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.
Great review, thank you very much.
How satisfied are you with the cooling system?
I'm currently working on a razer blade advanced mid 2019 (2080 Max Q). Unfortunately, under load this is very loud and much too hot. Also just browsing results in noticeable fans. So I'm thinking about to sent it back.
How noisy is an egpu setup compared to a setup without egpu (using dgpu) when gaming or just browsing - e.g. this one or with an new XPS 15.
I'm wondering if I should try this MSI or the new DELL XPS 15 (the lg gram 17 is not really available in europe). In normal operation (coding / browsing) it should not be audible (like my old clevo). I think an additional egpu will be much more quieter (maybe the new watercooled Aorus Gaming Box is not really audible). Or will the cpu cooling be a problem (i7-9750H / i9-9980HK / i7-10710U ) and resulting in turning up the fans also?
@oliver_werk I haven't really used the GTX 1650 dGPU other than in the benchmarks to compare with eGPU. The majority of the time I had it completely disabled through Device Manager. Intel iGPU is the only graphics card running in mobile use. Therefore the cooling system doesn't have to work very much. I'm waiting on the RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box to observe noise on both the new Gaming Box and the MSI Prestige 15 when paired to an eGPU during gaming.
I chose the MSI with i7-10710U over the XPS 13 because the MSI's cooling system was built to accommodate a 45W processor such as i7-9750H. You can see through HWiNFO64 sensors the cooling was not an issue when only the CPU was active. It's not conclusive with the limited testing so far but I will have more information in the coming weeks.
@itsage Thanks, I really appreciate that. Looking forward to read the results.
How do you rate the noise of your current system with egpu and disabled dGPU - is the Prestige itself noticeable or complety silent when turning dGPU off - and what about the card in the AKiTiO Node Pro ? The spinning up and down of my razer (also when disabled egpu) is some kind of annoying in silent rooms not even the gaming ;). Also I'm used to a quiet environment when coding.
I think your setup could probably be a good solution for me too, hoping there is no throttling using the new cpu (in case of 2080 TI).
Were you ever able to find out about the x2 interface of the SSD? I'm considering this laptop but the x2 on the SSD may kill it for me >.< I've been drooling over this thing thinking I'm going to get it at the end of the month but I may reconsider if each NVME is restricted to an x2 limit (was gonna go RAID-0 NVME with WD Black drives with a Razer Core X). I suppose with low power comes compromises >.<
I forgot to add, I plan on pulling my GTX 970 card out of the desktop and putting it in the eGPU box.
@michael_j The second NVMe M.2 slot is a x4 PCIe connection.
@itsage Is this a notebook you'd recommend from your usage? I've been looking into this computer for a balance between mobility, powerful CPU (For video/photo editing) and the option for more graphically intense tasks with an eGPU.
Currently comparing against Yoga C940 and Razer Blade Stealth per your article on best laptops for eGPU.
Thanks in advance!
@super_yumtime, I mainly got it for M.2 eGPU adapter but the BIOS did not work well with that application. I returned it and got the 2019 Razer Blade Stealth which has the Ice Lake CPU (i7-1065G7). I would recommend an ultrabook with Ice Lake because of the on-die Thunderbolt 3 controller.