2019 13" Razer Blade Stealth (GTX1650) [10th,4C,G] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (R...
 
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2019 13" Razer Blade Stealth (GTX1650) [10th,4C,G] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 1909 [SolidFyre]  

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SolidFyre
(@solidfyre)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

History

When I got the LG Optimus 2X back in the day I instantly knew that ARM was to be the future and the dream of that "one system for everything" was within reach soon enough. Something that you can bring with you everywhere, do work on the move, but is also powerful enough to get you through all your entertainment needs.
Over the course of my lifespan I have built around 500-600 systems, including bigger ATX builds to tiny mITX builds, rack mounted servers and everything in between and I wanted to do something different, something everybody else wasn't doing.

I have been keeping an eye on the eGPU market for a very long time, waiting for it to be a "viable" alternative to my main rig and when the 10th gen Intel Icelake (with its internal thunderbolt controller) processors were announced I decided to finally jump on it. So anyway, I started reading.

My plan was first to get the hella sexy Lenovo S940 Late 2019 model and pair it with the Mantiz Venus enclosure, so I ordered the enclosure since the stock was running out and it being on discount. It finally arrived and I started fiddling around with it using several different laptops and graphics cards, and to my surprise it worked pretty good, even good enough for me to seriously start looking for the laptop to pair it with.
But when Christmas came around and there were no discounts in sight for the S940 I started looking for something else. Maybe the C940... nah. I really liked the slim form factor of the S940.

Suddenly another machine went on sale, the Razer Blade Stealth GTX. At first I was hesitant because of Razer being Razer, quality, support and all that but since I live in Sweden I though, I don't really have to worry about it since we have 1 year warranty, and 3 years reclamation right all through our retailer. So I don't really have to deal with Razer at all.
And besides, the price, 17999kr ($1889) was a really good discount (yes... this is a discount in Sweden, the computer retails for $2500 normally...).
Also I had employee discount so the price in the end was 17000kr, yay!

This system actually solved more problems for me since I both live in Sweden and in France. Its nice to have a system powerful enough on its own that I can play games even when traveling and staying in our house in France without the need for eGPU.
So the system finally arrived and I got into tinker mode. First issue I stumbled upon was that Mantiz Venus does not supply 100w so the Blade constantly whined about it. So I sold it and got the Razer Core X instead.

First thing I always do when I get a laptop is reinstall (to get rid of all the crapware) and upgrades. Usually I re-paste as well, but on this one I have not done it yet since its quite expensive.
So I bought a Corsair Force MP510 SSD 960GB M.2 NVMe, installed it into the machine and installed Windows 1909.
Reinstalling this machine was an ordeal in itself. There's an issue with the trackpad and drivers that many people seem to struggle with. I made a reddit post on how to solve it here.

I will detail issues and bugs I have stumbled upon down in comments.

System Specifications

  • Razer Blade Stealth GTX (13", 1650 GTX Max-Q, Intel Iris Graphics, 960GB Corsair Force MP510)
  • Alienware AW3418DW (34", 3440x1440, 120hz) x2

eGPU

  • Razer Core X (Corsair SF600)
  • Asus Geforce GTX 1080 Ti OC Turbo (NZXT Kraken G12 mounting kit, Corsair Hydro H55 120mm)

Hardware Pictures

I just moved and currently I am renting a temporary apartment from a friend so the setup is somewhat ghetto at the moment, but I have big plans once I find a new apartment.


Vertically mounted dual Alienware AW3418DW running at [email protected], works great! Mounted to this arm from amazon.de.


As I said, ghetto. Also the provided tb3 cables in pretty much all eGPU enclosures are apparently insanely short! 🙄 

As my 1080Ti was modified with the g12 Kraken kit and AIO cooler I had to rethink the Razer Core X a bit. So I did this and it works perfectly fine.
No modification of the case needed. Radiator mounted with some stripes and double sided tape to dampen the vibrations and the original fan I replaced (razer fan had a broken bearing anyway, chocking huh).

