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

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Boltoway
(@boltoway)
Estimable Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 
20210813 165848

 

After being extremely happy with the performance and stability of my Lenovo Thinkpad E14 Gen 2 eGPU System, I decided to upgrade to a slightly higher performance laptop: the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro. This laptop has some interesting features for a 14" Ultrabook. It has great all-metal build quality, offers extraordinary performance for such a small device, and is by far the best eGPU oriented ultrabook I have ever used.

 

Laptop Specifications

Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro

- 14.0" 16:10 (2240x1400) IPS Display
- 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11370H
- Intel Iris Xe iGPU
- Nvidia MX450 dGPU (25W / GDDR6)
- 16GB Soldered LPDDR4x-4266 RAM
- 1TB Samsung 980 M.2 NVMe SSD
- Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 11ax, 2x2 + Bluetooth 5.1

 

Software

- Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise 21H1 Build 19043

 

Hardware

- Acer Predator XB253Q 24.5 FHD 144Hz IPS G-Sync Monitor
- Logitech G512 Carbon Mechanical Keyboard
- Logitech G603 Wireless Mouse
- M-Audio Air 192/4 USB Audio Interface
- PreSonus Eris 4.5 Active Studio Monitors
- Presonus Eris Sub8 Active Studio Subwoofer
- BeyerDynamic DT770 Pro 250Ω Headphones
- M-Audio Nova XLR Microphone

 

eGPU Hardware

AORUS Gaming Box + Asus GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC Edition + Plugable 80CM Thunderbolt 3 Cable

 

Hardware Images

I made the desk from a Karri hardwood panel and prefabricated steel legs:

20210813 165834
20210813 165859

The eGPU bracket is made from an offcut of the desk and some generic brackets. The power-only USB port on the Aorus Gaming Box runs a 120mm fan that provides additional airflow to the eGPU:

20210813 165918
20210331 120920

I swapped out the GTX 1080 for an Asus GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC. Absolutely no modification was required for the RTX 3060 to work exactly as the original Aorus Gaming Box 1080. It fit perfectly:

20210813 083718 2mp
20210813 083732
20210813 083739

I recently purchased an audio-interface to use with the eGPU. It is extremely useful, as it combines my speakers, headphones and microphone into a single USB port. A must-have for port-limited plebeians like myself:

m audio

 

Installation

Installation was very simple: Plug in Aorus Gaming Box power cord > Plug in Thunderbolt 3 Cable to laptop > wait until Windows has installed device drivers > install latest Nvidia graphics drivers > Done. EGPU works with hot plugging and cold plugging. USB peripherals are running perfectly under full gaming load.

I added a TdrDelay ValueData of 10 and a TdrDdiDelay ValueData of 20 in the Windows Registry Editor to allow Windows a longer 'timeout' period for the GPU to respond. It has fixed many crashes and BSOD errors in previous builds, with no downside whatsoever. 

I further modified the Windows Registry to add Link State Power Management into my Windows Power Settings

Steps to do these are at https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/guide-generic-windows-10-solutions-for-egpu-bsod-crashing-and-system-freezing-link-state-power-management-tdrdelay-tdrddidelay-nvidia-power-management-settings/

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.

 

Benchmarks 

Cuda-Z Bandwidth:

Cuda Z  3060 2450

CineBench R23 Single and Multicore: 

Cinebench 1559 CROP
Cinebench 6634 CROP

Unigine Heaven Intel Iris iGPU:

Heaven Iris 486

Unigine Heaven Nvidia MX450 dGPU:

Heaven MX450 624

Unigine Heaven Nvidia RTX 3060 eGPU. In terms of raw performance the Asus RTX 3060 Dual OC is essentially identical to the GTX 1080 that came with the Aorus Gaming Box:

Heaven 3060 2363

3D Mark Time Spy:

3DMark TimeSpy 3060 7546

CrystalDiskMark:

CrystalDiskMark

 

RTX 3060 vs GTX 1080 Benchmark Results

Parformance difference is minimal in Unigine Heaven (DX11) and considerable in Time Spy (DX12):

Heaven 1080 2406
3DMark TimeSpy 1080 6477

 

Thermal and Power Limits

Intelligent Cooling BIOS Power Profile. (Under this profile PL1 dynamically changes depending on the system load):

