Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 [dslater]^  

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dslater
(@dslater)
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November 7, 2017 4:24 am  

Reason for picking Spectre x360

  • 8th Gen i7 (4 cores/8 threads) clocked @ 1.8ghz, turbo to 4.0ghz
  • 16GB ram
  • 512gb SSD
  • Build quality closely resembles my MacBook Pro, feels extremely well built, keyboard might be better than my MacBook Pro (late '16)

Video Card

  • PowerColor Vega 56 flashed with 64 bios (no over clocking except for defaults once flashed with 64 bios)

Monitor

  • LG 27UD88-W via DisplayPort

eGPU Enclosure

  • Mantiz Venus with 1 meter Belkin TB3 cable (not using Mantiz USB ports, getting some lag, working with Mantiz to fix)

 

First Impressions

The 13" HP SPectre x360 strikes me as a 13"MacBook Pro if the MBP was done right! $1500 nets you an 8th gen quadcore processor, 16 Gb of ram, 512 Gb SSD, 4K Touchscreen, a nifty carrying case, and the HP Active Pen. I am not overly excited about touch screen laptops, nor am I overly excited about the pen, but a similar Dell XPS 13 on their website will set you back a bit more (as of today anyway). I only intend to connect to the eGPU for gaming and the like so I didn't require a dedicated gpu (and wasn't out any cash to get a eGPU as I already had this setup for my 15" MBP). Build quality is very Apple like, feels very solid, good weight, but I don't care for the track pad as much. Finger print reader works ok, though it seems a little bit finicky, and I haven't used the Windows Hello Face Recognition yet (but it is supported).  The only odd thing is the Spectre x360 complains about being charged by a non HP original power adapter.

 

Implementation

  1. With Windows running, plug in eGPU to TB3 port furthest to the back of the Spectre x360
  2. Wait for Windows to do its thing (auto detect and install drivers, etc)
  3. Download and install Radeon Crimson drivers (Current is 17.11.1)
  4. Install drivers (Vega 56 was recognized by installation media) and then reboot
  5. Enjoy the goodness!

 

Technical Data/Benchmarks

 

 ATTO

ATTO showed drive reads well over 2000MB/s, therefore GT4 OPI

 

Heaven Benchmark

 

Valley Benchmark

 

Timespy Benchmark

 

Skydiver Benchmark

 

 -D

 

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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wusel
(@wusel)
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November 7, 2017 7:26 am  

Thanks for sharing your setup. I wasn't sure if I wanted the yoga 920 or the x360 (x360 is 500€ cheaper). I think I'm buying the x360, too.

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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dslater
(@dslater)
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November 7, 2017 3:47 pm  
Posted by: wusel

Thanks for sharing your setup. I wasn't sure if I wanted the yoga 920 or the x360 (x360 is 500€ cheaper). I think I'm buying the x360, too.

Just validate you get the right cpu as there are a lot of the gen 7s out there right now too.

 

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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theitsage
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November 7, 2017 3:53 pm  

Ditto ^. Definitely make sure you're buying one with an 8th gen i7.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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nando4
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November 10, 2017 1:05 am  

Is the CPU TDP unlocked?

@dslater, can you confirm that with the Intel XTU tool, the i7-8550U's TDP is unlocked and can be increased from 15W to say 25W, 35W or 45W and see a significant increase in performance as seen at 7:27 of this video (Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro). 

Expect a noticable increase in CPU/chassis temps if increasing TDP this way. At 45W, it's effectively running like a i7-7700HQ and you'll note in the video, his video encoding time decreased significantly when running at 45w.

 

 

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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dslater
(@dslater)
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November 10, 2017 5:21 pm  
Posted by: nando4

Is the CPU TDP unlocked?

@dslater, can you confirm that with the Intel XTU tool, the i7-8550U's TDP is unlocked and can be increased from 15W to say 25W, 35W or 45W and see a significant increase in performance as seen at 7:27 of this video (Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro). 

Expect a noticable increase in CPU/chassis temps if increasing TDP this way. At 45W, it's effectively running like a i7-7700HQ and you'll note in the video, his video encoding time decreased significantly when running at 45w.

 

 

 

I'm traveling for work for about 10 days but will when I get back home.

 

-D

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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4chip4
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November 10, 2017 7:32 pm  
Posted by: nando4

Expect a noticable increase in CPU/chassis temps if increasing TDP this way. At 45W, it's effectively running like a i7-7700HQ and you'll note in the video, his video encoding time decreased significantly when running at 45w

One of the upsides of having the 15" version is that the cooling with the GPU is unified. The discrete GPU (MX150 or 940M) is a 20W component so even though you can't just increase CPU TDP by that much if you have an eGPU attached, you still have a bit more TDP headroom on the CPU side. The 13" versions are likely a bit more thermal-limited. Best to do test with one eye on the thermal gauge of the XTU 😉

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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dslater
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November 10, 2017 7:49 pm  
Posted by: 4chip4
Posted by: nando4

Expect a noticable increase in CPU/chassis temps if increasing TDP this way. At 45W, it's effectively running like a i7-7700HQ and you'll note in the video, his video encoding time decreased significantly when running at 45w

One of the upsides of having the 15" version is that the cooling with the GPU is unified. The discrete GPU (MX150 or 940M) is a 20W component so even though you can't just increase CPU TDP by that much if you have an eGPU attached, you still have a bit more TDP headroom on the CPU side. The 13" versions are likely a bit more thermal-limited. Best to do test with one eye on the thermal gauge of the XTU 😉

True enough, don't need to destroy a new ultrabook...

