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Do thermals go down on ultrabooks that are connected to eGPUS?
 

Do thermals go down on ultrabooks that are connected to eGPUS?  

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something
(@something)
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Hi. I am looking at a Dell XPS 13" 2018. To my understanding they can run rather hot under normal loads without an external graphics card. I am wondering, is it safe to say that a setup like this will run cooler with an eGPU setup? With the eGPU I would be using programs such as 3ds Max, Substance, Unreal, Unity, etc.

I am trying to build a new setup and an ultrabook like the Dell XPS 13 looks to be a great option.

Thank you.

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irev210
(@irev210)
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I'll ask the first question, why are you worried about temp?  Intel and dell know the thermal limits on this.

Fully loaded, I power throttle before I temp throttle anyway, the cooling solution is very good.

Have you checked out the hp Spectre x360?  A great laptop but only has 15w tdp.  Runs a bit slower but also cooler.

If performance is your #1 priority, get the xps.

Both work well with egpus

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Given the same workload, the laptop will run cooler with an eGPU attached vs. without. From the information a Dell system engineer provided to me, this new XPS 13 is a desirable TB3 host. It has four PCIe lanes over Thunderbolt 3 connection and GT4 OPI. As @irev210 pointed out another performance advantage is the higher TDP in the 9370 vs. others in this class.

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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something
(@something)
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Hey guys. Thank you for your responses, they are greatly appreciated.

To answer your question @irev210, I am just unsure about the situation. I watched some regular reviews on the Dell XPS 13" and there were claims about thermal throttling. However, this was not done with an eGPU setup. I wanted to ask from experienced users on this matter before I invest in this kind of setup.

I viewed the Spectre today for the first time and was very impressed. I have to see the Dell to compare.

@itsage, thank you for this information. Can you recommend any other machines in this same realm as the XPS 13?

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itsage
(@itsage)
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@something IMO the new XPS 13 is overpriced compared to others in the 13-in ultrabook class. Microsoft Store currently has Presidents Day Sale which takes $300 off these 9370. The other similar ultrabooks [tested with x4 PCIe lanes & GT4 OPI] are:

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use | eGPU enclosure buying guide


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something
(@something)
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Thanks @itsage. I contacted HP Canada and I cannot get the Spectre 13" in 4k, (non convertible). It is only available in the US, unfortunately. I need to sell two of my machines and replace with one of these. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for all the information you have provided me with, certainly makes the decision easier.

Also, I see the X1 Carbon has two Thunderbolt ports and I believe they are x4 PCIe lanes, not sure about GT4 OPI.

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irev210
(@irev210)
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I don't recommend a 4k display, just wastes battery.

Also, the Spectre 13t is a much different laptop than the x360, I can't comment on it's CPU throttling or cooling.

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something
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Understandable. The reason I mentioned 4k was because it is the only model that comes with 16GB of ram. 8GB will not be enough for my use.

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itsage
(@itsage)
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I agree with @irev210. 4K display on 13-in ultrabook is not something I consider a selling feature. It’s hard on battery life and screen scaling. 

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irev210
(@irev210)
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I would definitely recommend checking out the following:

HP Spectre X360 8550U 16GB 512GB SSD

They can be had for 1100-1300 USD on eBay or elsewhere.  Does bestbuy, newegg, etc have something similar in Canada?

I agree with @itsage that the XPS 13 is overpriced (though I did pick up the XPS 13 at the MSFT store during the presidents sale, 300 off plus an extra 10% off military which made it an ok deal, just no 16gb ram)

Anyway, the only downside to the spectre x360 is every time you plug it into an eGPU, you get a warning that says it is not a genuine HP charger which you can click away.

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something
(@something)
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Thanks for the input guys. While it probably is not a logical reason, I prefer the higher resolutions, lol. 

I did see that model at BestBuy @irev210. It's roughly $2000 here in Canada pre tax with no discounts. The XPS 13" similarly specced is around $2600. So a big savings. When I see the XPS, I guess the major selling point would have to be the screen because I think the x360 is smaller/lighter? I think I could look passed that warning, however, those things just become a nuisance more than anything.

I was pretty impressed with the x360 build quality. It is the only laptop I have seen that I think is close to Apples if not on par. There chassis was completely solid, no flex where ever I pressed around the keyboard. The only downside in my viewing experience was BestBuy had these massive metal plates attached to them to prevent theft. It made it awkward to hold and judge the weight, it consumed roughly half of the bottom pan.

I wonder what zBrush would be like in tablet mode with an eGPU hooked up. It seems the pen sensitivity is not that bad from some reviews I have viewed on YouTube.

Hopefully when I go to to Microsoft Store to view this again and the Dell XPS 13 for the first time, they will have smaller locks on them.

