DELL Inspirion 7391 with i7-10510U - TB3?
 

DELL Inspirion 7391 with i7-10510U - TB3?  

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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
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Joined: 2 months ago
 

Hello guys and girls,

First: thanks for such a precious gem, namely this website and forum.

I just bought the Dell Inspirion 7391-based laptop / convertible with a i7-10510U, 16gb DDR3-RAM, 512GB NVMe-SSD.

I know I should have asked beforehand, but it was a nice deal and I'd really like this notebook for daily use.

Now since I intend to replace my desktop, I would like to know if I can connect an external GPU-case via Thunderbolt 3. The XPS13 models claim they have a x4 connection while this model didn't, but I hope so.

I am rarely playing games at all, but when I do, I want a good performance on 1080p or 2160p. I play RocketLeague for the most part.

Will this laptop (I just ordered it, so I could return it within 14 days if it happens to not satisfy my needs) be able to run a TB3-eGPU-box with say a 1080GTX?

Does anyone by any chance know anything about it?

Thanks for your help and time in advance!

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@igor_dasunddas It has only one Thunderbolt 3 port so x4 PCIe connection is not a given. In late 2019, I would find it very silly for any manufacturers to implement Thunderbolt 3 connectivity at x2 PCIe however. You can download and run HWiNFO64 then expand the PCI Express Root Ports to see more details. This is a screen capture on MSI Prestige 15 which has i7-10510U CPU. You can see under PCI Express Root Port #9, there’s a PCI Express Bus #3 with an x4 connection going to Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller.

This post was modified 2 months ago

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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
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Joined: 2 months ago
 

@itsage

I just got my device today and I tried my best, but I am not entirely sure, if this device has full x4 TB3 support.

According to a Service and Setup Manual I found on Dell, it apparently is expected to support full speed. The attached screenshot suggests so, too.

Screenshot of HWinfo64 on Dell Inspiron 7391, 2019

Edit: just figured I could start the "Intel Thunderbolt (TM) Control Center" and in the "Info" menu it says the following:

Thunderbolt(TM) Software
   Application version: 1.0.18.0
   Controller-driver-version: 1.41.648.4

Thunderbolt(TM) Controller 1
   Thunderbolt(TM) Generation: Thunderbolt 3 (15E8)
   Port count: 1
   Security level: Kernel-DMA-Protection (SL1)
   NVM Firmware version: 41.0
   External GPU support: yes

So I guess it does support Thunderbolt 3 with 4 lanes or at least it seems to say so.

This post was modified 2 months ago

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@igor_dasunddas That is most likely a x4 PCIe 3.0 Thunderbolt 3 connection. The only unknown is the particular TB3 controller inside the laptop. That information would only show up when you have a Thunderbolt 3 connected.

 

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


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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

Alright. I will probably try to get my hands on a box and see if a 980gtx works with it.

I wiall post a build once I accomplished it. Thank you very much for your time and help!

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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joevt
(@joevt)
Prominent Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

I don't see any Thunderbolt controllers in the pictures. Connect at least a USB device (even a mouse or keyboard will do).

15e8 is the JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 NHI [Titan Ridge 2C 2018] according to the pci database but I think 2C refers to the JHL7340.

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

I will connect my phone later today and make another screenshot. I also ordered a 1080 gaming box from gigabyte, scheduled to arrive till Saturday.

Edit: it seems I don't have a proper USB-C-to-USB-C-cord.... waiting for my box to arrive...

This post was modified 2 months ago

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
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Joined: 2 months ago
 

Hello again,

I've just gotten my Gigabyte Aorus 1080GTX Gaming Box today and attached it to my Dell Inspiron 7391 (7000 2-in-1) laptop and here's hopefully the right screenshot:

I'll check out if it works. The noise seems okay (at the moment), though I might have to look into changing the fans as mentioned somewhere in another thread.

If you got any comments on this (whether positive or negative), please feel free to let me know.

Edit: RocketLeague works, but it seems I had to update the drivers (or perhaps I didn't have to...). In 1980x1080 internal display on max settings absolutely flawless. I'll try to run some benchmark / write a build once I also tested out the external monitor ([email protected]).

This post was modified 2 months ago

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@igor_dasunddas You’re good to go! As can be seen under the PCI Express Root Port #5, there’s a PCI Express x4 Bus going to the Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller which hosts the GTX 1080 eGPU. Enjoy your setup!

