i7-1065G7 Ice Lake Processor
Using the short TB3 Cable included
EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC Ultra
1. Insert Graphics Card into eGPU.
2. Connect Display Port cable from eGPU GRaphics Card to Monitor.
3. Connect TB3 cable bundled with eGPU to Laptop
4. I had to update windows for step 5 to work
5. Download Drivers from Nvidia.
6. Restart computer.
7. Enter in Windows Recovery Key in BitLocker (make sure your microsoft account is set up so you can find it easily)
Heaven: Ultra Quality, Extreme Tessellation, 8xAA
In my last build with a 1660 Super, my Heaven scores were oddly lower with the external monitor, and I wasn't able to figure out why. However, scores were normal with the 2070 Super reaching a 2850 (113.1 FPS) on my external monitor and a comparable 2693 (106.9 FPS) on the XPS screen. This is only 5.5% loss of performance and I would say not having an extra monitor is just fine.
3D Mark Time Spy: Default settings
If you though a 5.5% loss of performance was nothing, Time Spy did even better. The external monitor put out a score of 7823 compared to the XPS monitor with a 7643. This totals to just 2.3% loss of performance between screens and again imo means that an external monitor is not necessarily needed. In addition, I put the 2070S into my PC (which is now for sale) that has a Ryzen 5 1600 AF and got a score of 9232 which is a performance loss of 17.2% between the XPS screen and a performance loss of 15.3% to the external monitor.
These are certainly not numbers that I am glad seeing after spending a total of $3,051 on the XPS, 2070S, Core X, and monitor, but given that I needed the ultrabook anyway, it's an ok solution in terms of space and portability in a gaming setup. I certainly wish I could have spent $3,000 on a kickass PC, but that's just not what my life needs right now.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider: I also wanted to use some real-world testing, so I ran RivaTuner while completing the first part of SOTR (beginning to the top of the building). For settings, unfortunately the game crashed while on Ultra, so I set it to High but also turned Ray Tracing to high as well (defaults to off on the High preset). I also only ran it on the XPS screen, figuring that we would see similar performance increases with the use of an external monitor as described above. So, with those settings, I averaged 76 FPS! The game is gorgeous, of course, and this setup certainly takes advantage of what's available.
Comments (eg: how has the eGPU improved your workflow or gaming)
I bought the XPS 13 for school and my PC was going to be a little big to bring around campus, so I figured the eGPU route was the best option since the Core X can fit in my backpack. I didn't get the XPS 15 as I prefer a small and light 13" laptop.
Problems / Solutions
Problem: Every time I connect or disconnect my eGPU, I get prompted with bitlocker again.
Solution: This is only the case after your computer restarts; however, I have found that hot-plugging works just fine and will avoid the Bitlocker prompt. It will still be handy to keep the code on your phone or something if you need it.
Problem: Games stutter badly despite showing plenty of FPS and G-Sync is enabled
Solution: First make sure that G-sync really is enabled, but my monitor also has a settings switch to enable Adaptive-Sync which needs to be turned off and then on again in this case. Then restart the game and whatever launcher app it's from (Steam, Uplay, etc.)
Problem: There is NO aligned screw hole to secure the 2070S into the Core X (at least EVGA's XC Ultra model)
Solution: My core sits right-side-up, and the 2070S weighs enough to keep itself secure. However, if I ever move it around, it is definitely recommended to remove the 2070S first, as there is a high-risk situation there. I am considering drilling my own hole, but wouldn't recommend that to everyone as it poses other risks if done incorrectly.
Problem: MSI Afterburner won't recognize the 2070S
Solution: Simply restart Afterburner if you tried to hot-plug the Core X. If it still doesn't work, go into NVIDIA Control Panel and make sure that "Manage GPU Performance Counters" is enabled, then restart Afterburner again.
@peter_1, Thank you for sharing this nice build! I agree with your assessment the RTX 2070 Super can perform very well with a capable host. XPS 9300 is a beautiful machine and you can use it anywhere. That is the premium we're paying for ultrabook + eGPU vs a powerful desktop.