A commentor at AKiTiO Node Pro Review - Jack of All Trades - eGPU.io at writes "It looks like the difference between the JHL6540 and the DSL6540 is a non-issue. DSL6540 has been discontinued [..] from what Intel publishes, there are no differences other than the JHL is lead-free and DSL is not.". Please clarify, Intel.https://egpu.io/akitio-node-pro-review-jack-of-all-trades/
Both the Akitio Node Pro PCIe Thunderbolt 3 box and the Razer Core X eGFX Thunderbolt 3 box, use the JHL6540 controller.
Also, the JHL6540 was released in 2016 while the DSL6540 was released in 2015.
Based on these two observations, I deem it unlikely that the JHL6540 would be a higher-latency chip (as the reviewer on that forum suggested).
Therefore I guess the only remaining question is if eGFX TB3 boxes have a somehow-faster/more optimized firmware than non-eGFX TB3 boxes. Please clarify this point, Intel!
Akitio responded to me directly that
"The firmware version usually stays the same as when the device was originally certified and verified, unless there are known issues that can affect the functionality of the device. As of today, we are not aware of any problems or issues with the Node Pro that would require a firmware update. The newer [firmware] versions do not affect the speed or latency. There are no firmware updates planned as of now.
If you do not plug in any additional devices to the second Thunderbolt 3 port and if you do not use the DisplayPort, the performance of the installed PCIe card will not be affected, so it's the same as with the Node, our dedicated eGPU enclosure. For the best performance and to avoid any compatibility issues, it's always best to plug in the eGPU directly to the computer and if possible, not use any other devices on the same Thunderbolt controller."
This should clarify it - a Thunderbolt 3 eGPU enclosure has in and of itself no latency, bandwidth or other benefit over a Thunderbolt 3 PCI enclosure.
Intel if you have any comments or clarifications please share, thanks!