2017 14" Lenovo X1 Yoga + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Arch Linux 4.11.7 [drachma]^ // External SSD  

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drachma
(@drachma)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 4
July 11, 2017 1:26 am  

Not much in the way of details yet, but this was virtually plug and play.

Downloaded official nvidia drivers from the Arch repository and rebooted and the thing is driving an external display at 1440p and significantly improved my FPS in the only linux "stress test" benchmark I have - minecraft! I went from about 30FPS and constantly maxing out the CPU and hitting the thermal throttling (knocking me down to <10FPS) to running at 60FPS and much lower CPU utilization.

  • External SDD inside the mantiz enclosure is shown in /dev/sda.
    • I did not try to boot from it yet since I just swapped it over and don't yet need it as a bootable drive.
  • Have not yet tried to get the internal monitor working
  • it appears to be successfully keeping my laptop at full charge (~56W power consumption of laptop)
  • Have not tried hot-swapping yet, but I saw someone had a script to get this working
  • Have not messed with bumblebee/ nvidia optimus yet - this is actually not what I want; I dont yet care about edging out performance. My plan for the eGPU was to simply remove as much load from the processor as possible.
  • Still working on getting temperature sensor and fan control of the GPU and enclosure fans.
  • Have not tried using the ethernet port thru the mantiz (definitely on my list as well), although I believe this interface is showing up in my ip link table.

I'll update this thread as I get more features working. My goal with this setup is to do some CUDA development, explore some linux 3D gaming, and experiment with eGPU and VFIO to see if I can run games under a windows virtual environment with OK performance.

My main priorities will be getting hot-swapping, laptop-screen only, and I would like to try for a 3-screen setup (2 externals simultaneously with the internal). Lastly, I am not sure what I'll do with the external SSD. I actually may swap it for a large mechanical storage drive. It might be cool to boot windows from the external SSD though. We'll see.

 

All of that said my impressions of the Mantiz Venus case are absolutely top notch so far. The externals are brushed aluminum with a hard ABS-like plastic frame which the PCBs screw down to. Screws all have easy-twist hats on them which is a nice touch, and nothing that I had to play around with has any cheesy-feeling weak plastic tabs or anything which is nice. There is vibration-damping foam around the edges where the side access panel fits on, and a transparent dust cover over the back half of the side-panel intake holes which you can remove if you have a long card.

I asked their customer support and the PSU model is a FSP group SFX form-factor. FSP has a very good reputation as power supply manufacturers from my gaming rig days, at least historically, though there isn't a lot of info on this particular model since it's a small form factor. The board inside the mantiz comes with a few extra 4-pin fan control plugs. One is used for a very low-profile 80mm fan which is an input into the base of the unit. It was so damn loud I immediately unplugged it - I likely wont need it with my current low-power GPU. There may also eventually be a way to control the fanspeed inside the box and tone it down. Also, it looks like the enclosure would be VERY easily modified with a dremel (only cutting plastic) to fit a 120mm intake fan, which I probably will do if I can figure out how to control and lower the fan RPMs.

case access was easy enough, there's not much to these enclosures. You have to remove the GPU to get at the SATA connector though, but that's simple enough. I wish I had seen a spot to mount the 2.5" SSD - right now it's just sitting in there loose. Although there were 4 mounting screws and a couple zip ties included in the package so maybe I am just blind.

 

I will update this thread as I get more functionality working in either linux or windows. But I just got it set up, it was very easy to get basic functionality, even in linux, so I wanted to throw up a confirmation thread since I haven't seen anyone else with this particular set up. The PCIe link through thunderbolt is all taken care of at the hardware/firmware level so to your OS TB3 is basically a transparent layer - it just sees everything as their respective PCIe / SATA / ethernet devices.

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


nando4 and theitsage liked
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theitsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 3198
July 11, 2017 2:25 pm  

Thank you for sharing your experience with the Mantiz Venus. This is the first report of eGPU implementation in Linux with this enclosure. Please post some photos when you have a chance.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

86 external GPU build guides


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drachma
(@drachma)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 4
July 12, 2017 4:12 pm  

Sure! I have to find some spare days on a weekend to thoroughly test it and maybe take a couple of pics.

A couple more notes - 

Internal/external monitor is just a matter of configuring Xorg. This may get complicated or it may not, but it is not a hardware or driver limitation. I haven't tried to render on internal monitor yet (or, ideally, both).

I proved this because the laptop boots up (while docked) and at first, displays the terminal on the internal screen. It isn't until I actually startx that the display switches over to the external monitor. Xorg seems to automatically detect that there is an external monitor and displays to it.

Configs to try:


monitor config status note performance benchmarks
external only works boot docked with external monitor plugged in to eGPU, startx minecraft 1440p = 60fps idle, cpu usage <25% when not loading chunks
internal only untested boot docked with no monitor connected to GPU, does X automatically detect the display?  
both untested boot docked with external monitor, configure X to display on both  
2 external displays + internal untested configure X to display on all  

 


Hotswap definitely doesn't work out-of-the-box, but I haven't had any catastrophic failure because of it. Possible transitions to test [will update table as I get results]

 


initial state action result to try
boot undocked hotplug in eGPU laptop continues to run from internal display server, but seems to successfully negotiate power from the USB-C at least hotplug in and restart x
boot docked hot-unplug eGPU not tried  
boot docked, sleep/hibernate unplug while hibernated and resume kills x session, dumps display back to internal display at the system TTY. "GPU fell off the bus" error message; does not appear to be recoverable (no prompt appeared and would not accept any key input I tried). Had to press power button to initiate shutdown sequence and reboot.  
boot undocked, sleep/hibernate unplug while hibernated and resume not tried try restartx, get outputs of lspci and 

 

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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barkohj
(@barkohj)
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Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
September 27, 2017 11:44 pm  

@drachma, did you try running more ambitious 3d games yet, either on Linux or Windows? Would be interested in the performance as I am thinking about using my X1Y 2017 as a VR gaming system (possibly w/ the Mantiz Venus).

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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