I was also forced to rip out the razer psu because of a lack of connections, luckily my SF600 that was collecting dust for years finally found its purpose.
I connected the pump and fans to with various adapters and a fan controller from an old Fractal Design chassis came into use that mounted with heat resistant double sided tape on the radiator. There is a fan connector on the board but my pump didn't seem to like that one, so I connected it on the same line as the controller, just before it so it doesn't interfere with pump speed.
Fans are set right at audible levels and still keeps gpu cool at around 69-71c.
Also, don't look at my modified VRAM cooling fins, they will be replaced soon (and yes one is missing).  😆 






I'm all about ghetto :mrgreen: 


Installation Steps

Pretty much connect and go... pretty much, or not... there are a few issues with this laptop and also a few gimmicks.

 

Problem 1 - Battery Life (post eGPU install)

Windows will happily report about 9-10 hours of battery life at fresh install of Windows 10 on this machine, but as soon as you connect the eGPU enclosure the first time, installation has been completed, Windows instead reports 1-3 hours. Something is eating away at the battery life and I cannot find out what but it is related to Nvidia drivers/applications. It might be that there is some driver or application mismatch between the eGPU cards driver package and the internal dGPU. One fix I found that actually works for me is this one below as the cuda package seems to have a more compatible driver for each card.

Solution - Install using Nvidia Cuda Package

Check out these threads and follow the instructions, its pretty simple.
https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/awful-battery-life-since-egpu-drivers-installed/
https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2018-15-razer-blade-15-gtx-1080ti32gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro-win10-1803-itsage/#post-63079

Granted this will not get you the latest drivers, but at least you will have a working battery...
So, yea, don't expect that to be fixed soon...

 

Problem 2 - CPU Power Throttling

In order to get this laptop running on a 100w adapter with its 1065G7 and 1650ti Razer had to... compromise.
It's important to learn how it works if you want it to perform as good as possible while connected to a eGPU.
By default the CPU run at a max of 15W and even lower when on battery saving mode in Synapse, however it is possible to unlock 25W without any bios tinkering at all.

Solution - Disable dGPU

In order to unlock full 25w CPU mode you need to:
1. Disable 1650GTX in device manager
2. Enable Gaming Performance Mode in Razer Synapse.
3. [Optional] Enable High Performance/Ultimate Performance power plans in Windows. 
Sometimes it bugs out and doesn't unlock to 25w, then you have to re-enable and re-disable the dGPU again. (I use "Intel Power Gadget" to verify, also your fps will be crap so you will notice)

Both Balanced and Battery Saver modes in Synapse chokes the CPU instantly down to 15w and 10w respectively. 
There is NO NEED to modify bios, unless you want to go above 25w and put your system and power brick on fire.

 

Problem 3 - Stuttering when lid closed

Running the laptop with the lid closed "works", if you either restart the computer after lid is closed or start the computer with the lid closed otherwise you will have extreme stuttering and about half your fps.

Solution - Restart iGPU

There is a workaround for this if you don't want to restart. Just run this powershell script as admin to restart the iGPU after lid has been closed. Just make sure to edit the HW id's to match your iGPU.

function Elevate()
{
# Check to see if we are currently running "as Administrator"
if (!([Security.Principal.WindowsPrincipal][Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity]::GetCurrent()).IsInRole([Security.Principal.WindowsBuiltInRole]"Administrator"))
{
$ScriptPath = $script:MyInvocation.MyCommand.Path
Start-Process powershell.exe -verb Runas -ArgumentList ("-executionpolicy bypass -noprofile -nologo -file `"$ScriptPath`"")
# Exit this unelevated script with exit code for "Error: Not elevated"
Exit 3;
}
}
Elevate
Disable-pnpdevice -instanceid "PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8A52&SUBSYS_10011A58&REV_07\3&11583659&0&10" -confirm:$false
Enable-pnpdevice -instanceid "PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_8A52&SUBSYS_10011A58&REV_07\3&11583659&0&10" -confirm:$false

 

Other minor issues:

HW accelerated applications stutter makes machine stutter - Another issue is that, whenever you highlight a window that uses HW acceleration (for example Spotify) cursor/everything starts to stutter until you highlight something else. This is Intermittent and doesn't always happen. I disabled HW Acceleration in Spotify (unnecessary anyway, so whatever) and the issue seems to have gone away.

