Setup & Software Discussions
2019 13" Dell XPS 13 9380 [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box)...
 

2019 13" Dell XPS 13 9380 [8th,4C,U] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 [madweazl]  

  RSS

madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 
I do a lot of travel for work and wanted to replace an aging 17" Sager with something that I could actually use while I'm on the airplane. The XPS 13 looked like a good choice; I initially wanted to go with the I5 but they only come with 8gb RAM and since it is soldered to the mobo, I figured is was probably a good idea to go with 16gb for as much future proofing as possible. I also wanted to find an eGPU that was fairly small so I could do some gaming once I arrived at the destination (avoiding MXM); the Gaming Box 2070 looked to be about the best compromise. 
 
The initial install went well, the eGPU was recognized right away and everything worked. I was having some stability issue but was able to resolve them by installing the Thunderbolt Control Center (which was a major pain to get working). After a little help from another forum member, I was pointed towards and older Dell version (16.x). This seemed to totally clear up the connection/disconnection issues and it also allowed me to flash the H2D firmware to improve bandwidth.
 
You can disconnect the cable and reconnect without issue. You can sleep and shut down without issue. When the laptop sleeps, the eGPU fan continues to run but the lights shut off (if you have them enabled). When you shut the laptop down, the eGPU also shuts down. It behaves exactly how you'd expect it to. The eGPU is a bit noisy at idle; the fan has the typical whirring noise but it's a bit louder than you'd expect for no load. Additionally, there is some intermittent, mild, coil whine. Once you're in game, the video card is all but inaudible if you have just about any volume set. 
 
With ambient room temps of 23°, the eGPU idles at 26° and under load while benchmarking or gaming, it will typically max out in low to mid 60° range. It has reasonable overclock potential; I typically game at +175/1125 which equates to approximately 2055/8125 max boost. I've benchmarked as high as +193/1240 (some apps will only go to +185 on the core) but it still only boosts to about 2080 on the core so +177 is likely all that is beneficial (for my card). The max temp I've seen overclocked so far is 76°. By default, the fan seems to run at about 57% for the low which seems higher than necessary given the idle temps.This makes custom fan profiles relatively useless but perhaps another utility would open up more functionality. 
 
GPU scores in 3dMark seem to indicate that the Thunderbolt bandwidth is good enough to produce results similar to the MXM equivalent but CPU throttling is a significant bottleneck. I did pick up significant gains after replacing Dell's thermal compound with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and I also added a 120x20x.5mm thermal pad over the heatsink fins (do not go thicker than .5mm). If you go this route, you'll need a #5 Torx bit to remove the back cover (the plastic clips are a pain on the bottom panel are a pain). The heatsink and pipes are held in place with four Phillips screws (it pops out as a single assembly). 
 
There is a little room for improvement in some of these benchmark results but I dont expect much more. All results are with an external monitor with the exception of Tomb Raider, I'll run that on the external at a later date.
 

Time Spy - 6570 (Stock/Liquid Ultra/Internal monitor)
Time Spy - 7045 (Overclocked/Liquid Ultra/Internal monitor)
Time Spy - 6643 (Stock/Liquid Ultra/External monitor)
Time Spy - 7338 (Overclocked/Liquid Ultra/External monitor)
Firestrike - 14229
Superposition - 15185
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - 73fps (internal monitor and exclusive full screen selected)

 

I'm playing Anthem at the moment and that is the only game I've played through the system thus far. On ultra settings (1080), it will dip into the low 30s during the more intense battles but remains very playable. So far, I'm extremely pleased with the setup and the combination is actually 2lbs lighter than my Sager (w/power adapter)! If you're a frequent traveler that enjoys gaming, this may be a good solution for you as well. 
This topic was modified 5 months ago

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
(@christopher_luc)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

If you get a chance, could you run the benchmarks at https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/benchmark/

I just purchased the laptop, but the benchmarks for that game are significantly lower than my older macbook, so I'm tempted to return it.  I'm curious as to how much your mods help

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Sure, are there specific settings you'd like me to run?

