2016 13" Dell XPS 13 9360 + [email protected] (Lenovo TB3 Graphics Dock) + Win10 / Linux  

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smu
 smu
(@smu)
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Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 2
March 9, 2018 4:38 pm  

Hey all! I've been meaning to get an eGPU for a while now, but they have been hard/expensive to come by in North Europe. I was surprised to find that the new Lenovo dock could be shipped here, and while the price was not low the form factor sealed the deal. So, I decided to bite the bullet and try to see if I could get the enclosure to work. And it did!

System specs

  • 2016 13" Dell XPS 13 9360
  • Intel i7-7500 2.7-2.9GHz 2c/4t
  • 16GB DDR3 2133MHz
  • Intel HD Graphics 620
  • 1TB SSD
  • Windows 10 Pro

eGPU hardware

  • Lenovo TB3 Graphics Dock (vendor link)
  • GTX 1050 (4 GB GDDR5)
  • 0.5m TB3 cable

Hardware pictures

Picture of the enclosure on the table.
Picture of the enclosure itself with pen and mouse for reference size.

Installation steps

I first updated BIOS version to 2.5.1 from Dell. Then, I installed the driver (version 100044) supplied by Lenovo (see vendor link above). That was all I needed to do on Win 10 Pro. TB firmware has been updated once when I got the  laptop, about a year ago? No idea as to the version.

Benchmarks

I have no idea if these were run properly, but here are screenshots: Aida, Valley. Run on external monitor with laptop display turned off.

Comments

The enclosure seems to work fine so far allowing me to play games that would otherwise have been unplayable (eg. PUBG), and allowing other games to run at high quality (eg. Rocket League).

However, there are some issues regarding charging through the TB3 connection. Charging seems to work intermittently: sometimes charging will work when plugging the cable in, other times it won't (while the enclosure works otherwise). The battery does not seem to drain though. The message given by Windows is 'Plugged in, not charging'. I have yet to ascertain the cause for this. Perhaps updating the TB firmware would help?

As for Linux compatability, Arch identifies the dock and all connected peripherals work out of the box, and after configuring Bumblebee the enclosure works with Arch as well!

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3228
March 9, 2018 7:59 pm  

I'm glad to see you get the Lenovo TB3 Graphics Dock to work with your XPS 9360. The Lenovo driver is a crucial part to make this work. I highly doubt it will work in Linux. I've tried pairing it with my MacBook Pro is macOS and no-go so far. Your AIDA and Valley results look good.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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smu
 smu
(@smu)
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Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 2
March 9, 2018 10:07 pm  

Yeah, the dock didn't seem to work on Windows without the Lenovo driver.

As for Linux, it actually worked out OK. In fact I'm writing this from Linux. I roughly followed the guide linked here, and pretty much after setting up user mode in /sys/bus/thunderbolt/ and enabling Bumblebeed I could get X on the external monitor working through the dock by specifying the display with

DISPLAY=:8 startx

from the virtual terminal after login.

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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ghislain4
(@ghislain4)
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Joined: 1 year ago
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March 10, 2018 8:44 am  

"The message given by Windows is 'Plugged in, not charging'" is normal. The battery will not start charging before its charge drops below 94 to 95%. Note that when the battery is charging through the USB C port connected to the Lenovo Dock, the eGPU is no longer recognized by the PC until 100% charging is reached. At least it is how it works for me with Akitio Node eGPU connected to a 13" Razor Blade laptop through a Lenovo Thinkpad TB3 Dock...

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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vgnmnky
(@vgnmnky)
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Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 3
April 24, 2018 2:38 pm  

Just to confirm, you're actually getting increased performance in Linux, not just the usual Intel graphics being passed through?  I need one of these for my NUC...

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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samueljasonh
(@samueljasonh)
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Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 1
May 7, 2018 2:19 am  

so what kind of frame rates were u getting, and at what setting? I’m just wondering before I decide to get one or not. An accurate response from anyone with a similar set up would be greatly appreciated. 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Rycco
(@rycco)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 277
July 6, 2018 1:49 am  

Would this eGPU work on Windows on a Macbook Pro?

mid-2017 15" Macbook Pro RP555 + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + macOS & Win10


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