External Display not showing windows 10 login screen when lid is closed - This one is somewhat intermittent as well, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. No fix found for this yet.

No real deal breakers yet. At least for me, however I will keep on adding more issues and fixes here as I find them.

 

Benchmarks

Coming soon...


Comments

This is not painless, but it is fun! Not sure if that makes me masochistic.
I will clean up and make this post more pretty as we go along.

This topic was modified 3 weeks ago

System : 2019 Razer Blade Stealth GTX 13" || Razer Core X || GTX1080Ti || Kraken G12 + Corsair AIO cooler.


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(@donquixote_doflamingo)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

@solidfyre

I have a question. If I connect my peripherals to my monitor with usb a port, then connect it to my gpu in my Razer Core X through displayport, will my mouse and keyboard work? Also any budget monitor recommendations for it? I'm intereseted in MSI Optix MAG241C 

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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SolidFyre
(@solidfyre)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@donquixote_doflamingo

In theory Displayport can carry USB, however I have never seen it utilized in real life. All monitors I have seen uses a separate USB Type-B connection to power the USB hub in the monitor. If you have a Razer Core X Chroma though you could connect this separate USB to the Egpu case to still have everything go over one thunderbolt cable to your computer in the end.

I don't have much experience in budget monitors, I'm somewhat sensitive to various monitor defects like backlight bleed, clouding, banding and ghosting, so I can't really say. I usually go for the more expensive ones, although that doesn't always help, especially in terms of the ultrawides.

Only monitor's I can really recommend are the Alienware AW3418DW (which are the ones I am running) and it's recently released successor AW3420DW, which is basically the same monitor except the response time is halved  at 2ms instead of 4ms and with a different design language.
I have tried many ultrawides from Asus, LG and Samsung and all suffers from some kind of defect, not these ones though.

What I can say though about the MSI Optix MAG241C is that it seems to be a solid monitor with overall good reviews, however it is a VA and some VA can have some insane ghosting/smudging (that some reviewrs just don't mention).
For example the ASUS ROG STRIX XG35VQ that I used for a while was totally useless in games (even though it was supposed to be a gaming monitor) because of the insane amount of ghosting.
In Diablo 3 for example, as soon as you moved around it was impossible to read the text of items on the ground as they were oversmudged by a black smudge.

So if you end up getting the MSI Optix that could be one thing to look out for. Also the stand seems somewhat limited and it also has limited Vesa support (don't know why companies do this, seriously).
Otherwise VA is better in contrast and colors than TN and doesn't suffer from backlight bleed like the IPS monitors does. I'd say go for it. VA in 144hz with freesync (if you have AMD card that is) should be a nice experience 🙂

System : 2019 Razer Blade Stealth GTX 13" || Razer Core X || GTX1080Ti || Kraken G12 + Corsair AIO cooler.


joevt liked
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Sinui
(@sinui)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

@solidfyre

Thanks for sharing all this. I'm looking at helping a friend set something up and stuff like this is a godsend. 

Odd question - what game are you playing there? Looks cool and I don't recognise it. 

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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SolidFyre
(@solidfyre)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @sinui

@solidfyre

Thanks for sharing all this. I'm looking at helping a friend set something up and stuff like this is a godsend. 

Odd question - what game are you playing there? Looks cool and I don't recognise it. 

No problem 🙂
If you are helping setting something up for a friend I would really recommend (depending on your friends demands) to get a machine without a dGPU, because 99% of the problems seems to be related to Nvidia and Optimus somehow.
If you could get a machine with just the 1065G7 (like the lenovos I mentioned) I think it would spare you from many headache's and the Iris graphics has "ok" performance for lighter games (about double from UHD620). Just make sure they have unlockable wattage on the CPU.

Oh Its Monster Hunter World: Iceborne 🙂 Really cool game if you are into challenging games and taking down big monsters in co-op with friends.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

System : 2019 Razer Blade Stealth GTX 13" || Razer Core X || GTX1080Ti || Kraken G12 + Corsair AIO cooler.


