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benjaminlsr

Intel NUC6i7KYK + GTX1060@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Thunder3) + Win10 [benjaminlsr]

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Here is my first attempt of doing building an e-GPU.

 

What I wanted to do :

Due to the fact that having a Razer Core is a pain in the *** and because it's a 7Kg not so portable solution, I decided to build myself my own e-GPU using an Akitio Thunder2 casing for the latest Intel NUC6i7KYK “Skull Canyon”.

I also wanted not to change the power connector of the casing.

 

Costs :

  • Akitio Thunder2 : 211.45€

  • Thunderbolt3 to Thunderbolt2/1 adapter : 95.19€

  • Dell DA-2 Power Supply : 27€

  • ZOTAC GTX 1060 6GB : 320€ (174mm x 111.15mm)

 

The Plan :

EyU2FciD7TaoJKxkOe4bsW6Rgfjx8reQ0JplpbDE

 

The steps :
1\ Cut the DELL DA-2 cable properly to expose the 8 wires.
2\ Solder all GROUND together as well as all 12V together.
3\ Solder the 2 obtained wires to a 5.5x2.1mm barrel.
4\ Solder two thick wire from the barrel to the top back of the casing (15cm).
5\ Split the two wires into a 6 PIN MOLEX connector.

6\ Cut a 110mm hole inside the casing.

7\ Fix a fan/dust protection.

 

How it works :

Great ! Not so much test so far but pretty stable playing the latest DOOM.
2560x1080, HIGH settings with V-SYNC ON :60fps

2560x1080, HIGH settings with V-SYNC OFF : 90fps

 

Next steps :

Figure out if there is a difference in performance using the Akitio TB3 prototype.

 

Photos (new model: Akitio Thunder3):

IMG_20160912_220417.jpg

IMG_20160912_220421.jpg

IMG_20160912_220426.jpg

 

Photos (old model: Akitio Thunder2):

IMG20160728155852.jpgIMG20160729084354.jpgIMG20160729084514.jpgIMG20160729084240.jpgIMG20160729084303.jpg

Edited by benjaminlsr
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I am impressed you got the PCIE cable to fit snug in the box while its closed! good job! Ill have to try bending the wires like that! It also seems like this mini 1060 is probably the most ideal GPU for the Akitio Box now.

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Glad to see the startech.com adapter working! I used Kanex one in my setup. From the look of it you are connecting the monitor on your eGPU, which hides away the problem with Optimus. Also you mentioned the TB3 Prototype? Is there a link to it?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On 29/07/2016 at 3:39 PM, JohnyB33 said:

I am impressed you got the PCIE cable to fit snug in the box while its closed! good job! Ill have to try bending the wires like that! It also seems like this mini 1060 is probably the most ideal GPU for the Akitio Box now.

Yes, I had to cut the plastic to release each pins. Then I used some heat-shrink tube to isolate each of them from the casing.

It fits perfectly.

 

On 29/07/2016 at 5:04 PM, jowos said:

Glad to see the startech.com adapter working! I used Kanex one in my setup. From the look of it you are connecting the monitor on your eGPU, which hides away the problem with Optimus. Also you mentioned the TB3 Prototype? Is there a link to it?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Yes I'm connecting to the eGPU instead of the back of the NUC. If I don't do it, I'm having huge performance impact. The prototype is to be used for my job at Intel.

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@benjaminlsr Nice build!

 

Do you have closeup photos showing these two steps?

 

On 7/29/2016 at 3:06 PM, benjaminlsr said:

4\ Solder two thick wire from the barrel to the top back of the casing (15cm).
5\ Split the two wires into a 6 PIN MOLEX connector.

 

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Hey,

 

I don't have closeup photos of those steps.

4\ Those are not mine but I somehow followed the same process (except I used three thick yellow/back wires) and used 600v isolation tape between wires and pcb.

 

/!\ Make sure your soldering points don't touch the casing /!\

IMG_0396.JPG

 

5\ You'll have to dismantle properly each pin from a PCIe 6pin connector. Use some heat shrink tube to isolate each pin from the casing on top of the GPU (as shown here).

IMG20160728155852.jpg

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Nice!

 

Were you able to get the TB3 Enclosure when it was available earlier this week ? I had it in my cart until it became unavailable yesterday. 

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Thank you for sharing this. I'm new with that stuff and ran into a psu issue with an inxtron T3-hdk. I will post later moreover with the same NUC. What I ask me here is why should one use that thick wire to hot-wire plus and minus (PSU cbale)? Is there any reason not to twist them together (and isolate them)? And what is the best way to split the three (why three and not two??) soldered wires into six wires?

 

I want also link Phuncz conclusion on the NUC (here: smallformfactor.net) :

"Almost everything, including storage and Thunderbolt, run off of a shared PCIe 3.0 x4 connection."

Edited by Signp

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This one will be on eBay soon :)
I'll build a new one as soon as I can get the Akitio Thunder3 casing.

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On 28/08/2016 at 0:57 AM, Signp said:

I want also link Phuncz conclusion on the NUC (here: smallformfactor.net) :

"Almost everything, including storage and Thunderbolt, run off of a shared PCIe 3.0 x4 connection."

