A Call For Measurements: Isolating the Thunderbolt Effect.
 
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A Call For Measurements: Isolating the Thunderbolt Effect.  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Sorry for the confusion. I'm talking about the Gigabyte Thunderbolt 3 PCIe ad-on card.

Gigabyte GA Alpine Ridge ad on pcie card

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2020 14" MSI Prestige 14 EVO [11th,4C,G] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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ed_co
(@ed_co)
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Posted by: nando4

@itsage, nice work getting it all going.    Did you want to do a x2 PCH test as well (16Gbps)?  TB3 is 22Gbps so is slightly faster than x2 3.0 so we'd expect TB3 results to be slightly better by comparison *if* TB3 latency is also not a performance detractor. The way to force the card to run at x2 is to isolate lanes 3-4 using stick tape.  Only need to do it on one side.  Confirm x2 3.0 operation by using GPU-Z's render test "?" question mark next to the Bus Interface .

http://cfile3.uf.tistory.com/image/1668D21E4A793AA1229E75

If x2 3.0 is more reflective of TB3 performance then the card (taped to run x2) can be installed in a CPU attached PCIe slot so can get x2 PCIe-CPU performance.

Maybe is just stupid, but, what about doing it at x1?? Because TB1 is 10Gbps and is should be a good comparative too!!

Cheers

2017 15" MacBook Pro (RP560) [7th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.13 & Win10 [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Here are the results of this test bench when ran with an Nvidia GTX 980 Ti. Razer Core was the enclosure for eGPU.

 
Test Bench @ 1080p x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 - PCH PCIe 3.0 eGPU x4 - TB3
       
Unigine Valley 95.1 FPS 90.3 FPS 83.7 FPS
Unigine Heaven 90.7 FPS 87.6 FPS 79.0 FPS
Unigine Superposition 93.2 FPS 91.7 FPS 86.9 FPS
3DMark Time Spy 36.0 FPS 35.1 FPS 33.5 FPS
3DMark Fire Strike 88.2 FPS 84.7 FPS 71.7 FPS
       
Rise of the Tomb Raider 60.0 FPS 60.0 FPS 58.5 FPS
Tom Clancy's GhostRecon 87.9 FPS 69.2 FPS 56.6 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 128.5 FPS 113.4 FPS 97.3 FPS
 
Test Bench @ 1440p x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 - PCH PCIe 3.0 eGPU x4 - TB3
       
Unigine Valley 58.1 FPS 56.3 FPS 53.9 FPS
Unigine Heaven 57.1 FPS 55.6 FPS 52.2 FPS
Unigine Superposition 62.5 FPS 62.0 FPS 59.7 FPS
       
Rise of the Tomb Raider 60 FPS 59.2 FPS 58.3 FPS
Tom Clancy's GhostRecon 66.0 FPS 53.7 FPS 45.9 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 89.2 FPS 82.3 FPS 73.6 FPS
 
Test Bench @ 2160p x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 - PCH PCIe 3.0 eGPU x4 - TB3
       
Unigine Valley 26.6 FPS 26.1 FPS 25.6 FPS
Unigine Heaven 24.5 FPS 24.3 FPS 23.8 FPS
Unigine Superposition 31.9 FPS 31.9 FPS 31.2 FPS
       
Rise of the Tomb Raider 46.8 FPS 45.6 FPS 46.0 FPS
Tom Clancy's GhostRecon 37.8 FPS 33.2 FPS 30.1 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 51.4 FPS 50.3 FPS 46.3 FPS

 

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

This is excellent work, itsage. Thank you for going through all the headache to get us these results!

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"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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itsage
(@itsage)
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Posted by: Yukikaze

This is excellent work, itsage. Thank you for going through all the headache to get us these results!

I'm always up for a good challenge. Thank you again for the fun idea!