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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dslater
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November 10, 2017 7:55 pm  

hey @4chip4... you think the 13" x360 could run a rift or other VR headset with an egpu?

-D

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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4chip4
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November 10, 2017 11:28 pm  
Posted by: dslater

hey @4chip4... you think the 13" x360 could run a rift or other VR headset with an egpu?

-D

Absolutely - that's how I use my Rift. The Oculus Rift (with Touch controllers) works reasonably well even with my 15" x360, which has less eGPU bandwidth than the 13" model. I didn't try TOO heavy games (after all, I only use it with a meager 970GTX), but Robo Recall, Bridge Crew, Google Earth et al all worked OK. Two caveats:

1. With the 7th gen Intel CPUs you will be almost certainly CPU bound - you want the 8th gen Intel, 8550U models

2. The Rift is pretty sensitive about which port the sensors are plugged in - I use a powered USB HUB and not the ports on the eGPU to avoid tracking jitters

 

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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nando4
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November 11, 2017 12:05 am  

@4chip, does you i7-8550U 2017 15" HP Spectre have an unlocked TDP option in XTU? If so, when using your eGPU instead of the dGPU, have you tested 25W, 35W, 45W XTU settings in gaming/rendering? To what level can you go before you start getting thermal CPU throttling?

As you point out, the 15" Spectre's beefier cooling system accomodates for a 20W TDP dGPU that isn't present with a 13" model. We'd expect it can carry a higher CPU TDP, so long as that is unlocked and available to be set in XTU.

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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4chip4
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November 11, 2017 12:58 am  
Posted by: nando4

@4chip, does you i7-8550U 2017 15" HP Spectre have an unlocked TDP option in XTU? If so, when using your eGPU instead of the dGPU, have you tested 25W, 35W, 45W XTU settings in gaming/rendering? To what level can you go before you start getting thermal CPU throttling?

As you point out, the 15" Spectre's beefier cooling system accomodates for a 20W TDP dGPU that isn't present with a 13" model. We'd expect it can carry a higher CPU TDP, so long as that is unlocked and available to be set in XTU.

Well, I tried this a while back, but didn't get far - in theory the option is unlocked in XTU, and HWdata confirms the changed TDP limits (saying unlocked everywhere), but when I hit the benchmark button, there is no change in the parameters (25W while in turbo boost, and then back to 15W after a couple of seconds). Temp-wise the defaults are fairly conservative and never even gets close to thermal throttling (even with the internal GPU running I didn't get over 75C). I'm not sure if it's locked but it doesn't realize it, or if I'm just too clumsy in setting it (didn't notice anything in the BIOS where some of these options sometimes hide).

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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(@ehab_heikal)
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November 18, 2017 1:23 am  

Can you get the egpu to render on the notebook's own display? Do you have 4k?

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
(@4chip4)
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November 18, 2017 12:21 pm  

@ehab not sure if you're asking me or @dslater - there is no difficulty rendering on the internal display (mine is 4K) via eGPU. That said, you generally don't want to do that (render in 4K to the internal display) in games or GPU heavy apps as that eats up a significant chunk of the TB3 bandwidth and therefore seriously degrades GPU performance which is a sensitive thing at 4K anyway.

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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(@ehab_heikal)
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November 18, 2017 3:59 pm  

Thanks @4chip, I do not want to buy a separate 4k monitor, a small drop in performance ( 10% or so ) is acceptable to me, was thinking of a 1070 or 1080 on games like world or warcraft or witcher

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 19, 2017 2:32 am  
Posted by: Ehab Heikal

Thanks @4chip, I do not want to buy a separate 4k monitor, a small drop in performance ( 10% or so ) is acceptable to me, was thinking of a 1070 or 1080 on games like world or warcraft or witcher

On my device the "internal display tax" for 4K is 15-20% on the Unigine benchmarks, and about 8-10% for 1080p, but I have only a 970GTX - I'd expect higher end cards to fare slightly worse. In any case, there is a reason why gaming laptops are by and large not 4K, I'd certainly recommend 1080p (or just slightly over) unless you're already pushing 100+ fps on ultra as 4K is probably overkill (on a 13-15" laptop) for anything that is not text.

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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(@ehab_heikal)
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November 20, 2017 10:55 pm  

Thanks a million 4chip 🙂

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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dslater
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November 25, 2017 12:54 am  

I am running mine currently undervolted  -.105v. And it’s stable.  Blue screen at -.125v. Performance benchmark using the xtu tool scores 80% better than stock.  TDP seems to think it’s unlocked but like @4chip4 it didn’t seem to go anywhere. 

