2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (ADT-Link R43SG-TB...
 
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2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (ADT-Link R43SG-TB3) + Win10 21H1  

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gs1
 gs1
(@gs1)
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(also posted on the Framework forums)

 

System specs

13.5" Framework Laptop

Intel Core i5-1135G7 (8M Cache, up to 4.20 GHz)

Intel Iris Xe Graphics (iGPU)

Windows 10 Pro 21H1

 

eGPU hardware

ADT-Link R43SG-TB3

Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB Mini

Dell DA-2 D220P-01 PSU

 

Hardware pictures

 

Installation steps

It works plug-and-play. Just connect the eGPU and approve it in the Thunderbolt menu, then go to NVIDIA’s website to download the latest drivers.

 

Benchmarks 

 

Comments 

I couldn't disable the iGPU from helping the dGPU in the Unigine benchmarks, so we'll just call that a feature. You can see how it still doesn't make up for the bandwidth lost in an internal monitor vs. an external one in the numbers above though.

I can’t tell you how good it is for gaming since I just needed a video editing rig to take on the go for my job. Even with just using the internal display, the eGPU makes my laptop a lot easier to scrub through footage on Premiere Pro.

Transporting it gets interesting. I deliberately planned this build after purchasing a Razer Core X and being incredibly appalled at how giant and heavy it was. I can't take that thing in a backpack on a plane or anything, so I went with the ADT-Link instead. I bought anti-static bags to transport everything in a backpack when I fly to other parts of the country. It’s not perfect but it’s way better than the stupid giant Razer Core.

 

Drawbacks

  • It’s an adapter, not an enclosure, so your GPU is exposed and naked (not ideal for households with kids or pets)
  • It’s a Thunderbolt bandwidth hog- you can’t use any high-speed USB-C storage while using the GPU or anything else that needs the speed
  • For some reason it lags the machine HEAVILY on the external display even though it technically performs better. I have no idea why, so I only recommend this for using the laptop screen

 

Avoidable drawbacks

  • The Dell charger is gigantic and heavy and you’d be better off buying a smaller Flex ATX or SFX power supply instead (although this Dell brick is dirt cheap and works too)
  • I am an idiot and dropped the securing thumbscrew inside the GPU and had a scare that I shorted something- BE CAREFUL with this adapter! Don’t be an idiot like me

 

Overall a great build- eGPUs are a no-brainer to pair with the modular/repairable Framework, especially this actually portable one! (The only thing that doesn't make the Framework a Thunderbolt 3-enabled Ultrabook is the fact that Intel hasn't finished certifying it. It works for eGPUs just fine even if that's not official yet.)

This topic was modified 1 month ago
2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (ADT-Link R43SG-TB3) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

Jkeychen Liew, cnon297, mr.ribeiro and 3 people liked
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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@gs1, Thank you for sharing this build with the Framework laptop! Do you know if all ports are capable of using the USB-C/Thunderbolt module?

 

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gs1
 gs1
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Hello! Some more info:

Support on all ports

Yes, the Framework Laptop can use any of the 4 USB-C ports to run this eGPU! Please keep in mind the drawback I mentioned above though- any other high-speed USB-C devices will be severely bottlenecked by the amount of transfer bandwidth this card needs. That bandwidth can be routed through any of the USB-C ports though

About the external display slowdown

One big bullet point I mentioned as the 3rd item in the Drawbacks list is that this setup seems to perform better numbers-wise with an external display, but the external display itself is laggy. I think this is due to the display output still being driven by the iGPU Intel Xe even though the NVIDIA card is in use. If there's some way to configure the computer to only use the external GPU to generate output, I would recommend this setup with external displays. However, if you don't know how to do this, I still recommend using this for the internal laptop monitor only for now, despite losing some performance from the GPU being bottlenecked. As it stands right now you either lose some eGPU performance by using the internal laptop screen or you lose the ability to use an external display without lagging severely for as much eGPU power as possible (which might be a good thing for people that just need to mine or render something instead of game)

2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (ADT-Link R43SG-TB3) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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Nutype
(@nutype)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@gs1, If you can get your hands on one, the Powercolor Mini Pro / Visiontek mini egfx might be what your looking for. I too was quite appalled at the size of most egpu enclosures being big enough to almost build and entire SFF PC.

Main drawback on the enclosure I mentioned is that the egpu has to be in ITX form factor and 150w or less TDP. 

