Core X vs Sonnet Breakaway Box 550 (2015 15" MBP Iris)  

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Haoshiro
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May 22, 2018 8:55 pm  

I need to replace an Akitio Node as I discovered my GPU exceeds the 400W PSU included.  It's an RX580 but I hadn't realized it was a special edition with a min 500W requirement (it's the GTR XXX OC+ Edition).

After GDC I am considering upgrading to a tb3 system but in the meantime I want a workable solution.

How does Razer compare to Sonnet overall? Where do you get better support/warranty/etc?

If I go Core X I'll be a guinea pig since it's so new, I have no idea how/if it will work on a tb3>tb2 adapter.

Does anyone have any insight that could help me decide?  Thanks!

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Jyin
 Jyin
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May 22, 2018 9:49 pm  

I really like my Sonnet BB550.

The design is clean, and simple. This allows you to do what-ever the heck you want with it, without too much hacking and chopping.
I have set mine up with ATX PSU (externally placed), 2 additional 120mm Cooling Fans (total of 4, including the one mounted on radiator block).
This set up allows for very quiet and cool operation of hottest (temperature wise) GPU on the market.
All of this without any permanent modification to the BB550. That means original manufacture warranties is still valid.

Down side is... mine looks like some mad scientist's hobby project  :-D.

J


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Haoshiro
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May 22, 2018 10:01 pm  

Wow, what are you running that requires all that?  I'm hoping to keep all mine in the enclosure with the included PSU for a clean setup.

Is that a pipe dream?

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Eightarmedpet
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Jyin
 Jyin
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May 22, 2018 10:22 pm  
Posted by: Haoshiro

Wow, what are you running that requires all that?  I'm hoping to keep all mine in the enclosure with the included PSU for a clean setup.

Is that a pipe dream?

I am running the Vega FE/LC


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Jyin
 Jyin
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May 22, 2018 11:11 pm  
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Core X looks far better build quality. I have a sonnet and it feels cheap.

I really don’t understand what people mean by ‘build quality’ in enclosures.
You aren’t looking for it to stop bullets, put an elephant on top, or put 100k miles on it.

For me, ‘build quality’ means ‘it does what it’s designed to do well’, and Sonnet wins this category in all but one aspect. 
The down side Core X is;
1) Too tall; wasted space
2) Too narrow; not enough space on side of GPU/PSU. This probably was the reason for rear facing PSU fan. This also may limit the upgrade choice. 
3) Tray design *might* make it harder to work with, or run it top-less.
4) Does not support radiator mounting.

The Sonnet on the other hand
1) SFX PSU means you either place the ATX outside, or find SFX/SFX-L that works (I couldn’t, but by the time you are replacing your RX580, there might be a good one out).

As long as you stick with the RX580, there is no need to replace the BB550 (or 650)’s PSU, so you won’t need to make a messy setup like mine.
But *if* you need/want to do it, Sonnet would make it easy to do it.

J


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Eightarmedpet
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May 23, 2018 7:10 am  

"Build quality" isn't exactly a challenging concept, but if an explanation is needed...

Choice of materials, how the look and feel. (plastic? metal? cotton? silk?)
How those materials are put together, construction wise (glue? hammer and nail? rivets? screws?)
How those materials fit together (gaps?)
How solid the enclosure feels (does it wobble? Does it wobble when dismantled?)
Application of branding/colour (Anodise? native material colours? paint brush?)
I could prob go on...

For some people, such as myself, these considerations are as important as how it performs.

Hope that helps explain "build quality", from my perspective at least.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touchbar + [email protected] (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10
2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Box) + Win10
---
LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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Haoshiro
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May 23, 2018 3:18 pm  

I went ahead and ordered the Core X. It's build quality did look better to me, which improves it's overall lifespan as a cases, imho.  Plus it was $30 cheaper, had a more powerful PSU that is ATX, and 100W charge delivery. Overall I think that will will be better from a future-proof perspective.

I also suspect that the overall thermal design is actually better overall and I don't think the tighter spacing will be any issue with the cooling layout as it is (especially with a 2-slot card).

Razer told me they have not tested it on a tb2 system so time will tell! They have a 14-day return policy so who knows, I might end up with the Sonnet in the end! heh. 🙂

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theitsage
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May 23, 2018 3:28 pm  

There are pros and cons to both enclosures. What I like about the Sonnet Breakaway Box is how silent it is during operation, both in noise and appearance. It takes more steps to access the internal components but most won't need to do this very often. The Razer Core X is a better value atm. However it's louder and the ATX power supply is a weak link in my observation.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

74 external GPU build guides


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Haoshiro
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May 23, 2018 6:18 pm  

Why do you think the ATX PSU is a weak link? Just because it's louder or is there more to it?   One of the reasons I'm returning my Node is because SFX PSUs are so expensive comparatively.

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theitsage
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May 23, 2018 8:00 pm  

@haoshiro In my review of the Core X, I mentioned its ATX PSU is not only loud (due to 60mm fan) but also 12V multi rails. The majority of full size eGPU enclosures have 12V single rail SFX power supply.

The best unit so far is Enermax Revolution 650W SFX inside the Sonnet Breakaway Box 650. This PSU is $125 by itself. AMD worked with eGFX vendors to make sure this PSU can handle the Vega 64.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

74 external GPU build guides


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Haoshiro
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June 1, 2018 9:26 pm  

I've used the Core X now for about a week and I have to say I've been really impressed.

The build quality is noticeably better than the Akitio Node and the locking folding handle is a very nice touch.  It doesn't seem any louder than the Node and working in Windows as soon as I plugged it in, even though I was already logged in; running the latest update of Windows 10.

The overall size doesn't see much bigger either. In volume it clearly is, but in person it's about 1-1.5" wider and otherwise appears the same.

death to self


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