2017 15" Dell Precision 5520 M1200 + RX [email protected] (Sonnet Puck) + Win 10 [mbp8k]^  

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mbp8k
(@mbp8k)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 28
December 22, 2017 6:50 am  

As of writing this I've used this combo for about a week and it's working pretty well but not perfect, the imperfections may be due to my use case though (driving an 8k screen which requires two displayport 1.4 connections) - Tbd.

System specs:
Dell Precision 5520 M1200
- i7-7820HQ (quad, 2.9-3.9ghz)
- m1200 4gb
- 4k laptop screen (3840x2160)
- 32gb mem
- 1 tb3 port
- etc...

External monitor:
- dell 8k  31.5in up3218k (7680x4320) via 2 dp1.4 ports

eGPU hardware:
- Sonnet puck RX 570

Installation steps were nothing memorable hence this is a bit hazy to me after a week but approximately it was:
- turn everything off
- connect egpu
- power on egpu
- power on laptop
- login and let drivers auto load
- reboot after a while
- may need to repeat this process a few times
- cant recall if i manually installed the actual graphics driver or if it did it automatically

Benchmarks:
- I dont game on this system so didn't benchmark anything.

My use case / high resolution 8k desktop real estate:
- For my use case I'm leaving the laptop lid open and thus keep the original 4k screen active too.
- 8k works great with only a couple minor issues.
- I did have to connect the displayport cables in the right order. There appear to be ordering/configurations that will result in only 4k or crash the display.
- It can be annoying to realize you accidentally didnt fully plug in one of the displayport cables and thus can only achieve 4k thinking its a driver other reason. Its new to me to have a monitor that can be 'partially working'.
- After coming out of screen-sleep-mode it causes the monitor to crash / hang about 20% of the time, or display a distorted/stretched resolution another 20% of the time. If this happens then the solution is pulling the power on the monitor. To avoid that problem entirely, turn the monitor off before bringing the pc out of screen-sleep-mode, then turn it on after the pc has properly readied itself for a monitor. Its worth noting that this has not happened to my other pc/egpu (macbookpro 2017 + win 10 + aorus gaming box 1080 which is nvidia instead of amd) with the 8k monitor so far.
- the sonnet puck is dead silent for my desktop-application use case (unlike the aorus gaming box 1080 which is quite a bit louder).
- the compactness of the puck is also great, was able to easily mount it to the wall under my desk.
- initially i was skeptical that my multiple low-res monitor workflow would translate well to a single 8k, but in practice it's far exceeded my expectations. dell's display manager which helps with multi-tasking has turned out quite useful here too.
- my main goal was multi tasking so originally I didn't think how much this display would actually improve the crispness and therefore readability of any / all text (i'm an engineer dealing with code mostly and not graphic designer). readability is amazing.

Other notes:
- I also haven't tried sleep or hotplugging-tb3, I'm not particularly optimistic about these features.
- Sitting the precision's 4k along side the 8k adds what appears to be almost a perfect extra quadrant to the 8k. The screens must have similar dpi's, resulting in seamless desktop transition between the two.

All in all the system all together works great.

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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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1815
December 22, 2017 6:57 am  

Please include some picture. We would like to see your gear.

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/implementation-guide-template/

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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mbp8k
(@mbp8k)
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 28
January 16, 2018 7:25 am  

For reference to others that might consider this combo:

For the last few weeks of trying out the precision 5520 + sonnet puck. I wouldn't recommend this specific combo. Everyday when I leave work I put the displays to sleep. Note that I disabled computer sleep, so the computer remains on. However, everyday I come back to work with the egpu disconnected (e.g. no extra gpu in device manager) and sometimes the machine is frozen. A simple reboot solves the problem but this is annoying.

Now, there could be external influences, such as an unstable power grid (very unlikely) but I've never had a problem with it while present at the machine (+8hrs/day). Even with short breaks during lunch I have not see any issues. Another factor is that I'm running an 8k display which is a bit more complicated and possibly prone to driver issues than most due the MST (single display, two displayport connections), so could be something there but other combos of both of these components (sonnet puck, and separately the precision 5520) dont crash.

Anyway, the good news is that I swapped out my sonnet box with my aorus box 1080, and it seems that the precision 5520 + aorus box 1080 is stable. Have only run this for a few days now but the previous setup reliably crashed each day so I'm sure I'm past that issue.

And separately, the sonnet puck works fine with my macbook pro 2017 (which was previously rigged to my aorus box 1080 and also working fine), no crashing at all. Although one minor issue is that the sonnet puck fails to connect to my 8k monitor at the correct resolution every so often (same on both my macbook and precision 5520). The fix is to power cycle the monitor once or twice. However, this is annoying because of course all of your windows get rearranged. I'm guessing its a general issue with AMD's drivers for MST and not really an issue with the sonnet puck per say.