Max setting at 1080 - 12601

max

Edit: internal monitor

This post was modified 8 months ago

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
(@christopher_luc)
New Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Sorry about that, was about to post.  That works, thanks 🙂

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
jerry Kansai
(@joi_kansai)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

For travel I prefer buying portable gaming laptop than bringing egpu even it’s quite portable like gaming box, more often it’s moved higher risk hardware defect it would be. Keep in mind it contains full gpu on tiny space. But it’s only my opinion. For a bit more expensive than your xps you can get 1070maxq laptop that performs around similar with your egpu setting and get more portability. Here is 3Dmark comparison between 2070egpu and 1070maxq dgpu and its at home egpu setting with 2070. SoTR benchmark i put shows also not big difference, Anthem gave me better FPS on dgpu in 1080p.

BE41408D D531 4A14 AB08 48825A83599C
This post was modified 8 months ago

Razer Blade 15 2018, i7 8750H 16gb ddr4 2666mhz 1tb 970Evo
Razer Blade Stealth 12,5 2016 i7 7500U 8gb ddr3 1866mhz 500gb 970Evo
MacBook Pro 13 mid 2012 i5 3210M 12gb ddr3 1600mhz 500GB HDD
Razer Core V2 rtx 2070 Black 2040mhz Boost clock
Previous setting: rtx 2080ti Asus Turbo, rtx 2080 xc gaming, rtx 2080 Fe, Zotac Mini 1080ti, Evga 1080 FTW2 gaming.
Dual Monitor Predator XB241YU 165Hz 1440p, LG l24UD58 60Hz 4K
Portable Monitor Magedok 1440p HDR 60Hz usbA/C monitor


ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

I've tried a few different thermal compounds in the XPS 13 now (left overs from desktop builds). After running it stock for about a week, I applied some Noctua NT-H1 and it worked really well; I was able to maintain a much higher clock (above 3000mhz vs the stock compound that would clock down to approx 2500mhz) for a much longer period of time before the CPU would thermal throttle. A few days later, I tried some Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut but it worked much like stock (not impressed for this application). Yesterday I decided to try some Cool Laboratories Liquid Ultra and that has produced results similar to the Noctua NT-H1 (I have to do some more testing under similar conditions to know for sure if real world performance is better but it seems likely). 

Idle temps with the Liquid Ultra were 31° with ambient temps of 23°. After running some stress tests, it typically idles at 41° for quite a while because the bottom panel retains quite a bit of heat for a longer period than stock with the thermal pads I installed. The weather for Sunday morning looks like it will be fairly cool so I can go for some benchmarks runs in similar conditions to the Time Spy personal record run of 7068. Based on some quick tests, the CPU maintains a considerably higher clock through the physics test with the Liquid Ultra so I think I can up that score quite a bit; previous runs had a pretty sharp fall-off after a few seconds in due to thermal throttling but it is pretty flat through the whole test now.

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

OK, the Liquid Ultra made a significant difference. The room was 24.5° when I ran this benchmark as opposed to 15.5° when I ran the previous best. 

Time Spy - 7338
Comparison

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


itsage liked
ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 
Posted by: Christopher Luc

If you get a chance, could you run the benchmarks at https://na.finalfantasyxiv.com/benchmark/

I just purchased the laptop, but the benchmarks for that game are significantly lower than my older macbook, so I'm tempted to return it.  I'm curious as to how much your mods help

I ran the benchmark again after the Liquid Ultra was applied and it picked up about 380 points.

46470638155 047969063a o

Edit: just noticed the overclock was applied to the eGPU so that is likely responsible for most of it. 

This post was modified 8 months ago

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Picked up a new monitor (3440x1440) and jumped on Anthem last night and boy was I disappointed running my desktop (R7 1700/1070). Frame rates were dismal and well below my XPS13/2070 eGPU combo. Anthem also released a patch yesterday that supports DLSS so I decided to hook the laptop up to the new monitor and wow, what a huge difference in frame rates. The laptop/eGPU pushes higher frame rates at this resolution than it did on the 1080 monitor that I replaced, and by a large margin. I only messed with it for a few minutes but I'll do a bit more today while I wait for a 2080 to arrive for the desktop. To recap, I went from 1920x1080, medium setting defaults, and frame rates in the 40s to 3440x1400, ultra setting defaults, and frame rates in the high 40s to low 50s with DLSS enabled!

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 

Some different results in Anthem today. Not sure what was different but I'm guessing the graphics setting may not have completely changed when I bumped it from medium to ultra (FPS took a small hit so some changes stuck). Anyways, I actually ran around and played with DLSS enabled for a couple hours yesterday and it performed pretty well (though at a considerably lower avg framerate of about 35fps). The only issue I noticed was that the screen would be all jittery after loading into a zone. If I disabled and re-enabled DLSS, the problem went away but would occasionally return on subsequent zone in/out, requiring the same procedure. I noticed a new driver dropped, hopefully this addresses that issue but I haven't read the notes yet. 

