Hands-on with Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock
 
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Hands-on with Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock  

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chx
 chx
(@chx)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I posted first impressions and unboxing pics to https://www.reddit.com/r/eGPU/comments/80zm6x/lenovo_graphics_dock_mixed_first_impressions/

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

@chx Thank you for sharing your first impression and unboxing. Can you confirm the power delivery wattage? How's the cooling system? When I was at Lenovo booth, this dock was running some VR app with a headset. The fan was going full blast.

external graphics card builds
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2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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chx
 chx
(@chx)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I do  not really know how to measure the PD wattage. Is there  a program which shows how many watts the  laptop consumes? Perhaps I could borrow a kill-a-watt and check the difference when the laptop is plugged in and when it's not (my laptop has separate power input, not just USB C).

One more thing which I haven't tested yesterday: after sleep-resume, the dock didn't come back online, needed a power cycle (I guess replug would've worked too). I am not happy with that.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@chx I've used a few software in Windows but haven't found anything good. It's much easier in macOS but that's irrelevant. I'd recommend getting a USB-C Volt & Amp meter such as this one from Pluggable.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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chx
 chx
(@chx)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Alas, after spending 500 CAD+ on the dock and another 500 CAD+ on the warranty for my new laptop any more spending for the foreseeable future will go through a very strict evaluation and rejected (by myself).

Like, the dock doesn't come up after restoring the laptop from sleep and I considered buying a power outlet with individual switches but that's another 40 CAD  and -- nope. Need to stop. That 25 CAD toy would be nice, sure but then again, it's more spending. Need. to. stop. 😀

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 4 years ago
 

I hear you. I will check for the wake from sleep behavior when my unit gets in tomorrow.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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itsage
(@itsage)
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@chx I let the Razer Blade Stealth in sleep mode overnight with the Lenovo TB3 eGFX plugged in. It woke up fine and resumed working normally.

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

 
2020 15" HP Spectre X360 [11th,4C,G] + RTX 2080 Ti @ 32Gbps-TB4 (AORUS Gaming Box) + Win10 2004 [build link]  


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chx
 chx
(@chx)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

This morning it woke as well. First morning it did... usually it doesn't.

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 -- GALAX SNPR TB3 1060 -- Lenovo Graphics Dock -- Benq BL2411PT - - two PackedPixels - Dasung not-eReader backer


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rodrisanz
(@rodrisanz)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Hi CHX.  Thank you for sharing your experience.  I suspect this eGPU may solve a frustrating problem with my setup – I would love your input with the following questions:

  • Does the eGPU accelerate a normal Windows desktop?  Or is it only activated when running a demanding application? 
  • Can you force the eGPU to run regardless of the application?
  • What kind of fan noise would the eGPU generate in this scenario?  

BACKGROUND INFO FOR CONTEXT:

I use a Lenovo X1 Carbon 5th Gen (i7-7500U CPU, 16GB, HD620) running Windows 10 with latest drivers. This light PC is almost a dream machine:

  • I have weekly daytrips (MDE-BOG-MDE), and the X1’s battery lasts just long enough so that I can leave the power adapter at home.
  • The laptop’s keyboard feels almost as good as my desktop’s Das Keyboard Ultimate.
  • It is quiet - fan noise of any kind drives me nuts.
  • I DO NOT game on this machine.
  • TB3 means I can hook up the X1 to TWO 4k 28 inch displays running @60hz using the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 dock at the office.

The TB3 dock works great – as long as I keep the dedicated VRAM of the X15C at 256MB (issues arise when bumping VRAM to 512MB on the BIOS).  The problem is that the X15C struggles to drive the dual 4K displays. 

I am an Excel power user (Private Equity / financial modelling).  I require Excel to run as fast as possible to be as productive as I can, given my significant MS office keyboard-shortcut skills.  The problem with the Dual 4K setup is that Excel slows down.  I don't mean when crunching numbers.  I mean Excel's response to user keyboard input: there’s a lag when moving around the worksheet (i.e.  with PgUp/PgDn, or CTRL+Arrows)… To say nothing of tracing precedents or formula auditing with Macabacus Pro.  That kind of lag drives me crazy. 

  • This lag is NOT apparent when I work on the same Excel file using the X15C’s internal display. 
  • The lag is also NOT apparent when I set up the displays to run at 1080p.  This results in terrible image quality (WORSE than native 1080p monitors).  Obviously I lose the screen real estate and defeats the purpose of 4k. 

This makes me suspect the culprit is the X1’s Intel HD 620 gpu.  Additional evidence:

  • There’s a similar lag when full-sizing hi-res images.
  • GPU utilization on Task Monitor spikes when the aforementioned Excel lag shows up.

My current workaround has been to work with the active Excel window taking up only half of either 4k display. 

Since discovering this Lenovo Graphics Dock, my IDEAL workaround would be to replace my TB3 Dock with the Graphics Dock, so long as it PERMANENTLY accelerates my Windows 10 desktop without the dreaded “Delta Server” fan noise. 

I.e. my questions to you are:

If you think this eGPU will NOT serve my needs, do you have another recommendation? Perhaps the 1070 Gaming Box…  I will NOT travel with the eGPU.

THANKS!!!!

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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John Chang
(@john_chang)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Were you able to charge your Lenovo with the dock?

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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