Gaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU  

 

enjoy
(@enjoy)
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April 22, 2017 2:28 pm  

Latest reports says Gaming Laptops sales will be up to +20% this year, based of ours benchmarks here in eGPU.io you can see that eGPU market will be +100000% for sure... but why?

Based of my benchmarks and gaming experience with my old Late 2013 15" Macbook Pro Retina with eGPU (AKiTiO Thunder2 and EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC) i have the same gaming performance as the latest Razer Blade 14 ($2,099.99) & Alienware 13 R3  ($1,866.85) - both laptops also with GTX 1060 6GB inside (dGPU):

My benchmarks: Internal Retina Display /1258/ & External Display /1391/:

 

For example the Alienware 13 R3  ($1,866.85) that comes equipped with an Intel quad-core i7-7700QH Kaby Lake CPU and a discrete Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB graphics card score is 1431 (the picture on the left) and for another example the Razer Blade 14 ($2,099.99) that comes equipped with an Intel quad-core i7-6700HQ CPU and a discrete Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB graphics card score is 1477:

 


After we confirm the same performance for my MacBook Pro (Retina 15-inch, Late 2013) with eGPU with NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB as top brands gaming laptops - Alienware 13 R3 and Razer Blade 14 with discrete NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB inside i can confirm that i have the same frame rates as in this video on my Internal Retina Display.... enjoy 🙂


Another Chart in which i add all Thunderbolt ports (*all have the same result on External Display):

Legend (*click on the link to view the UNIGINE Heaven 4.0 result in picture):


@theitsage add eGPU to the Alienware 13 R3  ($1,866.85) Gaming laptop to test the performance drop of the GTX 1060 in eGPU vs. dGPU that R3 have inside and the results shows again that eGPU is great and the difference is again no more than 10%....

 13R3 – GTX1060 DGPU13R3 – GTX1060 EGPUXPS9365 – GTX1060 EGPU
    
Unigine Valley2,3682,4082,067
Unigine Heaven1,4311,3631,188
Unigine Superposition2,0852,0732,164
3DMark Time Spy3,5373,6773,507
3DMark Fire Strike11,32611,0059,292
    
Metro Last Night Redux83 FPS71 FPS58
Rise of the Tomb Raider54.28 FPS47.83 FPS43.13
Tom Clancy’s The Division49.9 FPS40.8 FPS39.1

Yes with eGPU you can't go everywhere you want like with the Gaming Laptop but with eGPU your Laptop will be always cooler (the noise is better) and you can save a lot of money for the same gaming experience like i show you..... enjoy 🙂


Q: Why There is a performance drop by using Internal Display compared with External Display (Monitor)

 

A: In case of using Internal Monitor, CPU will send data to the eGPU for graphic processing and then eGPU will send processed data again to the laptop to display it on the Internal Display. In this case Thunderbolt bandwidth will be used in two ways and this will waste bandwidth and cause performance drop compared to using External Monitor. By Using External Display (Monitor) CPU will send data to eGPU for processing and then eGPU will forward processed data directly to the External Display (Monitor)

 

* all benchmarks are done without overclock of the GPU & CPU of the laptops

Edited: 1 year  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU


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ed_co
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April 22, 2017 2:41 pm  

Seriously, having the ability to update your graphics card, and having a thin portable laptop, is way better of having a brick. Certenly the Razer and the alienware are not too thick, but are not too hardcore. And you can have a 1080 in your laptop if you want, being much powerful than them... so, for me there is no question: eGPU is the way to go 🙂

I would never want to game/3d work except at home...

mid-2017 Macbook Pro RP560 + MSI GTX1080Ti GAMING X@32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS10.13.5 & Win10


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Yukikaze
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April 22, 2017 5:03 pm  

I have an ax to grind with that first graph on account of the scale being so off due to the Y axis not starting at zero.

Other than that, excellent collection of info, and like I was saying a long time now: eGPUs (actually, eEverything) is the future. The desktop will die out entirely, or at least change its form significantly enough so that it won't be the tower we are familiar with today.

I am still waiting for the lightweight 12/13" laptop with a high-end quad-core CPU (or heck, bring-on mobile hexa-cores, hehe), but no dGPU at all. Coupled with an eGPU solution that makes for a lightweight and powerful machine for work and daily use, but an excellent system for gaming when docked. No, it won't weigh 2lb on account of having to account for a beefier cooling solution, but it won't be the 4-5lb monsters we drag around today to enjoy the high end CPU lines, and it won't have the unnecessary dGPU  that becomes dated 1-2yr down the road and is essentially dead weight.

I do wonder when Thunderbolt4 is going to roll about. PCIe Gen4 should launch this year.

Edited: 1 year  ago

My eGPU Zoo - Link to my Implementations.

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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votehart407
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April 29, 2017 1:35 am  

Thank you for a very comprehensive summary. 

Thought to post some success with the MBP 2016 with Razer Core + Titan X Pascal in Windows Bootcamp. I am seeing decent gains over the the MSI GS40 and Blade laptops with the Core. Scored a 6190 in 3DMark Ultra with the MBP+Core VS. 5989 with MSI GS40. Also seeing between 10 and 15 FPS improvements in most games. The set up scored a 2829 at 112 FPS average with Ultra and 4xAA. The second Heaven benchmark shows almost no degradation in scoring VS desktop. 

 

 

Alienware 13 R3 - Modded Alienware Amplifier - Titan X Pascal - Water Cooled


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enjoy
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April 30, 2017 11:05 pm  

After we reach the same performance with eGPU + GTX 1060 6GB like the best gaming laptops on the market right now like Alienware 13 R3  ($1,866.85) & Razer Blade 14 ($2,099.99) with discrete GTX 1060 6GB inside.