Edit: DLSS enabled was good for 8-10fps, an increase of roughly 30% in this case. I didnt spend any time looking at background image quality but will provide a little more feedback in that regard once I get the 2080 plumbed. 

This post was modified 8 months ago

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
thorne402
(@thorne402)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

Hi  @madweazl, thanks for your complete build guide! Can i ask how are you finding your setup at the moment? Is it reliable and have you encountered any nasty problems with it so far?

I had a XPS 9370 for a while but then it just stopped recognizing my eGPU and i then returned it. Now i'm using a top-of-the-line 9380 and i'm waiting for my Asus Rog XG Station Pro to arrive to the shop and then i can properly test these two together with a MSI RTX 2060.

I do already have a freshly built desktop with i5-8400 etc and a Lenovo L380 laptop but for the last 10 years i've been dreaming of having something like an ultraportable to use while away from home (i'm a IT & business economics student) and when in home i could just plug it into something which would enable gaming on the same machine together with a good monitor and other necessary accessories. And so far i'm not exactly convinced that i should keep this laptop and sell the desktop and L380 away..

Dell XPS 13 9380 | i7-8560U | 16GB | 512GB | 4K Touch
Dell XPS 15 9570 | Base model, returned to shop
Dell XPS 13 9370 | i7-8550U | 16GB | 512GB | FHD (returned to shop)
Sonnet Breakaway Box 550W | MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z | AOC Agon AG271QG
Waiting for a ASUS ROG XG Station Pro


ReplyQuote
madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
 
Posted by: thorne402

Hi  @madweazl, thanks for your complete build guide! Can i ask how are you finding your setup at the moment? Is it reliable and have you encountered any nasty problems with it so far?

I had a XPS 9370 for a while but then it just stopped recognizing my eGPU and i then returned it. Now i'm using a top-of-the-line 9380 and i'm waiting for my Asus Rog XG Station Pro to arrive to the shop and then i can properly test these two together with a MSI RTX 2060.

I do already have a freshly built desktop with i5-8400 etc and a Lenovo L380 laptop but for the last 10 years i've been dreaming of having something like an ultraportable to use while away from home (i'm a IT & business economics student) and when in home i could just plug it into something which would enable gaming on the same machine together with a good monitor and other necessary accessories. And so far i'm not exactly convinced that i should keep this laptop and sell the desktop and L380 away..

I don't really have any complaints thus far. Every once in a great while, I'll have to unplug the power to the eGPU but that has only happened about twice since I got the hardware. Intel released a new Thunderbolt Control Center driver that can be downloaded here so you don't have to use the ancient one (though it worked fine for this application). I love the laptop itself; battery life is pretty good even though I have the 4k monitor (looks great but was a total waste of money in hindsight).

XPS 13 (9380)/AORUS Gaming Box 2070


ReplyQuote
thorne402
(@thorne402)
Active Member
Joined: 8 months ago
 

So far what i've tested with this Sonnet Box the 9380 seems to keep a more reliable connection to the eGPU, where as the older 9370 had more connection problems and ultimately it stopped working alltogether after some Dell's own FW update.

Then again, i'm seeing lower Timespy & Fire Strike points with newer 9380 which is sort of weird, but it might be something related to drivers.

Also what's your current status with thermal pastes, pads and temperatures? What sort of mods you found best to use with your XPS @madweazl?

edit: i'm also using the new Thunderbolt software which seems to function better than the old one though i needed to install it manually from MS Store.

This post was modified 7 months ago

Dell XPS 13 9380 | i7-8560U | 16GB | 512GB | 4K Touch
Dell XPS 15 9570 | Base model, returned to shop
Dell XPS 13 9370 | i7-8550U | 16GB | 512GB | FHD (returned to shop)
Sonnet Breakaway Box 550W | MSI RTX 2060 Gaming Z | AOC Agon AG271QG
Waiting for a ASUS ROG XG Station Pro


ReplyQuote
(@chris_combe)
New Member
Joined: 10 months ago
 

I have just gotten the aorus gaming box 2070 with the same laptop and plugged it into the top most left thunderbolt port and it doesn't detect or bring up the thunderbolt detection screen in the instructions.

