Modular dock with Egpu version 3


#1

Feel like I’m flogging a dead horse at this point but I feel like we should give modularity another look, especially where it comes to GPU

I’ve been thinking about this for the past two weeks, I’ve only now had time to post this so sorry for the delay.

The earlier modular concept was too complex I agree.

The new design is very simple, Middleweight TB3 + GPU housing module. That’s it, just one extra module. But it gives Eve two large markets (middleweight & heavyweight) instead of just one. Making it easier to hit the 10,000 units Intel requires for support.

Plus the design can still accommodate a pc module in place of the dock at a (much) later date.

Also the connection method is extremely simple, just a PCI-e bridge.

Specs (indicative):

Dock:

  • Plastic housing (could be lined with Alcantara)
  • QI wireless charging
  • user accessible 2.5" drive bay NOT m.2 (m.2 uses too much bandwidth)
  • 2x TB3 ports
  • 2x display out
  • reasonable mix of USB-a & USB-c
  • gigabit Ethernet
  • audio jacks
  • full size SD card (adapter in box)
  • power (inbuilt power supply)

GPU module:

  • metal housing same finish as the V
  • GPU upto 220mm long (only mini GPU’s)(this can be changed to full size, its just my preference)
  • GPU dedicated power supply
  • PCI-e bridge

Precedents:

The design is based on the gigabyte aorus gaming box (its so small that it comes with a carrying case)

ththumb_-620x465


http://www.caldigit.com/thunderbolt-3-dock/thunderbolt-station-3/index-eu.asp

Issues:

The only real issue is to confirm whether the tb3 dock can electronical deactivate the video out ports when a pcie-device is connected. I’m sure this is straightforward but that’s the only (rather minor) concern.

Also obviously there will be some (small) cost added to the complexity of the housing because of the modularity, again this is relatively small.

Estimated cost

Dock $250 -$300
GPU module $50-100

This is based on current Intel royalties but these are being dropped in 2018 so the dock could be much cheaper, the GPU module price will be the same however.

Conclusion:

I am extremely confident something like this can be done relatively easily and confident in a market for such a device. Also there is long term scope in the form of a pc module (similar to an Intel skull canyon nuc). Even though it isn’t as straightforward as a simple dock, I think because of its uniqueness both Intel and emdoor will be happy to help make it a reality.

Sorry for the roughness of the pictures.

Hope you like it @Xinjie @Team


[Donald Dock] [Step 4.2] [POLL] Decide target painpoints/problems to resolve
[Donald Dock] [Step 4.1][DISCUSSION] Painpoints and existing products/solutions
Project DDDD aka. turn your V into a Surface Studio
#2

I think that’s a nice design. You could leave the big part on your desk and take the small one with you on your journey.


#3

It may be better to daisy chain the the usb-c thunderbolt 3 instead of using a low profile pcie connector between the top and bottom unit. That way both modules can have max bandwidth independently or daisy chain when combined.


#4

That creates two major issues. The GPU module would require its own tb3 controller PCB which is expensive. Also daisy chaining degrades performance for every extra node. This was discussed in further detail in the comments here


#5

I really like this! Very nice work as usual :slight_smile:


#6

I would love if eve managed to make a decent egpu for $100-$250 USD


#7

This type of thing is far more interesting than the non modular tack that eve seems to be taking (I have lost any interest in the Eve Dock as it’s development track doesn’t suit my use case).

Good work :-).

PS but daisy chaining performance mildly concerning aye.


#8

This is a really interesting concept - I like this!!!
This should be the Donald Dock!
:slight_smile:


#9

What kind of power supply are you proposing to be in the dock?
In the bullet list it says “(inbuilt power supply)” but there’s no connector for AC power in the pictures (on the dock).
I thought the dock was supposed to be powered by the V’s charger, or one of a similar design, if the eGPU is not used…


#10

My bad I dew a circle laptop adapter type connector next to the ether net port. Should be a 3pin kettle cord. The drawing is not to scale.

The Caldigit uses an 85w laptop adapter, I don’t see why it can’t be integrated into the dock. Although it would make the dock a lot chunkier and there’s always heat to worry about.

Even if we used a external power supply this isn’t an issue because it’s a desk bound unit for the lost part.

I do have a slightly different take on this that results in a much more mobile dock but It would be harder to pull off.


#11

I would absolutely love to see this come to life, since I’m not only interested in an egpu but also in a middleweight option to carry with me, whenever I feel it’s needed.

This would bundle both my needs (and dreams) together in a pretty sleek package, which is both practical and beautiful If executed correctly.


#12

Quick, weird thought. Is it possible to add RAM slots to an external bay? Like even technically? I suppose it’s not, but my knowledge ends with “RAM goes there” when it comes to how the hardware is connected.


#13

In short, not even slightly.

In long:
The DDR3 slots on the motherboard have probably the fastest connection to the processor on the entire computer, and trying to move RAM away from there would slow it down so much it wouldn’t be useful. The point of RAM is its extreme speed and direct access with the processor.

Also, every processor/motherboard has RAM limits, and the limit on the V (for both components) is 16GB, which means for many this would be useless. For those that would like the added RAM in a dock… they could have just bought it with the computer and it would have (probably) been cheaper.

Lastly, RAM isn’t universal, and you wouldn’t be able to add RAM into a dock that would work with every computer you attached.


#14

:sob: 202020202020 times


#15

I didn’t realize that DDR3/DDR4 (which I suppose you’re talking about) aren’t compatible with each other outside of the physical ‘plug’. Could’ve guessed so though.

Thanks for the info!


#16

This is true, but there’s more to it. The processor defines exactly what type of RAM will be accepted, but the motherboard manufacturer specifies exactly which brand/model of RAM cards are compatible.

For example, on my own desktop, I can’t OC the RAM because it bluescreens due to the fact that RAM that I bought doesn’t fit within the manufacturer specification. I wanted blue LEDs on my RAM, and those (of the exact size and speed I wanted) weren’t listed in the spec sheet. Had I gotten red RAM, or different size sticks, it would work fine. It’s odd, yes, but that’s just the way it is.

Again, it works perfectly fine unless I over clock or over volt, then I run into problems - and the ‘wrong’ RAM in a laptop may work just fine, but it’s not guaranteed to work.


#17

hi guys thought you might like to see what the end product may resemble, minus the modularity of course.


#18

Watched this too! This looks quite good! I would love a dock this size, with better build and port selection. Imagine this with Ethernet, HDMI or Displayport, TB3 …