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  1. #1
    ROG Member Array
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    Asus ROG XG Station 2: my experiences

    I seem to be one of the few people who has managed to get my hands on an XG Station 2, with it being the only external GPU option(it's the only one available in Australia) I thought I'd give it a go. Unfortunately it has been an overly frustrating experience, with nothing working. Let me preface by outlining how I intended to use the XG Station. My dream was to have a portable laptop(in this case a dell XPS 15 9560), which when at home could plug into an egpu dock so I had extra graphical oomph at home. My dream was shattered when I first tried plugging them in, they didn't work together!

    Let me outline what I have figured out thus far:


    The XG Station is based off a TI83 controller(confirmed here http://imgur.com/a/SGMTB). For people like me with Thunderbolt 1575 controllers that 'don't support' egpu's(even though the controller does), in theory it's game over unless our devices get updates supporting them. However, competing products like the AkiTio Node and newer Powercolor Devil Box run off the same TI83 controller and have had updates allowing them to work anyway. How? They add support for devices that don't officially support egpu's(like my XPS 15). Now, I can't even get onto Asus support because their email us page won't recognise my serial number(it's needed to send an email), and they aren't replying to any tweets I send which makes it quite hard, to say the least, I'm getting frustrated. All I want to know is if I have to return it due to a lack of any future firmware updates adding support.


    Aside from glaring software problems, the actual device is well built for the most part, I don't like how the case folds apart, I can imagine the lock being a weak point, everything important is well built though. The style isn't for everybody(although if you're here you probably like it) but it looks ok enough, less flashy in person than I expected. Of what I could test, it's fast. Really fast. USB and ethernet are quick, easily matching my desktop(~280mb/s copying off an USB SSD). I like the idea of an extra USB type A, if I had a GPU I'm sure the extra bandwidth not allocated elsewhere would help.

    Anyway, this is just a post hoping to draw attention to a glaring issue with the new Asus ROG XG Station 2, which will probably put a lot of people off buying it. I'd really appreciate if anybody who knows how to get onto support without using that web form to give me a nudge in the right direction too!

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Black Belt Array toronto699 PC Specs
    toronto699 PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)G752-VY-DH78K , G751-JYDH72X
    MotherboardRog Tytan G30AB
    Processori7-4770K
    Memory (part number)32GB
    Graphics Card #1Asus Gold20th GTX980Ti
    Sound CardDell X-Fi Audigy SoundBlaster
    Monitor3 Acer K272HL
    Storage #1118 GB/OS
    Storage #22.72 TB
    CPU CoolerIntegrated Liquid-Cooled CPU
    CaseG30AB
    Power SupplyAsus 700 Watt
    Keyboard Razer BlackWidow Ultimate
    Mouse Razer Diamond Back
    Headset Sony Studio Professional , Razer Seiren Mic
    Mouse Pad Razer FireFly
    Headset/Speakers Logittech 5.1 Z-5500
    OS W 10
    Network RouterSagemon Fast 5250 Hub 2000

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    PM Bahz the forum Administrator he will help with support I'm sure and the issue hes a wonderful Asus Rep
    https://rog.asus.com/forum/member.php?240188-Bahz

  3. #3

  4. #4
    ROG Guru: Black Belt Array toronto699 PC Specs
    toronto699 PC Specs
    Laptop (Model)G752-VY-DH78K , G751-JYDH72X
    MotherboardRog Tytan G30AB
    Processori7-4770K
    Memory (part number)32GB
    Graphics Card #1Asus Gold20th GTX980Ti
    Sound CardDell X-Fi Audigy SoundBlaster
    Monitor3 Acer K272HL
    Storage #1118 GB/OS
    Storage #22.72 TB
    CPU CoolerIntegrated Liquid-Cooled CPU
    CaseG30AB
    Power SupplyAsus 700 Watt
    Keyboard Razer BlackWidow Ultimate
    Mouse Razer Diamond Back
    Headset Sony Studio Professional , Razer Seiren Mic
    Mouse Pad Razer FireFly
    Headset/Speakers Logittech 5.1 Z-5500
    OS W 10
    Network RouterSagemon Fast 5250 Hub 2000

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Reputation
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    PS, So is Chino HA HA , Smart Rog That Chino
    Last edited by toronto699; 02-10-2017 at 03:39 AM.