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irev210
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I can tell you, I've had both.

The 4k is generally a large disadvantage.  You lose significant battery life for what is VERY VERY little real-world gain.  Notebook check saw a loss of ~4 hours on the new xps 13 between displays (varies by workload) so just as long as you know what you are getting.

Both have 13.3" screens, the XPS 13 does have a smaller form factor.

They are different notebooks but it really comes down to user preference.  I'd recommend playing with both if possible, and I'd still recommend against a 4k screen - stupid marketing gimmick.

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4chip4
(@4chip4)
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On an x360 4K can make a lot of sense in tablet mode - the FHD display really shouts PIXELS at you if you get close at the display, for example if you use the pen a lot or read in tablet mode. In a classic laptop mode (where the display is further out), or for gaming/video/surf, 4K doesn't add much. On a 15", it's a very different experience.

There is also a special case when people like to have 4K - if they are mirroring content on internal/external displays. I know it's a corner case, but having the same display/monitor res can save you from a lot of presentation pain.

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + GTX970@16Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 (no guide)
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psonice
(@psonice)
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Some random thoughts:

  • 4K on a 13" screen only makes sense if you sit very close to that screen. Much closer than normal. (This is probably bad for your eyes.) Otherwise you won't see that extra details...
  • 1440p is roughly optimal for that screen size. 
  • 4K is over 2x more pixels than that. That's >2x more pixels to draw all the time. More than double the energy needed. Lots of battery spent on lighting up pixels you can't really see.
  • With an eGPU powering it, you're then running that display over TB. It'll probably work OK, but a 4K screen takes a lot of bandwidth. About 16 gigabits per second. I suspect that will cause various performance issues, because that's going to be streaming through your system constantly, and that's a lot of data 😉

Basically, I'd say whoever designed that computer was designing it to appeal to people who buy the thing with the biggest numbers. They weren't designing a good, balanced system. And adding an eGPU to drive the internal display is just going to add new compromises.

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4chip4
(@4chip4)
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I think the use-case often gets omitted in many of the reviews/comments. 4K is a double-edged sword. There are very clear pros and cons, and their impact will depend on the use-cases. Obviously marketing will emphasize the pros, those that don't need 4K will emphasize the cons, that's how things work 🙂 The bad news(?) is that consumers are very number-driven, so I'd guess that devices will get better at handling 4K, rather than 4K going away (or even high and low-DPI devices existing in parallel, other than economodels/niche devices).

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + GTX970@16Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 (no guide)
HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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something
(@something)
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Hey guys. Thanks for the responses this thread has been getting. As for the 4k issue, regardless if I want it or not, I don't really have a choice with these machines if I need 16 GB ram. They don't allow configuration without it -.-

I went to the Microsoft Store last night to see the Dell XPS 13". It's a nice machine. Very compact, and a smaller footprint like you said @irev210. It is a nice machine, but expensive. The HP Spectre x360 is roughly $550 cheaper so that is appealing. If I am honest I was very close to pulling the trigger on the HP, however, last night, the one my friend and I viewed was exceptionally hot. There was nothing on the screen, only the desktop, no apps open, but we couldn't access the start menu, or taskbar. When you touched above the keyboard, it was so hot it was uncomfortable to touch. I'm not sure if something was running in the background that I couldn't find, or if this is normal. Can you shine any light on this @4chip4?

When I saw the one at BestBuy I don't remember it being this hot at all. So I suspect something funky was going on with that specific machine. The screen on the XPS is very nice with the thin bezels. I think it will come down to price, and use.

Actually I have another question for you @4chip-most of my egpu use would be with an external monitor, however, since the x360 Spectre is a tablet, what do you think performance would be like with internal egpu use, and 3d sculpting program such as zBrush? Would it be worthwhile or better to go external + intuous?

Regards,

Something

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4chip4
(@4chip4)
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Shouldn't be that hot. Normally an idling x360 has fans off (or effectively silent), depending on room temp. What you describe sounds as a runaway update/antivirus/service/malware/etc. You can set the thermals so just how warm it gets depends on that - if you set it to performance mode, have it plugged in, and keep it running for prolonged periods of time, then yes, it *will* get warm, but that's very different from what you describe.

For the tablet use... It's a mixed bag. As a *handheld* tablet, I found the cable too distracting - YMMV. In a flat table/tent mode, it can work nicely. I don't have any experience with zBrush - but the GPU performance diff is about 10% if you go internal, which sounds like no problem to me, but then it can get very individual with things like latency. FWIW I game on the internal display regularly (tent mode + gamepad) and that works nice.

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + GTX970@16Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 (no guide)
HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

I think it should. My MacBook Pro 13” 2017 runs cooler when paired with eGPU even if it has integrated Iris.


