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XCVG
 XCVG
(@xcvg)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

I know I'm late to the party, but I'm wondering if it is indeed the CPU<->PCH link that's the culprit. According to Anandtech, the OPI interface on ULV processors can be configured to either "GT2" or "GT4" rates, the former equivalent to PCIe 3.0 x2 and the latter equivalent to PCIe 3.0 x4 or DMI 3.0. If the Alienware is set to use the slower rate, that would limit eGPU performance.

2015 15" Dell XPS 15 9550 (GTX960M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 @ 16Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + Win10 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@wimpzilla, first of all I admire your effort and dedication to pick apart my article. If you don't agree with my assessment on the AGA, you are more than welcome to put together a battery of tests more thorough than what I did to prove otherwise. My frustration with Dell/Alienware is the fact that more than a couple of  Dell and Alienware computers I bought and currently own do not perform to their full specifications. I really wanted to like the Alienware 13 R2 because the OLED screen is amazing. The overall build quality is better than the 13 R3.

It was the 2x TB3 issue that led me to try the AGA. Then I discovered another surprise on this laptop when using it with the Graphics Amplifier. You cannot expect an average consumer to have the technical knowledge a lot of people on this forum and other tech forums do. They buy based on the marketing materials accessible to them. Dell did not willingly publish its Knowledge Base article on Thunderbolt 3 40gbps data transfer rate until many tech news website picked up Splitframe's report and many samples on our forum.

I'm not sure why you're invalidating the half H2D throughput when you saw and commented on the 960 EVO PCIe NVMe tests through the Node with different hosts and configurations. Also, English is my second language so there's likely no misinterpretation of what you and I read on Dell's website.

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2020 13" MacBook Pro [10th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: XCVG

I know I'm late to the party, but I'm wondering if it is indeed the CPU<->PCH link that's the culprit. According to Anandtech, the OPI interface on ULV processors can be configured to either "GT2" or "GT4" rates, the former equivalent to PCIe 3.0 x2 and the latter equivalent to PCIe 3.0 x4 or DMI 3.0. If the Alienware is set to use the slower rate, that would limit eGPU performance.

OPI GT2 (x2 3.0) rather than GT4 (x4 3.0) is looking to be the performance handicap

Given Dell XPS 9350 runs it's OPI at GT2 rates which limit SSD performance to < 1800MB/s it's likely the AW13 R2 does too.  A AW13 R2 NVME / M.2 SSD seq read/write benchmark would tell us but as yet I haven't found one.

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/laptop/f/3518/p/20001037/20985561#20985561

Based on the following, a ME firmware mod is requires to switch on OPI GT4 mode:

http://www.win-raid.com/t2075f16-Seeking-Knowledge-Dell-NVMe.html#msg29107

Further confirmed by the following link "Changed FITC setting, OPI Link Speed to GT4 - this is the performance fix for PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe SSDs"

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10327/intel-releases-bios-version-0044-for-skylake-nucs

I'd suggest engage Dell support requesting (likely) a BIOS fix here.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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wimpzilla
(@wimpzilla)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Your own feeling have nothing to do with how the hardware itself really perform.

 

2012 13-inch Dell Latitude E6320 + R9 [email protected] (EXP GDC 8.4) + Win10
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2012 15" Lenovo Thinkpad T530 [2nd,4C,Q] + R9 270X @ 4Gbps-mPCIe2 (EXP GDC 8.4) + Win10 [build link]  


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