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/
So, after the stable 2004 update (and the proposed fix from the separate thread) the issue seems to have fixed itself - the boot process now works fine, you can open the lid to turn the notebook on and close the lid for good - it will boot on the external monitor and show you the login screen, and the system itself will run on eGPU from the start so no weird hiccups. Now this is golden.
I recently purchased the XPS 13 7390 2 in 1 and am in the market for an eGPU. I was wondering if you are using an external monitor wired through the GPU or the laptop screen itself? I've heard this can effect performance. I think another bottleneck may be the wattage for our Intel i7-1065G7's. These new XPS 13's use the 15W variant per all my research, some of the other 1065G7's use a 25W version which may have a significant impact on performance.
@nezorflame, Thanks for the details. I read this post because it was one of the only builds I could find that was similar to the build (hardware wise) I'm going to attempt in the next few days. I basically have the same specs on my machine however its a new acer swift 5 and there are no previous builds to compare too on the forum. As for ram, CPU, and HDD they are exactly the same and I also have exactly the same GPU. Could you possibly elaborate on the Nvidia control panel and registry tweaks, in case I run into similar issues? TIA
@iffy, it's connected by DisplayPort to the eGPU.
All I had to do is to:
1. Set in NVIDIA's control panel: 3D Setting > Global Setting > Power management setting -> Maximum Performance
2. Set the registry tweaks from the Reddit post:
I've set it to 10.
I've set it to 20.