 

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


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(@lukasz_kucharski)
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Joined: 4 weeks ago
 

@igor_dasunddas

Hi.
How's the performance in games? Is there no problem?

Pending: Add my system information and expected eGPU configuration to my signature to give context to my posts


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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 
Posted by: @lukasz_kucharski

@igor_dasunddas

Hi.
How's the performance in games? Is there no problem?

Hi there,

I haven't played much nor worked much on my setup yet since I was busy with holidays and preparations to sell my desktop.

However: I started up my laptop today and updated everything. And after that I decided to play a few rounds of RocketLeague (itˋs pretty much the only game I currently play). Last time I played it on max settings in FullHD on the internal display at constantly around 60fps. Today I played it on my external 4k screen on max settings and it was also almost constantly at 60fps (except for when you just entered a game, but I am sure thatˋs normal and due to network stuff).

No problems so far.

It also easily mirrors for regular desktop usage - and you can extend the desktop area even though each of the two screens (internal and external) seem to be driven by different GPUs (iGPU for the internal one and the nVidia 1080GTX inside the Aorus Gaming Box 1080 for the external one).

So far I am convinced that this setup will replace my desktop just fine. Also my mouse, keyboard and XBOX360 pad were attached to the USB ports of my eGPU without a problem. Havenˋt tried a GBit-LAN adapter or a sound card with it yet, but certainly will - so stay tuned ;).

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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Igor Dasunddas
(@igor_dasunddas)
Active Member
Joined: 2 months ago
 

I thought I would give some feedback on this setup (still gathering enough information for a full build description as I only started to use this set up as my primary PC just a while back):

  • Problem: eGPU fan noise (especially in idle and when shutting down Windows)
    ➡ Do upgrade the Aorus Gaming Box 1080 eGPU to the newest firmware F1.3
  • Problem: "coil whine" on the DELL Inspiron 7391
    ➡ there is no 100% fix and according to the DELL forums this happens on just about any DELL laptop and is more or less intense and differs. Fun fact: I hear the "coil whine" a lot louder when the load is very low. Once the load is higher, it seems to dissolve itself and becomes hardly noticeable - even without the CPU cooler running. Once the latter kicks in though, the "coil whine" is almost non-existent.
    Measures I have taken to fix this:

    • Updating drivers
    • Updating BIOS
    • Disable C3-Stepping (might decrease battery duration)
    • Changing Thunderbolt 3 cable
  • Problem: USB-device stuttering (keyboard, mouse, gamepad, USB-LAN-adapter, phone connection - everything USB)
    ➡ Try the following - it fixed it reduced the stuttering for me (especially after the last one)

  • Problem: Active Stylus not working as a digitizer in Photoshop CS6
    ➡ from what it seems, the Active Stylus technology is simply not supported by Photoshop CS6. Photoshop CC might be able to use it for pen pressure etc., but I do not have it. What does work, is Krita. I prefer it for drawing / painting on the laptop anyway, though I believe the layer effects are still better in Photoshop CS6.

Problems in green have been solved well enough to live with it, problems in red still persist and are annoying, but not enough to RMA the device.

Conclusion so far:

  • Pros
    • awesome specs (i7-10510U, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD, 1xTB3 (4 Lanes))
    • TB3 works well for eGPU as well as USB-stuff after taking the measures mentioned above against USB-stuttering
    • 180° convertable, touchscreen, active stylus and backlit keyboard are nice extras
    • I read, that Thunderbolt 3 works without any issues in Ubuntu on this laptop - have not checked it
  • Cons
    • "Coil whine" seems unfixable, but became much less annoying (or perhaps I just grew accustomed to it...)
    • I miss more USB-ports and a LAN-port; both becomes less noticeable once Thunderbolt 3 is fixed
    • The speed of the NVMe SSD is not really top notch, but decent enough

What I have yet to try:

  • Attaching a multi-channel USB sound card (5.1 - anyone a suggestion?)
This post was modified 3 days ago

Laptop: DELL Inspiron 7391 2-in-1, i7 10510U, 16GB DDR3-RAM, 512GB nVME-SSD, Active Stylus
eGPU: Aorus Gaming Box 1080 (nVidia GeForce GTX1080) on Thunderbolt 3 connection


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