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2018 14" Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon G6 [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS...
 

2018 14" Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon G6 [8th,4C,U] + GTX 1080 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 [Filipe Silva]  

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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

System specs
2018 Thinkpad X1 Carbon 6th (X1C6) generation, 14'', Intel i7-8650U, Intel UHD graphics 620, Windows 10.

 

eGPU hardware
Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (GTX1080) connected to a LG 34UC88 ultrawide at 3440x1440.

 

Hardware pictures

 

Installation steps

Unboxed everything, connected the laptop to the eGPU via the provided cable, and waited for drivers to install.

I had some trouble at the start when I let Windows install the GPU drivers itself. The Aorus would turn itself off after a few minutes and stay off. After I installed the drivers in their website, wiping the old ones in the process via the installer, it worked fine. I've since used GeForce Experience to update drivers and it seems to be ok.

The Aorus utility tool always showed an error on startup for me ("GbLedService.exe: Open driver handle failure") but it seems to work ok enough for me to turn off the leds which is what I wanted. I never fiddled with the fan speeds or anything else.

I use the laptop on a vertical stand (this one) to help with cooling and to save space. The X1C6 can get a bit hot and this mitigates it. I've never felt it was scorching though.

I usually put the laptop in sleep at night, and wake it up via the usb keyboard. This way I don't have to keep opening the lid to press the power button. A couple of times I've seen it spinning the fans really hard in the morning, but that's probably 2 times out of 50. Some people on reddit also seemed to experience it.

Also on that thread is some information about shutting the laptop down with the eGPU connected. I've had some trouble with it: when shutting down and then restarting, the GPU would not be recognized. TB3 wasn't recognized properly inside windows, and I always had to restart a couple of times and plug/unplug the cable.

Eventually I figured I had to unplug the cable before turning the laptop on, and plug it back only after I was in Windows. Changing the  'Allow TB3 in pre-boot' bios setting seems to have sorted the situation out. Now even when I turn the laptop off, it's just a matter of pressing the power button and everything works as expected.

Every now when reconnecting the eGPU and then it looks like it isn't really connected, and the fan does not spin at all, whereas it always spins when connected to the screen. Power is still transmitted to the laptop though. Disconnecting and plugging it back in a couple of times, maybe restarting the laptop, fixes it. Annoying but it's now rare and I hope it goes away in the future with better TB3 drivers.

I tried using the USB ports in the Aorus but never got them to work very well. The USB devices kept getting randomly disconnected. Tried every workaround I found online until I just decided to leave the eGPU bandwidth alone and got a little ethernet+3 usbs dongle (this one) for my USB needs. Every now and then it seems to briefly lose connection to the keyboard/mouse but it is rare and doesn't bother me much.

 

Benchmarks

All benchmarks were ran on the external display.

 

Comments

I don't think I've ever had a real GPU so this feels nice. I basically now run everything maxed out and everything runs smoothly. I mostly do Overwatch nowadays, but have also been playing FF XV. Overwatch runs completely maxed but FFXV runs only on high, 75% res, and some stuff turned off to be around 40-50 fps.

Work has not changed, I am a developer and any modern PC can do well what I need it to do. Overall very happy with this setup.

This topic was modified 2 months ago

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nightandco
(@nightandco)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hey!
I really like how your setup looks and am considering getting the same duo.  My biggest concern is, do you ever have problems with thermal throttling?  I understand you said the temperatures never get "scorching", but have you ever noticed CPU clock speeds decreasing/performance drops as the system got hotter?
Thanks for posting this setup!

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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

Heya, glad the review was useful to you! I never really noticed performance going down. I'm not monitoring it all the time though... But there was never a moment where anything made me feel like throttling was kicking in and stuff got slower. I usually notice when my machines get sluggish for whatever reason but haven't seen that yet.

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votehart407
(@votehart407)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Great setup. Thank you for posting. 

How is the fan noise?