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Sinui
(@sinui)
New Member
Joined: 3 weeks ago
 

Cheers - your insight on dGPU is a big one. Was going to suggest they get something like a Razer laptop (or Macbook and bootcamp W10 onto it because they fully embrace the cult of Mac) with a dGPU - then get the eGPU later. 

Scrap that plan I reckon.

 

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@joshua_eduardo_concha_molina)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@solidfyre I have blade 15 with a Core X using an EVGA RTX2080 XC Ultra which includes a USB-c so I try to plug a USB-c hub to connect mouse and keyboard and work surprisingly well

 

Laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2018) i7 8750H + 1060MQ
eGpu: Razer Core X w/ EVGA RTX2080 XC Ultra
Keyboard: Razer Ornata Chroma
Mouse: Razer Trinity Chroma
Headset: Razer Nari
Monitor: asus rog swift pg348q (3440 x 1440 / 21:9)


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MaxRD
(@maxrd)
New Member
Joined: 3 days ago
 

@solidfyre

Thank you so much for posting this. I just ordered a RBS 1650 model and I was planning to get a Razer core as well, but after reading about the 15W power limit of this model I started doubting my choice.

I know that disabling the 1650 in Device Manager and enabling the Game profile allows the CPU to operate at 25W during normal use.

Just tomake sure I understand, you are saying that the workaround also works when connected to the eGPU? Have you tested it by running CPU benchmarks like Cinebench and confirmed the difference between the dGPU enabled/disabled while connected to the eGPU?

Sorry for asking, but I have been looking everywhere online for a confirmation of this and your post is the first one stating what I wanted to hear 🙂

 

This post was modified 3 days ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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SolidFyre
(@solidfyre)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @maxrd

@solidfyre

Thank you so much for posting this. I just ordered a RBS 1650 model and I was planning to get a Razer core as well, but after reading about the 15W power limit of this model I started doubting my choice.

I know that disabling the 1650 in Device Manager and enabling the Game profile allows the CPU to operate at 25W during normal use.

Just tomake sure I understand, you are saying that the workaround also works when connected to the eGPU? Have you tested it by running CPU benchmarks like Cinebench and confirmed the difference between the dGPU enabled/disabled while connected to the eGPU?

Sorry for asking, but I have been looking everywhere online for a confirmation of this and your post is the first one stating what I wanted to hear 🙂

 

Aye, it does. I'm doing it right now together with the eGPU 🙂 You can actually do it while in a game and see instant result.

For instance, I open Monster Hunter world and notice it is running sluggish, I open the Intel Power Widget and notice that the CPU is running at 15w.

But as soon as I enable and disable the dGPU, it instantly unlocks to 25w and fps in game increases. See bellow.

 

 

@joshua_eduardo_concha_molina

It certainly alleviate some of the headaches using a 15" Razer since it is not limited in any way to run on a 100w charger, then you only have Optimus to mess with. The Stealth GTX is a bit more finicky unfortunately because of all its software and hardware limitations.

This post was modified 2 days ago

System : 2019 Razer Blade Stealth GTX 13" || Razer Core X || GTX1080Ti || Kraken G12 + Corsair AIO cooler.


itsage liked
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MaxRD
(@maxrd)
New Member
Joined: 3 days ago
 

@solidfyre,  Thank you for confirming that! Can't wait to get my RBS on Wednesday 🙂

 

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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(@joshua_eduardo_concha_molina)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

@solidfyre,  First world problem, I hate connecting the powerbrick while egpu... I would really like a 6core icelake laptop... the Balde 15 doesn't accept TB3 charging...  

 

Laptop: Razer Blade 15 (2018) i7 8750H + 1060MQ
eGpu: Razer Core X w/ EVGA RTX2080 XC Ultra
Keyboard: Razer Ornata Chroma
Mouse: Razer Trinity Chroma
Headset: Razer Nari
Monitor: asus rog swift pg348q (3440 x 1440 / 21:9)


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