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2020 14" MSI Prestige 14 EVO [11th,4C,G] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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enjoy
(@enjoy)
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Thank you very much for the 1440p and 4k benchmarks, the results confirmed our conclusion that if you up the resolution the performance drop is lower. I think after these results finally the eGPU haters will shut up, because for 1080p we have 15-20% performance drop for 1440p is 8% and for 4k the eGPU performance is the same like Desktop PC Smile eGPU is the future even Apple knows that now! Forza eGPU 😉

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mini eGPUPCI Express vs. ThunderboltMac CAN gameGaming Laptops vs. MacBook Pro with eGPU

 
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itsage
(@itsage)
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Posted by: nando4

@itsage, nice work getting it all going.    Did you want to do a x2 PCH test as well (16Gbps)?  TB3 is 22Gbps so is slightly faster than x2 3.0 so we'd expect TB3 results to be slightly better by comparison *if* TB3 latency is also not a performance detractor. The way to force the card to run at x2 is to isolate lanes 3-4 using stick tape.  Only need to do it on one side.  Confirm x2 3.0 operation by using GPU-Z's render test "?" question mark next to the Bus Interface .

http://cfile3.uf.tistory.com/image/1668D21E4A793AA1229E75

If x2 3.0 is more reflective of TB3 performance then the card (taped to run x2) can be installed in a CPU attached PCIe slot so can get x2 PCIe-CPU performance.

Thank you for these instructions @Nando4. I'm running an RX 580 at x2 3.0 speed in the top PCIe slot of this Test Bench. I will have the results in x16, x4, x2, and x1 in the next few days.

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2020 14" MSI Prestige 14 EVO [11th,4C,G] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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drachma
(@drachma)
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Posted by: enjoy

Thank you very much for the 1440p and 4k benchmarks, the results confirmed our conclusion that if you up the resolution the performance drop is lower. I think after these results finally the eGPU haters will shut up, because for 1080p we have 15-20% performance drop for 1440p is 8% and for 4k the eGPU performance is the same like Desktop PC Smile eGPU is the future even Apple knows that now! Forza eGPU 😉

3840x2160 pixels * 26 FPS = 215 million pixels per second

1920x1080 pixels * 60 FPS = 124 million pixels per second

 

but the bottleneck is actually happening at the lower pixels/second case! 

so there is more data overhead in a "frame" getting sent over the link than in just the raw number of pixels. Since we are only seeing the difference at high FPS and not so much at low FPS.

 

which is a pretty great problem to have. it means when you're pushing the performance of your card, you don't lose many FPS from the TB3 link when it really counts. When you are up around 60FPS you can afford to lose 5-10FPS and not notice as much.

2017 14" Lenovo X1 Yoga Gen 2 [7th,2C,U] + GTX 1050 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + Linux [build link]  

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itsage
(@itsage)
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I followed Nando's recommendation to tape the GPU contact pins so that I could run it as dGPU on the Z170 Test Bench at different PCIe speeds. It was an interesting experiment. I used GPU-Z to confirm the card was running at the speed I wanted. Invisible tape was very handy and made for an easy cleanup, just in case you want to replicate this test yourself.

Here are the results of the Radeon RX 580 ran as dGPU (top PCIe slot) at x16, x4, x2, and x1. I'm also adding the x4 TB3 eGPU results for quick reference.

Radeon RX 580 x16 PCIe 3.0 x4 PCIe 3.0 x2 PCIe 3.0 x1 PCIe 3.0 x4 TB3 eGPU
           
Unigine Valley 56.6 FPS 56.3 FPS 55.4 FPS 53.5 FPS 50.8 FPS
Unigine Heaven 56.8 FPS 56.7 FPS 56.3 FPS 55.0 FPS 49.2 FPS
Unigine Superposition 64.6 FPS 64.7 FPS 64.4 FPS 63.8 FPS 55.3 FPS
3DMark Time Spy 30.4 FPS 30.2 FPS 30.0 FPS 29.3 FPS 27.4 FPS
3DMark Fire Strike 68.2 FPS 67.6 FPS 67.5 FPS 66.5 FPS 57.0 FPS
           
Rise of the Tomb Raider 60.0 FPS 60.0 FPS 60.0 FPS 59.6 FPS 58.1 FPS
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 70.8 FPS 67.8 FPS 61.4 FPS 49.1 FPS 41.5 FPS
Shadow of Mordor 101.9 FPS 100.5 FPS 99.8 FPS 94.4 FPS 83.3 FPS

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

 
2020 14" MSI Prestige 14 EVO [11th,4C,G] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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kotlos
(@kotlos)
Trusted Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Was the eGPU attached to the same system? If yes, that is quite a bit of performance drop for the TB3 when compared to the x4 on a PCIE slot...

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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