A Youtube Video where it's said "Don't Buy an eGPU".
 
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A Youtube Video where it's said "Don't Buy an eGPU".  

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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I would like to read your opinion to The reviewer obviously had made his mind...

He says it's better to spent money for second gaming laptop than a eGPU. This makes sense. (<= irony)

This topic was modified 1 year ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680

 
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Arbystrider
(@arbystrider)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

The video's author seems to be basing his position on the limits of Thunderbolt 3 and how it impacts gaming performance.

Yes, Thunderbolt 3 provides less bandwidth than a full PCIex16.3 interface. Yes, there is additional latency due to the addition of TB3 controllers, and having to go through the chipset.

M.2 does not have to go through any controller. M.2 eGPUs are faster for this reason. Whether it goes straight to the CPU instead of through the motherboard chipset I do not know.

"As it stands right now, Thunderbolt 3 is just not suited to eGPU technology. It poses far too many restrictions of bandwidth, latency and attached devices such that it limits the performance and usability of eGPU enclosures".
The video should be titled, "Why Thunderbolt 3 is inadequate for eGPU", not "Don't buy eGPUs right now!". There are several interfaces that work better than TB3 for eGPU usage: M.2, LUA, MGD, AGA and so forth. To address all eGPUs and then point at one interface (TB3) for one shortcoming (bandwidth) is misleading.

It should also be noted that all he says is relevant only for users who 1. Have overly-powerful GPUs that become constrained by the TB3 link. I'm of the opinion that if you already know that you're going to be limited by bandwidth, you shouldn't be buying a 2080Ti.

"But, wait, you're using a GTX 1070 on a PCIex1.2 link! Don't you have an overly-powerful GPU?"

Or 2. use their eGPU  for gaming and other bandwidth-intensive applications. I use my 1070 for compute applications that don't use much bandwidth to begin with, in which case the full compute power of the GPU can still be utilised.

This post was modified 1 year ago

ThinkPad X230t, i7-3520M @ 2.9 GHz, Windows 7
EVGA GTX 1070 Hybrid, 2113 MHz @ 1043 mV
x1.2Opt, PE4C V3.0, 4Gbps-EC2


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(@gareth_rees)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

I didn't even pay for my laptop. $271 CDN for my Omen and $333 CDN for my Vega 56. That's 450 USD for 4K gaming out of pocket for me.

Latency impact, what whaat?

Overwatch hitting the 300FPS cap in 1080P, the bottleneck is actually my CPU/Memory speed which is 4200Mhz with hyperthreading off -200mV in that screenshot.

I'll update this with Ryse and Prey, Prey is downloading but Ryse is already installed.

This post was modified 1 year ago

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jerry Kansai
(@joi_kansai)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

He mixed his experience between core v2 with dual TB3 controller which shouldn’t have connection issue with its io port and gaming box that has TB3 connection issue due mixing with gpu data bandwidth. Second he’s probably testing the prey (loosing 50% he said) on 1080p I played 4K on this and the loosing isn’t that huge. Some point maybe he’s right because he’s pairing with gaming laptop with better dgpu bandwidth. TB3 egpu was being made for ultrabook to transform it in to gaming capable machine. But he didn’t recognize the advantages on gaming laptop, like better cpu may increase better and more stable performance, sharing heat between laptop and egpu enclosure may decrease laptop temperature which may bring longer lifespan, on some gaming laptop without DP egpu setting can make it possible to run adaptive g sync and more multiple monitor compared to using laptops ports.
I’ve which is roughly €1K enclosure plus GPU, I don’t think that 1K better for buying new gaming laptop, in my case I don’t see I need to upgrade to RTx 2080maxq Razer Blade since in some case rtx 2080 outperform 2080maxq Laptops like on Division 2 ultra 1440p and 4K, on 1080p some 2080maxq laptop beat my 2080 slightly though, but again with cpu gaming temperature on 70 which I don’t think on those laptop would be same unless it’s huge laptop like Alienware 51 with delidded cpu.

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(@gareth_rees)
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Joined: 1 year ago
 

Ok so Prey plays perfectly fine, no stutters, no issues, settings maxed in 4K gives me like 35fps on my Vega 56 so I have to do automatic downscaling and target 60fps, I could target 50fps and let freesync do its job too. No idea wtf this guys talking about. TB3/eGPU is amazing.

Dell Latitude 5491 14" BIOS 1.12.1 + Active PCH cooling | Core i7 8850H + liquid metal - https://valid.x86.fr/z6xi8n | 32GB DDR4 2400 | Samsung 500GB 850 EVO | MX130 + liquid metal | Logitech Z-2300 | Razer Death Adder Elite | Corsair K70 Rapdifire | R43SG v1.2 + RX 570 4GB


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

There are some aspects completely disregarded in the video:

1) Some people just don't want more than one computer. I personally want all my things on one machine, using less space, not having to synchronise. This is not a matter of money but for usability and space.

2) Heating problems when using dGPU. Gaming laptops are not only fat and ugly, they overheat and make a lot of noise when you use the dGPU.

3) Wrong facts. He says TB is not connected to CPU as general rule which is just not true. It's not the only fact he got wrong.

