2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [itsage]
ASUS likes to experiment with new designs/form factors in their computer offerings. They have more misses than hits but most of their products are exciting. In building this 3rd eGPU solution, ASUS took a completely different approach with the XG Mobile compared to the previous iterations, XG Station 2 and XG Station Pro. The new XGm connection is proprietary which at the moment only works with a single host, ROG Flow X13 and a single device, XG Mobile.
The name implies this portable eGPU is best suited for on-the-go users. We can run the entire setup [Outlet «-» XG Mobile «-» ROG Flow «-» XG17A] with a single power cable. Best feature is the ability to transform one of the smallest ultrabooks to one of the highest performing gaming laptops in seconds. Weakness is the inability to upgrade components.
Compared to another proprietary eGPU solution, Alienware Graphics Amplifier the XG Mobile has twice the bandwidth (x8 vs x4 PCIe 3.0) and can provide 100W Power Delivery through the USB-C piece of the connector. It also beats the more universal Thunderbolt 3 eGPU solution in bandwidth and latency performance (double PCIe lanes and no Thunderbolt overhead).
2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 – Ryzen 9 5900HS/Radeon Vega iGPU & RTX 3050 Ti dGPU/16GB RAM/1TBGB SSD
ASUS XG Mobile RTX 3080 + ASUS 17" XG17A USB-C/HDMI portable monitor
There's not much to installation. One caution is the tight metal clips on the sides of the XGm connector. People have been experiencing jammed connector that can lead to damage to the port and/or connector. When the ROG Flow X13 detects the XG Mobile, a prompt window would ask the user to switch graphics card from dGPU to eGPU. Here are some screen captures of the graphics switching process and some explanation.
I have not looked further into the PCIe arrangement but it seems there's no way to keep both the dGPU and eGPU running at the same time. The XG Mobile software utility communicates to the system firmware its last connection state. Therefore at system boot, the BIOS would prompt you to select whether you want to reconnect the XG Mobile if you had it connected the last time the ROG Flow was on. HWiNFO64 also shows both dGPU and eGPU use the same PCI Express connection.
My plan is to try the M.2 socket with ADT-Link R43SG soon. At this time all eGPU tests are done through Windows 20H2 running on Samsung T7 1TB USB-C drive. The Ryzen 9 5900HS performance is remarkable inside such a tiny laptop.
When set to Turbo mode (Amoury Crate), XG Mobile RTX 3080 + ROG Flow X13 can get quite loud. It is rather hot to the touch, mostly by the exhaust side above the XGm cable. I will post more benchmark numbers soon.