[Solved] XPS 15 - 9550 not able to reach 40Gbps over TB3?  

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nando4
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January 5, 2017 1:55 am  

So far the 2 lane issue has been detected on the XPS 9350/9360/9550 and Precision M5510. These are all the very thin systems where TDP  budgetting the architecture is important.

Precision M7510 having 4 lanes wired. M3510 unknown but follows the same chunky design where a samll bump in TDP going from 2->4 lanes PCIe on the TB3 controller isn't going to affect them much.

Posted by: stryakr

 

That eventually my goal, to replace my aging FX 8320 desktop; I worry though that mixing nVidia and AMD GPU solutions will be a problem for me. 

Which XPS 15 9550 do you have, as I have the i7 variation and wonder if the PCI lanes issues differ based on the CPU or if it's the entire platform from Dell that is the issue. 

   

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survfate
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January 5, 2017 6:35 am  
Hey man, what is your laptop stand, is it diy? Its perfect for my desk setup.
Posted by: anuraj1
Ah Interesting, thanks! I haven't been been disabling the 960m in Device Manager. Thanks for the driver tip also! I'll do this stuff when I get home from work and I'll update on this thread.
EDIT: Here are some pics of my setup. It is driving dual 28" 4K monitors.
Posted by: Splitframe
Posted by: anuraj1

Strangely, I can't get CUDA-Z to work on my Precision 5510 or my XPS 9550 with a Powercolor Devil Box and GTX 1080.

It works fine with just the 960m but when the eGPU is plugged in, the 960m automatically goes inactive and CUDA-Z can't detect any CUDA capable devices.

However, HWInfo and the Nvidia Control Panel both confirm that the GTX1080 is running at PCIE 3.0 x2.

Posted by: nando4

Yes, CUDA-Z works with a GTX 460.

Posted by: stryakr

I just purchased a MSI RX 480, but I have a GTX 460, would the tool still work with that older Nvidia card?

Be sure to install Nvidia Driver 375.70 and disable the 960m in the device manager. Unplug, plug and cuda-z works. 

The specific driver is just one that works best for me currently. The newer ones only achieve 1100mb/s instead of 1400

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XCVG
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January 5, 2017 7:46 am  

So far the 2 lane issue has been detected on the XPS 9350/9360/9550 and Precision M5510. These are all the very thin systems where TDP  budgetting the architecture is important.

Precision M7510 having 4 lanes wired. M3510 unknown but follows the same chunky design where a small bump in TDP going from 2->4 lanes PCIe on the TB3 controller isn't going to affect them much.

Again, speaking as a not-exactly-neutral XPS 15 owner, I don't know about that. And again, I don't think it matters.

The 9550 is known to overheat and throttle, doesn't cool its VRMs adequately, gets scarily hot when charging, and spins up its fans whenever anything is connected to the TB3 port. They clearly weren't very careful about thermal considerations when they designed this machine, and if they really were concerned they would have used the cheaper, cooler JHL6240. I'd be very surprised if this wasn't economics, pure and simple. My guess is they couldn't route four lanes without adding another layer to the board or otherwise increasing costs, so they just ran two instead and call it a day.

Dell cheaped out and lied to their customers about it. Within spec? Yes. What was advertised? No. Whatever technical justification they may or may not have does not justify swindling buyers out of half their promised speed.

Please don't take this as something against you. My discontent is directed toward Dell and Dell alone.

Late-2015 15" Dell XPS 9550 GTX960M + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10


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nando4
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January 5, 2017 8:13 am  

I entirely understand your discontent. The XPS 13/15 was aimed as a Macbook killer.  Indeed 2015 Macbooks ran 16Gbps-TB2 whereas these XPS systems outwardly surpassed them as 32Gbs-TB3. Unbeknown by their owners, until TB3 PCIe peripherals were released, they actually ran 16Gbps-TB3 via a neutered x2 3.0 link from the TB controller to the root bridge.

