2020 14" Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 (MX450) [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1070 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (...
 
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2020 14" Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 (MX450) [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1070 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 20H2  

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Boltoway
(@boltoway)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

This build was updated with a GTX 1080, you can find it here:

 

Laptop Specifications

2020 Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2
14.0" FHD WVA 250nits Anti-glare Display
Intel Core i7-1165G7
Intel Iris Xe GPU
Nvidia MX450 GPU
1 x 16GB DDR4 RAM SODIMM @ 3200Mhz
512GB Samsung PM991 2242 M.2 NVMe SSD
1TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD
Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 11ax, 2x2 + Bluetooth® 5.1

Software

Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 20H2 Build 19042

Hardware

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

eGPU Hardware

Gigabyte AUROS GTX 1070 Gaming Box + Plugable 80CM Thunderbolt 3 Cable + Nvidia 461.92 Drivers

Images

20210331 130101
20210331 125926
20210331 125936
20210331 120920

Installation

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  > Done. EGPU works with hot plugging and cold plugging. 

I also updated the firmware of the Aorus Gaming Box. This was a bit of a hassle, but I made a guide for updating older Thunderbolt devices with newer laptops here.

The only other installation / performance alteration that I made is disabling the MX450 GPU and disabling / enabling the Iris XE GPU which boosts performance consistency.

Benchmarks

Cuda-Z:

cudaz

GTX 1070 Unigine Heaven and Valley:

unig
unig2

Comments

I absolutely love this ThinkPad and would highly recommend it to anyone. It is extremely well made for an entry-level ThinkPad and far better value for money than many laptops of similar specifications (AUD $1,289). 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; and while I am sure there would be 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 GPU, I have had absolutely no performance or stability issues whatsoever. All three USB peripherals are running perfectly under full gaming load. One thing I did notice is an decrease in CPU performance if I leave the Iris Plus GPU disabled. In Escape From Tarkov I get noticeably better FPS if I leave it enabled. 

The only issue I have is if I shut down the system with the AORUS Gaming Box plugged in and turned on, when I power the laptop back on the graphics card 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. This works well for me, as it also shuts down my microphone and monitor bias lighting. 

 

This build was updated with a GTX 1080, you can find it here:

2021 14" Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro (MX450) [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3060 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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