Mantiz Saturn Pro 2 + GTX 1660 Ti for Dell XPS 13 9360, sensible choice?
My goal for now is to be able to play games at performance that doesn't exceed 1080p 60fps. I want to use the Dell XPS 13 9360 that I currently own and have room to upgrade the laptop and GPU around 1.5 years from now.
I've been playing on this laptop for a year now, mostly older games (GTA V, NFS MW 2012, Wreckfest, etc.) on lowest settings, sometimes even lower if possible. Larger games are installed on an external SSD ( Samsung 850 EVO, 2.5" SATA) hooked up with a TB3 cable. Am also using a cheap underside cooling fan for a bit of a cooling boost. The XPS handled these games decently. GTA is CPU intensive so occasional stuttering couldn't be avoided (and won't be solved by GPU, i think) but i want an upgrade from my lower-than-lowest settings gameplay, and to be able to play newer games (even at low settings). Some newer games I'd like to run, at any graphics setting: Forza Horizon 4, NFS Heat, Cyberpunk 2077
After doing some homework on this site and the r/eGPU subreddit, I thought a combination of Mantiz Saturn Pro 2 and a GTX 1660 Ti would do the trick. The SATA slot for my SSD and the Ethernet port were the key bonus features that sold me on the choice of enclosure. The 1660 Ti seemed like the best performance for the price without being severely bottlenecked by the dual core CPU.
I could use a sanity check; is this a sensible choice for my goal?
1) The XPS has a 16Gbps-TB3, is it too much to expect this to handle GPU, external SSD and Ethernet all on one port?? If i do connect the SSD and Ethernet to the enclsure, will GPU performance suffer?
I'm in Dubai so my options for buying enclosures are limited. Amazon US ships the Saturn Pro 2 here for ~$100 extra over the $300 price and a local e-commerce website has it listed for AED 1900 ($520!!!). Oddly the Razer Core X is the cheapest option available here at ~$325 but that would mean no Ethernet or external SSD.
Knowing whether or not the XPS can handle the features of the Saturn will help me decide if it's worth paying extra to ship it.
2) Is the GTX 1660 Ti overkill? The best GPU listed for the XPS 13 9360 on the build list page is a GTX 1080. Is it wise to not exceed a 1080? I cant seem to find 1080s on local e-commerse sites (I'll have to check the local markets though). However if there are cheaper cards that can meet my performance goals (and have 6GB VRAM minimum) I'll happily pick it over the 1660.
3) Is it unreasonable to expect my dual core CPU to even run new games? If the CPU bottleneck is too severe I won't go for the eGPU route right now.
Dell XPS 13 9360 details:
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7200U CPU @ 2.50GHz, 2701 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
Integrated Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
OS: Windows 10
Thanks in advance
@meducational, Are you going to use an external monitor with this eGPU setup? I would highly recommend doing that. GTX 1660 Ti should be a nice match. I have a NUC7i5 (i5-7260U) with GTX 1060 and FHD performance is not bad at all.
@itsage, I didn't plan on using an external monitor but I think I'll go ahead and do that. I'm guessing it's easier for video output to go straight from gpu to ext monitor than to run back down the TB3 cable into the laptop.
@meducational, The 2 PCIe lane implementation of Thunderbolt 3 connection in the XPS 9360 has a crippling effect on loopback performance. External monitor with an eGPU is the only way to go imo.