Ryzen 4000 Laptops & eGPUs
My MSI GS63VR has been showing signs of age in terms of its physical build as well as its hardware. It's kept up really well, but I've transitioned to using a 4K TV as my monitor and I've also started doing a lot of video editing for personal and school projects. It's very possible this turns into work at some point, too. The 1060 is holding its own well enough, but it definitely doesn't have much life left if I actually want to run games at 4K--which I'd like to since I "can."
My thought was that I'd buy an "ultrabook" of some sort, and replace my GS63VR--which is practically a desktop at this point--and my Chromebook--which has lots of annoying quirks I'm tired of working around. It seemed like an eGPU that could also connect most/all of my peripherals was a great solution. New Intel CPUs seem to be a huge upgrade over my i7-6700HQ to the point where even the U and Y series chips can put on a better show.
But now Ryzen 4000's come out, and I'd really like to go with it if I can. From what I can tell, it won't support Thunderbolt 3--possibly ever.
Is there any hope that Ryzen 4000 laptops will be able to support external GPUs? Solutions that require me opening the laptop to get at an M.2 slot (or whatever) would kind of defeat the purpose for my personal use-case.
I've tried looking into this myself and couldn't find any definite information so I imagine all we can do is speculate. But maybe someone knows something I don't!
A glance of some spec-released Ryzen 4000 laptops (ASUS TUF Gaming A15, HP Probook 445 G7, ASUS Zephyrus G14) indeed shows their USB-C ports are not Thunderbolt. Will Intel allow Thunderbolt in AMD-CPU systems?
The most immediate path then to attaching an eGPU to a Ryzen 4000 systems is to shortlist candidate systems with a dual-storage (2xM.2 slots or M.2 + SATA). Then attach an eGPU to the M.2 port like shown at:
Q: (from above link) What are the pros and cons of a M.2 eGPU over Thunderbolt 3 (TB3)?
M.2 eGPU pros over TB3:
1. gets full x4 3.0 bandwidth - TB3 has 25%-64% less H2D/write bandwidth than M.2
2. noticably lower cost for eGPU adapter hardware
3. being able to utilize the eGPU in a macOS Hackintoshed system
M.2 eGPU cons over TB3:
1. require a candidate notebook with dual-storage (M.2 + M.2 or M.2 + SATA) to be viable (use M.2 slot for the eGPU and other storage for boot OS)
2. requires underside eGPU cabling to the internal M.2 port
3. requires DIY tweaking/testing to confirm compatibility
Are you sure? Notebookcheck says that was an error. https://www.notebookcheck.net/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T14-T14s-X13-AMD-Ryzen-4000-versions-do-not-feature-Thunderbolt-after-all.460707.0.html
To be clear, I would be the first in line for a thin and light productivity laptop with AMD Ryzen 4000 and thunderbolt. And we've seen it on the desktop so it's not impossible, but I don't know if any OEM is going to put in the work to get a ryzen laptop certified with TB3.
@kian_moiny, as far as I know, the Lenovo laptops listing TB3 as part of the Ryzen 4000 laptop specs was an error. Probably their marketing team just copying and pasting stuff like they've been doing for years. Haha
@nando4, Sorry, I read your comment and forgot to reply.
That M.2 mod definitely looks a lot more elegant and functional than I would have expected. The quirks and "hackiness" of it are a bit of a turn-off for me. I doubt I could do such a clean job modding something, and if I was hiring someone to do it for me the cost benefits would probably disappear. (And they'd void any warranty, 100%.)
I would be excited to see Ryzen 4000 laptops able to support this, and I'm pretty confident that there will be units with at lest 2 PCIe M.2 slots. And, this might be the compromise I have to make if I want to go forward with this concept on this platform. I would be more likely to bite the bullet and buy a system with a dedicated GPU, I'm sure a laptop with a 2070+ and a low-wattage Ryzen 4xxx chip would have better thermals, battery life, and still be close to double the effective performance of my current laptop in most tasks. (Maybe not gaming, but it would definitely be more ready for 4K.)
Long story short, having a dedicated GPU is probably better for me than having a DIY eGPU to M.2.
Any word on USB 4 coming out and being capable of supporting eGPUs?
With the news that some upcoming laptops will feature the AMD gen4 U processors that include thunderbolt 3 support, what do you guys think about the extra performance these new processors could bring to improve egpu performance?
I'm not sure that report is correct either, at least according to HP's spec sheet, the AMD version of the envy x360 13 doesn't list TB3, whereas the intel version does.
That's disappointing. I was really hoping to get a Ryzen 4000 laptop this year to use with my eGPU, but seems like it isn't going to happen.
If I remember correctly, the HP Envy series never had Thunderbolt 3 ports before. So the fact that they added it to the new Intel version and not AMD means they probably aren't going to for any of their lineups. Hope I'm wrong.