To answer the system restore question: it appears itís not quite suited for what I was looking to do, a quick way to preserve and restore device enabled and driver state when hardware is changing. It looks like itís mostly for a non changing machine to recover from bad drivers, or other issues. I think a system image approach would be more my needs, if I was still poking at the overall setup. Good news though is Iíve stabilized what I need to do to dig out of non boot situations, and when hardware shifts around to keep a stable gaming setup.
Whatís been slick is to see how awesome Thunderbolt 3 solutions can be and what they can do. Simplifying and accelerating our base tech layers is leading to some nice improvements, and Iím glad to see hot plug PCI tech from 2000 era servers finally becoming widespread in the consumer market. Now I just need to work off some more debt to then afford some slick TB3 enclosures with NVMe SSDs. I donít need that at home yet outside the built in SSDs, so the wallet should be safe for now.
. I may investigate NBaseT NICs though, to at least boost the home LAN above 1gbit next year. Mostly to move the drives away from the setup and across the network. SSD SAN/NAS setup is probably in my home networks future. Especially if I attempt some network booting setups.
Working with the Win 10 recovery tools, and the automatic times Iíve seen Windows detect an issue and try to self heal has been impressive. Iíd place the level of what they are attempting at Appleís point with Mac OS X recovery at the ~2006 era, right before bootable internet recovery. Considering the challenges Microsoft had to tackle to get to that level due to the complexity and fractured nature of the PC market is impressive. Apple had a leg up for being the hardware and software creators. And itís shown me Microsoft has really adopted EFI practices as I saw it leveraging possibilities I saw back on Itanium servers. The new competitive Microsoft coninues to impress. And itís clear where they are taking in experiences they learn from the retail support stores, and their phone lines to improve consumers lives. The old MS (90s-00s) seemed to exclusively focus that energy on OEMs and enterprises.
Iíll keep bumping this thread with more details of the setup slowly. My goal is to have a single plug that can attach to a TB3 equipped laptop, and let the laptop boot to an external SSD with a complete install of Windows 10 and several games, all attached to a 27 inch monitor/keyboard/mouse. Stretch goal is to get it working with two plugs (TB and power) into older TB1-TB2 notebooks. Itís also a bit of a minimizing project, to turn a space into a gaming den, or convertible into a dining area or guest sleeping area. Not having a 50+LB tower in the way helps so much.
What Iím doing with it overall is taking parts from my 2008 Mac Pro, and spending just a little more money to extend the lifetime of the newer bits. The video card in my eGPU box is the NVidia 970 I got a good deal on 3 years ago, and itís still cranking out solid high quality 1440p gaming experiences. The two SATA SSDs I had in there for a combined 1.5TB are now living in an external dual bay USB3.0 enclosure with UASP support. (Had wanted 3.1 Gen 2, but eh, itís hitting a USB 3.0 bus on my one plug setup anyhow). The entire setup can also revert to macOS on my laptop, to allow me to keep chipping away at the 750GB of 720p video footage from 2012.