I've rebooted, done updates etc. and so far no luck

I even tried the other ports to no avail..
any suggestions welcome

oddly I was able to update the firmware, as it shows up but I cannot see the device in device manager or the thunderbolt dell connecter app thing

I wonder if it's the cable it came with, will try and buy an other one to test it out

This post was modified 7 months ago

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote
RaymondDijkstra
(@raymonddijkstra)
New Member
Joined: 6 months ago
 
Posted by: madweazl
I do a lot of travel for work and wanted to replace an aging 17" Sager with something that I could actually use while I'm on the airplane. The XPS 13 looked like a good choice; I initially wanted to go with the I5 but they only come with 8gb RAM and since it is soldered to the mobo, I figured is was probably a good idea to go with 16gb for as much future proofing as possible. I also wanted to find an eGPU that was fairly small so I could do some gaming once I arrived at the destination (avoiding MXM); the Gaming Box 2070 looked to be about the best compromise. 
 
The initial install went well, the eGPU was recognized right away and everything worked. I was having some stability issue but was able to resolve them by installing the Thunderbolt Control Center (which was a major pain to get working). After a little help from another forum member, I was pointed towards and older Dell version (16.x). This seemed to totally clear up the connection/disconnection issues and it also allowed me to flash the H2D firmware to improve bandwidth.
 
You can disconnect the cable and reconnect without issue. You can sleep and shut down without issue. When the laptop sleeps, the eGPU fan continues to run but the lights shut off (if you have them enabled). When you shut the laptop down, the eGPU also shuts down. It behaves exactly how you'd expect it to. The eGPU is a bit noisy at idle; the fan has the typical whirring noise but it's a bit louder than you'd expect for no load. Additionally, there is some intermittent, mild, coil whine. Once you're in game, the video card is all but inaudible if you have just about any volume set. 
 
With ambient room temps of 23°, the eGPU idles at 26° and under load while benchmarking or gaming, it will typically max out in low to mid 60° range. It has reasonable overclock potential; I typically game at +175/1125 which equates to approximately 2055/8125 max boost. I've benchmarked as high as +193/1240 (some apps will only go to +185 on the core) but it still only boosts to about 2080 on the core so +177 is likely all that is beneficial (for my card). The max temp I've seen overclocked so far is 76°. By default, the fan seems to run at about 57% for the low which seems higher than necessary given the idle temps.This makes custom fan profiles relatively useless but perhaps another utility would open up more functionality. 
 
GPU scores in 3dMark seem to indicate that the Thunderbolt bandwidth is good enough to produce results similar to the MXM equivalent but CPU throttling is a significant bottleneck. I did pick up significant gains after replacing Dell's thermal compound with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut and I also added a 120x20x.5mm thermal pad over the heatsink fins (do not go thicker than .5mm). If you go this route, you'll need a #5 Torx bit to remove the back cover (the plastic clips are a pain on the bottom panel are a pain). The heatsink and pipes are held in place with four Phillips screws (it pops out as a single assembly). 
 
There is a little room for improvement in some of these benchmark results but I dont expect much more. All results are with an external monitor with the exception of Tomb Raider, I'll run that on the external at a later date.
 

Time Spy - 6570 (Stock/Liquid Ultra/Internal monitor)
Time Spy - 7045 (Overclocked/Liquid Ultra/Internal monitor)
Time Spy - 6643 (Stock/Liquid Ultra/External monitor)
Time Spy - 7338 (Overclocked/Liquid Ultra/External monitor)
Firestrike - 14229
Superposition - 15185
Shadow of the Tomb Raider - 73fps (internal monitor and exclusive full screen selected)

 

I'm playing Anthem at the moment and that is the only game I've played through the system thus far. On ultra settings (1080), it will dip into the low 30s during the more intense battles but remains very playable. So far, I'm extremely pleased with the setup and the combination is actually 2lbs lighter than my Sager (w/power adapter)! If you're a frequent traveler that enjoys gaming, this may be a good solution for you as well. 

Thanks man, the Thunderbolt 16.x things did the trick (although I had to stop all Thunderbolt tasks and services manually, otherwise the 16.x driver could not install).
Extremely happy I got my Dell xps 13 working properly al last. I have been searching and trying stuff as a saloution, but to no avail. Until your post. Many thanks again man!!!

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


ReplyQuote