2019 15" Dell Precision 3541 [9th,4C,H] + GTX 1660 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 & Linux
I wanted a laptop with integrated graphics for simplicity, battery life and cooler thermals but I wanted Thunderbolt 3 as to allow expansion.
The laptop is a Dell Precision 3541 with Intel Core i5 9400H and 32 GB of Ram.
When I installed the card in the enclosure, I noticed some unpopulated header on the PCB. It looks very much like a USB 2.0 header. I wonder if the enclosure could provide USB 2.0 from the Type-C interface. That would allow to provide USB for mouse and keyboard without any impact on the Thunderbolt.
The installation was ok, nothing too hard. I tested a PCIe CAN Bus card. The PCI slot on the Core X require a 2 slot bracket. That single slot card was not secured correctly.
I picked the Core X for the power delivery of 100W, but my laptop does not really recognize it and warn about a 65W only power adapter. I would try to find 100W Type-C charge and test with the laptop before blaming the enclosure.
The PCIe connection worried me a bit as it advertise only 2.5GT/s PCIe Link Speed (HwInfo64).
This seems to come from the Thunderbolt 3 PCIe chain. Sometime it reports different links speed.
The laptop TB3 controller downstream port is only at 2.5 GT/s
The eGPU upstream port is sometime at 8 GT/s.
With that I was worried about transfer speed. I check with Cuda-Z
The Cuda-Z number match with TB3 32Gbps. This is TB3 20Gbps PCIe bandwidth numbers.
I was curious to compare with a full PCIe 16x slot from a desktop. I pulled numbers from a Dell XPS desktop with a GTX 1650.
HwInfo64 sill show weird PCIe link speed but the bandwidth is there.
The difference is quite significant, a 5x bandwidth increase compare to TB3.
Host to device speed :
- GTX 1660 Super - TB3 (Limited PCIe 4x) : 2254 MiB/s (aka ~20 Gbps)
- GTX 1650 - Native ( Full PCIe 16x) : 11,1371 MiB/s
While getting screenshot and writing this post, my laptop froze twice while connected to the Razer Core X and video via the eGPU. This is concerning, perhaps something to do with Low-Power mode as I was not doing much.
Edit : Indeed low-power mode was an issue. I followed the following to solve it :
- https://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/100629-remove-link-state-power-management-power-options-windows-10-a.htmlRemove 'Link State Power Management' in Power Options in Windows 10
I tried to use the egpu under Linux. It seems to be a lot more work that I want to do right now. My Ubuntu failed to pass the loading screen into the login screen while the eGPU was present. May come around to it later.