Yes, Dell did cheap out, using 2014 DSL5110 controllers rather than the newer DSL6xxx ones. There would have been a tiny increase in TDP running 4 lanes rather than 2, however, it shows a bias towards DP rather than PCIe traffic down the 40Gbps TB3 channel.

I wish it wasn't so. Finding an argument against Dell in that mix will be difficult. Intel are more at fault outwardly advertising TB3 as 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0, then in the details saying it can be between 2-4 lanes of PCIe 3.0. Good luck if pursuing Intel.

Posted by: XCVG

 Again, speaking as a not-exactly-neutral XPS 15 owner, I don't know about that. And again, I don't think it matters.

The 9550 is known to overheat and throttle, doesn't cool its VRMs adequately, gets scarily hot when charging, and spins up its fans whenever anything is connected to the TB3 port. They clearly weren't very careful about thermal considerations when they designed this machine, and if they really were concerned they would have used the cheaper, cooler JHL6240. I'd be very surprised if this wasn't economics, pure and simple. My guess is they couldn't route four lanes without adding another layer to the board or otherwise increasing costs, so they just ran two instead and call it a day.

Dell cheaped out and lied to their customers about it. Within spec? Yes. What was advertised? No. Whatever technical justification they may or may not have does not justify swindling buyers out of half their promised speed.

Please don't take this as something against you. My discontent is directed toward Dell and Dell alone.

   

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
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Madmartigan1
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January 5, 2017 3:37 pm  

It's this one:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017DORX3M/ref=twister_B01DJD6NP0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Posted by: survfate
Hey man, what is your laptop stand, is it diy? Its perfect for my desk setup.

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kwinz
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January 5, 2017 4:07 pm  

nando4, thank you for all the content you have posted and all the work you have put into this! Really appreciate it.

Did anybody hear back from Dell about this? Sales or support contact?

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nando4
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January 5, 2017 4:43 pm  

I personally have not heard anything back. Though I have not made any enquiries with Dell.

There's some feedback from affected users and their results from approaching Dell at https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5lpo0g/design_flaw_in_xps_93509550_may_cause_tb3_ports/

Posted by: kwinz

 

nando4, thank you for all the content you have posted and all the work you have put into this! Really appreciate it.

Did anybody hear back from Dell about this? Sales or support contact?

   

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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XCVG
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January 6, 2017 1:10 am  

Reddit user TuringPointSoftware just got a response from Dell stating that this varies by revision and that newer 9550s (Q2 2016 onward) have all four lanes connected (source). However, he cautions to take this with a grain of salt, presumably becacuse Dell reps have provided false information in the past.

Does anyone have a newer 9550 to check? Mine is a very early model but had a new motherboard swapped in last June. It has two lanes connected.

Late-2015 15" Dell XPS 9550 GTX960M + [email protected] (Mantiz Venus) + Win10


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Demostrike
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January 6, 2017 4:12 pm  

My mainboard was recently replaced under warranty (maybe 2 months ago?) and still shows a 2x link, a board shipped from Dell, unsure on if it was old stock. Would I need to plug in a TB3 device to get it to change to x4 or is it reporting in hwinfo64 correctly already?

 

Fired an email off to Dell + I have a powercolor devil box coming soon.

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theitsage
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January 6, 2017 5:12 pm  

Dell rep mostly likely pull that out of his behind. My XPS 9350 is a Sep 2016 build and it's 2x. Richard, a forum member from the UK got his XPS 9360 recently is in the same boat (no 4x link).

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julianpoyo
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January 7, 2017 5:58 pm  

I can confirm. The Dell rep has no idea what he's talking about. My computer was manufactured in October, and it suffers this problem.

There is no fix currently.

