This is a revision of the earlier modular concept EVE Modular 'Box' Concept (includes eGPU/Mini tower PC/Docking station/ AiO and more)
This discussion follows on from the following thread To eGPU or not to eGPU?
As you may be aware I’m quite keen on a modular design for Donald Dock (DD), because I believe it is a best of all worlds solution. But modularity poses some problems especially when you consider that all of the components in eGPU enclosures are completely different sizes, lengths, thicknesses etc, this makes it really tricky to design uniformly sized modules that stack together neatly and can accommodate a full sized graphics card.
The main issue is finding a volume large enough to accommodate a full size GPU + power supply and combining that with a much smaller dock and ancillary modules.
I don’t think Eve should make a custom GPU because that would be way too much work and would only work with Donald Dock (DD)
I also agree with @eldelacajita that we should use a PCI-e bridge instead of having a separate thunderbolt controller in the egpu module (this means you have to own the dock, the egpu module cannot work standalone). This is a much cheaper solution with much better performance because the egpu isn’t being daisy chained but is directly connected to the docks PCB via a pcie extension.
Here are some options:
Option 1 :
- vertically mounted GPU
- power supply at the bottom (heavy power supply should be nice for balance too)
- smallest foot print for full size GPU
- quite tall though
Option 2 :
- horizontally mounted GPU
- power supply on the top left
- large foot print for full size GPU
- may be slightly better for cooling.
Option X : (not currently viable but maybe in the future)
- custom GPU PCB with custom power supply and custom cooling
- tiny foot print
*only viable at large sale volumes
Another cool future option would be to have a full PC module to take the place of the dock (think Intel NUC). This results in a modular PC with a Modular GPU.
On balance I much prefer option one for Donald Dock.
I will do I quick diagram showing how all the connections work (especially the PCI-e connection), sorry for the crude drawings I did them on the bus to work :D. I am very confident that this solution works but I want the tech savvy amongst you be very critical of it, find any obvious mistakes I might have missed. For example I am aware of the issue of routing display cables to the back of the GPU, currently the solution is just to create a void, this may need work.
Also do you guys like/dislike the way it looks aesthetically?