Last Updated on July 16, 2021 by paularo
The Akitio Node is one of the most popular eGPU available right now but is it any good? In this review we are going to share in details all you need to know about the external graphics enclosure. The external graphics card can be used on both Windows and MacOS laptops that have a thunderbolt 3 port.
if you have the Akitio Node paired with a powerful GPU you can turn your laptop into a work horse or gaming machine. There are a number of reasons why the Node is popular among the eGPU community it is perfectly sized and can house any modern GPU. It also has the power supply that is enough to power any standard graphics card.
In this comprehensive review we will provide you with all the information you need to evaluate the Akitio Node as the best eGPU for you. read on for its key features as well as pointers for selecting the best eGPU for your Laptop.
Why you need the Akitio Node for your laptop
A laptop that doesn’t have a GPU can be frustrating to use for gaming and other essential graphics works. It is only suitable for playing 3D games and other basic tasks. There are some laptops without dedicated graphics card that will be suitable for basic office works as well.
If your laptop doesn’t have a dedicated graphics you can be able to run some software’s like Microsoft words, Excel, and other software’s that don’t demand too much from your system. however, graphics demanding games and software’s used for rendering or editing video and pictures will not run efficiently.
The Akitio Node can be able to turn your laptop into a work force even if it doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. the most important thing is making sure that your laptop has a thunderbolt 3 port. Using a thunderbolt 3 port the Akitio Node will better the performance of your laptop and it will be faster.
Most of the time software developers update their games/software’s and if you are using an old laptop the specs might not be able run updated games smoothly.
If you buy the Akitio Node you can basically upgrade your eGPU and meet the new demands of any software or game. As someone who prefers using a laptop to a desktop then the Akitio Node would be a perfect companion for you.
Selecting the Best eGPU for your laptop
The Akitio Node comes in at $300 and it is considerably cheaper than a lot of external enclosures available right now. it has some downsides like the loud fan but considering its price I can’t complain. The alternative which is the Razer Core X that is price similarly with the Node also has a loud fan.
we have a very large enclosure here and pictures might make you think its small. The Akitio Node is having a complete sheet metal build. It is very easy to open and all you need to do is to remove the two screws at the back and then push it backwards.
There are openings at the front and back of the eGPU that allow ventilation to pass out during performance. There is a fan at the front that keeps the enclosure cool. The Akitio Node works on both Windows and MacOS and that is an added bonus. There are some high end eGPUs that work with either macOS or Windows only. The enclosure also has what It takes to accommodate large graphics card like the EVGA GTX 980 Ti.
If you pair it with the eGPU with the 980 Ti your laptop will be able to take full advantage of the GPU and perform superbly. It has 400W power supply and that is considerably small because other competing external GPUs are going to give you at least 500W. it comes with 3 PCle cables one 6-pin PCle cable goes into the boards and the other 6+2 PCle cables are for the GPU.
The power is enough to power most graphics card but there are some power-hungry cards that won’t be really efficient inside the eGPU. This is simply one of the most affordable external enclosures right now and you will get value for money if you buy it.
Here are 6 key points for selecting the Razer Core X for your laptop
Plug and Play
Once you successfully connect the enclosure to your laptop it will work automatically the next time you plug it. There won’t be a need to reboot your laptop when you plug it in. some high-end external enclosures lack this feature. This makes it easier to use the Akitio Node.
The Akitio Node works of both Windows and MacOS. For mac you need it to be running on High Sierra and above. It is also important that your laptop has a thunder bolt 3 port. Apple is mostly choosy when it comes to eGPU and they currently don’t work with any AMD GPU. Hopefully that will change anytime soon.
Extra Power for graphics cards
The power supply built into the Akitio Node is sufficient enough to power most of the top-rated Graphics card. some of the GPUs like the GTX 1080 will work just fine when placed inside the external enclosure. It has the standard 75W through the PCle slot and if it is insufficient, two extra pairs of 8 pin 6+2 power connectors are available inside the enclosure. They can be connected to the GPU and will provide additional 390W.
Support standard and large sized graphics card
The enclosure has the ability to support both standard and large sized graphics cards. This makes it eligible for future proofing regardless of the size of graphics card that are released. The RTX 1080 is one of the largest GPUs and it fits in just fine with some space left. You can even add GPUs that come with their own liquid cooling fan.
The Akitio Node has a good build quality with vents that allows it to stay cool during performance. It has a metal build and the legs are made of rubber. The legs stop the enclosure from wobbling when placed on a flat surface.