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XCVG
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January 7, 2017 11:45 pm  

I'm hoping that the "new revision" in question is actually the 9560; a similar situation had occurred with a revised TB15 that never happened and the TB16 coming out now. The XPS 13 2-in-1 has an x4 link (according to reddit user chjenk), so maybe Dell is fixing this in their new lineup.

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kwinz
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January 8, 2017 3:07 pm  
Posted by: XCVG

I'm hoping that the "new revision" in question is actually the 9560; a similar situation had occurred with a revised TB15 that never happened and the TB16 coming out now. The XPS 13 2-in-1 has an x4 link (according to reddit user chjenk), so maybe Dell is fixing this in their new lineup.

 

Well let's hope so. On the other hand the XPS 13 2-in-1 has a lower power CPU so maybe they had to relayout the motherboard for this one only. Keeping fingers crossed :-).

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Neutra
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January 9, 2017 11:35 am  

Maybe the dell rep is referring to the 9550's with the Thoshiba NVM SSD? HW64 shows port#9 with x4 link. My 9550 (April 2016) has the Thoshiba 512GB THNSN5512GPU7.

But port 13 and 15 are the important ones used for TB3 pcie lanes...

It would be awesome if somebody could summarize the whole problem , so that the average buyer could contact dell and insist on a refund.

Btw, great forum  - very informative.

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nando4
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January 9, 2017 11:47 am  
Posted by: Neutra

It would be awesome if somebody could summarize the whole problem , so that the average buyer could contact dell and insist on a refund.

Btw, great forum  - very informative.

  

In the opening post is a link to a summary of the problem. Dell advertised their XPS 9550 as having a 40Gbps TB3 port. It still is that but is biased in favor of displayport rather than pcie traffic.  Intel is more at fault here than Dell. Dell have designed their TB3 port according to Intel guidelines. Pls refer to these links for more info.

3-Jan-2017 nando4>> The conclusion of this problem is summarized at https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/xps-15-9550-not-able-to-reach-40gbps-over-tb3/paged/3/#post-979 and the post straight after it.

You can still connect and run an eGPU, just that it will be operating at 16Gbps (x2 3.0) rather than the full 32Gbps (x4 3.0) available of a 4-lane TB3 controller. If using an external eGPU LCD there will be a minor performance penalty. If intending to use the XPS 9550 4K internal LCD for eGPU acceleration then there is a large performance penalty since it can use 15Gbps @ 60Hz of the link.

We know the ZBook 15 G3 studio runs a x4 3.0 TB3 controller if looking for an alternative system: https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/hp-zbook-studio-g3-tb3-capabilities/

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lykke
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January 10, 2017 2:36 pm  

Posted by: nando4

You can still connect and run an eGPU, just that it will be operating at 16Gbps (x2 3.0) rather than the full 32Gbps (x4 3.0) available of a 4-lane TB3 controller. If using an external eGPU LCD there will be a minor performance penalty. If intending to use the XPS 9550 4K internal LCD for eGPU acceleration then there is a large performance penalty since it can use 15Gbps @ 60Hz of the link.

We know the ZBook 15 G3 studio runs a x4 3.0 TB3 controller if looking for an alternative system: https://egpu.io/forums/pc-setup/hp-zbook-studio-g3-tb3-capabilities/

 

Hello. First of all, thanks for this very informative thread.
 
Is there any way to tell an approximate performance boost with X card? I have an EVGA 780 ti classified, that I was planning on throwing in whichever cheapest bus-extender I can find that will work with my XPS 15 9550 FHD Q1/2 ( (located in Denmark, so buying from overseas will be quite an expense).
 
I read someone mentioning that the models with the NVMe drives might have 4 lanes. I've got the 512 GB NVMe drive and HWINFO64 says mine has 2 lanes on port 13 and 15.
 
Last question - Is there a list of bus-extenders that will work with the XPS 15 9550 or is it too early to claim "compatibility"? The Razer Core looks promising, but the price tag is more than I am willing to spend.
 
Cheers.

