2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Ti...
 
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2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + Linux Fedora 33  

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Chris Hubick
(@chris_hubick)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

System specs

2021 Razer Book 13 (Iris Xe)

i7-1165G7 CPU, 16GB RAM

Upgraded SSD to 1TB Samsung 980 Pro

Fedora 33 (Gnome+Wayland)

Gigabyte G32QC 32" 2560x1440 monitor.

 

eGPU hardware

AKiTiO Node Titan

AMD Radeon Pro VII

Replaced enclosure fan with Noctua NF-A9 FLX.

 

Hardware pictures

Don't have permission to attach yet.

 

Installation steps

I plugged in the eGPU and the display attached to it lit up and worked out of the box on Fedora 33.

I log in using the Gnome Classic UI, which, unbeknownst to me reverted to X.org by default, and closing my laptop lid had performance issues until I switched it back to Wayland.

My eGPU was not automatically set as primary for the system until I added a udev rule.

 

Benchmarks

The Phoronix Test Suite runs, and unigine-heaven reports 30-60fps at 1440p, but I haven't yet determined if it's actually using the eGPU.

 

Comments

Suspend and resume works!

Although Gnome+Wayland is usable, it feels annoyingly laggy with the eGPU (unlike when using the integrated Iris Xe). I can't say for certain- it could be a delay just due to Thunderbolt, but it feels more like Linux could be copying the whole screen from main memory to the GPU whenever I switch browser tabs kinda thing- like something either isn't optimized well or doing the right thing. It feels like the Unigine game rendered better than the desktop (perhaps rendering all textures from vram on the eGPU the whole time). I'm using the external display connected to the eGPU with the laptop lid closed, and indications are that the eGPU is in use...

`journalctl | grep 'gnome-shell' | grep 'primary'` says `gnome-shell: GPU /dev/dri/card1 selected primary given udev rule`

`glxinfo` says `OpenGL renderer string: AMD VEGA20`

Chrome's `chrome://gpu/` page lists both the Intel and Radeon GPUs and says `VENDOR= 0x1002, DEVICE=0x66a1 *ACTIVE*` (the Radeon).

More debugging will be required.

Anyhow, the basic hardware seems to be operating and compatible at least.

2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + Linux Fedora 33 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@chris_hubick, Thank you for sharing this nice build! Does your Radeon VII fans go to sleep when you put the laptop to sleep? This was an issue many people experienced when pair their eGPU enclosure with the Radeon VII (firmware issue).

 

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Chris Hubick
(@chris_hubick)
Active Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@chris_hubick, Thank you for sharing this nice build! Does your Radeon VII fans go to sleep when you put the laptop to sleep? This was an issue many people experienced when pair their eGPU enclosure with the Radeon VII (firmware issue). 

I just verified that, yes, the blower fan on the card comes to a stop when the system is suspended.

I haven't paid much attention, as I have the eGPU box buried at the back of my desk behind my monitor, but I thought I may still have heard intermittent fan noise from the enclosure- it's like everything goes to sleep initially but then the case fan spins up for 30 seconds or something every five minutes, or something. The only time I'm sitting there while it's suspended is when I'm playing xbox, but I'll have to quit CoD and climb back there next time and figure out if it's the card or case or power supply fan or what (can't extended suspend, gotta work right now) 😀 

2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + Linux Fedora 33 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@chris_hubick, That's nice to hear the Radeon VII fans go to sleep. The enclosure fan and/or PSU fan can come one during sleep to keep airflow going due to Power Delivery from device to host.

 

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Chris Hubick
(@chris_hubick)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

@chris_hubick, That's nice to hear the Radeon VII fans go to sleep. The enclosure fan and/or PSU fan can come one during sleep to keep airflow going due to Power Delivery from device to host. 

Ahh, well, that explains that! AMD sure has some longstanding firmware bugs. Another common one being the PCI "reset bug" that keeps the card from reinitializing if you want to pass it through to a virtual machine using VFIO- though I hear that's also fixed now in RDNA 2 / 6000 series cards (haven't tested my Pro VII).

2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + Linux Fedora 33 [build link]  

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Chris Hubick
(@chris_hubick)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

The eGPU lag with Fedora 33 + Wayland broke me. Connecting my external display directly to the laptop's Iris Xe performed far better for regular desktop use. Between that, and my desire for hotplug, I've given up on Linux again and installed Windows 10, which, when using the eGPU, everything is fast and snappy. It's faster and snappier than even the Iris under Linux - it even feels like I'm getting higher FPS in YouTube.

@itsage, The one thing I did notice is, unlike with Linux, with Windows, the card fan in the eGPU stays on when I sleep the system 🙁  It also seems like it's on all the time now, and is louder than it was under Linux. May have to see if I can tweak that in Radeon settings.

I'm now also having issues with hot plugging the eGPU and getting apps to resume using it.

 

2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + Linux Fedora 33 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@chris_hubick, The Radeon VII is one card I was never able to make use properly in eGPU mode on macOS and Windows. I didn't test it in Linux. The fan-on during sleep is an issue caused by the firmware. Some enclosures have a way to remedy this behavior.

 

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Chris Hubick
(@chris_hubick)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 
Posted by: @itsage

The fan-on during sleep is an issue caused by the firmware.

Well, my fan shut off during sleep under Fedora Linux, and it stays on under Windows, so I don't know how that could be firmware.

 

2021 13" Razer Book 13 [11th,4C,G] + Radeon Pro VII @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AKiTiO Node Titan) + Linux Fedora 33 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@chris_hubick, That's good to know. When I tested the Radeon VII through eGPU a year ago, I tried it with an LG Gram 17 running Pop!_OS and the fan kicked on full speed when the host laptop went to sleep. The same behavior was observed in Windows 10 and macOS at the time. The only enclosure I had that could remedy this behavior was NetStore HT23-Plus in all three OS.

 

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2021 14" Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio [11th,4C,H] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (WD_Black D50) + Win11 [build link]  


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odin
 odin
(@odin)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I have an older Gram 17 and I have that problem with my setup (Sonnet Breakaway 550 + Asus Strix RTX 2070) with Win 10. When I power down the GPU fans spin up to what sounds like probably full speed. If I just disconnect the TB3 cable from the laptop it stops it obviously. Doesn't happen when I put it to sleep though, only full shutdown.

2018 17" LG Gram 17 [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Sonnet Breakaway 550) + Win10 [build link]  

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