2018 15" Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme (GTX1050Ti) [8th,6C,H] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-T...
 
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2018 15" Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme (GTX1050Ti) [8th,6C,H] + RTX 2070 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 [prasys]  

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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 

System specs

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme - Intel Core i7 8750H , 16GB of RAM , 512GB SSD + 128GB SSD + Intel UHD 630 & NVIDIA GeForce 10850 Ti Max-Q + Windows 10

eGPU hardware

AORUS RTX 2070 Gaming Box

Hardware pictures 

 

 

Installation steps

1. Be sure to update all the frimware via Lenovo Vantage-  this includes the BIOS & TB3 Frimware
2. Go to BIOS and disable Thunderbolt security - else it gets all cranky 
3. Uninstall drivers using DDU. It's important that you do not let the computer to use the stock Lenovo drivers , otherwise you'll have a lot of issues when unplugging or swapping the graphics. 
4. Download Latest NVIDIA Driver (Pick the Mobile version) and have it installed 
5. Reboot!

 

Common Problems & How To Fix Them

1. Gaming Box is not being detected by Windows - This happens if you decided to shutdown the laptop and the gaming box together. The next time you boot up , it will fail to detect the Gaming Box. Unplugging and replugging wouldn't work. You need to power cycle the gaming box by disconnecting the power cord and plugging it back after 5 minutes. It will work . RECOMMENDED way : Use the NVIDIA Control Panel thingy to disconnect the GPU/Disable it first. It would work most of the time - 

UPDATE : The newer TB3 driver seems to have addressed this issue....well somewhat...

2. Boot Loop - Simply disconnect the GPU and plug it back in once you have booted to Windows

Fix : Load the BIOS - press enter. Under settings , look for Thunderbolt 3. Disable pre-boot time and then go to graphics and set external display for 3 second wait (yes it increases the time for it to load - but you don't have to worry about unplugging it at all) 

3. Frame Rate drop in Windows (i.e gaming and casual task) - Simply go to Device Manager , disable the Intel GPU and enable it back. It will work. Some say you would need to disable the onboard NVIDIA Card. The trick is something needs to be disabled in order for it work properly Smile   - Thankfully the latest Intel Drivers (26.20.100.7529) have fixed this

 

Hardware Mods

Added Thermal Pad to the system. Based on @itsage's recommendation . I'll post the new benchmarks on the performance Smile

IMG 20191209 185921

Benchmarks 

I did a test with Tomb Raider (I have the images ready - will get it uploaded later on along with Cuda-Z bandwidth pic) 

All of these were tested with 1080p with High Preset 

GeForce GTX 1050Ti - 29fps
GeForce GTX 2070 (Internal Display) - 63fps
GeForce GTX 2070 (External Display) - 72fps

Superposition Benchmark v1.1 1314 1557590064
Superposition Benchmark v1.1 5037 1557588692
Superposition Benchmark v1.1 3702 1557590392
Superposition Benchmark v1.1 10792 1557589229
Superposition Benchmark v1.1 2731 1557589823

44

cudaz

 

Comments 
Well it works , but you wouldn't be expecting a 100fps on a lot of games even tho the GTX 2070 is capable of pumping + 8750H is capable of doing it. However TB3 bandwidth truly limits the potential , but the good news is you can easily get 60fps in most games anyway  (by tuning some of the settings down)

The laptop can be powered on charged (a bit slowly) with the 100W delivery over TB3 , however when the CPU starts to go up , it would BSOD (i suspect that there isn't enough juice or something else). I had to plug the Lenovo Issued 135W charger. 

 
This topic was modified 3 months ago

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Nice build! We found a performance culprit with many Intel 8th gen H CPU laptops. The Thunderbolt 3 connection is routed through the PCH chip which doesn't have any cooling at all. Here are some examples of similar configurations [ASUS ZenBook Pro, Dell XPS 9570]. Your Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme's Thunderbolt 3 is routed the same way unfortunately.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

Nice build! We found a performance culprit with many Intel 8th gen H CPU laptops. The Thunderbolt 3 connection is routed through the PCH chip which doesn't have any cooling at all. Here are some examples of similar configurations [ASUS ZenBook Pro, Dell XPS 9570]. Your Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme's Thunderbolt 3 is routed the same way unfortunately.

