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US$189 AKiTiO Thunder2 PCIe Box (16Gbps-TB2)

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Wow this is insane, I posted on a thread with something neat I found (which I can't even use since the only thunderbolt product I have access to is my bros MacBook Pro) while on vacation and it grew into this, I honestly thought that it would have been shoved off as common knowledge since it's been out for a while.

I'm considering building a full aluminum or acrylic enclosure with built in psu and flash memory for egpu chain load as a gift for my brother to bring to college. I've gotten the price point to a little over $300 and it's specs should support most Gpus except Titan z. If you guys are interested id be willing to show pics when it's done and even sell a few for people who don't have the soldering, software, or cad experience to build it themselves.

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I'd very much love some pictures. :)

I'm planning on designing my own case as well, when I start a project. I don't have any CAD experience tho, so I will probably have to fiddle with that a little.

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I'd actually be interested in seeing how easily you could remove the board from the chassis and put it into a small ITX case that would support a full size ATX PSU and most modern GPUs. And it would also look a lot cleaner than leaving it lying around. I was considering this ITX case. It fits full-size graphics cards up to 343mm/13.5 inches in length and has a nice cooling system. Wondering if maybe the power button can be wired to the PSU, but if not could just use the paperclip method and use a PSU with a switch. It's also nice to see there is a dedicated grommet for wiring. For $45 bucks seems like a nice way to clean up a setup.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12024[/ATTACH]

I already did that using this same case!

My GPU was bulging out a bit so I cut the side, applied rubber borders & added a nice acrylic and it looked even more cool that it was before :)

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I already did that using this same case!

My GPU was bulging out a bit so I cut the side, applied rubber borders & added a nice acrylic and it looked even more cool that it was before :)

Great minds think alike! I'm definitely looking for a more affordable graphics card around the GTX 660/760 area so I hopefully won't have problems with the side of the case. For that low price tag, this seems like the best, near universal solution to put an eGPU in a nice package! Out of curiosity, how do you get the setup to power on/off? Did you investigate using the case switch at all? I know it would need to be a specific type of switch to get it to work for power on AND power off, but I'd be interested in solution you may have other than my aforementioned paper clip and using a PSU with a switch plan.

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Great minds think alike! I'm definitely looking for a more affordable graphics card around the GTX 660/760 area so I hopefully won't have problems with the side of the case. For that low price tag, this seems like the best, near universal solution to put an eGPU in a nice package! Out of curiosity, how do you get the setup to power on/off? Did you investigate using the case switch at all? I know it would need to be a specific type of switch to get it to work for power on AND power off, but I'd be interested in solution you may have other than my aforementioned paper clip and using a PSU with a switch plan.

I have the same case and wanted to get the power switch to work as well... When I tried, I could power it on as long as I held the power button but it would shut off as soon as I released it. My biggest problem with my setup is the length of the express card cable. I have to have it behind my monitors and it eats up a lot of desk depth.

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I have the same case and wanted to get the power switch to work as well... When I tried, I could power it on as long as I held the power button but it would shut off as soon as I released it. My biggest problem with my setup is the length of the express card cable. I have to have it behind my monitors and it eats up a lot of desk depth.

I was afraid of that. Guess I'll stick to my original plan which isn't bad. If the AKiTiO ends up working, I'll just have to get a longer thunderbolt cable, possibly. Luckily I have a large area to put this stuff so spacing shouldn't be too much of an issue, but I don't want to have the enclosure right up against my laptop either. Since you're using express card at 5Gb/s, are you considering switching to the AKiTiO to see if it increases your performance?

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I was afraid of that. Guess I'll stick to my original plan which isn't bad. If the AKiTiO ends up working, I'll just have to get a longer thunderbolt cable, possibly. Luckily I have a large area to put this stuff so spacing shouldn't be too much of an issue, but I don't want to have the enclosure right up against my laptop either. Since you're using express card at 5Gb/s, are you considering switching to the AKiTiO to see if it increases your performance?

My Lenovo W520 only has Express Card, no Thunderbolt. I am wondering why USB 3.0 can't be an option for something like this... It's throughput, if utilizing full duplex, is 10gbps and is much more flexible (in terms of options, lengths, connectivity) than Express Card.

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I'm also unsure of why USB3 can't be utilized. I'm assuming there is something with the tech that makes this difficult. I'm working with a recent version of a Macbook that provides Thunderbolt 2. I had originally planned on using a Thunderbolt 1 adapter because of the price difference, but I'm hoping I can get full utilization out of this with the newly discovered adapter. What kind of performance hit did you take going with express card?

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I'm also unsure of why USB3 can't be utilized. I'm assuming there is something with the tech that makes this difficult. I'm working with a recent version of a Macbook that provides Thunderbolt 2. I had originally planned on using a Thunderbolt 1 adapter because of the price difference, but I'm hoping I can get full utilization out of this with the newly discovered adapter. What kind of performance hit did you take going with express card?

I never did run 3dBenchmarks on mine but here is the overall impression:

Prior to building this, i was running Star Wars, The Old Republic on medium settings and getting 30ish FPS that would degrade to 20ish during some more intense times. After, I bumped the settings all the way up and got 60fps and about 30 during the intense parts. The only issues i see are a bit of screen tearing, but it's not too bad.

Now, I play War Thunder and Star Conflict and have no issues other than screen tearing.

my machine had an Nvidia NVS graphics card that is a pile of junk, that is why I built the eGPU. I have a SSD and a secondary spinning drive in place of the CD drive. I have 16gb RAM and am running the internal LCD and 2 24" monitors (these 2 are run by the eGPU.)

