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

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Demostrike
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January 6, 2017 10:12 am  

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.

Edited: 2 weeks  ago

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theitsage
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January 6, 2017 11:12 am  

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 11:58 am  

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
 XCVG
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January 7, 2017 5:45 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 9:07 am  
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 :-).

Edited: 1 week  ago

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Neutra
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January 9, 2017 5:35 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 5:47 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/

Edited: 1 week  ago

DIY eGPU Setup 1.31 [was 1.30]eGPUing since '09


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lykke
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January 10, 2017 8:36 am  

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.

Edited: 7 days  ago

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nando4
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January 10, 2017 8:54 am  
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.

Edited: 7 days  ago

DIY eGPU Setup 1.31 [was 1.30]eGPUing since '09


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kwinz
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January 11, 2017 4:51 am  

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

Edited: 6 days  ago

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theitsage
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January 11, 2017 7:35 am  
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 12:35 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.

Edited: 2 days  ago

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toxido
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January 15, 2017 3:34 am  

Nando4>> 15" Dell XPS 9550 + RX480@16Gbps-TB3 (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

 


Edited: 2 days  ago

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nando4
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January 15, 2017 4:13 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).

 

Edited: 2 days  ago

DIY eGPU Setup 1.31 [was 1.30]eGPUing since '09


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Porg
 Porg
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January 15, 2017 12:04 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    

Edited: 2 days  ago

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nando4
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January 15, 2017 2:55 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.

DIY eGPU Setup 1.31 [was 1.30]eGPUing since '09


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Porg
 Porg
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January 15, 2017 5:15 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

Edited: 2 days  ago

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Porg
 Porg
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January 15, 2017 7:11 pm  

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 4:59 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.

Edited: 17 hours  ago

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