MacBook Pro 15 2.7mhz with 560x - Razer Core X (850 watt psu) with 2080 ti.


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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

To be honest I don't notice anything most of the time. Sometimes when I run something I know is very CPU intensive I hear it ramp up but then it ramps down quickly as well.

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Siberstorm27
(@siberstorm27)
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Joined: 10 months ago
 

Hello. I have the exact same setup but am having issues getting the laptop to detect the gaming box .It initially detected it when I first plugged it in but I had to manually connect it in the thunderbolt software to actually turn it on  Then it blue screens on me. Now I can't even see it listed in the thunderbolt software anymore  Plugging unplugging doesn't help  I know my gaming box works since I've used it before on two other laptops 

Can you tell me what drivers,  settings, and BIOS you are using to make this work? Some have suggested turning on the thunderbolt BIOS assist but I am afraid of doing it since several other thinkpad laptops have been known to brick after turning the setting on.

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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

I had some trouble getting it to connect the first time, but that went away when using the drivers in the gaming box website. Then it got recognized and I had no trouble updating the drivers.

At some point I turned off something in the BIOS related to thunderbolt but it was something to allow the card to be properly recognized after reboots, I think. I'm using the latest drivers and BIOS for the laptop, gaming box and grafics card at the moment.

Whenever it crashes though, or when you remove the cable directly, you will need to disconnect it from power a minute or two, remove the cables, restart the laptop, and only then reconnect everything. Otherwise it won't be recognized. This really confused me in the past and I kinda fumbled into doing it, but I saw it described in  https://www.notebookcheck.net/Aorus-GTX-1080-Gaming-Box-Review.301562.0.html#c4257356 (Setup section) and then it dawned on me that it was the same behaviour.

Hope this helps.

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inv4derMX
(@inv4dermx)
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Joined: 9 months ago
 

Hi Filipe, I have the thinkpad carbon x1 6th gen with an AGB 1070, when the AGB is connected a properly recognized, if I move the TB3 cable from the AGB side it disconnects, do you have the same problem or maybe my USB C port on the AGB is defective.
Best regards.

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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

I've seen reports of the cable moving causing the enclosure to disconnect:  https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/comments/92ofnc/aorus_gaming_box_owners_how_do_you_deal_with/

It's not something I saw happening myself unless I go there to move it a lot.

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yohojones
(@yohojones)
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Joined: 9 months ago
 

Thank you for taking the time to share your setup.

I would like to do the same thing and was wondering if the monitor was necessary.  I want to take my laptop to a friends house and play some games.  If I buy the egpu can I use it without a monitor and just game on my X1's built in display?

I understand this will affect performance by using up bandwidth on tb3/pcix x4 connection but the convenience factor might make it worth it.

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inv4derMX
(@inv4dermx)
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Joined: 9 months ago
 

It's not necessary, I use it with my X1 Carbon with the device monitor.

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Zimmeiro
(@zimmeiro)
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Joined: 5 months ago
 

Hello,

I have a Lenovo Yoga X1 3gen and a Aorus Gaming box 1070 and I cannot make it work. It doesn't get auto-detected, and there is nothing that I can do. Do you have any idea of how to sor this out?

Thanks

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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

I couldn't get it detected until I used the exact drivers on the Aorus website. Maybe that's also what you're seeing. After using those initially for the detection, I just updated the Nvidia drivers to the latest ones.

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prasys
(@prasys)
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Joined: 4 months ago
 
Posted by: Zimmeiro

Hello,

I have a Lenovo Yoga X1 3gen and a Aorus Gaming box 1070 and I cannot make it work. It doesn't get auto-detected, and there is nothing that I can do. Do you have any idea of how to sor this out?

Thanks

I've had similiar issue , I had to disable TB3 security in BIOS. Reboot , replug the cable twice. It detected and installed the drivers (in my case I had to uninstall nvidia drivers as I have an onboard dGPU). In your case - you wouldn't need to do it.

