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

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Thank's for your suggestion to put it upright and everything. I probably did it as wrong as one could do it ;)

I'll definitely try a x16 PCI connector when I try to build a custom enclosure, without it you're too limited in arranging that stuff. And I'll try the fan position for the PCIe board, to be sure.

You are welcome! :) I meant the AKiTiO's PCIe x16 slot itself, without any risers. It saves space and the most difficult part in enclosure design is already solved as we have the x16 slot and back bracket there. Other vendors, such as Sonnet SEL only has a x8 slot and a riser is compulsory.

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You are welcome! :) I meant the AKiTiO's PCIe x16 slot itself, without any risers. It saves space and the most difficult part in enclosure design is already solved as we have the x16 slot and back bracket there. Other vendors, such as Sonnet SEL only has a x8 slot and a riser is compulsory.

I will give it a try tomorrow with fitting everything into the Cooler Master Elite 120.

Concerning stability with my eGPU everything is fine except for Preview and Quicktime (so far). Whenever I try to watch a movie with these programs the screen just freezes, but I can still move the mouse and hear the sound. Also the image is somehow green and distorted but wouldn't actually play for longer than a second. When that happens I have to force shut down and restart.

VLC is fine, no problems there with the same files compared to Preview and Quicktime.

What could be wrong?

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Bought mine in Malaysia and I was lucky they had this one in stock. No, I don't use windows and don't play. I want to use the eGPU for video editing. It's working!

My eGPU setup:

London 550W PSU (don't really know why I bought this one...) with the paperclip trick (the blue cable)

Asus Geforce GTX 780 Ti connected with the 8pin to 2x 6+2 pin cable that came with the PSU

I dismantled the Akitio chassis and connected the card directly to the PCIe slot without any riser.

I followed this guide with additional help for the kext modifiying with this and that guide.

@SmutjeHannes , congrats on getting it working with OSX. There's interest to see Windows 8.x working as well. If you do try that then please use Bootcamp 5.x to create the Windows partitions. On the SSD platforms we've found Bootcamp 5.x creates GPT partitions allowing Win8.x to boot in UEFI mode. That often eliminates any error 12 issues. Here's how to install Bootcamp 5.x in case you have 4.x already on there: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/7607-%5Bguide%5D-2011-mac-mini-gtx780%4010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-a.html#post104479

Other point is you are the first to do a Thunderbolt eGPU implementation on a 17" Macbook Pro. No existing entry exists for that machine at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-thunderbolt-expresscard-mpcie-egpus.html#Thunderbolt .

A GUIDE of how you got it going showing the gear you are using, some pics and benchmarks would be very helpful to others in replicating your pioneering effort.

Thanks!

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@SmutjeHannes , congrats on getting it working with OSX. There's interest to see Windows 8.x working as well. If you do try that then please use Bootcamp 5.x to create the Windows partitions. On the SSD platforms we've found Bootcamp 5.x creates GPT partitions allowing Win8.x to boot in UEFI mode. That often eliminates any error 12 issues. Here's how to install Bootcamp 5.x in case you have 4.x already on there: http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/7607-%5Bguide%5D-2011-mac-mini-gtx780%4010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-win8-1-a.html#post104479

Other point is you are the first to do a Thunderbolt eGPU implementation on a 17" Macbook Pro. No existing entry exists for that machine at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-thunderbolt-expresscard-mpcie-egpus.html#Thunderbolt .

A GUIDE of how you got it going showing the gear you are using, some pics and benchmarks would be very helpful to others in replicating your pioneering effort.

Thanks!

Hey Nando,

would love to create a GUIDE. Where do I start the post, and how do I name it correctly so it shows up in your list?

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Hey Nando,

would love to create a GUIDE. Where do I start the post, and how do I name it correctly so it shows up in your list?

Luvin' the enthusiasm. Suggest browsing through the existing Thunderbolt guides at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-thunderbolt-expresscard-mpcie-egpus.html#Thunderbolt to give you an idea of what format you'd like.

Then start a new thread naming it as you'd like. I'm happy to help edit/reformat it for better naming and easier viewing. Important point is to just get the details out there in the quickest and easiest way for you.

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Thanks for the details! One last wish: Could you test "Unigine Valley" with 1920x1080 on an external monitor (full screen and extreme settings)?

post-29425-14494998327267_thumb.png

Here you are. Is that alright?

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Thanks, but I was asking for the newer benchmark "Unigine Valley".

In general your results are only 60% of desktop systems, but might also be becaue your MBP has just TB1.

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Luvin' the enthusiasm. Suggest browsing through the existing Thunderbolt guides at http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/6578-implementations-thunderbolt-expresscard-mpcie-egpus.html#Thunderbolt to give you an idea of what format you'd like.

