To eGPU or not to eGPU?

egpu
dock

#21

I think it depends on purpose and jobs to be done with dock. I see multiple options:

  1. Portable connecting hub: actually can go without eGPU and I would probably vote for max portability, so I can take this dock with myself anywhere. Actually it is more like and adapter than dock. Something like this - http://www.dell.com/en-ca/shop/dell-adapter-usb-c-to-hdmi-vga-ethernet-usb-30/apd/470-abqn/pc-accessories

  2. Traditional dock. Here are two options:
    a. Just connecting hub - pretty ok for most users but should have really good price. It is for those people who have one monitor and some stuff to quickly connect when at work or home.

b. 4k monitors connecting hub - if we want to provide 4k monitors connection I expect we will need to have some room for eGPU (probably build in). Acer has made some of those docks https://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Graphics-Dock-with-Nvidia-GTX-960M-Review.175429.0.html

I’m not sure if it is really viable option as not so many people I think have 4k or dual 4k monitors setup. I think it is still niche. We need to make poll to understand if it is needed.

c. eGPU - eGPUs like Razor Core can be used like dock. Could work, but only for those people seeking eGPU solution. Will be pretty expensive. I’m not sure that this is good option for dock, because of price for most people.


Summing up: if we talk about dock, the decision to go eGPU or not depends on those 4k monitors support. If community need it than go with this. Otherwise - non eGPU still be good option.

As for me making eGPU like Razer core - should be done as another project as there are also multiple options.


#22

I think the way to go is not to make one dock, but a few, to suit all kinds of needs.

  • A simple portable dock, with maybe a few USB-A ports, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, ethernet, and USB-C

  • A standard desk dock, with several USB-C, USB-A ports, a couple HDMI, a couple DisplayPort (both mini and regular), ethernet, whatever else

  • An eGPU dock that can be attached to the desk dock, or directly to the computer.

They can be modular through USB-C/Thunderbolt, but can act as individual docks/hubs/adapters if they need to.


#23

I don’t plan to get a dock simply because I intend to get an eGPU with extra USB ports. The Eve V already has plenty of ports to choose from, and I can’t imagine needing more after adding on the eGPU extension.


#24

I agree, the V does have a great deal of ports, so simply adding a bunch more isn’t really the goal here. For me personally it’s about:

  • A greater variety of port types (HMDI, ethernet, etc) (eliminating dongles)
  • Only having to connect one cable (or none if it’s designed to fit the V) when I come home

#25

I agree with the one wire thing, but I don’t think a “dock” with eGPU capability is necessary when HDMI and DisplayPort come out of the GPU, USB connections are included in most housings, and several eGPU enclosures even have Ethernet ports available. All of this then plugs through a single thunderbolt3 port.


#26

I was only agreeing about the V already having a great port selection. For me personally it would not be worth the extra money to have an eGPU integrated into the dock. I don’t game on my PC (save for occasionally streaming from my Xbox) or do heavy photo or video editing. Sorry, should have clarified.


#27

That’s exactly what I would have proposed.

For my current needs I would not go for a dock including an eGPU because I don’t need the extra graphics performance for my mobile device, I have a desktop for serious gaming and (currently) have no other tasks where I could benefit a lot from an additional GPU. Therefore a dock with included eGPU or even just the capability would increase its costs and therefore make my think if there would’n’t be a simpler dock available somewhere that I could buy…
These needs may change though, I would most likely get a dock for connectivity purposes in the near future and would have the ability to upgrade it with ‘just’ an eGPU module some time later.
Modularity would also be an USP, as I’m not aware of any product that follows that concept (I looking at non-V-owners here as potential customers! )


#28

I’ve read this thread through and I was surprised that no one has spotted a potential problem with modular design.

I assume that the dock with ports alone will also provide power to the V and possibly charge also other devices.

The modular design in itself is nice, but there is a huge difference in the power delivery requirement if there is an additional eGPU attached. Of course the eGPU module can come with its own power supply, but the design is compromised by two separate powercords/power supplies.

Or alternatively the base dock comes with a smaller power supply (brick) and the eGPU module comes with a bigger power supply (brick) that powers both the base dock power delivery requirements and the eGPU.

The modular design does create quite a few SKUs, which ever way you think about it.

There may be other ways to deal with the increased power requirement, but these are my initial thoughts.


#29

If you make it small enough so that the vent sits directly in front of GPU itself, you dont need an extra fan. The GPU fan itself will pull air straight from the outside (instead of inside of the case), and overall it will behave as if it was in an open air environment.

That’s how the DAN A4-SFX case works, its a tiny 7L case, but they made the vent sufficiently close to the GPU and it ended up being more effective than other SFF cases


#30

When I imagine the dock, for me it’s a thing I would like to have out of my view (under/behind the desk). Actually, more like a hub. Considering that, I wouldn’t mind to not have a GPU case at all. Many GPUs already have a kind of a “casing” that can even be cool looking, and having no case would lower costs and size. You could then integrate eGPU capabilites (a PCIe port and power connector) in the dock/hub while keeping it portable.