 

2020 13" HP Spectre X360 [10th,4C,G] + RX 570 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (PowerColor Mini Pro) + Win10 [build link]  

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gs1
 gs1
(@gs1)
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@nutype Thanks for the recommendation! I would love an enclosure for my current setup, but I think CAD-modeling and 3D-printing one for my specific ADT-Link + GPU card would be more cost-effective

 

2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (ADT-Link R43SG-TB3) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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BillyTables
(@billytables)
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Joined: 3 weeks ago
 
Posted by: @gs1

Hello! Some more info:

Support on all ports

Yes, the Framework Laptop can use any of the 4 USB-C ports to run this eGPU! Please keep in mind the drawback I mentioned above though- any other high-speed USB-C devices will be severely bottlenecked by the amount of transfer bandwidth this card needs. That bandwidth can be routed through any of the USB-C ports though

About the external display slowdown

One big bullet point I mentioned as the 3rd item in the Drawbacks list is that this setup seems to perform better numbers-wise with an external display, but the external display itself is laggy. I think this is due to the display output still being driven by the iGPU Intel Xe even though the NVIDIA card is in use. If there's some way to configure the computer to only use the external GPU to generate output, I would recommend this setup with external displays. However, if you don't know how to do this, I still recommend using this for the internal laptop monitor only for now, despite losing some performance from the GPU being bottlenecked. As it stands right now you either lose some eGPU performance by using the internal laptop screen or you lose the ability to use an external display without lagging severely for as much eGPU power as possible (which might be a good thing for people that just need to mine or render something instead of game)

So off and on I have the same issue. Sometimes scrolling in the browser will "studder" and games just seem slow to react. Here is what I have found and how to fix.

 

If it start using my laptop (xps 7390) without the gpu connected, then connect it, you *MUST* close and restart all programs. What happens is that the browser starts on the internal gpu (without egpu attached), once you plug in the egpu, it doesn't / can't swap over. You can test this by opening task manager and seeing that Chrome / Firefox is "Gpu0" for a rendering engine.

Close that program out, open it back up and voila, on GPU1.

 

I also have a Dell usb-c dock connected. I always plug my Egpu in first, wait 5-10 seconds, the put the dock in to the other usb-c port. No studdering or lag at all while playing video games (while mouse,keyboard,headset, network cable all connected to the dell wd-15). If you didn't see the laptop / razer core x sitting on my desk you would think I was on a desktop. No discernible difference.

 

Perhaps there are some differences between the Dell and Framework laptop (PCI bandwidth / lanes?).

 

You seem to be the first post I can find about the Framework Laptop + eGPU, so thank you for the report. I was planning for my next PC to be a framework laptop, so if you can't get this fixed please report back it would be very useful to know.

Dell XPS 7390 2-in-1 - Razer Core X with a 1070 connected to 2 external gaming monitors. Also running a Dell WD-15 dock.


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gs1
 gs1
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Okay! Here's more updates to my posting then. (I would edit the post directly but I think it resets the entire thread as I saw it happen one time. Correct me if I'm wrong @itsage)

FIX for drawback #3: stuttering on external display despite better performance

So I tried @BillyTables' suggestion of closing all GPU-related programs before re-connecting my eGPU to make the stuttering go away. This worked briefly but then stopped working for some reason. That Intel Xe driver is insistent on driving the entire screen, even when I reboot. However, I did find another solution to fixing this! It's a little dangerous though. I found a page from Intel's website on how to disable the internal GPU and use only the Thunderbolt eGPU. According to the page, simply going to your Device Manager and disable the iGPU from there.

image

Once I did this, Windows started treating the external monitor like a primary display and the laptop screen as the secondary display, so you're going to want to set the screen projection back to "PC screen only." Once I did that though, all stuttering had disappeared!! Just be sure to enable the iGPU again before disconnecting the eGPU or possibly powering off the computer, I have no idea what kind of shitshow could happen on your computer if you keep the internal GPU disabled when power cycling, and I do not intend to find out.

Still, I can now recommend this setup for external displays! If you don't mind disabling the iGPU anyhow. So here's a new set of benchmarks with the iGPU properly disabled, and it has the best performance so far:

image
image

FIX for drawback #2: hogging USB-C bandwidth

I was made aware by someone on the Framework forums that the laptop is capable of using USB-C/Thunderbolt of up to 40 Gbps on each side of the laptop. That means my testing of using high speed USB-C storage with the eGPU was also a fluke, as I can simply run both just fine if I avoid connecting the two devices on the same side. Running each high bandwidth device on either side of the machine allow both of the devices to operate smoothly. This does mean that you can only have up to two Thunderbolt/high-bandwidth USB-C devices on each side, but that's a lot better than just one.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago
2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (ADT-Link R43SG-TB3) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@gs1, Nice progress and updates. I believe Windows will load up fine with the iGPU disabled/deactivated through Device Manager. Windows would use generic drivers to run the attached display, without acceleration.

 

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external graphics card builds
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DrEGPU
(@dregpu)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage I got my Framework laptop today and confirm that you can attach at least 3x eGPU with it. Just doing a quick and dirty test and got all three to mining using nicehash. One is attached using the USB-c dongle/adapter thing. The other two are connected via the TB3 ports underneath/within the laptop. I'll run some proper tests tomorrow. Apologies for the horrible/messy cable layout!

IMG 4317
IMG 4315
IMG 4316
2021 13" Framework Laptop [11th,4C,G] + RTX 3090 x4 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Razer Core X) + Win10 21H1 // first four GPU TB4 build [build link]  

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joevt
(@joevt)
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I would like to see some Tiger Lake Integrated Thunderbolt benchmarks.

1) one, two, three Thunderbolt NVMe in RAID 0 to different ports. This was done with Ice Lake in macOS.

2) same except all connected to one port - daisy chained or connected to a Thunderbolt 4 hub.

 

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