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

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thorne402
(@thorne402)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years 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


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madweazl
(@madweazl)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years 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

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


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thorne402
(@thorne402)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years 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 2 years 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


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Chris Combe
(@chris_combe)
New Member
Joined: 2 years 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 2 years ago

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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RaymondDijkstra
(@raymonddijkstra)
New Member
Joined: 1 year 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!!!

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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maits
(@maits)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@madweazl Hi, sorry to revive this thread, but I got a H2D issue on a similiar build than yours and hope, you might be able to help. I only get around ~1.130 MiB/s (Host to Device) for my Aorus gaming box 1080 coupled to a Dell XPS 9380. Is this comparable to your results, or is this a hint to a problem? I simultaneously experience severe mouse lag whenever I use the IO ports on the box.

I'm currently runnning the FW 1.3 on updated Thunderbolt 3 Drivers. I searched the forum and I also tried the downgraded Thunderbolt 3 Control Center and Flashing the FW1.0_H2D but couldn't see any improvements. I'm not even sure it flashed the older FW correctly or kept the FW 1.3. Is there anything else I could try or is it a hardware issue?

Thanks in advance :).

 

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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