Charger+Dock+Powerbank - lets design an ultimate companion for our Vs


I hope some manufacturers will produce a Thunderbolt 3 docking board in the Mini-ITX (edited, was Micro ATX) form factor. With USB and RJ45 ports and maybe some SATA. Basically a mainboard that replaces the CPU with a TB3 connection.

Here is a wide selection of cases for this form factor for nearly every taste and need. Looking at the current selection of TB3 docks and eGPU cases I am not really happy with the designs or features.

As for the mobile charger/battery/adapter combination. I don’t see the need. The EVE V has several ports, so even if I connect the charger/battery I still have enough free ports to connect other stuff as needed. The only adapters on my list at the moment are VGA/HDMI connectors for presentations.

A "do it yourself" eGPU by Eve? Is there any interest?

That’s a very sexy idea!

Though I’d rather see that in a mITX form factor. If you need a bunch of drives you could still mount it into a mATX or even ATX case to get the necessary drive bays, but if you want to keep it compact you can just forego filling the SATA ports and keep it small.

Having more use cases for a single product makes it more likely to sell, and thus more attractive to manufacturers. And hopefully better-priced.

Taking the TB3 controller chip and just feeding it into a PCIe 16x slot, one or two M.2 slots and a handful of SATA ports, with some USB- and an ethernet port on the I/O panel, on a mITX-form factor board… Even if some of the ports were mutually exclusive (i.e. you can have an M.2 PCIe slot or you can have a SATA controller with four or six SATA ports), it’d still be a sexy solution!


I just read this thread first time an want to add some ideas of mine. What is a Docking Station for? In my opinion it is generally to use on your desk to dock the V with Monitor, Charger and all the other things you need to work. Thunderbolt 3 gives us the opportunity to have it with only one cable… usually you’ve got your V in your bag when you’re outside. You come back to your bureau and you want to connect the V with the peripheral devices. Instead of plugging five cables or adapters or dongles into the V you just connect it per Thunderbolt with the Docking Station… The idea with the Surface Pro Docking Station is good. You don’t have to plug in anything. You just have to put the surface Pro into it and it is connected to all the other devices… But what if you want to work with your pen??? you have to take it out of the Docking station, you loose all connections and the V will change to tablet mode (Windows 10). I want to use my V generally with the pen in front of me to draw while it is connectes to a big Screen to work with mouse and keyboard. There should be a 5th Option in the poll: Wall charger and Docking Station. Maybe with an EGPU inside??? Nobody Needs a powerbank for a V. Show me real situations where you work more than 10 hours outside with your device without any chance to charge it. Thats the big thing of our device: up to 12 hours of working without charging. -powerbank unnecessary-


You’re right. I meant mITX. M.2 ports are a good idea. I did not think of that.


As you can see from the poll, most people would seem to disagree with you on this statement :slight_smile: But realistically anyone who travels for work carries around all sorts of chargers, dongles, cables and powerbanks. So this is an opportunity for such people, including myself, to first and foremost consolidate all that into one solution and potentially save our backs from carrying extra pounds. And yes, those of us who use their machines for work, often times spend more than 10h on them, take long flights and have demanding workloads that will cut the runtime short.


I am not sure I am quite following you on this one. If you want to bring all the processing duties outside of V, then V becomes essentially a big connected SSD? If i got correctly what you meant, perhaps something like this could work for your needs. Such micro desktops come in all shapes and flavours including access to M.2 and SATA ports. Hope this helps


These the results of the poll as of Feb 6 2017. If you haven’t votes, you can cast you vote still, the poll is still open and can be found HERE


You misunderstand. That’s alright, he came up with a pretty revolutionary (I think) concept.

The idea is to use the traditional PC case as an external PCIe solution through Thunderbolt. So the Eve would be the computer, but the box would offer the ports that you’d traditionally find on a motherboard such as a PCIe16x slot for a graphics- or other expansion card, M.2 or SATA ports, and USB- and Ethernet ports.