So I am imagining two scenarios:

A/B: Dock with GPU connector. Someone suggested this in another thread. Sorry, I can’t find it!

C/D: Dock with TB3 passthrough, so the eGPU module would be added either as an expansion module (C.) or as a fully separated dock (D). This last one is the most realistic and flexible scenario, I think.

As @mirv points out, when having an eGPU inserted, a more powerful external laptop-like power adapter (green cable) should be used. When not using the eGPU, the V’s adapter could be used instead.

I know this may look a bit crazy. Not everyone will want to have a GPU sticking out this way. But including the GPU in the dock itself makes even less sense to me: more cost, and either smaller GPU or a bulky, not portable dock. So in that case I’d rather go with a non-GPU dock with TB3 passthrough (+ DIY eGPU solution, which is option D), or just a regular eGPU case with some extra ports, and no dock at all.


[Donald Dock][Step 2.2] [SUMMARY/DISCUSSION] Potential product type
#31

Can’t Thunderbolt 3 be daisy chained? Doesn’t that inherently mean that any dock with a TB3 out is also modular? This won’t get in the way of power delivery, and it allows eGPU as well as external hard drives and anything else that runs from Thunderbolt 3.

Don’t try to design things for specific, expensive features when only a small number of customers will want an eGPU. Instead, look for options that are open-ended and can fit everyone’s needs.

EDIT: I’ve been ninja’d…


#32

Yeah the power cord thing is an issue but it depends on implementation. There are several implementations to how I would do the modular dock and all of them have some sort of minor quirk like the two power cables. (.note the power bricks would be embedded in each module so its just an extra cable that you wont really see. So its not really that big of deal.


#33

It’s more fun, but maybe we can connect a speaker with a cooling solution for the graphics card. This is the article translated by microsoft translator edge Addon in english:

The two basic principles of innovation are simple: sound waves are rapid fluctuations in air pressure. So about the pitch consists of sound waves of frequency 440 Hz; a 440 times per second, rises and falls the air pressure in the sound wave.
Second, Materials are compressed by pressure, heat them up; When the pressure drop, they expand and cool off. So, cold can be produced also with sound pressure level. It is important that the sonicated materials at the correct distance to the sound source are available. Then a heat exchanger as in conventional refrigerators is necessary. It transports the heat to the outside.

Inside the cold generator, brute noise there is. With a sound pressure level of 173 decibels (dB) 30 000 times louder is a rock concert (120 dB threshold of pain) experienced on stage. Of which nothing outward; penetrate but the sound pressure let build up only in a special gas inside. The two USForscher take advantage of no commercially available speaker for sound generation. They must also provide a large frequency quenzspektrum for sound generation. The noise generator instead uses metal membranes, which are tuned to a frequency. As a result, the efficiency increases enormously. While normal speaker cones put only one percent of the electrical energy into sound, bring the metal membranes to 89 per cent. As an advantage, the two U.S. researchers also specify that the noise cooler without moving mechanical parts comes out. He was therefore very strong and little susceptible to interference.


#34

For me, an eGPU is mandatory to justify a dock. While V is never going to be a cutting edge gaming machine, not every game requires a cutting edge system.


#35

I think the best solution is to do both (a normal dock and dock with egpu) by means of modularity, were the egpu section snaps on to the dock.

The issue with this implementation is that it’s tricky to do with off the shelf parts because they’re all random sizes and shapes (Ideally you’d want all the modules of a similar size and shape). I’ve been working on this tough and have two decent designs so far, I’ll post them in the community later today.


#36

I’m going to move this comment to a new post because I don’t want to derail the general egpu or not topic.

If you would like to see a revised design for a modular dock that can incorporate a full sized GPU it can be found here.


#37

I’m not so good in technics, but I think the power supply and the eGPU shouldn’t be fixed together. There should be a TB3 port to connect the eGPU for people who already have one at home. And you have also to think about the heat problem. As much of the surface of the eGPU should be open to air…(or closed with a liquid cooler…)


#38

The power supply is just for the GPU, the dock has its own. The dock can (ideally) daisy chain to an existing EGPU enclosure. The problem is there must be some performance degradation if the GPU is not on the first node on the daisy chain. That’s why I prefer a direct PCI-E bridge from GPU to the PCB in the dock.

Cooling shouldn’t be an issue there is ample empty space and large flat sections for vents and fans.


Revised proposal for modular dock with GPU
#39

Do you mean that you need the eGPU in the dock, or you need an eGPU that you can connect to the dock?

If you mean that you need the eGPU in the dock, it would seem that you are mainly interested in the eGPU, rather than the dock?


#40

Do you mean that you need the eGPU in the dock, or you need an eGPU that you can connect to the dock?

If you mean that you need the eGPU in the dock, it would seem that you are mainly interested in the eGPU, rather than the dock?

Hi Mike,

I am more interested in an eGPU than a dock, but I also like the convenience of a dock to quickly and painlessly transition to a desktop-style environment. (power, ethernet, external display connectors, etc).

So to answer your question, the ideal situation for me would probably be an eGPU that can be connected to the dock as conveniently as possible.