AKiTiO has introduced a new Thunderbolt 3 eGFX enclosure that has been designed specifically with professional users in mind. The Node Titan can house power-hungry professional-grade graphics cards due to its 650 W power supply unit.

AKiTiO was among the first companies to introduce a TB3 eGFX chassis for video cards back in late 2016. A little over three years later, after learning from its customers about their needs, AKiTiO comes up with its Node Titan that upgrades the original Node in every possible way. The new enclosure is somewhat more compact, yet it can house full-length (32 cm) full-height (17 cm) 2.5-wide (6 cm) graphics cards that consume up to 500 W of power and need two 8-pin PCIe power connectors.  In particular, the box can accommodate all the latest video cards from AMD and NVIDIA and is certified for high-end professional boards, including NVIDIA Quadro RTX 4000.

To ensure that the cards used inside AKiTiO’s Node Titan get enough cooling, the enclosure is equipped with two fans: one is used for the PSU and the other cools down the board itself. Meanwhile, the enclosure has a handle to make it easier to carry it around. As for dimensions, the enclosure measures 35.7 × 13.5 × 26.6 cm (14.06 × 5.31 × 10.47 inches), so it is actually more compact than the predecessor. Still, since the box is made of stainless steel, not aluminum, so it is not exactly lightweight.

Comparison of Thunderbolt 3 eGFX Chassis
    AKiTiO
Node
AKiTiO
Node Titan
Chassis Dimensions Length 42.8 cm
16.85 in
35.7 cm
14.06 in
Height 22.7 cm
8.94 in
26.6 cm
10.47 in
Width 14.5 cm
5.71 in
13.5 cm
5.31 in
Max Dimension of Compatible Graphics Card Length 32 cm
12.59 in
Height
(PCB+Cables)
17 cm
6.7 in
Width 6 cm
2.36 in
Maximum GPU Power 300 W (?) 500 W
PSU Wattage 400 W 650 W
Form-Factor SFX ?
Cooling Fans 1 × 120 mm 2 × ?? mm
Connectivity Thunderbolt 1 × TB3 1 × TB3
Ethernet - -
USB -
SATA -
DisplayPort - -
Availability December 2016 March
2020
Price $299 $334.75

AKiTiO’s Node Titan is available directly from the company as well as from its partners. Notably, the Node Titan is a pure eGFX enclosure and does not feature a GbE port or a USB hub, so it is relatively cheap by eGFX chassis standards at $334.75.

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Source: AKiTiO

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  • darckhart - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    So from the name, do we assume this uses Titan Ridge? Reply
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  • cyrusfox - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    No usb hub as part of it, pity jsut a singular TB3 to PCIEx3 case with one large capacity PSU. Reply
  • Tomatotech - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    They probably think kind of people looking to buy this, who don’t already have one, will already have USB hubs / Ethernet connections etc in place. Removing these connections from this model reduces price, reduces complexity, and reduces SUPPORT CALLS! :) Reply
  • AdditionalPylons - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    I agree. For me personally I don't want to share the (already limited to PCIe 3.0 x4) bandwidth for the GPU with USB devices. Only a few cases use dual TB3 controllers to avoid this. (See the "TB3 ctrl" column in the table at https://egpu.io/best-egpu-buyers-guide/ )
    I much prefer a slightly cheaper GPU-only case like this one.
    If we get Thunderbolt with PCIe 4.0 (TB4?) in the future I would be perfectly fine with a single cable solution for added convenience.
    Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    PCIe 4.0 won't change a thing with Thunderbolt. Right now, it doesn't even use all 4 PCIe 3.0 lanes its given (32Gbps given, ~22Gbps used). The rest is wasted on a static DP allocation - even when no DP signal is present - and DP is unidirectional only, anyways.

    Thunderbolt needs to be fixed, first, to allow an actual 40Gbps bidirectional. As it stands, that figure is impossible (it's really only about 32Gbps down at the max [PCIe with 10Gbps USB3], with 40Gbps up [DP + whatever]). Then it needs to allow PCIe data packets to take over more of Thunderbolt's datastream. Only then, will PCIe 4.0 even help.
    Reply
  • zamroni - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    Why egpu enclosure is so expensive?
    Compared to regular msrp of pc components, they should already get healthy profit at $200 ( $50 case and cables + $100 gold psu + $50 small pcb)
    Reply
  • ikjadoon - Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - link

    Extremely low volume, I'm sure. See the entire mITX scene and 500 unit volume "discounts".

    Nobody honestly buys these enclosures, which is a shame.

    Perhaps this market needs an established manufacturer to sell these at-cost or lower for some "exposure" (a la the OnePlus Strategy). Otherwise, these will forever remain niche.

    A bit of a chicken and egg problem, too: "the price is what the market will bear." Rich people who have money for TB3 laptops also have money for $300 TB3 enclosures.
    Reply
  • jeremyshaw - Wednesday, April 1, 2020 - link

    Nobody buys them because it's a tiny market that actually needs them.

    Someone who needs a dGPU, but cannot get a good one in a laptop (Mac users).
    Doesn't have access to cloud/local network GPUs for work (this includes graphical applications, too).
    Doesn't have a desktop and needs marginally portable GPUs (barely more portable than a mITX desktop - sometimes less portable, as in the case of this eGPU enclosure - less portable than a laptop).

    In the end, the main market is Mac users who find the internal GPU too weak (small market) or people who want to game at their desk, without using a desktop or a gaming laptop (even then a gaming laptop usually provides better CPU performance to use with the eGPU).

    I tried the eGPU route. It's far too limiting in terms of portability, ease of use, and convenience to even bother with. People only use eGPU if its somehow the only choice. It's not the most convenient, nor is it the most efficient use of money.
    Reply
  • skaurus - Sunday, April 5, 2020 - link

    Chinese manufacturers usually don't have problem with this. But I can't find a single model on Aliexpress. Reply

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