Yep - that's what I plan to do. I would need to cool the PCH , probably to cool it later on. Will let you know the results later . I will also attach my benchmark performance so that you can get a comparison on how well the graphics card performs compared to iGPU , 1050Ti

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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(@leon_woodward)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 

Very interesting! I'm looking at having a similar build, but I really want to have it plug & play. When you uninstall then reinstall the dGPU drivers, does this then mean that if you're out & about you can no longer use the 1050ti?

Laptop: Lenovo X1 Extreme Gen1 w/ i7-8750H GTX 1050 Max-Q dGPU
eGPU Enclosure: Razer Core X Chroma
eGPU: RX 5700XT
Cable: Caldigit 2m TB3 Active Cable


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: Leon Woodward

Very interesting! I'm looking at having a similar build, but I really want to have it plug & play. When you uninstall then reinstall the dGPU drivers, does this then mean that if you're out & about you can no longer use the 1050ti?

I can still use the 1050Ti. In fact in NVIDIA Control Panel , it gets assigned as a dedicated GPU. In games such as WoW , I can even use the GTX 1050Ti to render and use the RTX2070 to output it instead Smile

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@prasys Can you run HWiNFO64 and take a screen capture of your PCI Express Root Ports? Best to have to the eGPU connected and expanded.

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: itsage

@prasys Can you run HWiNFO64 and take a screen capture of your PCI Express Root Ports? Best to have to the eGPU connected and expanded.

Done. I've even uploaded CUDA-Z screenshot (since I can finally upload attachments)

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Thank you! I did not know the X1 Extreme has Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller. 🙂

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide


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(@goran_milovanovic)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

Great job!
Can I also connect my TB3 Docking station to the second port?
My setup is Aorus 2070 rtx Gaming box TB3 Thinkpad Dockingstation and X1 Extreme with 1050 ti.
Also is there a way to select which port will charge my computer. For example I have 135w charger, also 135w charger on my docking station but going through TB3 and not dedicated charging port and 100w on Aorus?  I would like that he always charges from the power connector.

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


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JnrJedi
(@jnrjedi)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Can you tell me what hot swap capabilities you are getting?

Can you plug the gpu in after boot and it will change from 1050ti to egpu? What happens if you unplug it?

Or do you have to boot with egpu plugged in?

Thanks

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


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: @goran_milovanovic

Great job!
Can I also connect my TB3 Docking station to the second port?
My setup is Aorus 2070 rtx Gaming box TB3 Thinkpad Dockingstation and X1 Extreme with 1050 ti.
Also is there a way to select which port will charge my computer. For example I have 135w charger, also 135w charger on my docking station but going through TB3 and not dedicated charging port and 100w on Aorus?  I would like that he always charges from the power connector.

I think it might work , I have another USB-C dock. It works , so I don't think it is a problem 

I think your computer decides where for it to get the power. If I have 2070 and power cord , it will use it from the adapter 

 

Posted by: @jnrjedi

Can you tell me what hot swap capabilities you are getting?

Can you plug the gpu in after boot and it will change from 1050ti to egpu? What happens if you unplug it?

Or do you have to boot with egpu plugged in?

Thanks

For some strange reason , I can't seem to be getting the PC to boot with eGPU. It will be just stuck in BIOS , infinite loop. I have to hot plug it for it to work properly 

 

If I unplug it , it will just fall back to Intel iGPU , but some games will crash - others like World of Warcraft gracefully switches to 1050Ti .

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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GeorgeFFM
(@georgeffm)
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Joined: 4 months ago
 

I have X1 extreme (Generation 1) and I got the AORUS RTX2070 for deep learning.  I just plug it in and and it works immediately. I install one of the firmware to improve the memory bandwidth. 

My problem is that my Windows 10 is on insider running 1903 19025.105

So far the utility app just updated recently still does not run in this Windows 10. 

As long as if you turn on the box and if the fan is running, Windows 10 will recognize.

 

Has anyone tried having 2 eGPU to the 2 TB3 ports of X1? I wonder if it is possible to have 2 eGPUs so I can do distributed GPUs. Just a crazy idea.

 

 

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


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 

@georgeffm

IMHO , it should still work , you can link 2 eGPUs and the system would see it. Even TensorFlow can run on 2 GPUs , you can schedule certain part to do it in the built-in 1050Ti and some of it in the RTX 2070.

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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GeorgeFFM
(@georgeffm)
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Joined: 4 months ago
 

Thnx @prasys

My Extreme X1 (Gen1) is causing problem again!!!!

Now it fails to recognize the RTX2070 gaming box again.

