Fails to boot with Thunderbolt 3 eGPU attached

Was curious if anyone else has encountered this? I’ve encountered the exact same behavior every time I have tried booting or rebooting the computer with a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU attached:

  1. Screen backlight comes on, one of the monitors attached to the eGPU also has the backlight come on, and then it just sits there with nothing ever displaying but the fan on the laptop ramps up like it’s trying to do something. It will stay like this unless I force a shutdown by holding the power button.
  2. If I leave the eGPU attached and try to boot again the same thing happens. If I unplug the eGPU and hit the power button, the light on the power button comes on, nothing else happens, and after a few seconds the light on the power button turns off.
  3. I hit the power button again (with the eGPU still detached), it will boot normally.

I’ve tried this from cold starts and reboots at least 4 or 5 times now and experienced the exact same behavior each time. The eGPU works normally with Windows as long as I plug it in after the computer is already running.

The eGPU is an Akitio Node Pro attached to a StarTech TB3DK2DPPD Thunderbolt 3 dock which is then attached to the computer. The GPU in the Node Pro is an AMD Radeon Pro WX7100. No other system I’ve used this dock/eGPU combination with has had any issues booting with it attached.

Does the same issue occur if you plug directly into the laptop rather than through the dock?

I had some issues with my own egpu setup crashing, albeit after using it for a bit with a nvidia gpu, so my advice could be completely off, but, with your AMD card, is there an option (once you’ve connected it after booting) in a graphics control panel somewhere to set a power management mode to “prefer maximum performance” or something along those lines? Its what fixed my issue.

I could totally be wrong, but i figured if it worked for me it could work for you

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Hi there.
I’m testing this as well with my i7-1185g7 Framework. An Akitio Node with an RX590 8Gb in it is what I’m testing, as that is what is available at work. This is attached directly. I’d rather research this way before buying my own, although I’ve been wondering if the Razer Core X may be an option.

Anyway, yes, if i have the eGPU plugged into the USB-C expansion card on the left side, and turn it on, I experience the same thing. Framework backlight turns on, display turns on, and the fan on the Framework ramps up, but that’s all I see.

I’m running Fedora 34 if that helps.

The eGPU might not be outputting due to design or it might be some grub parameter I need to add,

Attaching photos for my test here

Thanks for the additional detail! Our first firmware update has some additional fixes around USB-PD, so it’s worth waiting for that before changing enclosure hardware.


Thanks nrp! My testing was from booting with the eGPU plugged into a monitor. When the dock was plugged only into the Framework, it seems I could only run games or programs with the DRI_PRIME=1 launch option configured, but even then I didn’t see a ton of performance out of games etc with it attached.
Thanks again for the work your awesome team is putting in, and I’ll wait for the firmware update before performing further tests :slight_smile:

Yup I get the exact same behavior regardless of if it’s connected directly or with the dock in-between. If it’s potentially an issue with USB PD would it be worth it to try using an optical TB3 cable?

I see. I don’t think the optical cable would resolve it, but if you have one already on hand to try, worth checking. We do have a firmware update landing shortly, though most of the USB-PD changes are now deferred into the following update.


In further testing with Fedora 34, on kernel 5.13.12, with the newest mesa drivers available from their repositories, I can boot up while plugged into the CoolerMaster EG200 eGPU fine, and the RX590 8GB in there performs only 15% less than expected when running Unigine Heaven, Blender or Halo MCC.

Just thought I would update.

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Another update: I wrote an article on my eGPU setup here. Now utilizing an RX6600XT.

Hi! I’m failing to boot my framework with an egpu (Razer Core V2 w/ RX 570) even with the latest windows 11 drivers (12-15-21) and bios version 3.07. This was still the case for me in previous versions.

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i7-1360P here, got the exact same behavior as OP with an RX580 inside a Razer Core X.

Windows 11 22H2.

However, I think an important thing I should mention is I also run Ubuntu from an external drive sometimes. Therefore, I tried physically removing the internal windows SSD then booting with the eGPU attached, but it still does not post when I only got the Ubuntu USB attached. Also tried with just no drives plugged in at all, and still nothing. It’s supposed to go into BIOS if there’s no drives right?

Another good rule of thumb is to make sure your BIOS is up to date

Hi all. I’m encountering the same problem. The laptop won’t even boot to BIOS while my Razer Core X is attached. If I attach it after boot, everything works smoothly. Tried on single boot Windows 11 setup and on Grub dual boot with Windows 11 and Fedora 39. Anyone found a solution to this already?
EDIT: BIOS is up to date :slight_smile:

I am having similar issues with an RX 480 on an i5-1340p system. During POST the Framework logo appears stretched on my laptop screen and what looks like a progress bar on the screen attached to the eGPU.

Something I noticed in this thread is that everyone having issues is using the RX 4XX or RX 5XX series cards.

FWIW I’ve seen this happen on an OEM reference RX 480 and I was able to work around it by flashing a different VBIOS to the card. I found the Sapphire RX 580 Nitro+ VBIOS from to work.

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I forgot that the RX 480 is able to use the RX 580 BIOS. I will need to give the firmware update a try when I get back home.

After flashing a RX 580 VBIOS I am now able to POST and get Windows to start booting. However, Bitlocker now complains about a new device. This is probably due to the TPM returning a new state since the PCIe layout has changes, so bitlocker wont allow this. But this is outside of the problem of this thread, so I consider my problem solved.

I did read some talks online that the RX 580 has better UEFI support and that the RX 480 needed CSM support which breaks secure boot. Since I had secure boot turned on, the Framework UEFI was not going to allow the system to boot.

Hi RyaH and everyone,

I can see that this is a common issue all over the forum. I still wasn’t able to solve it: Black screen if I boot with the egpu attached. I’m also experiencing timeouts with my egpu if I attach it after boot, which in turn causes software using the egpu to crash. I’m working with a Razer X and a Vega 56. I was planning to upgrade the gpu after being sure it works, but as it stands now, that’s not going to happen.

Other forum entries suggested it might have to do with TPM-Settings, though I don’t know enough about it to play around with that. I have securee boot disabled, which also didn’t solve the issue.

@RyanH You talked about flashing the gpu, and that it brought you at least a step closer? Could you elaborate on that?

Any input would be welcome!

EDIT: I just realiized I’d posted in this thread over a year ago :face_with_peeking_eye:. I’m running the 3.08 Bios beta on an Intel 12th gen Framework 13.