2018 14" Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 6th Gen [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 56 @ 32Gbps-TB3 ...
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2018 14" Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th Gen [8th,4C,U] + RX Vega 56 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + Linux Pop! OS [shadethegrey]  


Active Member
Joined: 5 years ago

-Lenovo X1 Carbon 6th Gen
-i7 8550U 1.8 4 core
-14 inch 1920x1080 Lcd,
-Intel 620 iGPU
-Pop! OS Linux

MSI Vega56 Air Boost
Sonnet Breakaway 550
No External Monitor.

I'll try to get some pictures put up.

I installed the card in the sonnet, loaded Pop! OS and plugged the egpu in with the computer on.  It detected the egpu and loaded the amdgpu kernel module and it was running.  I have to run DRI_PRIME=1 before the executable to tell the system to run it on the external GPU.  That's all I have done.

Benchmarks on Internal LCD, High settings.
Unigine Heaven Intel GPU
7/23/11 FPS
Unigine Heaven Vega56 EGPU
17/146/66 FPS

This setup, even with the really thin X1, runs better than any other system I have built.  It feels faster than the P50 I had by quite a bit.  The sheer portability is why I went with this setup.  I run only the internal laptop display as I wanted as clean and simple a setup as I can get.  Overall I am very happy with this setup.  I didn't have to upgrade the power supply in the Sonnet 550 for the Vega 56 either.

Suspend seems to work ok so far.  I can close the lid, the X1 suspends, the egpu shuts down.  I open it, everything fires back up and keeps going normally.  Hot eject will lock up the whole thing, so don't do that, hot plug seems to be ok though.

There have been some issues with a couple steam games, mainly Feral games.  They start with a script and it seems to crash when you put DRI_PRIME=1 in the launch options, which I find ironic, considering they are Linux native.  Rise of the Tomb Raider and Mad Max both crash when attempting to get them to run on the egpu.  Everything that is Proton-Based seems to work great.  So I'm still tinkering with them.

2021 15" Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 1 (Q T1000) [10th,6C,H] + RTX A4000 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + Win10 [build link]  

nando4 and itsage liked
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Joined: 4 years ago


Looks like a nice setup! For the crashing games, did you try adding prime as an environment variable with the command "export DRI_PRIME=1"? This should make all subsequent things run on the egpu.

Mid-2012 13" Macbook Pro (MacBookPro9,2) TB1 -> RX 460/560 (AKiTiO Node/Thunder2)
+ macOS 10.15+Win10 + Linux Mint 19.1

2012 13" MacBook Pro [3rd,2C,M] + RX 460 @ 10Gbps-TB1 (AKiTiO Thunder2) + macOS 10.14.4 [build link]  

Active Member
Joined: 5 years ago


So far, export DRI_PRIME=1 does not do anything to the Feral Games.  They look like they do something that looks like almost a chroot with the steam runtime and no matter what or where I put the DRI command, it has no effect or the game simply won't start.  I've been inspecting the startup script, but I haven't gone as far as making the thing try to rely on the system libraries vs. the ones it comes with.

I will say though, I did manage to get this working on Fallout 76 in lutris with this hardware.  I have some crashes with sound I am working on, but I am amazed how this Carbon X1 holds up with this setup.

2021 15" Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 1 (Q T1000) [10th,6C,H] + RTX A4000 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + Win10 [build link]