All and all, it's a cool setup. I'd rather have a desktop though :D

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I never did run 3dBenchmarks on mine but here is the overall impression:

Prior to building this, i was running Star Wars, The Old Republic on medium settings and getting 30ish FPS that would degrade to 20ish during some more intense times. After, I bumped the settings all the way up and got 60fps and about 30 during the intense parts. The only issues i see are a bit of screen tearing, but it's not too bad.

Now, I play War Thunder and Star Conflict and have no issues other than screen tearing.

my machine had an Nvidia NVS graphics card that is a pile of junk, that is why I built the eGPU. I have a SSD and a secondary spinning drive in place of the CD drive. I have 16gb RAM and am running the internal LCD and 2 24" monitors (these 2 are run by the eGPU.)

All and all, it's a cool setup. I'd rather have a desktop though :D

Awesome! I have no use for a desktop other than some gaming, so if I can get this done for a couple hundred bucks (parts other than GPU/PSU), it's a perfect solution for me. So, I am anxiously awaiting the first review for the AKiTiO.

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Great minds think alike! I'm definitely looking for a more affordable graphics card around the GTX 660/760 area so I hopefully won't have problems with the side of the case. For that low price tag, this seems like the best, near universal solution to put an eGPU in a nice package! Out of curiosity, how do you get the setup to power on/off? Did you investigate using the case switch at all? I know it would need to be a specific type of switch to get it to work for power on AND power off, but I'd be interested in solution you may have other than my aforementioned paper clip and using a PSU with a switch plan.

For the power, I simply use PSU's on/off switch. No pins, hacks, etc :)

- - - Updated - - -

Did anyone ordered/tested AKiTiO's thunderbolt solution?

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For the power, I simply use PSU's on/off switch. No pins, hacks, etc :)

I don't think I did anything special... my PE4L came with something that the power supplies MAIN plug goes into that toggles the PSU on and off and it has a switch on it, I just use that...

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I also use that case. Had to cut it with dremel to be able to install the prolonged riser card, but anyway...

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I also use that case. Had to cut it with dremel to be able to install the prolonged riser card, but anyway...

Clean! Unfortunately, it looks like this project is going to get pushed back for me. This was intended to get my girlfriend and I setup to play some of the soon to be released cooperative games, but after we played the Destiny beta, we decided to just grab another console since the game is not available on PC (Halo is one of our favorite coop series). Would still love to see what is done with the AKiTiO and eGPUs in the future. Good luck with everyone's builds!

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Did anyone ordered/tested AKiTiO's thunderbolt solution?

Just received the Thunder2 PCIe Box.

post-27765-14494997966461_thumb.jpg

Unfortunately, I am still waiting for my EVGA GTX 750 Ti SC and 12V/10A power adapter to arrive before I can start testing.

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Just received the Thunder2 PCIe Box.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12043[/ATTACH]

Unfortunately, I am still waiting for my EVGA GTX 750 Ti SC and 12V/10A power adapter to arrive before I can start testing.

At-least I got to see the innards in more detail. Can you also remove the front grill? I want to see if I can use inside my case OR I require a 16x riser/extender. Can you provide more pics from different angles?

Also, how long before you get the GPU? :)

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At-least I got to see the innards in more detail. Can you also remove the front grill? I want to see if I can use inside my case OR I require a 16x riser/extender. Can you provide more pics from different angles?

Also, how long before you get the GPU? :)

Here you go.

post-27765-14494997967009_thumb.jpg

post-27765-14494997967684_thumb.jpg

Don't think the front grill can be removed.

About 5 to 7 days more before I get hold of the GPU.

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Here you go.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12044[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12045[/ATTACH]

Don't think the front grill can be removed.

About 5 to 7 days more before I get hold of the GPU.

Thanks, it confirms that I need a 16x PCI-e Riser :)

Also, did you get this from Amazon OR B&H? Amazon have increased their price to 270$ :o

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Thanks, it confirms that I need a 16x PCI-e Riser :)

Also, did you get this from Amazon OR B&H? Amazon have increased their price to 270$ :o

I ordered it from one of AKiTiO's online resellers before it was available on Amazon.

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I ordered it from one of AKiTiO's online resellers before it was available on Amazon.

Hey, did you get a chance to test?

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Hey, did you get a chance to test?

I received the 750 Ti yesterday. Installed it into the Thunder2 PCIe Box and connected it to my Intel Thunderbolt NUC with Win 8.1/EFI (it is the only Thunderbolt system that I have at the moment).

The card is detected by Win 8.1 and I can install the Nvidia graphics drivers. However, the NUC hangs after a reboot. Unplugging the Thunder2 PCIe Box allows the NUC to boot normally.

Uninstalling the graphics drivers also allows the NUC to boot normally with the Thunder2 PCIe Box attached.

post-27765-14494997974854_thumb.jpg

Not sure what the problem is. Will start a new thread, hopefully I can get some advice on how to solve this issue.

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gtx750ti power 60w, akitio pcie maximum power 25W, PSU is in need.

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gtx750ti power 60w, akitio pcie maximum power 25W, PSU is in need.

True ... you will need a 16x POWERED riser after a PSU

- - - Updated - - -

I received the 750 Ti yesterday. Installed it into the Thunder2 PCIe Box and connected it to my Intel Thunderbolt NUC with Win 8.1/EFI (it is the only Thunderbolt system that I have at the moment).

The card is detected by Win 8.1 and I can install the Nvidia graphics drivers. However, the NUC hangs after a reboot. Unplugging the Thunder2 PCIe Box allows the NUC to boot normally.

Uninstalling the graphics drivers also allows the NUC to boot normally with the Thunder2 PCIe Box attached.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12090[/ATTACH]

Not sure what the problem is. Will start a new thread, hopefully I can get some advice on how to solve this issue.

What's NUC?

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