What is the Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 Laptop ? . . .like reall cheap . . I know, I ...
 
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What is the Cheapest Thunderbolt 3 Laptop ? . . .like reall cheap . . I know, I know, but hear me out . . .  

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Markham941
(@markham941)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

A cursory search on this site and around the web did reveal a lot of information.

(I wish I could locate that egpu forum post with a nice list of TB3 laptops - also had a link to a google drive sheet with laptop data) 

but anyway . . . .

the reason for this post is that when this question is asked people are usually looking for the best value in terms of screen size, CPU, compatibility, other features, with PRICE etc etc etc

I am not.

I don't plan to game and don't care about any other function beyond getting the TB3 to connect at full speed with an external enclosure. 

While searching some suggest laptops I noticed that they are pretty decent machines in their own right so people are buying them just as everyday/work/gaming laptops and hence to much for my use.

I am looking for the total runt of the TB3 laptops.

What is a model this is generally disregarded because of other less good features or its big size or terrible screen or some other terrible aspect . . .?

My goal is to find one (hopefully with a damaged screen, I don't care) to use it with an eclosure to run Deeplearning stuff. 

I won't really want to go into why I prefer this option to let's say, a mini pc but it's usually price to use value for me. 

A mini pc or a small pc build or decent laptop would be over 400.

So what is something  comparable crap to the TB3 version of Dell 5480?

 

Cheers!

 

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

@markham941, Thunderbolt 3 and cheap don't go together. Even if you're able to get a relatively cheap TB3 laptop, the cost of Thunderbolt 3 enclosure will negate any savings. My recommendation is to look for a host computer with either two M.2 NVMe sockets, or one M.2 and one SATA port. That way you can use an M.2 eGPU adapter. That route is much more affordable.

 

external graphics card builds
best laptops for external GPU
eGPU enclosure buyer's guide

 
2019 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + RX 5600 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (VisionTek mini eGFX) + macOS 11 & Win10 2004 [build link]  


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Markham941
(@markham941)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Thank you for the reply.

Yup, the TB3 tech isn't cheap so finding something suitable hasn't been easy.

As for the cost of the enclosure and card, this is not a factor. I plan to use it with my daily driver (2018 Macbook with dual boot in windows 10) 

That is why I didn't really want to go with a cheap-ish pc build or the mini pc route, like the Nuc.

The cheap laptop would be so I could compute stuff while I was at work or out. I saw no reason to spend money on something nicer as if I did go higher on a price point I might as well get a Nuc or better yet, a Mac mini as I would better suit my usual type of projects and work personal work. 

Thank you for the additional info. I'll look into that option as this deeplearning stuff is just a side hobby and I'm making do with the Vega 20 on the macbook. 

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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Witchfinder
(@witchfinder)
New Member
Joined: 2 weeks ago
 

@markham941, sure there are cheap ones with TB3. Used ones! TB3 was introduced in 2015, look for used laptops from then onward. In my region (Sweden) there are tons of reasonably cheap HP elitebooks for sale that have TB3. 

 

This post was modified 2 weeks ago

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s, looking to maybe get an eGPU.


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Markham941
(@markham941)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@witchfinder

Yeah! 

I 've been looking at used laptops on ebay. Thank you for the suggestion!

And greetings to you in Sweden. 😀 (I actually have family living in Stockholm.)

I know am fighting the prices of these laptops as they do seem higher due to that some make pretty good everyday and light gaming machines.

I recently expanded my options searching and I might be able to get a low-end 2016 macbook pro with a smashed screen for under $350. This is not laptop people want for gaming and one with screen damage is perfect for my use. 

Thank you again for the HP laptop suggestion.

Cheers

 

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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Witchfinder
(@witchfinder)
New Member
Joined: 2 weeks ago
 

@markham941, Cool, where do you live? If you concentrate your search on laptops with no more than 8 GB RAM, no more than 128 GB SSD, no more than dual-core CPU (7:th gen i7 or earlier are dual-core) then you are likely to find auctions that not many people are interested in. Could even be around $200. 

 

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s, looking to maybe get an eGPU.


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Markham941
(@markham941)
Active Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

@witchfinder

 

Those were the same specs I was looking to get. I actually just missed out on a 2016 macbook with a smashed display. Sold for $210

Yeah, I don't really need more than 8gb and 128gb of space is enough got the data was planning to compute.

 

btw, I actually live in Japan at the moment. I am Chilean. 😀

 

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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