Help Request From A First Time Builder
Hey there! Long-time(ish) lurker here who's finally ready to pull the trigger on a build, and was hoping to get some clarification...
I really like the ASUS PA34VC monitor for it's hybrid creative professional/gaming potential, but after confirming with ASUS's technical support I have learned that the only way to achieve true 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz resolution is via the Thunderbolt 3 port (the Display Port on the monitor is only 1.2). I'd also like to get the new Sapphire Nitro+ RX 5700 XT card (assuming there will be a Mac driver with the release of Catalina), and see that there's a "Recommended 650 Watt Power Supply (Minimum 600 Watt Power Supply)."
My questions are: Knowing I want 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz resolution and thus have to go into the monitor via Thunderbolt 3, and knowing there's no Thunderbolt 3 port on the 5700 XT, this mean's I'm limited to an eGPU enclosure with two TB3 ports, right? If so, according to the eGPU.io's Buyer's Guide, it seems like my best enclosure would be the Akitio Node Pro, but with that model restricted to 500w PSU, would it even be strong enough to power the card? I've seen a few threads on Reddit claiming 500w is plenty for the card, but I'm also in a little over my head when it comes to power consumption conversation. Is the recommended 650 just for liability sake? Like, "We know nothing bad will happen at 650, so that's the number we're saying even though wattage below is also probably fine, too?" Tests seem to show the card never going over 300w, but to be honest I don't even know if I'm reading the chart right, let alone if it's the correct chart to reference. Either way, there currently isn't an enclosure available that has two TB3 ports and a PSU of 650w, correct?
Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Excited to get the build underway, but don't want to buy products that will be limited by each other.
Thanks in advance!
Power consumption for the 5700 XT does not exceed 230W (performance BIOS and overclocking included) so power is not an issue. Normal power recommendations are for total system power in PCs, not GPU alone. What Mac are you using - please add this to your signature. Even if you use the Node Pro's USB-C/TB3 port, the external monitor will be driven by the internal GPU, not the eGPU. However, Displayport 1.2 should be adequate for 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz, up to 3840 x 2160 @ 60Hz, so you should be fine connecting the monitor to the eGPU directly. Wait for Navi driver compatibility confirmation before making a purchase.
Thanks for the info/peace of mind. Strange ASUS themselves said the Displayport 1.2 wouldn't work...
Per my mac, it's a: 2016 MacBook Pro 15" / 2.7GHz i7 / 16GB RAM / Radeon Pro 455 (2GB); Intel HD Graphics 530. With that being the case, I'd be better to get the Razer Core X and just connect that via TB3, then the Monitor via Displayport from 5700 to monitor, yeah?
but after confirming with ASUS's technical support I have learned that the only way to achieve true 3440 x 1440 @ 100Hz resolution is via the Thunderbolt 3 port (the Display Port on the monitor is only 1.2).
Understand that Thunderbolt also uses a DisplayPort 1.2 signal, so there should be no difference in capability between the ports. DisplayPort 1.2 should be sufficient. Do the math:
[email protected] = 497664000
You can see that 4K60 (which DisplayPort 1.2 supports) has more pixels per second. If you use SwitchResX to calculate the timings then actually [email protected] requires more pixels per second (543 MHz) compared to 4K60 (533 MHz) but 543 MHz is well under the limit for 8 bpc (720 MHz) and even 10 bpc (576 MHz).
Verify that the "DisplayPort stream" option is set to DisplayPort 1.2 in the OSD menu (it should be the default option) instead of DisplayPort 1.1.
The only eGPU enclosures that have a second Thunderbolt 3 port connected to the GPU in the eGPU are the ones from BlackMagic. They are not upgradable so I would avoid them. And I would avoid Thunderbolt displays until someone makes a functioning Thunderbolt 3 (or USB4) device with DisplayPort inputs. The current method of connecting a Thunderbolt display is to use a Thunderbolt 3 add-in card, but that doesn't enable the PCIe tunneling required to support PCIe devices of the Thunderbolt display (such as USB ports) for computers that don't support Thunderbolt 3 add-in cards.
I'd be better to get the Razer Core X and just connect that via TB3, then the Monitor via Displayport from 5700 to monitor, yeah?
Max powerdraw for my unlocked Rx5700 in bootcamp is 280-290W. Normal usage with locked bios always less than 150W usually 25-70W. It is very power efficient and that’s without undervolting!
Glad I checked here before making any final decisions, as this conversation has given me a lot to think about in terms of both enclosure and monitor. I'll let everybody know once a (new) final decision has been made.
Cheers until then!