Late 2017 13" HP Spectre X360 + R9 [email protected] (ASUS ROG XG Station 2) + Win10 [theitsage]  

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theitsage
(@itsage)
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November 25, 2017 2:38 am  

I wanted to test and review the ASUS ROG XG Station 2 since the summer. After several failed attempts in arranging for a media sample with ASUS, I finally bought one during Black Friday. I'm pairing it with another Black Friday special at Best Buy, the HP Spectre X360 13" [Intel 8th gen i7 quad-core]. The graphics card is an ASUS R9 Fury Strix.

 

System specs:

Late 2017 HP Spectre X360 13" – i7-8550U/UHD Graphics 620 iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD

 

eGPU hardware:

ASUS ROG XG Station 2 + Radeon R9 Fury + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable

 

Hardware pictures:

 

Installation steps:

On paper, this eGPU enclosure is the highest performance unit with its unique USB-B connection for the expansion Ethernet port and USB  hub. It also has a 600W 680W Gold PSU. The firmware on this ASUS XG Station 2 is 25,1. Therefore, it does not suffer H2D issue. Power delivery is 100W. Due to high price, we have seen very few implementations with it so far.

The late 2017 HP Spectre X360 13" comes with a quad-core i7-8550U. It's a highly anticipated host for eGPU due to 4 PCIe lanes and GT4 OPI mode. It's confirmed through AIDA64 and HWiNFO64.

Installation was plug and play. There are additional utilities on ASUS support website for changing the lighting effects as well as hot-plug tool. I've yet to try those out. Intel Thunderbolt Software reports the Spectre X360 13" as eGPU certified.

 

Benchmarks:

I ran Unigine benchmarks in both internal and external display mode. Here are the numbers.

Intel HD 620 iGPU eGPU Internal Display External Display

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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nando4
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November 25, 2017 4:47 am  

@theitsage, thank you for this implementation guide. Would you mind checking the XG Station 2's PSU? You may be surprised to see it has a 680W Gold PSU:

This then makes it one of the few enclosures capable of driving a Vega64 or FE without modification.

Did you get a chance to test the unique USB-B 3.0 cable feature that passes I/O traffic down a separate cable? 

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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Wattiesbaked
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November 26, 2017 1:02 am  

Thank you very much for that comprehensive review. Out of curiosity, how does the spectre fair in the tests using its integrated graphics?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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theitsage
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November 26, 2017 1:44 am  

@Nando4, I noticed the 680W label when taking photos for the unboxing blog post. This is one powerful PSU. It's also very loud as a result of that. An Radeon Vega Frontier Edition is incoming and will be a proper pairing mate for this ASUS ROG XG Station 2.

 

Posted by: Wattiesbaked

Thank you very much for that comprehensive review. Out of curiosity, how does the spectre fair in the tests using its integrated graphics?

The integrated graphics card performance is very bad compared to eGPU. I ran the Unigine benchmarks just now and updated the original post. You can see the R9 Fury eGPU performance is at least 10x that of the Intel UHD 620 iGPU.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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4chip4
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November 26, 2017 1:46 pm  

This is the other side of the medal - there is a reason why the bigger spectres have that MX150 in there. That's why I'm OK with having an x2 TB3 connection and sacrificing those last 5fps of the eGPU performance to have something usable on the go.

This way, I have 18fps undocked, and 45 when docked (on Superposition).
With a 13" x4, I'd have 5fps undocked and ~50 when docked.

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + [email protected] (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 [no guide] HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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(@dominik_zapletal)
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November 26, 2017 3:46 pm  

Are there any issues regarding to the charging the laptop from the eGPU? I have read that HP is blocking non-HP charge power sources. I wonder where the late 2017 model stands.

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cransauce
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November 26, 2017 7:46 pm  

I have the 13” Spectre X360 and the Aorus Gaming Box and all it does is put up a notice  that recommends using HP chargers but everything still works and charges just fine as long as the wattage is there. You could probably uninstall a the right HP program and it won’t even bother you again. 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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4chip4
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November 26, 2017 11:29 pm  

FWIW what it's trying to say is usually that you do not have your original charger in, mostly from the perspective of not having HP Fast Charge. I was getting that popup even if I'm connecting the Omen Accelerator, so it's not really about "HP or not HP"...

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + [email protected] (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 [no guide] HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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chaosmage
(@chaosmage)
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November 27, 2017 4:52 am  

hi theitsage

Thanks for the review! Do you know if its possible to run Windows "ToGo" from USB-B?

I want to separate Bootcamp & eGPU from the Macbook as much as i can 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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DarthCentric
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November 27, 2017 9:36 am  

Thank you very much for your work, this is fantastic. I suspect I will be buying a 13" HP Spectre soon.

Can I just ask, how does the setup handle heat? If I'm not mistaken, there is no fan to cool the CPU. Are there any problems with prolonged gaming use?

Thanks again

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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4chip4
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November 27, 2017 1:55 pm  

There certainly is a fan, though it comes on only under load, the fan(s) certainly will work if you're gaming and peg the CPU. The TDP is the same 15W as it was for several generations (most of the thinness and quietness comes from the CPUs getting more efficient at doing high-perf bursts and then going back to a low-power state).

Heat should not be an issue - all of the devices will throttle if there are any heat constraints. Finally, since you're not using the iGPU actively, you have actually a touch more thermal headroom with an eGPU setup than without. While my 15" Spectre has slightly more cooling, it has no issues w several hours of heavy quad-core VR load.

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + [email protected] (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 [no guide] HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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November 27, 2017 3:19 pm  
Posted by: chaosmage

hi theitsage

Thanks for the review! Do you know if its possible to run Windows "ToGo" from USB-B?

I want to separate Bootcamp & eGPU from the Macbook as much as i can 

It should be possible to run an external Windows volume through the USB-B. ASUS' implementation of these expansion I/O is really cool. The ports would use Thunderbolt 3 connection if the USB-B is not connected. Once the USB-B is connected, the expansion hub switches to using the USB-B connection.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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 D G
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December 1, 2017 3:28 pm  

How much was the Asus egpu enclosure on sale?

14" Lenovo Yoga 920+ [a video card]@32Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Win10+ThrottleStop+Nekteck TB3 Cable 100W 6ft


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theitsage
(@itsage)
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December 1, 2017 3:46 pm  
Posted by: D G

How much was the Asus egpu enclosure on sale?

It was $479. This ASUS ROG XG2 was price at $600+ when it first came out.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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McFinickle
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January 1, 2018 11:40 pm  

Just ordered the xp360 13 with 8th gen. How are you liking the laptop/ 2 in 1?

Looking at the ASUS ROG XG Station 2  or the Aorus Gaming box GTX 1070 for it later this month.

 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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theitsage
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January 2, 2018 3:53 am  

The 13" Spectre X360 is a very good eGPU host. I could not get used to the trackpad though. If you don't mind the trackpad, it's one of the best ultrabooks to use with external graphics atm.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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fazkataz
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January 6, 2018 1:50 am  

Will the xg Station 2 give problems to 2017 7th Gen Intel Spectre x360?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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theitsage
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January 6, 2018 2:53 am  
Posted by: fazkataz

Will the xg Station 2 give problems to 2017 7th Gen Intel Spectre x360?

It should work fine with the Intel 7th gen Spectre x360. Make sure you use a non-blower GPU with this enclosure to prevent overheating.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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McFinickle
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January 9, 2018 1:21 am  

Xg station 2 or Mantiz Venus.....really stuck. The venus is cheaper.

 

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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