The question that many users will want to know is, what if we put the GTX 1080 8GB in our eGPU, do we will have better performance as Alienware 13 R3  ($1,866.85) & Razer Blade 14 ($2,099.99)???

I have the answer thanks to kitguru: 

https://vimeo.com/213679128

They also post benchmark pictures, and from them we can see that eGPU + GTX 1060 6GB is enough for 1080p (2k) gaming (we have the same gaming experience like if we have gaming laptop with GTX 1060 6GB inside), but if we want to up the resolution to 1440p (3k) or 4k we will need GTX 1080 8GB. You must know that 4k Gaming with stable 60FPS is still not possible even with Desktop PC with GTX 1080 8GB. 

So we can finish that if you put GTX 1080 8GB in your eGPU you could play with 1440p (3k) all to max ULRA, but you will have the same performance as GTX 1060 6GB for FULL HD 1080p (2k) resolution!

For gaming with eGPU now the GPUs chart is something like that:

  • GTX 1060, RX480, RX580 – HIGH/ULTRA gaming with 1080p on External Display or Internal Display
  • GTX 1070 – ULTRA gaming with 1080p on External Display or Internal Display
  • GTX 1070 – MID/HIGH gaming with 1440p on External Display or Internal Display
  • GTX 1080 & 1080TI – HIGH/ULTRA gaming with 1440p on External Display or Internal Display
  • GTX 1080 & 1080TI MID/HIGH gaming with 4k only External Display

Razer Blade dGPU GTX 1060 6GB - Internal Display 1080p (2k):

MacBook Pro (Retina 15-inch, Late 2013) with eGPU with GTX 1060 6GB - Internal Display 1080p (2k):

Intel Core i7 7700HQ in Razer Blade is 30% faster than Intel Core i7 4750HQ in MacBook Pro (Retina 15-inch, Late 2013) so the -20% lower score was expected, also the kitguru version of the game is newer, but the score is so close again!

Razer Blade + eGPU with GTX 1080 8GB - Internal Display 1080p (2k):

Razer Blade eGPU with GTX 1080 8GB - External Display 1080p (2k):

Razer Blade + eGPU with GTX 1080 8GB - External Display 1440p (3k):

Razer Blade + eGPU with GTX 1080 8GB - External Display (4k):

 

As you will see in our video the simple shift from GTX 1060 to GTX 1080 doesn’t make a massive difference to game play or frame rates. In 3D Mark you can see the graphics score leap forward but this doesn’t deliver much benefit in the real world. We started our testing with the Core and GTX 1080 powering the laptop display however this turned out to be a poor idea as the graphics data shares the Thunderbolt 3 cable with the data that is heading the other way. Disabling the laptop screen and outputting from the Core to an external display gave an increase of a handy 5-10 frames per second over the previous set-up.

We then increased the screen resolution to 2,560×1,440 where we saw frame rates that were similar to those delivered by the basic laptop i.e. GTX 1060 on internal 2K display.

Our final stop was to increase the resolution to 3,840×2,160 and weren’t massively impressed by the results as the laptop hardware wasn’t really up to the job. We had been able to comfortably play games at 1080p and now, after a massive graphics upgrade, we were now able to play the same games at 1440p!

Edited: 1 year  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU


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enjoy
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May 6, 2017 3:03 pm  

I want to add another chart for 3D Mark FireStrike 1.1, eGPU with GTX 1060 6GB = Gaming Laptop with GTX 1060 6GB - True Story!

Legend (*click on the link to view the 3D Mark FireStrike 1.1 result in picture):

Edited: 1 year  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU


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DANgerous25
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May 7, 2017 2:12 am  

Great post @enjoy! Just a suggestion, but how about adding a table that breaks down the costs, laptop & eGPU dimensions & weight. That way readers can also compare the portability of the various solutions. Also not sure if I missed it, but what about the cost of your reference MacBook Pro + eGPU +graphics cards, cables, etc.? If that goes in the same table, then the comparison is easy to see. Maybe even come up with a metric like $ per FPS or something?

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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enjoy
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May 8, 2017 12:24 pm  

@DANgerous25 for example my MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD cost second hand is around 1000$ right now in eBay it one of the best MacBook's for eGPU because you have great battery life plus you can run Optimus (Internal Retina Display) because it not have dGPU and it is the best for plug and play for eGPU and you have Quad Core that is very important for games! Thunderbolt2 is not big problem as you can see my PCI Express vs. Thunderbolt thread! So i can make you TOTAL PRICE of my setup:

 

So you have $1500 for MacBook with mini-eGPU with GTX 1060 6GB vs. latest Razer Blade 14 ($2,099.99) & latest Alienware 13 R3  ($1,866.85) - both laptops also with GTX 1060 6GB inside (dGPU) - they are always hot and the noise are awful from both laptops! The choice is your 🙂

Edited: 1 year  ago

ϟ AKiTiO Thunder2 + EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC Gaming (macOS Sierra 10.12.4 and Windows 10)
 MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Later 2013) 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel i7-4750HQ / 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 / 256GB SSD + 1TB
mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU


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DANgerous25
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May 8, 2017 1:38 pm  

Nice one, @enjoy! And with all the spare cash I can see you've invested wisely in matching funky cushions and curtains :-).

late-2017 27" iMac Pro RPVega64 + GTX1080TI@32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node) + MacOS 10.13.2
late-2014 27" iMac 5k R9 M295X + GTX1080Ti@16Gbps-TB (AKiTiO Node via TB3->TB2 adapter) + macOS10.13 & Win10


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