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2018 13" Dell XPS 13 9370 [8th,4C,U] + R9 380 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 35...
 

2018 13" Dell XPS 13 9370 [8th,4C,U] + R9 380 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 350D) + Win10 [captainskyhawk] // GC-Titan-Ridge  

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captainskyhawk
(@captainskyhawk)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

System Specs

  • 2018 Dell XPS 13" 9370
  • Intel Core i5-8250U
  • 8GB RAM
  • iGPU
  • Windows 10


eGPU Hardware

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box - Developer Edition
  • Sapphire R9 380 2GB  ITX Compact


Hardware Pictures: 

  • Soon to come!


Installation Steps:

  • Mostly plug and play. 
  • Had to update Thunderbolt drivers with installer file from Dell, before the Thunderbolt control panel would state that it "supported eGPUs"
  • Updated graphics card drivers with latest drivers from AMD.
  • Also updated the BIOS with the new version from Dell.

Crucial was figuring out the pattern of connecting the laptop to the eGPU.  It's not exactly completely plug & play, but it's close:

  • When wanting to play video games using the eGPU, shut down the laptop entirely. 
  • Then plug in the eGPU to the Thunderbolt port closest to the front of the computer -- not the one closest to the screen.
  • Then, start the laptop.  The laptop will boot into Windows, and then after a few seconds, you get a notification about "AMD XConnect".  The eGPU will then be used when one launches video games.
  • To disconnect from eGPU: this can be done either by turning the laptop completely off, or just by disconnecting the eGPU.  However, if the eGPU is connected again after this point, it doesn't seem to be recognized again, until the laptop is completely shut down again.


Benchmarks:

    • Working on getting some screenshots.  Currently scoring around ~850 in Unigine Heaven.  
    • Been mostly playing ARK: Survival Evolved on medium settings.  Plays great.  I know this is probably limited by the GPU and the limited amount of VRAM it has, and I'm planning to upgrade it soon.

 

4X TB Link Screenshot   OPI 4GT/s Screenshot 
DELL 9370 BUS LINK SPEED

DELL 9370 SAMSUNG 512GB SSD


Comments:

Frankly, it's been amazing.  It's basically a <3lbs laptop, that can be plugged into a base station and become a gaming PC.  Amazing.

This topic was modified 8 months ago

2018 13'' Dell XPS 9370 + R9 380 [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Dev Edition) + Win 10


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thorne402
(@thorne402)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Hi! I've got an almost similar setup to yours, but i'm using a Nvidia GPU and i've managed to get settings by which i can pretty much freely connect and disconnect the Sonnet box without any problems or glitches. So it works quite alike a plug-and-play setup for me which is very nice.

At first i got some errors but then i adjusted the Thunderbolt settings in the laptop's Bios and then it got better. If you'd like a can check out the setting i changed and then you can try if it helps.

It might also have to do something with the AMD controls for the eGPU which might be implemented a bit differently than the Nvidia version.

Have you checked how are your temperatures and CPU clocks while gaming? From my limited experience it seems that not using the Intel integrated chip helps with the temps since that component doesn't need power or generate heat since using an eGPU.

Dell XPS 13 9380 | i7-8560U | 16GB | 512GB | 4K Touch
Dell XPS 15 9570 | Base model, returned to shop
Dell XPS 13 9370 | i7-8550U | 16GB | 512GB | FHD (returned to shop)
Sonnet Breakaway Box 550W | MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z | AOC Agon AG271QG
Waiting for a ASUS ROG XG Station Pro


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captainskyhawk
(@captainskyhawk)
Active Member
Joined: 12 months ago
 

Very interesting!  Yes -- I believe my problems definitely come from either the fact that I have an AMD gpu, or at least because it's a fairly old AMD gpu at this point.

Most other users on this site seem to use either Nvidia cards or at least newer AMD gpus.

About the Intel iGPU -- how do you get yours to turn off?

2018 13'' Dell XPS 9370 + R9 380 [email protected] (Sonnet Breakaway Dev Edition) + Win 10


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