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NCC74656
(@ncc74656)
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can someone please answer this, why in gods name are 13" tablets being manufactured with TB3 outputs? who in their right mind would want to buy a computer so small you can hardly use it and then offer a solution for gaming on it??? many of these computers even come with 1060's or 1070's in them... i cant wrap my head around this... what ever happened to the days of a 17" laptop, something you could actually have productivity on?

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4chip4
(@4chip4)
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TB3 is a universal port/protocol, not a dedicated "eGPU" port, external SSDs, 4K displays, docking stations can all make good use of that port (not to mention eGPUs have uses outside of gaming).

Even in the case of eGPUs, people don't necessarily game on internal 13" displays, in fact, the recommended setup is an external display attached to the eGPU, and 13" doesn't matter if you're in VR, either 🙂 For gaming in truly the original on-the-go sense, we have gaming laptops, you're right there. What eGPUs largely help address is the case where you want a small, portable device, but you have a "home base", where you can have the eGPU act as a dock + nice, big external display(s) or TV, keyboard/gamepad/etc and you don't want to have multiple computers/consoles. As counterintuitive it might sound, it's often more of a replacement for a low-mid gaming desktop than the gaming laptop.

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + GTX970@16Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 (no guide)
HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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psonice
(@psonice)
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Reminder: computers aren't only for playing games. Ultra portables are great when you need to work on the move, where a 17" laptop would be utterly awful to drag around. And when your work needs a ton of GPU power, just plug one in.

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NCC74656
(@ncc74656)
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maybe I'm too old but when i think of the 13 or even 10" laptops i think of an over sized phone. ive always had 17's and today i use a 17" for mobile installs in cars/onsite fleet management. i cant imagine using a 13" for these things, i am accustomed to having a full sized keyboard, number pad, and a large open pad next to the mouse pad to use an external mouse. i also expect to have a laptop with dual HD bays plus a optical bay. with nvme that changes the dual HDD bays but still i find it absurd that anyone would buy a laptop with out at least a number pad on it...

regardless of to each their own, i find it frustrating that i cant find a laptop to buy that has integrated video/touch screen/number pad/quad core/and TB3 for external video. i don't want anything above an intel GPU in the computer as i want battery life on the go and then i want to dock it up at home for games. i remember when docks were the thing... mac book pros, HP's, all had their dock to add video out, parallel, scsi ports. now days the docks are non existent and i wish they would come back.

the 2K price tag of gaming laptops is far more than I'm willing to spend, i want a 800.00 laptop for work that i can pair with a 800.00 video card and have both worlds.

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something
(@something)
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Hey all. Just an update on my end. Sold my MBP 15" rather quickly. Within a day or two. The MSI has been more challenging. Lots of lowball offers and ridiculous hardware trades. Hoping it will be possible within the next month or so to flog this 4k GS73VR.

As for portability, that's why I want an ultrabook. For development on the go I prefer a tiny machine and I'm used to the keyboards so it's a non issue for me. This 17" is very light, about the same weight as a 15", however, it's simply too large/uncomfortable for me to lug around.

The XPS 13 and HP are looking better and better by the day haha. Lenovo Yoga 920 Glass is cool but in Canada we are only stuck with that ugly Vibes graphic!

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4chip4
(@4chip4)
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@NCC74656 Docks are alive and well - the only difference is that they are nowadays TB3 (or USB3.1), as opposed to a device-specific form-factor. Yes, connectors are messier than the one-click docking of days past, but the general flexibility (and the drive to have ever-slimmer devices) seems to have trumped that.

There definitely are devices that are like what you describe (17", 2-bay, quad CPUs, TB3, except for maybe touch), but tend to be far more on the professional side of the spectrum, so way off that 800 money-mark (the CPU alone is going to be 300-400+ in that setup).

2017 HP Spectre x360 15 i7-8550U GTX150 + GTX970@16Gbps-TB3 (HP Omen Accelerator) + Oculus Rift + Win10 (no guide)
HP Omen Accelerator Thunderbolt 3 enclosure legs stand removal walkthrough
Employed by HP, but my posts and opinions expressed on this forum are my own.


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NCC74656
(@ncc74656)
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yea I'm noticing that there is a large gap in the laptop market for a basic system that hits a lower price point that perhaps sacrifices video cards in favor of more high end conductivity and productivity features.  when a company makes a sub 1K $ laptop that has a hex core or better with the ability to handle m.2 drives, along with some platter drives but forgoes the added cost of a gtx 1070 or 1060 for a lower end work station but includes the expansion ports and support to add a 1070 or 1080 card with out the high priced 400.00 dock they are going to hit the exact market that i feel many of us are after here.  good portability, good in field battery life, reasonable price, and the ability to be a true desktop replacement at home or at the hotel after work

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