The Akitio Node is one of the most affordable external enclosures in the market. It comes in at a price of $300 but there are times when you can pick it up for as low as $245. The features the eGPU comes with for that price is commendable and the only eGPU that can come close in terms of price is the Razer Core X. we can’t really say external enclosures are cheap because you need to buy the GPU separately.
A closer look at the Akitio Node
the Node has a port for power connections, a switch to power on or off, two opening for the PCle, and a thunderbolt 3 port. there are going to be additional slots depending on the GPU you decide to use. so far, we can say that external enclosures are niche products and they only appeal to a particular set of people.
This is mainly because of their price tag. The Akitio Node is compatible with most modern laptops but before you make the purchase decision make sure you research. There are a lot of people who own the Akitio Node and they share their precise experience in forums.
Inside the Akitio Node we have the SFX power supply, the main board, the PCle slots and a fan. Make sure your thunderbolt 3 drivers are updated because it works on Windows and MacBook’s. installing a GPU inside the Enclosure is very easy and there are additional PCle slots that provides more power.
It is future proof enclosure because it houses large graphics card with some little space left. Akitio created a simple yet powerful enclosure when it comes to aesthetics we can say that it doesn’t look super great. the external enclosure just gets the job done. Inside the box you get a USB type C cable but it is short and you might not be comfortable using it.
If you decide to use the Type C cable it comes with you will always have to keep your laptop close to you. another minimal issue is that the node comes with an outdated thunderbolt 3 firmware and you have to update it upon installation.
About the Akitio Node Manufacturers
Akitio is an international company that specializes in designing and developing of premium, high quality external computer storage products. They mainly lay emphasis on thunderbolt technology.
The brand Akitio is a leading company in terms thunderbolt development and they have some of the fastest and highest capacity thunderbolt products in the market right now. the company is based in California, USA but the operate across the world with subsidiaries in Europe and Asia.
They create all their products from ground up, using their unique ideas and their own mechanical designs. The brand strives to produce simple, reliable, and innovative thunderbolt 3 products.
- Dimension – 16.85 x 5.71 x 8.94 inches
- Weight – 14.78 pounds
- Operating System – Windows or MacOS
- Color Options – Black
- Input & Output – Thunderbolt 3 Via type C
- Internal Power Supply – 400W
- GPU max power support – 375W
- GPU type – single double wide, full length, PCl-Express X16
The thunderbolt 3 eGFX box is a low-cost expansion chassis designed to house an external graphics card. when connected to a computer via thunderbolt 3, the additional GPU power instantly upgrades a regular laptop or mini PC and makes it possible to do things that would require a high-end workstation or gaming computer.
For video editors and colorists, the dedicated GPU reduces the time it takes to render the footage, a computer that was not powerful enough for a VR headset is now potentially VR ready and for those that like to play games, these can run at much higher frame rates than their regular laptops will.
Pros of the Akitio Node
Future Proof – the Akitio Node should be able to last for more than five years because it can house every modern GPU that will be released. The fact that it works with almost all the different sizes of GPU makes it one for the future.
Affordable – the price is fair at 300 US dollarsit has a ton of features that justifies the price tag. It is one of the cheapest external graphics cards available right now.
Support standard and Large Graphics card – the enclosure supports almost all the sizes of graphics card. this is great because you can decide to change or upgrade your graphics card at any moment and you will comfortably do so.
Plug and play – with the Akitio Node external enclosure the moment you plug it into your laptop it will start working. There is no need to reboot the laptop in order for it to work. Plug and play makes using it easy and quick
Cons of the Akitio Node
Can’t charge any laptop – the akitio node can’t charge any laptop when its in use this is because it doesn’t have the capacity to do so. Its close competitor the Razer core X is capable of charging any laptop when its in power.
Only one Thunderbolt 3 port – the Akitio Node has only one USB type C thunderbolt port and it can be a problem for those who need extra ports. Extra ports are provided by the graphics card through the PCle opening at the back.
Does it come with a GPU inside?
No, the Akitio Node is only an enclosure that houses the GPU and helps power it. You have to buy the GPU separate and that is why building an eGPU can be expensive most of the time.
Can I use an NVIDIA GPU inside the Akitio Node?
Yes, you can but you need to load drivers with thunderbolt drivers first.
Does it come with a USB type C cable?
Yes, Akitio Added a cable inside the enclosure but you need to get another one because its too short.
The Akitio Node is a well-built piece of hardware and it can accommodate different sized graphics cards. It is portable and compatible with various GPUs and it will boost the performance of any laptop that has a thunderbolt 3 port.
it ships without a GPU and that might be the only deal breaker considering the amount you are paying. If you have the money to splash then I will recommend the Node it is one of the most affordable eGPU out there.