eGPU from PCIe to USB 3.1 would that work?


Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 24, 2016
Hi Folks,
I have the nice and loud NUC Skull Canyon and I'm looking for a eGPU in the footprint of the NUC, since we have today both GTX 1060, and 1070 in ITX format out that should be possible, Sure I could go, buy a Akitio Thunder2, or 3 case, and do quite some DYI on it to get it working. (although this is a nice option, I dont feel so confident in the powersupply soldering) and that is already discussed here.
So what about combing the PCIe Beast:
With a PCIe to USB 3.1 enclosure

I have the Dell D2 8pin power supply 12V 18A, and the advantage of the Beast eGPU setting is I dont need to cut the cable and rewire it to ATX, so just plug in, pluging in the GPU, and delivered cable and I end up with eGPU over HDMI to PCIe (PCIe is so far I was able to find out the solution DELL uses on his Alien Ware computers, although on a proprietary solution)
Now I dont want to have my NUC open, with a PCIe cable pluged in for anything else than testing, so I like the idea of USB 3.1 or Thunderbolt solutions, so here is my thought, what if I would take the Beast V8 eGPU and instead of plugging it into the NUC I would plug it into a PCIe to USB 3.1 case:
Would that work?
I see several advantages over PCIe direct
Plug and unplug while PC runs
Its much safer than a open PC with a cable inserted
No need to redo the cable input from the Dell power supply

As well I see a disadvantage:
The PCIe to USB 3.1 might in fact be a USB 3.0 with a 3.1 connector and hence the speed would be reduced to USB 3.0, as well every reduction in its way will reduce the overall performance, just not sure by how much

So what are your thoughts?

BTW I own a reduction PCIe to USB 3.0 for my SDD drive:
would that work as well, I know the speed would be slow, but just to test it as a proof of concept

Please let me know, before i give it a try I for sure would first get some inputs, not to blow up my NUC :)


Virtual Realist
May 11, 2015
The whole point of going via Thunderbolt is it maintains a PCI Express link directly between the CPU (or PCH) and GPU. If you put a USB 3.1 link in there this is no longer true, and every bit of communication between the CPU and GPU can no longer go directly, but must be converted between protocols, twice, each way.


Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Oct 24, 2016
unfortunately there is so far now PCIx 16 to Thunderbold kit like the V8 Beast for PCIe, that would be really nice to have, leaving out the development kit, which has no powersupply, so either again rewire the DELL or buy a separate Brick and Power Supply
Last edited:


Airflow Optimizer
Jun 5, 2016
Short Answer: Yes, may require writing your own driver.

Long Answer: Your best bet is to take the m.2 and convert to pcie.

I was playing with a very similar idea around 2 months ago and managed to design a very small case (~3.9L) that integrated a skull canyon with a r9 nano that was designed to take 2 power bricks (1 for the nuc and 1 for the gpu). But due to being low on funds I wasnt able to make it a reality.

Adding in the conversion for a usb 3.1 would require you to write your own driver due to W10 not checking for display adapters on USB (Found this out when trying to connect a pci-e capture card over usb using a pcie-2-thunderbolt and then connecting it to a thunderbolt-2-usb cable, could have been an issue with 1 of the adapters, but we eventually got it working with a driver update from the manufacturer which took 2 months for them to solve and send us) and the extra conversion would take away more from the GPU. IF you were to couple it with something like a 1050 I doubt you would notice, but anything higher and you will see a big difference. For example, I found test data of a M.2 Pcie x4 being used with a 1080 and it was only getting about 70% of its full use would it have been in a desktop pc. As usb 3.1 is quite a bit slower, I could see the bottleneck bringing it down to around 45-55% of its full usage.
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