2018 15" Lenovo IdeaPad 720s 15IKB (GTX1050Ti) [7th,4C,H]+ RTX 2060 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (Lenovo BoostStation) + Win10
Model: 2018 15" Lenovo Ideapad 720s (15IKB)
Laptop GPU: 1050ti max q (2gb version)
CPU: Intel i7-7700HQ
OS: Windows 10
Note: Thunderbolt 3 is 2 lanes only.
Installation and connection steps
- Booted in to Windows
- Disable laptop's discrete GPU in Device Manager
- Turned on BoostStation
- Plugged supplied thunderbolt cable in to laptop
- Waited for Windows to detect and connect (visible in Device Manager when this is complete, only takes about 5 seconds)
- Ready to go!
Very simple and pretty much plug and play for me. Not sure if it made much difference but I have since also installed Booststation Optimisation.exe program as was suggested in the instructions.
I perform the same steps in the same order to connect each time and have had no problems yet.
egpu with internal laptop screen:
egpu with external screen:
(note: currently i do not have a monitor so this was just connected to my TV via an old hdmi cable)
I have almost entirely only used this via the internal laptop screen so far. Gaming is much better and stable(ish) FPS of around 45 to 60 FPS on games such as Jedi Fallen Order, Battlefront 2, Doom, GTA V all on pretty much the highest settings and 1920 x 1080 resolution which is fine for me as i only casually play the odd game here and there.
Have also used in Blender and indications are renders will around be twice as fast for me.
I am not very familiar with 3DMark but I presume the benchmarks are showing I have essentially doubled my GPU performance with the Booststation (even on internal display), and my best score apparently makes it akin to a Gaming Laptop.
I am aware my CPU is likely to bottleneck on some games. I have, however, found using the EGPU helps with my laptop temperatures thus improving CPU performance (you can see this in the benchmark screenshots).
It is slightly bigger than I expected and, with the supplied cable very short, it is all quite awkward on a small desk. With a longer cable (which will cost me £50) this could sit under my desk. EGPU is also a little heavy so not something you want to move around too much - definitely to keep within your home/office and not for on-the-go.
My other slight issue is that - because I need to disconnect my laptop GPU first - when i disconect the EGPU and try to re-connect my laptop GPU I get an 43 error message. Update the drivers and re-start and the issue is resolved but slightly annoying nonetheless.
Given my laptop only has TB3 with two lanes i was concerned performance would be poor on the internal screen - but i am pleasantly surprised and it is much better than my onboard GPU which is limited being 2gb VRAM. Maybe two lanes doesnt restrict performance as much as i expected.
I have yet to properly test all the other ports on the EGPU (ethernet and SSD slots) other than the USB but it is handy to have these and I plan to use it more as a dock as well in due course.
Update:I realised I had an old sata ssd so thought I would test this out. The bracket is already inside the Booststation. I fixed the ssd to the bracket with my own screws, popped it in and started to connect the cables. I was a bit confused here until I realised that the SATA cable (and screws) were all included in the original box (doh!). But overall very simple to install - connected the Boostation as per usual and it detected the hard drive fine.
Overall very happy with the performance and that it is so quick and easy to set up. Also like the fact that it is upgradeable - maybe in a year or two I will upgrade the GPU and try it with a new laptop by then too. Despite the size i like the design too - the colour matches my ideapad.