2017 15" Lenovo Yoga 720 GTX1050 + [email protected] (HP Omen Accelerator) + Win10 [compjinx]  

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compjinx
(@compjinx)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2
December 30, 2017 3:44 pm  

 Greetings,

Fairly straightforward eGPU application. I didn't see this particular combination anywhere, and it gave me some concern as a person buying a new eGPU computing setup while also brand-new to eGPUs.

Computer:

Laptop: Lenovo Yoga 15 (purchased in December 2017)

  • Windows 10 64-bit Home
  • 15" 4k display
  • Intel HD 630 and Nvidia Geforce 1050 (2GB)
  • i7-7700HQ
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM

eGPU Hardware setup #1: HP Omen Accelerator GA1-1000 (Purchased from the HP Website)

  • No GPU
  • No hard drive in the Omen
  • Ethernet cable plugged in, but none of the USB Type A ports or the USB Type C port had anything plugged in

eGPU Hardware setup #2: HP Omen Accelerator GA1-1000

  • EVGA Nvidia Geforce GTX 780
  • Displayport from GTX 780 to a Dell 3008WFPt running at 1440p
  • No hard drive in the Omen
  • Ethernet cable plugged in, but none of the USB Type A ports or the USB Type C port had anything plugged in

Installation steps (with setup #1, no GPU):

  1. Glanced briefly at the Omen Accelerator "setting up" instructions at: https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c05573720
  2. Plugged the Omen Accelerator (setup #1: no GPU) into the Laptop with the thunderbolt cable provided with the Omen.
  3. Installed Realtek LAN drivers (from the above link)
  4. Installed the OMEN Accelerator app (from the above link)
  5. Installed the OMEN GA1-10 Accelerator firmware update (from the above link)
  6. Used the "Lenovo Companion" utility on my pc to install driver updates
  7. Rebooted
  8. Problem 1 Encountered: The ethernet port on the OMEN was auto-detected as a CD-ROM drive. 
  9. Solution to Problem 1: Go to the Device Manager, Right-clock on the CD-ROM drive, and uninstall the device. Then, in the Device Manager, under Universal Serial Bus Controllers, right click on USB Mass Storage, and uninstall device. Then Scan for Hardware changes. Ethernet port functions perfectly.

Note: I tested the Omen without a graphics card because I found some posts on the interwebs where people asked if the Omen would work without a graphics card, since it actually makes an adequate USB-C dock considering that it also comes with the ability to add a hard drive and graphics card in the future. It appears to function perfectly fine without a GPU installed. Note that during testing, I randomly unplugged and plugged in the TB3 cable several times. The laptop seamlessly switched from ethernet to wifi and back without any hickups.

Installation steps (with setup #2, GTX 780):

  1. (Note that I had already executed all of the steps from setup #1)
  2. Power down everything
  3. Install GTX 780 into the Omen (pretty easy access. plenty of room for the card. The pci-e socket seemed to be a bit tight, but it all went well.)
  4. Plug power, ethernet cables in, then plug in my TB3 cable.
  5. Problem 2: In the device manager, under System Devices, a new PCI-to-PCI Bridge device gets added, but with an error: "This device cannot find enough free resources that it can use. (Code 12) If you want to use this device, you will need to disable one of the other devices on this system." The Geforce GTX was not detected, and the ethernet port was now missing. I'll admit, at this point, I was kind of worried. Googling around, I found notes on OS-imposed memory limitations, and rather involved hacks to allow eGPUs to function correctly. Thankfully I tried other things first.
  6. Solution 2: Unfortunately, I didn't do this very scientifically; I really just tried a couple things, and then it started working. So here is what I did:
  7. I went to the device manager and disabled the integrated GTX 1050.
  8. I downloaded and installed the latest NVidia drivers
  9. I rebooted
  10. After the reboot, my external monitor clicked on, and was mirroring my display (ie: the eGPU was being used). I set it to be an extended monitor, and everything appears to be working. The Omen ethernet port and USB ports (I tried a mouse) were also functioning.
  11. I used the Omen Accelerator application to switch back and forth between the GTX 1050 and the eGPU. It worked quite flawlessly, restoring my extended display setup and resolution correctly.
  12. I also tried just unplugging the TB3 cable while the eGPU was enabled. The onboard GTX 1050 was re-enabled, and all my windows moved back to my laptop display. No issues, no crashes.
  13. I then plugged the TB3 cable back in. My external display clicked on, showed my extended desktop, then went black, then showed my extended desktop. It took several seconds for this to complete, but everything was restored correctly. Part of the delay appears to be the Omen application disabling my onboard gpu and enabling the eGPU. No issues or crashes occurred.