I am close to returning this gaming box.

could you please send me link where it is possible to combine using both the GTX 1050 and external RTX 2070. Thanks you. 

If I decided to give up eGPU, I will have to build a deep learning PC. 

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


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 

@georgeffm

https://jhui.github.io/2017/03/07/TensorFlow-GPU/

You'll need to do some work (TensorFlow) to split the task. IF you just use default , it will just use whatever is the most powerful GPU that it can find 

Again , like I've mentioned - it can get wonky. Now in order for it to work properly again. you need to

 

1. Unplug the RTX 2070 power cord

2. Wait for 2-3 minutes 

3. Replug it in

If you are going to unplug the device , do not unplug after shutdown. Unplug it before. Also it is better to use the NVIDIA GPU tool to 'DISCONNECT' the eGPU. If it is being disconnected and the next time you plug it in , it works 

If you want to do deep learning stuff , better invest on the cloud instead of doing it in your machine. cheaper , faster and easier 

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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GeorgeFFM
(@georgeffm)
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Joined: 4 months ago
 

@prasys, thx again for your generous tips.

I had the problem comes and go. Your tip is new, using the NVIDIA GPU tool to disconnect, I have not done so and now I will take that seriously

 

I feedback to the technical support and now a new thunderbolt software is released. Other Lenovo laptops are using newer 2019 software except Lenovo X1 extreme gen1. Not sure if this is important for my case.

 

I also notice that after getting a tunderbolt update from Windows 10 update instead from Lenovo, it recognises again. 

 

==> I also not sure if this is important. I got a bargain used RTX 2070 gaming box

==> It used to be that the fan will turn on without light on when the power supply is plugged in. Now, the fan no longer runs without the light on even the power supply is plugged in. I suspect the used unit may be faulty. 

 

I have searched almost all internet website. It is still tricky to keep the eGPU works in reliable way. I am not sure if Windows 10 insider program keep tracks of keeping the eGPU working or Lenovo is working with Microsoft on that. 

 

There are just too many ways that the eGPU will not work and there is not enough diagnosis software provided e.g. by Gigabyte to support this troubleshooting.

Finally, thanks again for your feedback.

Most people doing deep learning has accepted that cloud solution is simply too expansive.

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


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GeorgeFFM
(@georgeffm)
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Joined: 4 months ago
 

@prasys

To get the RTX 2070 eGPU connected, the GTX 1050 has to be disabled. 

Are you able to keep both GPU enabled without conflict?

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


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(@prasys)
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Joined: 11 months ago
 
Posted by: @georgeffm

@prasys, thx again for your generous tips.

I had the problem comes and go. Your tip is new, using the NVIDIA GPU tool to disconnect, I have not done so and now I will take that seriously

 

I feedback to the technical support and now a new thunderbolt software is released. Other Lenovo laptops are using newer 2019 software except Lenovo X1 extreme gen1. Not sure if this is important for my case.

 

I also notice that after getting a tunderbolt update from Windows 10 update instead from Lenovo, it recognises again. 

 

==> I also not sure if this is important. I got a bargain used RTX 2070 gaming box

==> It used to be that the fan will turn on without light on when the power supply is plugged in. Now, the fan no longer runs without the light on even the power supply is plugged in. I suspect the used unit may be faulty. 

 

I have searched almost all internet website. It is still tricky to keep the eGPU works in reliable way. I am not sure if Windows 10 insider program keep tracks of keeping the eGPU working or Lenovo is working with Microsoft on that. 

 

There are just too many ways that the eGPU will not work and there is not enough diagnosis software provided e.g. by Gigabyte to support this troubleshooting.

Finally, thanks again for your feedback.

Most people doing deep learning has accepted that cloud solution is simply too expansive.

Yep updating TB3 is important. It keeps it stable. I am trying with DCH drivers to see if it gets any better . Also have you tried updating the gaming box to Version 1.3 , it does fix a lot of weird bugs (not 100% solved)

As for your 2nd question , I can get both GPU to work at the same time. Even make my 1050Ti as PhysX. The problem I have is that if I don't use the 135W adapter , the PC will just throw some random error or shut off the 1050Ti. I am guessing there is not enough juice to power both. Otherwise , it works fine.

Follow my steps of getting the drivers installed. I still think that you are using Lenovo or some mobile drivers , I use to have the problem , but now both of them work without an issue 

Thinkpad X1 Extreme (Gen 1) - 8750H | 16 GB RAM | 1050 Ti (Onboard) | GAMING BOX RTX2070 eGPU


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