4) Mac Users. But of course when we talk about gaming laptops, this means Macs do not count :/

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680

 
2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 & macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Finally got around to watch the video. Was surprised it was Hardware Unboxed, a channel I do consider to be usually accurate in their assessment. And the comments on that video seem to agree that the reviewer missed the point. What I generally agreed with: Performance loss - it happens over TB3, sure. What I disagree with: Not recommended, because you can build a better PC, citing performance as a reason. Also the complete lack of knowledge/mention of the fundamentals of TB3 connectivity (Intel papers sum it up decently well - while this forum has investigated far more deeply - mostly a few google searches away). Of course eGPU purchasers know the cons of performance drops, plus it is more than evident that gaming is not the only use case for eGPU, and in terms of compute performance, bandwidth/latency does not always play a part (i.e, performance differences can potentially be 0 vs. Desktop). Performance is a function of type of load for eGPU which was not taken into consideration at all. It is clear that we usually run into latency limitations before bandwidth. If someone asks me I wanna game I say build a PC, but if they put in variables like college, work, laptop, etc. suddenly an eGPU can become potentially viable (portability comes at a price).

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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 
Posted by: OliverB

There are some aspects completely disregarded in the video:

1) Some people just don't want more than one computer. I personally want all my things on one machine, using less space, not having to synchronise. This is not a matter of money but for usability and space.

2) Heating problems when using dGPU. Gaming laptops are not only fat and ugly, they overheat and make a lot of noise when you use the dGPU.

3) Wrong facts. He says TB is not connected to CPU as general rule which is just not true. It's not the only fact he got wrong.

4) Mac Users. But of course when we talk about gaming laptops, this means Macs do not count :/

I agree with all of this.

1. I hate having more than one machine, I got up to 3 once accidentally, not including retired laptops, drive me crazy... elegance+space > money for me any day.
2. Dear god no (gaming anything).
3. Exactly.
4. See all of the above.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 4 years ago
 

To quote Gilmore Girls: "We've been here before. I recognize this tree."

Every once in a while, yet another Youtube channel infatuated with their self-importance creates a video with a similar (often pre-determined) conclusion.

Not to say that they are entirely wrong: eGPUs are a specialized (and often pricey) piece of kit that comes with a certain amount of drawbacks and performance penalties, but they often consider absolutely nothing past the "Muh-FPS" angle of eGPU use, while trying to paint the entirety of the technology (rather than say, a specific use of it) as useless. Overall, they do not understand that there is more to the use of computers than "Muh-FPS!", which is amusing, because often their viewers are the ones that have figured that out and comment to that effect, so they aren't even tailoring their content to their own audience all that well.

A lot of good reasons have been already brought up in this thread as responses, but I can add my 0.02$ of why I haven't had a desktop since I realized eGPUs were a thing and that my work issued Lenovo X230 had an Expresscard slot back towards the end of 2013.

  1. Why do I need to buy a system when I have a pretty damn good one provided to me by work?
  2. Why do I need another system, having to juggle between my work and home machine when I can just get on the VPN, and voila, I am at the office without as much as using remote desktop or a KVM?
  3. Why  the heck do I need a tower for my setup when all I need is just a dock for my laptop, which again, is provided to me by work?
  4. I could re-use the GPU from my old tower (back then it was a HD7950) and keep playing EVE Online just as well without having to fix the desktop when it finally failed, because troubleshooting computers loses its attractiveness eventually.
  5. Expresscard eGPUs were relatively cheap (~100$), and "Muh-FPS" wasn't much of a concern to me - I stopped playing AAA titles, because the majority of them are massively overrated crap anyway. I prefer games where I can log 1,000+ hours and still have something new to do, rather than chase pretty graphics. Been there, done that (back in 2006-2008),  and it (or maybe I) has gotten old.

To add a newer set of reasons:

  1. Ever since I started getting ZBooks from work, there is literally no reason to bother with my own system.
  2. I run extremely high resolution monitors (I usually game in 5K or 4K) and run relatively "light" games (World of Warships, EVE Online, Battletech, Rimworld, Stellaris, Crusader Kings 2, Cities: Skylines), so the performance impact is much less than 50%, and since I care not for high refresh rates, which narrows the gap even further.
  3. "Muh-FPS" is much less of a concern when you're not playing twitchy bullshit against teenagers (like I mentioned, I am old, so I need to keep the salt content of my bloodstream low), so as long as I get 50-60FPS at 4K or above I am perfectly content. FPS e-peen contests also get very old when you're closer to 50 than to 20.
  4. eGPUs, as mentioned already, aren't just for gaming. Connects to the having a single system for both work and play reason above.
  5. I like weird things.
  6. Price/Performance is definitely secondary to convenience once you have a steady income and aren't part of the benchmark-for-the-e-peen crowd, so the 200-300$ for an eGPU enclosure is a trivial expense.
This post was modified 1 year ago

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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Joined: 4 years ago
 

Youtube channels need to earn views and affiliate clicks. Why did he proclaim "Don't buy eGPU" then link to Amazon for Razer Core and other eGPU enclosures? This video was published when there was a lot of public attention following WWDC18. Look at early June 2018 queries in Google Trends.

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

 
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