A quite strong disappoint about eGPU from Hardware Unboxed
 
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A quite strong disappoint about eGPU from Hardware Unboxed  

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wimpzilla
(@wimpzilla)
Honorable Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I thought you guys would be interested about the last thought from the Youtube channel Hardware Unboxed.

Edit:

Sorry did not know where to post this, my bad.
To be clear, i do not endorse their opinion, was just to be sure you guys as community have looked at, seems important to me. 

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 5 years ago
 

@wimpzilla Thank you for sharing. Hardware Unboxed's demographic is completely different than most members on this forum. If they had to make a strong statement don't use parentheses.

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wimpzilla
(@wimpzilla)
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I know, that's why just wanted to be sure you looked at, that you could explain or discuss if one would come with.

Again sorry dunno where posting this, again feel free to delete the thread and/or care about discussing it somewhere else, if interested to.

 

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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It was fun to watch this - thanks for sharing!

 

My response to the video's points: Time and again I've read everywhere else that "Apple disabled TB2 eGPU likely because of bandwidth issues" - no not really - we know that - there's so many benchmarks here that clearly show that while bandwidth is far lower - you can still do a lot. I agree a PC is better than an eGPU solution in terms of GPU performance - but augmenting the same system with more performance has its own advantage (no syncing, etc.). I actually hate hybrid solutions like the Surface lineup that are bad laptops and bad tablets (though Microsoft went on to make models that were more laptops). An eGPU is like a hybrid solution too - but the difference is that the laptop itself remains unchanged as an entity (doesn't become a worse laptop). I believe @itsage talked about out-of-body attachments (reminiscent of DSLR cameras) in one of his reviews - that's where eGPU fits in, and I think it does so really well. eGPU is also a great way to add more computation horsepower for even PCs where the mobo may have less PCIe ports (or ITX builds).

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goalque
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Bandwidth doesn't matter much, the weakest spot is often the CPU. My 2015 15" TB2 MBP is quite on par with the 2016 13" TB3, regarding gaming performance. If the game is CPU intensive (as most of them are), a quad core 15" TB2 is a winner. In GPGPU purposes, where PCIe data is not transferred back and forth so frequently, two eGPUs can nearly double the performance.

As to huge gaming laptops... they are like jet engines, not portable. I don't know if the situation is changed today. I had Y510P (SLI), and it was like a hot jet engine. The MacBook Pro is whisper silent in eGPU use.

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MýnÆnglishTáwk
(@mynenglishtawk)
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I do not think he is right in that filming. What he is saying is far too broad, as if every setup is going to be fully the same.

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jim_survak
(@jim_survak)
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He's coming from a different perspective than most of us here (I think). It seems to me this community is looking at the technology and saying, "You know I could improve my graphics performance without having to buy a whole other computer to maintain." (Personally this is my attitude & literally the only reason I have a Windows box). He even details pricing out a new computer on PC Part Picker, then goes on to say later "for a few hundred dollars more you could get a better gaming laptop." This also doesn't take in account those of us who already had usable graphics cards (or those who won one, like I did here).

Hardware Unboxed also seems to be saying, "These things aren't valuable because they aren't giving you the full potential of your graphics card." And I can understand this point: for the longest time the graphics card market has had very inflated prices, so you'd certainly want to get every ounce out of graphics card you can. I personally don't take that attitude, but I understand it.

Edit: I also just read IT Sage's new eGPU box review & Hardware Unboxed obviously hasn't taken into account newer systems which have TB3 connector going right to the CPU like the new Alienware 15R3. We can plainly see in IT Sage's benchmarks that an eGPU doesn't bottleneck the performance much (if at all) as the 1080Ti is putting out very good numbers, even at 4K.

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usafballer70
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The headline was a juvenile attention grab - typical of a lot of YouTube centric producers.  I don't get the point of it.  Why steer people away from promising tech like this?  I also would argue against his "it will take at least one more generation" nonsense.  Firmware and software still need optimization, but overall, for Windows machines, it is nearly plug and play for both internal and external monitor use on Ultrabooks with Intel GPUs. 

Between this time last year and now, we are seeing eGPUs increasingly a more affordable option and it seems the market is growing. A 1050TI equipped Sonnet Breakaway box is $375 bucks now. 

It is fair to show limitations and compare prices to buying a standalone desktop or some of the increasingly interesting cheap gaming notebooks. But a 40% reduction is still a 4X gain in performance for Intel iGPU equipped Ultrabooks that are selling in the millions. For many, the concept of a desktop is ludricous - many are even forgoing TVs as mobility becomes king. Having a small eGPU dock to turn your quad core Dell XPS13 into a gaming capable machine is attractive to many. I don't need an external monitor, keyboard, or even necessarily a mouse (although that last one would truly be crazy!). 

He also completely glosses over the thermal and acoustic benefit.  The majority of gaming notebooks are loud and annoying.  Sure you can toss headphones on, but what about family and friends around you? 

I say all this knowing I'm likely to get a Dell G3 - but a model with a TB3 port.  I admit the frustration that I've had when I tried using the Dell 9575 with eGPU and performance was only moderately improved over my MacBook Pro.  Some games imply can't reach that 60FPS average often enough!  I'm also someone who likes to tinker and experiment - an average Ultrabook owner should know that an eGPU is a viable and reliable option - and we need more tech sites to propose the idea with clear communication on what you should expect, and how to do so cost effectively! 

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4chip4
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Well, they seem to have discovered that eGPUs of today are not gaming laptop replacements, nor cost-savers Smile What the review(er) is clearly missing is that there are people who use laptops for uses other than (gasp) gaming-on-the-go. It already throws up a couple of red flags when someone says "you have to meet some very specific criteria, like not wanting to have two laptops or wanting to have a laptop without a powerful GPU". Well... From my perspective (especially when looking at the actual number and type of devices being sold), people who want multiple laptops or *don't* want their laptop to be more portable are the ones with the "specific" requirements Smile

So, yes, if you're a hardcore gamer and you're ok with having a gaming laptop - then the review is correct, this doesn't really help you. If you're not someone who wants a gaming laptop - then the review is irrelevant at best, slightly misleading at worst.

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usafballer70
(@usafballer70)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: 4chip4

So, yes, if you're a hardcore gamer and you're ok with having a gaming laptop - then the review is correct, this doesn't really help you. If you're not someone who wants a gaming laptop - then the review is irrelevant at best, slightly misleading at worst.

I would say the review is intentionally negative for the sake of clicks - negativity generates views and riles up emotions.

Also I'd argue it could be a money saver.  If I owned a nice modern windows ultrabook I could buy an eGPU and get solid performance for around $400 bucks.  I can't build a PC that cheap, nor buy a gaming notebook that cheap.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

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