2019 15" Dell Precision 3541 [9th,4C,H] + GTX 1660 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Cor...
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2019 15" Dell Precision 3541 [9th,4C,H] + GTX 1660 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 & Linux  


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Joined: 1 year ago

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.

I got the Razer Core X as it seems the best option. I struggled between Core X and Core X Chroma.

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.

Thunderbolt Validation

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 :


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.

This topic was modified 1 year ago
2020 MINISFORUM X35G [10th,2C,G] + GTX 1660 Super @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Razer Core X) + Win10 [build link]