One nice pro for the sonnet puck is that it fits exactly into the gap between the monitor stand and the monitor, above the vesa mount point as shown in the pic below.  Yeah it blocks a bit of ventilation but I'm not gaming on it.

 

 

I'll see about a more general setup picture later but I dont have anything acceptable now.

 

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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mois
 mois
(@mois)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 70
March 13, 2018 2:10 am  

@mbp8k, I have the same 8K display. I'd prefer to drive it with an ATI card over Nvidia as ATI are more open source-friendly.

I started this thread https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/drive-the-8k-display-dell-up3218k-fed-via-two-dp1-4-using-sonnet-puck-560-570-or-other-solution-thoughts-comments/ on the topic and found your comment here at first now.

Since I use Windows 10 exclusively for now at least, maybe I should just take the Nvidia route afterall, and buy the Aorus Box 1080 for stability. Or?

Do you think your stability issues with the Puck are because of ATI/Radeon or because of the Puck, would buying another Thunderbolt 3 connected Radeon 570 likely be stable?

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mbp8k
(@mbp8k)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 28
March 13, 2018 4:51 pm  

I responded in the other thread, but to add to that - I believe the issues were probably amd and not due to sonnet.

I am happy with both options now (nvidia and amd) after I figured out all the workarounds, but it was a bit frustrating at first.

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Sky11
(@sky11)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 309
March 13, 2018 5:12 pm  

@mbp8k:
- what AMD driver are you using?
- have you updated your laptop BIOS to the latest web posted:  http://www.dell.com/support/home/ca/en/cadhs1/drivers/driversdetails?driverId=NFKYX
- have you updated Thunderbolt Firmware to the latest web posted:  http://www.dell.com/support/home/ca/en/cadhs1/drivers/driversdetails?driverId=8VJR1

I do know from a fact that with the latest Dell updated and latest AMD driver the combination should be rock solid stable, and if not (in your case), I want to know why

P.S. Please make sure you have latest Thunderbolt software from Dell's website when you are updating NVM on the laptop (same logic applies to all other OEMs)

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mbp8k
(@mbp8k)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 28
March 14, 2018 3:00 am  

1. Radeon software version 17.7
2. My current (and likely permanent) setup has the sonnet box rx 570 is connected to my macbook pro 2017. On that system I am running stock bios with win10.
3. I am running stock TB firmware. By the way, how would I tell what TB driver version I'm currently using?

How are the latest drivers for macbook pro's running windows?

If I update my drivers i'll let you know if any of the issues persist, but for now i'm keeping at my current stable configuration, dont want to risk any time consuming debugs efforts at the moment.

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Sky11
(@sky11)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 309
March 14, 2018 1:36 pm  

@mbp8k:  I cannot comment about MacBook Pro, but regarding your Dell - definitely worth updating the BIOS and Thunderbolt NVM. We see a noticeable improvement in stability, etc.
Also try a newer Thunderbolt driver:   https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26486/NUCs-Thunderbolt-Bus-Driver-for-Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC7i5BN-and-NUC7i7BN

As I commented on the other 8K thread, AMD will be posting a new driver early next week - Adrenalin 18.3.3, please give it a try (must disconnect from Internet after you downloaded the new driver and BEFORE you start installing the new one)

To check which version of the Thunderbolt™ software, NVM firmware, and drivers you are running, do the following:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type Thunderbolt and click on the search result.
  3. In the system tray, right-click the Thunderbolt icon.
  4. Click Settings > Details

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FJFG84
(@fjfg84)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 11
March 15, 2018 9:48 pm  

The link you provide is the official NUC NVM firmware, does it work with DELL computers? Because I'm unable to update my NVM, as I keep getting the message with the DELL firmware:

If it works mbp8k, you will address also your issues, because an update to NVM solves a lot of issues. I do not know why INTEL is not taking the lead and provide firmware and drivers for all vendors, as with graphic cards, ethernet, and so on...

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Sky11
(@sky11)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 309
March 15, 2018 11:24 pm  

@fjfg84: Correction: the link I provided from Intel's side is Thunderbolt driver, not thunderbolt firmware.

For Dell firmware update, yes you need to have Dell's version of Thunderbolt software. Looks like firmware update utility checks for the version of Thunderbolt driver, and if it does not match what it was validated with, gives you the error message.
Not a big deal. Uninstall newer version of TB driver, install the one from the Dell site, and then safely update the firmware. After that, you can either stay with that version - if everything works fine, then don't change.

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FJFG84
(@fjfg84)
Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 11
March 16, 2018 2:53 am  

@sky11: It does not update the NVM firmware even with the DELL drivers in their web... I don't know why, but there are more people as me, unable to update the NVM in DELL computers.

For example: Unable to update Thunderbolt firmware

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