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Neobond
(@neobond)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

Hello!

I am curious about how to add gaming level graphics performance to my current setup.

I am running a ThinkPad X1 Extreme (8850H, 4K Screen) with the ThinkPad TB3 Workstation Dock.  The dock is connected to dual 4K monitors over DisplayPort, mouse and keyboard, DualShock 4, Audio Headset and external storage drive.

Everything is working how I like it, however I am only able to game at 1080p on medium or low settings with the internal 1050TI MaxQ (as expected).

I am currious what the best way to insert a eGPU into this configuration is and what enclosure type might be the best.  I also understand that I will not be charging my laptop with any single cable solution, it will be plugged in with the included power adaptor.

I see there are enclosures rated for GPUs and only include 1 TB3 connection, and the Akitio Node Pro that has two TB3 connections but is not rated for GPUs (because Intel).  I have seen a YouTube video or two showing it used with GPUs however.

Do I go for an Akitio Node Pro and connect laptop to Node Pro, Node Pro to Dock?  If I do go this route do I connect the displays to the GPU or leave them on my dock?

or Do I go for a enclosure that only has one TB3 connection and connect it directly to the dock?  Will this work?  Also do the monitors stay on the dock or go to GPU in this configuration?

Any help will be much appreciated!  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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nando4
(@nando4)
Noble Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@neobond , have you considered an M.2 eGPU instead?  An example build being:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2016-15-6-dell-latitude-e5570-r7-m370-gtx-1070-32gbps-m2-adt-r3g-win10-jkeychen/

The X1 Extreme is one of the rare systems with two NVME M.2 slots so if one is free you may consider it. The benefit being higher performance than TB3. A huge performance difference between TB3 and M.2 eGPUs is noted in Forza Horizon thread:

https://egpu.io/forums/pc-gaming/forza-4-benchmarks/

As an side, your system also has an uncooled PCH which @itsage and I identified sees performance degrading throttling.  The fix is to apply a thermal pad bridge to a case or heat pipe to dissipate heat. See details it:

https://egpu.io/forums/builds/2018-15-dell-xps-9570-gtx-1050ti-gtx-1080ti32gbps-tb3-asus-xg-station-pro-win10-1809-itsage/

eGPU Setup 1.35    •    eGPU Port Bandwidth Reference Table

 
2015 15" Dell Precision 7510 (Q M1000M) [6th,4C,H] + GTX 1080 Ti @32Gbps-M2 (ADT-Link R43SG) + Win10 1803 [build link]  


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Neobond
(@neobond)
New Member
Joined: 1 year ago
 

@nando4 thanks for the reply!

I haven’t given much thought to M.2 eGPU route, mostly because I was interested in have two NVMe drive in my system.  I bought my X1E with 512GB drive and installed a 2TB Intel 660p NVMe drive (for around $250!).  No I understand that this particular drive is not a speed demon or that is has long endurance, however the reviews of this drive focused on the 512GB variant and the 2TB quadruples the specs across the board (minus speed) of it’s smaller sibling.  This for me is a storage drive, movies-music-photos.

The TB3 thermal thrilling via PCH chip is super interesting!  I will defiantly put a pad on this chip and see what my PCH temps do.  Thanks for the tip!

As for the original eGPU question.  I am looking for a low effort eGPU solution without hardware modification with no real concern over cost.

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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