 

While it might be true, don't take this too literally.

I'm basically having the same performance (Battlefield 1) on my combo NUC + 16GB + 1060 (over TB3) than my friend with it's 4560K, 16GB + 980 GTX PCIe 16x.

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Awesome build! I am new here and have decided that I want to go the same route of soldering wires from the Akitio PCB to a pcie connector. I have a few questions though.. In the picture you provided, it shows 1 yellow and 2 black coming from the barrel plug. How did you convert just those 3 wires into the 6 pin connector? Also, is there an alternative to not soldering onto the PCB while using a Dell DA-2 adapter? 

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3 hours ago, Zaalbar said:

How did you convert just those 3 wires into the 6 pin connector?

 

This is a joke right

 

Triple_joint_twisted_together_pre-solder

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4 hours ago, Zaalbar said:

Awesome build! I am new here and have decided that I want to go the same route of soldering wires from the Akitio PCB to a pcie connector. I have a few questions though.. In the picture you provided, it shows 1 yellow and 2 black coming from the barrel plug. How did you convert just those 3 wires into the 6 pin connector? Also, is there an alternative to not soldering onto the PCB while using a Dell DA-2 adapter? 

 

This picture was not from me. I personally twisted three yellow wires and solder them to the PCB, same with black wires.

 

To use the Dell DA-2 without soldering into the PCB, you'll have to follow guides using DA-2 on this forum.

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16 hours ago, Arbystrider said:

 

This is a joke right

 

 

Thank you for the picture. I asked because it looked super clean having just one wire go to the PCB from the 6pin and I wanted to see this implementation specifically. I'm completely new to all things wiring, soldering, and hardware hacking so I appreciate any help even if I make myself look like a noob :rofl:

 

15 hours ago, benjaminlsr said:

 

This picture was not from me. I personally twisted three yellow wires and solder them to the PCB, same with black wires.

 

To use the Dell DA-2 without soldering into the PCB, you'll have to follow guides using DA-2 on this forum.

 

Perfect, thanks! Do you have the thread where you got it from?

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I received the Thunder3 model at 6PM local time. Here it is modded and working at 10PM (including meal time).

 

- Created 8 pins wires coming from barrel plug (4x 12v, 4x GROUND).

- Drilled a 110mm hole.

- Fixed a 120mm fan protection.

 

PART_1473713627177_P_20160912_193347.jpg

PART_1473713634894_P_20160912_194453.jpg

 

IMG_20160912_220417.jpg

IMG_20160912_220421.jpg

IMG_20160912_220426.jpg

Edited by benjaminlsr
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Thanks for the update! Can you run comparative benchmarks between your Thunder2+1060 vs your Thunder3+1060? Interested to know if Thunderbolt3 makes a difference.

 

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On 13/09/2016 at 6:17 AM, benjaminlsr said:

I received the Thunder3 model at 6PM local time. Here it is modded and working at 10PM (including meal time).

 

- Created 8 pins wires coming from barrel plug (4x 12v, 4x GROUND).

- Drilled a 110mm hole.

- Fixed a 120mm fan protection.

 

Nice!

 

Would love to see some benchmarks~!

 

Also are you using the pre-existing pads on the board to power the GPU? Or is it coming from the PSU?

Edited by nando4
removed large images from quote

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1 hour ago, bloodhawk said:

Also are you using the pre-existing pads on the board to power the GPU? Or is it coming from the PSU?

 

Do you mean the soldering points ? Yes I am using the barrel connector soldering points.

I need to download 3DMark to compare online test from mini ZOTAC and my own results.

Edited by benjaminlsr
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1 minute ago, Aleksei said:

Specs on Akitio website specifically mention that TB3 box is not designed for graphics cards. Is that just because of power reasons?

https://www.akitio.com/expansion/thunder3-pcie-box

 

The same goes for the Thunder2 which is TB2.  The official explanation is that the power adapter they provide has insufficient wattage to power some graphics cards and the enclosures are not designed to properly ventilate these cards.  That being said, you can modify and adapt these enclosures for the purpose of housing and running a GPU. 

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Well, I'm not working for Akitio so that's a question you may want to ask them directly.

From what I've seen/tested, if you replace the power supply and create the pcie connector, the thunberdolt motherboard is handling it perfectly.

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10 hours ago, benjaminlsr said:

 

Do you mean the soldering points ? Yes I am using the barrel connector soldering points.

I need to download 3DMark to compare online test from mini ZOTAC and my own results.

 

I meant the soldering points that are on the top right side on the board. 

 

I actually ordered the Inxtron TB3 HDK a few days back. The Akitio one is based off of that. They said i should have it in a week or 2, will post my results then.

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@benjaminlsr @bloodhawk

 

Does one of you have the chance to test the AKiTiO Thunder3 / Inxtron TB3 on an XPS 15 / 13?

 

Edit:

Also Benjaminlsr would you say that a 200mm ( your zotacis 174mm ) could fit inside if you remove the little fan at the end?

And how long could the card be if you would cut a rectangular hole into the plate where the little fan currently sits, so that the
card would reach all the way to the front? another 20mm? If you could measure the exact length that would be really appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Splitframe

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