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Novice
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Best external GPU with Intel NUC (Hades Canyon)

Anyone have suggestions on the best eGPU unit to use with Intel NUCs through the thunderbolt port? I tried the Razor CORE product but it failed miserably. It didn't help that it was 11 pounds and bulky either.

Any tips on tested units would be great. I plan on putting NVIDIA 1060 in them.

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Community Manager
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Hello, rubilacx. Thank you very much for sharing your issue with the Intel Communities Team. I will be more than glad to assist you.

 

 

You can see the compatible products with the Hades Canyon in the http://compatibleproducts.intel.com/ProductDetails?activeModule=Intel%C2%AE%20NUC# Intel® Product Compatibility Tool. You can always double check with the vendors of the eGPU if they have tested their product with our NUC.

 

 

 

Antony S.
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Novice
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Any explanation what failed with the Razor Core? I'm curious for eGPU's also, so it'd be nice to know what failed with the Razor Core.

One which I found interesting is the Aorus Gaming Box (with 1070 or 1080). That one seems small (at the expense of not being upgradeable very well).

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Novice
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They do not list any external GPU's in the compatibility tool.

The Razor CORE product relies on their SYNAPSE software, which never detected the CORE product even when the thunderbolt found it and was enabled. SYNAPSE appears to be more marketing than functional as the links are to the store, products pages, etc. There were some screen freezing and black screens that randomly occurred in all the shenanigans and I gave up due to stability issues. I talked and emailed to their tech support, which didn't have the product to do any testing. Hard to tech support if you don't have the product....

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Novice
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The thunderbolt ports on the NUC have extreme potential for eGPU units. Intel needs to have a supported eGPU tested asap.

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Novice
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Thanks for the info on Razor, that's really good info to have, especially adding apps with main purpose of marketing forced inside an important driver/app (annoying).

And +1 to Intel testing + listing supported eGPU's!

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Community Manager
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Hello, everyone!

 

 

I really appreciate your feedback. I will transfer these recommendations to the proper group.

 

 

 

Antony S.
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Moderator
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Hi rubilacx,

I am going to be closing this case (internal case we created for this issue) as there is not much we can do at this point but I have already sent this request to the product team, I hope we hear news on this topic soon.

Thanks,

Ronny G

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Moderator
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I have recently added a few eGPUs we tested to our compatibility list.

Trying to figure out the Core issue. Which version of the Core do you have? Version 1 or Version 2?

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Valued Contributor I
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Novice
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I tested the Razer Core V2- Thunderbolt 3 External Graphics Enclosure in my original post. I have since tested the Aorus Gaming Box 1070 and it works flawlessly. I have duplicated the 10 monitor out of the NUC successfully. I will likely be testing other eGPUs to find the optimal. Is there a certain section in the compatibility area link that I should be looking for the added tested units?

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Moderator
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Thanks rubilacx.

Sure.

Just go to the tool: http://compatibleproducts.intel.com/ProductDetails?activeModule=Intel®%20NUC http://compatibleproducts.intel.com/ProductDetails?activeModule=Intel®%20NUC -> Select Intel(r) NUC -> Select Kits -> Choose either NUC8i7HNK or NUC8i7HVK -> Select: Thunderbolt(tm) and USB Type C Devices.

Will investigate the Core issue.

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New Contributor II
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10 screens is awesome, but I'm left wondering what is the real limit?

Apparently, despite Thunderbolt's ability to chain devices, any eGPU has to be the https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/thunderbolt-egpu-daisy-chain/# post-30043 first device in the chain (connected directly to the computer), so you can't chain multiple eGPU's together (sadly). I wonder why? Software? Could that change in the future? I https://9to5mac.com/2018/08/14/back-to-the-mac-010-dual-egpus/ read the 2018 MacBook Pro has the new Titan Ridge chipset and can handle four eGPU's at the same time (one per port)! How many TB ports are on a TB chipset - two? Can each port then support an eGPU as long as it's the first in the chain? Does that mean Hades Canyon could do dual eGPU? Does the MacBook use 2 chips (or something crazy like 4)?