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nando4
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January 10, 2017 2:54 pm  
Posted by: lykke

 Hello. First of all, thanks for this very informative thread.

 
Last question - Is there a list of bus-extenders that will work with the XPS 15 9550 or is it too early to claim "compatibility"? The Razer Core looks promising, but the price tag is more than I am willing to spend.
 
Cheers.

   

You can see existing XPS 9350/9550 implementations at https://egpu.io/external-gpu-implementations-table/?table_filter=%22Dell%20XPS%22 to give you a eGPU enclosure buying guide based on what works.

Razer Core, Powercolor Devil Box, Mantiz Venus/Saturn (same internals as Devil Box) and AKiTiO Thunder3 have all been seen working on a XPS 9350 or 9550.  The budget AKiTiO Node has so far been unsuccessful in showing up a eGPU on a XPS 9350 (theitsage), though that may change soon. Stay tuned for more testing results.

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kwinz
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January 11, 2017 10:51 am  

https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5nbjsa/dell_confirms_the_xps_15_9560_to_have_tb3/  connected via 4x of PCIe3.0

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theitsage
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January 11, 2017 1:35 pm  
Posted by: kwinz

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5nbjsa/dell_confirms_the_xps_15_9560_to_have_tb3/  connected via 4x of PCIe3.0

I would take that with a grain of salt. Support staff typically responses based on technical reference/guideline rather than checking over the physical product to confirm it has what it's supposed to.

On a related note, I've seen web traffic from Round Rock, TX where Dell HQ is. It's possible Dell is looking into this issue. If you have a XPS with TB3, check the PCIe speed. File a complaint with Dell if it's not running at 4x.

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navalava
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January 11, 2017 6:35 pm  

I plan to file a complaint. My Current 9550 has already had problems for months exchanging parts and motherboards twice already. The only thing that's stayed since the original purchase is the hard drive.

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toxido
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January 15, 2017 9:34 am  

Nando4>> 15" Dell XPS 9550 + [email protected] (AKiTiO Node) + Win10

Good news for 9550 owners:

There's a 9550 user in China has successfully tested out Akitio Node (with akitio's recently updated firmware) with XPS 9550 and RX480. And what's more, it seems from data pulled out from AIDA 64, when eGPU is at full load, the firmware would switch the BUS to PCIE3.0x4 mode and when in quiescent mode, the firmware will switch the BUS to PCIE1.1x4 mode.  Here are some screenshots and benchmark scores using Optimus internal LCD mode.

 

first is the thunderbolt firmware version

(original post is here if you guys don't bother reading Chinese: http://tieba.baidu.com/p/4879977216?pn=4)

            

 

nando4>> This eGPU implementation's accelerated internal LCD mode is using AMD X-Connect

 


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nando4
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January 15, 2017 10:13 am  

@toxido, thank you for this important and encouraging news. We now know the AKiTiO Node with updated firmware works on the XPS 9550.

A couple of points about your x4 3.0 comments on the XPS 9550:

1. The x4 3.0 / x4 1.0 switching screenshots you show is the video card's power management.

2. We know the video card electrically connects to the TB3 enclosure bridge at x4 3.0 speed. That TB3 controller then communicates with the notebook TB3 controller down a Thunderbolt channel. Then another TB3 controller is attached to the notebook's PCIe BUS. That's where the XPS 9550 sees it being connected at x2 3.0, rather than x4 3.0, constricting the amount of data down the whole link.

3. hwinfo64 utility clearly shows a x2 3.0 root bridge link on the XPS 9550  [ see opening post ]

4. The definitive test of end-to-end communication capacity is a CUDA-Z bandwidth test. Ask your Chinese colleague with the XPS 9550 to run it. I expect to see results come back in the < 1400MiB/s range (TB2) rather than > 2200MiB/s (TB3).