Performance:

With the eGPU / GTX 780 enabled, Cuda-Z reported a Host to Device rate of between 1280 - 1480 MiB/s while I was watching it. Note that this appears to reinforce that the TB3 port on the Lenovo Yoga 15 only has two PCIe lanes.

Final Comments:

Note that I just set this up in the last couple of hours. As I use it more, I will try to document any issues I run into.

My apologies if this post is rushed and not well organized. I just wanted to get this implementation up here and documented before I forgot everything that happened.

 

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


4chip4 and nando4 liked
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jonah765
(@jonah765)
Eminent Member
Joined: 11 months ago
Posts: 25
January 12, 2018 8:30 pm  

How is it holfing up now you have had a couple weeks to use it?

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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compjinx
(@compjinx)
New Member
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 2
January 24, 2018 7:48 am  

Thanks for the interest, jonah765.

It has been working well. For some reason I expected the whole "thunderbolt 3" experience to be buggy, with system hangs if I didn't eject or do other things correctly. So far, I have had a fairly opposite experience. Unplugging the TB3 cable gracefully switched back over to the laptop graphics. 

Maybe this was obvious to other people, but I can disable using the external GPU, and the usb hub (and ethernet) will continue to work.

Issues encountered:

Some programs that make heavy use of the graphics cards (tested: Overgrowth and Revit) do not like the graphics switchover (ie: they crash), but the more everyday programs I've been using don't seem to mind. Overall, it has been a minor issue, as usually doing a graphics switchover is performed in conjunction with beginning or ending a session with a sensitive program anyways.

I also noticed that several mice that I've plugged into the Omen's usb hub have a very annoying lagging issue. They work fine for 10-15 seconds, then freeze for a solid 2-3 seconds, good for a while, then freeze again. This occurred with my Redragon Perdition gaming mouse, as well as a random dell usb mouse I have. I googled around, and it appears to be a problem for mice that have a "high" refresh rate. Apparently there are some signal traffic prioritization issues between high refresh rate mice and the graphics data on TB3 (or at least my implementation of TB3). It kind of makes sense with the gaming mouse, but the random dell mouse I have isn't very special. I plugged in one of my wireless mice to the Omen, and that has been working fine. My guess is that the wireless mouse has a lower refresh rate due to the inherent power conservative design.

I have encountered a third issue, but it is really an issue with the application, rather than the hardware. Nevertheless, I'll note it here. I use Autodesk Revit (3D CAD software). I found that when I print drawings to a pdf, the text grows several font sizes. It is as though a little gnome, when he sees me hit the print button, quickly increases all the different fonts in my document by several sizes, prints the documents, then changes all the fonts back. It all looks fine on my screen, but the prints look bad. I ultimately disabled hardware acceleration in Revit, disabled the Omen, changed the Windows 10 graphics scaling to 100%, and reduced my resolution to 1080p, and it finally prints ok. Thankfully I only need to do this once a week or so, so it hasn't been much of a nuisance.

The TB3 cable is short, maybe 18" long. This effectively means that my laptop has to be physically within a few inches of the Omen. If I had a bigger desk, I would have some more layout options, but as it stands, my laptop is in front of the Omen, such that I don't have any desk space in front of the laptop. More of a furniture issue than anything, but I was hoping to put the Omen under my desk, or otherwise out of the way. I may try getting a longer TB3 cable, but googling around suggests that my TB3 bandwidth would suffer.

Overall

Despite the issues (which I ultimately consider minor), I am quite happy with the performance, the TB3 "dock" functionality, and my ability to re-use existing hardware (graphics cards) on my new laptop. And in light of the cost of the halfway decent TB3 docks (non-eGPU) I was looking at, I am quite happy with the price of the Omen. 8/10, would buy 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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usa_billy
(@usa_billy)
New Member
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 1
May 17, 2018 11:28 pm  

Hello compjinx!
Thank you for your well written post. I will try to follow it by the end of this year. 
Did you have a chance to test this with a more powerful graphics card?
And do you foresee any issues plugging in a GTX 1060 or GTX 1070?

I am trying to figure out if there is a limit for this specific laptop/Omen accelerator setup.

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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