Then start a new thread naming it as you'd like. I'm happy to help edit/reformat it for better naming and easier viewing. Important point is to just get the details out there in the quickest and easiest way for you.

Just uploaded my guide. Would appriciate any corrections =)

- - - Updated - - -

Thanks, but I was asking for the newer benchmark "Unigine Valley".

In general your results are only 60% of desktop systems, but might also be becaue your MBP has just TB1.

Oh yeah, sorry, my bad.

Can't wait to get a new MBP with TB2 and see what happens then...

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]12500[/ATTACH]

Here you are. Is that alright?

Would you make the same test in full screen mode? The picture says it's "windowed" and it may have an effect on performance. Here my Mac mini (2011) Unigine Heaven benchmark in mode 1600x900 8xAA fullscreen.

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Would you make the same test in full screen mode? The picture says it's "windowed" and it may have an effect on performance. Here my Mac mini (2011) Unigine Heaven benchmark in mode 1600x900 8xAA fullscreen.

post-29425-1449499832897_thumb.png

Here it is...

- - - Updated - - -

Would you make the same test in full screen mode? The picture says it's "windowed" and it may have an effect on performance. Here my Mac mini (2011) Unigine Heaven benchmark in mode 1600x900 8xAA fullscreen.

For the resolution that you did the test with I got this result...

post-29425-14494998329395_thumb.png

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Here it is...

Thanks! So it is practically the same... if you haven't tried yet, you could just move the application to the external screen and set it fullscreen (no mirror display).

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Thanks! So it is practically the same... if you haven't tried yet, you could just move the application to the external screen and set it fullscreen (no mirror display).

Jep, that's what I did! How did you get your graphics card into the AKiTiO Box? Did you cut off the metal end?

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Jep, that's what I did! How did you get your graphics card into the AKiTiO Box? Did you cut off the metal end?

For now, I am using it without the outer shell and inner chassis. My future plans are to make a custom aluminium enclosure or modify SilverStone ML07 HTPC case.

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have you thought about using acrylic instead of aluminium? Much easier to work with.

I may use acrylic partly to attach the PCIe board, but aluminium for outer shell because metal is easy to bend and it works as a heat sink. With acrylic, you can use some finger joint techniques, which goes quite difficult. I am just going to design it, and laser cutting service will do the rest :)

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Hi, I'm pretty sure this has been answered before, but can I choose to power the Akitio daughter board via its PCIe connection rather than the 4 pin plug?

Thanks

Also could someone give me the dimensions for the daughterboard (as accurate as possible)

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Some have powered the AKiTiO with a PCIe riser. By that you don't need the AKiTiO PSU.

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This is the only picture that I have taken of the setup.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]12094[/ATTACH]

You are probably right about the power issue. I am not planning to do any additional testing until I can provide more power to the Thunder2 PCIe Box and the 750 Ti.

Hi arclord!

Would you mind giving me two measurement from the inside of the enclosure:

1. Between 'inside front' and back to the fan?

2. Between 'inside front' to the very back (pass the fan)?

With those measurements I would be able to see what GPU's I could fit inside the enclosure.

Thanks a bunch buddy!

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Hi arclord!

Would you mind giving me two measurement from the inside of the enclosure:

1. Between 'inside front' and back to the fan?

2. Between 'inside front' to the very back (pass the fan)?

With those measurements I would be able to see what GPU's I could fit inside the enclosure.

Thanks a bunch buddy!

From the back of the Thunder2 to the fan at the front - 18 cm

From the back of the Thunder2 the front (pass the fan) - 20 cm

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From the back of the Thunder2 to the fan at the front - 18 cm

It would be nice to fit a GTX 960 ITX inside the enclosure when they become available in oktober (alhough we might have to wait longer for the short ITX versions).

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Maxwell is not supported in OSX (yet) but a GTX 750 should work in Windows if the card gets enough power. Something like a GTX 750 OC with a 6-Pin power connector.

The current (leaked) specs of the GTX 970 and GTX 980 will only allow a GTX 970 withoutg a power riser in the AKiTiO.

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Hi,

I finaly have the Akitio Thunder 2. I opend up the case put my MSI GTX 770 inside (without a riser) and tried windows but the Thunderbolt keeps saying device not regonised. Does anyone know whats going on?

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Hi,

I finaly have the Akitio Thunder 2. I opend up the case put my MSI GTX 770 inside (without a riser) and tried windows but the Thunderbolt keeps saying device not regonised. Does anyone know whats going on?

Check how you are powering the GTX770. Ensure you have the PCIe power connectors attached. There is also AKiTiO's own 25W slot power limitation, down from the PCIe 1.1 spec of 75W. A few cards with PCIe power are OK with only 25W but others may not be. Try a powered PCIe riser to increase that up to the 75W required and advise further.

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