 

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Porg
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January 15, 2017 6:04 pm  

Hello everyone

I have been considering buying a 9360 16gb ram 512gb for 3 weeks now with the intention of adding an egpu. Luckily, I stumbled across this feed and have been paying a lot of attention to it. Thanks for all of the great information!

I concluded last night that I would buy the laptop and build a gaming PC In the future due to its lack of x4 3.0. So, I bought the laptop direct from DELL/UK to find out that it won’t be shipped until 1st FEB because it needs to be built. I wonder if with the introduction of the new 13 2in1 whether they might have updated the MOBO to include x4 3.0? I realise I’m maybe being a tad optimistic.

Does anyone have any updates as to whether the 2in1 supports x4 3.0? I couldn’t find any info it the link above.

Also what is your general experience in running games using your egpu at the restricted 16GB/s? I am trying to get an idea of whether I would buy one regardless. I would be running an external monitor thus not restricting the bandwidth as much. But with the cost of a RB Core at £500 + graphics card I think I could build a PC for a little bit more and get a lot of enjoyment out of it at the same time.

Cheers    

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nando4
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January 15, 2017 8:55 pm  

@Porg, there's a great reddit thread about the 2-in-1 (XPS 9365) and eGPU detection: https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/comments/5nhham/how_to_get_the_egpu_working_with_dell_xps_13_9365/

The 16Gbps restriction will give satisfactory results if using an external LCD. It's only if driving the internal, high-res LCD, that you'd want that extra bandwidth to give satisfactory results.

Have you considered a 13" HP Spectre 360 or Macbook  Pro or even a XPS 9560 instead if want that full 32Gbps-TB3 performance? The former two confirmed to run 32Gbps-TB3 ports. A Dell log chat transcript was also posted on reddit that indicate this issue is to be corrected on the XPS 9560.

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Porg
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January 15, 2017 11:15 pm  

@Nando, thanks for your swift reply! I have since read about the 9365 supporting x4 3.0 which is great news, I would be interested in buying one if It wasn’t for their M style processors. As for your other recommendations, I have spent 5 minutes with all of them (apart from the 9560, which even though it will be tiny is still too big for my need) and the XPS 13 really stood out, plus graphical power to me is more of a want than a need so it will do me just fine, for the time being.

It is comforting to know that tb3 egpus can operate satisfactory with just 16gb/s bandwidth, provided that we are using an external monitor. I will wait a few months before I make the decision to either go egpu or DIY PC. Hopefully there will be more restricted egpu bench tests available to help determine which will give me the best bang/buck.

I have also read the emails from the dell rep stating that they have addressed the issue with the 9560, but I have also read some second-hand accounts from dell engineers who have said that the issue hasn’t been fixed, so I will believe it when I see it. I have been a dell customer for 10+ years. Their customer support can either be brilliant or utter shite and nothing in between. So we shall see.

Cheers for the help

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Porg
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January 16, 2017 1:11 am  

Looks like DELL are producing a new motherboard to be released this month.

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/587n68/coil_whine_update_dell_says_they_will_have_new/?client=safari

But this is to combat the coil whine issue, there are no details about increasing the x2 3.0. It would be silly not too

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ed_co
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January 16, 2017 10:59 am  

As they said in reddit, XPS 9560 is supposed that is 2x... 🙁

If anyone has a XPS 9560, can test if it works at 4x? There is no XPS 9560 where I live in Europe in order to try.

Thanks.

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turhank
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January 19, 2017 10:24 am  

Some bad news for 9560 (probably everyone on this thread has already seen it)..

https://www.reddit.com/r/Dell/comments/5ot8dn/dell_xps_15_9560_has_2x_on_the_tb3_port_confirmed/

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Splitframe
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January 22, 2017 2:55 am  
Posted by: anuraj1

 

Ah Interesting, thanks! I haven't been been disabling the 960m in Device Manager. Thanks for the driver tip also! I'll do this stuff when I get home from work and I'll update on this thread.
 