  5. #5
    untouched Array Praz's Avatar
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    Hello

    The ROG XG STATION 2 is stated as being compatible with select ASUS products only. And even those products require proper BIOS support.

  6. #6
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    Hi jackeyjoe,

    In order to support external GPU, you will need:

    1. A host system with Thunderbolt 3 firmware updated to the build below or newer (please consult your notebook manufacturer for support on this one):

    DSL6540 --> Firmware Version 21 or later
    JHL6540 --> Firmware Version 09 or later
    DSL6340 --> Firmware Version 21 or later
    JHL6340 --> Firmware Version 09 or later
    JHL6240 --> Firmware Version 04 or later

    Note: Firmware for each controller is not compatible with each other, and can only be provided by the host device vendor.

    If your firmware is not updated, it will not be able to support external graphics card.

    2. The Thunderbolt driver has to be updated for proper detection of Thunderbolt external graphics under hotplug: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/dow...6.2.55.275.zip

    3. The BIOS needs to be able to allocate sufficient resource to support Thunderbolt external graphics and hot-plug of such device.

    4. The Intel graphics driver needs to be updated to the latest build to support Thunderbolt external graphics.

    5. The driver of your external GPU has to be updated to the latest build on GPU vendor website to support function as external graphics.

    Requirement 1 and 3 can only be provided by host system vendor. In your case, DELL. You will need to give them a buzz and ask them to help you with those before attempting to connect to any Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosure. We will be more than happy to help after your Thunderbolt 3 controller settings already show up as being able to support External GPUs.

    The good news is, Kabylake based notebook/miniPC with built-in Thunderbolt 3 interface manufactured after January 2017 will provide native support of this interface. New Kabylake notebook owners should be able to enjoy the flexible use of GPU without the additional efforts.

    Drop me a private message or post in the Australian section if there is anything we can help in the future.

    regards,

  7. #7
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    A side note for notebooks already come with discrete graphics card. If your notebook is not based on Nvidia Optimus Technology or similar hybrid display Technology, meaning the notebook display connects directly to the discrete GPU instead of the Intel, then external GPU will work if and only if you use an external monitor connected directly to the graphics card inside the XG STATION 2.

    Please be mindful of that when setting up XG STATION 2 with your notebook system.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-OP View Post
    Hi jackeyjoe,

    In order to support external GPU, you will need:

    1. A host system with Thunderbolt 3 firmware updated to the build below or newer (please consult your notebook manufacturer for support on this one):

    DSL6540 --> Firmware Version 21 or later
    JHL6540 --> Firmware Version 09 or later
    DSL6340 --> Firmware Version 21 or later
    JHL6340 --> Firmware Version 09 or later
    JHL6240 --> Firmware Version 04 or later

    Note: Firmware for each controller is not compatible with each other, and can only be provided by the host device vendor.

    If your firmware is not updated, it will not be able to support external graphics card.
    Controller I have is bolded(I think, it's a Intel 1575 TB controller), it has version 21 regardless. My problem comes from the XPS 15 'not supporting' egpu's(see here).


    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-OP View Post
    2. The Thunderbolt driver has to be updated for proper detection of Thunderbolt external graphics under hotplug: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/dow...6.2.55.275.zip
    Done

    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-OP View Post
    3. The BIOS needs to be able to allocate sufficient resource to support Thunderbolt external graphics and hot-plug of such device.
    It does, it works with the Powercolor Devil Box and AKiTiO Node(admittedly after a firmware update) which are based off the same Thunderbolt controller in your dock.

    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-OP View Post
    4. The Intel graphics driver needs to be updated to the latest build to support Thunderbolt external graphics.

