2019 15" MSI Prestige 15 (GTX1650) [10th,6C,U] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Pro) + Win10 1903 [itsage]
Currently Intel i7-10710U hexa-core CPU is only available in a handful of laptops. XPS 13 and MSI Prestige are the two systems I could purchase locally. I chose the Prestige 15 due to its larger cooling system, second NVMe M.2 slot, and DDR4 RAM. It also has a 4K matte display which will be useful for 4K eGPU internal display mode.
This was not as plug-and-play as I anticipated for a Windows laptop. Thunderbolt Control Center was preloaded out of the box. However the BIOS settings did not enable Thunderbolt Boot Support. Therefore a Thunderbolt 3 device connected prior to boot would not be exposed to the system. Once I opened Thunderbolt Control Center, I could manually approve the AKiTiO Node Pro and the GTX 1080 Ti started getting detection. Due to pairing an Nvidia eGPU to an Nvidia dGPU laptop, I ran DDU first to remove all Nvidia drivers. Then manually install the latest Nvidia DCH graphics drivers so that both dGPU and eGPU can work.
One disappointment is the Sandisk NVMe M.2 512GB drive was installed in a slot that has only an x2 PCIe connection. Hopefully the vacant M.2 slot is an x4 PCIe connection for M.2 eGPU testing. As seen below, the internal display is attached to Intel UHD Graphics iGPU so I can disable the GTX 1650 dGPU so that the eGPU work with iGPU for internal display acceleration. Without the dGPU running, the system runs nice and cool.
I ran Unigine and 3DMark synthetic benchmarks through both the GTX 1650 dGPU and GTX 1080 Ti eGPU. First set was GTX 1650 through the internal display at FHD, QHD, and UHD. Next was the GTX 1080 Ti eGPU through internal display mode. Last was GTX 1080 Ti eGPU through external monitor mode with an LG 4K monitor.
|MSI Prestige 15||Valley||Heaven||Superposition||Time Spy||Fire Strike|
|GTX1650 dGPU FHD||1,623||919||5,862||4,625||7,624|
|GTX1080Ti eGPU FHD INT||4,679||2,562||16,198||9,860||14,023|
|GTX1080Ti eGPU FHD EXT||4,604||2,708||17,247||11,582||18,908|
|GTX 1650 dGPU QHD||900||495||3,542||3,023||5,125|
|GTX1080Ti eGPU QHD INT||2,953||1,598||10,477||7,432||11,409|
|GTX1080Ti eGPU QHD EXT||3,337||1,872||12,182||8,185||14,188|
|GTX 1650 dGPU UHD||458||240||1,931||1,448||2,449|
|GTX1080Ti eGPU UHD INT||1,635||845||6,211||4,270||7,857|
|GTX1080Ti eGPU UHD EXT||1,701||894||6,641||4,361||8,690|
The MSI Prestige 15 ran without issues through the four hours of eGPU testing. No thermal throttling was observed through HWiNFO64. I also tested an Radeon RX Vega 64 eGPU but encountered error 12. This issue currently plagues a lot of Mac systems running Boot Camp and some Windows laptops. My plan with this laptop is to test the upcoming RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box in both Thunderbolt 3 and M.2 interface.