What about a Thunderbolt external box which supports https://www.akitio.com/expansion/node-duo two cards? I don't suppose you can put two https://www.zotac.com/us/product/graphics_card/zotac-geforce-gtx-1060-mini short GPU's in that (Edit: https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/dual-egpu-enclosure/# post-39659 apparently you can remove the front cover and potentially use two full length cards)? Could you connect four of those (8 cards) to the MacBook?!? Which GPU for your eGPU box supports the most monitors? How about putting Thunderbolt 3 PCIe host adapters into the external boxes, and connecting eGPU enclosures to those!?

Then there's USB-C alternate-mode DP connections, I https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-dp2x read the old NUC's only have a single DP connection routed via USB-C, has that changed on Hades Canyon w the AMD GPU? Cuz you could pull one or two DP ports off each of the TB ports as well (does the USB-C on the front of Hades Canyon have alt-mode DP too?).

There's obviously the direct dual mini-DP and dual HDMI on the case.

Then there's potentially https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DisplayPort# Multi-Stream_Transport_(MST) MST on top of each DP port? And you could MST from the eGPU's!

And there's a potential for USB graphics adapters as well? How many of those can be plugged into a system?

Someone needs to do this up right :-)

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Moderator
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Hi rubilacx,

I got a chance to try a Razer Core X today and I wasn't able to see any issues.

I realize the X isn't the Version 2, but as we don't have a Version 2 that's all I could do.

Which card did you try in the Version 2? Hard to think it's a NUC issue when both the Version 1 and the X seem to work flawlessly.

FYI, I was using a 980 and driver version:

 

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Valued Contributor I
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I like the look of the Aorus enclosure, thanks for the reference.

Look at that huge fan, great for lower noise and better cooling.

https://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-Aorus-Gaming-Graphic-GV-N1080IXEB-8GD/dp/B076PZ6PRK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UT... Amazon.com: Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080 Gaming Box Graphic Cards GV-N1080IXEB-8GD: Computers & Accessories

Oh man am I tempted. It's feeling like a holiday early!

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Super User Retired Employee
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Careful! Some keyboards don't like you drooling on them.

...S

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Valued Contributor I
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This is not a "great treatment - just some dude's observation / opinion.

I'll defer to the people here who really know.

The diagram below is very abstracted and it's difficult to go beyond the abstraction, unless you have detailed knowledge.

I can't see any limit of both USB-C TBT 40Gbps ports driving an eGPU each (highlighted in yellow).

Interesting factoid: the original Intel Thunderbolt 3 specification was code named "Alpine Ridge"

(ref: https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/tbt3presentation.pdf https://thunderbolttechnology.net/sites/default/files/tbt3presentation.pdf)

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New Contributor II
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Ahh, yes, I remember that diagram from the https://www.anandtech.com/show/12572/the-intel-hades-canyon-nuc8i7hvk-review-kaby-lakeg-benchmarked AnandTech review, I reference it often :-)

Now that I look at it again, I guess it clearly answers that there isn't any DP 1.2 run to the USB-C port on the front.

I'm still curious about the "single" vs "dual" DP lines mentioned by the https://plugable.com/products/tbt3-dp2x/ Plugable USB-C to dual-DP adapter "System Requirements".

The Alpine ridge chip shows two DP 1.2 lines being run to it. I wonder if their allocation via the ports is dynamic or not? And by that I mean, does each TB port just have a single line hardwired to it, and that's it, OR, is the routing within the chip dynamic based on what it's connected to, and if you used the adapter I linked previously, would you be able to use both of those connected DP lines via one of the rear TB ports (assuming nothing connected to the other)? Would a fully maxed out Alpine Ridge chip have four lines being run to it then?

Edit: In addition, I'm confused because,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB-C# Alternate_Mode_partner_specifications Alternate Mode is part of USB-C, so why is that adapter a Thunderbolt adapter at all (and not just plain old USB-C)? What is Thunderbolty about it?

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Super User Retired Employee
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The Alternate Modes are actually NOT part of the USB-C specification; they are optional Partner specifications. A particular implementation can choose to support them or not.

The DP Alternate Mode requires DP 1.4 support, which we don't have, whereas the TBT Alternate Mode includes TBT 3 and DP 1.2 Alternate Mode, which we do have (through Alpine Ridge).

From what I can tell (not being able to find a datasheet), the Alpine Ridge dual-port IC provides two independent TBT3 interfaces and each consumes one of the DP 1.2 inputs.

...S

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Community Manager
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Very tempting and all the extra IO ports as well but at over $1,200 AU for the cheapest unit is going to have to wait a while

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