Hp Spectre X360 15 Eb1043dx Aorus Rtx 2080 Ti Gaming Box

First Thunderbolt 4 build – 2020 15″ HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004

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Announced in July 2020, Thunderbolt 4 laptops with Tiger Lake CPU are becoming available. The two configurations I’ve been looking for are i7-1165G7 and i7-1185G7 with iGPU only. Best Buy started selling the HP Spectre X360 [15-eb1043dx] earlier this week and I got one yesterday. Thanks to the 15-in footprint and no dGPU, the cooling system is working surprisingly well. The CPU is set at 28W and can run consistently at 3.3GHz and temps hovering around low 70s Celsius. I let AIDA64 System Stability test run for over an hour and the laptop was not even warm to the touch. As seen in the photo below, the warmest spot in the middle top half of the keyboard was mid 30s Celsius. Noise was not bad either at low 50s dB.


System specs:

2020 HP Spectre X360 15 – i7-1165G7/Iris Xe Graphics iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD


eGPU hardware:

RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable + Samsung 43″ 4K FrameTV


Hardware pictures:


Installation steps:

It was plug and play to get the Nvidia eGPU going in Windows 10 2004. I upgraded GeForce drivers to the latest version. Next thing I checked was Intel Thunderbolt Control Center. We may need to wait a bit longer for newer versions to recognize Thunderbolt 4 controllers because version 1.41.987.0 still shows Thunderbolt 3.

Thunderbolt 4 is not necessarily faster than Thunderbolt 3. As with most things we’ve learned about this technology, every component of an eGPU setup can make a difference. You’d want the best host laptop possible in order to extract the most performance out of the external graphics card. The go-to configuration is direct Thunderbolt connection to the CPU. Ice Lake and now Tiger Lake provide that ideal connection. With the exception of Alienware and Apple 15-in/16-in MacBook Pro, most H-CPU laptops route their Thunderbolt connection through the PCH and the manufacturers don’t care how it performs in eGPU mode.

CPU TDP and its cooling system greatly effect eGPU performance. I’m a firm believer in iGPU-only ultrabook. There’s only one main component to cool and it keeps things simple regarding graphics switching.




I ran synthetic benchmarks in Unigine and 3DMark. First round was through loopback mode to the internal 4K display. External monitor mode was through a Samsung 4K TV.

Valley (Extreme HD)120.6 FPS130.9 FPS80.8 FPS85.6 FPS39.2 FPS39.9 FPS
Heaven (Extreme)112.2 FPS124.3 FPS76.7 FPS83.1 FPS39.0 FPS39.1 FPS
Superposition (Medium)132.3 FPS137.2 FPS91.5 FPS96.3 FPS49.1 FPS49.9 FPS
Fire Strike14,88618,955--------
Fire Strike Extreme----9,49310,709----
Fire Strike Ultra--------5,4565,751
Time Spy----8,8409,551----
Time Spy Extreme--------4,8644,953
Port Royal----5,6835,981----



This HP Spectre X360 [15-eb1043dx] is a very good example of what a perfect eGPU host in late 2020 should be. At $1,599 I wish it came with the i7-1185G7 processor instead. I will be testing out another Tiger Lake laptop with the higher spec CPU.

Here’s a 2 minute video I took tonight playing Witcher III [4K @ Ultra settings]. Gameplay was very smooth without any issues. Pardon the dog toy squeaking noises; my dog was laying nearby in the kotatsu. The media console has a Philips Hue light strip behind it. I had Hue Sync running to change lighting according to video and audio.


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@itsage, Have you performed transfer rate test on Cuda – z?


@itsage nice TB4 build! Will you be benchmarking apps/games as well? Would love to see internal vs. external performance on TB4 in real-world scenarios and not just synthetics.


@mac_editor, second this, even if it’s itsage’s vintage games 😉 

Interesting to see such a small performance penalty, especially at higher res, not surprised but feel these new CPU’s have taken a few % off the difference.



@itsage, Thanks for another awesome build!  I was already a fan of the 2019 Spectre.  The 2020 refresh with its higher gen 11 clocks, lower operating temps & TB4 makes it seem even better!
If you have time, would you mind posting some real-word game results?  RTX vs non-RTX?
I wonder if TB4 is capable of a performance uplift over TB3?  Both have the same 40Gbps limit but perhaps host <-> device connection could be increased with a TB4-specific eGPU?  Have you heard of any upcoming TB4 eGPUs? 

André Scheffler

I would not agree, until having seen the new Lenovo Yoga 7i/9i, which come in at a lower price with the same CPU an memory configuration – also I like the build quality better.
Also one very bad thing on the x360 you tested is, that the memory is only running in single channel configuration, which lowers system and especially the iGPU perfomance.
The latter might not concern so many people, but I’d want to have the best performance possible on the go when not using the eGPU.


2021 HP Spectre 14 x360 owner here. Who told you the 16GB config was signal channel? 16GB seems to be the highest tier and upon checking my system with CPU-Z we both have the same CPU and my memory is running in Quad-Channel mode.

You may actually be correct about the build quality. However, I absolutely love the keyboard on the Spectre. Very clicky clacky and just, nice. I didn’t get that feeling when I tried the Lenovo 7i/9i. But to each their own.