HWInfo64 Intelligent Cooling Power Limits CROP

Extreme Performance BIOS Cooling Profile. (Under this profile PL1 and PL2 Power Limits are maxxed out):

HWInfo64 Extreme Power Limits CROP

CPU, GPU and SSD Temperature measurements after 50+ Minutes playing CoD Warzone with Intelligent Cooling Profile:

HWInfo64 Warzone 50 Minutes CPU Temps CROP
HWInfo64 Warzone 50 Minutes GPU Temps CROP
HWInfo64 Warzone 50 Minutes SSD Temps CROP

 

Lenovo Slim 7i Pro System Information

eGPU Root Complex Expansion:

HWInfo64 Thunderbolt Root Expansion CROP

Thunderbolt Control Centre / Device Manager:

TB Control Centre CROP 2
Device Manager 4 GPUs CROP

One of the most interesting features this laptop has is a BIOS Level Discrete GPU Switch. This disables the NVIDIA MX450 at BIOS Level and is no longer visible to the OS at all. This is extremely useful for an eGPU System where driver conflicts or performance / stability issues occur when a discrete GPU is present. This is an issue I had with my E14, having to disable and then re-enable the MX450 upon a system start. This is no longer the case, and absolutely no software changes need to be made once the dGPU is disabled in BIOS.

20210806 095246 CROP

Another feature that I appreciate is BIOS level Performance Profiles. Under Intelligent Cooling, the laptop runs very quietly and performs almost identically to my i7-1165G7 E14 System in Cinebench. With the Extreme Performance Mode enabled there is considerably more fan noise, but the CPU now outperforms the i7-1165G7 in both Single and Multicore Cinebench R23.

20210806 095330 CROP

The cooling system for this ultrabook is excellent. It is extremely quiet under the Intelligent Cooling mode and keeps CPU temperatures very well controlled.

Yoga Slim 7i Pro Teardown
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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Badea Cosmin Gabriel
(@badea_cosmin_gabriel)
Active Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

Nice review and great upgrade. 

2021 14" Lenovo Yoga Slim 7 [11th,4C,G] + GTX 1660 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (CM MasterCase EG200) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

@boltoway, Excellent find on the Asus GeForce RTX 3060 Dual OC Edition to work with 1st generation Gaming Box! Your build demonstrates the advantages of eGPU setup perfectly. You get to piece together almost all components that are important to your use.

 

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2021 13" ASUS ROG Flow X13 (RTX3050Ti) [R5K,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 64Gbps-XG (XG Mobile) + Win10 20H2 [build link]  


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

@itsage, Exactly. I have to give some credit to this Reddit Post, as I was originally going to purchase a PNY Mini ITX 3060. The Asus has a better cooling system and the 0DB /  Zero Fan Speed feature works with the Gaming Box

 

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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ritterbutzke
(@ritterbutzke)
Eminent Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Great Guide! Making me consider an egpu again

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

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

@ritterbutzke, Thanks! 

I have been using it as my primary device and love it. Truly a one-cable desktop-experience.

 

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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Lycid
(@lycid)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I have the recent Lenovo Legion 7i with the same gen processor. This laptop is a dream to use with eGPU, almost as if it was purpose built for it. For me, the included vantage software has a MUX switch that disables optimus and basically tells the laptop to pretend its a desktop (restart required). This completely removes any driver oddness/stuttering with eGPU use for me that required me to manually disable non-eGPU video cards in device manager to fix. No need for the bios-level switch (but it supports that too). And if I remember correctly, I get almost twice the Firestrike Extreme score on it compared to my 8750H Razer Blade from 2019 on the same eGPU.

Planning on doing a build here soon. But don't have any good games with benchmarks that I play, unless people are cool with just 3D mark scores!

2021 16" Lenovo Legion 7i Gen 6 (RTX3060) [11th,8C,H] + RTX 3090 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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wildfear
(@wildfear)
Trusted Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

@lycid

I had the 2020 legion 7i with 10th gen (great device btw) and if you have this version I suggest to disable intel virtualization in bios to get extra boost with TB3/egpu Smile

 

2021 16" Lenovo Legion 5i Pro Gen 6 (RTX3060) [11th,8C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (Razer Core X Chroma) + Win10 21H1 [build link]  

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