Hello everyone. I'm new here and to eGPUs in general. Finally decided to upgrade my old PC, and to follow the mobile trend, decided to ditch the tower completely and go for the fresh DELL XPS 13. I was inspired by this kinda similar build from @malocadi.
So, here's what I've got.
- 13" Dell XPS 13 9300 (FHD display, non-Touch)
- Intel i7-1065G7
- 16Gb RAM
- 1Tb SSD
- Intel Iris Plus Graphics iGPU
- Windows 10 Pro (Version 2004 Insiders Slow, Build 19041.208)
- BenQ ZOWIE RL2755T 27" monitor @ 144Hz FHD
- <none yet, still need to properly choose the positioning>
- Reinstall Windows from scratch (preinstalled one was a Win10 Home, I had Pro license so cleaned everything up and reinstalled)
- Insert GPU into the Sonnet case
- Plug the case into the laptop, Windows already running, closed the lid
- Win10 immediately recognized the RTX 2070 SUPER, installed the drivers
- Downloaded latest Nvidia drivers (445.87), removed the installed ones and installed the downloaded ones instead
- Reboot machine
- Laptop booted with BitLocker prompt so I had to enter the key found in my Microsoft account page
The process itself was almost painless, until I suddenly started getting random freezes all over the place, locking me from the system and forcing to reboot. After hours of searching I stumbled upon this post describing the steps required to fix it (few tweaks in Registry and change of setting in NVIDIA Control Panel) and now I'm golden.
Since 2020 XPS 13 has only 2 USB Type-C ports, and one is taken by the eGPU, I highly recommend getting one of the TB3 docks (I wanted to get the DELL one, but was unable to find it in the local market so I finished up with Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Pro.
I was kinda discouraged by the results of the benchmarks (seem much lower compared to the build from @malocadi), this may be due to the difference in GPU (2080 Ti vs 2070 SUPER) or the fact that I'm running an Insiders Preview build, since the work I'm doing with the Windows Subsystem for Linux requires it. But the actual gaming performance is great! Been enjoying Control, No Man's Sky on max settings with almost zero stutter, played through the SW Jedi: Last Order on max as well, now looking for more games to go through during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Overall I'm pretty happy with the setup, since I'm finally able to be both portable and productive when I need it, and having both the work and the gaming machine all in one rig is really awesome. XPS 13 is a beast and I can safely recommend it to anyone looking for the powerful ultrabook (at least, from my first week of usage, will update this in a few months).
Stay healthy guys and feel free to ask any questions, will try to answer them all!
The only issue I've noticed right now is the initial boot process.
When you power up the XPS (assuming Thunderbolt device boot support is turned ON in BIOS) and close the lid, external monitor powers on, shows the DELL logo and everything seems fine, Windows is booting... up until the moment when the boot is finished and the DELL logo with the spinning circle is frozen in place on the monitor. Nothing happens after that, screen always shows this frozen picture.
The only solution for now is to open the notebook, log in into the Windows and then close the lid again - then the external monitor starts working again and shows the picture properly.
I've also noticed that while operating in Windows in this boot session, it feels sluggish and slow. The cure for that is to log out from your account and log in again - this time external monitor doesn't freeze anymore and you can log in into the system without opening the notebook.
Any advice on this?
Edit: created a separate topic for this: https://egpu.io/forums/desktop-computing/boot-issues-while-booting-pc-with-egpu-connected/