Troubleshooting Tips for eGPU on Intel® NUC

Documentation

Troubleshooting

000056230

12/16/2020

Introduction

Intel® NUCs with Thunderbolt™ are suitable for integration with eGPUs. The eGPU replaces the built-in graphics system to add more power and performace for a better graphics experience, usually when gaming.

Potential issues

  • Random freezes happen for no specific reason, and you must shut down and restart the system by pressing the power button.
  • The eGPU is not recognized by the system.
  • No HDMI signal is received from the eGPU.
  • There's no POST screen on the first boot after a power cycle when an eGPU is connected. POST screens are seen on every subsequent reboot, but after a power cycle, no image is displayed until the system has finished booting into Windows*.
    • This is expected behavior. During first boot, the eGPU waits until the eGPU driver takes over when system boots into the operating system. After the eGPU driver is enumerated, the system can identify there is an eGPU attached to Thunderbolt port and at the second the Intel® NUC will set the primary display to the eGPU path.

eGPU models where issues have been reported

  • Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2070 and 2080* Gaming Box
  • Gigabyte AORUS RTX 2080 Ti* Gaming Box 
  • AKiTiO Node + RTX 2060 super*
  • Razer Core X and RX 5700 XT*

Recommended troubleshooting

Update the Intel NUC:

If you have eGPU with an AMD* GPU card:

  • Go to AMD.com to get the latest AMD GPU drivers.
  • Uninstall the current GPU drivers in your system, and perform a clean fresh driver install.
  • Install the latest driver for the AMD GPU card.
  • For additional guidance

If you have eGPU with an NVIDIA* GPU card:

  • Go to NVIDIA.com to get the latest NVIDIA GPU drivers.
  • Uninstall the current GPU drivers in your system, and then perform a clean fresh driver install.
  • Install the latest driver for the NVIDIA GPU card.
  • Set the power mode in NVIDIA control panel to Maximum Performance. To do this, go to 3D Setting > Global Setting > Power Management Setting > Maximum Performance.

Check the cabling connection setup :

  • Intel NUC to eGPU via Thunderbolt cable.
  • eGPU to Monitor Display via HMDI or DisplayPort cable.
  • Don't use a dongle or video adapter if possible; use a straight HDMI-to-HDMI cable or DisplayPort-to-DisplayPort cable.
  • Try different HDMI/DisplayPort cables.
  • Try different TBT cable.

Set BIOS defaults on the Intel NUC:

  1. Press F2 during boot to enter BIOS Setup.
  2. Press F9 to load default settings.
  3. Press F10 to save and exit BIOS.

Things to check in Windows

  • Confirm Windows® 10 is current by using the Windows Update feature.
  • In Windows Power & Sleep Settings, turn off PCI Link Power Management:
    1. Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options.
    2. Select Change Plan Settings.
    3. Select Change Advanced Power Settings.
    4. Go to PCI Express > Link State Power Management.
    5. Set On Battery and Plugged In to Off.
    6. Click OK.

    If freezing issues still occur, try these extra steps to manipulate BIOS settings:

    1. Press F2 during boot to enter BIOS Setup.
    • Change Power Mode to High Performance.
    • Disable Intel Virtualization Technology for I/O (VT-d) under the Security menu.
    • Disable Advance State Power Management under Power-> Secondary Power Settings.
    • Set Thunderbolt Security Level to Legacy.
    1. Press F10 to save and exit BIOS.

    Test the eGPU on a different system (other than an Intel NUC) to ensure it's in working condition.