Jump to content

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

Recommended Posts

Can't remember, have any on tried Dell XM3C3 with the Akitio?

Amazon.com: Genuine Dell XM3C3, ADP-330AB B, DA330PM111, 330 Watt Power Adapter PA Charger with 6ft Power Cable/Cord For Alienware M18X Systems, 100-240V, Connector Size 7.4mm5.0mm, Dell Compatible Part Numbers: XM3C3, ADP-330AB B, DA330PM111: Comput

I'm curious since this guy seems to use it to power his project:

A4: The smallest gaming case series in the world - [H]ard|Forum

Ultimately I'd wanna build a similar box as he's doing, but with only room for a GPU. Since like this PSU would do the trick, no?

The XM3C3 is unfortunately 19V not 12V, I've looking into modding it for a while now but that takes some serious reverse engineering though, Found an expert in the subject and he said it'd too time consuming figure it out (he opened it up to investigate).

If it was possible (which it is) to mod it'd be the smoothest solution for a fanless PSU ever!

That A4 proto is really something!

I too have plans to make something similar but in the Barebone route instead:

Building a barebone mini itx and route the x16 slot outside the enclosure just like an eGPU, which can be detached/attached depending on application (wouldn't work with hotplugging though).

The challenge in my opinion would be CPU cooling in such small form factor.

EDIT: The more i look at his design, the more I love it!

Thanks for sharing this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That A4 proto is really something!

I too have plans to make something similar but in the Barebone route instead:

Building a barebone mini itx and route the x16 slot outside the enclosure just like an eGPU, which can be detached/attached depending on application (wouldn't work with hotplugging though).

The challenge in my opinion would be CPU cooling in such small form factor.

EDIT: The more i look at his design, the more I love it!

Thanks for sharing this.

The A4 looks like an excellent option for a small yet versatile eGPU case. Having the motherboard and GPU in parallel configuration (like a blade server) and with a SFX PSU on the opposite end of the case is a great way to save space. I think the AKiTiO Thunder2 could fitted in this case very easily - one would just need a custom motherboard tray and an additional powered riser. We would end up with an eGPU case that is much smaller than the Silverstone Sugo SG-05 I'm using (6.8L vs 10.8L!), which is pretty awesome. The starting price is a bit steep ($150-250) but it seems the 3M riser adapter is a major factor driving up cost. Since we still need to use a powered riser cable, we may be able to purchase the case without the 3M PCIe riser at a significantly lower price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those in Europe, this looks like the best place to get the AKiTiO @ €220. This with shipping equates to about £180. Various UK places now sell this but for just over £200.

Yepp, that's the shop I got it from. No problems at all. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I got everything today but still waiting on the AKiTiO which should be coming tonight sometime (slow USPS).

The angled riser I got is not going the right way, this is the one I got cause it looked like all the right angle risers on ebay and amazon. - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HRMFAK4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I can't seem to find any going the other way except from ebay and they seem to not explicitly say PCI 16x so I don't know if they are good. This is an example - Amazon.com: Leftward Left Angle PCI Riser Card Connector Adapter: Electronics

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a bust, I got everything together and I think the powered riser is a dud. The green light on the AKiTiO is not turning on but when I disconnect everything with the power adaptor that it came with the light comes on. So I have to wait longer unless anyone has any ideas.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I felt I was highjacking someone else's thread so I am starting this one. I hope it is in the right place. I will start with what I have.

I have a late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m

- AKiTiO thunder2

- GTX 970 SSC (3975)

- 2 extender risers (powered)

- Antec 520m PSU

- coolmaster elite 130

Things I know:

- So I know the PSU is working as I have tested it on the case fans.

- I tested the AKiTiO seperately with its power adapter and the lights come on.

- I set everything up with macbook > thunderbolt cable > AKiTiO (not using barrel power adapter) > powered riser extender > video card > HDMI. with this setup the light on the AKiTiO does not turn on. I also tried JUST the riser plugged into the AKiTiO (I ran the PSU with fans also to make sure and not run it with out any power draw.

- I got an extender yesterday and that doesn't work and a new one today (different) and it is also not doing anything.

Am I missing something?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I got a 2nd riser and it too is not working which leads me to believe it is not the riser. I don't know what else it could be. Super frustrating. I know the molex connector is good cause it's powering on fans.

I've written down some observation in this thread as I felt I was high jacking this one.

- http://forum.techinferno.com/enclosures-adapters/7205-us%24200-akitio-thunder2-pcie-box-16gbps-tb2-89.html


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some pics of the riser and I think I understand why power isn't going back the AKiTiO. It seems like power only goes through the female end of the riser. Can I use the barrel to power the AKITIO along with the PSU and molex powering the GPU or will that just fry everything? Ha

Edit: I got the new one to work by resoldering the 12v lines. Everything comes on but the computer doesn't switch over to the tv. I checked that I have bootcamp 5.1 and my install is UEFI.

Any ideas?





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am using one with a capacitor: [PCIE] 16x - 16x PCI-Express POWERED Riser Flex

Would not having a capacitor make it not work?

