2016 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P50 (M2000M) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS...
 
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2016 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P50 (M2000M) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10  

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gpu_user
(@gpu_user)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

System specs

Lenovo Thinkpad P50 20EQS1WW00
1920x1080 FHD
Intel HD Graphics 530 iGPU
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M dGPU
i7-6820HQ 2.7GHz
32GB DDR4 RAM
BIOS N1EET87W 1.60
1TB M.2 NVMe SSD
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (10.0.19041.329)

Lenovo P50 Dock (40A50230EU)

eGPU hardware

Asus XG Station Pro

Powercolor XR 5700 XT Red Devil

Hardware pictures

Maybe later if I'm allowed to post pics

Installation steps

1. Update the Lenovo P50 with latest relevant available drivers (Thunderbolt and BIOS and basically)

2. Installed the card to eGPU enclosure

3. Connected enclosure to PC with TB3 cable (came with enclosure) (external display is connected to P50 dock)

4. Started the PC and installed latest AMD Radeon drivers

4. Renamed one AMD executable (C:\Program Files\AMD\CNext\CNext\AMDRSServ.exe) to get rid of the mouse indicator flashing when both dGPU and eGPU are enabled. It seems to be issue with having both Nvidia and AMD adapter enabled at same time

Benchmarks 

Heaven 4.0 Extreme 1920x1080 (external display connected to eGPU)

OC BIOS: 93,1 FPS (score 2346)

Silent BIOS: 90,1 FPS (score 2269)

Quadro M2000M: 19,0 FPS (score 480)

When external display is connected to docking station (not to eGPU) it gives ~73 FPS with both BIOS options.

 

3D Mark Firestrike (DX11, 1920x1080)

OC BIOS: 15421

Silent BIOS: 15325

 

Comments

After reading about eGPU experiences with P50 I was encouraged enough to try myself. My target was to get a quiet setup. Asus XG Station Pro has external power adapter, which means it's silent. The fans inside the enclosure are quiet enough by default, and could be adjusted with Asus software. I ended up buying Powercolor XR 5700 XT to ensure that the card is powerful and quiet enough. If I had digged more into bottlenecks of P50 & eGPU systems I guess I would've bought something less powerful, but what's bought is bought.

As you can see from Heaven benchmark result, P50 can't utilize the power of the 5700XT well if external display is connected to dock instead of eGPU. Using the "silent BIOS" didn't lower the FPS rate at all (actually I got a bit better result with that), and the silent BIOS is supposed to lower the performance, heat generation and power consumption. Anyway, the performance is good enough for me and if want more, I can update the laptop to something which can utilize the card better. Or use it in desktop PC.

I'm satisfied with the noise level of my setup. P50 is pretty quiet under load and this eGPU setup does not generate much hum over it either, and I could tune the enclosure fans if needed.

A bit surprisingly setup worked in plug&play style along with iGPU and dGPU. The external monitor is connected to P50 docking station. I don't need to disable dGPU or restart PC in order to get card/enclosure detected. It works as it should, so enclosure&card goes to sleep when I close the lid and wakes when lid is opened. I can keep TB3 cable unattached when I don't play games, and when I play, I power on the eGPU, connect the cable and it's good to go. Games seem to be able to use the 5700 XT automatically.

So pretty well considering that this is not officially supported on P50.

Please ask if you have any questions.

2016 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P50 (M2000M) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@gpu_user, Welcome aboard and thank you for sharing this build! AMD drivers are not very good with loopback acceleration. If you were to have the external monitor connected directly off the eGPU, the performance would improve significantly. I've used this very same RX 5700 XT Red Devil [build link] and got similar result through loopback/internal display mode. Switching to external mode with a bit of overclocking, it was reaching 100FPS.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

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


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gpu_user
(@gpu_user)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

@itsage, Thanks for the info!  I tested now with external display connected to eGPU and the FPS in Heaven improved from 73 -> 93, so it's then pretty much the same that you got with your setup. I've updated now the benchmark section in original post and put the Quadro M2000M result there for reference.

 

2016 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P50 (M2000M) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@gpu_user, Nice to see you got a similar improvement using external display mode. It's too bad AMD has not fixed this issue with loopback/internal display mode with Navi drivers.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

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


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jamiem
(@jamiem)
New Member
Joined: 3 months ago
 

Hey @gpu_user, your build is exactly what I'm looking at 🙂

I am looking to get an  Asus XG Station Pro  and a Sapphire Radeon  RX 5700 XT  Nitro+ as well, and was worried about the power on the  XG Station Pro  being enough to support that card. It says online that  5700 XT 's normally recommend a 600W PSU, but didn't think the cards were that power hungry?

Have you had any issues with the 330W power available in that eGPU?

Thanks!

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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gpu_user
(@gpu_user)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 

Hi @jamiem. Sorry for the late reply but I had missed the notification about your reply.

Is that 600W PSU recommendation for whole system or just the eGPU? I think it's for the whole setup. When I read reviews about the card, the measured power consumption of the card was around 260W with full load if I remember correctly.

I have not noticed power related issues so far. I've had some random crashes though, but they've not been related to the stressing of the card. Lately I've been playing FarCry 5 and my setup has worked fine. I have the eGPU powered on basically only when I'm playing.

Sometimes I've had to restart the PC in order to get eGPU detected, but usually it's plug 'n play.

2016 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P50 (M2000M) [6th,4C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 [build link]  

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