Very nice, I like a numpad on my laptop keyboards.


Your timespy scores are a lot better than mine which pretty surprising since my cpu beats yours by ~400 in cinabench with 2 more cores. Thunderbolt 4 isn’t that much different from thunderbolt 3 right? I thought Hp’s thunderbolt 3 was already the full version.


@itsage, so is the lack of direct thunderbolt integration into the H chips the problem or something else? I’ve directly cooled my PCH chip with a thin thermal pad+a decent size heat spreader so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Aside from that hows the raw x1 performance? I was thinking about picking an 11th gen laptop for my gf since her surface book is dying of heat but she wants something that can game a little


@itsage, Razer just announced a new notebook / ultrabook with that same 11th gen i7 (4.7GHz).  The Razer Book 13 is Evo certified with instant wake, 14 hr battery, ultra slim display bezels and an updated port selection: 2 TB4 ports (finally) along with USB-A, HDMI & micro-SD (nice).   I’m partial to smaller 13″ notebooks like this and the HP Spectre 2-in-1.  Tho I wonder if the smaller enclosure will limit performance compared to the 15″ model you tested.  Maybe it’s a good candidate for TB4 testing in the 13″ form factor?  I’m not sure on the policy for… Read more »


@itsage, Awesome 4K game footage, Thx!  The 15” Spectre & RTX 2080 Ti Gaming box seem to be a perfect match!  Were you using G-Sync and a wireless game controller for this?  


The Aorus RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box has been on my wish list since your original review. Have you noticed any long-term limitations using ethernet & USB (possibly USB SSD) during gaming in 1440p or 4K high settings?  Does TB3 bandwidth eventually become a bottleneck despite the dual controllers – or is that just an unlikely scenario?


@itsage, Gigabyte announced RTX 3080 & RTX 3090 versions of the Gaming Box this morning.  Looking forward to seeing these on egpu.io.


@itsage, is this the other one you wanted to get ? I mean the 13′. Actually it would be  interesting when the one you got with EVO and XE IGPU is launched This could be my next replacement. 

Model Number



Great build! Can I ask how does this performance compare to connecting straight to M.2? Is that still going to be better or are we really cutting it close?

Matthew Kwong

Posted by: @itsage
@General_Kramar, M.2 connection is still better due to higher bandwidth and no Thunderbolt encoding/decoding.

Yeah, the only downside is no laptops actually designed in a way which allow us to connect an M.2 eGPU without modifying the chassis (and void the warrenty) or opening the lid.


Is there any difference between Icelake and Tigerlake using TB3 enclosures? Hope we see TB4 enclosures soon

Ryan Zeelie

@itsage, I noticed that in the thunderbolt control center picture it says ‘Thunderbolt 3″. Is there a reason for that? I have a the same specs as you in a different laptop but mine says Thunderbolt 4

Ryan Zeelie

@itsage, Ah I see! Thanks!

David Márquez Mato

@itsage, I have been researching about TB4 for a while and If I am not misstaken your AIDA snapshot indicates that the enclosure is using only 22Gbit/s (like TB3 to TB3 enclosure). I understand that this is because the limit of the TB3 chip inside the eGPU enclosure, that If I am not wrong means that the only advantage of TB4 in the laptop’s side is the latency reduction. In other word, It seams to mean that when TB4 enclosures arrive we would be able of reach the 32Gbit/s (with a ~45% gain of performace, in the best case scenario,… Read more »


@David Márquez Mato, I don’t think Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 devices will have greater PCIe bandwidth than 24 Gbps. While there exists USB4/Thunderbolt 4 host controllers (Tiger Lake, M1 Mac, Maple Ridge), there don’t exist any high bandwidth USB4/Thunderbolt 4 devices yet. We have to wait until they exist before we can do benchmarks. NVMe enclosures that claim to be USB4 are actually only Thunderbolt with USB connection capability. 


Posted by: @joevt
@David Márquez Mato, I don’t think Thunderbolt 4 or USB4 devices will have greater PCIe bandwidth than 24 Gbps. While there exists USB4/Thunderbolt 4 host controllers (Tiger Lake, M1 Mac, Maple Ridge), there don’t exist any high bandwidth USB4/Thunderbolt 4 devices yet. We have to wait until they exist before we can do benchmarks. NVMe enclosures that claim to be USB4 are actually only Thunderbolt with USB connection capability. 

I think we’ll eventually get Goshen Ridge eGPU clients, but it may take a while.


@itsage,   Hi thank you for the reply. Yes there’s not even Microsoft Basic Display Adapter in the Device Manager. The gaming box LED and Fan is working definitely. After plugged in, only the connection sound and aorus gaming box in the thunderbolt control center, BUT no automatic software/driver installation and nothing shown in the device manager. When going to device settings, it shows the gaming box as USB-HID Device with mouse icon on it. Is this normal? I have been plugging in and out based on what i’ve read on here, reddit and youtube. Multiple install/uninstall and updating bios,… Read more »


You could also try removing and re-seating the GPU. 
I don’t know why, but this has seemed to have fixed a similar if not identical issue for me and another person on this forum, even though the card appeared to be seated correctly.