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2017 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P51 (Q M1200M) [7th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonn...
 

2017 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P51 (Q M1200M) [7th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10 [mrBrown] // also tested PCE164P-N03 x1 M.2 adapter  

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mrBrown
(@mrbrown)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
 

 

In short

Hello everybody. Here's my addition to the implementation guide.

A Thinkpad P51 combined with a Sonnet Breakaway box (350W) and an MSI GTX1080 Gaming X is a nice setup if you do 3d modelling / VR (Oculus Rift).

 

Longer version

I'm an architect. I mainly do 3d modelling in SketchUp, Unreal Engine and evaluate/present design options in VR (Oculus Rift).
I used to work on a 5 year old desktop system (i5 3570) combined with a MSI gtx1080 gaming X gfx card. I wanted my setup to be more portable to be able show the VR at my clients' location as well.

I tried a gamer laptop (MSI GS63VR 7RG) for a day but that one got very hot all the time (85 to 95 degrees and thus very loud). Instead I chose a Thinkpad (already using that line for 10 years) combined with an eGPU setup.

Using this setup in windows 10 is very easy. Start laptop -> connect TB3 cable -> first time; install TB drivers -> disable Quadro in device manager -> start Unreal / Oculus -> enjoy.

I like that the laptop stays relatively cool (gpu disabled = less heat). On normal load (using Rift to view projects and using the internal laptop screen) you barely hear the fans spin. When playing VR games or during benchmarks they are more loud but not annoying. Maybe placing the eGpu under the table (longer TB3 cable) could improve that a bit.

 

 Specs of the Thinkpad P51

  • Product ID : 20HHCTO1WW
  •  Intel Core i7-7700HQ-processor (6 MB cache, maximaal 3,80 GHz) - 4 core, 8 threads
  •   15.6 FHD(1920x1080) IPS Non-Touch
  •   16 GB DDR4 2400 MHz SODIMM
  •   NVIDIA Quadro M1200 4 GB GDDR5
  •   512 GB SSD PCIe TLC OPAL2 (added another 512 PCIe + 512 ssd)

 

eGPU

 

Results

 

Suggestions to improve performance are always welcome. Feel free to ask questions for additional benchmarks.

 

Edit 171111 - Performance gets slightly better (1% - could also be something else) if I apply this tip I read on this forum; open DeviceManager -> View -> DevicesByConnection -> disable the PCIe controller just above the dGpu (Quadro).

 Edit 171116 - Replaced the original 0,5m TB3 cable with a 2m cable from Caldigit (TB3 cable-active, 5Amp, 40Gb/s Usb-c) so the Sonnet is now under the desk (more space, less noise when on high load). Not a big drop in performance (Cudaz still around 2070-2130).

2017 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P51 M1200 + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Business grade Thinkpad goodness shines with your eGPU implementation. Care to submit more pics of your notebook + eGPU to bring it all to life?

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) (6th,4C,H) + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + macOS 10.13.6 & Win10


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(@romiko_derbynew)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hi,

I have the same Laptop and would like to beef it up to play DCS World Flight Simulator. 

How is the performance going now and are you happy with the setup?
Why did you choose the Sonnet and not look at something like the Akito?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Daanv
(@daanv)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Dear mr Brown,

I was wondering if you can get sketch up to work with an eGPU. In my case I bought a akitio node eGPU with a Geforce gtx 1070 and tried to link it to my internal screen. But sketch up only seems to recognize my internal graphics card instead of my external and there is not an options to change this. How did you get it to work? I want to use it for real time rendering with enscape since I am an architect as well.

Looking forward to hear from you

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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mrBrown
(@mrbrown)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Romiko Derbynew

Hi,

I have the same Laptop and would like to beef it up to play DCS World Flight Simulator. 

How is the performance going now and are you happy with the setup?
Why did you choose the Sonnet and not look at something like the Akito?