    5. The driver of your external GPU has to be updated to the latest build on GPU vendor website to support function as external graphics.
    Running the latest of both.

    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-OP View Post
    Requirement 1 and 3 can only be provided by host system vendor. In your case, DELL. You will need to give them a buzz and ask them to help you with those before attempting to connect to any Thunderbolt 3 external graphics enclosure. We will be more than happy to help after your Thunderbolt 3 controller settings already show up as being able to support External GPUs.
    Been doing that a lot, a dell exec probably is getting sick of me on twitter right now. He said no guarantees for another month though, hence me now annoying you. AKiTiO and Powercolor released a firmware update allowing non-supported devices to work, why won't Asus?

    Thanks for this, but considering what you are charging for essentially a PCIe expansion slot, I would've thought a bit of extra support for other devices might have been possible?

  9. #9
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    Hi jackeyjoe,

    For your host controller, please kindly use the official name for the ease of interpretation:
    http://ark.intel.com/compare/94031,8...32,87401,94030

    I am unable to tell which device 1575 happens to be based on the limited info.

    After checking with development team, yes there is a client device firmware that ignores the external GPU support status of the Host Controller.
    However, it will not magically make the host device without correct BIOS/firmware to work flawlessly. If host device will fail under certain condition, it will still fail.

    We strongly recommend you to make sure the host is up to dated before running external GPU.
    Let us know if you will like to try this client device firmware after updates at your host is completed.

    regards,




    Quote Originally Posted by jackeyjoe View Post
    Controller I have is bolded(I think, it's a Intel 1575 TB controller), it has version 21 regardless. My problem comes from the XPS 15 'not supporting' egpu's(see here).



    Done


    It does, it works with the Powercolor Devil Box and AKiTiO Node(admittedly after a firmware update) which are based off the same Thunderbolt controller in your dock.



    Running the latest of both.


    Been doing that a lot, a dell exec probably is getting sick of me on twitter right now. He said no guarantees for another month though, hence me now annoying you. AKiTiO and Powercolor released a firmware update allowing non-supported devices to work, why won't Asus?

    Thanks for this, but considering what you are charging for essentially a PCIe expansion slot, I would've thought a bit of extra support for other devices might have been possible?

  10. #10
    ROG Member Array
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASUS-OP View Post
    Hi jackeyjoe,

    For your host controller, please kindly use the official name for the ease of interpretation:
    http://ark.intel.com/compare/94031,8...32,87401,94030

    I am unable to tell which device 1575 happens to be based on the limited info.

    After checking with development team, yes there is a client device firmware that ignores the external GPU support status of the Host Controller.
    However, it will not magically make the host device without correct BIOS/firmware to work flawlessly. If host device will fail under certain condition, it will still fail.

    We strongly recommend you to make sure the host is up to dated before running external GPU.
    Let us know if you will like to try this client device firmware after updates at your host is completed.

    regards,
    Thanks for the reply, I do appreciate it. It is a DSL 6540 controller, HWInfo64 screenshot is here. Host is up to date, and unfortunately does not have native eGPU support. This doesn't mean it wouldn't work, the AKiTiO node works fine with the same TI83 controller after a firmware update. I can sort of understand where you are coming from, only wanting your product to work when it is guaranteed to work properly. However, I thought Asus was a brand that encouraged tinkering, I'm disappointed they aren't taking this approach with external GPU's, which still require a bit of tinkering in the best of circumstances. I'm annoying dell about this to add support(which has been picked up by a few tech news sites), but it'd be great if you added unofficial support for laptops like my XPS 15 as well. It gives consumers more options, which I thought Asus was all about.

    If you never plan on adding support let me know, and I will completely give up on your XG station.


    EDIT Something else you might be able to answer for me, if I don't have eGPU support, should I be able to see other PCIe devices regardless? I tried a PCIe wifi card to test it and it would not recognise it either. Others on the eGPU.io forum suggest I should get it replaced, as it should be able to recognise them regardless of eGPU support.
    Last edited by jackeyjoe; 02-15-2017 at 04:49 AM.

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