System specs (model inc screen size, CPU, iGPU, dGPU, operating system)
- Dell Optiplex 3050m
- WiFi and BT on the BIOS are turned on (more on this below)
- Intel Core i7 6700T 2.8GHz
- 16 GB DDR4 RAM
- SK hynix SC311 256GB SSD
- Windows 10 Pro
- Samsung T260HD 1920×1200
eGPU hardware (eGPU enclosure, video card, any third-party TB3 cable, any custom mods)
- EXP GDC Beast 8.5c
- NGFF Cable
- Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 Mini 6GB
- Silverstone Strider Essential 500W 80+
In my previous post, I used an i3 Dell Optiplex 3020m which I think did not do so well. I got my hand on a better machine an i7 Dell Optiplex 3050m which sports an i7 6th generation processor and this machine also has an M.2 slot which can be used to add another drive or, for which I plan in the future, for an EXP GDC 9.0 M.2 connector.
At first I had problems with the machine detecting the graphics card. I originally disabled WiFi and Bluetooth on the BIOS as I did in my 3020m to avoid possible conflicts but it seems disabling this disabled the NGFF slot entirely. One other thing I did was to update the BIOS and to install the latest chipset drivers. After booting with the monitor cable connected to the built in HDMI port, I noticed that the system detected another video card which I then proceeded to install the latest NVidia drivers for the GTX 1060. After several reboots, I shifted the monitor cable to be connected to the 1060, lo and behold, theres a display!
I collected benchmarks for both the built in graphics card and the 1060. I also collected information via GPUZ with render test and CUDAZ after installing the necessary drivers. Check the results below.
Unigine Heaven Before & After
GPUZ Before & After
CudaZ After (doesnt work with internal graphics)
The Optiplex Micro is a capable machine specially if you're using a better processor. The newer versions of the hardware has the M.2 slot which is a welcome addition incase you have the funds to get the EXP GDC Best 9. Im waiting for the price of that adapter to go down before purchasing one. All in all, with the results of the Tomb Raider and Heaven benchmarks, I'm really happy with the performance and I think games set to ultra settings wouldnt have much of a problem running at decent FPS.
@pogz , thank you for your submission. A good boost for sure from the eGPU.
I'll mention that your system has a 6th-gen CPU in it and the PCH hosting the NGFF port is capable of running at Gen3 speed, double what you are running now. Check the BIOS to see if you can switch the port speed there or otherwise consider generating IFR and accessing hidden UEFI variable changes to do the switching like described here.
Ive gone throught the BIOS a couple of times while setting it up (theres also some info here) but it looks like it doesnt have advanced settings to tweak the port speed. I might have to read up on accessing the hidden UEFI variables and the risks involved. Dont wanna accidentally brick my machine. lol.
Im considering the EXP 9.5 but the price is still steep at 100$ but it would make good use of the M.2 port supposedly for another drive on this machine.
BTW nando, would you know if using an EXP 9.5 would work with my 8.5 NGFF cable?
I plan to sell my 8.5 with a mini PCIe cable and keep the NGFF cable if it would work when I buy an EXP 9.5 in the future.
I would still prefer to keep the NGFF cable since I have a Dell 3020m which could still be used if the old cable would work for the 9.5.
Compared to EXP GDCZ 8.x, EXP GDC 9.x removed the USB port, added a second HDMI port and routed two lanes per HDMI cable when using the x4 M.2 adapter end.
There is also the ADT-Link R-series M.2 eGPU adapter option that is more cost effective than EXP GDC. See a couple of implementations using those at: