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macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2017
I'm looking to get some extra graphical horsepower for my 15" tbMBP. As soon as LG makes shielded Ultrafine displays available I'm planning to pick one of those up too. The issue comes with selecting the right enclosure for GPU and how will it play with LG display. I've looked at AKITIO Node as its the most affordable option but after watching a video by Dave Lee, I'm not entirely sure how would it work?

Dave says you need to have the monitor connected to eGPU unit for optimal performance and having signal sent back to MacBook and then to display wouldn't be ideal. I'm not very knowledgeable concerning these types of connections and how much data is being transferred. Does anyone have an idea of what kind of a performance loss are we talking about here, is it 10% or 50% ?

Would it be possible to daisy chain the display if eGPU enclosure with 2 TB3 ports were available? Alternatively connecting LG display>USB-C to DisplayPort adapter>eGPU>MacBook and drive the monitor in 4k, does this sound viable?

It's not like there aren't alternatives to Ultrafine display as both Asus PA32u and LG's own 32UD99 look very promising but I'd prefer to get 5k if possible.


macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
1, should you want to redirect the traffic back to your internal screen, there is about 30-35% performance hit over TB3 - see

2, given that the Node has no TB3 passthru, only some kind of a back-redirecting would work. Therefore, I think you should consider waiting a bit more to see whether

- a new, TB3 enclosure with the TI83 chipset and at least a passthru is released
- the hacking attempts at (to add a TB3 passthru to the Node) are successful.

Currently, there are no other TB3 + TI83 enclosures with passthru. And you definitely don't want to purchase a TB2-only, non-TI83 one (all the other enclosures).


macrumors 68020
Sep 19, 2010
I'm not sure if what you want is possible. If it is, you'll want to connect the LG 5K directly into your MBP because the monitor saturates TB3. My advice is that you don't want to daisy chain high bandwidth devices.

In the end, you'll have both the monitor and eGPU directly connected to your MBP.
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macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 22, 2017
Thank you very much for the informative posts. As I need this to mostly run with macOS the best option would be RX 480. Looking at the numbers I figure I'd get about double the performance with RX 480 over Pro 460. Its definitely more than nothing but not amazing, considering the possibilities.

Having a top end card would really go a long way in negating the performance loss. I hope thats where AMD Vega comes in. I'm guessing if Apple decides to support Vega cards ( they are allegedly already in Sierra code ) it would happen before end of the year with iMac and MacBook Pro refreshes and by then we might have some new options on enclosures front too.

I'm going to heed the advice already offered and hold for now. With the rumored spring event the wait might not even be that long.
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