2018 12" Lenovo ThinkPad X280 [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming ...
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2018 12" Lenovo ThinkPad X280 [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 [Ville_Tuominen]  


Ville Tuominen
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

System specs (model inc screen size, cpu, iGPU, dGPU, operating system)

Lenovo ThinkPad X280
1920 x 1080 Full HD IPS
Intel UHD Graphics 620
8th Gen i5-8250U 1.8GHZ, 3.4GHz Turbo
8GB DDR4 2400MHz
Windows 10 Pro
1x Thunderbolt 3
2x USB 3.0
1x USB-C 3.1
1x LTE

eGPU hardware

Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box ( https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N1070IXEB-8GD#kf)
Thunderbolt 3 Cable (0.5m)

Hardware pictures

Under link you can find CUBA-Z result and my setup picture.

Samsung 24" Curved monitor, Bose Companion 20

Installation steps

Installation was pretty "easy". Downloaded Aorus Engine, newest Nvidia driver and new firmware for H2D (There was updated 2019/01/08 firmware. I am not sure did they update thunderbolt update tool since I used other trick)
The other way to update firmware without using older 16.2 TB App was to download other thunderbolt update tool. Credits to nomadiclizard at reddit! (used HDMI Firmware Update link: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26609/NUCs-HDMI-Firmware-Update-Tool-for-Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC7i3BN-NUC7i5BN-NUC7i7BN-NUC6CAY?product=95067)
With newer Thunderbolt FW Update Tool I just followed Aorus instructions to update Gaming Box. I updated succesfully with this method.

Reddit comment (nomadiclizard) about it ( https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/comments/7tgr6x/just_got_the_aorus_gaming_box_1070_but_i_get_an/e0r02oe)

I founded out that in Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box firmware folder you had two different .bin files. You have to pick that bin file that matches your Gaming Box when you select controller/device at Thunderbolt FW Update Tool.
Also noticed that they messed up with naming Thunderbolt FW Update Tool as "Gaming box update guide.docx.exe".


Same link as in Hardware pictures. CUBA-Z result seems to be what it should be for 2-lane.

I also tested Grand Theft Auto V with Internal and External screen. With Internal screen I got with normal settings Full HD (1920 x 1080) about 45-60fps while driving in Los Santos.
With External screen I tried with all settings High and game run pretty smoothly 60fps. I had kinda strange freezing issue while playing. Game froze suddenly but if I open my laptop screen game normally continued.
I also tested with windowed mode and game didn't freeze.

I might upload other benchmarks later.


So I have been always really curious about EGPU and finally I have one! The X280 is excellent laptop for school study and at work since it is really small to carry, good battery and good performance.
Performance from Aorus GTX 1070 Gaming Box is good. It is small package to carry to other places and gives good boost to play games.
But for downside my Gaming Box has coil whine. After leds switch on same time starts coil whine which seems to cover fan noise. Has others had coil whine with Gaming Box?

While Gaming I can't much hear coil whine + fan noise from Gaming Box since X280 fan is also making noise and my Bose Companion 20 has good sounds to cover both Gaming Box and X280 noise. After all I am happy about current setup!

While writing this topic I had today problem that my computer had lost Nvidia drivers. I used DDU to delete drivers and reinstalled and got Gaming Box to work again. I also selected that Windows should not update drivers (not sure if that helps).

Please leave comments and ask if I forgot to mention something!

edit 1 : basic font fixing
edit 2: Added reddit post about updating Gaming Box with newer FwUpdateTool

This topic was modified 2 years ago

Lenovo ThinkPad X280 12,5" (i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD)

2018 12" Lenovo ThinkPad X280 [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 [build link]  

mr.ribeiro and itsage liked
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Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago

@ville_tuominen Thank you for sharing this build guide! I'm curious to learn more about the HDMI Firmware Update tool and how it helps with firmware flashing on the eGPU enclosure. I wish Lenovo had not used a x2 PCIe lane connection for the Thunderbolt 3 port on this ThinkPad X280.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
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2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 // my 3rd RTX 3080 build [build link]  

Ville Tuominen
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago

Hey itsage

I actually founded that method from reddit post (link: https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/comments/7tgr6x/just_got_the_aorus_gaming_box_1070_but_i_get_an/).

So as nomadiclizard says Gigabyte/Aorus were using old version of FwUpdateTool.exe which only work with older Thunderbolt drivers (16.2). If you get newer version of FwUpdateTool.exe you can update your Aorus firmware without downgrading Thunderbolt drivers. But I still don't know that has Aorus/Gigabyte updated FwUpdateTool.exe since there is currently at their support website new version of firmware for Gaming Box.

Ya its unfortunately that it X280 only has 2x PCIe lanes. But luckely I will mostly use external screen so it shouldn't effect much.

This post was modified 2 years ago

Lenovo ThinkPad X280 12,5" (i5-8250U, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD)

2018 12" Lenovo ThinkPad X280 [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1070 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 [build link]  

itsage liked