its power supply, and we cannot recommend changing the power supply.

Sonnet uses the FSP FSP550-50SGGBA in the Breakaway Box 550.

Sonnet uses the Enermax ERV650SWT SFX 80 Plus Gold in the original Breakaway Box 650. (The newest Breakaway Box 650OC uses an ATX power supply.) Sonnet uses the higher-performance Akasa AK-FN059 fan in Breakaway Box 650.

If you upgrade the power supply and fan, you will have more power available to a graphics card, but you will not alter the upstream power delivery, which is programmed into the unit. Note that upstream power continues to be provided even when the computer is sleeping.

The emphasis is mine. Although the Razer Core X certainly wins in the looks department for me and the ability to support 3-slot graphics cards, I'm now more interested in this Breakaway Box "650 OC", but I can't seem to find a review, disassembly, or even proper pictures of the unit.

The wording in Sonnet's FAQ is encouraging: you'll be able to supply more power to the graphics card in case you replace the PSU, but it's not a certified/recommended solution. And if the design of the 650 OC is similar to the regular model with the SFX PSU, it should be a breeze to replace the PSU and it'd be better supported than with Razer Core X.

Furthermore, upon looking at the tech specs of the 650 OC model, it has 100W upstream power rather than 87W of the previous model: https://www.sonnettech.com/product/egfx-breakaway-box/techspecs.html#techspecs

Part number GPU-650OC-TB3 provides laptop charging up to 100W

It seems Sonnet has silently replaced the Breakaway Box 650 with the new 650 OC model, seeing that only the latter is listed on their store website (but is currently sold out). It would also fix two of the glaring differences between it and the Razer Core X: an ATX PSU (that is very easy to replace) and 100W upstream power.

This should be amended to the buyer's guide, but before that -- has anyone disassembled one open to see what's inside? It seems like the ideal case to me right now. Thanks!

This topic was modified 2 weeks ago

ThinkPad T470 (Windows 10)
Razer Core X + RX Vega 56


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georgesm
(@georgesm)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@magalainen, Just as another data point, I replaced the psu in my Sonnet Breakaway 350 with a Fractal Design SFX 650G.  It was a remove & replace change out. Can't hear the power supply at all. The psu was a little longer than the Akasa but there was plenty of room (see pic). Good luck

IMG 7404 (1)

 

 

2017 27"iMac 3.5 MHz RP575 + Sapphire RX 580-TB3 (Breakaway Box 650) + macOS 10.15.5


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Magalainen
(@magalainen)
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Joined: 2 weeks ago
 

Thank you @georgesm! That's very good to hear and in fact, I seemed to have uncovered the impossible not only in photo, but video! Although it's in German, the video is simple to follow and we see the reviewer taking apart what definitely looks like the 650 OC model with an ATX PSU:

At around 1:50 the disassembly starts taking place. Around 8:00 the model of the PSU becomes very clear as the reviewer had removed it outside of the enclosure to demonstrate how a longer graphics card would fit.

It's a High Power HP1-J650GD-F12S: http://www.highpower-tech.com/OEM/products_main.php?class=20200525115155&id=20200602114127

I tried to see if somebody had attempted this before, but the only thing I could find is this picture of what also looks like the 650 OC model with a 1000W EVGA PSU in it:

I can't find any origin for this, a reverse image search didn't bring up much. But considering this feature of the 650 OC, being able to easily replace the PSU with even a 1000W unit and having the upstream power delivery now at 100W definitely puts the Sonnet in my opinion at number 1 position even nudging down the Razer Core X to number 2!

Of course, the Razer unit still has two things going for it: support for a 3-slot graphics card and longer graphics cards (up to 33cm vs. 31cm on the Sonnet). However, considering the limiting nature of Thunderbolt 3, putting in such behemoths comes with diminishing returns. Having the option to replace the PSU easily for increased power, less noise, or even to repair a dead unit by yourself long after the warranty is up, are all very valid reasons to consider the Sonnet and what makes it in my opinion a top choice.

I'd still love to have a review verify all of this, but considering it's likely the same Thunderbolt 3 controller as on the Razer Core X, there shouldn't be many surprises here. I'll likely look for this Sonnet model now and try to find a new home for my Razer Core X.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

ThinkPad T470 (Windows 10)
Razer Core X + RX Vega 56


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

@magalainen, thanks for posting the video. It really stressed the 1 year of German I had in high school 50 years ago! He really shoehorned that video card into the Breakaway Box! I'm only running a Sapphire RX580 in mine. I upgraded the power supply in preparation to upgrade the RX580, but before I did that, I bought a new 2020 iMac with the 16GB Radeon Pro 5700XT in it. So, an upgrade to the RX580 is on hold. 

Mark

 

2017 27"iMac 3.5 MHz RP575 + Sapphire RX 580-TB3 (Breakaway Box 650) + macOS 10.15.5


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zigzag
(@zigzag)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@magalainen

I have a breakawaybox 550 and the PSU inside does not have full connectors for CPU, ATX, and SATA/PCIE power. it just has the dual 6+2 pin (dual 8 pin) pcie power.

So i think the other psu will be similar. Just in case you plan to swap it out, dont count on having any use for the old PSU other than as a backup for the eGPU.

From sonnet: http://www.sonnettech.com/support/kb/kb.php?cat=524&expand=_a2_b930_b907&action=a13

Sonnet has Thunderbolt certified the eGFX Breakaway box including its power supply, and we cannot recommend changing the power supply.

Sonnet uses the FSP FSP550-50SGGBA in the Breakaway Box 550.

Sonnet uses the Enermax ERV650SWT SFX 80 Plus Gold in the original Breakaway Box 650. (The newest Breakaway Box 650OC uses an ATX power supply.) Sonnet uses the higher-performance Akasa AK-FN059 fan in Breakaway Box 650.

If you upgrade the power supply and fan, you will have more power available to a graphics card, but you will not alter the upstream power delivery, which is programmed into the unit. Note that upstream power continues to be provided even when the computer is sleeping.

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

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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Magalainen
(@magalainen)
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Joined: 2 weeks ago
 

@zigzag Thanks for pointing that out! Yes, the PSU wouldn't come with the leads for other connectors to make it usable for anything else, but the idea here would be to have a cheap alternative to the factory PSU for either upgrades (more power, less noise, or both) or servicing the enclosure after the warranty (e.g. the PSU is the culprit for a dead eGPU).

Based on the information I've found, I'm seriously convinced it's the Sonnet that I want to go with. Down the line, well after USB 4 with Thunderbolt 3 support and Thunderbolt 4 are out in the market, a single good enclosure will last a good while and the performance is already good with Thunderbolt 3.

So I would plan on upgrading the GPU later, but keep the enclosure. For that purpose I think the Razer Core X isn't the best option out there.

 

ThinkPad T470 (Windows 10)
Razer Core X + RX Vega 56


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