Hi,
Sorry for the late reply. Performance is still good! Very happy with the setup. I did look at all the alternatives but I choose the Sonnet because its price was a bit lower.
Max

2017 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P51 M1200 + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10


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mrBrown
(@mrbrown)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Daanv

Dear mr Brown,

I was wondering if you can get sketch up to work with an eGPU. In my case I bought a akitio node eGPU with a Geforce gtx 1070 and tried to link it to my internal screen. But sketch up only seems to recognize my internal graphics card instead of my external and there is not an options to change this. How did you get it to work? I want to use it for real time rendering with enscape since I am an architect as well.

Looking forward to hear from you

Hi Daanv,
I use SketchUp al the time. Works great. I have disabled the integrated Quadro  (only enable it when using the laptop without the egpu and need to attach a beamer to it)

To get the egpu to work in SketchUp; 
1. connect your laptop to the egpu.
2. in the Nvidia control panel force SketchUp to use the high end gfx card;

  1. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel.
  2. Select "Manage 3D Settings"
  3. Select "Program Settings" tab.
  4. Click "Add" button.
  5. Browse to and select the application executable you wish to create a profile for.
  6. Choose the preferred graphics processor to use from the drop menu.

After this, in the SketchUp preferences - OpenGl, choose the higher settings for anti aliasing and enable fast feedback.
Hope this helps,
Max

2017 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P51 M1200 + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10


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Skullclub
(@skullclub)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

I know this is a bit of an old thread, but in your case do you **need** to disable the internal Quadro to use the eGPU?

I just ordered a Thinkpad P53, and I have an RTX 2080 for use as an eGPU.  I'd like to be able to run heavy 3D simulations/renders on both the eGPU and internal Quadro card simultaneously.    🙂 

This guy says he's able to run the internal Quadro + external 1080 TI simulataneously, on his Thinkpad P72 & Razer Core X.
https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2018-lenovo-thinkpad-p71-8th6ch-gtx-1080ti-32gbps-tb3-razer-core-x-win10-detailed-4k-benchmarks-comparison-vs-my-i7-8700k-gaming-pc/

If he can and you can't, I wonder if that's mostly due to his P72 being a bit newer, and Windows support for this having improved over time.  It seems less likely that the eGPU enclosure itself would be to blame, but I'm totally new to eGPU stuff, so if that's a bad assumption just let me know!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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mrBrown
(@mrbrown)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Hi @Skullclub, in short; I'm not sure and I can't test it anymore. I dismantled the eGpu a few weeks ago, back to a desktop machine and just using the P51 for more light work. Work has been more cpu intense lately and the P51 couldn't catch up well. Also, nowadays a Quest is used to show my clients VR at their location so I didn't need to take the eGpu on the road anymore.

I think with Nvidia Control panel you could force some programs to use the RTX and others the Quadro. I have no idea if a rendering program could detect both and distribute the load on both (and if you would benefit from this). Which 3d simulation program are you using?

2017 15" Lenovo Thinkpad P51 M1200 + [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway 350) + Win10


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Skullclub
(@skullclub)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

Most of my work is in Houdini, and currently rendering mostly in Redshift.

Houdini allows you to specify separate GPUs for rendering the viewport & for OpenCL acceleration, which is quite cool.  I haven't tried it, but found some info about it here:
https://www.vfxarabia.co/post/using-2-gpus-to-accelerate-houdini-opengl-opencl

It also seems like it would work nicely to kick off background renders on the eGPU RTX 2080, while still being able to work interactively using the internal Quadro.
(I went with an 8-core i9 CPU, & 64GB RAM, so should be doable.  The Thinkpad P53 actually supports 128GB RAM, which is insane for a mobile workstation that isn't massively big/heavy.)

I haven't tried using multiple GPUs for Redshift renders, but it seems to be a straightforward workflow and very popular.  It's one of the perks of GPU rendering in general.     🙂

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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