Late 2017 13" HP Spectre X360 + RX Vega [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 [theitsage]
I recently posted an implementation guide for a mid-2017 13" non Touch Bar MacBook Pro [i5-7360U dual core] with this Mantiz Venus + RX Vega 56 eGPU. It's good timing to run the same benchmarks on a late-2017 13" Spectre X360 [i7-8550U quad core] to compare. Does the Intel 8th gen quad-core ULV CPU provide a significant boost over its older iteration?
Late 2017 13″ Spectre X360 – i7-8550U/UHD Graphics 620 iGPU/16GB RAM/512GB SSD
Mantiz Venus + Radeon RX Vega 56 + .5m Thunderbolt 3 cable
Unlike the struggles Mac computers present in Windows Boot Camp, eGPU set up for Windows 10 PC laptops are much easier. You basically plug the Thunderbolt 3 cable in, click a couple buttons then wait for the automatic driver installation to complete. This Spectre X360 shows External GPUs supported in Intel Thunderbolt Software so it should be plug-and-play with all certified eGPU enclosures on the market.
There's report of it ironically not able to pair with the OMEN Accelerator. I don't think it's a wide-spread issue and a Thunderbolt firmware update on either enclosure or laptop should remedy this incompatibility. I've been able to use this laptop with several eGPU enclosures so far without issues. Here it is working with an ASUS ROG XG2 + R9 Fury eGPU.
Here are the Unigine benchmarks in both internal and external display mode.
|Spectre Internal Display||Spectre External Display||nTB MBP Internal Display||nTB MBP External Display|
I will be installing some games and run those benchmarks next. So far there's no concrete proof the 8th gen quad-core performs much better than older generations when it comes to eGPU use. 4 PCIe lanes and GT4 OPI are more important criteria when you're looking for a good eGPU host imo.
@theitsage, thank you for investigating of these new 8th gen U candidate eGPU systems. To answer a point you raised about the difference in CPU performance with older 7th gen U CPUs, consider running a well established CPU benchmarking tool like PCMark's CPUMark to do that:
The i7-8550U can operate between 1.8Ghz to 4.0Ghz. The CPU will throttle as it nears the junction temp (~100 degrees) or the BIOS-set TDP.
I like to use Throttlestop to monitor the TDP, temp and then see the highest multiplier the chassis & BIOS allows. Throttlestop also has a handy TS-bench 32M allowing quick comparative performance comparisons between systems. Consider it can complete in under 9secs on a HQ quad-core (45W TDP+) system.
@theitsage, based on our experience benchmark scores do vary from run to run, so minimum 3 runs required to average. You may get higher results with cold CPU/eGPU, and lower scores (due to thermal throttling on either one) after few runs.
Also, I suggest to have the side wall of your enclosure removed. We have not tested Mantiz for thermal/airflow and I have no idea how good or bad is that enclosure thermally; if the goal it to measure platform performance, best cooling for eGPU is very strongly recommended.
I don't think any of the graphics bench tools really stress the CPU all that much. They are designed to really stress the GPU - although I know that there are some physics sims in the 3DMark tools. I am extremely interested in you continuing this exploration itsage. Please try some game benchmarks! Do you have battlefield 1?
Right now I'm sitting on the late 2016 MBP w/TB; but I'm eyeing a new Spectre X360 if for nothing else than the ease of using an eGPU with it. I just got the Aorus Gaming Box w/1070, and in bootcamp, it works extremely well on the MBP - but the hotplug method is less than ideal. I tried the Aorus eGPU with my Dell 7577 and the plug and play use is so much nicer, despite for anything other than gaming, I prefer MacOS. I've been shopping around on PC's of late, and everything is still in the return window. The Spectre x360 also costs less than the MBP by a country mile.
- Late 2016 15″ Apple MacBook Pro | iGPU & dGPU| 6th gen Intel quad-core i7-6700HQ | x4 PCIe 3.0 Thunderbolt 3 to CPU
- Mid 2017 13″ Apple MacBook Pro | iGPU only | 7th gen Intel dual-core i5-7360U | x4 PCIe 3.0 Thunderbolt 3 to PCH | OPI GT4
- Late 2017 13″ HP Spectre X360 | iGPU only | 8th gen Intel quad-core i7-8550U | x4 PCIe 3.0 Thunderbolt 3 to PCH | OPI GT4
The graphics card is Vega FE with the latest AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin. The games I typically run are Tomb Raider, Shadow of Mordor, Dirt Rally, and Hitman (they have Windows and macOS versions). I don't have Battlefield 1 in my Steam library unfortunately.
@sky11 thank you for the advice. When I have time, I typically do 3 runs and post the close-to-average result.
Looking forward to the review.