Lenovo Legion BoostStation Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure
 
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Lenovo Legion BoostStation Thunderbolt 3 eGPU Enclosure  

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fr3d
 fr3d
(@fr3d)
Active Member
Joined: 7 months ago
 

Has anyone tested the Lenovo Booststation with a graphics card that is not on the list of supported hardware? For example a NVIDIA GTX1000-series card (GTX1050, GTX1060, etc).

I can't think of a good reason, why it should not work, but I don't have such a card to actually test it.

Regards,

Fred

Lenovo ThinkPad T480s (with dGPU Geforce MX150) + Lenovo Booststation (with Geforce RTX 2060 6GB RAM) + Linux


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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 4 years ago
 

@fr3d, Other graphics cards should work just fine. The power supply has a good amount of output so only a handful of high-end cards would not be recommended for this Lenovo Booststation.

 

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

 
2021 15" ASUS TUF Dash F15 [11th,4C,H] + RTX 3080 @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 // my 3rd RTX 3080 build [build link]  


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0x5051
(@0x5051)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

I wanted to share my experience of using this enclosure with linux on a thinkpad t480s (i5-8250U, 16G RAM).

It's really good as far as GPU performance goes. Here are a few benchmarks:

Spoiler
superposition

Spoiler
valley

Spoiler
heaven

Spoiler
basemark high

Spoiler
basemark medium

I see about 20% performance loss compared to running it in a desktop which is really good, given an ULV processor and the fact that a thunderbolt port is only using 2x PCI lines.

USB ports, ethernet and even a SATA port worked out of the box. And they don't get disconnected during heavy GPU load.

But there are 2 major problems:

1. Terrible coil whine even during light loads. It becomes audible once GPU starts drawing 40-50W. And it's not something that you can get used to, I can hear it even through my headphones.

2. Sometimes it does not get detected by my laptop. According to instruction provided by Lenovo, you only need to power on the enclosure and then connect it to your laptop with a thunderbolt cable. I my case, it almost always does nothing. I don't see any new thunderbolt devices and I also don't see any new PCI devices after rescanning the PCI bus. Rebooting the laptop with a plugged in thunderbolt cable also does nothing.

What does help is rebooting the enclosure until GPU fans start spinning. Then everything gets automatically detected and I only need to restart my graphical session to use a new GPU. Sometimes you only need a few reboots to properly power on the enclosure, sometimes a dozen which can be annoying.

I honestly don't know whether this is an encolsure issue or if it has something to do with the fact that I'm running linux which could be missing a driver needed to properly power on the enclosure when you connect the cable. But it's worth mentioning that I observe the exact same behavior on another linux machine (XPS 15 laptop).

I'll be contacting Lenovo for an RMA. I really like the enclosure, hope they have a replacement unit free of these problems.

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

Oleg-K liked
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Oleg-K
(@oleg-k)
New Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@0x5051, same issues with the Lenovo X1 Yoga Gen.4 on Win10

Thank you for the temporary solution!

Here's how it goes for me on Win10:

1. Load the OS ("Lenovo Legion Optimization Driver for Windows 10" was installed)

2. Connect with Booststation

3. Wait for the devices to connect

4. Check if all of them are connected (if not, then you could check for Error code 12 in the USB section of Device manager)

5. If something is missing (in my case, all of the usb perifery and the SSD), go for safe removal of those devices, and do it twice as at the second time you'll find there all the stuff which failed to connect at the first attempt.

6. Wait for every device to disconnect, including GPU (takes some time)

7. Push the Booststation power button twice with 1 sec. interval - first to power off, second to power back on. (TB3  must be also removed and then inserted back almost at the same time (power on first, then plug in TB3))

8. Everything should be connected this time.

There's also a solution for Error code 12 for Windows, haven't tried it yet.

This post was modified 3 weeks ago

Lenovo Booststation with RTX2060 on Lenovo X1 Yoga Gen.4


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Nusu
 Nusu
(@nusu)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 

@0x5051

Ok so I tried 20x already, different speeds, I was repressing the power button once, twice, I was holding in... nothing helps for now :/ 

I'll try to give a few more go's

 

No, I don't think anything will change... should I RMA it?

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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0x5051
(@0x5051)
New Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

@nusu

Yeah, it will probably be better to return it, there's not much else you can do at this point. I sent mine back about 2 weeks ago, still waiting for a response from Lenovo. Makes me sad that I'm not the only one with this problem.

 

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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struna
(@struna)
New Member
Joined: 4 months ago
 

when I see list of issues I'm glad that I returned my booststation when I realized that is not working with apple tb3>tb2 adapter. Maybe it was only problem with my device or maybe it's not working at all with adapter, but it's not my problem anymore.

Now I'm waiting for JEYI ThunderDock 7 mini from aliexpress. The cheapest M.2 enclosure in theory with PCIe x4 gen3, fullspeed, chaining and powered from external source that should allow to use it also with tb3>tb2 adapter.

 

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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Nusu
 Nusu
(@nusu)
Active Member
Joined: 1 month ago
 
Posted by: @0x5051

@nusu

Yeah, it will probably be better to return it, there's not much else you can do at this point. I sent mine back about 2 weeks ago, still waiting for a response from Lenovo. Makes me sad that I'm not the only one with this problem.

 

Ok so I managet to get secont Lenovo Booststation with RTX 2060 and is still not visible in "System Preferences" under Thunderbolt - No device connected.

So Boostation is fine... but I think under "standby mode" - blinking LED light on the front. 

PLASE HELP!  I spend £500 on the eGPU and for the last 3 weeks, I didn't see fan spin once 🙁 

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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arthur
(@arthur)
New Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

Hi all, wanted to also share my experience so far, unfortunately not with a happy ending.

I have a Macbook pro 15 (2014 with gt750m) and just got the Booststation with the rtx 2060 in the UK. I am using the apple tb3 to tb2 and the thunderbolt 2 cable.

So far the Booststation is completely not recognized, not in windows and not in mac. The Booststation led just keeps blinking which by the instructions provided means the computer is not connected to it, but it is.

It looks like Booststation works ok with native thunderbolt 3 laptops but not with the conversion cables like apple tb3 to tb2. Does anyone know why this is the case as for example razer core x has a thunderbolt 3 and people have had success with tb3 to tb2 cable?

Any suggestions welcome. 

This post was modified 4 weeks ago

To do: Create my signature with system and expected eGPU configuration information to give context to my posts. I have no builds.

.

itsage liked
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Joe377
(@joe377)
Active Member
Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

@frederick_ontour, have you tried the "Lenovo Legion Optimization Driver for Windows 10" and did it make any difference? I might give it a try on my build.

 

2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RTX 2060 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Lenovo BoostStation) + Win10 [build link]  

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