Update: I've tried powering on the eGPU before starting the Mac, in partition selecting and when it is in windows. I have had times when the Mac goes black and the fans turn on for a while but nothing happens after 10 mins.

The fans on the 970 turn on and off quite randomly and sometimes only one turns on. I don't know if that is normal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I have the following setup but can't seem to get the card recognized properly on a Mac Mini late 2012. Any help is appreciated...


A Thunderbolt GPU on a Mac : How-to | Le journal du lapin

Here is my config:

Nvidia WebDriver 343.01.02f03

Mac Yosemite 10.10.1

Akitio Thunder2 PCIe

GeForce GTX 970

Boot args:

kext-dev-mode=1 -v GraphicsEnabler=No nvda_drv=1

Under System Info:


Intel HD Graphics 4000 (Display is here)

NVIDIA ChipModel (PCIe)

Chipset Model: NVIdia Chip Model

Type: GPU

Bus: PCIe

PCIe Lane Width: x4

VRAM(total): 256MB // incorrect should be 4gb

Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)

Device ID: 0x13c2

Revision ID: 0x00a1

ROM Revision: preset 1.0.0

So this card is unusable and it's a shame to not be able to use it.

Was anyone able to get this working?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Feb 14 2015 Tech Inferno Fan>> Anybody with instability should consider performing mod INFO: passing 75W slot power without a PCIe riser to pass 12V/75W to the slot without using a Gen2 signal-degrading powered PCIe riser.


Forget about all of the following stuff in the spoiler. It seems to have been a wrong thought by myself and is rather connected to Optimus/iGPU not being disabled than the stability of a GPU itself.

Still, if you want to discuss the issue, this may be the right thread now as there other thoughts contained as well.

Hello Akitio Thunder2 users and @Tech Inferno Fan,

there are users whose setup isn't stable and crashes randomly. I was one of them and had kind of an odyssey until I got a stable system(again).

If you want to know about the stuff I experienced, read the background story(a bit longer):

I bought a MBPr 15" 2014 Iris Pro only base model in October '14 and received my Akitio Thunder2 PCIe box 2 weeks later. I already owned a GTX 480 and a ATX PSU which were used in my computer.

I started using the GTX 480 as eGPU and it worked out of the box really well. Though the performance was still good I already planned on replacing it some time before and finally got a good deal for a used GTX 780 some days before christmas.

Happily I replaced the GTX 480 and went on the same as before. Some time onwards I experienced a crash while gaming which showed up by stuttering sound and input being followed by a black screen.

The first time it happened I just thought it was bad luck but it showed up again and again. So I thought the card may get too hot in the case I had put it into and placed everything in the open on my desktop. While testing it happened again and again. I got confused. While reading on this board in the Macbook experiences thread I saw someone posting exactly those symptoms I had. He "fixed" it by switching his GTX 770 for a GTX 760. So I thought it may be a power consuming thing although my GTX 480 had 6+8 pin slots as well and is clearly known as a power hungry heater.

I had read that AMD cards could be used on external screens in OS X so I bought an Asus R9 280 Strix(6+8 pin too, unfortunately) to test this once, too. I cleaned drivers using DDU and installed Catalyst drivers. I tested and tested and then it happened again, same procedure but a white screen instead of black screen. Now I got tired of this stuff. I still thought of the PSU as a problem(it's more than 5 years old, multi rail) and bought a new single rail one.

Of course the same things happened again. I had put the R9 280 away so I could sell it again. If I'd find a solution I'd be using the GTX 780 anyway as it is the more powerful card.

In the following time I tried the following:

Akitio board - powered riser - 90 degree pcie angle - GTX 780 | ATX PSU only

Akitio board - powered riser - GTX 780 | ATX PSU only

Akitio board - GTX 780 | Akitio + ATX PSU

None of these combinations worked out to be stable.

I had replaced the powered riser already some time ago so this wasn't a reason either.

So I got: 2 ATX PSU, 2 powerful graphics cards, 2 risers, various combinations.

What I didn't replace was the thunderbolt cable and the adapter. Both didn't seem to be responsible for the symptoms in my view and I didn't want to buy another adapter.

So the GTX 960 was announced and appeared in stores some times later. It only needs a single 6 pin plug. I still thought it might be a power consumption issue although it did not seem plausible to me because full load was possible even with the GTX 780. The crashes appeared absolutely random and weren't reproducable.

Against my own common sense I bought a Gigabyte GTX 960 Mini OC in an online shop. In Germany we're able to send products back to the shop in between 14 days after receiving the good without a reason and we get our money back(if the good isn't obviously used and/or damaged, of course). I'd only need one day anyway because a day without a crash wasn't possible to achieve.

I received the card today and plugged it into the Akitio slot directly powering it with the Akitio PSU. The additional 6 pin plug was taken from the ATX PSU of course.

Good news: Not a single crash this day.

I had previously watching the system tab of the event viewer in Windows, which shows starting components, crasing drivers etc., while trying to find a reason for the crashes.

Back then I noticed the "Intel Management Engine Interface driver" being started at one point and then the same was being disabled and enabled again a short moment later. This only occured when the eGPU with the GTX 780 was plugged in and running.

It was the same for the R9 280.