Getting TB3 enclosure to work with Thinkpad is a bit wonky , but once you get the settings right - it would work 🙂

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Noivilbo
(@noivilbo)
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Joined: 1 month ago
 

Hi Filipe, 

Thanks for sharing your setup!

I'm leaning towards a similar config myself now: X1 Carbon G7 + GTX 980 + 144hz HD monitor.
I play a lot of overwatch, and I'm new to the egpu setups. So if you could help me out with some advice on a few quick questions?

1) Can I push 144 FPS in 1920x1080 to the external monitor via a thunderbolt to displayport cable? (would expect so, but since the standard screen is 60hz only.?)
2) I get 180 FPS in overwatch on Low 1920x1080 with my GTX980. So if I use this card as EGPU I should at least get to 144 FPS then, right? (20% performance loss)
3) Do you notice any input lag with your setup? (compared to a standard desktop setup?)

Thanks!

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(@filipe_silva)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

Heya Noivilbo,

I don't have a 144hz monitor so it's hard for me to answer some of these questions. I only aim for 60FPS on the games I play (Destiny 2, and Overwatch). I play them with maximum settings on a 3440x1440 external monitor. So I guess you should be able to get way more FPS on a 1920x1080. I don't notice input lag, no. But maybe it's there and I just don't notice.

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Noivilbo
(@noivilbo)
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Well, 3440x1440 @ 60 hz should be more than 1920x1080 @ 144 hz, so I guess indeed that should work 🙂
I've googled some more and I don't think input lag is an issue neither.

Alright, then I'll go for the Egpu setup. Cool stuff!

Thx

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Noivilbo

I'm leaning towards a similar config myself now: X1 Carbon G7 + GTX 980 + 144hz HD monitor.
I play a lot of overwatch, and I'm new to the egpu setups. So if you could help me out with some advice on a few quick questions?

1) Can I push 144 FPS in 1920x1080 to the external monitor via a thunderbolt to displayport cable? (would expect so, but since the standard screen is 60hz only.?)

Yes (see DisplayPort 1.2 notes below), but if you have an eGPU then the external display should be connected to the GPU of the eGPU.

Posted by: Noivilbo

Well, 3440x1440 @ 60 hz should be more than 1920x1080 @ 144 hz, so I guess indeed that should work 🙂

If you multiply the numbers, 3440 x 1440 @ 60 Hz is less than 1920 x 1080 @ 144 Hz. If you create a video timing using CVT-RB, then the first has a pixel clock of 320 MHz and the second has a pixel clock of 347 MHz. Those pixel clocks are well under the max allowed by DisplayPort 1.2. Remember that DisplayPort 1.2 supports 4K @ 60 Hz which has a pixel clock of 533 MHz and even supports 10 bpc color.

Most new AMD and Nvidia graphics cards (Pascal and later) support DisplayPort 1.4 which has 50% more bandwidth than DisplayPort 1.2. To get DisplayPort 1.4 from a Thunderbolt port, the Thunderbolt controller with the DisplayPort inputs must be at least Titan Ridge and a USB-C to DisplayPort adapter must be connected to a Thunderbolt port of that controller, or another Titan Ridge controller later in the Thunderbolt chain (maybe a newer Thunderbolt 3 dock or a Thunderbolt 3 to Dual DisplayPort 1.4 adapter).

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Noivilbo
(@noivilbo)
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Alright clear - so I shouldn't have any issues. Thanks!

I was looking into pricing as well, and I'm actually considering a T490 or T490s instead. 
It has only 2 thunderbolt lanes, but I would use an external monitor, so my setup should still be valid I assume? 

Kr

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Noivilbo

I was looking into pricing as well, and I'm actually considering a T490 or T490s instead. 
It has only 2 thunderbolt lanes, but I would use an external monitor, so my setup should still be valid I assume? 

It should still be faster than Thunderbolt 2 at least.

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