This board could be the core of someone’s external hard disk array. It could be the core of someone’s eGPU box. It could be the way to connect a pro audio sound card, or a video capture board, or a variety of things. By being mITX compliant, people can choose their own off-the-shelf case and power supply based on what they need to add over TB3.

It’s not likely to come into existence, but it’d be a very cool product indeed!


Thanks for the clarification. The eGPU via TB3 enclosure is actually exactly that, albeit it is still limited in functionality due to limitation in bus speed. It typically has USB, LAN and one PCIe 4x. So at the moment with the given speeds of TB3 I am afraid we would have to either have PCIe expansion or a disc array, but not both. BTW there are many TB3 disc arrays available on the market in various sizes and configurations. Here is an example from Lacie


Indeed, it would likely be either/or, not and/and. Then again, you could opt for PCIe8x on the expansion slot if you don’t plan to install a graphics card, and direct the remaining 8 lanes to the M.2 or SATA slots. That’s the beauty of this idea. You can go many ways with a single SKU. You could even have a graphics card one day, and an array of hard disks the next, if your needs shift.


Sadly the problem is that you only get 4 PCIe lanes, not 16, so you would be splitting 4 lanes, essentially crippling everything connected. The typical port on those eGPU enclosures is PCIe 16x intended to work with current video cards and PCIe SSDs but again only 4 lanes connected through TB3 as it seems to be the max lanes the current TB3 configuration. That is why I mentioned that we would probably need to wait for the next gen TB to get the functionality you’ve described, good idea though :slight_smile:


Fair enough, I guess we’ll need to wait for TB4… I still want a product like that, though =)


Cannot wait for the TB4 myself. If say 10x increase in speed would be possible to achieve, it would be very interesting to see how the field of computing could be affected. I am still dreaming of the day when I can use a single computing device. Maybe with external expansion modules at first, but I am happy to deal with that.


I think you may see the theme of this thread is similar to your’s, which is a pursuit to reduce the number of components and increase their functional output. I think we are on the same page here, just slightly different needs :wink: Cheers :beers:


If I understand it correctly, isn’t this much like the Surface Book with Performance Base, but a bit more aggressive?


No, quite the opposite.

I own an mITX desktop PC. But I would like to replace it with an eGPU setup around the V. However the current eGPU dock selection is limited, mostly horribly ugly and expensive. A dock like the Razer Core would work but I don’t really like how it looks.

The main point is to get it as mITX board. That would allow me to choose a case and a power supply and build my own dock. It should have a PCIe16 slot for a Graphic Card, some USB on the I/O panel for other devices (mouse, keyboard, …) and other ports if possible.


These the results of the poll as of Feb 7 2017. If you haven’t voted, you can cast you vote still, the poll is still open and can be found HERE


I think when we get to selecting the possible eGPU solutions it should be fairly straightforward to check if the mobo in eGPU case follows the bolting pattern for mITX, and whether it could be added. The problem I see straightaway with this is that the ports layouts for the back panel would also need to follow mITX standard and that might just not be possible. I will keep thin in mind and bring it up once we get closer to it.


Actually, I think that is the smaller problem. mITX boards use the typical ATX rectangular I/O plate. However it is nearly the same wide as the board itself. The I/O plate is level with the case wall, so an case wall that is cut the way for exactly this board would work.

Finding a board that uses mITX should be the bigger issue. Looking at the boards in the existing eGPU docks, they are a smaller, more optimized. They use special power supplies and connectors, too.

In my opinion the board could be larger, the main factor for the size of the case is the space for the graphics card. With a raiser card the graphics card could be parallel to the board.

Here is a whole ecosystem for small desktop docks just waiting. But nobody provides the missing part for it.


As you said, the eGPU docks mobos are optimised for their application, so I think it would really come to finding one that can be made to work in mITX case, and it would need a custom backplate with ports to fit into mITX case. Otherwise we would be looking into a fully custom mobo design v.s. a reference design and that typically involves a lot more time, testing and $$$$. Feel free to bring this up when we get closer to eGPU design, I will do the same as I am interested in exploring this further. What are the use cases that you are envisioning for a product like this?