EDIT: Here are some pics of my setup. It is driving dual 28" 4K monitors.

Little update on the driver issue:
The currently latest driver 376.33 also runs at full 1400MB/s

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ed_co
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January 27, 2017 2:44 am  

Should be great to see how the eGPU works in a hackintosh, and the XPS 9550 is the best one to try with, is almost the best hackintosh laptop out there...

I wish to see it working with macOS, and see how it performs!!

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tadde031
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February 9, 2017 2:21 pm  

hi, I'm new, one question, is possible connect:   9560 (TB3) ---> Dell dock TB16 (TB3) ---> Akitio node ?

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theitsage
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February 9, 2017 2:35 pm  
Posted by: ed_co

 

Should be great to see how the eGPU works in a hackintosh, and the XPS 9550 is the best one to try with, is almost the best hackintosh laptop out there...

I wish to see it working with macOS, and see how it performs!!

I know it's really cool to have such a setup working. It's a total nightmare though comparing to using the XPS in Windows. The performance is much worse than in Windows as well.

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nando4
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February 9, 2017 2:39 pm  
Posted by: tadde031

 

hi, I'm new, one question, is possible connect:   9560 (TB3) ---> Dell dock TB16 (TB3) ---> Akitio node ?

   

Welcome aboard. The connection you propose is not possible as the TB3 dock has a single TB3 port: http://www.dell.com/support/Article/au/en/aubsdt1/SLN301105 . As the XPS 9560 itself also has only a single TB3 port you'd then need a TB3 enclosure that offers a second TB3 port to daisy-chain your TB16 to, eg: AKiTiO Thunder3. The AKiTiO Node doesn't offer a second TB3 port.

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table    •    Several builds
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 M1000M + macOS 10.14 & Win10


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tadde031
(@tadde031)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 2
February 9, 2017 2:58 pm  
Posted by: nando4

 

Posted by: tadde031

 

hi, I'm new, one question, is possible connect:   9560 (TB3) ---> Dell dock TB16 (TB3) ---> Akitio node ?

   

Welcome aboard. The connection you propose is not possible as the TB3 dock has a single TB3 port: http://www.dell.com/support/Article/au/en/aubsdt1/SLN301105 . As the XPS 9560 itself also has only a single TB3 port you'd then need a TB3 enclosure that offers a second TB3 port to daisy-chain your TB16 to, eg: AKiTiO Thunder3. The AKiTiO Node doesn't offer a second TB3 port.

   

ok thank you, I found "Plugable Thunderbolt 3 Dock", with it is possible?

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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Ilnahro
(@ilnahro)
New Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 1
February 9, 2017 4:18 pm  

I have the 9560 available but no eGPU dock yet (currently still using my desktop PC but interested in becoming more mobile in the mid-term). Anyway, is there any way for me to check without actually having a dock? (in fact, I don't have any TB appliances atm)

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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AquaeAtrae
(@aquaeatrae)
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 23
February 9, 2017 5:19 pm  

Thanks all

I just sighted the first (initially unsuccessful) attempt to attach an eGPU to the XPS 15 (9650). Interestingly, it's also the first use of the new ASUS XG Station 2. I suspect he may just have a defective eGPU there. But let's try to help them out and see if they can't help us get real-world benchmarks of the newest XPS 15 and it's x2 PCIe lanes. (Hint: Research suggests that even the latest GTX 1080 isn't much affected by the limited bandwidth like 16 GBps. Summarized~7% lower FPS than x4 lanes) 

So you're thinking about a XPS 15 9560 for an egpu setup? Think again - Reddit

ROG XG Station 2: No GPU Detected? - Reddit

Frank Azor of Dell suggesting they will start validating eGPUs if enough demand is apparent. So let 'em know if this matters to you. - Twitter

I've also encouraged him to join us here on eGPU.io

Soon I will add my system & eGPU details or a build link to this my signature to give context to my posts


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