-D

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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fcela
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December 7, 2017 10:43 am  

Hi,

i can go as low as -.080v for both CPU a and VGA. If i've tried lower, immediately restart happened, but it is strange it happened only in "battery save mode" or "hp recommended mode". When in "high performance mode", I can go up to -.105v stable for CPU only. Do you have the same behaviour?

Thanks.

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
(@4chip4)
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December 7, 2017 12:25 pm  
Posted by: dslater

I am running mine currently undervolted  -.105v. And it’s stable.  Blue screen at -.125v. Performance benchmark using the xtu tool scores 80% better than stock.  TDP seems to think it’s unlocked but like @4chip4 it didn’t seem to go anywhere. 

-D

Just a follow-up on this: reducing TDP does seem to work. I have a few legacy apps I need that just floor the CPU for no good reason, so for these I made an XTU profile that limits the CPU to 8W w no boost. That way I can avoid battery burn and fans spinning up just because some devs didn't know how to write an efficient event loop. Why an upward TDP change is not respected is still unclear.

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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dslater
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December 7, 2017 7:38 pm  
Posted by: fcela

Hi,

i can go as low as -.080v for both CPU a and VGA. If i've tried lower, immediately restart happened, but it is strange it happened only in "battery save mode" or "hp recommended mode". When in "high performance mode", I can go up to -.105v stable for CPU only. Do you have the same behaviour?

Thanks.

I am able to run at -.105 for core, cache, and graphics no matter what my power settings are set at.

 

-D

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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abhi08638
(@abhi08638)
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December 10, 2017 5:29 pm  

I just got the same laptop top but I wasn't satisfied with the heat output and the throttling that was happening when I benchmarked it using prime95. I ended up opening the laptop and applying a better thermal paste and a couple strips of non conductive thermal pads and aluminum fins to help heat dissipation. Prior to the modifications the cpu package with -100mv undervolt, it would hit the PROCHOT 97 degree limit. After the mods with prime95 taxing the cpu and the cemu emulator on, the package temperature maxed out at 80 degrees and would average at 76 degrees. I havent tested it using my aorus gtx 1070  gaming box but I would assume similar results.

A couple things to note:

The thermal paste made about 90% of the difference in temperature. I prefer the aluminum fins over the thermal pad because they dont block the airflow which is essential for cooling this system. 

The cpu is on the opposite side of the mother board so you basically have to unplug everything and remove the battery and fans to take the motherboard out. The copper heat pipe is located directly under the center of the speaker grill above the keyboard. Like I mean it touches that part, I have no idea why they decided to do that but that's the reason why that part gets so hot. You're basically feeling the temp of the cpu directly. The whole process took me about 2 hours because I was going in blind. I couldnt find any teardowns of the laptop so that made it difficult. Overall, I would say it's not that hard to do but it takes time. Now with just browsing with chrome and some battery saver settings using throttlestop, I never even hit 40 degrees. It stays around 37 degrees with the fan off.

 

These are the things I used:

Most important:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011F7W3LU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Find a smaller size for this, I ended up putting it along the bottom row of the triangle found in the top middle of the motherboard (this is the underside of the cpu): 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007XACV8O/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Use the 0.5mm 145x145 sheet for this, you'll have a lot left over but you can stack them to get them to touch the back plate:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UYTU6Z6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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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dslater
(@dslater)
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December 11, 2017 6:23 pm  

@abhi08638, how difficult was it to open the device up and what have you?

 

-D

Late 2016 15" MacBook Pro
Late 2017 13" HP Spectre x360 + RX [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 // 8th Gen i7 8550u, 16gb ram, 512gb ssd
Vega 56 (flashed with 64 bios)


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fcela
(@fcela)
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Posts: 2
December 12, 2017 11:12 am  
Posted by: dslater
Posted by: fcela

Hi,

i can go as low as -.080v for both CPU a and VGA. If i've tried lower, immediately restart happened, but it is strange it happened only in "battery save mode" or "hp recommended mode". When in "high performance mode", I can go up to -.105v stable for CPU only. Do you have the same behaviour?

Thanks.

I am able to run at -.105 for core, cache, and graphics no matter what my power settings are set at.

 

-D

may I ask you what kind of SSD do you have? I have Toshiba one and it is really not one of the fastest 🙁 I have found notice somewhere on the hp support forum there are toshiba and samsung ones for HP, but could not get "proof" anywhere...

thanks.

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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abhi08638
(@abhi08638)
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December 13, 2017 8:15 pm  
Posted by: dslater

@abhi08638, how difficult was it to open the device up and what have you?

 

-D

The hardest part about opening it up was removing the rubber strip on the bottom while not ripping off the double sided tape under it. I couldnt get them off together, but you might if you do it carefully. Then under that is some sort of plastic cover with adhesive on the bottom which is also a little difficult to remove. I used a flathead to pry it off, dont worry about scratching it since it'll be covered by the rubber strip anyway. I reapplied the rubber strip by just rubbing it with glue stick and it's fine. Assuming you have all the necessary tools, it's a pretty easy tear down. 

 

Also a little update, I ended up removing the aluminium fins because they were making my laptop bulge, I just replaced it with two strips of the thermal pad layered over each other so they would touch the backplate.

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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