Now guess what? My new GTX 960 doesn't produce those two entries and I'd say the GTX 480 didn't produce them as well. Unfortunately I had reinstalled Windows some days ago so my event viewer logs of the time when the GTX 480 was in use are gone. I hadn't thought about checking this before even though I noticed the stuff described above.

I asked @Dschijn if he had the same single entry only, because he was one of the users with a powerful card, Akitio Thunder2 and reportedly stable connection and he confirmed the single entry for his setup.

This would indicate that the issue isn't caused by power consumption but is a software or bios/efi(gpu) issue at boot. Even though the unstable systems crashed they could be put on high load and even overclocking wasn't an issue.

Otherwise I've only got a theory and at this point I need your help :)

If this can be confirmed by more users one can at least determine if the card will be either stable or crashing the system. It won't provide a solution to get a stable system with an unstable card for now though.

So, for all those of you having an Akitio Thunder2 in use and either have a stable or unstable system, do this:

Move to Control Panel - Administrative Tools - Event Viewer - (left panel) Windows Logs - System and watch for the following lines:

If you've got a stable system, only expect one line(green):


If you've got an unstable system, one line first(green), then two lines right after another(red), one warning, one information:


If you've got a stable system but the second set of entries, well then you've either been lucky or my theory is wrong.

All of this has been experienced in Windows 8.1 Pro, though Pro or not shouldn't result in a difference. If you use Windows 7, you may provide the screens or informations, too.

Thank you very much.

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everyone, will it work with GTX 960 (with powered riser)?

Yes! I have seen one german user using a GTX 960 in a AKiTiO without a riser! He got a small (ITX version) of Gigabytes GTX 960 with one 6-Pin PCIe power connector and got it up and running. Imho that is close to the possible and some of the higher clocked GTX 960 might need a powered riser!

  • Thumbs Up 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey guys, I've been following this thread for quite some time now but first post now!

Just wanted to let people in the UK (and Europe) know there's a deal for the Akitio Thunder2 PCIe - from £199 reduced to £169 + shipping. This week only!

Link: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD-048-AK

Edit: Damn, sorry @Tech Inferno Fan, didn't know I had a tag in there...I wouldn't benefit from it or anything.

  • Thumbs Up 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My event log showed only one MEIx16 row, and what is very weird AKiTiO + R9 280X combo passed 3DMark11 physics test today for the first time! I decided to play very intensive BF4 64 players Team DM and guess what… with the high quality settings it showed mostly > 60FPS on the external 1080p monitor. And that GPU was only 189€ as used. No crash after 4 complete rounds and my system was stable at least an hour. 3DMark13 test was passed as well. I just used a powered riser and a 450W PSU, nothing plugged into the DC jack.

Before that, I wanted to find out how much the R9 280X eats through a molex-to-barrel adapter. Energy meter was like locked at 40-41W during the performance tests. Never went over that. I switched to GTX 780 6GB (which has never showed even a single crash) and saw max 68W power peak. That’s a big difference! If we think that Thunderbolt card takes approximately 10W, does it mean that the x16 PCIe slot is able to provide more than specified 25W? And why AMD card used much less x16 slot PCIe power?

My setup was following:

- Evo*’s internal screen enabling method

- 2014 15” Mac Book Pro (Iris Pro)

- Virtu MVP 2.0

- DVI cable plugged in during the boot

- Intel Iris Pro not detected completely (error code 43) -> Virtu MVP 2.0 not activated

- exernal USB SSD drive (where BF4 was installed)

- USB mouse

- DVI Full HD monitor

high quality power strip -> 550W ATX PSU -> 8pin + 6pin power cable -> R9 280X -> x16-x16 riser (not powered) -> AKiTiO <- barrel-to-molex adapter <- 4pin molex power cable <- 450W ATX PSU <- cheap energy meter <- high quality power strip

I do not recommend to try the same. Please never use two PSUs. The purpose of the test was to measure the DC jack wattage throughput. But somehow after this, I saw more stable AMD system with a single ATX PSU. Or the system was just temporarily stable…

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@goalque: Please look at this measurement by Dschijn -> http://forum.techinferno.com/implementation-guides/8569-%5Bguide%5D-2011-11-macbook-air-gtx750ti%4010gbps-tb1-akitio-thunder2-osx10-10-a-5.html#post120806

In my eyes the 25W restriction is fictional and most probably only told to please Intel. Other adapters(Sonnet Echo Express SE II, OWC Mercury Helios) write the following "Minimium guaranteed power for PCIe slot: 25W". This implies they simply don't guarantee big cards like graphics cards to work so that Intel is happy.

Yesterday I fired a GTX 960 from Akitio's board slot with the Akitio PSU and a 6 pin pcie power plug from a ATX PSU. The system ran without issues which means that with a TDP of 120W and 6 pin pcie plug providing max. 75W the slot provided the remaining needed power of way more than 25W.

Your event log showing only one MEIx16 row and the system being stable is a good sign for my "theory".

@all: Please provide more information! It doesn't even take 5 minutes to see what the log shows. No matter if you've experienced difficulties or everything went smooth from the beginning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.