2020 15" Lenovo Slim 7 [10th,4C,G] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) +...
 
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2020 15" Lenovo Slim 7 [10th,4C,G] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 [lwf]  

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lwf
 lwf
(@lwf)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

I wanted to upgrade from a 2011 Macbook Air with the goal of having a low-energy utility laptop that I could also connect to an eGPU to hopefully play Half Life Alyx (VR gear still to come).

I have been lurking here for a few months, considered going the m.2 route, and finally pulled the trigger on the Lenovo Slim 7 15 in early May. It's a well-equpped laptop with a few annoyances: I repasted the CPU/iGPU heatsink with Kryonaut and still have to run TPFanControl to keep the fan noise down. It does stay relatively cool but the standard EC is overactive. Also, Windows 10 modern standby is driving me crazy.

 

System specs

2020 Lenovo Slim 7 15" - i7-1065G7/Iris Plus iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD/Windows 10

 

eGPU hardware

ASUS XG Station Pro

 

Hardware pictures

Here is the Slim 7:

Slim7

The XGS Pro:

XGS

 

Installation steps

I had tried the Razer Core Chroma X and found it to be just too loud, and the TB3 cable too short (and the price too high). I decided to sacrifice a one cable solution and go with the XG Station for 0db idling.

So I decommissioned the Chroma and set up the XG Station. Setup was straightforward, just a few screws, turn it on, plugged it in hot and windows 10 did its thing. I did notice that the routing of the fan cables left them both protruding into the space for the GPU. At first I tried to bend them back towards the side of the case, but I ended up swapping the plugs which used more of each cable's length and seemed like a more elegant solution- since the fans seem to be synced anyway I don't think this will affect anything.

I did not uninstall the previous drivers and it worked fine but the AMD software would not open up. Reinstalling the drivers fixed that. I ended up doing a few driver reinstalls and a DDU because it wasn't quite performing as well as the Chroma in Valley, and Valley would not reflect the overclock from 1380 to 1450 (although it was showing up in HWInfo). There may still be some remnants of the Chroma setup.

I noticed that Chrome would start blacked out which could be fixed by unplugging/plugging in or by manually deleting shader cache. I ended up disabling hardware acceleration in chrome to overcome this annoyance - any other suggestions welcome. I can't recall if the Chroma also had this issue.

I could not get the RGB software to work, there is nothing on ASUS' support page anymore and the standard Aura package does nothing. So I am stuck with full power white lighting, I put some masking tape over to make it a little less bright. itsage has linked the working software in the past ( http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/Multimedia/XG_STATION_PRO/ASUS_AURA_V0.0.5.7_Win-10_64bit_ROG-XG-STATION2.zip) but that link is dead and I have not found it anywhere else. If anyone here has it and can host it to google drive that would surely be a help to new XG Station users.

 

Benchmarks

I will post pictures when I have enough posts to the forum, here are the numbers:

AIDA:

XGS AIDA

I recall the Chroma was able to score just slightly higher. Changing to a passive TB3 cable did not make any appreciable difference.

 

Valley:

I had been using Valley to gauge the performance of the Iris Plus before I got any eGPU, I have used the same settings throughout (eGPU is on external monitor):

Settings

Render:
Direct3D11
Mode:
1600x900 8xAA windowed
Preset
Extreme

This is the chroma score:

FPS:
65.5
Score:
2739
Min FPS:
32.1
Max FPS:
135.1

This is my best XG Station score:

FPS:
64.2
Score:
2688
Min FPS:
31.2
Max FPS:
132.4

Iris Plus for reference:

FPS:
14.2
Score:
592
Min FPS:
8.1
Max FPS:
23.6

Comments

The quietness of this setup is worth the second cable to me.

With the lower energy profile of the laptop I actually can use one cable but the CPU throttles hard (to 200Mhz!) once you exceed the XG's power delivery, as the laptop won't eat into its battery. For normal use and browsing with a low TDP laptop the XGS Pro can probably functon as a one cable solution unless you need to power other accessories from the XG Station. I would recommend disabling turbo boost to stop the hard throttling (I use throttlestop for this), I haven't experimented very much with this much, however. Turning off the internal monitor would probably help as well, anything to reduce the laptop's power consumption.

I should also say that I have experienced the same issue as this user: https://egpu.io/forums/thunderbolt-enclosures/asus-xg-station-pro-fan-issue/

It seems like itsage is right that it is a heat issue. When I take the top off it would usually go away. Using the 15w of power also seems to make the fans go steady (which I prefer to the on/off behaviour).

Under certain conditions it seems to idle right at the fan start threshold. It is very annoying, and also annoying to think of the dust falling into the chassis with the top off. Right now the top is on, one side off, and no trouble, but if the ambient temp goes up I'm sure it'll start up again. Does anyone know the location of the temp sensor or have any ideas for how to make it just a little bit less sensitive?

 

This topic was modified 4 months ago
2020 15" Lenovo Slim 7 [10th,4C,G] + RX 580 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 [build link]  

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