2021 14" Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 (MX450) [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1070 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 20H2
14" Full HD IPS Display
Intel Core i7-1165G7
Intel Iris Xe GPU
Nvidia MX450 GPU
1 x 16GB DDR4 RAM @ 3200Mhz
512GB Samsung PM991 2240 M.2 SSD
1TB Crucial P1 NVMe 2280 M.2 SSD
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 11ax, 2x2 + Bluetooth® 5.1
Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 20H2 Build 19042
Philips 242E1GAJ 23.8’’ FHD 144Hz VA Monitor
Logitech G512 Carbon Mechanical Keyboard
Logitech G603 Wireless Mouse
Topping L30 Linear Headphone Amplifier
PreSonus Eris 4.5 Studio Monitors
Cerwin-Vega XD8S SubWoofer
BeyerDynamic DT770 Pro 250Ω Headphones
Stadium Sydney USB Microphone
Gigabyte NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Mini ITX OC 8G with 461.92 Drivers
Installation was very simple and essentially exactly as is suggested in the recommended installation process: Plug in AORUS Gaming Box power cord > Plug in Thunderbolt 3 Cable to laptop > wait until laptop has installed device drivers > install latest Nvidia graphics drivers.
The only other installation / performance alteration that I made is disabling the Iris XE GPU and MX450 GPU in device manager, which boosts performance consistency. I am looking into coding a simple batch program to simultaneously enable and disable both internal GPU’s for ease of access.
I used an offcut of my desk's hardwood panel and some black powdercoated brackets to create a rack for the eGPU and new powerboard. I am also planning on using the power only port on the Gaming Box to either run a 120MM USB fan for additional airflow under the desk, or an LED strip of backlight behind my monitor.
I absolutely love this ThinkPad and would highly recommend it to anyone. It is extremely well made and far better value for money than many laptops of similar specifications. The integrated MX450 is great to have on the go as it easily outperforms the Intel Iris XE. Furthermore, the RAM, dual SSDs and WiFi are all user upgradeable. The only negative this laptop has on paper is the RAM is running in single channel. While I am sure there would be very specific circumstances where this would matter, all the benchmarks I have run show no performance loss whatsoever, including outstanding results in Cinebench R23 with completely stock thermal paste and voltages.
Once I have disabled the integrated GPUs, I have had absolutely no performance or stability issues whatsoever. All three USB peripherals are running perfectly under full gaming load with no stuttering or disconnections.
The only issue I have is when I shut down the system with the AORUS Gaming Box plugged in, and turn it on again sometime later, the eGPU is not recognised. This is apparently a common issue with the AORUS Gaming Box and is fixed by powering down the eGPU unit from the outlet, hence why I specifically installed an individually switched power board onto my desk.